The fourth oldest community college in Michigan, Muskegon Junior College was established in 1926 by the Muskegon Board of Education. Originally housed on the third floor of then-new Muskegon Senior High School, the College as well as the high school enrollment had grown beyond the capacity of a single building by 1934.
The Junior College moved into the former Hackley School in downtown Muskegon across from Hackley Park. The building was presented to Muskegon Public Schools by local businessman and Charles H. Hackley after fire had destroyed the original Central School. He believed that a community was obliged to offer its youth the kind of training which would enable them to earn a good livelihood and at the same time contribute to the well-being of the community.
Until June 1951, the Junior College was primarily geared to those students intending to complete at least four years of college. Muskegon’s reputation in this field of the “college transfer” program was an enviable one, and continues to be so today. After an enabling act by the Michigan Legislature, the name and educational scope of the College was changed. “Muskegon Junior College” became “Muskegon Community College,” thereby reflecting the expanded nature of the College’s programs.
The College now served a larger number of students with a wider variety of interests. Courses were added in retailing, the vocations, the technical fields, public health, and the trades. These courses enabled young men and women to prepare themselves for a specific field of employment in two years of training beyond high school. There was no shrinking of the transfer program, only an expanded curriculum to serve a larger segment of the community.