1969 Vocational Technical Centers were established by the Montana Legislature in Great Falls, Butte, Helena, Missoula and Billings to offer employment training in vocational and technical fields including adult education, licensed practical nursing, dental assisting and food services. Original governance was under the Great Falls School District. 
1971 Programs were physically consolidated into two elementary schools (Largent and Washington) and administered as the Great Falls Vocational Technical Center. The Center was governed by the Office of Public Instruction and administered by policy regulation of the local board of trustees of the Great Falls Public Schools-District A.
1973 A plan for land acquisition and building construction of a unified center was approved for $4,000,000; $2,000,000 state monies and $2,000,000 local monies.
1975 On March 12, building construction began on 35 acres of land located at 2100 16th Avenue South.
1976 The Center building was completed in December, 1976.

Accreditation by Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges

1986 Commencement exercises were established to include all students finishing their programs and were held at the end of each academic term. This replaced graduation ceremonies for each program.
1987 In July, the State Legislature delegated the general administration and supervisory control of Montana’s five vocational-technical centers to the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education.
1989 In August, the Board of Regents approved an articulation agreement between the Great Falls Vocational-Technical Center and Northern Montana College to offer two Associate of Science degrees, Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, in Great Falls.
1990 The Center was granted the authority to award Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Allied Health, Business and Office Technology and Trades and Technology. The Center converted from quarter to semester credits.
1991 Received a five-year grant to pilot the Tech Prep program in Montana. The North Central Montana Tech Prep Consortium was formed with articulation agreements in place with forty-one high schools throughout Montana to allow high school students to complete courses that are transcripted toward a two-year associate of applied science degree at the College of Technology–Great Falls.
1994 On July 1, the Center became affiliated with Montana State University and renamed ‘Montana State University College of Technology – Great Falls. Governance of the Montana University System remains headed by the Board of Regents with state public postsecondary institutions affiliated with both the University of Montana and Montana State University reporting to the Regents.

The Great Falls Higher Education Center was identified by Commissioner Jeffrey Baker as being located at the MSU College and the Dean of the College was appointed as Director of the GF Higher Education Center.

Reaffirmed as an accredited institution by the Northwest Commission of Schools and Colleges.

Developed a partnership with the Montana Job Service to provide student placement through a counselor located on campus.

Developed a partnership to provide distance education through METNET, a two-way interactive video system.



Will Weaver appointed Dean.

The College of Technology established a customized training office off-campus        

Approval of the Associate Degree by the Board of Regents.

Received funding through MSU–Bozeman for architectural services to establish a building plan for the completion of the unfinished portion of the College.

MSU’s President, Dr. Michael Malone, in conjunction with the Dean of the College of Technology named an Institutional Advisory Board made up of Great Falls business leaders to give input to chart the course for the College of Technology and for two-year education in the Great Falls area.

1996 The College of Technology was approved to deliver technical programs to Bozeman.
Groundwork was laid to seek approval for the Associate of Science Degree with articulations to 4-year colleges.

Development of the MSU College of Technology Customized Training Center downtown co-located with High Plains Development Authority, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the Business Improvement District.

1997 Planning the upcoming renovation project was a campus-wide effort. Completion is slated for August 1999.

1,465 people were served through customized training opportunities in 1997. 571 students attended computer seminars.

Initial efforts were made to develop the College as a Regional Cisco Academy to offer training to both college students and high school teachers.

Groundbreaking for B-Wing/South Court building project (September)

New Program: Web Development Technology

Enrollment reached a record 1,000 students fall semester 1998.




The B-Wing/South Court building project was completed Spring Semester

The first Med Prep Conference to prepare high school students for health careers was held.

Banner 2000 was adopted to handle payroll, student records, financial aid and business office data.

The first Storefront University was held downtown in October.

There were 12 Internet courses offered fall semester 1999 with 157 enrollments.

Health Information Technology courses were developed to be offered over METNET interactive video.

2000 New Programs: Surgical Technology and Dental Hygiene

A shortage of teachers prompted Pathways to Elementary Education - a partnership with MSU–Northern.

The College was named a Cisco Regional Academy.

Mary Moe appointed Dean/CEO.

