What Is a Community College?

A community college, sometimes called a junior college or technical college, is a 2-year educational institution. Programs offered at a community college include certificates and A.A., A.A.S or A.S. degrees. Admission and tuition may be more accessible than at 4-year schools, but credits can often be transferred to universities.

Community College Past and Present

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, community colleges date back to the early 1900's and really took off after World War II. By the late 1990's, more than half of all postsecondary students had their first college experiences through community college. Today, community colleges allow students to study at the collegiate level for two years at an even more comprehensive level than when these institutions first started.

Possible Careers for Community College Graduates

Dental Hygienist Preschool Teacher Registered Nurse Automotive Technician
Degree Required Associate's degree in dental hygiene and license Requirements vary by state, but may include certification or a degree in education Associate's degree in nursing and license Industry certification, many employers prefer an associate's degree
Work Environment Dentist's/medical office Public or private school, childcare center Hospitals, doctor's offices, home care, residential care facilities Private garage or self-employed
Median Pay (2014) $71,520 $28,120 $66,640 $37,120
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 33% 17% 19% 9%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Community College Degrees

A community college offers degree options in various fields of study. Students may obtain an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), or a certificate. Students who choose to start their education at a community college will often continue their studies at a 4-year college. For example, over 52,000 students who attended schools in the California Community College system transferred to 4-year institutions in 2010, as reported by the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Some areas of study offered through community colleges include:

  • Healthcare
  • Automotive and mechanics
  • Business management
  • Communications and design
  • Information technology

Community College Enrollment

Community college student populations can range from a couple hundred students to more than 100,000, depending on the size of the school and its location in the country. The type of students who enroll may also vary. Data from the California Postsecondary Education Commission shows that about 36% of students in the California Community College system were over 25 years old in 2009.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »