Jordanhill College of Education had its origin in the transfer of the responsibility for teacher education from church to state. Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1872 the control of schools in Scotland passed from heritors and kirk sessions to local school boards, but the churches continued to be responsible for teacher training colleges. By the early 20th century, however, this was an increasing financial burden for religious bodies and there was a need to increase student numbers to train teachers for secondary schools. Negotiations began to transfer the training colleges to secular control. Four provincial committees were formed in January 1905 based on the notional provinces served by the four ancient Scottish universities. These provincial committees were reconstituted in 1920 under the control of a National Committee for the Training of Teachers, acting through a Central Executive Committee. The Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers took over the Church of Scotland and United Free Church Training Colleges in 1907 and at first operated the combined college, the Glasgow Provincial Training College, on two sites at Dundas Vale and Stow.
The committee was keen to find a new site for the college and the choice fell on the estate of Jordanhill, the property of Sir James Parker Smith, MP. The sale was concluded in 1911 and work began on the training college building, a student hostel and a demonstration school. The move to the Jordanhill site took place in 1921 and the college was known as Jordanhill Training College from that date. The Glasgow Provincial Committee and the Central Executive Committee continued to administer the college until 1959 when under revised teacher training regulations, Jordanhill was constituted an independent college of education under its own board of governors.
In the post war era, student numbers increased dramatically, reaching a high point of 3500 full-time students in the early 1970s and later stabilising at around 2600 FTE (2000 FT). There was enormous pressure on accommodation and, between 1958 and 1973, new buildings were erected for technical education, science and physical education, and the Crawfurd and Wood buildings provided more generous general teaching accommodation, a theatre and a new, spacious library.
In 1981, the college merged with Hamilton College of Education. Later, in 1993, it merged with Strathclyde University, becoming the University's Faculty of Education.