1969: It Begins

Dakota County Technical College traces its beginning to the 1969 Minnesota State Legislature that approved the formation of Dakota County Area Vocational Technical Institute in Intermediate School District 917.

1970: DCTC Is Founded

Dakota County Technical College is officially founded.

1970: David L. Schroeder Hired as Institute’s Director

1970: David L. Schroeder Hired as Institute’s Director

January 1971: Open Doors

Under the leadership of its first president (then director) David Schroeder, the College opened its doors to 50 students enrolled in three majors—Architectural Drafting, Auto Mechanics and Secretarial Training. The College was initially housed in the former Southview Chevrolet Building in South St. Paul. Schroeder stated that the original collegiate mission was to provide a hands-on learning environment not offered at other colleges. “Learn by Doing” was an early motto. Getting students into the workforce was the core objective. Director Schroeder researched more than 150 occupations, choosing 40 as the basis for the first academic programs at the College.

August 26, 1971: New Campus Construction

August 26, 1971: New Campus Construction

Construction begins on 185,390-square-foot main college building in Rosemount, Minn. Purchased in 1970 from the University of Minnesota, the College’s original permanent site is a 107.13-acre tract of land located 1.5 miles east of Rosemount, Minn. While under construction, classes operated in 11 rented facilities. The new two-level main campus building opened in 1973 with 669 students and approximately 30 programs. An additional 64.299 acres adjacent to the permanent site was purchased in 2010 from the University of Minnesota, bringing the total to 171.429 acres.

1972: 400 Students Enroll

More than 400 students enroll in 17 programs spread across 11 rental facilities.

1973: Rosemount Campus Opens for Classes

The new college campus in Rosemount opens. The College facilities are shared with administration and programs affiliated with ISD 917, which leases space under the Joint Powers Agreement established in 1995 when the College became part of the Minnesota State system. The school district solely occupies 8.5 percent of the main campus building and shares another 1.9 percent with the College, which solely occupies the remainder of the building.

1973: SkillsUSA Partnership Begins

DCTC begins working with VICA, now SkillsUSA.

1974: Meat Processing Skills Center

Located on 1.82 acres in South St. Paul, a 6,134 square-foot building was constructed in 1974 for a meat processing skills center. This site was later used to teach appliance repair and is now used only for non-teaching purposes.

1976: 36 Program Offerings

Thirty-six programs offered, including Fashion Merchandising and Supermarket Management.

1978: Rosemount Addition

As the College continued to grow, the necessity arose to add space to the main campus building. By the 1978–79 academic year, a 250,000-square-foot addition to the main building was completed, which more than doubled the size of the College and eliminated the need for most off-site rental space. At that time the College’s enrollment was 1,800 students in 36 different programs.

1980: Rainbow Room

The Rainbow Room offers international and gourmet cuisine on Rosemount campus.

1983: Real-World Experiences

Students operate on-campus fashion merchandising store, hardware and garden center.

1985: Truck Driver Training

To accommodate growing enrollment in Truck Driver Training, a new 6,000-square-foot building was constructed for the program in 1985. This facility is located on the east side of the main campus building, providing students easy access to college services. The building is currently being used for Customized Training classes.

1987: Chrysler Training Center

Located across from the main campus, this 8,189-square-foot facility and eight acres of land was originally leased in 1987 and purchased from the city of Rosemount in 1988. Remodeled in 2005, the site housed the Public Safety and Law Enforcement Customized Training Programs and was expanded to include the Chrysler Training Center.

1989: DCTC is Born

In 1989, following a legislative mandate, the College’s name was changed to Dakota County Technical College and Director Schroeder became President Schroeder.

1991: Minnesota Vehicle Safety Training and Research Center

In 1991, the College began construction on the Minnesota Vehicle Safety Training and Research Center (which includes the Decision Driving Course) located on 100 acres of land originally leased from the University of Minnesota and adjacent to the main campus. The completed center was opened for business in fall 1995.

1992: Satellite Locations

In 1992, DCTC began offering classes at a leased site in Burnsville. Two years later, DCTC began offering classes at the Mall of America in Bloomington. Neither of the aforementioned locations is currently in use. Since spring 2009, DCTC has offered online hybrid general education courses at the Diamondhead Education Center in partnership with Concordia University of St. Paul, ISD 191 and the city of Burnsville.

July 1, 1995: Hello Minnesota State

During the 1991 Minnesota Legislative session, a new Higher Education Board was created to jointly govern Minnesota’s state universities, community colleges and technical colleges effective July 1, 1995. Thus, on this date, DCTC governance changed from Independent School District 917 to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. DCTC joins Minnesota State (formerly Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU)).

1996: Initial Accreditation

Initial accreditation status awarded by NCA-CIHE.

September 1999: Ronald E. Thomas Becomes President

September 1999: Ronald E. Thomas Becomes President

In September 1999, Ronald E. Thomas, Ph.D., was appointed the College’s second president. President Thomas came to DCTC with a commitment to develop a shared vision for the future.

1999: IT Training Center Opens in Eagan

In 1999, DCTC held the grand opening for the College’s IT Training Center in Eagan, Minn. Computer software applications, network applications, and computer and network certification classes are taught at this location. This leased facility comprises 9,302 square feet.

