Durham Tech Home > About Durham Tech  >  History of Durham Tech

History of Durham Tech

Durham Technical Community College is a charter member of the North Carolina Community College System. When the North Carolina General Assembly authorized a small appropriation to establish a limited number of area schools to be known as industrial education centers in 1957, Durham already had a vigorous program in adult education through the Vocational and Adult Education Department of the Durham City Schools. A Practical Nursing program had been established in 1948; other programs included training in mechanical drafting, architectural drafting, and electronics technology. In addition, literacy skills training was offered for adults. Courses to upgrade the skills of workers were also offered in a variety of trades.

As a result of the General Assembly's appropriation, a challenge went out from the State Board of Education to the various school administrative units in North Carolina to establish separate education facilities which would provide for the educational needs of the area's adult population. A comprehensive curriculum was devised for people needing the education and technical skills required to advance satisfactorily in their careers.

Through action by the Durham City Board of Education, Durham was among the first of six counties in North Carolina to meet the State Board of Education's challenge. In a successful referendum in June 1958, Durham County residents made $500,000 available to purchase a site and erect the initial building. The Durham Industrial Education Center officially opened its doors on September 5, 1961. The institution continued to operate as an Industrial Education Center until February 4, 1965, when the State Board of Education officially designated that henceforth it be properly identified as a technical institute. On March 30, 1965, the Board of Trustees authorized changing the name of the institution to Durham Technical Institute. On July 15, 1986, the North Carolina General Assembly approved Durham Tech's request to add a university transfer program to its curriculum offerings. During a meeting on July 22, 1986, the Board of Trustees authorized the institution to change its name to Durham Technical Community College.

On September 16, 2011, Durham Tech celebrated 50 years of service to the residents and employers of Durham and Orange counties, the Triangle, and beyond. Durham Tech created a commemorative book Celebrating 50 Years, to honor the commitment of the individuals involved in making Durham Tech the excellent college that it is today.

Select the image with your mouse and and the book will open in a separate browser window. Turn the pages by using the arrow keys or by placing your cursor in the bottom right-hand corner of the book page.

Celebrating 50 Years cover


Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

Copyright ©Durham Technical Community College. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy l Conditions of Use