To serve the racially segregated public schools in the coal camps, progressive citizens of both races worked together to establish Bluefield Colored Institute, a ―high graded school for Negroes,‖ in 1895. The institution thereafter evolved into a black teacher‘s college, adopting formal teacher training in 1909 and was renamed ―Bluefield State Teachers College‖ in 1931. The name ―Bluefield State College‖ was adopted in 1943, reflecting a growth in the number and diversity of the institution‘s academic programs.
Bluefield State College was integrated after 1954. By the 1960s, the College had a comprehensive four year program of teacher education, arts and sciences, and engineering technology. Gradually, a variety of two year technical programs evolved in response to local needs.
Bluefield State College has emerged as a four year state supported college with a primary academic emphasis in professional and technical programs. The liberal arts offerings of the College are designed to enhance its unique mission.