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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Based on their proven levels of excellence, all of these community colleges have earned the privilege of your consideration.
Still not sure which one to pick? Here are five tips for choosing the best community college for you:

1. Does the community college have an honors program? What are the academic requirements? Would you qualify? Getting accepted into the honors programs at a community college will afford you additional opportunities and increase your chances for successful graduation and transfer.

2. Do you plan to transfer to a four-year college or university? If so, call a few of the places you hope to attend and find out how they perceive the community colleges on your list and which colleges accept the most transfers from those community colleges. Ask about any guaranteed transfers and “articulation agreements” that may be in place.

3. Inquire about the specific academic program you are interested in and compare the completion rates of that program to the overall rates of the college. If there is a notable gap between the two rates, ask why.

4. For optimal learning, do you prefer a small campus with special counseling/coaching or a larger campus with an expansive array of course options and educational opportunities? If needed, ask about remedial courses and other support resources. Compare the colleges on your short list to your personal needs.

5. Research and compare the stats on the schools you are most interested in: the college’s graduation rate,
transfer rate, “success” rankings based on various surveys.
Schoolcraft College, located in Livonia, Michigan, has a satellite campus in Garden City, Michigan. Schoolcraft College celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.
Enrollment annually averages 30,000 students. The college awards certificates, associate degrees and post-associate certificates.
Examples of degree-oriented academic programs include Liberal Arts, Health, Fine Arts, Anthropology and Education.
Examples of certificate programs include Fire Technology, Baking & Pastry Arts, Computer Graphics- 3D Animation, and Sound Recording Technology.
Schoolcraft College, well known for its culinary arts program, is headed by four certified master chefs. It has the highest chef/student ratio of any culinary program in the U.S. The college operates three dining venues as part of its culinary arts program.
The Transition Center supports students and is home to the Women’s Resource Center, Adult Student Services, Family Resources and Student Engagement Programs.
The Biomedical Technology Center focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and genetics, robotics, information systems and nanotechnology (GRIN).
The 11,000 sq. ft. Schoolcraft Fitness Center, with its state-of-the-art strength, cardio, free weight and stretch equipment is free to credit students and available for membership for non-credit students, faculty, community members and alumni.
The college’s Public Safety Training Complex, opened in 2010, houses its public safety programs such as Criminal Justice, Fire Technology, Correctional Science, Homeland Security, Police/Fire/Academies and Public Safety in-Service.
Schoolcraft College has a strong student activity presence. The MacGuffin, is a national literary magazine published from Schoolcraft College and The Schoolcraft Connection, the school’s award winning student newspaper continues to garner journalistic praise.
In 2009, the Women’s Basketball team won their second NJCAA Region 12 District H Title.
To serve local families, the school’s “Kids on Campus” program offers classes for children over the weekends during the fall, winter, and spring semesters.
To serve local businesses and industry, the college’s Business Development Center includes the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and Workforce Training Solutions.
The college is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).
Schoolcraft College ranked #49 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012.
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Normandale Community College, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, serves the communities of the southwestern portion of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul region and it’s a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
Normandale Community College has an annual enrollment of 10,000 students and the student population is very diverse – 30% and growing. Some of the programs of study offered include dental hygiene, nursing, hospitality management, dietetics, and engineering foundations.
Normandale confers various certificates for 9-30 credits as well as multiple two-year degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), Associate in Science (AS), and Associate in Applied Science (AAS).
Examples of degree programs of study include Dental Hygiene, Hospitality, Creative Writing, Special Education, Theatre, Anthropology and World Languages.
In collaboration with Education for Global Learning (EGL), Normandale Community College also has a short-term and semester Study Abroad program.
The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MNTC) is a series of 40 course credits transferable to all secondary education institutions in Minnesota. Further, Minnesota Transfer has established articulation agreements with many non-Minnesota colleges and institutions.
The campus features a two-acre Japanese Garden, the Academic Partnership Center and the Fine Arts building. Annually, the college presents various student recitals, band and choral concerts, art exhibits and other public events.
Normandale’s Continuing Education program offers a full set of courses for professional enrichment e.g. New World of Work, Microsoft Office 2010 and personal learning, Foreign Languages, Feng Shui & Sound Therapy. Additionally, Normandale offers organizational training e.g. Agile, ScrumMaster, and Six Sigma training and it also develops specialized courses customized for local business and presented at the college, at the business location or online.
Normandale ranked #48 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012.
The school’s Division of Continuing Education serves more military personnel than any of the other fifty-seven community colleges in the state. The school’s Customized Training Program provides education and training opportunities for local businesses and industries. Coastal Carolina Community College’s Continuing Education Program focuses on licensure & certification courses for a wide variety of professional and technical careers.
The community college is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Coastal Carolina Community College ranked #46 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012
Coastal Carolina Community College, a two-year institution, is located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Coastal Carolina Community College is one of the 58 public community colleges in North Carolina and serves Onslow County, which hosts two of the most strategic bases of the US Marine Corps.
Coastal students consistently meet or exceed all of the annual performance measures in the North Carolina Community College System more often than any other college.
Coastal Carolina Community College offers associate degrees in the arts (A.A.), science (A.S.), and fine arts (A.F.A.) for students seeking to transfer to a four-year college or university.
AFA programs of study include Drama, Music and Music Education, and Art.
A.S. programs include Biology Education, Biology and Engineering.
Examples of A.A. programs are Art Education; Economics, Finance and Marketing; Communication/Communication Studies; Elementary Education; English Education; Geography; Information Systems; Middle Grades Education; Physical Education; Political Science; Social Science Secondary Education; and Sociology.
Coastal Carolina Community College’s 64/65 credits of coursework are designed to parallel freshman and sophomore years at four-year colleges and universities.
Coastal and University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) have an articulation agreement guaranteeing Coastal Carolina Community College’s two-year degree graduates who maintain at least a “B” average begin as juniors at UNCW. Additionally, Coastal, UNCW, Onslow County Schools, and Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune have developed a partnership to offer “2+2” teacher training for elementary education.
Forty to fifty percent of Coastal Carolina Community College students are active duty military and their family members. The college offers eight-week semester courses on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and on Marine Corps Air Station New River to accommodate the military work schedule.
The school’s Division of Continuing Education serves more military personnel than any of the other fifty-seven community colleges in the state. The school’s Customized Training Program provides education and training opportunities for local businesses and industries. Coastal Carolina Community College’s Continuing Education Program focuses on licensure & certification courses for a wide variety of professional and technical careers.

