Area Colleges and Universities
As befits a growing region with a sound economy and cultural diversity, the Charlotte metro area is home to numerous institutions of higher learning, many of which are nationally acclaimed.
One of the universities in the highly praised UNC system, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students seeking a higher education. UNCC enrolls more than 19,000 students, a number that is growing by about 4 percent each year. Located in the northeast section of Charlotte, UNCC also offers classes at its Uptown campus which opened in 1995, mostly to appeal to M.B.A. students working in the Center City. In addition, UNCC also provides distance education opportunities as well as post-baccalaureate study for students who seek an education beyond the baccalaureate degree.
Founded in 1857 as the Charlotte Female Institute, Queens University movied to the scenic Myers Park area in 1912 and adopted its name in honor of the British Queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg. A private, Presbyterian institution, Queens University has an internship program that is ranked as one of the top ten in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and over 90 percent of Queens students study abroad. The McColl School of Business was established in 1993 to strengthen degree programs in accounting and business administration. Queens attained university status in 2002.
Johnson C. Smith University was founded in 1867 and has maintained its reputation as an institution focused on morals and ethics, due to its Presbyterian roots. Historically African-American, J.C. Smith encourages self-confidence and diversity in its students as well as an awareness of their heritage. The university is also sponsored by the IBM Laptop Initiative as the first historically black college to offer laptops for each of its 1,500 students.
The highly selective and nationally recognized Davidson College is located about 20 minutes north of Charlotte. Offering a small-town atmosphere near beautiful Lake Norman and the foothills of North Carolina, Davidson is able to provide its 1,600 students with a student/faculty ratio of 11 to 1.
Located about 20 minutes south of Charlotte in Rock Hill, S.C., is Winthrop University. Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best schools in the Southeast, Winthrop offers 82 undergraduate and 45 graduate programs for more than 6,400 students.
As the largest community college in North Carolina, Central Piedmont Community College serves about 70,000 students through its multi-campus system. In addition to numerous associate's degrees, CPCC offers educational opportunities for those who intend to transfer to a four-year school as well as those who seek knowledge for their own personal fulfillment.
One of the 30 art institutes associated with The Art Institutes International, Inc., The Art Institute of Charlotte offers associate's degrees and certificate programs in Interior Design, Fashion Marketing, Graphic Design, and Multimedia and Web Design. Additionally, The Art Institute offers some evening classes to appeal to its working students.
In 2004, Johnson & Wales University opened in Charlotte as a consolidation of its Norfolk and Charleston campuses. Calling itself " America's Career University," Johnson & Wales offers 51 degree programs in business, hospitality, culinary arts and technology. About 885 students were enrolled in its first year with an anticipated enrollment of 2,800 within three years. Johnson & Wales offers a four-day school week and the opportunity to earn both associate's and baccalaureate degrees in four years. Johnson & Wales' academic center and residence hall are located in the heart of Gateway Village in Uptown.
PATRICK SCHNEIDER/CHARLOTTE OBSERVER