Phillips Community College (Helena)
Known formally as Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Phillips Community College was founded in 1965 and has grown from fewer than 250 students in its first year to the over 1,500 who enroll each semester as of 2018. Along with its main campus in Helena and West Helena, PCCUA offers courses at satellite locations in DeWitt and Stuttgart.
There are four academic divisions at PCCUA: allied health, applied technology, arts and sciences and business and information systems. Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees are available in forestry and wildlife management, early childhood education, music, business administration and more. Those hoping to take advantage of the flexibility of online community colleges in Arkansas can find dozens of distance education courses here.
NorthWest Arkansas Community College (Bentonville)
NorthWest Arkansas Community College has grown quite a bit since it first opened its doors in 1990. It's the largest institution by enrollment among the best Arkansas community colleges today, welcoming nearly 8,000 students each term. NWACC has its main campus in Bentonville and maintains learning centers in three other cities.
At NWACC, students can earn degrees and certificates in a wide range of major subjects. Degree programs designed for university transfer include A.A. plans in child advocacy and global studies, as well as Associate of Science (A.S.) programs in fields like business, engineering and art history.
Career-focused students can earn Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees in construction technology, computer-aided design (CAD), fire science, graphic design and more. Certificate plans include forensic science, computer networking and cinematic studies.
Arkansas Northeastern College (Blytheville)
There are several reasons why Arkansas Northeastern College lands among the best Arkansas community colleges. It has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, charging an average of just over $2,300 for in-district residents, and students with young children can take advantage of day care services at the NIBCO Children's Care Center.
According to the numbers, non-traditional students might feel especially comfortable at this Blytheville school. The average age of students at ANC is 28, reflecting that older learners returning to school make up a significant portion of the student body.
A.A.S. degrees in advanced manufacturing, computer information systems, steel industry technology and more are available here. Students aiming to transfer can pursue an A.A., A.S. or Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.) degree program.
South Arkansas Community College (El Dorado)
South Arkansas Community College is another one of the more affordable two-year schools in the state, reporting an average tuition of less than $85 per credit hour for students who live in-district and an average total tuition of roughly $2,700 for a full year of study. This close-knit institution features a total enrollment of fewer than 1,500 students and a comfortable student-faculty ratio of 15:1.
More than 20 transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities are in force at Southark, and a general transfer A.A. degree program can help you complete your university general education requirements without deciding on a major. Health science degree and certificate degree options for career-bound students include such fields as registered nursing, occupational therapy assisting and medical coding.
Black River Technical College (Pocahontas)
Named for the waterway that runs through its home city of Pocahontas, Black River Technical College belongs among the top online community colleges in Arkansas by multiple measures. More than 49 percent of students here took at least some of their credits in the virtual classroom in 2018, and the catalog of programs available at least partially online contains over a dozen associate degree programs and certificate plans.
Subjects of study available entirely through distance education include A.S. plans in criminal justice and fire science administration, a general education A.A. degree and a technical certificate in nutrition and foodservice management. Programs that consist of at least 50 percent online courses include associate degrees in business administration and crime scene investigation and certificates in health professions and microcomputer repair.
Arkansas State University-Beebe (Beebe)
Arkansas State University - Beebe was founded in 1927 and now operates civilian campuses in Beebe, Heber Springs and Searcy and a military education center on the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville. Around 3,400 students attend classes here each semester.
Students enrolling in ASUB can choose among degree and certificate programs in diverse fields such as automotive technology, practical nursing, agriculture, computer information systems, fine arts, welding technology and more. Certificates in niche fields like upholstery and power sports technology can be earned on campus.
As part of the Arkansas State University System, ASUB also offers its students the opportunity to earn bachelor's and graduate degrees from Arkansas State without leaving the Beebe campus. Workforce training and adult education are available as well.
Ozarka College (Melbourne)
Ozarka College is one of the best community colleges in Arkansas, but that's not its only claim to fame. The Melbourne school also boasts the distinction of being one of the fastest growing small community colleges in the nation. Despite its growth, Ozarka maintains a student-faculty ratio of 14:1 and features a close-knit student body of around 1,100 learners.
One of the associate degree programs offered here can train you for a career where the sky truly is the limit. The A.S. program in aviation provides training in the techniques of flying single-engine aircraft and serves as a strong foundation for advanced flight certifications or transfer to university aviation programs. Other associate degree programs available here include agriculture operations, culinary arts, criminal justice and corrections and agriculture.
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (Morrilton)
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton began its operations in 1961 and became a member of the University of Arkansas System 40 years later. Around 1,900 students are enrolled in career training programs and academic study plans at this central Arkansas institution.
At UACCM, students can take advantage of a rich experience that includes access to a number of student clubs and organizations, hands-on training, intramural sports and a variety of support services. In addition to having an affordable tuition rate, the UACCM offers a wide array of scholarships for students in its academic and technical programs.
The catalog here contains two certificates and an A.A.S. degree program in air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology, several options in computer information systems and 2+2 transfer agreement programs for business, education and liberal arts students.
University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (Hope)
Student success was a statistical bright spot for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. Only a handful of other two-year schools in the state posted graduation rates that could match the number recorded here, and no other institution in our top ten reported a higher percentage of first-year students returning for the second year of their degree plans.
The original Bowie knife was made in Arkansas, according to local lore, and UAHT is working to maintain the state's leadership in the bladesmithing trade by offering certificate programs of proficiency at the James Black School of Bladesmithing in Washington. Available programs in criminal justice include three levels of study in crime scene investigation and law enforcement administration.
Fewer than 1,600 students attend school here each semester, and the student-faculty ratio is 16:1.
Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (Mountain Home)
Arkansas State University - Mountain Home isn't just one of the top community colleges in Arkansas, it also competes on the national level with other similarly-sized institutions. The Aspen Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses a part of its efforts on educational quality, named this Baxter County school among the finalists for its 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The ASUMH mission is to enhance student lives by providing opportunities for academic access and diverse experiences that lead to lifelong learning and an enhanced quality of life. Programs of study available here include an A.A.S. and two levels of certificate in mechatronics, a dozen degree programs and certificates in computer information systems disciplines and a certificate or an associate degree, respectively, in funeral directing and funeral science.