The community college is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Coastal Carolina Community College ranked #46 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012
Northland Community & Technical College, established in 1949, has four campuses: East Grand Forks Campus, Thief River Falls Campus, Aerospace Campus and Roseau Satellite Campus. The school is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
The school offers a liberal arts program for students interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree at a four-year school. Northland Community & Technical College also provides a wide array of technical programs. The college provides over 100 career programs and degree options.
Northland Community & Technical College offers online programs in the areas of Business and Entrepreneurship; Health and Human Services; Law, Public Safety and Security; Liberal Arts/Sciences; and Science and Technology.
Northland Community and Technical College provides Associate in Applied Science degrees, Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Art degrees as well as diplomas and certificates. The school also provides a wide array of customized training to help prepare students for their selected career field.
Northland Community & Technical College’s largest programs include practical nursing; liberal arts; sales, marketing and management; aviation maintenance technology; associate degree mobility nursing; criminal justice and law enforcement.
Northland Community & Technical College provides a wide array of clubs, activities and cultural events.
The Aspen Institute listed Northland Community & Technical College among the top 10% of all U.S. community colleges in 2013.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Washington County Community College (WCCC) is located in Calais, Washington County, Maine, overlooking the St. Croix River; it’s in a rural area on the border between the United and Canada. WCCC is one of seven colleges in the Maine Community College System. Washington County Community College has a general enrollment of 500 students.
WCCC is a residential college with 24 study programs – from Adventure Creation and Tourism to Geographic Information Systems, from Building Construction Technology to Human Services.
The college provides Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees, Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees as well as diplomas and certificates.
Washington County Community College also offers courses in business/job training, personal enrichment, community service, for high school students and online learning.
Associate’s degree credits may be transferred to a four-year university and count towards completion of the first two years of their bachelor’s degree. MaineStreet is a listing of transferrable courses that fall within the articulation agreements with colleges within the Maine College System.

