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Vincennes University, located in Vincennes, Indiana, is best known to residents of Indiana as the state’s first college. As well, it is the 39th university ever to be created in the United States. William Henry Harrison, the first governor of the Indiana territory (and later 9th president of the U.S.) founded it in 1801, under the name Jefferson Academy. In 1806, the Indiana territorial legislature passed an act to rename Jefferson Academy as Vincennes University.

In 1889, Vincennes University made the transition from a four-year liberal arts college into a two-year junior college and trade school. By this act, it was one of the nation’s first institutions to recognize the roll of a junior college in the education system.

Today, Vincennes University is a model junior college, offering more than 150 associate degree programs and options. VU also offers seven extensive baccalaureate degrees in specialized fields, mainly centering upon computer technology. The university is mainly funded by state grants and private donations. It is one of only a handful of junior colleges in Indiana. It also offers joint-admission programs with Southern Indiana University and Ball State University. VU has also branched out to include a second campus at Jasper, Indiana, and extension sites at the Indianapolis International Airport and the Indiana School for the Deaf, which is also located in Indianapolis.

The school has also been undergoing renovations to many departments, both architecturally and educationally. By the fall of 2008, it hopes to be fully recognized once again as a four-year institution that offers baccalaureate degrees in all fields, as well as masters and doctorates programs in specialty areas. By 2010, it hopes to have extended its campuses, both at Vincennes and at Jasper to include at least 80 more acres combined. It will also have completed construction on its state of the art Red Skelton Performing Arts Center on the Vincennes campus by the fall of 2006.

It has many of the major intercollegeit sports, including basketball, cross country, track and field, tennis, golf, and swimming/diving, all for both men and women, as well as women's vollyball and men's baseball. The school's team name is the Trailblazers, a reference to the school's historic past. Most of the sports programs are strong pressences in the NJCAA, and both men and women's basketball and men's baseball teams hold national titles.

Vincennes University enrolls approximately 5,000 to 7,000 students each year, which includes extension campus, Internet, and distance learning students. The school boasts of an excellent Honors Program and a networked military learning, or ROTC, program. Because it is such a small school, many class sizes are 25 members or less. It is a relatively cheap school, at about $1500 a semester, including the price of books. It makes a great start to a great college education in the state of Indiana.

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