North Carolina Education

North Carolina Education 1901 to 2000

After World War II, and with industrial expansion in North Carolina, the need developed rapidly for technical and vocational training. Under the administrations of Governors Luther Hodges and Terry Sanford, a statewide system of community colleges took root, first as a system of seven Industrial Education Centers. The State legislature laid the groundwork in June of 1957 with the appropriation of a half million dollars.

The original seven (7) Industrial Education Centers opened in Burlington, Durham, Goldsboro, Jamestown, Wilmington, Wilson, and Leaksville (present-day Eden). Sites were selected by the State Board of Education, chaired by Dallas Herring, based on consideration of pressing needs.

Leaksville was the home county of Governor Hodges and Fieldcrest Mills, his former employer. Under its original name, Marshall Fields and Company, the Rockingham County company, in 1919, pioneered technical training for its employees. In 1937, the company turned the vocational building, known as Nantucket Mill, and equipment over to the Leaksville school system which, during the summer of 1957, transferred the training to a new vocational building on the campus of Morehead High School.

Thus, Leaksville, in Rockingham County, was well-positioned to host the first Industrial Education Center in North Carolina, beginning in May of 1958. Other cities, beginning with Jamestown, where an old sanatorium was rehabilitated for the purpose, were not far behind. Twenty (20) Industrial Education Centers were operating in 1963, when they formed the core of the new North Carolina Community College system.

The original center remained in operation at Morehead High School until 1966 when Rockingham Community College opened in nearby Wentworth. The community college system today is fifty-eight (58) campuses strong and serves 800,000 North Carolinians each year.

The above write-up (with edits) was provided by the North Carolina Highway Marker program. Click Here to read and to view their sources.

<< 1800s

2000s >>

© 2016-2017 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved