Founded in 1961, at the request of local School District 206, Alexandria Area Vocational Technical School was established through community support and state funding. The school opened with 3 programs and 21 students. Focused on technical education, the school offered Carpentry, Farm Equipment Mechanics, and Machine Shop.
Through the years, the college has experienced as many name changes as it has presidents, but the college's integrity has been upheld and fostered by its leadership. ATCC's reputation for quality instruction and service to its students has followed it through being an area vocational technical school to being Alexandria Technical & Community College. Through the many name changes, the college also shifted from being under the local school district to being a state college within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 1995.
The college has never wavered from its focus on exceptional technical education while operating as a comprehensive college. ATCC was the first two year college in Minnesota to be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its focus on excellence has allowed ATCC to better serve its community, partners, and its students through a diverse mix of academic programs.