In the early 1960's, a Master Plan for Higher Education in Illinois was developed and included recommendations concerning the development of an improved system of higher education in Illinois. Subsequently, many of these recommendations were written into the Illinois Public Junior College Act which passed the state legislature on June 29.1965, and was signed into law on July 15, 1965. The Public Junior College Law provided for the establishment of Junior College Districts in Illinois by direct vote of the people in a given area. Junior College District 501 was established on October 16, 1965, including all of Marion County, all of Clinton County, most of Washinton County, and part of Jefferson County. This district has since been expanded to include most of Bond, much of Fayette and parts of St. Clair, Madison and Montgomery counties. Kaskaskia College was the first Class I Junior College to be established under provisions of the Public Junior College Act of the State of Illinois. Kaskaskia College, Junior College District 501, encompassed all of Centralia Junior College which has been established as a part of Centralia High School District in 1940. Consequently, Centralia Junior College ceased to exist as a legal entity on July 1, 1966, when Kaskaskia College assumed responsibility for the education program.