Since it first opened in 1970, Nashville State Community College has been a vital part of Nashville. Initially named Nashville State Technical Institute, the college had 398 students and offered only five associate's degrees. Graduation was held in the parking lot. White Bridge Road, where the main campus is still located, had only two lanes and very few businesses. As the White Bridge Road area grew over the years, so did the college. In 1984, Nashville State joined the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system of state universities and community colleges. In the spring of 2002, the decision to expand the mission of Nashville State Technical Institute to that of a community college was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly and the Tennessee State Governor. On July 1, 2002, it became official. As a community college, Nashville State continues to offer the Associate of Applied Science technical and career degrees. With the mission expansion, new degrees have been added for students planning to transfer their credits to universities: the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, and the Associate of Science in Teaching.