College Recieves $10-Million Gift Commitment to Strengthen Arts and Humanities

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont's 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.

Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:

  • establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
  • creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
  • creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
  • establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
  • enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
  • creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.

"This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont's capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The generous donor believes regardless of students' academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it's clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.

"A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges," Deitemeyer added.

The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future campaign." Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.

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$500,000 Grant to Create the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program

The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $500,000 grant to develop a new licensed practical nursing program at the college that will provide students with an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address the employment needs of Charlotte's healthcare sector. Thanks to the Foundation's generous gift, the program will permanently be named the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont.

"This gift will provide us with the resources we need to create a quality program," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The funds will not only allow us to provide financial aid to our most in need students, but also enable us to hire full- and part-time faculty, develop challenging course content and purchase program-specific material and equipment that will produce quality graduates prepared to enter the workforce."

Licensed practical nurses serve an important role in the healthcare delivery system, ensuring quality care for patients. They assist physicians and registered nurses in providing critical, essential services, including monitoring patients' vital signs and supervising nursing assistants and collaborating with other members of the healthcare team. Licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, private practices, medical offices and with home healthcare agencies.

Central Piedmont's licensed practical nursing program will enable students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median licensed practical nursing salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for low-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

"The Foundation values and appreciates Central Piedmont's important education and career training role in our community," said R. Stuart Dickson, chairman of the board of directors for The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte. "The college is a critical resource in expanding opportunities for the citizens of Mecklenburg County. This grant addresses two of The Dickson Foundation's priorities education and healthcare. We are pleased to partner with Central Piedmont to begin and name this new program."

The Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont will be based on the college's Central Campus and will focus on patient data collection and subsequent care, safety and hygiene, medications, use of medical records, nursing procedures, applying anatomy and physiology, professional behavior, and healthcare law and policy.

The first cohort of licensed practical nursing students is expected to begin classes in fall 2021 and graduate in summer 2022. Upon completing the program, all of the program's graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination in Practical Nursing to become a nationally-certified licensed practical nurse. It is anticipated the program will begin with 18 students in its first year and grow to 40 students in the second year.

Central Piedmont will have the option to add students in subsequent years to meet student and workforce demand.

The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte is a longtime supporter of Central Piedmont and of healthcare and education in the Charlotte area. The Foundation's grant will help the college further progress toward its Powering a Stronger Future campaign goal of $40 million.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont can contact Jeanette Cheshire, associate dean of nursing and nurse aid at Central Piedmont, at 704.330.6451 or at jeanette.cheshire@cpcc.edu.

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College Receives $500,000 Grant From JPMorgan Chase

Central Piedmont Community College received more than $700,000 from JPMorgan Chase to meet community needs for economically mobile career pathways and pandemic-related relief. A $500,000 grant will help the college develop new, fully online training pathways in high-demand IT fields, including cybersecurity, health IT and forensic accounting. The funds will provide for course development, instructional capacity, technology and student support services.

In addition, JPMorgan Chase will extend a second grant of $235,000 to Central Piedmont to provide sub-grants to 11 Mecklenburg County non-profit organizations that are serving populations severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funds will help them meet increased demands for services like housing, food, healthcare, legal assistance and technology among the Charlotte area's most vulnerable populations.

"When JPMorgan Chase comes to a city, one of the first things we do is identify community partners that will help us not only connect with the community, but also actually make a long-term and sustainable impact on its residents and their economic mobility. We found a partner in Central Piedmont Community College," said Dekonti Mends-Cole, vice president of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. "Central Piedmont does not just educate students; it also identifies the needs of the surrounding community and provides the tools and the programs to address them. We're pleased to partner with the college to help the residents of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County thrive."

These two grants are the latest in a history of support JPMorgan Chase has provided Central Piedmont. Since 2014, JPMorgan Chase has invested approximately $1.6 million in the college to support multiple programs, including truck driver training, electrical vehicle technology training, global logistics and distribution, and a customized training program for workers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Approximately 525 students have earned credentials though these programs.

