Johnston Community College has awarded associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas for 50 years to students pursuing occupational, technical, and continuing education skills.
Since 1969, JCC has maintained its small town values while progressively meeting the needs of one of the fastest growing counties in the state. JCC serves an estimated 13,000 students annually in its curriculum programs and continuing education courses.
In September 1969, Johnston County Technical Institute was established as the fifty-first school of its kind in the state. The first campus opened in a former high school in Four Oaks under the leadership of Dr. John Tart, founding president. The College moved to its current location in Smithfield in 1976 gaining full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools the following year.
In 1980, the school was renamed to Johnston Technical College, and in 1987 became Johnston Community College. JCC witnessed tremendous progress under Dr. Tart's direction, including the construction of a 1,000-seat performing arts auditorium through a private fundraising campaign and the launch of the college transfer program. After Dr. Tart's retirement in 1999, Dr. Donald L. Reichard was selected to lead the College into the new millennium. During Dr. Reichard's tenure, JCC focused on expanded opportunities for global education, diversity, biotechnology training, and innovative learning. Dr. Reichard retired in June 2009 and Dr. David N. Johnson was selected as JCC's third president.
JCC is located 30 miles east of Raleigh near the junction of Interstate 95 and U.S. 70 Business. Today, the two-year, post-secondary college offers more than 40 occupational programs of study as well as numerous continuing education programs and community service activities on its 177-acre main campus. The College boasts state-of-the-art facilities and has educational centers throughout the county, including the Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton, a biosciences training center that houses classrooms and computer and science labs, the Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, a 2800-acre wildlife preserve and teaching facility, as well as continuing education centers in Cleveland and Kenly. The College's main campus is also home to a teaching arboretum, the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium, and the North Carolina Truck Driver Training School, the oldest truck driver training school in the United States.
JCC has witnessed steady enrollment growth over the past decade. Seven bond approvals since 1999 have allowed for upgrades to campus facilities and the construction and renovation of numerous buildings on the JCC campus, including the construction of the Roger A. Smith Building for physical education classes, the construction of the William R. Britt Building, which houses the industrial technology programs, and the construction of the Public Safety Services Building, which houses certified nursing assistant, emergency medical services, fire services, law enforcement and other public service training programs. In fall 2009, an addition to the Health Sciences Building opened, creating more classrooms and specialized labs for health sciences programs. Meanwhile, renovations to the existing building have created upgraded learning space for the College's early childhood and imaging programs. Bond monies also funded the College's new Learning Resource Center, which opened in fall 2011 and includes the library and distance education classrooms. In 2017, the College began improvements to the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium. In 2018, JCC was named a Bellwether Award winner for its "one college" organizational model. The College broke ground on a new Student Success Center, and county voters also approved a $15 million bond referendum that will support the construction of an engineering building on the main campus.
The main campus of Johnston Community College is located near the center of Johnston County, North Carolina, near the intersection of Interstate 95 and U.S. 70 Business, at 245 College Road in Smithfield. The 177-acre main campus of buildings and designated sites includes classroom and lab spaces and facilities for both curriculum and continuing education programs as well as the library, greenhouses, fitness center, art gallery, academic skills center, student lounge, auditorium, faculty offices, administrative and student support offices, and service spaces. The beautiful and luscious campus site includes scenic ponds, fountains, walking trails, thematic gardens, and courtyards through an array of native species plants and cultivated landscapes.