In the spring of 1946, a group of local citizens met to form a steering committee for the purpose of establishing a junior college in Navarro County. In a general election held July 16, 1946, voters approved the creation of Navarro Junior College and authorized a county tax to help finance the institution. The first students began classes in September, 1946. Most of the 238 members of that first student body were returning veterans from World War II taking advantage of assistance available under the newly enacted GI Bill. The first campus of Navarro College was the site of the Air Activities of Texas, a World War II primary flight school located six miles south of Corsicana.
In 1951 the campus was moved to its present location, a 47-acre tract west of downtown Corsicana on State Highway 31. In 1954 Navarro was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The accreditation was reaffirmed in 1964, 1974, 1985, 1995, 2006 and again in 2016. In keeping with the new educational role, the word “junior” was dropped from the Institution’s name, and the official name Navarro College was adopted by the Board of Trustees. In an attempt to address the growing needs of its service area, which consists of Navarro, Ellis, Freestone, Limestone, and Leon counties,the College began offering courses in various locations in those areas in the early 1970s and eventually established two permanent centers, including Navarro College Ellis County Center at Waxahachie. In January 2006, a new campus in Midlothian opened to better serve students in the Midlothian area