Located in gently rolling hills overlooking the Mississippi delta, Dyersburg is the hub of commerce, industry and agriculture in Northwest Tennessee. Because of its strategic access to rail, river and highway transportation, Dyersburg has become a thriving commercial center that retains the warmth, character and tradition of its rural past. Nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, the more than 100-acre campus of Dyersburg State Community College is only minutes from a bustling business district and just a pleasant drive from the serenity of beautiful Reelfoot Lake or the excitement and rich musical heritage of Memphis.
The Early Years
In 1957, the Pierce-Albright Report, a study ordered by the State Legislature, was made to the Tennessee Legislative Council. It recognized the increasing need for easy availability of education throughout an individual’s lifetime. The 1963 General Assembly appropriated funds to be used over a two-year period to initiate recommendations of the report. Plans were developed for a network of community colleges in the state that would place an institution of higher education within 50 miles of each person living in Tennessee. On June 13, 1967, the State Board of Education selected Dyersburg for location of the second community college in West Tennessee. A portion of Okeena Park was chosen as the site, and ground breaking ceremonies were conducted on May 29, 1968.
Dr. E. B. Eller, educator and former assistant commissioner of instruction in the State Department of Education, was selected as the first president. He filled this position from Dec. 18, 1968 until June 30, 1981, at which time he was awarded president emeritus status upon his retirement.
In February 1969, temporary offices were opened in a small frame building in the east portion of the campus. A classroom building was completed by the fall of 1969, and the other buildings were ready by the end of the year. The first class graduated in June, 1971.
Dr. Carl Christian Andersen became the second president in July, 1981. Under the Andersen administration, DSCC enrollment grew by 40%. Improvements were made in instructional technology, computer support and community involvement.
In November of 1984, Dr. Karen Bowyer became the third president. Dr. Bowyer continued the work of her predecessors to improve the quality of instruction and the service to students and the community. She has worked to build partnerships with the college’s constituents. She began the Annual Fund Campaign in 1985 to raise local dollars to match state funds for DSCC’s first center of emphasis.
Citizens in each of the seven counties in the college’s service area have contributed scholarship funds. Advisory committees have been established in Gibson and Tipton counties to involve community members in planning DSCC’s future direction.
During the summer of 1985, two buildings on the Dyersburg State campus were dedicated in honor of men who played significant roles in DSCC’s development and in education in the state. The E. B. Eller Administration Building is named for a lifelong educator and DSCC’s founding president. The Dale F. Glover Education Center honors a former member of the State Board of Education, State Board of Regents and Tennessee Legislature.
The DSCC Student Center was renovated in 1985 and 1986. The large cafeteria was converted to an auditorium and a new grill and television room were created.
The DSCC Foundation was chartered in 1988. The Board of Directors set a goal of raising $5 million by the turn of the century. Contributions and pledges totaled approximately $5.9 million in December 2000.
Approximately two-thirds of an acre of the DSCC campus was sold to the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 1986 for the development of a Baptist Student Center. A Center was built and dedication services were held on April 1, 1990. Later the ownership of the property was transferred to the Dyer Baptist Association.
The DSCC Gymnasium was renovated in 1987 and 1988. Racquetball courts, an aerobics room, weight room, saunas and hot tubs were added, and the surface of the basketball court was replaced.
The newly constructed Gibson County facility next to Peabody High School in Trenton was opened on Dec. 19, 1991. On Jan. 28, 1994, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission upon the recommendation of the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the establishment of an educational center in Gibson County and the extension of Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degree programs to that center.
The Tennessee Board of Regents approved a master plan for the DSCC campus in September 1991. As a result of this plan, additions were planned for the Learning Resource Center and the Student Center during 1992-93. A leased facility was opened in Covington in August 1992. Day and evening classes were offered at this new location. This facility was made possible by gifts from the City of Covington, Tipton County government, First State Bank, Union Savings Bank, Tipton County Bank and Cole Lumber Company. Evening classes continued to be offered at Covington High School. Land use and facility plans were proposed in 1993 for the 64-acre site purchased by the Tipton County Education Task Force for DSCC’s use.
