Attending community college is the gateway to so many opportunities for a variety of students. Community colleges cater to not just those who have recently completed their high school education, but many adult learners embark on an academic journey by way of community college. Like younger students out of high school, many adult learners are interested in eventually transferring from a community college education to a four-year degree program at a post-secondary institution, though many just want to take a few classes that interest them or gain credits towards a vocation. The good news is community colleges are all over the country, and it is often easy to find one near you that will fit the bill. Many have transfer programs embedded into their programming, making it easy to move into a four-year program with ease.
How We Ranked the Best Online Community Colleges 2023
The College Consensus Best Online Community Colleges ranking features only accredited community colleges and technical colleges. To create the Consensus ranking, the editors averaged community college rankings from Wallet Hub, Niche, and Grad Reports, and included data on the number of online programs offered.
This combination of data gives prospective students a sense of how real graduates view the value of their community college experience. Our ranking of the 2023 Best Online Community Colleges describes the programs and unique qualities of some of the country’s best schools.
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1. Fox Valley Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College has 31 online programs to choose from. This community college is in Appleton, WI, and is popular for its wide range of degree options. As part of the Wisconsin Technical College System, it serves student in the surrounding six counties, making for a diverse student body. FVTC provides high-tech occupational training to those wishing to kickstart their career, but personal enrichment and professional development classes are also available at this eclectic school. FVTC also offers world-class business, employer and public safety training services. The college has a 95% employment rate for its graduates and a 4.4 star rating on Google. It accepts 100% of applicants.
2. Northcentral Technical College
Northcentral Technical College is one of the 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System serving students in 10 counties. NTC provides affordable education for students who want to prepare for a successful career and future. NTC also offers conferences, seminars and workshops for professional development and networking. The college has a 95% employment rate for its graduates and a 4.3 star rating on Google. There are 52 programs to choose from for students studying online. This provides a great deal of first entity for online students, especially those living in more remote areas. These are just some of the reasons it’s one of the best online colleges to choose from.
3. Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Minnesota State Community and Technical College is a public college with four campuses in Minnesota: Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. Fortunately, many of its programs are also available online. The college offers 29 online programs in various disciplines and is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system serving 22 counties. M State provides associate degrees, diplomas and certificates that combine technical skills with general education. M State also offers an Intensive English Program and over 200 transfer agreements with four-year universities. The college has a 3.88-star Google approval rating. It among the top two community colleges in Minnesota according to Niche.com.
4. Alexandria Technical & Community College
There are 14 online programs to select from at Alexandria Technical & Community College. The school is located in Alexandria, Minnesota and offers over 50 degree programs. Popular majors include liberal arts and humanities, electrical engineering technician, and nursing. Students can pursue several pathways, ranging from certificates to associate degrees to transfers from other schools. It’s one of the best community colleges on and has a high job placement rate. Alexandria offers a unique blend of academics, athletics, student life and outdoors.
5. Moraine Park Technical College
With 11 online programs, Moraine Park Technical College is a well-established technical college with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Wisconsin. Moraine offers more than 100 associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and certificate programs, as well as online learning options. The college serves over 15,000 students annually and has strong partnerships with local employers and communities. It’s among the top three community colleges in the state.
6. Lakeshore Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College gives students 18 online programs to choose from. This technical college is located in Cleveland, Wisconsin. The college offers more than 100 career programs, including associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. Students benefit from online, blended and accelerated learning options, as well as customized training and continuing education for businesses and individuals. The college serves over 10,000 students each year and has a 94% graduate placement rate, giving it a reputation as an accommodating but effective community college.
7. Northland Community and Technical College
Northland Community and Technical College is an affordable college with physical campuses in Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. It offers more than 80 programs of study, including liberal arts and sciences, career and technical education, health sciences, aerospace technology and fire technology. Of these, 22 are available online. NCTC has 4,000 students and an impressive 93% graduate job placement average. This makes it a great options for students looking for an education that maximizes their earning potential and job seeking success.
8. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
There are 27 online programs at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. What makes this one of the best online community colleges? Like many community colleges it accepts everyone who applies and NWTC ranks among the top ten community colleges in the state. It has brick-and-mortar locations in Green Bay, Marinette and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The college offers more than 200 programs of study, including associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. Students enjoys online and flexible learning options, as well as transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. With 40,000 students, it’s one of the largest schools on our list and it has a 95% graduate placement rate.