"What an incredible blessing it is to be included in a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, Central Piedmont and 10 other nonprofits to help people in need in our community. At Loaves & Fishes, we see the faces of children, families and seniors here in our community who don't know where their next meal is going to come from. It fills my heart to know this funding will help to ensure everyone in need will have a full plate for the days, weeks and months to come," said Tina Postel, executive director of Loaves & Fishes.

"JPMorgan Chase understands well and supports generously Central Piedmont's mission of helping students achieve career success and greater economic mobility by providing pathways to skills training that is relevant in our global economy," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "JPMorgan Chase is a true partner and leader in this community's work to ensure a greater number of our neighbors get the opportunity and support to build family-sustaining careers. The college and Charlotte region are blessed to have such an intuitive and responsive partner like JPMorgan Chase."

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Bank of America Commits $1M to College for Jobs Initiative

Central Piedmont Community College and Bank of America today announced a new $1-million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success in the Charlotte region. This initiative builds on Bank of America's ongoing work in the communities it serves to address underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.

"Bank of America has a long-standing commitment to advancing economic mobility in the U.S., and particularly in Charlotte region," said Bank of America Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. "Our focus on workforce development has been integral in creating opportunities for local residents, and for that reason we have a history of supporting Central Piedmont. Recent events that heighten the urgency to advance racial equity have driven us to do more, and this financial grant is a first step of that commitment."

The initiative is part of the bank's recent nationwide $1-billion, four-year commitment to advance racial  equity and economic opportunity, and a $25-million commitment recently announced to enhance up-skilling and re-skilling for Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals.This year alone, the bank provided $3.3 million in grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in the Charlotte region.

"Central Piedmont is grateful and excited to be part of Bank of America's national initiative to create educational and career success opportunities for Black and Hispanic-Latino students," said Central Piedmont President Kandi Deitemeyer. "This generous grant will enable the college to support these students in developing the skills that lead to family-sustaining careers in high-demand employment fields. Bank of America's thoughtful philanthropic investment promises significant benefits for students, their families, and our entire community." 

The national $25-million initiative includes partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges, including Central Piedmont, that serve predominately Black and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and public Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.

"Today is a special day for Central Piedmont Community College and the thousands of students it serves," said Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager. "For more than 50 years Central Piedmont has played an integral part in providing educational, training and workforce opportunities, making the college a key player in improving the economic trajectory for many of its students." 

"Central Piedmont Community College is a treasured asset to Charlotte, not only as a solid workforce partner, but also as one of the key contributors responsible for our city's prospering economic mobility," shared Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "By offering careers, collaboration, and higher learning to our residents, this institution is a shining illustration that our city continues to flourish."

Bank of America, in partnership with the Charlotte regions' corporate community and local public sector, will continue to work to ensure the workforce development programs target specific hiring needs to create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment. 

"We're incredibly grateful for our partnership with Central Piedmont Community College, as academic medicine continues to grow in importance for Atrium Health," said Atrium's Jim Dunn, Executive Vice President & chief people and culture officer. "The workforce development programs at Central Piedmont open up tremendous opportunities for local students to obtain the skills and experience to secure fulfilling and rewarding careers. From Certified Nursing Assistant training, to Nursing and Allied Health career pathways, the Charlotte area is fortunate to have such a local talent pipeline partner to help fill a variety of roles within our Atrium Health enterprise."

The most recent financial commitment builds on support the bank has provided to other area higher education institutions focused on serving students of color and strengthening community economic mobility. Recipients include historically Black institutions of higher education, Johnson C Smith University and Livingstone College, as well as UNC Charlotte, Queens University and Johnson & Wales University.

"Central Piedmont provides much-needed opportunities for underrepresented populations to access higher education and acquire the skills needed to establish meaningful careers," said President and CEO of myFutureNC Cecilia Holden. "The college's short-term certificate and two-year degree programs are aligned with the needs of employers and offer direct pathways to in-demand jobs and greater economic mobility. Expanding higher education and career preparation access to underserved, low-income individuals will have immeasurable impact on their lives and the economic vitality of North Carolina."

