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MCTC Turns 100

MCTC Centennial symbolMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will officially turn 100 years old this December 14, which marks a century of providing opportunities through education.

MCTC was founded by Elizabeth Fish in 1914. She served as the founding principal of Girls’ Vocational High School (Vocational). The goals were to serve girls who would not likely enter or finish high school, provide a trade education and ultimately allow participants to earn a living wage upon successful completion of a chosen program. Immediately the school model proved successful; enrollment grew tenfold, courses multiplied and Vocational expanded to admit male students in 1921.

“MCTC has a long history of serving underrepresented students, whether they be young women in the early 1900s, new immigrants, first-generation students, students of color or low-income students,” said Avelino Mills-Novoa, interim president. “The College has built a foundation out of helping people create better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. For nearly 100 years, MCTC has been working to close the educational and employment gap that exists in our community. This continues to be our purpose and plan for the next 100 years.”


During the late 1950s and 1960s, Vocational was Minneapolis Public Schools’ largest single institution and was at the forefront of expansion for technical occupations. Trade preparation at Vocational enabled students to train for careers in numerous fields. During the 1959–1960 school year it served 6,369 high school students, 473 post-high school students and 10,741 adult evening students, with a teaching staff of 205. During the 1960s and early 1970s, enrollment at Vocational among males, veterans and high school graduates rose dramatically. In response, the school began to change its emphasis to post-secondary.

Concurrently, Metropolitan State Junior College (Metro) opened in 1965 as a two-year educational alternative to four-year universities. Both Metro and Vocational schools continued to grow and eventually shared facilities and combined many programs. In 1996, the two schools merged to become Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

MCTC Today

Although the exact number of alumni is unknown, MCTC currently serves 14,000 students annually in credit and non-credit programs. The College offers more than 130 degree, diploma and certificate options for students at its location on the edge of Downtown Minneapolis. Students can choose from more than 100 career and technical programs, and several liberal arts programs designed for transfer to four-year colleges or universities.

Centennial Gala and Information

The College is hosting a gala fundraising celebration on Saturday, Nov. 15. Reservations are required. For more information about MCTC’s gala celebration, history, stories and facts, or to make a donation, visit our Centennial page.