Planning for a 30,000 square-foot facility in Tipton County was completed during 1993-94. The General Assembly made an appropriation for the 1994-95 academic year of $2.1 million to build the first phase of an 18,800 square-feet facility. A ground breaking ceremony for Phase I took place on Nov. 17, 1994. The new Tipton County Center opened on Feb. 26, 1996. Construction on Phase II began in February 1997 and was opened in January 1998. Phase II contained 13,000 square feet. The total budget for Phases I and II was $5.1 million.
On June 19, 1998, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the naming of the first building at the Tipton County Center in honor of Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. The building was dedicated in Mr. Naifeh’s honor on Oct. 26, 1998.
On Sept. 17, 1999, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the naming of the gymnasium in memory of Ed Lannom, Jr. a longtime supporter of the college. The E. H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium was dedicated at the 30th anniversary celebration on Oct. 16, 1999.
The Turn of the Century
On Sept. 14, 2000, the State Building Commission approved a Master Plan for the Tipton County Center. The plan called for the construction of a 157,000 square-foot facility over the next 20 years. The Covington Industrial Board donated 38 acres of property adjacent to the existing 64-acre site for the Tipton County Center in the spring of 2001.
The Richard E. Donner Arboretum and Nature Trail was named on Sept. 23, 2001. The arboretum and nature trail are located northeast of the E. H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium. On Oct. 1, 2002, the DSCC Foundation purchased the former Dyersburg Country Club property at a cost of $300,000. The property was purchased for use as classroom space for continuing education and for use as a temporary library facility when the Learning Resource Center was renovated.
DSCC, the Obion County Industrial Development Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and community leaders from Obion County worked together to develop an innovative associate degree program in Manufacturing Systems Technology combined with six technical certificate programs. A facility was leased in Union City to provide a location for the instruction, thereby creating the Obion County Training and Education Center and providing greater access to education in West Tennessee. This program was approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents on Sept. 20, 2002, and by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission on Nov. 14, 2002. The first cohort of those receiving training was comprised of employees of Goodyear. In the future, individuals from all industries will be eligible for the program.
First Citizens National Bank was presented the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy in January 2003. The Chancellor’s Award is given to individuals and organizations which have given generously to a Tennessee Board of Regents institution and have provided leadership in fund raising for an institution.
The Union Planters Bank Community Classroom at the Tipton County Center was dedicated on July 18, 2003, in appreciation of the foresight shown to make an initial investment that enabled a higher education center to be built in Tipton County.
The City of Covington lobby of the Tipton County Center was dedicated on July 22, 2003, in appreciation of the generous support shown by the city and the Industrial Development Board.
The BancorpSouth computer laboratory of the Tipton County Center was dedicated on August 21, 2003, for the role BancorpSouth played as a charter investor in a higher education center for Tipton County and for the bank’s continuing support of the scholarship program throughout the years.
The Martha W. Donner outdoor classroom on the Dyersburg campus was dedicated on Oct. 5, 2003, in honor of a generous longtime DSCC supporter.
The Dyersburg Fabrics student center grill on the Dyersburg campus was dedicated on Oct. 23, 2003, in appreciation of the historic role played by Dyersburg Fabrics in the growth and development of Dyer County and as a loyal supporter and a steadfast friend of Dyersburg State.
The Country Club building was dedicated to Security Bank for its generosity to DSCC on April 8, 2004 and was named the Security Bank Community Learning Center.
Security Bank received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for its generous support of DSCC.
On Oct. 18, 2004, DSCC purchased the former Country Club from the DSCC Foundation for $308,000. The building will be used for offices and classrooms.
On Aug. 23, 2004, the chemistry laboratory was named in honor of Colonial Rubber. Wendell West and Karen Hotaling Horn accepted the honor on behalf of the employees of Colonial Rubber. The music room in the E. H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium was named in honor of the Union City Rotary Club on April 30, 2004. The Union City Rotary Club conducts a highly successful scholarship drive each year. Many students have benefited from these efforts.