Washington County Community College ranked #11 in the 2010 Washington Monthly ranking of the top 100 U. S. community colleges. College Atlas.org named WCCC one of the top 25 community colleges in 2012. The Aspen Institute listed Washington County Community College among the top 10% of community colleges in 2011 and 2013.
Southeast Community College Lincoln (SCC-Lincoln), a community college network, is located in the southeast portion of Nebraska. It has three campuses and more than 20 learning centers in a 15-county district. The annual enrollment of full-time and part-time commuter students across the various campuses is ~11,000.
SCC-Lincoln provides over 50 programs of study; it also offers 12 online study programs and more than 300 courses each term.
The college awards the Associate of Applied Science Degree, Associate of Arts Degree, Associate of Science Degree, Diploma, and Certificate. The Nebraska Transfer Initiative, a cooperative effort among Nebraska’s higher education institutions, provides a seamless transition for SCC-Lincoln graduates to four-year schools.
For eight consecutive years SCC-Lincoln has produced the most graduates in Precision Production fields (Computer Aided Design Drafting, Machine Tool Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology) than any other school in the U.S.
SCC-Lincoln offers workshops, classes and seminars to people of all ages in its Continuing Education Program. The junior college also hosts a nationally-renown Entrepreneurship Center which operates a business incubator for new and growing enterprises.
The community college has a special focus on global education, aiming to infuse global perspectives into all courses to better prepare students for an increasingly global workplace.

Southeast Community College Lincoln ranked #8 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012 and listed among the top 120 U.S. community colleges by the Aspen Institute in 2011 and 2013. The community college ranked #8 among a list of 786 community colleges in the U.S. for Student Success Rates, based on graduation and retention stats.
Victor Valley Community College, located in Victorville, California, offers associate degrees in an array of areas. The community college offers majors such as business management, registered nursing, music, welding, agriculture and natural resources, animation, criminal justice and construction technology. The college offers traditional classes and some online classes.
Victor Valley Community College, one of the largest community colleges in California, has about 12,000 full-time students.
Victor Valley College’s Health Science/Public Safety/Industrial Technology division provides career technical education.
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) division prepares students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and prepares them for careers requiring a math or science background.
The Victor Valley College Office of Instruction provides traditional classes, online classes and hybrid classes
The community college also provides the Instructional Programs, Humanities, Arts & Letters Division
Victor Valley Community College provides vocational technology labs in agriculture, engineering, construction, welding and in other fields.
The Center for institutional Excellence provides guidance and support for all the school’s academic and non-academic programs on campus. The center evaluates change and offers best educational practices via evaluations and program reviews.

Victor Valley College ranked #3 in the CNN Money listing of top community colleges in 2012
Georgia Military College, established in 1879 and located in Milledgeville, Georgia, is a co-educational liberal arts junior college and a separate preparatory school (grades 6-12). GMC focuses its educational programs on two facets: 1) Development of the intellect and 2) Elevation of character and three values: Duty, Honor and Country.
The main campus in Milledgeville serves approximately 275 full-time, resident ROTC students (the Corps of Cadets) and 200-300 commuting students. GMC’s 5 distance learning centers and 2 extension offices in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Madison, Sandersville, Valdosta and Warner Robins serve ~4,000 students.
The distance learning centers also serve as junior colleges to their local communities. The preparatory school’s ACCEL Program enables qualified seniors to attend classes at the junior college and the high school simultaneously, while earning credit for both their high school diploma and their college degree.
GMC is one of five military junior colleges in the Army’s Early Commissioning Program (ECP). Cadets who graduate from the college’s two-year, military science-oriented curriculum receive an officer’s commission in the U.S. Army.
After completing the two-year degree, GMC graduates pursuing a 4-year degree at Georgia’s senior military college, North Georgia College and State University (NGC&SU) in Dahlonega, Georgia qualify for a transfer scholarship. After completing their four-year degrees, they are promoted as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army. In addition, numerous articulation agreements exist between allied colleges.
The college offers 3 degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in a variety of study areas, e.g. Criminal Justice, Human Communication, Logistics Management, International Affairs, Psychology.
GMC’s classes are small, typically no more than 15 students, and ensuring individual attention; for students who request it. Every course provides free tutoring.
College Atlas.org named MMI one of the top 25 community colleges. The college ranked #9 in the CNN Money listing of community colleges in 2012. GMC ranked #12 in the 2010 Washington Monthly ranking of top 100 U.S. community colleges.