9. St Cloud Technical and Community College
St Cloud Technical and Community College offers six online programs. It’s a community and technical college in St Cloud, Minnesota with over 90 programs of study, including liberal arts and sciences, career and technical education, health sciences and business. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. The college serves over 6,000 students annually and has a 97% graduate placement rate. That’s great news for those looking to complete their degree at an affordable school with a great reputation.
10. Kapiolani Community College
Kapiolani Community College has four fully online degrees. It’s fabulous physical location in Honolulu, HI, is a great draw for hybrid programs. It offers more than 50 degrees, including liberal arts and sciences, business education, health sciences, hospitality education and legal education. The school has numerous online courses and degrees and often offers an affordable pathway to four-year universities. The college serves over 7,000 students annually and has a diverse student body from over 50 countries.
11. Johnson County Community College
With 10 online programs, Johnson County Community College it’s a great choice for students who want to learn online on their own terms This public community college in Overland Park, Kansas. The school’s 150 programs of study include associate degrees, certificates and continuing education courses. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Additionally, it hosts 46,000 students and offers a wide range of student services and activities. In accepts everyone who applies and is ranked at the top of the states’ Community College options.
12. Wake Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College is one of the best community colleges in the state. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, it has 200 degrees, 24 of which are available online. The school has dozens of programs, including associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and noncredit courses. This flexible community college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. With 74,000 students and multiple campuses, it’s a versatile program that provides students with numerous opportunities to grow and start their career. Like many other community colleges, WTCC does not require SAT or ACT scores.
13. Anne Arundel Community College
Anne Arundel Community College has five online programs. This top online community college is based in Arnold, Maryland. The college offers more than 200 programs of study, including associate degrees, certificates and workforce development courses. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. The college enrolls 49,000 students and rates highly in recent student satisfaction surveys. Less than half the students receive financial aid, making it challenging for those and the financial assistance to attend. However, it’s the third Franks Community College and the state.
14. Mitchell Technical College
There are seven online programs at Mitchell Technical College, a public technical school in Mitchell, South Dakota with 35 associate degree programs and 15 certificate programs in various fields such as agriculture, health sciences, construction, engineering and energy. The school has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1980 and has a 99% job placement rate for its graduates. The high jaw placements rating makes this an attractive option for many potential students.
15. Mt San Antonio College
Mt San Antonio College is a public community college in Walnut, California that offers more than 200 major (9 online), including associate degrees, certificates and transfer options. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as career and technical education, continuing education and community education. Mt San Antonio boasts 50,000 students each year and has a diverse and vibrant campus life. That spills over into its online programs, which offer great mentoring relationships between students and experienced instructors.
16. Chippewa Valley Technical College
There are 17 of online programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College. It has campuses in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Neillsville and River Falls, Wisconsin. The college offers more than 110 programs in all, including associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. The college also offers online and flexible learning options, as well as transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. The college serves over 18,000 students each year and has a 94% graduate placement rate. With an open admissions policy, Chippewa Valley offers an alternative to students who do not test well on standardized tests but who want to complete their education.
17. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is based in Fennimore, Wisconsin. The college offers more than 60 programs of study, including associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and adult basic education. It has 12 online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College enrolls 9,000 students and has a phenomenal 97% graduate placement rate. This midsized school is among the top ten community colleges in the state.
18. Western Technical College – WI
Western Technical College – WI is a public technical college with campuses in La Crosse, Sparta, Tomah, Viroqua and Mauston, Wisconsin. It offers more than 100 programs of study, including associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Western Technical College hosts 10,000 students each year. Among other reasons to choose this college, students should consider that it has a 95% job placement for graduates.
19. The Community College of Baltimore County
With 25 online programs, The Community College of Baltimore County offers applicants a great option for online study. It’s based in Baltimore County, Maryland and has three main campuses and three extension centers. The college offers more than 280 associate degrees, credit certificates, and non-credit workforce training certification programs, as well as transfer options to four-year colleges and universities. With 63,000 students, it offers ample opportunities for students to explore their interests whether they’re studying on campus or online.
20. North Hennepin Community College
North Hennepin Community College is among the top online community colleges. It’s based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and has 70 programs (22 online) of study, including associate degrees, certificates and diplomas. North Hennepin also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. The college enrolls 10,000 students and it’s well known for an inclusive, diverse campus. That includes students from many states and countries who come together on campus or via online forums. Its online study options make it easier for our students with multiple responsibilities to complete their education.
