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JCCC Through the Years


Johnson County Commissioners appoint a citizens committee to perform a feasibility study of the need for a two-year community college in the county. The committee unanimously recommends that such a college be established.


Voters approve the creation of a junior college district in Johnson County by nearly a 3-1 margin and elect the first board of trustees: Maxine Allen, Dr. Wilbur Billington, Ellen Laner, John Robinson, Dr. O. Dale Smith and Dr. Hugh Speer.


Dr. Robert G. Harris becomes the first president of JCCC.

A site, located at 111th Street (later known as College Boulevard) and Quivira Road, is selected by the board of trustees for construction of a permanent campus.


Ben Craig is appointed by the board as the chairman of a citizens committee for a bond campaign.

Voters approve 2-1 a $12.9 million bond issue to buy and build a permanent campus on the present site.

The college is granted correspondent status by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

On Sept. 4, classes open on the temporary campus headquartered at Merriam Elementary School at 57th Street and Merriam Drive.

On Sept. 11, the college announces it cannot accept any more students - all classes are filled. Final enrollment is 1,380.


Construction begins on the new campus at College Boulevard and Quivira Road.

JCCC holds its first graduation ceremonies at the Glenwood Theater.

JCCC holds its first summer session.


The college is granted recognized candidate status by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Classes begin on the new campus. Six buildings compose the original campus: the Commons, the Educational Media Center (now the Billington Library), the Science Building, the General Education Building, the Campus Services Building and the Gymnasium. Nearly 100 full-time faculty teach more than 3,600 students in credit transfer and career programs.


The Johnson County Community College Foundation is formed.

The college is fully accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education.


Dr. John E. Cleek becomes the second president of JCCC.

JCCC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, 312-263-0456.


The world's only four-year college for the deaf, Gallaudet College, establishes its first Regional Extension Center on campus to serve the hearing impaired in a five-state region.


JCCC becomes a board member of the League for Innovation in the Community College.


The college's accreditation is continued by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Dr. Charles J. Carlsen becomes the third president of JCCC.

The new Arts and Technology Building opens for classes.


The "Kansans," the original name of JCCC's teams, become the "Cavaliers." The board approves the name change for JCCC teams following a campus-wide referendum conducted by the Student Senate.

JCCC creates the Business and Industry Institute to provide professional development and job training for area businesses.


The board authorizes the college to join area school districts in applying for a cooperative Johnson County Area Vocational Technical School.

The college's eighth building, the Office and Classroom Building, is dedicated.


The Small Business Administration funds JCCC's Small Business Development Center to provide training and counseling services to area small businesses.

JCCC sponsors Project Finish, which conducts literacy programs for adults living in Johnson County who have less than a high school education.


JCCC receives the maximum 10-year accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The first Some Enchanted Evening, a gala fund raiser sponsored by the JCCC Foundation, is held to support scholarships at the college.


JCCC enters into a unique agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and builds the Industrial Technical Center on campus to house BNSF's national training programs and provide significant additional office and classroom space for the college.


JCCC dedicates The Children's Center, a separate structure built to house JCCC's child-care operation. It is open to the children of students, faculty and staff.

The Cultural Education Center, a $21 million arts complex, opens. The structure houses the 1,250-seat Yardley Hall, the 400-seat Polsky theater, a recital hall, a Black Box Theatre for student performances, and classrooms and offices.


A new Classroom Laboratory Building is dedicated. The CLB houses science labs, math classrooms and faculty offices. New construction more than doubles the size of the ITC, shared by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and JCCC. The college opens a new Welding Lab Building just behind ATB.


The board of trustees asks voters to approve a $72.3 million bond issue that would cover the costs of three new buildings, needed to accommodate growing enrollment, and the acquisition of new technology. After an unexpected increase in property tax assessments, the voters say "no."

JCCC agrees to assume responsibility for postsecondary vocational education in Johnson County. The local school districts enter into an interlocal agreement to develop secondary programming as part of the newly created JCTEC.


JCCC again receives the maximum 10-year accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


JCCC opens a new facility at West Park Center, 87th and Farley, offering continuing education classes in computer applications and information technology. West Park now houses the cosmetology and adult basic education programs.

JCCC establishes its first intensive, academic English-as-a-second-language program, The Intensive English Program, for learners who desire to improve and strengthen their English proficiency and cultural understanding for academic, career-enhancing, or personal success.


Rolling Stone magazine names JCCC as one of the "most respected" community colleges in the country.

The Cultural Education Center is renamed the Carlsen Center in honor of JCCC's third president, Charles J. Carlsen.


The Kansas Senate passes Senate Bill 345, placing all of the state's community colleges under the coordination of the Kansas Board of Regents.


The Student Center opens, housing JCCC's student services, including counseling, admissions, registration, student activities, testing services and financial aid, as well as a new bookstore and dining services.

The Business and Industry Institute becomes the Center for Business and Technology. To better reflect its range of programs, the new name exchanges "institute," which carried a limited connotation of business classes, for "center," which represents the center's role as a broad-based central business resource.


The Educational Media Center is renamed the Billington Library in honor of one of the college's founders, Dr. Wilbur Billington.

JCCC opens an expansion to the Gymnasium, housing a classroom and locker rooms needed for physical education classes, a larger fitness center, a six-lane track, and basketball and volleyball courts.

The Police Academy opens, built through a partnership between JCCC and the Johnson County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association. The academy trains full-time officers employed by more than 30 law enforcement agencies, primarily in northeastern Kansas.

The Horticultural Science Center opens, housing state-of-the-art greenhouses, a plant propagation room, a head house and a classroom.


JCCC wins the Kansas Excellence Award, the third and highest level of recognition for quality given by the Kansas Award for Excellence Foundation.

The Children's Center was renamed the Hiersteiner Child Development Center in honor of benefactors Jean and Walter Hiersteiner.


The Parking Garage at Galileo's Garden opens.


JCCC qualifies for the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP) for maintaining accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Dr. Charles J. Carlsen retires. Dr. Larry W. Tyree becomes JCCC's interim president.


Dr. Terry Calaway becomes JCCC's fourth president.

The Arts and Technology Building is expanded to include four new automotive bays.

The Regnier Center opens. The Regnier Center houses the Center for Business and Technology, an entrepreneurship center, a biotechnology lab, and credit and noncredit classes in computer applications, information technology and interactive media.

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art opens. The museum houses galleries to display changing exhibits and the college's permanent collection, the Hudson Auditorium and Cafe Tempo.


The college opens a Healthcare Simulation Center in CLB and unveils "Oral Health on Wheels," a 40-foot mobile dental clinic.

President Calaway signs the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging the college to the development of a plan to achieve climate neutrality as a campus. The Center for Sustainability is created to oversee the college's environmental commitment and provide education resources for students, faculty and staff, and the community. 

The board of trustees approves the establishment of a campus police department. The college issues firearms to those officers who are Kansas peace officer standards and training (POST) certified.


The trustees add a seventh member to the board.


The Olathe Health Education Center opens on the Olathe Medical Center campus. OHEC provides facilities to teach practical nursing, dietary managers, medical office and coding, ECG technician and phlebotomy. It becomes JCCC's first LEED gold certified building.


Galileo's Pavilion, built by Studio 804 from KU's School of Architecture and Urban Planning, opens. It is LEED platinum certified. 


Dr. Terry Calaway retires.

Dr. Joseph M. Sopcich becomes JCCC's fifth president.

The Hospitality and Culinary Academy opens, housing state-of-the-art learning spaces for JCCC's hospitality management program.