DeAnza College, located in Cupertino, California, also home to Apple, Symantec, Sun, Hewlett-Packard, and many other high-technology firms.
The community college is part of Silicon Valley’s Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which also administers Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. The district serves the cities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and San Jose.
The annual enrollment is ~22,000 students, with a transfer rate of ~1,800 students. DeAnza College has 10 instructional divisions which sustain more than 100 areas of study.
The college offers 90-plus associate degree and university transfer programs, including popular majors such as Animation, Broadcasting, Biological, Health and Environmental Sciences, Graphic Design and Computer Graphics.
The college’s Intercultural/International Studies program has garnered much attention and the college attracts students from more than 50 countries.
The Community Education program offers non-credit classes, weekend adult workshops and summer programs for children.
DeAnza College is a cultural hub for the Silicon Valley area. It is the home of Flint Center for the Performing, the Fujitsu Planetarium, the Euphrat Museum of Art and the California History Center.
The Kirsch Center, which opened in 2005, is a carbon-easy, sustainability-leading building and was the first community college building in the US to receive a LEED platinum rating. It’s a favored location for Silicon Valley conferences and events.
DeAnza College consistently ranks #1 or #2 in the state annually for the number of students who transfer to the University of California and California State University campuses. The college ranked #10 in the CNN Money listing of top community colleges in 2012. DeAnza ranked #45 in the 2010 Washington Monthly ranking of the top 100 U.S. community colleges.

Marion Military Institute (MMI), located in Marion, Alabama, is a two-year junior college and regarded as the official state military college of Alabama. Founded in 1842, MMI is the oldest military junior college in the U.S. The junior college focuses on intellectual, moral-ethical, physical-athletic, and leadership development experiences in a military environment. In recent years, MMI has produced more than 206 admirals and generals; the school has a number of renowned military alumni.
MMI offers various military training programs including the Army’s Early Commissioning Program (ECP) in which qualified students can get commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after two years of college.
The Service Academy Preparation Program (SAP) provides freshmen a year of solid academic and physical preparation for students who wish to attend one of the Service Academies (West Point, Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy or Coast Guard Academy). Marion also offers the first two years of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
MMI recently introduced a new program: An extracurricular flight-training program using a local partner in aviation. Enrollees learn to fly through a combination of online ground school instruction, computer-based and in-flight training.
Providing a private pilot’s certificate, the program is designed to preclude U.S. Air Force and Navy Initial Flight Screening (IFS) requirements.
Annual enrollment of degree- and non-degree-seeking students is ~400.
The junior college offers Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degree programs, based on a rigorous General Studies curriculum. Within these programs, students may select study options based on their interests; they can choose the General Studies curriculum or, focus on specific disciplines e.g. Natural Science, Pre-nursing, Elementary Education or Criminal Justice.
Cadet life at Marion is rich with extracurricular options such as Choir, Sports, Drama, Band, Drill Team, etc.
The college ranked #12 in the CNN Money list of top community colleges in 2012.
Kingsborough Community College, located in Brooklyn, New York, is part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system. Kingsborough Community College provides a broad range of associate degree programs in the liberal arts and in career education. The community college also provides certificate programs in an array of areas.
Kingsborough Community College offers programs for special populations including the My Turn program which provides free tuition for residents 60 years of age and older. College Now prepares high school students for college-level work. New Start provides a second chance to students who had difficulty in college.
Most of the classes have less than 30 students, allowing instructors to teach students via hands-on learning and group discussions utilizing technology such as video-conferencing rooms and smart classrooms.
Kingsborough Community College named one of the nation’s top community colleges by the New York Times. The community college named a 2013 Aspen Institute Finalist with Distinction.
Community College Week reports Kingsborough Community College consistently ranks in the upper half of the top 100 community colleges in the nation awarding associate degrees to minorities as well as the number of associate degrees awarded in total.