The Master Plan for the Dyersburg campus was approved by the State Building Commission on Aug. 12, 2004. The Tipton County Center was named in honor of Speaker Jimmy Naifeh on Oct. 1, 2004. The Center is now known as the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County.
The Tennessee Legislature and Gov. Phil Bredesen approved funds in the spring of 2004 for planning and construction of a new LRC, renovation of the former LRC, the purchase of the former Country Club and planning for the New Academic Building at the Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County.
In the spring of 2005, the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee and Gov. Bredesen approved a budget that included funds for construction of the New Academic Building at the Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County and funds to plan and build a new student center and renovate the former student center in Dyersburg. The total state funding for planning and constructing the 31,000 square-foot Academic Building at the Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County was $5.26 million. Groundbreaking for the new facility took place on Nov. 4, 2005. Omega General Contractors of Memphis submitted the low bid and was chosen as the principal contractor.
The State of Tennessee provided $10 million to renovate the Eller Administration Building, plan and construct the new Learning Resource Center, renovate the former LRC and construct a parking lot on the west side of the Eller Administration Building. RFW Construction Company of Dyersburg submitted the low bid of $1.4 million to renovate 22,852 square feet in the Eller Administration Building. The Eller Administration Building renovation began on July 25, 2005 and ended on Dec. 21, 2005.
During the renovation, the faculty and staff were relocated from the Eller Building to the Student Center, E. H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium and the Security Bank Community Learning Center.
Groundbreaking for the new LRC in Dyersburg occurred on December 21, 2005. The new facility contains 28,000 square feet. The grand opening was held on April 27, 2007. The current LRC was renovated during the summer and fall of 2007 to house mathematics faculty, classrooms, offices and a computer laboratory.
DSCC leased approximately three acres of land to the Dyer County Legislative Body for the construction of the Dyer County Health Department on Parr Avenue. As part of the project a new campus road was constructed from the intersection of Parr and Wilkinson toward the E. H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium. The road was completed in October 2006, and the Dyer County Health Department facility opened in April 2007.
DSCC assumed ownership of the Academic Building at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County on November 29, 2006. The Grand Opening was held on January 5, 2007. Thirty-two nursing students were in the first class in the New Academic Building in January 2007. Forty-eight students were accepted for the class that began in August 2006 in Dyersburg.
With the generous assistance of the Tipton County Legislative Body a new parking lot was constructed at the JNC in spring 2007. A new chemistry laboratory was constructed on the second floor of the Glover Building during the summer and fall of 2007. The existing laboratory on the first floor of Glover was converted into two classrooms.
The “Good to Great” Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,045,017.08 during 2005-06. Katie Winchester, CEO and Chair of the Board of First Citizens National Bank, was the campaign chair. For her extraordinary and generous support of DSCC, Katie received a Benefactor Award from the Tennessee Council on Resource Development at Rippavilla Plantation near Columbia, Tennessee on September 14, 2006.
The Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy was awarded to Mary and Bill Adcock at Volunteer State Community College on June 10, 2005, and to Baptist Healthcare Corporation on December 8, 2006, at a quarterly meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents held at Columbia State Community College. Stephen Reynolds, President and CEO of the corporation; Paul Betz, Administrator and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton; Keon Falkner, Administrator and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Lauderdale and Don Hutson, Administrator and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City, accepted the award on behalf of the corporation.
DSCC was a Cohort 2 institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents project to convert administrative software from SIS Plus to the Banner products for Human Resources, Finance, Student (Admissions and Records), Financial Aid and Institutional Advancement. Luminis was implemented to provide the user portal to the various systems. The $3 million project was completed in 2009.
