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CC Best Online Community Colleges

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 2022

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 2022 Best Online Community Colleges describes the programs and unique qualities of some of the country’s best schools.

Recommended Online Associate’s Degrees

Visit sites to learn more about enrollment, tuition, and aid

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, has been educating Wisconsin residents for over a century and has grown to over 200 programs of high-tech occupational training designed for today’s workplace.

Recognizing that today’s students require flexibility, FVTC has committed to meeting that challenge and has developed a robust 100% online, hybrid (50% online), or virtual classroom  (live classes in an online environment) program. Students can study health sciences, engineering, information technology, education, manufacturing, etc. Online student support services are provided with an electronic library, E-textbooks, and a student success checklist.

Online Programs: 31

Score
95.8

With more than 52 online programs at Northcentral Technical College, it’s little wonder this is one of our top community colleges. The college has over 400 associate transfer agreements with Wisconsin universities and private school partners. An impressive 95% of NTC students are employed within 12 months of graduation.

Students can complete full associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificate programs 100% online in a wide array of disciplines. Continually adding to its online programming, NTC has added new associate degree programs in legal studies, human resources, data analytics, and law enforcement. Technical diplomas include information technology, marketing, medical coding, and many more.

Online Programs: 52 

Score
92.0

This Alexandria, Minnesota college, Alexandria Technical and Community College, offers Associate degrees and diploma programs to meet your needs. Student enrollment at ATCC is over 3,500.

Distance education students can enroll in sociology, economics, medical coding, computer information, paralegal studies, history, accounting, business, etc. Depending on your field of study, you may complete your programming in 12-24 months.

This college has a strong alliance with the surrounding community, and it’s seen by the opportunities the college can offer its students. Working with funding partners, the Retraining, Academic Instruction, and Skills Enhancement (RAISE) initiative support educational opportunities for Douglas County, MN residents, regardless of the tuition cost.

Online Programs: 14

Score
89.2

It would be difficult not to attend Kapiʻolani Community College in person with its beautiful location on Diamond Head. This college has a rich history and opened in 1946 when Hawaii was still a territory.

Now part of the University of Hawaii System, over 6,600 students attend this nationally and globally recognized college. Kapi‘olani Community College offers online learning with several associate degrees available. Degree concentrations are available in Business Administration, Secondary Education, Social Work, Information Technology, Hawaiian Studies, etc. Students can transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. Kapi‘olani CC provides online counseling services for its distant students.

Not sure if an online degree from KCC is right for you? The college provides an online readiness self-assessment test to see how prepared you may be for online study.

Online Programs: 4

Score
88.3

Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s number one goal is academic success, whether online or at one of the four campuses. Online MSCTC students come from throughout the US and several foreign nations.

Established in 1960, MSCTC offers 30 online majors and programs and more than 200 online courses. Online students benefit from the dedicated faculty and student services. Associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas are offered. Studies range from liberal arts majors, digital marketing, medical assistance, paralegal, etc.

An MSCTC student is never far from academic support and student services. Student services are offered in essential support, such as tutoring, library services, and advising and counseling.

Online Programs: 29

Score
87.0

Recommended Online Associate's Degrees

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Laramie County Community College is one of Wyoming’s best community colleges and has a 271 acres main campus in Cheyanne.

But, you won’t need to travel to Cheyanne to earn an Associate degree, certificate, or diploma. LCCC has online degree programs in Business, Information Technology, Health Information Technology, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Psychology, and Speech-Language Pathology. You could earn a diploma in several areas and even earn a certificate in Craft Brewing with this online program.

Life Enrichment Classes are offered along with workforce and professional training.

Online Programs: 17

Score
86.7

One of California’s best and largest community colleges, Mt. San Antonio College, opened in 1946 and, over the years, has educated over 1.5 million students. Mt SAC offers nearly 400 flexible degree and certificate programs.

Classes are offered in-person or online and include Associate degrees, Associate degrees and certificates, and career training programs. Impressively, Mt. SAC has more than 3,000 classes available online, with all programs having some online courses.

