The choice of a college is one of the most important decisions in the life of a student. Every year, countless high school graduates from around the country do their best to prepare for college. For many, getting into the top schools such as Ivy League universities is the only way to go. Anything less is often considered as inferior. Unfortunately, this assumption often results in students overlooking the fact that community colleges can be a great choice for a school. Apart from being far more affordable than most four-year colleges, community colleges can also serve as a gateway towards more advanced learning. For example, completing courses at a community college before transferring to a four-year college can help you avoid taking out massive student loans. Best of all, there is no shortage in community colleges that can give you excellent education. In this post, we provide a glimpse of 10 of the best community colleges in the United States.
Los Altos Hills, California
One of the top community colleges in the country, Foothill College is known for its excellent education and the beauty of its Japanese-inspired campus. Foothill has six divisions of study: Biological and Health Sciences, Fine Arts and Communication, Physical Sciences, Biological and Health Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, and Language Arts. Together, these six divisions offer a total of 107 certificate programs and 79 associate degrees. Foothill also offers distance education, with over 500 online courses available for enrollees. Because of its wide array of degrees and courses to choose from, Foothill is an ideal choice for students who seek quality in their education. Just ask the 18,000 students who enter Foothill every year.
Santa Barbara City College (SBCC)
Santa Barbara, California
Founded in the early 20th century, Santa Barbara City College has grown to become one of the best community colleges not only in California but in the entire country. The college currently offers over 80 degrees and 50 certificate programs. The quality of education has also been noted as excellent, as the college received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2013. The best part about SBCC, however, is its partnership with over 70 colleges. The partnership guarantees that credits earned at SBCC are recognized by the partner colleges, thus making it easier for students to transition to four-year colleges after their completing studies at SBCC. To top it off, SBCC has a great campus surrounded by breathtaking views of the ocean.
Walla Walla Community College (WWCC)
Walla Walla, Washington
A multi-campus school that serves the southeastern region of Washington, Walla Walla currently offers over 90 certificate programs as well as over 40 associate programs. WWCC provides students courses on more traditional areas of study including health sciences, humanities, business, criminal justice, and agriculture. However, what sets WWCC apart is its specialized courses on oenology and viticulture, which the school established in the 1990s to revitalize the region’s agricultural industry. Students can choose to study on-campus, online, or through a combination of both. WWCC also won the Aspen Prize in 2013 along with SBCC.
Considered as one of the best community colleges in the country, Valencia College offers over 120 associate and certificate programs on various fields including health sciences, criminal justice, languages, and career and professional development. The college also offers a number of transfer plans which facilitate easier transfer to four-year institutions including Florida Central University and other state universities. Valencia has also been designated as a Hispanic-serving college due to the high number of degrees it awards to Hispanic students. Valencia won the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2011 and is consistently ranked as one of the best colleges.
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul, Minnesota
A technical college, Saint Paul is known for using advanced technology to improve the learning experience of its students. Saint Paul offers both on-campus and online classes as well as a mix of the two. The college currently offers over 60 certificate programs as well as almost 40 associate degree programs. Some of the areas of study Saint Paul covers are business, culinary arts, health information, computer graphics and technology, and medical technology. Aside from having lower fees, Saint Paul also offers scholarships to qualifying students who graduate from public schools in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Finally, a robust campus life gives students plenty of engagements that can enrich their learning experience.
New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI)
Roswell, New Mexico
One of the only six junior military colleges in the country, NMMI holds the distinction of being the only military boarding school that is both co-educational and state-supported. NMMI provides a liberal arts education with courses that cover the humanities, mathematics, business, and the social sciences. Moreover, it is also known for its academic rigor, especially since students are required to conduct themselves with honor, honesty, and integrity. More than 95% of NMMI’s graduates eventually move on to four-year colleges while more than a third seek commission in the army. The college also has a great campus complete with facilities. It also integrates a college preparatory center and a four-year high school.
West Covina, California
East San Gabriel is primarily a technical school, which means that its education focuses on providing students technical knowledge and skills necessary for employment in technical industries. Some of the areas of study that East San Gabriel provides courses for include business management, health sciences, criminal justice, child development, and green facilities management. The college maintains partnerships with local businesses and agencies, thus enabling students to acquire practical experience and internships in local locations.
Lake Area Technical Institute
Watertown, South Dakota
Lake Area Technical Institute offers a wide range of options for education. The school provides 29 programs on a variety of areas including business, agriculture, finance, and computer information systems. More specialized areas are paint and fabrication, robotics, cosmetology, and aviation. Students also have the option for choosing on-campus, online, or hybrid learning. Lake Area Tech has a good track record when it comes to assisting students. The college helps students land good employment positions following graduation. Meanwhile, around 76% of Lake Area Tech’s graduates eventually move on to four-year institutions, which is far higher than the national average of 40%. Finally, articulation agreements allow Lake Area Tech’s students to transfer their credits to many four-year institutions.
North Central Kansas Technical College (NCK Tech)
As NCT Tech is a technical college, it specializes in technical industries. However, the school also provides more specialized programs such as automotive collision technology, residential electricity, agricultural technology, and diesel technology. NCK Tech bestows certificate, degree, and professional development programs. Because of the quality of education, NCK Tech boasts of how graduates often receive salaries comparable with graduates of four-year colleges. Furthermore, the college’s affiliation with agencies including the United States Department of Commerce helps ensure that graduates can easily find employment.
Mayland Community College
Spruce Pine, North Carolina
Part of North Carolina Community College System, Mayland offers over 35 programs and bestows associate degrees. The college also offers numerous transfer programs, especially since its partnerships with various colleges and universities in the state enable students to have their courses credited. Mayland, therefore, is an ideal choice for a junior college for students seeking to transfer to four-year institutions. Mayland offers a wide array of courses in various fields including business, engineering, arts, health sciences, and applied technology among others.
As discussed before, entering a community college can be a viable option for students who seek to acquire skills necessary for employment as well as to gain credit in order to transfer to four-year institutions. Apart from having lower fees, a community college can give you a wealth of experience that you can put into use for your academic, professional, and personal development. That said, choosing the right community college for you is not just about entering any college included on the list. It is all about knowing what your requirements are and choosing a community college that best fits your needs and goals. When enrolling or studying at a community college or another center for higher education, CustomEssayMeister can help you develop outstanding application essays, term papers, research papers, and many other writing projects. Our quality service will help you succeed in your academics, just as we had done for countless clients across the globe.