History

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is one of 58 community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System and is dedicated to serving Buncombe and Madison counties. Originally funded by a bond election, the institution was established on April 3, 1958 as the Asheville Industrial Education Center and began serving students on September 1, 1959

The name was changed to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute on January 9, 1964, after the N.C. General Assembly approved legislation creating the N.C. Community College System. This legislation enabled the College to confer the Associate in Applied Science degree for the first time at graduation ceremonies in August 1964.

The Board of Trustees approved a third name change to Asheville-Buncombe Technical College on August 6, 1979. A final name change occurred November 2, 1987, when the Board of Trustees approved Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, an action that became official when endorsed by the Buncombe County Commission on November 3, 1987.

In October 1988, the College received approval to offer associate degree programs. In September 1989, the College enrolled its first class for the Associate in Science degree. The Associate in Arts degree was first offered during summer quarter 1990-91.

On January 18, 1990, A-B Tech officially opened a site in Madison County. The College had served the county out of temporary quarters at the Marshall Elementary School since December 12, 1984.

By the fall term of 1997, the College had reengineered all programs and converted to the semester system.

On October 23, 2000, BASF Corporation donated nearly 37 acres and several buildings to A-B Tech to establish a satellite site in Enka, which now houses the College’s Small Business Center, Business Incubation Program, the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, the N.C BioNetwork, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, and other organizations dedicated to serving small businesses. The College’s Continuing Education and Economic and Workforce Development programs were relocated from Enka to the main campus in 2015.

The College also opened A-B Tech South in 2013, offering Curriculum and Continuing Education classes. A-B Tech Woodfin, which serves the College’s Emergency Services Department, was dedicated in October 2014.