Community colleges are often forgotten in rankings. But, why? It really doesn’t make sense, considering nearly half of America’s undergraduate students attend community colleges.
They’re important, not only to students, but to the economy as well – training and providing education to prepare students for either a four-year school or a bright career path.
ranked America’s top two-year community colleges and technical centers in order to discover where students can obtain the best affordable education solutions.
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Data from the College Measures
, a Gates Foundation-supported database, was analyzed to determine which schools were the best based on the following six aspects: graduation rate, cost, enrolled students and AACC membership.
Students at Des Moines Area Community College can choose to study from over 153 degree programs. The college offers transferrable courses, small class sizes, free academic tutoring and online courses. Facilitators at Des Moines work hard to ensure students see results from their education.
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Anoka-Ramsey has over 100 transferrable courses, the lowest tuition in Minnesota and roughly 75% of students receive financial aid. It also has a thriving community atmosphere with more than 75 student organizations.
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This community college comes with an ocean view! It also provides the first two years of a baccalaureate degree through its course offerings and transfer program. Students love the faculty, small classes, state-of-the-art facilities, student services and incredible location.
Hutchinson offers students 70 different fields of study to choose from in which to pursue their degree. It also has transfer agreements with every Kansas Regents college and university as well as a variety of institutions across the country.
Over 36,000 students are enrolled at Schoolcraft for continuing education. There are 70 areas of study for students to take advantage of as well as flexible course loads. For instance, students can opt into 15-week, 12-week or seven-week courses. Schoolcraft boasts a very involved community with over 20,000 participants in special events, activities and programs and community service projects.
One of the best things about Normandale is that they haven’t increased tuition costs in two years. They offer the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, which enables students to take specific courses that will transfer to all University of Minnesota schools, Minnesota State colleges and universities and many other private institutions.
Saddleback has it all – athletics, arts and a rich campus life. It also boasts great transfer success of its students to the many University of California campuses. The school offers 300 associate degrees, certificates and occupational skills in over 190 different fields.
Meridian is not like most community colleges. In addition to the 1,500 courses in over 52 areas of study, Meridian offers students the opportunity to live on campus.
Just minutes from the California beaches, Orange Coast College offers over 135 academic and career programs. It’s most well-known for its public nautical program.
De Anza College resides in the heart of Silicon Valley and has every resource and benefit the Valley provides at its fingertips. Students at De Anza go on to attend UCLA, UC Davis and Berkeley. They also don’t just start their college career here; many in Silicon Valley take advantage of certifications and courses offered in order to advance in their careers.
Did this change or impact your opinion of community colleges? Why or why not?