Central Piedmont Early College High School
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my child into Central Piedmont Early College High School?
We are a full magnet high school in CMS, and students must apply through the CMS School Choice process. For the 24-25 school year, we will be taking applications for rising 9th grade (100 seats) and rising 10th grade (space permitting).
This fall, each CMS school will send home a letter to students in late November or early December with the student's assignment for next year and instructions for applying for a magnet seat through the lottery process.
As part of the application to CPEC, students will also need to complete an application to Central Piedmont Community College. Detailed instructions are available at https://bit.ly/CPCCApplicationMiddleCollege.
For a comprehensive overview of the application process, visit https://cmschoice.org
Families will be notified of acceptance or “waitlist” status in early 2024.
How do we participate in the CMS lottery if we don’t currently attend a CMS school?
If you are new to CMS for the 24-25 school year, you will need to complete a future enrollment to obtain a CMS ID number and PIN before completing the application process. It is called "future enrollment" because it is for next school year, and it allows Student Placement to assign students not currently enrolled in CMS an ID number. Future enrollment is not a commitment to attend CMS, but it is required to as much as making it possible for the student to participate in the CMS Choice Lottery.
Families will be able to future enroll through the Student Placement office here: https://www.cmsk12.org/domain/28, or can call the CMS Student Placement Office at 980-343-5335.
How is Central Piedmont Early College High School different from a traditional high school?
CPEC is a full magnet high school, meaning that our students come from all over Mecklenburg County. Each grade level in the early college program is capped at 100 students, so our school is much smaller than a traditional high school. In addition, our students have a blended schedule of CPCC college courses and CMS Honors or AP courses. Each student’s schedule is unique to the student. In addition, we follow a different CMS academic calendar from traditional CMS schools. Our calendar lines up with the community college calendar; we will begin school in early August and end in late May.
What is the difference between dual enrollment (Career and College Promise) and the Early College program?
Career & College Promise (CCP) is North Carolina's dual enrollment program for high school students. This program allows eligible students at any North Carolina high school to enroll in college classes at North Carolina community colleges. Dual enrollment students remain enrolled in their home high school.
Early College High Schools (ECHS) are Cooperative Innovative High Schools that are housed on college campuses. Our students are fully enrolled in both CMS and Central Piedmont, and report to our school daily for their CMS classes.
CCP students select pathways to enroll in, while Early College students can enroll in any of the certificate, diploma, or degree programs at Central Piedmont. Early College students have more classes available to them. In addition, Early College students have all books and required materials paid for, whereas CCP students receive a gift card for a set amount each semester.
What is Grade 13?
Students may stay an additional year in Early Colleges to have the opportunity to complete an Associate’s Degree and/or Career/Industry Certification. Grade 13 is optional and is open to students who are in good academic standing with CMS and CPCC and have met all high school graduation requirements. Students enroll in only CPCC classes and a CMS Early College High School Seminar course during Grade 13. Students staying for Grade 13 do not graduate at the end of 12th grade but rather upon completion of their program.
What costs are involved with the Early College program?
Tuition, fees, and textbooks are free for Early College students. Students may enroll in optional summer session courses but will be responsible for any student fees or textbook fees (however, tuition will still be free).
Why is there a separate academic calendar for the Early College?
Early Colleges in CMS follow a calendar more aligned to the CPCC calendar. We typically start school the first week in August, finish our first semester before winter break, have our spring break in March, and end the year before Memorial Day. We also have different teacher workdays and holidays than the traditional CMS calendar.
Is CMS transportation provided?
CMS transportation is provided to all Early College students through Express Stops. Families are responsible for getting students to and from Express Stop locations in the morning and afternoon. More information on Express Stops can be found here: https://www.cmsk12.org/Page/9281
What kind of clubs or school events do you have?
Central Piedmont Early College students can participate in any CPCC club or activity as well as a wide variety of clubs unique to our high school. High school clubs are based on student interest and leadership. We currently have an active Student Government, an Art Club, Multicultural Club, Dance Club, e-Sports Club, and more.
What about sports?
CPEC students are eligible to participate in organized CMS-sponsored school sports and marching band at their home high school.
How many classes will my child take?
In general, students will take 4 classes each semester. 9th graders will have 4 honors-level core courses each semester. In 10th grade, most students will begin a blended schedule of CPEC and CP courses. By 11th grade, students will take mostly CP coursework. Once college coursework starts, students may take up to 6-8 courses each semester with parent and counselor approval.
Will CPCC credits transfer to another college or 4-year university?
There is an articulation agreement between NC Community Colleges and all 17 public universities that guarantees that any credit earned at a community college with a grade of C or above to transfer to any NC public university to which a student earns admission. Private colleges and out-of-state colleges often have their own policies regarding transfer credits but generally, most credits will transfer in some fashion. Parents and students are encouraged to contact private schools and out-of-state institutions for course credit information.
How do CPCC courses affect a student’s GPA?
Students earn high school credit for CPCC classes that are 3 credit hours or more. Most transferable classes are weighted with 1 additional quality point in the high school GPA (similar to an AP class). Most non-transferable courses are not weighted in the high school GPA.
What degree programs or certification programs are available through Central Piedmont?
CPCC offers over 300 certificate, diploma, and degree options, and most are available to Early College students. Students are automatically enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree upon enrollment because it is the most transferrable, but students can change programs of study to another transferable degree (Associate in Science degree or Associate in Engineering), or an Associate in Applied Science degree, certificate, or diploma that will prepare students with skills needed to enter a specific career. You can view the programs of study available at CPCC here: https://www.cpcc.edu/academics/programs . *Note: Not all programs are offered at each campus. While students can still enroll in the programs, they might need to attend classes on a different campus.
Will I be able to monitor my students’ grades and attendance in their Central Piedmont classes?
No. Due to FERPA, Central Piedmont does not share grades or attendance information with parents, and this information is not updated in PowerSchool until the end of each semester. We recommend that parents monitor Central Piedmont grades with their child through Brightspace. Students are expected to follow the attendance and grading policies detailed in each Central Piedmont course syllabus.
What CMS/high school courses are offered at CPEC?
We currently offer the following honors courses:
- English 1, English II, English III, and English IV
- NC Math 1, NC Math 2, NC Math 3 (note: students take their 4th math through CP)
- World History, Civic Literacy, Economics & Personal Finance (note: students take American History through CP)
- Earth & Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry
- Note: students meet their Health & PE requirement through two college courses taken in 9th grade
We currently offer the following AP classes:
- AP World History, AP US Government, AP English Language & Composition
Our master schedule and course offerings are based on student need and are re-evaluated frequently. All high school classes are taught at the honors or AP level and students meet several high school graduation requirements through college coursework.