1931 legislation authorized the establishment of junior colleges throughout the state of North Dakota. Cities with a population greater than 10,000 residents were allowed the opportunity first, but eventually the law was expanded (1941) to include cities with 5,000 or more residents.
The State Board of Higher Education approved an off-campus center in Williston in 1961. Until this point, UND had been offering extension classes (since 1957) and Williston State College (WSC) was established as the University of North Dakota - Williston in a contractual agreement between the University of Grand Forks and Williston School District #1. UND - Williston became the sole responsibility of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education on July 1, 1984.
1999 brought a change in legislation, expanding the college's mission to include workforce training to employers. Now an autonomous Community College, the school assumed the official title of Williston State College.
WSC has grown and its student body is currently comprised of more than 900 credit students, 4000+ non-credit Workforce Training students and over 100 faculty and staff.