Students have access to 25 support programs in tutoring, transfer services, academic and career advising, and student health services.

Online Programs: 9 

Score
86.7

Minnesota’s North Hennepin Community College embraced distance education with enthusiasm and dedication to providing an excellent education.

This school has a terrific slate of online Associate degree programs for its nearly 5,000 students, including popular fields such as nursing,  marketing, accounting, finance, and several more. If you need a certificate to advance your current career, you can choose from accounting to computer science offerings. The school employs the D2L Brightspace system to provide online students with the same academic standards as on-campus students.

NHCC doesn’t take your education for granted and is dedicated to your success. Before starting your online program, the school provides a personal assessment quiz and tips for being a successful online student. Once enrolled, you’ll be able to access academic and counseling services, bookstores, tutoring, and career services, like your on-campus counterparts.

Online Programs: 22

Score
81.7

Offering over 80 program options, Northland Community and Technical College is a two-year community and technical college with a student body of more than 4,500 students. All online degrees and courses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the college strives to provide “education your way.”

You have multiple online options at NCTC with degrees and certificates in Health & Human Services, Liberal Arts and Transfer, Business & Entrepreneurship, Manufacturing, and Aerospace. You’re encouraged to take the college’s self-assessment for online students and the school offers a “Top Ten” list of considerations for studying online.

Once enrolled, you won’t be forgotten. You’ll have access to a two-tiered advising system, offering academic and online help.

Online Programs: 22

Score
81.7

Suppose your educational goals include transferring to a four-year college or university, changing career direction, or preparing to enter the workforce. In that case, you should check out The Community College of Baltimore County. On an annual basis, more than 54,000 enroll in CCBC courses.

It’s hard to beat the online program offerings at this college, with academic pathways in Business, Industry, Entrepreneurship, Allied Health and Nursing, Public Safety and Law, Communication and Creative Arts, Wellness and Hospitality, Teacher Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences. The General Studies pathway is an excellent way to transfer to a four-year university or college seamlessly.

Online services and support include academic advising, tutoring, bookstore, and library access. The school also provides an online help desk for its online students.

Online Degrees: 25

Score
81.6

Recommended Online Associate's Degrees

Visit sites to learn more about enrollment, tuition, and aid

11

New Mexico Junior College

In 1965, Hobbs, New Mexico, became the home of New Mexico’s first independent junior college, New Mexico Junior College. It didn’t take long for the college to significantly influence the community and its students. NMJC commits to distance education and serves students from high school, on-campus, students across the country, and working professionals.

Do your educational goals include earning a bachelor’s degree? If so, you’ll want to explore this school’s 19 online programs in Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees, which will transfer to all New Mexico universities and many nationwide.

The school has hundreds of online courses in primary adult education and sponsors online seminars. As an online student, you’ll also have access to NMJC’s library. Be sure to tune into the school’s KNMJ radio, with playsets from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, as you study online.

Online Programs: 19

Score
81.2

As soon as you open the Hudson Valley Community College website, you’re challenged to BE BOLD, and the school is ready to help you do that very thing. With more than 80 degrees and certificate programs, technical career training, and state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, this school has come a long way from its modest start in 1955.

Offering online programming, HVCC has a solid roster of Associate degrees in popular studies demonstrated by Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Health Information Management and Technology, Marketing, Liberal Arts, and others.

The school doesn’t skimp on student support, either. Students can access academic engagement services. One of those services is online tutoring through HVCC’s Learning Center.

Online Programs: 27

Score
80.7

Carroll Community College has been considered one of Maryland’s best community colleges since the early 1970s.

Carroll Community College believes many students require flexibility in their studies by offering two-year associate degrees, professional job training, certificates, and personal enrichment programs. The school has developed programs offered entirely online and hybrid degree and certificate options. You can take online Associate degrees in several academic areas such as Sociology, Arts & Science, Management, General Studies, etc. If you’re looking for professional and job training skills, CCC has you covered in that, too, providing non-credit career training.

As an added bonus only for CCC students and faculty, you have access to the Virtual Reality Lab’s catalog, allowing you to experience the future of education.

Online Programs: 7

Score
80.5

As Maryland’s largest single-campus community college, over 35,000 students study at Anne Arundel Community College.

The online degree catalog at AACC is impressive, with Associate degrees and credit certificates that are offered entirely online in 2020-2021. Whether you’re looking to study business, computer information systems, or English, AACC may have precisely what you need. Many of the degrees are transfer eligible to help you move seamlessly into a four-year university or college program. Credit certificates are offered online in law enforcement, hospitality management, business, and computer sciences.

As an online student, you can find support in many of the student services available in tutoring, library services, academic advising, and transfer assistance.

Online Programs: 5

Score
80.1

Providing education for students in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Harbor College offers 2-year academic programs transferrable to 4-year institutions. Additionally, LAHC offers occupational training programs.

Students have a choice of studies in academic divisions in sciences, journalism, physical sciences, etc. The school also provides certification and technical training in various fields such as office administration, business, computer technology, and nursing. LAHC has a dedicated Distance Education Team to assist faculty and students.

LAHC works to empower its student body with support services in academic and mental counseling, tutoring, and a computer lab for students with special needs.

Online Programs: 6

Score
79.8

Students, faculty, and the wider Northern Virginia community affectionally call Northern Virginia Community College NOVA. This is the country’s largest community college, with 80,000 students spread over its six campuses. That doesn’t include NOVA Online, which boasts over 20,000 students annually taking online classes.

Ahead of the distant education curve, NOVA has been providing online education for over 40 years and has a catalog of over 50 academic disciplines with more than 30 of the school’s degrees and certificates available to be completed totally online. Among the Associate degrees available are in Business, Information Technology, Liberal Arts, General Studies, Science, etc. Certificates and Career Studies Certificates.

You have access to NOVA’s online library, a Virtual Student Union, personalized academic and technical support, and much more.

Online Programs: 11

Score
80.0

Northwest Iowa Community College has come a long way since opening in 1959 as an experimental vocational training college. Today, the school provides not only on-campus studies but also hybrid and online educational programs.

With over 40 programs and 750 online courses, you can choose associate degrees and certifications with studies in Business, Information Technology, Web and Graphic Design, Medical Coding and Medical Laboratory Technology, and several more. As a member of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium, you’ll learn from NICC faculty or a faculty member at a consortium sister college. Regardless of your teacher’s location, you’re assured of the quality education NICC promises.

If an Associate degree or certificate isn’t what you need, check out the online continuing education programs and workforce training options at Northwest Iowa Community College.

Online Programs: 10

Score
79.7

You may want to visit Shoreline, Washington, for its beauty, but it’s not necessary to attend Shoreline Community College. Founded in 1964, SCC now has nearly 9,000 enrolled students.

Online program options include Associate degrees and certificates in several educational pathways in Criminal Justice, Health Information Technology, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Business Pre-Major, Accounting, and more.

As an online student, you’ll benefit from the college’s 20 years of experience in online learning. You’ll also have access to online tutoring services, classes developed by an award-winning online faculty, library services, and other student resources and services.

Online Programs: 4

Score
78.9

Online students have access to a quality community college at Western Technical College. Established in 1912, Western Technical College is now a vibrant college with six regional campuses offering over 100 associate degrees, certificates, and technical diplomas.

Distance Education students looking for an Associate degree or diploma program will want to explore the online programming at this college. Among the popular studies are courses in business, healthcare, accounting, leadership, hospitality, and others. These programs are 100% online to study on your own time at your own pace.

94% of WTC graduates are employed within six months of finishing school, and 98% of graduates are happy with their educational choice.

Online Programs: 3

Score
78.9

This Wisconsin community college, Lakeshore Technical College, offers over 70 degrees, certificates, and diploma programs in 13 career areas, focusing on accessibility to serve its over 2,900 students. The school has a 13:1 student-teacher ratio, allowing for greater personalized attention.

