Directory of Community Colleges
We have assembled community college programs from across the country in a single resource page to help you deftly navigate the community college landscape. Community college programs have changed significantly in the past decade in terms of breadth, depth, mode of delivery and quality. There are nearly fifteen hundred community colleges around the country and most schools have added online learning modules & degree programs to meet the evolving demand.
Facts About Community Colleges
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Digest of Education Statistics, the following fast facts will help you understand the breadth and depth of the community college system:
- Number of Community Colleges in the United States: 1,462
- Public Community Colleges: 1,047
- Private Community Colleges: 415
- Top 5 States with the Largest Number of public Community Colleges
- North Carolina
- New York
- Approximately 62% of community colleges in the United States have an open admissions policy compared to 7.5% of public 4-year colleges
- Fully 47% of all students enrolled in public higher education institutions were enrolled in a community college
- Latest data found from the NCES shows nearly 30% of students enrolled in a community college transferred to a 4-year college or university. Of those students, nearly 40% earned an associate’s degree prior to transferring to a 4-year college or university.
- The NCES report of a longitudinal study of community college students shows fully 63% of graduates received an increase in pay and 71% had improved job responsibilities.
In response to the overwhelming demand in the marketplace, from students and employers, community colleges around the country have rolled out online learning opportunities. Online learning, also known as distance learning, has grown by leaps and bounds thus providing another medium for learning. Learning opportunities at community colleges may include additional credits, continuing education, certificate programs, and associate degree programs. In fact, there are a number of community colleges around the country that now offer bachelor degree programs in high-demand sectors. Examples include:
- Health Information Management from Shasta College
- Bio-Manufacturing from Mira Costa College
- Airframe Manufacturing Technology from Antelope Valley College
- Respiratory Care from Modesto Junior College
- Marketing and Finance from Columbia Basin College
- Electronics Engineering from Broward College
- Nursing from Hood College
Top Reasons Students Attend a Community College
Community colleges are generally 2-year institutions that offer a number of valuable types of education benefits for those seeking the benefits of higher education. From the convenience of learning online to a quick commute to campus, students around the country appreciate the benefits of the ready-access to a community college near them. The educational reasons students attend a community college include the following types of benefits:
A developmental-level educational program is a bridge for many students not quite ready to take on the tasks of college. In other words, many students leverage the strength of a community college to take select classes to help prepare them for a greater course load, albeit part-time or full-time. Taking an entry-level course can be a segue to more advanced-level college programs for many students who desire to earn a college degree or certificate.
With a national shift of attitude towards lifelong learning, more and more individuals are taking classes at community colleges as part of a continuing education. Classes and programs within the continuing education realm may be credit-bearing, non-credit, part of on-the-job training courses, corporate training, degree completion, enhancing skills, upskilling, or professional development in nature. While the reasons may vary from student to student, the tools are there at community colleges across the country to support the educational desire.
The notion of a career-driven courses or degree programs are designed to help students transition from the classroom directly into the workforce. There are hundreds of degree tracks from thousands of community colleges to choose from that may include: accounting, early childhood education, nursing, paralegal, bookkeeping, dental assisting, information technology, and auto repair.
The ability to transfer credits from a community college to a 4-year college or university may be the overt goal of many students. National statistics indicate a rate of around 40% of students attend a community college in an effort to then transfer to a 4-year program to complete their desired degree. Obtaining an AA at a community college is seen as a stepping stone to a BA or BS degree completion for many students.
Many large and small corporations around the United States partner with nearby community colleges to help prepare workers in their respective industry. As part of their Center for Workforce Development department, community colleges invest resources to develop curriculum to meet the demands of the workplace. By providing an educational platform for students to earn a degree, certificate, or continuing education credits, the local economy benefits thus perpetuating the cycle of educational enhancement. Common examples of sector-specific programs can include programs for: electricians, construction workers, computer skills, project management, creative writing, dental, and automotive.
Community College Accreditation
A community college must earn accreditation just like other types of colleges and universities. The rigorous, third-party accreditation process is virtually identical from higher education institution to higher education institution. Regional and national accreditation bodies inspect and analyze curricular design, degree programs, faculty, and school resources as part of the accreditation process.
It is important to know the United States Department of Education does not perform the accreditation process for any higher education institution. Rather, the Department of Education provides an endorsement for viable accrediting bodies which are listed in the Federal Register.
The top five accreditation bodies for community colleges you need to know about include:
- Council on Occupational Education
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- Distance Education & Training Council
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
Community College Directory
To learn more about community colleges near you or from around the country, visit the pages below for traditional classroom programs and online programs. To determine which school and degree track is right for you, please utilize our eBook Your Complete Guide to the College Admission Process to help determine the priorities that mean the most to you. By setting your priorities in advance, you will have a roadmap to assist in the decision making process about your upcoming college experience.
Please see below for the state-specific community college programs near you or from around the country to explore further. Our dedicated community college pages contain vital admissions information, school size, graduate rates, enrollment, financial aid trends, campus life, and online learning options for a wide range of students.
|AL Alabama||KY Kentucky||OH Ohio|
|AZ Arizona||LA Louisiana||OK Oklahoma|
|AR Arkansas||MD Maryland||OR Oregon|
|CA California||MA Massachusetts||PA Pennsylvania|
|CO Colorado||MI Michigan||SC South Carolina|
|CT Connecticut||MN Minnesota||TN Tennessee|
|DE Delaware||MS Mississippi||TX Texas|
|GA Georgia||MO Missouri||VA Virginia|
|IL Illinois||NJ New Jersey||WA Washington|
|IN Indiana||NM New Mexico||WV West Virginia|
|IA Iowa||NY New York||WI Wisconsin|
|KS Kansas||NC North Carolina|
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