Highland Community College, the first college in Kansas, provides lifelong learning opportunities and contributes to economic development to enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve.
Highland Community College began as Highland University in 1858, making it the first college in Kansas. After eight name changes, the college has now provided higher education opportunities to the people of Northeast Kansas for more than 165 years. The college has traditionally prepared students to continue their studies at baccalaureate institutions. Studies conducted at the Regents universities in Kansas show that students who begin their college careers at HCC and then transfer do as well or better academically as all other students who transfer to those universities and those who start there.
Approximately 4,000 students (1,699 FTE) are enrolled on the main campus (Highland), at regional centers in Atchison, Baileyville, and Wamego, through HCC Online, or concurrently at one of the 31 high schools in HCC’s nine-county service area. The main campus is located in a small, rural Northeast Kansas community surrounded by agricultural land. The main campus has 22 apartment-style residence halls, thriving athletics programs, and active student life. Across all of its locations, HCC offers 14 different Associate degrees and 16 technical certificates.
The history and mission of the college can best be described as providing opportunities for higher education that citizens in the region would not have had otherwise. Whether as a conduit to a four-year degree, for professional enhancement, or personal development, the college has provided affordable access to higher education in Northeast Kansas.
The college is governed by a six-member Board of Trustees elected from Doniphan County and is coordinated by the Kansas Board of Regents.