Dutchess Community College functions under the auspices of the State University of New York and is sponsored by Dutchess County. The College is governed by a board of trustees consisting of 10 members, four appointed by the governor of the State of New York and five by the Dutchess County legislature. The tenth member is the student trustee elected by the students annually.
DCC is committed to shared governance, a model that provides a structure for campus participation in planning, policy development and decision-making. The Professional Staff Organization of faculty and non-teaching educators and the Student Government Association are the primary mechanisms through which the voices of constituencies are heard.