With only 400 students, Dawson Community College is a college that’s all about agriculture.
Community college is an excellent choice for students looking for an affordable education, who also might not be sure what they want to study. Yet at times, a community college student’s schedule can become difficult, with challenges like families, work, packed classes and overcrowded majors. At some colleges, earning a two-year degree can turn into a four- or five-year process. And, if you're not sure what you want to do, it might take a couple of terms to figure out your plan.
However, if you’re dedicated to finishing your degree, the following colleges can help you reach your goal more efficiently. Each school has a graduation rate of over 80 percent — meaning they have a proven track record of getting students through their programs as quickly as possible, so they are prepared for the job market.
Location: Beloit, KS
Graduation Rate: 82%
There’s one big reason North Central Kansas Technical College produces so many graduates — its dedication to short-term education. The college aims to get students into the workforce as soon as possible, so they can gain experience and on-the-job training. Many of the programs at North Central Kansas are centered on technology. Depending on their program, some students can graduate in as few as nine months.
Location: Alvin, TX
Graduation Rate: 82.6%
Alvin Community College excels at both retaining students and pushing them towards their academic goals. Through the Texas Common Course Numbering System, the college ensures students know exactly what classes they need to take in order to transfer into the Texas public university system. The transfer programs are the most popular on campus, and the curriculum is designed to lead right into a four-year degree.
Location: Price, UT
Graduation Rate: 83%
Part of the Utah State University system, the College of Eastern Utah is ranked third nationally in terms of student success. Unlike most community colleges, Eastern Utah doesn’t expect its students to earn their degree or transfer in two years. Instead, students study for three years. This plan allows for flexibility, and recognizes that not all students take fulfill all requirements within two years. Thanks to this unique outlook, the college’s graduation rate is consistently one of the best.
Location: Victorville, CA
Graduation Rate: 83.6%
In 2012, Victor Valley Community College revamped its educational plan. Recognizing the need for an update, the school chose to make major changes to its distance-learning program. The college typically serves local students. The new educational master plan put in place more distance learning options, as well as a state-of-the-art online education system. Victor Valley’s focus on non-traditional learning allows its students to achieve their goals on their own time — making them more achievable.
Location: Roxboro, NC
Graduation Rate: 83.8%
Piedmont Community College isn’t just focused on their students, they’re also interested in surrounding communities and getting students involved with local businesses. Earning a certificate or associate’s degree at Piedmont comes with real-life experience. PCC helps place students in the field they’re interested in, a practice that makes their goals come to life. Student success is high — and so is the satisfaction rate, at nearly 100 percent.
Location: Glendive, MO
Graduation Rate: 90.7%
With only 400 students, Dawson Community College is a college that’s all about agriculture. One of the reasons the school produces so many graduates is its on-campus housing policy. All students under the age of 21 must live on campus — a rule that encourages studying and dedication to learning. But Dawson students aren’t always focused on their studies. They also enjoy cheering on the men’s and women’s rodeo teams.
Location: Crownpoint, NM
Graduation Rate: 91.6%
Navajo Technical College takes a somewhat unusual approach to education. The college subscribes to the Dine Philosophy of Education. This view on learning emphasizes culture and student-to-student interaction. Attending classes at the actual campus is highly important, and missing lectures isn’t acceptable. No matter what subject a student studies, they are encouraged to put their education first.
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA
Graduation Rate: 92.6%
Sitting high at 6,229 feet, Lake Tahoe Community College is the highest college in California. All the fresh air and altitude seem to have a positive impact on the student body, as over 90 percent graduate or transfer within two years. The college offers specific and directed programs of study in fields such as phlebotomy and culinary arts, all of which are fitted to each individual student’s schedule. When preparing for the quarter, students can choose how many days they want to attend and build their curriculum around that.
Location: Chicago, IL
Graduation Rate: 93.2%
Students who are interested in earning their degree as quickly as possible often choose South Suburban College. The school offers traditional, in-classroom learning, distance learning, and even hybrid programs. Students who enroll in a hybrid program can choose to balance in-classroom learning with online classes. Though all the programs help students excel, the passionate faculty in the art department help majors transition smoothly into the workforce — dispelling the notion that art students can’t find careers.
Location: San Gabriel, CA
Graduation Rate: 93.4%
The East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupation Program in the California valley offers a distinctive method of earning certifications or degrees. Both adults and high school students can take classes towards a given certificate, even if they have yet to graduate. The Occupation Program pairs its students with businesses and job sites, and requires them to split their curriculum between the field and the classroom. With so much exposure to the “real world,” it’s no surprise that students have incentive to earn the necessary qualifications.
- California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois award more associate's degrees than any other states in the nation.
- A community college gradate can expect to earn about $400,000 more than a high school graduate over the course of their lifetime.
- Over half of all community college students are over age 25 and hold a full- or part-time job.
Stats source: College Measures