Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog and Student Handbook Spring 2024 
2023-2024 Catalog and Student Handbook Spring 2024

General Information


South Piedmont Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. South Piedmont Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of South Piedmont Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500, or by using the information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

State Authorization

South Piedmont Community College ensures compliance with State Authorization requirements prescribed by 34 CFR Part §600.9, regarding the offering of online/distance education programs, which states:

If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Board of Trustees and the administration of South Piedmont Community College (SPCC) are fully committed to the principles and practice of equal employment and educational opportunities. Accordingly, SPCC does not practice or condone discrimination, in any form, against students, employees, or applicants on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law. SPCC commits itself to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of those characteristics. Should an employee or student feel their rights under Title VI, VII, or IX have been violated, they may mail a harassment complaint, including sexual harassment, to the Human Resources Office by mail at PO Box 126, Polkton, NC 28135. Correspondents will be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, Elaine Clodfelter, Director of Student Advocacy and Accountability and/or Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Lauren Sellers, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Payroll.

The College Catalog and Student Handbook

Effective for the 2023-2024 academic year, this college catalog and student handbook is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between the student and the College. South Piedmont Community College has made every reasonable effort to determine that everything stated in this catalog is accurate at the time of printing. However, the NC General Assembly, the State Board of Community Colleges, and/or the SPCC Board of Trustees may make changes in policy, graduation requirements, fees and other charges, curriculum course structure and content, and other such matters after the publication of this college catalog and student handbook. The NC General Assembly may make changes in tuition without notice.

The official 2023-2024 College Catalog and Student Handbook is published on the website at www.spcc.edu.

Message From the President

Welcome to South Piedmont Community College!

A good education is foundational to achieving your dreams. By choosing South Piedmont Community College, you have joined a diverse and growing community of people who have decided to make their lives and their communities better through education. It is a decision that positions you well to find your own success-no matter how you define it. South Piedmont has a proven record of preparing students for good jobs with great futures or for success at four-year colleges and universities.

While we strive to make the South Piedmont experience as smooth as possible, navigating college can be complicated and daunting. We understand that. The faculty and staff of South Piedmont are committed to your success, and that means we are prepared to support you every step of the way. Each of us, along with valuable resources like our Academic Support Center and our libraries, are always here to help you.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to get involved. Get to know your classmates, but beyond that, I encourage you to take advantage of all that the SPCC experience has to offer. South Piedmont offers a variety of ways to enrich your learning experience and to just have fun with your classmates. Whether it’s joining a club, being active in our Student Government Association, or attending one of the many student activities held throughout the year, find your place at SPCC.

I speak for the entire faculty and staff of South Piedmont Community College when I say that we’re excited that you are here, and we are looking forward to helping you find success.

Welcome to South Piedmont Community College-you’ve come to the right place!

Dr. Maria Pharr


History of the College

South Piedmont is North Carolina’s newest community college, having been created in 1999 by the North Carolina General Assembly. The legislature’s action abolished Anson Community College and assigned the new college’s service area as Anson and Union counties in south-central North Carolina.

South Piedmont is in the unique position of being a new institution with a proud history. The institution traces its roots to 1962, with the founding of the Ansonville unit of the Charlotte Industrial Education Center. In collaboration with Stanly Community College, it also provided years of service in Union County as Union Technical Education Center.

The institution was originally designated as the Ansonville Industrial Education Center in November 1962 by action of the State Department of Public Instruction. On December 2, 1967, the Anson County Board of Education and County Commissioners officially appointed a local Board of Trustees. As a result, the Ansonville Industrial Education Center became Anson Technical Institute, a unit of the Department of Community Colleges of North Carolina.

Further progress, larger enrollment, and additional support from the community, especially Polkton Mayor W. Cliff Martin, enabled Anson Technical Institute to acquire land, obtain additional funds, and complete construction of a 28,000-square-foot building in Polkton in 1977. To better reflect the offerings of the institution, the Board of Trustees on June 7, 1979, changed the name to Anson Technical College.

In 1981, Union Technical Education Consortium was created when Central Piedmont Community College voluntarily withdrew from Union County and the North Carolina Department of Community Colleges authorized service in the county by a consortium of Anson and Stanly community colleges.

Effective November 1, 1987, the official name of Anson Technical College was changed to Anson Community College.

On May 19, 1999, Gov. Jim Hunt signed a bill, based upon recommendations of an independent study team, that abolished Anson Community College and Union Technical Education Center and created North Carolina’s newest community college. The signing of this bill created a single college with two (2) campuses, one in Anson County and one in Union County, to serve the residents of both counties, and a new 14-member Board of Trustees was appointed.

The new college was named South Piedmont Community College on August 3, 1999, using one of the 441 different names suggested during a contest held in July.

South Piedmont quickly expanded its operations, adding new buildings at the L. L. Polk Campus in Polkton, establishing a new campus at Old Charlotte Highway, Monroe, and opening the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. The Center for Technology and Health Education was opened near the Old Charlotte Highway Campus in 2013; in 2016, it was renamed the Tyson Family Center for Technology in recognition of the support of Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Tyson and family. In 2020, the Tyson Center opened a 66,940-square-foot expansion of labs, classrooms, and office space.

In 2016, the people of Union County approved a $40.2 million bond for South Piedmont to expand and enhance its facilities in Union County, including the construction of a 75,000-square-foot classroom and administration building in Monroe. In 2022, the people of Union County again voted to support South Piedmont, approving a $37.5 million bond for the construction of a Center for Entrepreneurship in Union County. South Piedmont also received external funding to construct an Aseptic Training Facility at the Old Charlotte Highway Campus, which deepens its ability to support local industries.

