Founded in 1946, Southwestern Illinois College was originally known as Belleville Junior College and operated under the jurisdiction of Belleville Township High School District 201. That year, the institution enrolled 169 students for its first fall class, more than 60 percent of whom were young veterans of World War II. The Illinois General Assembly passed the Junior College Act in 1965, and in 1966, area voters approved a referendum establishing the Class I Belleville Junior College District 522. Construction of the college’s Belleville Campus was completed in 1971. The Sam Wolf Granite City Campus was established in 1983 at the site of the former Granite City North High School. A community effort led to the construction of the Red Bud Campus in 1985. The campus building and property were deeded officially to the college in 1997.
On Jan. 1, 2000, the college name changed to Southwestern Illinois College, a name that represents the region we serve.
Today, we operate an extensive instructional network with campuses in Belleville, Granite City and Red Bud, an Industrial Training Center at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, and over 20 off-campus sites, most of which are located in district high schools. The three main campuses are linked by video telecommunications, enabling an instructor at one campus to teach and interact with students at all three campuses simultaneously.
Southwestern Illinois College takes seriously its role as a community college, offering services beyond traditional classroom instruction. The college’s Programs and Services for Older Persons (PSOP), funded largely through federal, state and local grants, has offered programs to promote independent, productive living for area seniors since 1973.
Also, the college offers customized corporate and career training opportunities to help area business and industry maintain its competitive edge in the world marketplace.