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Our History

The roots of York College of Pennsylvania reach deep into the history of the York, Pa. community. The College can trace its ancestry back to three institutions: York County Academy, York Collegiate Institute and York Junior College.

York Junior College

Transformation through the yearsLooking back

  • York County Academy

    York County Academy: 1787

    The Rev. John Andrews opens a small school within St. John's Episcopal Church to teach the predominantly German-speaking population English and the Classics. This would grow to be the York County Academy, a primary and secondary school. In 1787, it is granted a charter at the behest of Rev. John C. Campbell.

  • York Collegiate Institute

    York Collegiate Institute: 1871 & 1929

    1871: Samuel and Isabella Small purchased a "quarter square of land" on the corner of Duke Street and College Avenue and fund the establishment of a private preparatory school. The Institute is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and a library, it's collection personally chosen by Isabella Small. 

    1929: The York County Academy moves to the York Collegiate Institute building, and the schools enter into a reciprocal teaching agreement. 

  • York Junior College

    York Junior College: 1941

    1941: York Junior College opens its doors on October 3rd as York's "community" college, offering higher education for the area. Tuition costs $425 a year. 

    1944: Terminal vocational courses are offered. They include engineering, pre-medical, and radio technology. 

    1961: As a result of increased enrollment, a new campus is built on Country Club Road. 

  • York College of Pennsylvania

    York College of Pennsylvania: 1969

    1968: York Junior College becomes York College of Pennsylvania. 

    1971: The first class of York College graduates. There were 83 bachelor degrees awarded.

  • Want to know more?

    Want to know more about our history?

    Want to know more about York College's rich history? Buy this must-have book written by Carol McCleary Innerst '57 to learn more.

    (Available on


Contact Us
Archives and Special Collections
Karen Rice-Young
Schmidt Library
Phone: 717.815.1439
By appointment only.

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