Education Base

Cleveland County Public Schools

Cleveland County is home to the 25th largest school district in North Carolina with some 15,500 students attending classes in 29 modern facilities. The new Shelby Middle School is designed with Silver L.E.E.D. certification as a smart facility using the latest technology to control many operations.

Academic Offerings: A diversified curriculum with extensive offerings is provided to meet the needs and interests of all students. Hundreds of students earn college or additional high school credit by enrolling in online courses. Cleveland County recently ranked eighth among the state’s 115 school districts in the number of students enrolled in courses through the NC Virtual Public School.
Technology-Oriented: Cleveland County Schools has been recognized nationally for its exemplary use of technology to govern the district, communicate with students, parents and the community and to improve district operations. More than 6500 computers are connected to the Internet and the districtwide area network providing a ratio of 1 student to every 1.53 per internet connected digital learning device. Teachers also enhance instruction with the use of interactive technology including white boards and tablets, student response clickers and document cameras.
Career-Technical Opportunities: Hundreds of Cleveland County Schools’ high school students earned free professional, industry-recognized certifications in Microsoft computer applications during 2011-12 thanks to the N.C. Microsoft IT Academy. These courses and credentials will better prepare students to succeed in college and compete for a job after graduation.
Well Qualified Faculty: More than a third of the faculty has earned advanced degrees, well above the state average. Almost 18 percent of the teachers are nationally certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, also well above the national average.

Private and Charter Schools serving the area include:

Private Schools
Ambassador Baptist Academy, Lattimore, 1-12
Grace Christian Academy, Kings Mountain, K-12
Twelve Oaks Academy, Shelby, K-12

Charter Schools
Pinnacle Classical Academy, Shelby K-8
Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, Rutherford County, K-12


Cleveland Community College

Cleveland Community College is a comprehensive, public two-year college and is a member of the North Carolina Community College System. CCC offers over 120 programs to those in our community looking for a great education at an affordable cost.

The college offers two-year associate degrees including Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science, and Associate in Fine Arts.  CCC also has an articulation agreement with the institution of the University of North Carolina for transfer of credit for CCC students seeking bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degrees. CCC is proud to offer short-term diploma and certificate programs in various technical specialties.

Corporate and Continuing Education customized training programs serve over 10,000 individuals and over 250 existing, expanding, and new companies each year. The college also operates several programs in cooperation with private industry and the Department of Labor. In all CCC, has hundreds of collaborative partnerships with business, industry, government, and sister educational institutions.

Cleveland Community College has established a highly innovative Workforce and Career Development Center which focuses on assisting employees in Cleveland County by sharpening their leadership and soft skills, and also assists with job placement.  Prospective employers can also utilize the college’s unique database that includes well-qualified prospective employees they can potentially hire for their business.

The Learning Center at CCC offers pre-college programs such as Adult Basic Education, Adult High School, General Education Development, Compensatory Education and English as a Second Language for individuals who need additional instruction prior to entering college courses.

High school students can get a head start on a college education through CCC’s “Get Connected” courses which fill both high school and college requirements. Those include Huskin, Dual Enrollment, and Learn and Earn Online.

Cleveland Community College…Building Futures!


Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University, a private, Christian, Baptist-related university, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions. Fostering meaningful intellectual thought, critical analysis, and spiritual challenge within a diverse community of learning, Gardner-Webb is dedicated to higher education that integrates scholarship with Christian life. By embracing faith and intellectual freedom, balancing conviction with compassion, and inspiring a love of learning, service, and leadership, Gardner-Webb prepares its graduates to make significant contributions for God and humanity in an ever-changing global community.

Location:  50 miles west of Charlotte in the Piedmont area of Western North Carolina. Main campus of 200 acres is located in Boiling Springs, NC.

School Type: Four-Year

Students: Close to 5000 students including the day program, graduate studies, and the GOAL program (Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners).  63% female, 37% male from 37 states and 21 foreign countries.

Faculty: 147 full-time, 79% with Ph.D. or equivalent.  Faculty to student ration is 1:13. Average Class Size is 25.

Curriculum: A total of 5 professional schools, 2 academic schools, and 11 academic departments offer nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate major fields of study.  Approximately 33% of students major in business field, 30% in social sciences, and 17% in nursing.

Athletics: NCAA Division I; member of the Big South Conference

Religious Affiliation: Baptist

Number of Registered Organizations: 43

History Highlights: Founded in 1905 as Boiling Springs High School; became Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928; renamed Gardner-Webb College in 1942 in honor of Governor O. Max Gardner and his wife Faye Webb Gardner-Webb; became a university in 1993; hosted 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Cycling; completed $34 million capital campaign in 1998; reclassification to NCAA Division I athletics in 2000; added first doctoral program (Doctor of Ministry) in 2001. Gardner-Webb celebrated 100 years of educational service in 2005.


Colleges and Universities in the Region

AB Tech Community College Cleveland Community College Queen's University of Charlotte
Ambassador Baptist College Davidson College University of North Carolina at Asheville
Appalachian State University Duke University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Belmont Abbey College East Carolina University University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Blue Ridge Community College Elon University University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Brevard College Gardner Webb University University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Campbell University Gaston College Wake Forest University
Catawba College Isothermal Community College Western Carolina University
Central Piedmont College Lenoir-Rhyne University Wingate University
Clemson University North Carolina State University Winston-Salem State University