The history of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) includes the history of two colleges which merged to become MCTC in 1995: Minneapolis Technical College and Minneapolis Community College. The following is a short history of how these colleges developed over the years to serve the needs of the community.
Minneapolis Technical College
Minneapolis Technical College (MTC) was originally founded as the Girls Vocational School in 1914 by a teacher and its first principal, Miss Elizabeth Fish. The school opened that fall with eight women instructors, 93 students, and a firm commitment to train students for their chosen field. In 1915, the school moved into the southern portion of the old Central Minneapolis First High School, which was occupied by the William Hood Dunwoody Industrial Institute (also founded in 1914) and provided training for boys. Two years later, Dunwoody Institute moved to its present location at Lyndale and Hennepin Avenues and the Girls Vocational School expanded into the vacated space.
In the decades that followed, the vocational school went through a series of name changes, moved to a new building at 1101 Third Avenue South, began to enroll young men, phased out the high school and began offering only postsecondary and extension classes. It entered the ’80s as Minneapolis Technical Institute (MTI) on a new 418,000 square foot campus at 1415 Hennepin Avenue—the current T Building. MTI finished the decade with a 75th anniversary celebration and a name change to Minneapolis Technical College.
Minneapolis Community College
In 1965, Minneapolis Community College (MCC) opened its doors to 60 students who attended classes on the first floor of Minneapolis Central High School. MCC was first known as Metropolitan State Junior College (MSJC).
In 1967, MSJC moved to four buildings on the campus of Northwest Bible School on Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis—our current campus location. In 1974, the college was renamed Metropolitan Community College, and in 1976 it entered into a cooperative agreement with Minneapolis Public Schools to share a site with Minneapolis Technical Institute.
In 1977, a long term plan for campus construction was approved and in 1978 the college moved in the “C” building at 1501 Hennepin Avenue—renamed Kopp Hall in 2004. In 1979, Metropolitan Community College became Minneapolis Community College (MCC). Five years later, MCC move its library to the Basilica of St. Mary and began construction of a new classroom building, the Philip C. Helland Center. MCC’s “D” building (renamed Bowman Hall in 2004) and Irene H. Whitney Fine Arts Center rounded out building construction on the community college campus during the 1980s.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
In 1991, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law merging Minnesota’s public community colleges, technical colleges and state universities, effective July 1,1995—with Minneapolis Community College and Minneapolis Technical College becoming part of the new Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
In February 1996, Minneapolis Community College and Minneapolis Technical College merged to become Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). In December, 1996 the Wells Family Center officially became part of the college campus. In 2003, MCTC dedicated its new library and third floor classroom space as Wheelock Whitney Hall. Additionally, in 2003 MCTC acquired land adjacent to the College that was previously owned by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—which now serves as the Management Education Center and the Science Center. In fall 2010, MCTC will complete its outdoor plaza, creating a central green outdoor space using native plantings and sustainability practices.