Education on the “hill” in Cisco began in 1909 when O. C. Britton, prominent early-day educator, gained the support of far-sighted Cisco citizens in opening a private school known as Britton Training Institute. The school operated successfully until military involvement in World War I so depleted the number of students that it was forced to close.
In 1923, the Christian Church of Texas reopened the institution as Randolph College and operated it until 1932 as a four-year church related school. Financial difficulties plagued the college, and from 1932 until 1936 officials tried to keep the school open as a two-year junior college. When this effort ultimately failed, the college again was closed.
Cisco Junior College was actually established in 1940. On May 8, 1939, after months of planning and consultation with state officials, Cisco citizens succeeded in getting enacted into legislation a bill which created the college as a part of the Cisco Independent School District. R. N. Cluck, superintendent of Cisco schools, who had devoted years to the project, became its first president. Randolph College properties were purchased, the college was formally opened in September, 1939, and the first students were admitted in 1940. Such was the success of this venture that in 1956 the college was separated from the public schools and a Board of Regents was elected. Since that time the high quality, low cost, state supported educational programs have enabled the College to satisfy the needs of students from its service area and from across Texas and beyond.
During the early 1970’s, the College began offering classes in several locations in its designated service area, including Abilene, Clyde and Coleman. The Abilene location continued to grow even as the leased facilities used for classes changed several times over a period of years.
Ultimately, in 2004, Cisco Junior College opened a permanent location for the Abilene Educational Center, a 77,000 square foot facility owned by the College. The Center is located at the corner of Industrial Boulevard and Loop 322.
In 2009, the College dropped the “junior” designator from its name, becoming Cisco College. A 9,000 square foot addition was completed in 2011, which is used mainly as the home of the Nursing and Allied Health programs. In addition to these programs, academic degrees and career and technical certifications are offered. The College also works closely with the Texas Workforce Commission and many regional employers to provide both credit and non-credit classes in numerous career fields.