As South Piedmont continues to grow, extensive hands-on experiences and one-on-one instruction remain hallmarks of its approach to teaching and learning, as they have been throughout its proud history.

Strategic Plan 2023-2026

As a learning college, South Piedmont Community College (SPCC) promotes and celebrates learning as the process that changes and improves lives. This applies to our students, employees, and the college itself. We are an organization in which people continually expand their ability to grow and learn.

The Strategic Plan highlights this emphasis on learning through our Vision (what we want to be), Mission (who we are), Values (what directs our decisions), and Strategic Areas of Focus (goals we endeavor to attain in fulfilling our Vision and Mission).

Our Vision is:

To be the premier community college of choice, offering university transfer, career and technical education, and workforce and economic development programming to prepare students to be productive citizens in the global community.

Our Mission is:

To foster life-long learning, student success, and workforce and community development.

Our Values are:

  • Quality: Setting high expectations, conducting honest self-evaluations, and continuously improving.  
  • Service: Understanding and meeting needs of students, our community, and all stakeholders. 
  • Stewardship: Promoting sustainability and accountability for the College’s current and future resources. 
  • Respect: Valuing the worth of individuals, appreciating multiple perspectives, and engaging in civil discourse. 
  • Innovation: Develop creative strategies, initiatives, or solutions that improve the employee and/or student experience.

Our Goals are:

  • Equitable Student Performance Outcomes: South Piedmont students successfully learn and achieve educational outcomes regardless of their background.
  • Economic and Workforce Development: South Piedmont provides education, training, and credentials to develop a robust and skilled workforce, meet local industry’s current and future talent needs, and increases the economic mobility of service area residents.
  • Focused Student Recruitment and Enrollment: South Piedmont attracts and enrolls a diverse student body, representative of the service area, to meet labor market needs.
  • Employee Recruitment and Retention: South Piedmont attracts top talent to accomplish its mission and uses innovative strategies and best practices to support and retain a high-quality workforce.
  • Organizational Strengthening: South Piedmont demonstrates performance excellence.

Core Skills and Learning Outcomes

South Piedmont Community College advocates Thinking, Learning, and Interacting as critical competencies for student achievement and lifelong learning in today’s global economy. These critical competencies are supported by five (5) core skills with measurable learning outcomes which are integrated into the curriculum course instruction and activities. The SPCC Core Skills and learning outcomes are:

Critical Thinking

  • The learner will identify, interpret, analyze, or synthesize problems before developing and implementing solutions in a manner effective and appropriate for the intended audience.

Information Literacy

  • The learner will locate, identify, evaluate, use, and disseminate information ethically and effectively.

Intercultural Competence

  • The learner will demonstrate cultural awareness and objectivity through critical reflection.

Oral Communication

  • The learner will exchange ideas and information with others using the spoken word in a manner effective and appropriate for the intended audience.

Written Communication

  • The learner will exchange ideas and information with others using text in a manner effective and appropriate for the intended audience.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment

At SPCC, all students participate in learning outcomes assessment. This helps answer the fundamental questions: Are you, as a student, learning? How do we, as an institution, and you, as a student, know? All curriculum programs at SPCC have program learning outcomes and course learning outcomes.

Program learning outcomes answer the question: What kind of skills and knowledge should graduates demonstrate after completing this academic program? Program learning outcome statements focus on the broad skill sets and knowledge that are specific to that academic program. Program advisors can help students discover what will be learned in their program of choice.

Course learning outcomes describe the knowledge and skills that will be learned in a course. Course learning outcomes are the building blocks that form the foundation for the program learning outcomes. Students should check their course syllabus to find the learning outcomes specific to each course.

Core Skill Outcomes, sometimes referred to as employability or soft skills, are skills that competent and valuable employees in any field or industry should demonstrate. As an institution, SPCC has identified five (5) core skill outcomes that graduates of every associate’s degree program should acquire. They are: Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, Intercultural Competence, Oral Communication, and Written Communication.

Results of learning outcomes assessments are analyzed by instructors using data managed in Taskstream, the College’s online management system for evaluating student learning. Decisions targeting continuous improvement in learning are made in a systematic way to determine what students have learned and how learning can be improved. The College reserves the right to share samples of student work with regulatory and accrediting bodies when necessary.

Performance Measures and Standards

In 1993, the State Board of Community Colleges began monitoring performance data on specific measures to ensure public accountability for programs and services. In 1998, the General Assembly directed the State Board to review past performance measures and define standards to ensure programs and services offered by community colleges in North Carolina were of sufficient quality.

In 2010, a review process was established to ensure the measures and methods for evaluating colleges were current and remained focused on improving student success. Every three (3) years, a committee that is inclusive of college leaders; subject matter experts; and research and assessment professionals are appointed to review the measures and recommend deletions, revisions, and additions. Recommendations from the most recent review were approved in 2021.

All community colleges are required to publish their performance on the measures annually in their electronic catalog or on the Internet and in their printed catalog. The current Performance Measures and results are as follows:

Data Source: 2023 Performance Measures for Student Success

Performance Measure NCCCS
Goal / Baseline
Basic Skills Student Progress 1.241 / 0.527 1.112
Student Success Rate in College-Level English courses 1.144 / 0.723 0.826
Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses 1.194 / 0.626 0.750
First Year Progression 1.067 / 0.874 0.990
Curriculum Student Completion 1.086 / 0.850 1.026
Licensure and Certification Passing Rate 1.069 / 0.806 1.001
College Transfer Performance 1.036 / 0.871 1.021

The North Carolina Community College System website, www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/about-us/data-reporting/state-performance-measures, contains details about the Performance Measures and Standards.