Online programs are 100% online to fit into your schedule. Flexible courses are offered in one and two-year associate degrees, career certificates, community, continuing education, and GED and college prep studies. The college provides popular studies in health, business, computer and information science, and support services.

Whether attending the Cleveland, WI campus or online, you’ll have the same student technical and resource support, including academic advising, Helpdesk, etc.

Online Programs: 18

Score
78.9

21

Moraine Park Technical College

No matter if you want an Associate degree, technical diploma, or certificate, Wisconsin’s Moraine Park Technical College will probably offer what you need.

This college offers various learning formats, in-person, online, or hybrid, organized into program clusters. Those clusters include studies in accounting, health sciences, information technology, legal/paralegal studies, and water quality technology. The college makes transferring to a Wisconsin 4-year college or university simple, and MPTC has transfer agreements with a long list of schools.

You’ll find Moraine Park Technical College, with its 100 years of educational experience, understands students’ needs and offers academic and counseling services, tutoring, employment services, etc.

Online Programs: 11

Score
78.7

Since 1958, Prince George’s Community College has offered first-rate educational programs, degrees and certificates, and professional and personal development.

PGCC’s eLearning options, online, hybrid, or structured remote, open the school’s academic programs to a broad audience. You can enroll in classes from an impressive roster of courses in Psychology, Culinary Arts, Information Technology, Allied Health and Nursing, Teacher Education, etc. If you need a professional certificate,  Continuing Education will probably have it. PGCC also offers free GED preparation. As for lifelong learning, adults 60 years or older can take advantage of SAGE (Seasoned Adults Growing Educationally), the college’s free non-credit and credit programs.

As a distance education student, you’ll have a robust support system featuring library services, tutoring, technical support, etc.

Online Programs: 9

Score
78.5

With the idea that “You can fit college into your life…” Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has an impressive catalog of Associate degrees, certificates, and technical diplomas to let you realize that idea.

Programs are developed to be accessible when convenient for you, and NWTC has a deep course catalog sure to meet whatever you might need. Programs are offered 100% online or in a hybrid format. You can enroll in 100% online Associate degrees in Information Technology, Human Resources, Legal Studies, Software Developer, Accounting, etc. Technical diplomas can be earned in 12 months or less, and certificates can be finished in just a few months.

Library services, academic coaching, and advising are some of the student support services available to you.

Online Programs: 27

Score
78.0

Casper College in Wyoming is the most comprehensive community college in the region, with 4,500+ students, a partnership with 11 colleges and universities, and an excellent 13:1 teacher-student ratio.

With its 140 degree and certificate programs, Casper College offers classes either 100% online or 70% online (hybrid), requiring some campus attendance. Degrees offered run the gamut from Associate of Arts, Associate Applied Science, Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of Business, or Associate Degree in Nursing. You can choose from 15 completely online programs. Depending on your needs, you’ll find a broad offering of academic programs from Accounting and Bookkeeping to Women’s and Gender Studies.

The Digital Learning Center is your source to answer any question you may have while earning your degree or certificate.

Online Programs: 15

Score
77.9

In their E-Brochure, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College recognizes, “You’re busy. We get it.” The school proves it with its online Associate degrees, diplomas, and certificate programs.

You’ll find a rich catalog of 100% online degree programs which includes some of the most popular topics for today’s students in business, healthcare, education, or management. You may want to explore SWTC’s HyFlex (Hybrid-Flexible) choices for certain classes via  Zoom, letting you interact with your classmates.

The school has library services with both remote and on-campus accessibilities. As an online student, you’ll have an academic coach to help you with time management, online test-taking, and study skills tips if you run into trouble, the school’s Help Desk to solve any technical issue.

Online Programs: 12

Score
77.4

Recommended Online Associate's Degrees

Visit sites to learn more about enrollment, tuition, and aid

26

Coastline College

An early pioneer in online education, California’s 45 years of virtual teaching, Coastline College, is a great choice.