Additionally, as part of its "Executive on Loan" program, Bank of America executive Anna-Maria (Ria) Nicholls serves as Chief Diversity Officer to Central Piedmont and plays a key role in helping them shape an institutional vision for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Why Harvey Gantt Supports Central Piedmont

Few people have done more for the Charlotte community than Harvey Gantt. As Charlotte's first black mayor and Clemson's first black student, Mr. Gantt personally knows the power of education.

That's why this Black History Month he explains why he chooses to support Central Piedmont.

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Student Highlight: Yeisha Calderon

"Central Piedmont helped me see myself in a place that I couldn't before," says Student Government Vice President and Opportunity Scholar Yeisha Calderon.

Your gift to the Central Piedmont Foundation powers a stronger future for students like Yeisha every day. Listen to her story below.

To donate, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/donation.
To learn more about Powering A Stronger Future, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign.

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Posted in Alumni, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as poweringastrongerfuture, student highlights.

Central Piedmont Faculty Change Lives

Laura and James Bazán have each taught at Central Piedmont for over 20 years. During that time, they've seen countless students make real change in their lives and the lives of their families.James & Laura Bazan

"Central Piedmont is a place where potential and possibility work hand-in-hand to create something new," Laura said.

James and Laura are inspired to give back to the college not only because of the students they see striving toward a stronger future each day, but also because of their own life experiences.

"I started college as a 32-year-old carpenter," James said, "My teachers showed me doors where I had only seen walls. It is an honor to be able to do that for others."

"Being philanthropic is important to me because someone gave to me when I started college. I come from a small farming community in Ohio. There was no way I could have gone to college if it weren't for the scholarships I received," Laura recalled. "Those people had faith in me, just as I have faith in the students who come to Central Piedmont."

Laura and James' contributions to the Central Piedmont Foundation are an investment in the next generation of students who are working toward a stronger future.

You can give today by visiting cpccfoundation.org/giving/faculty-staff.

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Gift will help establish Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a significant gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College to support the creation of a new Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. The center will advance the best practices of impactful teaching at the college to inspire, guide, and support instructors in the key areas of pedagogy, course content and information delivery.

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Central Piedmont will facilitate the professional development of the college's full- and part-time faculty, with the goal of enriching students' learning and overall educational experience, motivating them to persist and complete their programs of study.

The gift to help create the center comes as part of Central Piedmont's ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future" campaign. The five-year fundraising effort seeks to raise $40 million the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the college's 56-year history. The campaign will run through June 2022, and has raised more than $23.8 million to date.

The center's focus areas will include:

  • developing pedagogy that is inclusive, equitable, and centered on student learning and success,
  • using technological tools and resources to enhance classroom teaching,
  • encouraging and supporting instructional innovation,
  • furthering the continued growth and instructional effectiveness of all faculty,
  • fostering and disseminating strategies that improve classroom experiences for students,
  • promoting the ongoing assessment of teaching strategies and student learning, and
  • developing instructional content and methods that promote critical thinking and skills needed for careers and further education.

Current programming plans for the center include:

  • conducting workshops for instructors,
  • sponsoring guest speakers to share best practices,
  • providing semester-long orientation and training programs for new instructors and skills-refreshment programs for established faculty,
  • establishing mentoring relationships for new instructors with successful classroom instructors,
  • conducting training sessions focused on the needs of part-time instructors, and
  • sharing scholarly research and articles related to best practices in classroom teaching and learning.

"The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will be a permanent resource and catalyst for instructional excellence at Central Piedmont," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The center will be based on Central Campus, but it will serve instructors and offer programming at all of the college's campuses.  The center will be critical to ensuring outstanding classroom instruction and learning for all of our students."

The college will hold a ceremony to dedicate the center during the 2020 spring semester.

For updates on the progress of Powering a Stronger Future, visit our campaign updates page.

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Posted in Announcements, Community, Foundation News. Tagged as Campaign, poweringastrongerfuture.

Student Highlight: Raven Bell

Raven Bell is pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatrician at Central Piedmont. Your gift this #GivingTuesday helps empower students like Raven to reach their full potential and create #aStrongerFuture for all of us.

To donate, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/donation.
To learn more about Powering A Stronger Future, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign.


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Posted in Alumni, Foundation News, Scholarships, Students. Tagged as poweringastrongerfuture, student highlights.