Bladen Community College was chartered as Bladen Technical
October 5, 1967, under the authority of North Carolina General Statute 115A.
The college formally opened on December 16, 1967, and offered a limited number of
classes by January 1968. The college was initially located in rented buildings in
locations around Elizabethtown. The old Johnson Cotton Company property on US
Highway 701 South was secured and became the location of the administrative offices,
the first library, and some classrooms for course offerings. The old First Baptist Church
in downtown Elizabethtown became home for the business, secretarial, and nursing
programs. A short while later the old Marks Tractor location adjacent to the
administrative offices was secured for a welding shop and student services area.
The college began full-scale operations in September of 1968. Initially curriculum
programs were offered in cosmetology, executive secretarial science, business
administration, industrial maintenance, automotive mechanics and nursing assistant. A
complete battery of extension and other part-time adult programs were offered in the
evening to complement the day program.
The college’s board of trustees began to search for a permanent location for the
campus shortly after the college opened. In 1969, a site was secured near Dublin that
would become the main campus of the college. Part of the site was donated by Dublin
resident Roy Brisson and the remainder of the initial plot was purchased.
The first phase of a building program began in 1970. Buildings 1 and 2 were
completed by the spring of the next year and the college moved to its permanent 25-acre
campus in July 1971. The initial two buildings contained 27,000 square feet and
contained all of the programs the college offered. Building 3 was completed shortly
thereafter and became the home of the auto mechanics program. Later, the auto
For every $1 spent…$6.20 Gained in lifetime income for STUDENTS. $25.70
Gained in added state income and social savings for SOCIETY. $2.50 Gained in added
taxes and public sector savings for TAXPAYERS.
13 mechanics program space was converted for use by cosmetology.
A small shop was constructed as a welding class project in 1972. That building is
now used by the criminal justice program. Two more parcels of land totaling 16 acres
were added in 1973 and 1974, which enlarged the campus to its present 41-acre size. A
10,500-square-foot shop complex was completed in the summer of 1973 and a 3,600-
square-foot storage shed was completed as a class project in early 1974.
The college added a center in the Kelly Community in the old Natmore School
facility in 1975. The 5.25-acre campus, which had been deeded to the college by the
Bladen County Board of Education, included two buildings totaling 7,170 square feet.
Nine years later a 4,000-square-foot building was constructed at the center. The Kelly
center was closed in 2006.
Construction of a Learning Resource Center (LRC), Administrative Building, and
Multipurpose Building began in the summer of 1975. The LRC and Administrative
Building were completed in April 1976 and the Multipurpose Building, in July 1976.
The name of the institution was changed to Bladen Technical College in 1979 and
two additional shop buildings were added the next year. In October 1987 the name of the
school was changed to Bladen Community College and the following year a high
technology center was completed on the main campus. In February 1995, Bladen Community College
met with residents of the East Arcadia community, who had expressed an interest for more
courses and services in their community, which is more than 30 miles from the main campus.
Though the college was already offering courses and programs in the area, they had been limited. Later that year
the college opened a center and enrolled more than 80 students for the spring quarter of
1995. A new building was constructed at the center in 2005. In September 1995, a small business
center was established on the main campus to assist new and existing small businesses in the area.
In 1997, a Health Education Building was completed to house the practical nursing, nursing
assistant and biological sciences, as well as other health/medical-related courses offered through
the continuing education program. A JobLink Center was established on the main campus in 1997
connecting the college to other agencies such as the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division
of Workforce Solutions (DWS), the Department of Social Services, Vocational Rehab
and Telamon Corporation. Though the college still operates the JobLink program, it is
now housed in the Division of Workforce Solutions building in Elizabethtown.
The college was fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in the fall of 1976.
Accreditation was reaffirmed in 1982, 1992, 2002 and again in 2012.
In the fall of 1997, BCC changed from the quarter system to the semester system
to enable better articulation with and transfer to universities. In 2006 the college completed a new
classroom building adjacent to the industrial training facilities.
The college’s welding and industrial maintenance buildings were
expanded in 2008 with a $1 million appropriation from a special legislative grant. A $3
million, 16,000 square-foot Student Resource Center was constructed in 2009 and opened
in May 2010. Bladen Community College offers post-secondary certificate, diploma, and degree
Presently the college offers 14 curriculum programs. Occupational and
vocational courses and programs are offered through a variety of continuing education
Workforce development is a priority of the college along with numerous
programs directed at improving basic educational skills, advancing economic
development and improving the quality of life of Bladen citizens. Bladen
Community College is dedicated to an open door policy and to meeting the
educational and cultural needs of the people of Bladen and surrounding counties.
Bladen Community College has experienced unprecedented growth during the past
nine years. Much of that growth has been in the area of distance education.