North Central Missouri College is located in a community that has long valued the benefits of higher education, as college opportunities have been a tradition in Grundy County for more than 150 years. Grand River College, organized in 1850, was the first school west of the Mississippi to open its doors to women. The second institution, Trenton College, opened in 1867, and it was followed by Avalon College in 1890. Ruskin College, organized by Englishman Walter Vrooman, became the center of a socialistic educational experiment in the Trenton area. All these early institutions are defunct.
North Central Missouri College, formerly Trenton Junior College, was founded in 1925 and is the second oldest publicly-supported community college in Missouri. At its inception, it was part of a K-14 education system operated by a joint Board of Education/Board of Trustees and a school superintendent/college president.
For more than 40 years the College was located on the top floor of Trenton High School in a building located on East Ninth Street in Trenton. The College shared facilities, administration and staff with the high school in that building, but in 1967 the College moved to the former Central School Building on Main Street near downtown Trenton. That building is now known as Geyer Hall.
Trenton Junior College officially became an independent entity by action of the voters at a municipal election in April 1986, and its first Board of Trustees was sworn in and seated in July 1986. In July 1988, the College’s name was changed to North Central Missouri College to better reflect its mission to serve all the citizens in its assigned 16-county service region in northwest Missouri.
Today, North Central Missouri College continues to exemplify the values of higher education traditionally important to the citizens it serves. September 2025 will mark its 100th anniversary.