North Florida Technical College is accredited by The Council on Occupational Education (COE). Originally founded in 1971 as a regional accrediting agency of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, COE is the successor to the Commission on Occupational Education Institutions (COEI). In 1995, the Council became a national accrediting agency. In 2006, the Council celebrated its 35th year of assuring quality and integrity in career and technical education. The Council's accreditation process is conducted on behalf of more than 360,000 students across the nation who pursue careers in a variety of technical fields.
On November 30, 1965, the State Board of Education authorized the Bradford County Board of Public Instruction to establish an area vocational-technical school to serve the needs of Bradford and Union counties. This was done under the provision of Chapter 230.63, Florida Statutes, and a regulation of the State Board of Education relating to the principles and criteria for the designation of an area vocational-technical school.
In March of 1966, a program determination team completed its survey and made recommendations for Phase I construction. Facilities were to be included for programs of agriculture, business education, home economics, industrial education, and technical education. Phase II construction included the relocation of the business education programs and the addition of an industrial drafting education program. Succeeding phases included clothing, textiles, and cosmetology facilities. All of the construction was completed by 1979.
In January of 1970, the Bradford-Union Technical Center (BUTC) added Commercial Vehicle Driving, which operated in a classroom and on a temporary driving range in Union County. In 1986, the school board obtained a federal grant and lease from Camp Blanding for the construction of a commercial vehicle driving facility. The completion of the commercial vehicle driving range and facilities was the final major construction project until the construction of a Family Service Center in 1992.
The student population in those early days was mostly veterans who were attending school under their veterans’ benefits. Many of the instructors were retired military employees or others with military experience. This set up worked well until the early 1980's when veteran benefits began to run out and student needs were somewhat different. In 1984 a major fire destroyed a significant part of Bradford High School (BHS), the county’s only high school. High school students and teachers moved into classrooms at BUTC while BHS was rebuilt. The school board, programs offered, and enrollment trends impacted the planning for reconstruction at BHS. The school board decided to leave all of the secondary vocational programs except home economics and the county's dropout prevention programs at BUTC. This move boosted a declining enrollment and made the cost of BUTC more efficient.