Coastline College has over 280 courses and 60 completely online degree and certificate programs available. You’ll find a comprehensive roster of academic programs that will easily transfer to a 4-year school for a bachelor’s degree or a professional certificate to bolster your career. The college also has a collaborative partnership for Coastline students to earn credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Coastline utilizes Canvas, the online course management system, to provide greater access. This is a very student-centric program with online classes available on your tablet or laptop; some courses are even accessible on your smartphone. The entire library is online. The Canvas system is utilized differently in comparison to how other colleges use it because students learn online at their OWN PACE, with QUALITY CLASSES that endure STRONG REVIEW PROCESS – unlike any other college. EXPERIENCE our INNOVATIVE COURSE PLATFORM – Canvas -with robust discussion boards where you can EXPECT ongoing feedback for all your classes. Coastline instructors operate and interact online with students regularly. Coastline has been designing and delivering courses for online learning for over 20 years. Learn from the best and most experienced. Coastline College – College on Your Terms.

Online Programs: 60

27

Northern Wyoming Community College District - Sheridan College

Perhaps the only downside to the online programs at Sheridan College (part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District) is not being able to enjoy the Bighorn Mountains and the school’s rodeo teams.

Sheridan College makes our best community colleges list with its solid catalog of online degrees and certificate programs. Computer networking, criminal justice, general studies, social science, and others are representative of the 100% online programs. All classes are developed by experienced faculty and instructors.

You’ll be able to tap into online tech services through Sheridan’s Student Help-Zone, the same resources as on-campus students, and the college’s online library services.

Online Programs: 12

Score
77.0

When you open the website for Chippewa Valley Technical College, located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, you’ll learn you have over 119 programs, 38 certificates, and 15 apprenticeship options from which to choose. Exploring the available career fields will help lead you to just the right program. Chippewa Valley Technical College is ambitious and passes that spirit on to its over 7,300 students.

Certificate and degree programs are offered with online options. Studies in Early Childhood Development, Mechanical Design, Liberal Arts, Legal Studies, IT, and others are among the online courses and programs.

CVTC accepts transfer credits and may grant credit for your prior learning through volunteerism, military service, and work experiences. Online support services are provided as well.

Online Programs: 17

Score
77.0

For 55 years, Lake Area Technical College has been bringing quality education to the citizens of South Dakota.

You can earn a hybrid E-Degree or certificates in nursing, agriculture, computer information, electronic system technology, law enforcement, machining, community health, etc., at LATC. Keeping up with technology, the college has an E-Degree in robotics and has invested in a state-of-the-art robotics lab for hands-on learning.

Enrolling in an E-Degree program, you can expect to do most of your coursework online but will need to travel to Lake Area Tech in Watertown, SD, to complete clinical and/or hands-on training.

As an online student, you won’t need to worry about support from the school with the bookstore, library, tutoring, and counseling.

Online Programs: 6

Score
76.7

Central Wyoming College believes their success in education depends on your success, extending to their online degree and certificate programming. As an online student, you’ll receive the same education, instruction, and student services as your on-campus counterparts.

The college has four Associate programs provided 100% online in Technical Studies-Entrepreneur (AAS), Criminal Justice (AA), Business Management (AAS), and a Meta Major-Social Science (AA). This last major is a multidisciplinary degree that includes studies in an array of courses, including American Indian Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, and more.  There’s a certificate offered in Electrical Apprenticeship comprised of eight classes.

You’ll have online access to CWC’s librarians and library services.

Score
76.5

Opening in 1947, El Camino College opened in redesigned WWII Army barracks in Torrence, CA. From the small 450 students, ECCC has become a college with over 33,000 enrolled.

Today, El Camino College has a strong online education division provided completely online or in a hybrid format. ECC offers Associate degrees in the major academic areas like health, business, behavioral sciences, STEM, etc. You’ll be taught the same courses by the same faculty as on-campus students using Canvas, the interactive, online education tool.

All distance education classes will transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. At this time, only California residents are eligible for online programs.

Online Programs: 17

Score
76.0

If you’re a first-time student or returning to school after a few years, you’ll want to look at New Mexico’s San Juan College. There’s some good news, too, if you’re a New Mexico resident. In April 2022, NM passed legislation to cover tuition and fees for the state’s residents.

