Founded in 1953, as Keokuk Community College, the college was part of the Keokuk Public School system. When the college opened there was 53 students enrolled in liberal arts courses.
After becoming part of Southeastern Community College, the South Campus continued to operate in the same facilities, which were rented from the public school district. As career education programs were added to the predominantly liberal arts and pre-professional programs, facilities were rented in downtown locations.
In the fall of 1974 land was purchased for the construction of College facilities. The 28,000 square foot facilities were constructed, and classes began meeting at this location in 1975.
A Shops building containing 12,000 square feet of floor space was added to the campus facility during the 1981-82 school year. This building provides excellent shop areas for vocational studies.
Since 1990, three new buildings containing approximately 30,000 square feet have been constructed on the South Campus. Adkins Hall houses administrative offices, faculty offices, and the Bookstore. Barr-Wittenmyer Hall houses the FoodService and Cafeteria area, the Library, and a child care facility, which is managed by an outside provider. Gardner Hall houses classrooms, an art lab, a music lab, a learning center, and faculty offices. All three buildings are connected with enclosed walkways. In conjunction with this construction, approximately 5,000 square feet of "V" Building (now known as Boles Hall) was remodeled to provide updated computer and science labs, as well as faculty offices. This building also contains shop and maintenance areas. With the completion of these projects, removal of five of the pre-fabricated structures that previously comprised the South Campus was accomplished. One of the original structures remained following this construction and housed the business and nursing programs.
In the fall of 1992, Union Electric Company provided a landscaping plan and the materials and plants to landscape the entire South Campus. Approximately 250 shrubs, trees and other plantings were made on the campus.
In the Spring of 1996, the remaining South Campus modular structure was demolished, and construction began on Emeritus Hall. This 16,300 square foot building was completed for Spring Semester 1997, and houses the Office Technology, Business and Nursing Programs, classrooms, faculty offices, and enclosed walkways to the other campus structures.