2000: “Future Guy” Logo Unveiled

Logo change introduces college community to “Future Guy”.

2000: First Online Classes Offered

Online classes begin with General Psychology and Writing and Research Skills.

2000: Wrestling

DCTC launches intercollegiate athletics with men’s wrestling (later discontinued).

2001: DCTC Re-Accredited

DCTC receives HLC-NCA 10-year re-accreditation.

2001: TRIO Arrives at DCTC

TRIO Student Support Services arrives at DCTC.

2002: Prior Learning Assessment Begins

2002: New Programs

Marketing, Business Entrepreneur, Database Administration, Web Developer, Exercise and Sport Science, Medical Coding Specialist, and Electrical Construction and Maintenance programs are introduced at DCTC.

2003: Apple Valley Site

DCTC leases a 21,000-square-foot building which offers classes in Apple Valley, Minn. The newly-dubbed Partners in Higher Education building, in partnership with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Inver Hills Community College, offers DCTC instructional programs and customized training courses. In December of 2013, DCTC decided to end its course offerings at this location.

2003: New Blue Knight’s Sports Programs

Women’s soccer and Men’s Baseball start their inaugural seasons.

2003: Upward Bound

TRIO Upward Bound arrives at DCTC.

2003: New Programs

Concrete Masonry (discontinued), Meeting and Event Management (discontinued), and Nanoscience Technology programs begin at Dakota County Technical College.

2004: Business and Entrepreneurship Institute Founded

2004: Men’s Soccer Inaugural Season

2005: Generous Contribution

Carl Eastvold Estate contributes $519,000 to the DCTC Foundation.

2005: Capital Development

DCTC received $7.38 million through a 2005 capital bonding project directed at the Rosemount campus to complete a state-of-the-art renovation of the DCTC Library and library atrium, Center for Student Success, Instructional Technology Center, Information Technology classrooms, and Visual Communications office, lab and classroom space as well as some general classrooms.

2005: DCTC Brings Railroad Track to Campus for Conductor Training

2005: Women’s Fast Pitch Softball Inaugural Season

2006: Library and Atrium Upgrades

The Library and Atrium rebuilt thanks to $7.38 million state bonding bill.

2007: Online Accreditation

DCTC receives HLC accreditation to offer associate degrees online.

2007: National Institute of Wood Finishing

National Institute of Wood Finishing opens on Rosemount Campus.

2007: Climate Commitment

DCTC was one of first Minnesota colleges to sign American College & University President’s Climate Commitment.

2007: Veterans Resource Center Opens

The Veterans Resource Center opens on the Rosemount campus.

2007: HLC Accreditation

DCTC receives Higher Learning Commission accreditation to offer associate degrees online.

2008: Athletic Accolades

Geofrey Kalanzi wins NJCAA Lea Plarski Award.

2009: Nano-Link

NSG $3 million grant establishes Nano-Link on DCTC campus.

2009: Kickin’ It @ DCTC

2009: Kickin’ It @ DCTC

Ames Soccer Complex opens on Rosemount Campus.

2009: Sport Accolades

John Butenhoff named to All-Minnesota Academic Team and makes USA TODAY’s All-USA Two-Year College Academic First Team.

2010: New Facade

Remodeled front entrance opens.

2010: Lions Club

DCTC becomes the first two-year college in Minnesota to establish a Campus Lions Club.

2011: New Sports Teams @ DCTC

The Blue Knights Women’s Volleyball and Men’s basketball begin their inaugural seasons.

2012: Ames Field Opens

Ames Baseball Field opens on the Rosemount Campus.

2012: Bonding Funding Granted

In 2012, DCTC received $7.23 million in capital funding for Phase I of the Transportation & Emerging Technologies Renovation Project as part of the 2012 Bonding Bill. The project renovated 118,000 square feet of classroom, lab and shop space used by students and faculty in the Transportation and Technical Careers academic program areas.

July 1, 2013: Tim Wynes Becomes Interim President

July 1, 2013: Tim Wynes Becomes Interim President

On July 1, 2013, Tim Wynes, J.D. becomes DCTC’s interim president following the retirement of Ronald E. Thomas.

2013: President Thomas Retires

2014: SOTR is Born

In 2014, the College, in partnership with Inver Hills Community College, Metropolitan State University and the Dakota County Burnsville Workforce Center began offering classes at the South of the River Education Center. The focus is on providing adult learners flexible schedules through accelerated programs.

July 1, 2015: Tim Wynes Becomes President

July 1, 2015: Tim Wynes Becomes President

Tim Wynes, J.D. becomes DCTC’s third president on July 1st, 2015.

July 1, 2018: Michael Berndt Becomes Interim President

July 1, 2018: Michael Berndt Becomes Interim President

On July 1, 2018, Michael Berndt becomes DCTC’s interim president following Tim Wynes, J.D.

2020: Michael Berndt Becomes President

2020: Michael Berndt Becomes President

On March 18, 2020 at the Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting, Michael Berndt was confirmed as the next president of Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College.

2021: President Biden Visits DCTC

2021: President Biden Visits DCTC

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. visited DCTC on Tuesday afternoon, November 30, 2021 and spoke for about 30 minutes in the college’s Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) area, focusing on the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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