Carroll has a long, rich history of remarkable growth. The college has evolved from a small rural campus to an 80-acre property marked by modern architecture and state-of-the-art buildings.
Responding to interest expressed by citizens of Carroll County, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners examined the need for additional educational opportunities in the county in 1973. As a result, the county commissioners appointed a team to conduct a special study to review the possibilities, including a community college program which would be available to Carroll County citizens. The seed was planted to create a branch college of an established community college to best serve the county.
Catonsville Community College took an interest in the idea and presented a proposal, which was sent to a Carroll Community College Advisory Committee with the purpose of evaluating the recommendation for a community college. Then, a draft Community College Service Agreement was forwarded to Catonsville Community College. On February 10, 1976, the Carroll County Commissioners entered into a three-year contractual agreement with Catonsville Community College to establish a branch campus in Carroll County. The green light was given for the Carroll County branch of Catonsville Community College to begin its instructional program for more than 750 students with over 1500 course registrations.
Consistent growth of the student body, program demands, and future planning resulted in several facility changes, with the college's first home in the old Robert Moton Elementary School on Center Street. The county, following the recommendation of the advisory board, purchased a site on Route 32. Following this, the East End Elementary School was briefly used for additional classroom space. Then in January 1982, the county made the North Center Street building available to the college.
In April 1983, the state passed legislation enabling Carroll County to request state funds for the college under guidelines that applied to all community colleges. This resulted in significant planning for movement towards permanent college facilities.
As a result of a visit by the Maryland State Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Shaila Aery, the college began to take steps towards becoming independent. In 1992, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) directed the college to begin the process for it to achieve degree-granting status as a two-year community college.
In late 1992, the college met with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), to become accredited as a two-year, degree-granting institution. After visits by evaluating teams representing MHEC and MSCHE, degree-granting status was offered by MHEC in 1993 and candidacy with MSCHE was awarded the same year.
Carroll was granted full accreditation in 1996.
An evaluation visit by Middle States' Commission for Higher Education occurred in April, 2011. Re-accreditation was granted in June, 2011.
The physical growth of the campus continues to flourish. In 1997, the Random House Library building was built. The Robert Annis and Phyllis Barrett Scott Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, the Business Training Center and Life Fitness buildings were completed in 2002. The Nursing and Allied Health building was completed in 2004. The college's latest construction project was the K building, an additional classroom building to accommodate the burgeoning growth of the institution. It opened in January, 2010.