21. Casper College
There are 15 degree program at Casper College, found in Casper, Wyoming. The college offers more than 140 programs of study, including associate degrees, certificates and transfer options. It also offers online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and workforce training courses. Altogether, there are 4,000 students they come together in class through a variety of digital and physical learning options. Casper is among the top three colleges in the state, giving degree holders substantial standing when it comes to seeking a job.
22. Normandale Community College
With 11 of online programs, Normandale Community College is based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The college offers more than 90 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. The college serves over 14,000 students each year and has a vibrant student life and a supportive learning environment. This inclusive school offers 100% acceptance, like many other colleges on the list. It stands out for its programs in nursing and other popular degrees.
23. Carroll Community College
Carroll Community College is a public school in Westminster, Maryland. The community college offers more than 50 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. CCC offers online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and workforce development courses. The college serves over 12,000 students who can take classes online or in person, according to their needs and preferences. This makes it easier for those in remote settings to complete their education and enter the workforce.
24. Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson Community College is conveniently located in Hutchinson, Kansas. This top community college offers more than 120 programs (13 online) of study, including associate degrees, certificates and diplomas. It has online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and workforce training courses. The college serves over 5,000 students each year and has a rich history and tradition dating back to 1928. This extensive history makes it a recognizable name, potentially giving graduates an edge during the job search process.
25. Southeast Community College
Southeast Community College has 10 programs for online students to choose from. This Community College has campuses in Lincoln, Milford and Beatrice, Nebraska. The college offers more than 50 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. It also offers online courses and degrees, as well as adult education and customized training courses. Southeast Community College Area has over 10,000 students and its low tuition rate and a high student satisfaction rate are just two of the great reasons to choose this school.
26. Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin Technical College has three online programs. This top technical college has campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The college offers more than 45 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and workforce development courses. The college serves over 7,000 students each year and has a strong focus on hands-on learning and industry partnerships.
27. Shoreline Community College
Shoreline Community College is a public community college in Shoreline, Washington. The college offers more than 100 (4 online) programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. The college also offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. The college serves over 10,000 students each year and has a diverse and inclusive campus community.
28. Northwest Iowa Community College
Northwest Iowa Community College is a public community college in Sheldon, Iowa, with 10 diverse programs to choose from. The college offers more than 40 programs of study, including associate degrees, certificates, continuing education and workforce training courses. It serves over 1,600 students each year and has a high-quality education and a friendly atmosphere.
29. Los Angeles Harbor College
Six online programs are available at Los Angeles Harbor College. This well-reputed community college in Wilmington, California, has more than 70 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. It offers online courses and degrees, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. There are 8,000 students, many of whom describe the instructors as helpful and supportive. Popular majors include liberal arts, natural sciences, and psychology. Online community colleges provide students with numerous benefits. They offer flexible learning options, allowing students to access coursework from anywhere and complete assignments at their own pace. Additionally, online programs often have lower tuition fees, saving students money. Online learning eliminates geographic barriers, making education accessible to individuals from various locations. Community colleges also provide a diverse range of courses, allowing students to choose programs that align with their interests and career goals. Lastly, online community college programs focus on practical skills, equipping students with valuable abilities for the workforce.
30. Lake Superior College
Lake Superior College is based in Duluth, Minnesota. The college offers more than 90 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. It also offers online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and customized training courses. With over 10,000 students, the school ranks among the top four community colleges in the state and its generous admissions policy allows many learners to continue their education. Niche.com ranks the school fourth among Minnesota’s best community colleges, making it a great place to complete an online degree.
31. Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas City Kansas Community College has 10 diverse programs that make it easy for remote and busy learners to complete their studies from the privacy of home. Located in Kansas City, it has more than 100 programs of study, allowing students to quickly obtain degrees and certificates. KCKCC has both online courses and degrees. Thanks to generous transfer agreements with major four-year colleges, the school provides a smooth segway to a bachelor’s program. There are more than 6,000 students from various countries and backgrounds. By pursuing an online community college education, students can gain valuable skills that enhance their career prospects and professional development.
32. Northern Virginia Community College
Northern Virginia Community College is a public community college with six campuses and four centers in Northern Virginia. It has more than 160 programs (11 online), including associate degrees and certificates in business and social science research methods. Northern Virginia Community College has 75,000 students. Six out of ten students receive financial support and the school takes all students who apply, making it one of the most accessible online community colleges. In a recent survey, 74% of students agreed that teachers take a lot of time and effort to teach their classes. Online community college programs at NVCC often focus on practical skills and workforce training. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for specific industries or professions.