The slate of online programs at this college is impressive, with studies in Marketing, Liberal Arts, Physical Therapy Assistant, Information Technology, and Veterinary Technology among them. Certificates are offered through distance education in Medical Coding/Billing and Surgical First Assistant.

SJC also has an impressive list of student resources if you’re an online student, including a Native American Center and Herencia Latina Center.

Online Programs: 14

Score
75.7

You’ll have a choice of eight online programs at North Dakota’s Lake Region State College and earn an Associate degree or certificate.

You can find Associate degrees with concentrations in Liberal Arts, Law Enforcement, Early Childhood Education, Business, etc. The school uses Blackboard to deliver its online programs allowing for flexibility in taking classes when convenient for you.

This small college has the characteristics of a much larger school and boasts a diverse student population representing 34 states and 15 countries. Whether attending the North Dakota campus or online, LRSC has a solid commitment to its students. Distance Education students benefit from the same supportive foundations in counseling, online academic advising, and computer support.

Online Programs: 8

Score
75.7

34

St. Cloud Technical and Community College

St. Cloud Technical Community College makes our Best Online Community Colleges list with 1100% online programs. Established in St. Cloud, MN, in 1948, the college is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and University System.

You’ll want to look at this college’s certificates and Associate degrees. Academic disciplines offered include Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health Information Technology, Finance, Computer Programming, etc. Credits earned at SCTCC easily transfer to any Minnesota State college or university.

Students have support in academic and nonacademic advising, mental health services, tutoring, and other help when needed. One student service is TRIO, a program focusing on retention and providing a supportive environment for educationally disadvantaged and first-generation students to be academically successful. TRIO can be accessed via Zoom.

Online Programs: 6

Score
75.5

College of Southern Maryland is a good choice if you have your eye on going to a four-year school, with its 200+ transfer agreements with more than 60 colleges and universities.

You can choose from a range of online Associate degrees, certifications programs, or workforce training from CSM’s Guided Pathways in science, education, humanities, health, business, and trades training. Accelerated programs are offered online that you can complete in a rapid 15-18 months.

As one of CSM’s 18,000 students, even online, you’ll benefit from the support community of the school. You’ll have access to academic advising, library services, IT Help Desk, and veteran and military services.

Online Programs: 7

Score
75.2

36

Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley Community College rightfully boasts a national reputation as the best community college in New Jersey.RVCC offers more than 150 online courses each semester and awards Associate degrees and certificates entirely online.

Annual enrollment at RVCC is approximately 6,700 students (2021-22) attending in-person or online. The most popular online and hybrid studies are offered in Criminal Justice, Accounting, Liberal Arts with a Communication major, General Business, Health Information, etc.  Students continuing their education frequently go on to attend New Jersey’s Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Kean University, among the top schools.

RVCC believes college is more than just classes and exams. In addition to student organizations and clubs, students can enjoy campus events in performing arts, dances, athletic events, and many more. The college provides student services with tutoring, child care, career counseling, and discounts on campus and the Branchburg community.

Online Programs: 3

Score
75.1

Oregon’s Clackamas Community College has online and hybrid classes which may lead to an Associate degree or certificate.

Associate degrees (AA and AS) from CCC are easily transferable to Oregon colleges and universities. The school also awards an Associate of General Studies (AGS), which is, as the school describes, a “build your own” degree. Working with a CCC advisor, you’ll take a broad group of courses to meet the admission requirements of the college or university you look to attend. One year, or less, Career or Completion Certificates are offered at CCC.

If you’re unsure which track is best for you, Clackamas Community College has academic advising resources available, along with tutoring, success workshops providing skills for college and careers, and much more.

Online Programs: 11

Score
74.8

38

Golden West College

It’s tempting to want to attend Golden West College in person to take advance of its proximity to Huntington Beach’s “Surf City,” but you can attend online just as easily.

