Humphreys University is a private, non-profit university with two campuses in California, one in Modesto and the other in Stockton, previously known as Humphreys College. Since 1896, it has been in continuous service to the central San Joaquin Valley, making it the first higher education institution in the state.
Although records show the existence of the school in Stockton as far back as 1875, when John R. Humphreys, Sr. took over the administration of Stockton Business College, Normal School, and Telegraphic Institute, Humphreys College dates its founding to 1896. When Humphreys died in 1937, the school's operation was taken over by his son, John R. Humphreys, Jr.
The name of the school changed several times, at one point known as the "Gas City Business College," before being taken over by the "Western School of Commerce" in 1901, which is 1920 merged with the "Heald's Business College" to become the "Stockton College of Commerce;" however, in 1947, the school incorporated the state of California as a non-profit institution of higher learning and took over the school.
The main campus of Humphreys in Stockton is situated in Sherwood's North Stockton neighborhood next to the shopping area of Stockton's Lincoln Center, shifting from a downtown location after the plant was completed in 1967. In 1987, in tandem with and on the Modesto Junior College campus, a new campus was built in Modesto, which later became a separate campus at its current location.
A Sacramento-area campus opened in 1990, absorbing the service (but not the business) of two closing court reporting schools, Unilex College and Careercom College of Business; however, this campus closed in 2001 under economic pressure from the recession of the early 2000s and dwindled enrollment.
In 2005, a partnership with the Stockton Unified School District produced the Institute of Business Management and Law, a charter high school located in the western campus building complex, graduating its final class in 2011, followed by the partnership's subsequent dissolution. Also, in 2005, the main campus in Stockton was re-dedicated to the community and underwent a remodeling along with a campus expansion of 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2), which included new undergraduate and law libraries, faculty and administrative offices, law school building and the Carcione Courtroom, dedicated to the late Joseph Carcione, Sr. by his son, local attorney Joseph W. Carcione, Jr.
Since gaining major transition approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in January 2009, the college started offering a new graduate program, the Master of Arts in Education, focused on Early Childhood Education and Educational Administration. At the end of 2009, the college created plans to demolish the former student housing and childcare buildings and expand another 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2), spreading the campus south to Quincy Street with additional parking space, classrooms, and community space; construction started in March 2010 and was completed in February 2011. The Modesto campus also doubled in capacity during 2010, using adjoining facilities vacated by the departure of the University of Phoenix as enrollment tripled from an all-time low from the 2007 academic year.
A new charter high school was proposed with the end of the Stockton Unified School District Partnership, using the existing facilities of the former Institute of Business Management and Law, with an estimated opening date for September 2011. The measure was unanimously defeated in a public board meeting by the Lincoln Unified School District, which was eventually approved under its Delta Charter by the New Jerusalem School District, allowing the Academy of Business, Law and Education to open as expected.