During 2005-2007 DSCC prepared the Compliance Audit and the Quality Enhancement Plan for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Inc. (SACS COC). The Compliance Audit was submitted to the Commission on March 15, 2007. A Review Team visited DSCC on October 8-10, 2007. In June 2008, SACS COC reaffirmed the accreditation of DSCC.
The 2006-2007 Annual Fund campaign raised $ 1,018,719.24 under the leadership of Joe Emery, DSCC class of 1986.
Chancellor Charles Manning and community leaders participated in the groundbreaking for the new 14,000 square-foot Student Center in Dyersburg on August 20, 2007.
Chancellor Charles Manning and Foundation Chair Katie Winchester joined President Bowyer in the dedication of the newly renovated Mathematics Building, the Chemistry Laboratory in the Glover Building and the LRC Fountain on December 5, 2007. The LRC Fountain was named in memory of E. H. Lannom, Jr.
Twenty-five nursing students were in the first class to complete the regular Nursing Program at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County in December 2008. Fifteen students in the LPN to RN Fast Track Program also finished in December 2008.
DSCC hosted the quarterly meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents on September 25-26, 2008. The new Student Center was dedicated on September 25, 2008. The renovated former Student Center was renamed as the Campus Activities Building.
The Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy was presented to First Citizens National Bank at the Grand Opening of the new Student Center. Jeff Agee, CEO of First Citizens and a DSCC Alumnus in the class of 1981, accepted the award.
The 2007-08 Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,021,109 under the capable leadership of Ms. Kerrie Heckethorn, Vice President for Human Resources at First Citizens National Bank. She was assisted by the following county chairs: Lauderdale-Greg Crihfield, Tipton-Cari Dee Dawson, Dyer-Judy Long, Gibson-Bill Woods and Joel Reynolds.
DSCC celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a dinner and dance on February 5, 2009. Entertainment featured the Dempseys and their brand of high-octane, rockabilly music and stage show. Quebecor World, Inc. of Dyersburg and Covington received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy from Chancellor Manning during the evening for their generous support of DSCC over the years.
The 2008-09 Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,007,226.40. This was an impressive amount because of the economic recession which affected the entire nation and world. Wendell West provided the regional leadership for the Campaign. He was assisted by Bill Woods and Joel Reynolds in Gibson County, Donna Pugh and Cassie Williams in Lauderdale County, Jim Wyatt and Sheila Barton in Tipton County and Danny Watson in Dyer County.
DSCC was the fastest growing public institution in Tennessee for the fall semester 2009 as the college’s full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment grew by 28% to 2234 and its headcount grew by 23% to 3416.
Nursing was named the Center of Emphasis at DSCC in the spring of 2009. Computers and Information Technology was the former Center.
The Economic Impact Study of DSCC in 2009 showed that the College contributed over $43 million each year to the region’s economy for the past 5 years.
The Division of Nursing and Allied Health began a new Technical Certificate Program in EMT-Paramedic during the fall semester 2009.
The 2009-10 Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,116,506.55 under the leadership of Danny Watson. The Dyersburg State Foundation gifts totaled $85,113.50.
On November 16, 2010, Methodist Healthcare was presented the Chancellor’s Award.
The 2010-11 Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,155,371.54 under the leadership of Tommy Almon. The Dyersburg State Foundation gifts totaled $123,493.04.
The 2011-12 Annual Fund Campaign raised $1,046,843.26 under the leadership of Patrick Williams. The Dyersburg State Foundation gifts totaled $355,934.71.
On April 28, 2011, DSCC dedicated the Caterpillar Dean of Student Services Suite in the Student Center on the Dyersburg Campus.
DSCC kicked off the Leaving a Legacy Campaign on August 31, 2011.
On November 16, 2011, DSCC presented West Tennessee Healthcare/Madison County General Hospital with the Chancellor’s Award. Also on this day, DSCC celebrated the groundbreaking of the new 54,000 square foot addition to the Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County. This new addition will include a new state-of-the-art Learning Resource Center, Student Center and Tipton County Public Library.
On March 23, 2012, DSCC presented the Chancellor’s Award to the Assisi Foundation of Memphis.