GWC has academic pathways in STEM, business, health sciences, education, social and behavioral sciences, etc., completion of which results in Associate degrees. But, if you’re looking for career education, you’ll have those options in automotive technology, health information technology, etc. Along with its open admission policy, this college has a stellar reputation in the community for meeting its academic standards. Students 18 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent are welcome at GWC.

Students benefit from tutoring, academic, and career counseling resources, as well as online instruction support.

Online Programs: 3

Score
74.7

Since 1968, Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN, has grown to become the largest community college in the state, with over 15,000 students.

Some of those students are earning their Associate degrees online in business or liberal arts. Business concentrations are available in general business and marketing, and management. You have a choice of liberal arts or individualized studies with the Liberal Education path. NCC uses D2L Brightspace as its online class management system.

Along with other student support services, Normandale Community College is part of the federally funded  TRIO network and offers student support services for first-generation students and educationally disadvantaged students.

Online Programs: 11

Score
74.6

This 90+-year-old California community college has gone all-in on its online programming, as demonstrated when you first open Los Angeles City College’s website.

The college provides a myriad of services specifically for online students. From an online student forum for help with time management, stress, create social activities to a full slate of distance education resources, you’ll have ample opportunities to engage in your college experience. LACC provides a virtual Student Services Building Academic, which gives you access to the same support as on-campus students in counseling services, library access, TRIO, etc.

Certificates and Associate degrees are available at LACC in one of its many departments, including programs in traditional disciplines such as science, law, justice, psychology, etc. You’ll also find programs in cinema, visual and media arts, kinesiology, and more.

Online Programs: 15

Score
74.5

Understanding that not everyone can attend college in person, Southeast Community College Area in Nebraska offers more than 300 online courses each term.

This school has an impressive slate of online and hybrid programs in healthcare, business, criminal justice, management, and administration. SCCA also has a terrific roster of healthcare studies provided online. The school offers studies to train you to be a Pharmacy Technician, Practical Nurse, Surgical Technician, Respiratory Care Tech, Polysomnographic Technician, and others. Some healthcare studies require clinical experiences, labs, or practica.

SCC has earned USDA/RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant providing robot technology allowing distance education students to join classes in real-time to facilitate class interaction. As with on-campus students, you’ll have access to library services and academic and tutoring opportunities.

Online Programs: 10 

Score
74.2

For over two decades, Lake Superior College has been providing an excellent education for the citizens in the Duluth, MN, area.

Today, LSC has over 20 completely online programs, including certificates, diplomas, and Associate degrees. Online certificates are available in PC Support Technician, Paralegal Studies, Physical Therapy Assistant/Military Bridge, etc. Or, you can earn a bookkeeping or computer & web programming diploma through distance education. Associate degrees are designed to transfer to a 4-year college or university in various disciplines such as Computer Technology, Business, Technology, Fire Science Administration, etc.

LSC provides distance students Office 365 for free and Read&Write Literacy Software.

Online Programs: 10

Score
74.2

Central Lakes College opened with a small enrollment in 1938, and now, more than 5,000 students are earning Associate degrees and certificates.

The school supports different delivery formats, making learning more convenient and accessible in synchronous and asynchronous online, hybrid, LiveOnLine, Hyflex, and primarily online formats. A comprehensive offering of programs is available in various degree, diploma, and certificate programs certain to meet the needs of any student.

You’ll be able to access all student services virtually, through email, phone, or video chat, no matter what assistance you need.

Online Programs: 5

Score
74.2

Southwestern Oregon Community College is one of our best online community colleges, with over 70 programs in virtual formats.

Using Learning Management System to provide courses and instruction, LMS facilitates student-faculty communication, student interactions, and coursework. The college has a robust academic catalog with pathways in business, arts & humanities, STEM, social and behavioral sciences, etc. Two fully online degree programs are provided in Digital Design and Childhood Education and Family Studies. Depending on your goals, you can earn an Associate degree, certificate, or diploma.

Southwestern Oregon Community College is dedicated to your success and has online services in tutoring (via Zoom) and academic counseling.

