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Central Piedmont enrollment rebounds as students return for fall semester

CPCC student ID line.jpeg
Ann Doss Helms
/
WFAE
Students lined up for IDs at the new Parr Center on Central Piedmont's central campus on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

The opening of fall semester at Central Piedmont Community College on Monday saw enrollment rebounding from a pandemic slump, though some offerings still remain at low levels.

About 15,100 students are enrolled at the six campuses now, compared with 13,343 when the 2021 fall semester began. President Kandi Deitemeyer said Monday that Central Piedmont never went fully remote, but it's good to see enrollment for degrees and credentials recovering.

"Last fall was approaching getting back to normal, still a lot of things working in a hybrid environment, still a lot of students taking things online," she said. "This is really, truly kind of back to whatever new normal will be."

She said not only are more students back, but they're taking more courses: Enrollment is up about 12% but courses are up 18%.

CPCC Kandi D.jpeg
Ann Doss Helms
/
WFAE
Central Piedmont President Kandi Deitemeyer (left) helps a student work through financial aid questions on the first day of fall semester Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

At the central campus in uptown Charlotte, students gathered at the new Parr Center, which houses a student union, the school library and the admission offices where they lined up to get IDs and iron out any last-minute questions.

While the tally is up for students working toward a credential or degree, Deitemeyer said total enrollment is still below pre-pandemic levels.

"We also offer a lot of corporate and continuing education. And that’s the space, as some of our headquarters and some of our other businesses really get back to working, that’s where we’re hoping to see a lot of our business come back," she said.

Central Piedmont has also seen a pandemic slump in students seeking high school credentials and learning English as a second language, according to Deitemeyer. But she said enrollment is full at public high schools on four campuses.

CPCC archway.jpeg
Ann Doss Helms
/
WFAE
A view of the new Parr Center through the clock tower archway at Central Piedmont's central campus in uptown Charlotte.

Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.