Opened in 1965 as the Alberta Vocational Centre (AVC) in Fort McMurray. The official opening ceremonies were held on January 26, 1966. The college opened under the name "Keyano" in 1975. Keyano is a Cree word that roughly translated means "sharing". The original slogan for the College was adapted from that to be "Yours, Mine and Ours".
In 1978 Keyano College went public and became a community college, when the province appointed a Board of Governors to serve as the decision-making body for the institution.
Keyano College has grown to become a modern series of buildings on many campuses.
Major building completions over the years include:
- Riedel Place Family Housing (1976)
- MacKenzie Campus (Heavy Industrial Campus) (1977) renamed Suncor Energy Industrial Campus in 2001
- Clearwater Campus (1981) with additions of Clearwater Hall Single Student Housing and the Nursing Wing in 1983, and the Power Engineering Wing in 1985
- Fort Chipewyan Campus (1986)
- Norm Weiss Arts Centre (1989)
- Bob Lamb Industry Education Centre (1993)
- Family Housing Complex (Penhorwood Place) (2001)
- Syncrude Technology Center (2003)
- Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre (2007)