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General Information

North Carolina Community College System
Durham Tech Strategic Plan Approbation
Durham Technical Community College Vision, Strategic Initiatives, and Strategic Goals Governance
Performance Measures Accreditation RSVP

North Carolina Community College System History

The community college system was created by legislation passed by the 1963 General Assembly of North Carolina. The legislation provided that the system of community colleges and technical institutes would be administered by a Department of Community Colleges under the State Board of Education. In January 1981, supervision of the community college system became the responsibility of the State Board of Community Colleges.

The community college system in North Carolina provides educational experiences for those people who are 18 years of age or older, whether or not they are high school graduates. The educational opportunities range from instruction in basic literacy skills to college-level courses, including general education and occupational, technical, and university transfer programs. These opportunities are available to all adults who wish to learn and who can profit from instruction provided.

In 1964, Dr. Dallas Herring, former chair of the State Board of Education, developed a statement of philosophy for North Carolina community colleges, which is published in the Department of Community Colleges Policy Manual. Dr. Herring stated:

“The only valid philosophy for North Carolina is the philosophy of total education: a belief in the incomparable worth of all human beings, whose claims upon the state are equal before the law and equal before the bar of public opinion, whose talents (however great or however limited or however different from the traditional) the state needs and must develop to the fullest possible degree.

"That is why the doors to the institutions in North Carolina’s system of community colleges must never be closed to anyone of suitable age who can learn what they teach.

"We must take the people where they are and carry them as far as they can go within the assigned function of the system.

"If they cannot read, then we will simply teach them to read and make them proud of their achievement.

"If they did not finish high school, but have a mind to do it, then we will offer them a high school education at a time and in a place convenient to them and at a price within their reach.

"If their talent is technical or vocational, then we simply offer them instruction, whatever the field, however complex or however simple, that will provide them with the knowledge and the skill they can sell in the marketplace of our state, and thereby contribute to its scientific and industrial growth.

"If their needs are in the great tradition of liberal education, then we will simply provide them the instruction extending through two years of standard college work which will enable them to go on to the university or to the senior college, and on into life, in numbers unheard of in North Carolina.

"If their needs are for cultural advancement, intellectual growth, or civic understanding, then we will simply make available to them the wisdom of the ages and the enlightenment of our times and help them on to maturity.”

Durham Technical Community College History

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.

Durham Technical Community College has had four presidents: Harold K. Collins (1961-1975), John Crumpton (1975-1980), Phail Wynn, Jr. (1980-2007), and William G. Ingram (2008-present). The college’s Board of Trustees has been chaired by six individuals: Robert L. Lyon, Edward L. Phillips, George W. Newton, James L. Nicholson, Jesse B. Anglin, and Mary Ann Peter.

Performance Measures

Each year, the state’s community colleges report on performance measures that the NC General Assembly mandates for evaluating how well colleges are serving students, business and industry, and the community. A table summarizing how Durham Tech performs according to the NC Community College System’s most recent Critical Success Factors Report is available on the college's web site and also in the college’s Catalog and Student Handbook.

Durham Tech Strategic Plan

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Durham Technical Community College’s mission is to enrich students’ lives and the broader community through teaching, learning, and service.


As a comprehensive community college serving Durham and Orange counties, Durham Tech follows an open-door with guided placement admissions policy to provide adults an opportunity to better themselves through education and training. Offerings include technical and occupational programs leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate; the first two years of a four-year degree; general education for personal growth and development; a wide variety of corporate and continuing education courses for workforce preparation and broadening personal horizons; and adult basic skills instruction that includes GED preparation, the Adult High School diploma, and English as a Second Language courses.

Core Values

Our core values are as follows:

WELCOMING:  We value a welcoming, vibrant, and safe campus environment.

LEARNING:  We value learning through rigorous quality instruction, focused student support, and appropriate student activities.

ENGAGING:  We value an engaging, collegial atmosphere with professional, ethical, and respectful interactions that enhance learning.

UNDERSTANDING:  We value the unique experiences of individuals and the diversity of the community.

IMPROVING:  We value continual improvement in all areas of the college through encouraging effective innovation, appropriate use of technology, responsible stewardship of financial and human resources, and professional development for faculty and staff.

UNIFYING:  We value unity through the common purpose of serving students and the community.



We envision ourselves as a "learning college." As such, we will continue to be a model for student success and excellence in teaching, empowering learners to enrich the local and global communities and preparing students to contribute to the economic vitality of the region.


  • We will create a culture where all institutional actions are focused on improving student learning and success and leading to student goal completion. (We put learning at the center of all we do by establishing measurable learning outcomes for all our programs and services. We should answer each question and reach each decision based upon how our actions might improve learning, and we should encourage and support students in finishing what they start.)

