WSU-Rochester on Broadway campus at night with centennial logo

WSU-Rochester History

In 1987, Winona State University expanded its reach with education courses taught in Rochester, bringing new academic opportunities to the southeast Minnesota area. As the 20th century progressed, so did WSU’s undergraduate programming in the Rochester. Courses within the College of Business, Nursing, and Health and Science were added to the available offerings and students were able to continue their education with graduate and a doctorate programs in nursing and education disciplines.

These courses were held in a variety of locations across the city until the Winona building was opened on the Rochester Community and Technical College campus in 1986. All WSU-Rochester residential faculty, staff and programs were moved to the Winona building where they are still housed today.

During this time, past WSU President, Thomas Stark, and leadership at RCTC collaborated to create the 2+2 programs. The 2+2 programs, also known as Path to Purple, were designed for students to begin their higher education at RCTC and complete their bachelor’s degree through WSU-Rochester.

Since 1986, WSU has not only partnered with the RCTC campus but also with many other organizations and locations throughout SE MN. WSU-Rochester currently offers courses and learning experiences for students via Riverside Elementary-Rochester, downtown at the Riverside building, LaCrescent, Austin and Byron-- with more off-site opportunities to come.

2017 marks WSU-Rochester’s 100 year anniversary celebration, and we look forward to continuing to provide outstanding educational opportunities in Rochester and beyond.