33. New Mexico Junior College
New Mexico Junior College is a highly accessible community college in Hobbs, New Mexico. The college offers more than 60 programs of study, 19 of which are available online. This allows students to pursue their associate degrees and certificates even if they live in remote areas. The school has a variety of online courses for its 3,000 students. What are the chances of getting into New Mexico Junior? With a 100% acceptance rate, the school is a great option for online students who find it difficult to gain acceptance into other universities. Popular majors include cosmetology, humanities, and criminal science. With online courses at NMJC, learners can access coursework from anywhere with an internet connection and complete assignments at their own pace. This flexibility allows them to balance your education with work, family commitments, or other responsibilities, making it an ideal option for busy individuals.
34. Central New Mexico Community College
Central New Mexico Community College Central New Mexico Community College is a public community college with six campuses and four centers in Albuquerque and its surrounding areas. It offers more than 200 programs of study, including 21 diverse online options. Many students transfer their credits to four-year institutions. In all, there are 23,000 students and many of them take at least some of their courses remotely. Central New Mexico CC offers low tuition rates, allowing students to save money on their education. This affordability makes it one of the best community colleges, offering a viable option for those seeking to achieve a higher education without incurring significant student loan debt.
35. San Juan College
San Juan College has 14 online programs and this a top community college is located Farmington, New Mexico. The school offers more than 120 programs of study, including associate degrees and certificates. It also offers online courses and degrees, as well as continuing education and workforce development courses. The college serves over 8,000 students each year and has a beautiful campus with modern facilities. Online community colleges typically offer a wide range of class schedules, including evening, weekend, and online courses, and San Juan is no exception. This flexibility allows students to balance their education with work, family obligations, or other commitments. It can be especially beneficial for non-traditional students, such as working adults.
36. Waukesha County Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College has just four online programs but offers a high-quality education. It’s among the top six community colleges in Wisconsin and is based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Among the 150 majors and programs, students can choose traditional degrees, technical diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships. The college serves over 20,000 students each year and has a high-quality education and a supportive learning environment. CTC boasts state-of-the-art facilities that provide students with hands-on learning experiences. It has industry-standard labs, simulation centers, and training facilities that replicate real-world work environments. For example, the college’s Integrated Manufacturing Center features advanced manufacturing equipment and technology.
37. Lake Area Technical College
Lake Area Technical College has six programs students can take fully online. The technical school can be found in Watertown, South Dakota. It has 30 programs of study and has a generous transfer policy. Students can also take customized training courses. The school serves over 2,000 students each year and has a 99% job placement rate for its graduates. It ranks second among all community colleges in the state. The versatile curriculum includes dozens of online topics and the school admits all applicants to widen access to higher education.
38. Prince George’s Community College
Prince George’s Community College has nine online degrees among more than 200 programs of study. PGCC is committed to excellence in education and has received recognition for its academic achievements. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been recognized as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a designation given to institutions that have demonstrated a commitment to student success. This recognition reflects PGCC’s dedication to providing high-quality education and support services to its diverse student population of 40,000 students.
39. Umpqua Community College
Umpqua Community College has 14 online majors to titillate prospective students. Located in Roseburg, Oregon, it offers education in business, education, health, and social sciences. Umpqua Community College aims to provide accessible and affordable education to students of diverse backgrounds and goals. UCC actively engages with the local community, providing opportunities for students to participate in service-learning projects, internships, and community events. This involvement allows students to gain practical experience, build their professional network, and contribute to the community’s well-being. The college emphasizes smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalized attention from instructors and fostering meaningful student-teacher interactions. Additionally, UCC offers academic support services such as tutoring, counseling, and career services to assist students in achieving their academic and career goals.
40. Southwestern Oregon Community College
There are 30 online programs available at Southwestern Oregon Community College, another one of the best online community colleges. This school is located in Coos Bay, Oregon and has programs in various fields, such as accounting, criminal justice, fire science, and nursing. Southwestern Oregon Community College strives to foster student success and community vitality through quality education and lifelong learning. Student can earn an Associate of Science Oregon Transfer (ASOT) degree in Business or Computer Science, which allows them to transfer to any public university in Oregon with junior standing and fulfill most of the lower-division general education requirements. Learners can also complete an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or a Certificate of Completion in fields such as Accounting, Business Management/Entrepreneurship, CIS Cybersecurity, CIS Digital Design, Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, or Fire Science.