Kingsborough Community College received an award from the national community college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, for the chapter with the largest growth.
Situated in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) is one of seven community colleges in Wyoming. An extended campus center is located in Green River in Sweetwater County. Rock Springs is the fourth largest town in Wyoming; the next closest towns are Salt Lake City, Utah (180 miles) and Denver, Colorado (350 miles).
Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area are all accessible to the WCCCC community.
Due to the high elevation and harsh winters in the area, all of the main college is located indoors, connected by hallways.
The junior college awards one-year certificates in 36 program areas, including:
  • Journalism
  • Web Site Development
  • Technical Theatre
  • Accounting
  • Digital Design Technologies
  • Fitness Leadership
  • Power Plant Maintenance Mechanics
Western Wyoming Community College confers Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Fine Arts (AFA), Associate of Nursing (AN), Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, and a few four-year degrees in partnership with the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.
Degree-related programs include:
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Health Science
  • Social Science
  • Business
  • Technology & Industry
Close to 70 percent of students are in transfer programs. The school has a strong international students segment, with many resources including a host family program.
Online and compressed video courses are available statewide; online courses may be taken for associate, bachelor and master degree courses.
An annual “Wyoming Safety & Workforce Summit” is free to the community and offers presentations on safety issues and workforce development.
WWCC is also home to the Instructional Well-Site Facility, a closed-loop system that provides “real world” training for local industry technicians and customized specialty courses. This site also serves as a meeting space for industry professionals.

WWCC is a member of The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). College Atlas.org named WWCC one of the top 25 community colleges. The college ranked #13 in the CNN Money listing of top community colleges in 2012. Finally, WCCC ranked #15 in the 2010 Washington Monthly ranking of the top 100 U. S. community colleges
North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), a two-year community college located in Mason City, Iowa, serves the North Iowa region. North Iowa Area Community College was founded in 1918 as the first public two-year college in Iowa.
Annual enrollment at North Iowa is 3700, with 56% enrolled in transfer programs and 44% in Career/Vocational programs.
Among first-time, full-time degree-seeking students at NIACC, 42% graduate within 3 years and another 20% transfer prior to graduation.
NIACC has more than 40 articulation agreements with 4-year colleges and universities and almost all of the school’s career/vocational programs are transferable.
The community college has a notably low tuition, compared to other community colleges, colleges and universities in the region. Additionally, NIACC offers an “Extreme Makeover: College Edition” contest annually, where two lucky students win an entire year of education at NIACC for free, including textbooks and other resources.
NIACC Career & Technical graduates have a 95% placement rate while 91% of NIACC graduates continue to live and work in North Iowa.
NIACC’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is a major source of entrepreneurial support for local residents and the community in reaching their potential. The center has assisted in 127 new local business starts and 300+ new statewide starts.
The junior college has a strong intercollegiate athletics program – with more than 250 students involved — including men’s baseball, basketball, wrestling, golf, cross country, soccer and track & field; and women’s basketball, softball, cross country, volleyball, golf and track & field. For example, NIACC claimed the 2013 Region XI baseball title.
The NIACC Performing Arts & Leadership Series offers a variety of shows, entertaining ~16,000 people each year. Online classes and a continuing education program provide learning to more than 3000 participants annually.

The Aspen Institute listed North Iowa Area Community College among the top 10% of all U.S. community colleges in 2013. The college ranked #14 in the CNN Money listing of top community colleges in 2012.
Situated near Rainsville, Alabama between DeKalb and Jackson counties, Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) serves the Northeast Alabama region.
Through the academic divisions at Northeast Alabama Community College – Business & Computer Science, English & Fine Arts, Mathematics, Health Sciences, Social Science/Speech/Foreign Language and Natural Sciences — students may earn an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in more than 130 majors.
Career/Technical programs, which lead to a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, include such programs as Drafting & Design Technology, Salon & Spa Management, Industrial Electronics, and Emergency Medical Services.
STARS (for state colleges and universities in Alabama) and 2TO4 (for independent colleges and universities in Alabama) are articulation agreements guaranteeing NACC credits transfer to four-year institutions and two years at NACC counts as two years towards a bachelor degree.
Graduates of its Technical/Career programs have ranked first within the Alabama Community College System in job retention and NACC students have placed first among prospective teachers taking the Basic Skills test.
Northeast Alabama Community College also has Distance Education, Continuing Education (including ESL and GED) and Workplace Education (classes offered by a company or industry specifically for its employees) programs available. Additionally, NACC chosen as one of 36 colleges to participate in the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education and social services.

The community college ranked #15 in the CNN Money listing of top community colleges in 2012. The Aspen Institute listed Northeast Alabama Community College among the top 10% of all U.S. community colleges in 2013.