Online Programs: 30

Score
73.9

For over 60 years, Western Wyoming Community College has supported the Rock Springs community by offering quality academic and workforce education.

WWCC understands the one-size-fits-all concept doesn’t work in modern education and provides Associate degrees, occupational certificates, diplomas, etc., in a range of flexible formats. Programs include arts & humanities, science & math, business, technology & industry, and health science. Along with online courses and hybrid programs, the college has seven fully-online programs and seven fully-online certificates.

If continuing your education at a 4-year college or university is your ultimate goal, WWCC’s two-year Associate degrees are transferrable. While an online student at WWCC, you’ll have access to tutoring, bookstore, academic advising, personal counseling, etc.

Online Programs: 29

Score
73.7

This New Mexico community college is proud to be the largest higher education school in the state regarding enrollment.  Central New Mexico Community College has a value-based approach to education and commits to “changing lives and building community.”

CNM Online College, a college within a college, features two accelerated programs (Guided and Flex) developed to meet your educational needs at a fast pace and/or competency-based. Degrees or certificates are available online in Business Administration, Communication, Liberal Arts, Criminology, and Business. Whether you’re transferring in or wanting a degree that will move to a 4-year institution, you’ll find it at CNM Online College.

Your tuition as an online student at CNM includes books and materials, tutoring, library access, and a success coach.

Online Degree Programs: 21

Score
72.5

If you’re looking for online education options, look at the academic and training programs at South Central College in Minnesota.

Associate degrees and credit and non-credit certificates are offered at SCC, and the college has interactive, online workforce training, certifications, courses, healthcare training, 12-course categories, etc. These courses and programs are designed to be applied to your Associate degree or as professional and personal enrichment, skills training, and certification. SCC utilizes completely online, synchronous, and asynchronous courses, blended, primarily online, delivery formats.

SCC is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and you’ll be able to access over 150 degrees, diplomas, and certificates that may apply to your SCC academic pathway.

Online Programs: 9

Score
71.6

This two-year community and technical college in White Bear, Minnesota, and Century College (with an average enrollment of over 16,000 each year) is the largest two-year college in the state.

Offering pathways in eight disciplines, Century College awards Associate degrees, certificates, career and technical programs, diplomas, and Minnesota State transfer pathway degrees. Courses may be taken in several formats, including online and blended options. The college uses D2L Brightspace and Zoom for its online classes and provides tech assistance.

You’re offered a virtual student success toolkit giving you tips on being a successful online student. You can participate in learning webinars and access support services.

Online Programs: 3

Score
71.5

Your success is important at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, and the school is committed to helping you “Learn with Purpose.”

Towards that pledge, MWCTC developed Minnesota West Online so you can earn a degree or certificate at times convenient for you. MWCTC has one of the most impressive catalogs of online programs we’ve seen, with Associate degrees in today’s most in-demand careers. Among those programs have pathways in Accounting, Nursing, Computer Information, Business Management, etc. Online diplomas and certificate options are equally impressive in healthcare, computer technology, biofuels technology, etc.

Free software downloads, web browser, and plug-ins are provided, and you’ll benefit from online counseling and benefit.

Online Degree Programs: 31

Score
71.5

Battle Creek, Michigan, and the name Kellogg are synonymous with innovation. Kellogg Community College has been offering educational opportunities since 1956 and today provides online degree programs and dozens of online classes.

Five degrees are available, which can be completed entirely online Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education, Associate in Applied Science in Accounting, Associate in Applied Science in Business Management, and Associate in Applied Science in Accounting. The Early Childhood Education program does require field experience.

Don’t worry if the online class you need is full or unavailable when you want it. As a Kellogg Community College student, you have access to Michigan Colleges Online, which will connect you to any Michigan community college courses.

Online Programs: 7

Score
71.3

Recommended Online Associate's Degrees

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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.

Associate Degrees

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.

Cost

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.

Partnerships

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.

Related: 

Best Community Colleges

Top 25 Scholarships for Community College Students

50 Most Affordable Technical and Trade Schools in the US

Best Online GED Prep Courses


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