41. Hibbing Community College – Minnesota North College
Hibbing Community College – Minnesota North College has four online programs in various fields such as business administration, liberal arts, and nursing. It’s committed to providing high-quality education that prepares students for transfer or career opportunities. HCC boasts a unique and innovative geothermal heating and cooling system on its campus. The college has tapped into the natural geothermal energy beneath the campus to provide a sustainable and efficient heating and cooling solution. This system harnesses the earth’s stable temperature to regulate the temperature of buildings, reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. The geothermal system showcases HCC’s commitment to sustainability and utilizing renewable energy sources. That’s true in its approach to online education as well.
42. Tillamook Bay Community College
At Tillamook Bay Community College, online students choose from eight majors. Located in Tillamook, Oregon, it has online programs in various fields such as agriculture, business, education, and health. Tillamook Bay Community College is dedicated to serving the educational needs of the local community and enhancing its economic and social development. The college offers an Associate of Science in Agricultural Science and an Associate of Science in Animal Science for students who are interested in the local industry. It has a student-teacher ratio of 9:1, which is lower than the state average of 13:1. This means that students can get more personalized attention and support from their instructors. The school offers a variety of online programs and partnerships with other colleges to provide more options for students. For example, students can earn an online degree in Business Administration or transfer to a four-year university with an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree. The has an excellent reputation for its job placement programs.
43. Nicolet Area Technical College
Nicolet Area Technical College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, has 13 online programs in fields such as accounting, business management, human services, and information technology. Nicolet Area Technical College is focused on providing innovative and relevant education that empowers students and strengthens the workforce. located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, which is surrounded by the beautiful Northwoods region known for its abundant natural resources. NATC takes advantage of its unique location and offers a variety of programs focused on natural resource management. Students have the opportunity to study fields such as forestry, natural resources, water quality technology, and outdoor recreation.
44. Cochise County Community College District
Cochise County Community College District has one of the most diverse online majors of all the community colleges on the list. Based in Cochise County, Arizona, the school has 33 online programs in aviation, culinary arts, engineering, psychology, and other fields. Cochise County Community College District is devoted to providing excellence in teaching and learning that supports student success and community development. Cochise College offers hundreds of courses 100% online, including, AGEC-A (Arizona General Education Curriculum), AGEC-B (Arizona General Education Curriculum), Cybersecurity, Computer Information Systems, Intelligence Operations Studies, Liberal Studies, Elementary Education, Business, and Social & Behavioral Sciences.
45. Central Lakes College-Brainerd
Central Lakes College – Brainerd specializes in business administration, early childhood education, health care administration, and psychology. This small school has five 100% online programs to choose from. Central Lakes College – Brainerd is passionate about providing quality education that enriches lives and builds futures. It has 33 online programs partially or fully available online, including accounting, marketing, business administration, computer information systems, liberal arts, criminal justice, and many more.
46. Century College – MN
Century College – MN is a public college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Students can choose from three fully online courses. Popular majors include computer science, liberal arts, and nursing. The community college provides diverse learning opportunities that inspire students to reach their full potential and contribute to the global community. Century College is a 2-year community and technical college with a 100% acceptance rate and one of the lowest tuition rates in the state. It aims to empower and inspire its online and other students to change the world, according to the school’s website. It does so through innovative, rigorous curricula.
47. Clackamas Community College
Clackamas Community College is a public college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It offers 11 online programs in various fields, such as accounting, criminal justice, music technology, and veterinary technology. Clackamas Community College is committed to providing an accessible and affordable education that meets the needs of students and employers. The unique logo holds clues to what sets the school apart. It consists of a stylized CCC in the shape of a cougar head, a symbol of fierceness and endurance. Clackamas Community College has fully online and hybrid (combining online with face-to-face instruction) courses to fit a variety of learning styles and educational goals. Its online programs include business, paralegal, and accounting.
48. Colby Community College
Colby Community College is another top community college with online programs. Based in Colby, Kansas, CCC has 10 online programs in fields such as agriculture, dental hygiene, medical coding, and veterinary nursing. Colby Community College is dedicated to providing quality education that prepares students for academic and career success. It has one of just five fully online veterinary nursing programs available online and ranks in the top six most affordable online schools for vet techs.
49. Western Iowa Tech Community College
Western Iowa Tech Community College is a well-known community college serving Sioux City, Iowa. It offers 14 online programs in various fields such as business administration, health information technology, paralegal studies, and web development. Western Iowa Tech Community College is focused on providing innovative and relevant education that empowers students and strengthens the community. Students choose from diverse majors such as, human services, liberal arts, accounting, business administration, criminal justice, early childhood education, health information technology, medical coding and billing, paralegal studies, and web development — some of which are available fully or partially online.
50. Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College is in Troy, New York. It offers 27 online programs in various fields such as business administration, computer information systems, engineering science, and human services. Hudson Valley Community College is committed to providing excellent education for students who wish to learn and teach It targets student achievement and personal growth. It has received many awards, such as the State University of New York’s Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and top 100 associate degree producers by Community College Week magazine.
Why Should I Choose Online Community College?
US community colleges have been around for over 120 years. In 2020, more than 14 million students were enrolled in postsecondary institutions, with 4.8 million at community colleges. With the COVID 19 pandemic, colleges saw nearly a 70% jump in students taking online classes and course offerings and student services increased as well.
Community colleges have long understood that a one-size-fits-all student approach doesn’t always work. Distance education and online class offerings are preferred by nearly 64% of community college students seeking an acceptable work-life balance but who want to advance their education. There are other benefits to online learning.
Certificates and Technical Training
Community colleges provide certificates for professional licensure, continuing education, and vocational and workplace training. These programs are designed to improve skills and better job opportunities. One or two-year certificates are popular in healthcare, mechanics computer information, transportation, etc., and are frequently offered online.
Nearly every community college offers online classes. Some degree programs are offered 100% online, while others may be a blended or hybrid combination. Online students can earn Associate Degrees with concentrations in healthcare, science, business, psychology, liberal arts, and other disciplines.
Regardless if taken online, these degrees are often gateway degrees to an undergraduate program at a four-year institution. Community colleges and universities frequently have transfer agreements allowing students to transfer as a junior.
The cost of postsecondary education is significant and growing; but, this is where community colleges beat their four-year counterparts. For a variety of reasons, public community colleges’ tuition is far less than most four-year colleges or universities. Currently, 20 states offer free tuition for students attending community colleges in Associate Degree programs or technical training. These colleges offer free tuition, scholarships, grants, or special “promise” options for qualifying residents. States may offer dramatically reduced tuition, such as California, which charges $46 per unit. Additionally, Federal Student Aid is available for qualifying students.
States are developing community college online partnerships through its state education system. Students at one college may be able to take an online class at another college in the system and apply it to their school’s program. A great example of this is being done in Minnesota where students have access to over 150 online degree programs, diplomas, and certificates.
Do Community Colleges Offer Online Degrees?
There are many online community college options and even some for technical and trade schools that can be attended in the virtual format. Community colleges online come in many shapes and sizes. Some are entirely online with no on-campus visits, but you will find that some have classes that utilize an online learning format, while others still require personal learning for some classes. Many community colleges take into account the fact that the populations that they serve are often made up of non-traditional learners that require a fair amount of flexibility to make their education work. This premise is often embedded into the coursework of community college online degree programs. So, there are community colleges that offer online degrees and there are also completely online community college programs.
What are the Advantages of Online Community College Courses?
Online community college courses can be just the ticket for non-traditional and adult learners who have other life commitments to attend to beyond their education. Students who have children and are working while also achieving an education might have a harder time fitting the commute to campus into their schedules. The community college with online classes is a great fit for a variety of people, even the traditional learner who has the ultimate goal of transferring to a four-year degree program following completion of an associate’s.
Like traditional programs, community college online courses can be delivered in an asynchronous format, which means the coursework can be achieved when you want to do it, rather than logging into a live class. If this is something that would fit your needs better, look closely when searching for online classes for community college. Another advantage to community college with online classes is you can generally go at your own pace, taking one class at a time or a full course load, depending on what is best for you. When looking into classes that fit your needs, be sure to understand the delivery methods-including asynchronous versus synchronous, online, or hybrid, so you know what you are getting into and if it is a good fit for your current life circumstances.
Are Online Courses as Good as Campus?
It’s important when considering the quality to only look at accredited online community colleges. Accredited online community colleges have been vetted for quality, ensuring that the courses, curricula, and program pathways are appropriate to be transfer platforms to four-year degree programs at accredited four-year institutions of higher learning. Regionally accredited online community colleges are a great fit because they ensure the coursework is up to par for you to ultimately meet your goals. Even if you are interested in taking one class at a time, be sure to choose accredited online community college courses, because they will support you to engage in the fields you are studying on a professional level. This is a great gateway towards professional apprenticeships, as well as academic trajectories that are relevant to other higher education pathways. The vetting process for accreditation is comprehensive and, therefore well respected.