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.
DCTC is Founded
Dakota County Technical College is officially founded.
David L. Schroeder hired as Institute's Director
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.
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.
August 26, 1971
400 Students Enroll
More than 400 students enroll in 17 programs spread across 11 rental facilities.
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.
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.
36 Program Offerings
Thirty-six programs offered, including Fashion Merchandising and Supermarket Management.
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.
Rainbow Room offers international and gourmet cuisine on Rosemount campus.
Students operate on-campus fashion merchandising store, hardware and garden center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Colleges and Universities System.
July 1, 1995
Initial accreditation status awarded by NCA-CIHE.
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.
IT Training Center opens in Eagan, Minn.
In 1999, DCTC held the grand opening for the College's IT Training Center in Eagan. Computer software applications, network applications, and computer and network certification classes are taught at this location. This leased facility comprises 9,302 square feet.
"Future Guy" Logo Unveiled
Logo change introduces college community to "Future Guy".
DCTC launches intercollegiate athletics with men's wrestling (later discontinued).
First Online Classes Offered
Online classes begin with General Psychology and Writing and Research Skills.
DCTC receives HLC-NCA 10-year re-accreditation.
TRIO Arrives at DCTC
TRIO Student Support Services arrives at DCTC.
Wellness Center and Student Life Center Open
Wood Finishing Program
Annual Wood Finishing Technology National Conference established.
Prior Learning Assessment Begins
Marketing, Business Entrepreneur, Database Administration, Web Developer, Exercise and Sport Science, Medical Coding Specialist, and Electrical Construction and Maintenance programs are introduced at DCTC.
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.
DCTC Brings Railroad Track to Campus for Conductor Training
Women's Fast Pitch Softball Inaugural Season
Biomedical Equipment Technology and Railroad Conductor Technology programs begin at Dakota County Technical College.
Library and Atrium Upgrades
The Library and Atrium rebuilt thanks to $7.38 million state bonding bill.
Multicultural Management program begins at Dakota County Technical College.
DCTC receives HLC accreditation to offer associate degrees online.
National Institute of Wood Finishing
National Institute of Wood Finishing opens on Rosemount Campus.
DCTC was one of first Minnesota colleges to sign American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
Veteran's Resource Center Opens
Veterans Resource Center opens on the Rosemount campus.
NSG $3 million grant establishes Nano-Link on DCTC campus.
Kickin' It @ DCTC
Ames Soccer Complex opens on Rosemount Campus.
John Butenhoff named to All-Minnesota Academic Team and makes USA TODAY's All-USA Two-Year College Academic First Team.
Audio Visual Installation Technology, Child Life Assistant, Civil Engineering Technology, and Chrysler Academy (Customized Training) programs begin at DCTC.
Remodeled front entrance opens.
DCTC becomes the first two-year college in Minnesota to establish a Campus Lions Club.
Individualized Studies, Energy Technology Specialist, and Nuclear Energy Certificate programs begin at Dakota County Technical College.
New Sports Teams
The Blue Knights Women's Volleyball and Men's basketball begin their inaugural seasons.
Ames Field Opens
Ames Baseball Field opens on the Rosemount Campus.
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.
President Thomas Retires
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.
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.
Tim Wynes becomes President
Tim Wynes, J.D. becomes DCTC's third president on July 1st, 2015.
Michael Berndt becomes Interim President
On July 1, 2018, Michael Berndt becomes DCTC's interim president following Tim Wynes, J.D.
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.
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.