  • We are committed to a philosophy of continuous improvement by researching best practices and establishing benchmarks for performance. (As good as we are at what we do, we know we can always be better. We believe that learning is a journey that has no end, both for the individual and for the institution.)

  • We will engage in integrated and ongoing planning. (Excellence is not achieved by accident but through deliberate and sustained effort. As stewards of public funds, we must be thoughtful in our decisions to allocate and use resources.)

  • We will provide opportunities for continuous improvement of faculty and staff through vigorous professional development. (Our faculty and staff are our most valuable and visible resource. As a learning college, we must support and celebrate our employees’ development and successes as much as those of our students.)



Durham Tech recognizes that the transformational power of learning, focused on our students’ successes, is at the center of all college activities. Strategic Goals:

  • Ensuring that the college’s graduates acquire the knowledge and master the skills necessary for future academic, technical, and career success (We define learning as the intentional process of acquiring knowledge or skills. The process requires the engagement of the learner and leads to a demonstrable change in the way the learner relates to his or her environment. An essential characteristic of a “learning college” is the notion that learning is at the center of all college programs, services, and activities.)

  • Providing college activities that encourage effective communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, ethical decision-making, an appreciation of diversity, academic and workplace readiness, and civic participation and leadership (General Education Learning Outcomes constitute the common experience of all students enrolled in degree programs. Regardless of their major area of study, we want all of our graduates to demonstrate effectiveness in these areas.)

  • Developing new programs that prepare students for success in critical high-demand careers and ensuring that existing programs remain relevant and sustainable (Our legacy as a leader in postsecondary technical education demands that we continue to prepare students for success in the 21st century economy, with particular emphasis on allied health, public service, science, engineering, and sustainable technologies. This requires us to constantly evaluate the local and global workplace so we can offer relevant programs that prepare our graduates for meaningful careers.)

Strategic Initiative: APPLYING TECHNOLOGY

Durham Tech develops, maintains, and supports an information infrastructure that enhances learning by supporting seamless communication and facilitating effective and efficient programs and processes.

Strategic Goals:

  • Developing and maintaining a flexible and reliable system for admissions, advising, financial aid, registration, and enrollment management that maximizes access to pertinent information (Web-based tools enable us to connect with students and the public in different ways. Through the web, our students can also assume greater responsibility for setting academic and career goals and for monitoring their progress in attaining those goals.)

  • Utilizing appropriate technology to support and enhance teaching and learning (When used properly, instructional technology enables students to engage in learning activities at places and times of their choosing. Through technology, students can also learn from each other, experiment through simulation, and explore the world.)

  • Supporting the development and use of information systems that increase efficiency and effectiveness in administrative and support processes (Integrated information systems provide employees with the data they need to do their jobs well. As we prepare our students for the 21st century workplace, we must operate in that workplace ourselves.)



Durham Tech embraces diversity and fosters the development of engaged global citizens.

Strategic Goals:

  • Developing an understanding of global issues among our students and encouraging students to experience cultures other than their own (Information technology and electronic communications have made the world a smaller place. Our students need to understand the implications of immigration, international trade, and environmental policies for themselves and their communities; and they should understand how other people live, work, and play.)

  • Supporting the development of a local workforce ready to compete in a multinational environment (Durham and Orange counties are home to dozens of internationally-owned businesses and countless more trade in the international market. Successful 21st century employees must be ready to work in organizations that are both multinational and multicultural.)

  • Providing opportunities for international students to enroll in and complete programs (The American system of higher education remains the envy of the world, and higher education defines the communities our college serves in a profound way. We are thus uniquely positioned to provide higher education access and opportunity to the rest of the world.)



Durham Tech creates and sustains a positive, responsive, and safe learning environment and workplace.

Strategic Goals:

  • Ensuring a safe and welcoming learning environment (Recent events on a few college campuses across the country raise concerns about the safety and security on all campuses. Students cannot learn, faculty cannot teach, and staff cannot provide support necessary for student success if they do not feel safe.)  

  • Developing and sustaining systems that allow for timely, orderly recovery from disruptions to campus operations (Numerous events — power outages, severe weather outbreaks, community-wide illnesses, damage from fire — can disrupt all or part of the college’s campuses for periods ranging from several hours to several weeks. We must be prepared to work through such events and carry out our mission of teaching, learning, and service.)

  • Creating a physical environment that provides easy navigation throughout the college (As the college continues to grow and change, we must make certain our campuses are accessible, attractive, and adaptable.)

  • Fostering a commitment to environmental sustainability (Greater energy efficiency means we can devote more of our resources to teaching, learning, and service. We can also have a positive and lasting impact on our local environment through a commitment to sustainability and conservation.)


