Established in 1965, Algoma University has undergone many changes since the early days when the then Algoma College first began offering courses out of a few portables on the campus of what is now Sault College.
Initially an affiliate of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Algoma College began offering classes in 1967, and seized an opportunity for growth by moving into the former Shingwauk Residential School building in 1971, one year after the residential school closed its doors. Algoma College became Algoma University College, still affiliated with Laurentian, with the mandate to offer university programming to residents of Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area. Many programs required students to take the final year in Sudbury on the Laurentian campus, but over time program offerings and courses grew until many students were able to complete their degrees in Sault Ste. Marie.
In 2008, Algoma University was established as an independent, degree-granting institution when the Provincial Government passed the Algoma University Act. As stated in the Act, “the objects of the University are the pursuit of learning through scholarship, teaching and research within a spirit of free enquiry and expression.” In addition, the University has a special mission to be a teaching-oriented, primarily undergraduate university focused on the needs of Northern Ontario, and also to “cultivate cross-cultural learning between aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University College and its geographic site.”