Alvin Community College was established in 1948 as Alvin Junior College. The college and the Alvin Independent School District had the same boundaries. The system's 6-4-4 plan, which provided six grades in elementary school, four grades in junior high, and four grades in high school and college, was the first such plan in Texas. The registrar was elected president of the Texas Junior College Teachers Association in 1950, and in 1951 AJC was chosen to participate in a Kellogg Foundation cooperative program. In 1959 the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools granted AJC full membership. Two years before court-ordered integration, the college provided adult education for Blacks.
With the implementation of additional programs in 1965, expansion was necessary. In 1966 the college moved to its new million-dollar plant on its sixty-acre campus, and the first Texas prison extension program began at the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon with AJC faculty teaching sixty inmates on Saturdays. By 1983 the college's inmate enrollment was more than 1,000.
During the 1970s two new programs brought distinction to the college. The Texas legislature provided a special appropriation to establish a court-reporting program in 1975. Within a decade it became the largest department of the college and was attracting students nationwide. In 1978 Alvin Junior College, in cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin, became the first community college in the United States involved in geothermal exploration.
In 1971 AJC became a separate administration and tax district. An elected board of trustees assumed the management, control, and operation of the district and in 1975 approved an $8 million bond issue for major expansion. The college was renamed Alvin Community College in 1976. ACC continues to expand its programs and to increase its enrollment. The college is respected for its University Parallel and Occupational-Technical programs, which prepare students for universities and for skilled job markets. It is also involved in community services. ACC facilities are available for community use, even as a disaster shelter. In the fall of 1998 the college had an enrollment of 3,435. Also in 1998, the college opened the Pearland College Center in the former C. J. Harris Elementary School in Pearland.