College’s Timeline


1926 Scottsbluff Junior College was established as part of the Scottsbluff Public School System with additional support from the Scottsbluff Chamber of Commerce. The College became inactive after only one year.

1929 Scottsbluff Junior College was reopened in September as part of the Scottsbluff Public School System. The College operated as part of that system until September 1932, when it became a public, two-year institution.

1933 The first commencement ceremony was held with 14 students. A two year teacher training program was added to the predominantly liberal arts transfer curriculum.

1940 Scottsbluff College moved from a group of rooms on the third floor of Scottsbluff Senior High School to a centrally located campus consisting of two older brick buildings, which had formerly served as an elementary school.

1948 The newest attraction to the college campus was the “Cougar Den” or the school cafeteria. The Den served an average of 60 home cooked meals on a daily basis.

1949 The Adult Education program was formally established by the Board of Education. 

1957 The Alliance School of Practical Nursing began at St. Josephs Hospital.

1965The Student Action Committee, comprised of SJC students and supported by a few faculty advisors, garnered community interest that eventually resulted in votes to expand the tax base from the city to Scotts Bluff County.  One year later, this Student Action Committee helped to pass a $1.7 million bond for a new college campus/building with overwhelming support. 

Western Nebraska Vocational Technical School was founded in Cheyenne County. The new campus was located at the former Sioux Army Depot, 12 miles west of Sidney. Classes began in 1966.

A work study program was established for students. To be eligible, a parent’s income could not exceed $3,000 annually, and a student would receive a salary of $1.25/hour. 

1968 Scotts Bluff College became Nebraska Western College.

1969 Nebraska Western College moved into its current facilities located at 1601 E. 27th Street in Scottsbluff. Along with the new building NWC opened an ultramodern 3-level dormitory to house 108 students. 

1971 Western Nebraska Vocational Technical School in Cheyenne County changed its name to Western Nebraska Technical College.

1973 The State Legislature formed the Western Technical Community College Area, which included Nebraska Western College, Western Nebraska Technical College, and the Alliance School of Practical Nursing. In the spring, Nebraska Western College was granted the initial accreditation by the North Central Association/Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

1974 Launch of the newest and at that time most active student organization on campus – Aztlan, dedicated to the promotion of Mexican-American cultural awareness and the encouragement of higher education among minority students.

1978 The Western Technical Community College Area Board of Governors placed all three entities into a single college, multiple campus setting.

1979 Alliance School of Practical Nursing hired a part-time coordinator and began offering a variety of general education and vocational classes in conjunction with Nebraska Western College in Scottsbluff.

1982 Alliance School of Practical Nursing merged with Nebraska Western College in Scottsbluff to become the Nebraska Western College of Practical Nursing Program.

1983 Western Nebraska Technical College in Cheyenne County became a candidate for Accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

1988 The Western Technical Community College Area Board of Governors discontinued the separate campus names and changed the name of the College to Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff Campus and Sidney Center.

1989 The Spectator, WNCC’s student newspaper, was named an  All-American Publication by the Associated College Press.

1991 The State Legislature changed the Area name to Western Community College Area.

1995 The Scottsbluff Campus expanded its facilities to include computer and distance learning classrooms and the applied technology building, and the Sidney Center moved to new facilities located at 371 College Drive in Sidney.

1997 Classes for the Sidney Aviation program began in the new aviation facility that was made possible through a partnership between the College, the City of Sidney, the Cheyenne County Airport Authority and the Western Nebraska Endowment Association.

1998 The Alliance Center relocated to the new Alliance Learning Center, constructed by the City of Alliance, adjacent to Alliance Public Schools.

WNCC introduced its first online course offering, Astronomy. 

2002 The College purchased a former call center located south of the Scottsbluff Campus and remodeled the facility now known as the John N. Harms Advanced Technology Center of Nebraska. The Center for Business and Industry for Western Nebraska Community College moved into this facility and continues to provide business and individual training for local businesses and industries.

2006 Through the power of partnerships, the Alliance Center, City of Alliance, and the electrical distribution industry in the Panhandle collaborated to develop the Powerline Construction and Maintenance Technology program. A new facility was built to house the program, located on Highway 2 east.

2007 In December 2007, the Western Community College Area Board of Governors voted to change the designation of the Sidney Site from Sidney Center to Sidney Campus and change the designation of the Alliance Site from Alliance Center to Alliance Campus.

2009 An addition to the Harms Center was completed as a joint partnership with ESU #13. This addition houses the Health Occupations and Criminal Justice programs on the Scottsbluff Campus, as well as a high and low bay for training. ESU #13’s alternative high school, virtual high school, and program fro students with intellectual disabilities are located here. 

2010 WNCC unveiled a new logo. Below is a look at past logos.

2014 The Sidney Campus broke ground on a housing facility to serve the needs of students desiring to live on campus. 

The Scottsbluff Campus expanded its housing facilities by renovating and adding a new addition to Pioneer Hall.

2016 WNCC launched its first major fundraising campaign. 

“WNCC Works: Expanding the Possibilities” seeks to receive private investment for three core initiatives: workforce success, student success, and community success.