Following the implementation of free primary education which dates back to 1955 in the old Western Region of Nigeria of which Bendel State was a part, there was a very large number of first school leaving certificate holders.
Only a very significant percentage of these primary school leavers cold go beyond that level at that time owing to non-availability of enough secondary schools in addition to high school fees charged.
But in 1979, free education with free books was introduced by the defunct Bendel State Government. This led to a very high demand for secondary school education with qualified teachers. In response to this demand, Government opened many secondary schools and therefore needed more qualified teachers to service them.
The College of Education, Warri among others, was therefore established to help meet this need for qualified teachers for the new secondary schools.
The college was initially established as an Advanced Teachers' College at Ihogbe, Benin City on the 2nd October, 1979 by the defunct Bendel State Government. It operated from the premises of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), Benin City with Dr. H.S.A Aluyi as the founding Provost.
The College was officially opened on the 5th May 1980 by His Excellency, Late Professor Ambrose Alli, the Executive Governor of the State. On that day, the College was renamed College of Education, Ihogbe, Benin-City and the Government announced that it was only temporarily based in Ihogbe and in due course would be moved to its permanent site to be named later.
In August 1980, the Governor directed that the College should be moved to Warri. Consequently, on 9th February 1981, the college moved to its temporary site in Warri which shared a common boundary with Hussey College at Upper Erejuwa Road.
History was made Monday 16th September 1996, when on the eve of the re-accreditation visit by the NCCE, the academic board under pressure of accommodation problem and heightened inter-ethnic clashes, decided that some schools should move to the permanent site located along Airport Road, Warri. Thus, on that day, Schools of Arts and Social Sciences, Languages and Education moved to the permanent site. These schools occupied the ground floor of the then uncompleted applied science complex. Since then, development has been on-going. This site stretches from the Airport Road to the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Staff Housing Complex, Warri and covers approximately 27 hectares.
Over the past fifteen years the College has been running several programmes and has witnessed tremendous physical growth. It currently runs Degree programmes in Education and is fast expanding with a wide range of courses.
A sustained policy of encouraging staff development has produced a steady rise in staff qualification and quality.