The History of Trident Technical College
Since 1964 Trident Technical College has provided quality education and economic development in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. The college has grown over the decades, evolving to meet the complex needs of the diverse communities TTC serves and opening new doors to educational opportunities for lifelong learning.
The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Technical Education Center was founded in 1964 on a 25-acre site, as part of a statewide system established by Gov. Ernest F. Hollings to meet the educational and training needs of South Carolina. The center opened with two buildings, 226 students, and programs in industrial and engineering technology.
To accommodate its increasing growth, the center merged with Palmer College, a private business college in downtown Charleston, to form Trident Technical College. In addition to business, the newly formed college provided a wider variety of programs to the community, including allied health sciences, criminal justice and university transfer programs.
The 1980s saw additional changes that opened new opportunities to students. Palmer Campus moved to its current site in downtown Charleston, and the college built its Berkeley Campus near Moncks Corner. Technological advances during the decade increased accessibility with the introduction of academic computing, email, and televised courses, the first distance learning program.
The 1990s ushered in dramatic changes in instructional delivery from courses on videotape to courses online. The first dual credit courses offered to high schools marked the beginning of another rapidly growing delivery system, allowing students to begin earning TTC credit while they are still in high school. In 1997, the first phase of the Complex for Economic Development opened on a newly purchased 30-acre site adjacent to Main Campus.
As distance learning options continued to grow, the college continued expansion of physical facilities. Phase two of the Complex for Economic Development, a 230,000-square-foot facility, allowed for the development of both new and redesigned academic services including the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Palmer Campus also underwent extensive renovation and construction.
In 2008 the college opened its St. Paul’s Parish site to provide job training opportunities in the southern part of Charleston County; in 2009 TTC began offering courses at the Dorchester County Career and Technology Center (now Summerville Site at Trolley Road); and the next year began initial program offerings at the Dorchester County QuickJobs Training Center in St. George. These new sites brought TTC’s existing programs and courses closer to home for many.
From 2000 to 2010, student enrollment increased 54 percent, and the college responded with continued expansion of both physical and virtual offerings. The renovation of Building 950 accommodated additional aeronautical training, the InterTech Group Wellness Center, TTC Café, and Film, Media and Visual Arts; the Mount Pleasant Campus brought programs and courses to the East Cooper area; the launch of TTC Online College made more services and opportunities available to students; and the dual credit program grew in a new direction with the opening of Berkeley Middle College on Berkeley Campus.