Durham Tech is an active community partner in educational, workforce, and economic development by establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.

Strategic Goals:

  • Establishing and strengthening partnerships to support student transitions along the educational continuum (We can strengthen existing relationships with our local school systems, colleges, and universities as well as foster new ones to ensure every resident of our service area has the opportunity to learn and grow through education.)

  • Creating and expanding partnerships that improve access and success for groups historically underrepresented in higher education (Young African-American men are more likely to go to prison than to college. Working with other invested community groups, we can be the bridge to a better future for young men of color, to those who are on the financial margins of our community, and to those whose families have never attended college.)

  • Expanding partnerships that provide service learning for students and that support employee participation in community service (The community and the workplace can serve as an outstanding learning laboratory for students and can provide faculty and staff opportunities to give back to families, friends, and neighbors.)

  • Forging strong partnerships that foster economic growth and support workforce development (Working with business and industry representatives, economic developers, and employers in our service area is critical in ensuring that our instructional offerings are responsive to present and future workforce needs.)


Approved by the Board of Trustees on July 22, 2008


Durham Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate’s degrees, diplomas and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Durham Technical Community College. For other inquiries, including general admission questions, individuals should contact Durham Technical Community College directly.

The college is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges, and the following programs are accredited by national associations:

The Associate Degree Nursing and the Practical Nursing programs are approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

The Dental Laboratory Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-2719 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Questions regarding accreditation should be directed to the AOTA Accreditation Department, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220 or by phone at 301-652-2682. For further information about OTA programs contact AOTA at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824-3425 or by calling 301-653-AOTA.

The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244

The Pharmacy Technology program is accredited for pharmacy technician training by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

The Opticianry program is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and approved by the North Carolina Board of Opticians.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Graduates will be eligible to apply to take the national certification exam for Surgical Technologists which is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Employment opportunities include labor/delivery/emergency departments, inpatient/outpatient surgery centers, dialysis units/facilities, physicians’ offices, and central supply processing units.  

The Health Information Technology Associate Degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

The Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Graduates will be eligible to apply to take the national certification exam which is administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) located at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Ste. 1575, Chicago, IL 60606.


Durham Technical Community College is approved by and a member of the North Carolina Community College System. The following programs are approved by state agencies: the Opticianry program is approved by the North Carolina State Board of Opticians; the Nursing Assistant I program is approved by the North Carolina Division for Facilities Services; real estate courses are approved by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission; insurance pre-licensing courses are approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance; and the Basic Law Enforcement Training program is approved by the North Carolina Department of Justice.


The statutes of the State of North Carolina provide for the organization and administration of a community college system under the direction of the State Board of Community Colleges. The 21-member board has full authority to adopt all policies, regulations, and standards it deems necessary for the operation of the system. Members of the State Board are appointed by the Governor and the General Assembly. The State Board has three major functions: equitable distribution of funds and fiscal accountability; establishing and maintaining state priorities; and educational program approval and accountability.

Durham Technical Community College is governed by a Board of Trustees. Four members of the Board are appointed by the Governor, four are appointed by the Durham County Board of Commissioners, four are appointed by the Durham Public Schools Board of Education, and two are appointed by the Orange County Board of Commissioners. Trustees serve four-year terms and set local policy for the college. A representative of the college’s Student Senate also serves as a non-voting member of the Board.

Board of Trustees

Appointed by the Governor

Susan Griffin Mrs. Susan O. Griffin Dr. Mary Ann Peter Dr. Mary Ann Peter Dr. Henry Scherich Dr. Henry Scherich Earl Tye Mr. Earl W. Tye

Appointed by the Durham County Commissioners

Ted Conner Mr. Edward F. "Ted" Conner David L. Dodson Mr. David L. Dodson Barker French Mr. W. Barker French    

Appointed by the Orange County Commissioners

Aaron Nelson Mr. Aaron Nelson Renee Price The Honorable Renee A. Price

Appointed by the Durham Public Schools Board of Education

MaryAnn E. Black The Honorable
MaryAnn E. Black, Chair
John F. Burness Mr. John F. Burness,
Vice Chair
Willie L. Covington The Honorable Willie L. Covington Charles T. Wilson Mr. Charles T. Wilson, Jr.

Durham Technical Community College President

Student Trustee

Bill Ingram Dr. William G. "Bill" Ingram Benton Foreman Benton Foreman

Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) Program

The Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) Program is a special feature of the college’s community service effort. Officially sponsored by Durham Tech, RSVP provides retirees 55 years of age and older residents exciting opportunities for personal development and satisfaction through various volunteer activities. Each year, more than 350 retired and senior volunteers contribute over 40,000 hours of service to area nonprofit and public agencies through RSVP. Learn more about RSVP and the volunteer opportunities.


Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

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