The National Labor College is the only accredited higher education institution in the United States devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders, and staff. It was established as a training center by the AFL-CIO in 1969 to strengthen union member education and organizing skills. The NLC became a degree-granting college in 1997 and in March 2004 gained accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Since its founding, more than 200,000 union officers and members have taken one or more of its courses; over 1,100 B.A. degrees in labor studies have been granted.
The College announced its intention to sell its campus in 2012, and continue its work as an online program only.