The college started on a modest note in October 1970 as Advanced Teachers College, with an initial intake of 67 students and six staff members. Its establishment was due mainly to increasing need to meet the acute shortage of post-primary teachers in the then North Western State. It was one of the first states owned Advance Teachers Colleges in the Federation.
During the first four years of its existence, the college occupied temporary premises behind Nagarta College, Sokoto, with limited facilities. It then moves to its (present) permanent site at Farfaru, along Birnin Kebbi Road in June 1974. With special attention given by the State Government, coupled with generous contributions from both UNICEF and the British Council towards the establishment of the main library and science laboratories, the college soon overcame its teething problems and was transformed into an active, progressive and a living centre of learning.
In June 1978, the college assumed an autonomous status as College of Education, Sokoto, as contained in the edict issued by the Sokoto State Government. The main objectives of establishing the college, according to the edict include the following.
i) To provide courses of study, training and research in arts, languages and sciences, leading to award of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).
ii) To provide avenue for Teacher in service course and curricular development.
In 1995, the college was re-named SHEHU SHAGARI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, SOKOTO. This was in honour of a renowned Educationalist and First Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usmanu Aliyu Shagari.
The Shehu Shagari College Of Education, Sokoto was established in 1970.