History of Trinidad State

When Trinidad State Junior College opened in April of 1925, it was Colorado’s first community college. In the beginning the college shared space and faculty with Trinidad High School. It started with 37 students, compared to about 1,800 now.

By 1935 classes were moved to a newly remodeled Tillotson Academy building. That building sat just east of the present-day Berg Building, but has since been torn down. The 17-acre Trinidad Campus now includes 15 buildings, plus two more in Alamosa and a handful of off-campus training sites.

Trinidad State continues to offer traditional programs of study in academic-transfer areas, such as accounting, business administration, English, chemistry, mathematics and psychology. Those students often continue their education at a four-year school. Trinidad State also offers a wide range of career and technical training in programs like gunsmithing, cosmetology, massage therapy, welding, diesel mechanics, auto mechanics and nursing.

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Historical Highlights

  • The bill that established Trinidad State Junior College in 1925 was sponsored by State Senator Sam Freudenthal, for whom the campus library is now named
  • In the beginning classes were taught at Trinidad High School by high school teachers, but college students were not allowed to mingle with high school students
  • By 1932 a full two years of classes were offered allowing the first eight students to earn two year degrees in May of 1933
  • In the spring of 1940 construction began on what is now the Berg Administration Building
  • In the fall of 1940 construction began on what is now Scott Gymnasium
  • Trinidad State’s gunsmithing progam began in 1947 and is now regarded as the premier gunsmithing program in the United States
  • Trinidad State was accepted into the Colorado Community College System in 1968
  • In 1994 Trinidad State merged with the San Luis Valley Educational Center in Alamosa, creating the Trinidad State Valley Campus
  • Selected as first NRA Certified Training Center in 2015