South Piedmont is North Carolina’s newest community college—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. In 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 from 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 changed the name to Anson Technical College in 1979 (it was changed again in 1987 to Anson Community 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.
Then 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 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—the name selected from the 441 suggestions made during a contest held earlier that year.
South Piedmont expanded its operations, adding new buildings at the L. L. Polk Campus in Polkton, adding 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 at the Old Charlotte Highway Campus in 2013.
New programs continue to be added to the college’s offerings, and enrollment has continued to grow. In fall 2014, credit programs served 2,647 students, continuing education (non-credit) programs served 3,929, and adult literacy programs enrolled 1,485.