Institution Spotlight

The Catalyst, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Institution Spotlight


Central Piedmont Community College

PROVIDE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY OF YOUR INSTITUTION.

Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering close to 300 degree and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. With six campuses and a variety of online offerings, CPCC is academically, financially, and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. The vision of the college is to be the national leader in workforce development. In 2002, the National Alliance of Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies.

WHEN DID YOUR INSTITUTION FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH NCCET, AND WHAT BENEFITS HAVE YOU SEEN FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIP?

CPCC has been involved with NCCET since 2004. Paul Koehnke was elected to the Board of Directors at that time and a number of CPCC employees have participated in the conferences as attendees or presenters over the years. In 2005, we were honored to receive the NCCET Southeast Regional Leadership award. NCCET conferences showcase best practices presented by subject matter experts and colleagues from colleges across the nation. It is uniquely positioned to connect thought leaders in continuing education. The connections we have made through networking with colleagues, meeting new potential vendors, and learning from influential leaders about trends and issues impacting workforce development and continuing education across the nation continue to be valuable resources for our Corporate and Continuing Education Department.

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR INSTITUTION?

CPCC s stated vision and goal is to be the nation's leader in workforce development. CPCC has a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that gives the college the courage and drive to break new ground. For example, CPCC signed an articulation agreement in April 2012 with IHK-Karlsruhe, a German regional chamber of industry and commerce, making CPCC the first US community college to offer IHK-certified job-training programs. CPCC students now are able to earn IHK-endorsed certificates in five advanced manufacturing programs. These German certifications will make our students and the Charlotte, NC region more attractive to German and other European companies. European companies, particularly those from Germany, now know Charlotte can provide a workforce trained to their exact specifications. These programs will match job training in Germany so closely students can start their studies in Germany and complete them at CPCC or vice-versa.

HOW HAS IT DEVELOPED AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?

CPCC will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. From humble beginnings in an old high school facility, CPCC has grown to providing access at a large downtown campus and five suburban campuses. Leadership at the executive level has been extremely stable with only three presidents in fourty-nine years. CPCC serves roughly 19,000 FTE students annually and approximately 70,000 individuals overall through almost 300 degree and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. The college is planning for an enrollment growth track of about 3 percent a year over the next decade. Our long-range facilities plan will help the college accommodate this growth through the addition and renovation of instructional space with an emphasis on ensuring that students have relevant competencies and workplace learning experiences.

WHAT CAN INSTITUTIONS LIKE YOURS OFFER IN THIS CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE?

Hope and a path to a sustainable career. CPCC offers high-quality job-training and college transfer programs at an affordable cost. From current high school students to dislocated workers with years of experience, CPCC can prepare individuals for college-level work and then provide the instructional/ training programs needed for success. …

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