Highland Community College (HCC), formerly known as Highland University, was founded by the act of Kansas Territorial Legislature in February 1858.
Reverend Samuel Irvin was the man behind the development of the institution, with Irvin Hall the first building on the campus.
In 1869, the first dormitory, named after Sophie Rubeti, was built. Initially, there were classes only up to the elementary level.
By 1870, John A. McAfee opened the public grade school in Highland, Kansas, but there were not enough students.
The school was financially stable during the period from 1885 to 1905 because of the gifts granted by a Highland banker, John Powers Johnson.
The school was renamed Highland College in June 1910. In 1921, the classes taken from the college were also credited by the Extension Division of the University of Kansas. By the following year, Highland has its own curriculum and activities.
Highland Community Junior College started an off-campus program in 1974, with evening courses offered in neighboring cities.
By 1980, the college had changed its name to Highland Community College, in order to show that the school offered vocational courses and basic freshmen and sophomore level courses.
Highland Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers four degrees and one certificate of achievement in specialized areas.
Today, there is a choice of overmore than 80 programs in various disciplines in arts, science, applied science, and general studies.