In 1947, the Alabama State Legislature passed the Regional Vocational and Trade School Act 673, thus providing for the establishment of the John M. Patterson Technical School. The Montgomery County Board of Revenue and the City of Montgomery purchased 43 acres of land at the junction of the Southern Bypass and U.S. 231 South in 1961. Construction began in that year at a cost of one million dollars. The physical facilities were initially comprised of an administration/classroom building, two shop buildings, and the cafeteria. The school was named for Governor John M. Patterson under whose administration it began.
In 1961, Mr. J. O. McCollough was appointed director of the school and served until his retirement in 1973. On September 4, 1962, the school opened and 162 students enrolled. The school continued to grow adding new programs and constructing additional buildings. Mr. J. L. Taunton was appointed president in 1973 and served until his retirement in 2000. In the year 2000, the College served over 1,700 individuals in 23 different programs.
In 1974, by action of the State Board of Education, the school was named a technical college and was permitted to award the Associate Degree in Applied Technology in certain programs. In addition, the evening class offerings were greatly expanded in late 1974.
H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College was one of several public postsecondary occupational education institutions authorized by the Alabama State Legislature on May 3, 1963. Construction on the 35-acre site located at 1225 Air Base Boulevard began August 19, 1965, and was completed August 8, 1966, at a cost of approximately one and a quarter million dollars. The physical plant was initially comprised of an administration building and four shop buildings. The City of Montgomery and the Montgomery County Board of Revenue made financial contributions towards the construction of the cafeteria. The College was named for the late Dr. Harper Councill Trenholm, a past president of the neighboring Alabama State University.
In 1966, Mr. Lucious W. Smiley was appointed president of the school and served until 1970. The instructional staff assumed duties July 1, 1966. Classes began August 15, 1966, with an initial enrollment of 275 students. Mr. M. D. Smiley served as president from 1970 until 1981, followed by Dr. Thad McClammy from 1981 through 1995. Interim Presidents appointed by the Chancellor served from 1995 until 2001.
The College continued to grow, during the 1971-72 school year the physical plant was expanded to include the new warehouse facility and the Related Subjects Building. The Allied Health Occupations Building was completed on April 17, 1979. The Joseph Dickerson Culinary Arts and Conference Centre was officially dedicated on August 25, 1991. The new Library and Tower of Learning Building was completed and opened in 1996. In the school year 1998-99 the College had 1,295 students enrolled in 13 different programs.