The college was established in 1923, as the Iola Junior College under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of Iola Public Schools, District #10. The College was designed as an extension of the high school, primarily to serve the students within the district. It was located on the third floor of Iola High School. That first year saw an enrollment of 93 students, and the IJC men's basketball team won the state championship.
Iola Junior College served the community until June 1965, when the local Board of Education successfully petitioned the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to create a countywide community college. On July 1, 1965, Allen County Community Junior College came into being.
Expansion and growth...
On February 14, 1966, the voters of Allen County approved a $1,500,000 bond issue to construct a campus on the north edge of Iola. A 96-bed residence hall (Horton Hall) was opened for occupancy on August 25, 1969, and the College held its first classes in the new buildings on the 90-acre campus on January 5, 1970. In 1976, an all-weather track was built on campus to provide a place for the track & field teams to practice and hold meets.
In 1979, the Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of a 250-acre farm, located five miles north of Iola on Highway 169, to enhance the agriculture program. A large animal and classroom building was completed on the farm in 1982. In 1988, a horse barn was added. On May 20, 2000, the eight-student Zahn Scholarship House was dedicated. It was built on the farm with a gift from an alumnus to give agricultural students an opportunity to reside there while enrolled at the College.
In 1980, the school officially shortened its name to Allen County Community College. A 56-bed residence hall (Winter Hall) was built in August 1983 to accommodate the growing number of students who were selecting ACCC. A physical fitness trail was constructed on campus in the summer of 1984, and in 1985, an 1800 square foot Activities Building was completed where students could go for recreation and winter indoor sports practices. A fitness center was constructed inside the Activities Building in 1989. That same year, the 15,000 square foot Technology Building was built. An Interactive Television studio was added to the Tech Building in 1998.
In the spring of 1991, the Burlingame Campus began operations in a 7,500 square foot building built in a cooperative venture between the City of Burlingame, the unified school district, and ACCC. Two modular units were added in 1995, providing six more classrooms. An addition that more than doubled the size of the original building was completed in the fall of 2001.
The college now enrolls approximately 2,500 students each semester in the programs offered on the campuses in Iola and Burlingame, over Interactive Television, on the Internet, and at the outreach sites located within the six-county service area. Allen will remain cognizant of the needs of its service area and responsive to those needs with new programs and services that can be implemented quickly, effectively, and efficiently.