Explore HBCU – J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College

Staff Writer
April 12, 2022

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College is a conjoined community college and technical trade college in Huntsville, Alabama.


Founded as the Huntsville State Vocational Technical College in 1961, the school opened with an enrollment of 27 students spread across three programs: cosmetology, auto mechanics, and brick masonry. Five years later, in 1966 the school changed its name to J.F. Drake State Technical Trade School in honor of Joseph Fanning Drake who had served as the long-time president of Alabama A&M University. 

In 1973, the Alabama State Board of Education granted the institution college status, an Associate in Applied Technology Degree (AAT) program began to be offered, and the name of the school was changed to J.F. Drake State Technical College. After becoming a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2012, the school earned community college status prompting a new name change, this time to J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College in 2013. The new name more accurately depicts the school’s standing as both a comprehensive two-year community college, and a core-driven technical college with well-renowned programs.

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College is the first and only institution of its kind in Alabama. Today, students from J.F. Drake State are offered the opportunity to enhance their futures through the unique dual academic and technical training curricula offered by the college.

Programs & Opportunities

At Drake State, students can pursue coursework in a wide array of study, including: Adult Education, Advanced Manufacturing Programs, Automotive Service Technology, Business Administration Programs, Certificate Programs, Computer Information Systems Technology, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management, Frontiers Research Program, Gainful Employment, General and Developmental Education, Health Sciences Programs, Heating & Air Conditioning Technology, and Salon and Spa Management Programs. The programs offer options for an Associate in Applied Science Degree or a Certificate Program designed for immediate entry into the job market after graduation, as well as associate degrees of science or art. 

Drake State has also established university articulation agreements with several schools in the surrounding Alabama area that make it possible for Drake State graduates to seamlessly transfer to these universities. Learn more about the many educational opportunities offered at J.F. Drake State Technical College here.

Alumni Affairs

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College is committed to the preparation of its students with the right knowledge, training, and skills to go into the workforce immediately—benefitting not only the student and economy, but the community. 

Notable alumni include, but are not limited to:

  • Dutch Hardy—small business owner of Dutch Treats and dealer services employee at the motor vehicle manufacturing company Manheim—studied Electrical Engineering Technologies/Technicians at J.F. Drake State Technical College.
  • Raven Dickerson—programmer/computer science student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (one of J.F. Drake’s partner institutions for transfer students)—studied computer science at J.F. Drake State Community College.
  • Christel Ford—customer relations manager at France-based payment software company and service provider Ingenico Group—studied Cosmetology, Barber/Styling, and Nail Instruction at J.F. Drake State Technical College.

Financial Information

At J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, tuition is one of the best values in the state of Alabama. As part of its mission to provide the academic foundation and workplace skill development of students without requiring a lifetime of educational debt, classes ring in at only $161 per credit hour. The financial aid office also provides resources to assist with federal, state, and local grants as well as college and industry sponsored scholarships.

Before the application of financial aid, estimated total cost of attendance for in-state students is $15,110 composed of $4,410 for tuition and fees, $6,300 for room and board charges (including rooming accommodations and meals), $2,000 books and supplies, and $2,400 for other expenses (personal expenses, transportation, etc.). For out-of-state students, tuition is equal to two times that of the in-state amount, but all other fees remain the same.


At J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, students are uniquely educated to be able to meet the needs of an ever-changing workforce and global society. 

Learn more about J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College’s flexible and affordable opportunities here.