2002 Health Information Technology was made available entirely online.

Enrollment in Internet classes represented 17% of the College’s total FTE.
2003 Design Drafting Technology awarded its first AAS degree.

52% of the College’s full-time faculty now teach online.

3 community members were appointed by Governor Martz to serve as the College’s Executive Committee.

FY03 Student average age = 29.8
2004 First class of 14 students graduated with an AAS in Dental Hygiene.

The Associate of Arts (AA) degree was approved by the Regents.

The College was awarded the RITE grant from the National Science Foundation to focus on information technology education.

Online offerings were added to face-to-face dual credit courses available to high schools.
2005 The College piloted a Certificate in Creative Arts Enterprise, laying the foundation for workforce development in the creative sector.

House Bill 540 secured $11 million for a new addition to the campus.

The College initiated the AAS degree in Aviation at the College of Technology in Bozeman.
2006 An AAS in Radiological Technology was approved. The program is a cooperative effort with Benefis Healthcare. The Physical Therapist Assistant program was brought out of moratorium.

A Groundbreaking Ceremony celebrated the  facilities renovation and building project due for completion in late 2007.

FY06  Average Age 28.4
2007 A Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction and Industrial Trades Building was held on August 27.

The College Planning, Budget and Analysis Committee (CPBAC) was formed with representation from all major constituencies on campus to ensure that the College’s progress toward its mission is on target, tracked, and appropriately funded.

Outcomes assessment has engaged faculty and staff campus-wide. The measurement of student learning is the focus of this ongoing, integrated effort.

Enrollment at the College reached 1,212, including the College of Technology at Bozeman.

Average student age = 26

On January 9, students and faculty participating in Orientation Day were invited to attend a Flag Ceremony to commemorate our military students and staff. The flag that was raised had been flown over the US Capitol on Veteran’s Day, 2007.

On January 16, the first day of semester, a ceremony was held to welcome students and inform them of the changes on campus.

A grand opening of the new building expansion was held on February 12 with the theme ‘Look How Far We’ve Come.’ Over 350 people attended.

Welding and Carpentry programs began in the new Construction and Industrial Trades building fall semester 2008. The Medical Assistant program was brought out of moratorium.


Joe Schaffer appointed as Interim Dean / CEO. Weaver Library dedicated in honor of Will and Nancy Weaver.

$1.9 m grant was received to promote wind energy curriculum and infrastructure through statewide partnerships.

Funding received from the legislature for Child Care Center and Simulated Hospital.

The Great Falls Public Schools Adult Basic Literacy Education Program (ABLE) moved to the MSU – Great Falls Campus.

New Program: Graphic Design


Waded Cruzado appointed as President of Montana State University.

Dr. Joe Schaffer accepted a permanent appointment as Dean/CEO of MSU - Great Falls.

A 50kW wind turbine was installed.

Montana State University approved to administrate the two-year programs in Bozeman through the Gallatin College Programs (formerly the MSU – Great Falls’ extension, College of Technology in Bozeman)

New Programs: Sustainable Energy Technology, Pharmacy Technician


Common Ground Operational Plan put into effect.

Dedication of the Simulated Hospital on November 29.

Dr. Joe Schaffer announces that he will depart to take the Presidency of Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, WY in January 2012. Dr. Gwen Joseph appointed as Interim Dean/CEO.

Fundraising goal for beginning construction on Child Development Center is reached.

Program closed: Auto Body Collision and Repair

New Programs: ASN – Registered Nurse program and Dietetic Technician approved – will start fall 2012.


Dr. Gwen Joseph appointed as Interim Dean/CEO in January 2012.

Child development Center Groundbreaking

The Board of Regents renamed the College as Great Falls College Montana State University on June 28

Dr. Susan J. Wolff began her term as CEO/Dean of the College on July 16

Child Development Center construction completed in December 2012

New logo approved

Program changes:  Nursing program on temporary hold for FY2013; Welding program ramps up for anticipated worker demand in community



Bright Beginnings Learning Center opened in January

First annual Project Homeless Connect led by Dental Hygiene students

Issksiniip Native American Enrichment Center opened in February

Community surveyed to lay foundation for Academic Master Plan

Planning began for Strategic Enrollment Management