On March 15, 2013, a Construction Celebration was held at the Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County to commemorate the beginning of construction on the new 54,000 square foot addition that will include a new state-of-the-art Learning Resource Center, Student Center and Tipton County Public Library. Attending the celebration were Chancellor John Morgan, Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh, Senator Mark Norris, Representative Debra Moody, Tipton County Mayor Jeff Huffman, Covington Mayor David Gordon, Covington Library Director Susan Cheairs and DSCC Foundation Board Members.
Statement of Vision
Dyersburg State Community College will elevate the region’s educational attainment thereby enhancing the quality of life in West Tennessee.
Abbreviated Mission Statement
Dyersburg State Community College uses learner-centered instruction to expose students to the best historical and contemporary ideas to help them create effective solutions to future challenges.
Statement of Mission
Dyersburg State Community College serves seven counties adjacent to or near the Mississippi River in West Tennessee where there are enormous opportunities to improve college completion rates, employment levels in high-skilled jobs, and per capita income. An open-access, learner-centered institution, Dyersburg State anticipates and responds to the education needs of individuals through strategic planning and continuous improvement processes. In doing so, the College provides leadership in public service activities, workforce development projects, and educational collaborations designed to cultivate integrity and self-worth, to embrace lifelong learning, to promote diversity, and to improve the community at large by producing educated and productive members of society. Moreover, to improve the quality of life in the communities served, the College is strongly committed to developing and promoting civic and cultural opportunities, as well as economic and community development initiatives through partnerships with business and industry.
Dyersburg State Community College offers the following:
- Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of Science and the Associate of Science in Teaching degrees for transfer to four-year institutions;
- Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificate programs that respond to emerging career opportunities in health care and technologies and provide workforce education;
- A Learning Support Program that enhances the skills necessary for success in college-level courses;
- An Honors Program that expands students’ thinking and achievement;
- A Continuing Education Program that provides educational opportunities for children and adults;
- Seamless transition among institutions through articulation agreements with area high schools, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (formerly Tennessee Technology Centers), and four-year institutions;
- A variety of student support services designed to increase the opportunity for success, as well as services to provide access to federal and state financial aid and locally-funded scholarships;
- Increased access to education via technology-assisted instruction, distance learning offerings, and course offerings at convenient locations at the DSCC Gibson County Center and the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County.
- The accomplishment of this mission depends on a faculty and staff who are flexible, highly skilled, technology oriented and learner centered.
- Dyersburg State Community College promotes diversity and access without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.
Dyersburg State Community College is a higher education institution of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. Dyersburg State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Inc. (SACS COC) to award degrees at the associate level. Contact the SACS COC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404/679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Dyersburg State Community College.
The Associate of Applied Science Nursing degree program at Dyersburg State is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The nursing program is also approved by the Tennessee State Board of Nursing.
Two courses-Emergency Medical Technology I & Emergency Medical Technology II-are approved by the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment; successful completion of these courses and a passing score on the state examination lead to state certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.
The Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Services Major with a concentration in EMT-Paramedic is approved by the Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services.
The Associate of Applied Science degree program in Health Information Technology is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
DSCC’s business programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at the institution may submit a Student Complaint Form to the Tennessee Board of Regents at 1415 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 340, Nashville Tennessee 37217, or by going online and filing out the form electronically at http://www.tbr.edu/GenericForm.aspx?ekfrm=7529. Under Tennessee’s open records law, all or parts of complaints will generally be available for review upon request from a member of the public.
Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500 (www.sacscoc.org).
Dyersburg State Community College holds membership in the following national, regional and state organizations:
American Association of Community Colleges
National Council for Marketing and Public Relations
National Council for Resource Development
National Junior College Athletic Association
National League for Nursing Council of Associate Degree Programs
Tennessee Advancement Resources Council
Tennessee Association on Higher Education and Disability Tennessee College Association
Tennessee Community College Athletic Association
Tennessee College Public Relations Association
Tennessee College Association