Established by an Act of Parliament in 1974, The College was created through the amalgamation of four institutions: The Bahamas Teachers' College, San Salvador Teachers' College, C. R. Walker Technical College and the sixth form programme of The Government High School. In June 1995, landmark legislation was passed granting The College full autonomy of its affairs and an expanded mandate, establishing a new era.
After nearly thirty-nine years of serving The Bahamas, first as a two year institution, then as a four year degree-granting College, The College of The Bahamas expects to become The University of The Bahamas – a goal which was foreshadowed when The College was created in 1974.
As it transitions to university status, the institution will continue to deliver excellent undergraduate teaching while developing new undergraduate and graduate programmes, increasing research and innovation activities, and focusing its work in areas crucial to national development.
In the Fall 2010 Semester The College launched its first graduate degree programme, a Master of Business Administration. The Small Island Sustainability baccalaureate degree programme was also a landmark academic development for The College of The Bahamas. Launched in the Fall 2009 Semester, the programme offers four degree alternatives in areas pertinent to development in small island states: Bachelor of Arts degrees in Ecotourism and Development; and in Policy Studies; also Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental and Ecosystem Management; and Integrated Development Planning.
The College has also facilitated seven graduate degree programmes in partnership with colleges and universities abroad; and collaborates with partner institutions in the offering of bachelor of law and bachelor of pharmacy degree programmes. Graduate programmes have included: MA in Health Administration (Western Connecticut State University), MEd in School Counselling (Kent State University), MA in Teaching & Learning with Technology (Ashford University), MLIS in Library & Information Sciences (University of South Florida), MEd in Special Education (Kent State University), MEd in Educational Administration (Kent State University) and MSc in Early Childhood & Elementary Teaching (Wheelock College).
Student enrolment measures around the 5,000 mark, and The College boasts an alumni base of more than 11,000. Research and its growing emphasis has also been a major development of institutional growth. The institution has also expanded its international partnerships and is affiliated with organizations including the American Association of Colleges & Universities Council on Education; American College Student Personnel Association International; American Library Association; Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions; Association of Caribbean Universities, Research and Institutional Libraries; Caribbean Association of Law Libraries; Institute of International Education; International Association of Law Libraries; International Association of Universities and International Federation of Library Associations.