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Best Community Colleges in Delaware

Earning a community college degree can give you a leg up on a bachelor's program from one of the top four-year schools in Delaware or put you on an accelerated path toward the career you've always wanted. We put together this quick guide for aspiring students who want to stay on top of how Delaware community colleges might make higher education work for them.

In order to figure out which schools were the best community colleges in Delaware, we gathered a ton of data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and analyzed it to look for affordability, flexibility and other attributes that are important to students.

Read on to find out how the best Delaware community colleges work to help their students get ahead.

THE TOP COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN DELAWARE

1

Delaware College of Art and Design (Wilmington)

The Delaware College of Art and Design is not your typical community college. It's a private school, for one, while most two-year colleges are public institutions. It's also the product of a partnership between two out-of-state art colleges, Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., and Pratt Institute in New York City.

All students who attend classes at DCAD's Wilmington campus pursue an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree. The first year, known as Foundation Year, consists of a core group of courses designed to introduce students to essential studio techniques and basic principles in visual art.

In their second year, students are immersed in their chosen specialty during the studio portion of their schedule. Available specialties include fine arts, animation, graphic design, illustration and photography. If you aren't seeking a full two-year degree, certificate programs are available as well.

2

Delaware Technical Community College (Dover)

Because it reports data to the U.S. Department of Education as a four-year school, our rankings methodology nearly missed Delaware Technical Community College. It does offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) designed for working registered nurses, but the bulk of the 110+ study plans in its catalog are associate degree and certificate programs.

Total enrollment at Delaware Tech was close to 14,000 students in 2017. The institution maintains its administrative headquarters in Dover and operates three additional campuses in Georgetown, Stanton and Wilmington. It's also one of the online colleges in the region, offering a wide range of online courses to students who need a little extra flexibility.

The academic catalog here includes career-focused degrees and certificates as well as academically oriented programs that can satisfy the first two years of credits for a bachelor's degree. Not every Delaware Tech program is available at every location, so check with an adviser to make sure that your chosen program is offered at your local campus.

Resources for Transfer Students in Delaware

Delaware Tech's affordable price tag -- less than $4,000 for a 24-credit year of full-time study, on average -- makes it an attractive destination for students hoping to knock out a few semesters of college coursework before transferring into universities in Delaware and elsewhere. The national average for one year of public university study was $10,230 in 2018, to put that amount in perspective.

More than 200 established program-to-program articulation agreements help connect Delaware Tech programs to their counterparts at universities around the country. Be sure to check with an adviser and see if your degree program fits into the Connected Degrees initiative; provided you meet the qualifications, Connected Degrees programs allow you to seamlessly enter your junior year at your destination university.

DCAD also holds articulation agreements between itself and other art schools around the U.S. -- such as its parent school Pratt Institute and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in Nashville, Tennessee -- which can help students ensure that their transfer goes as smoothly as possible.

Explore the top universities in Delaware for more insight into education in the state.

Methodology

We ranked community colleges in Delaware on multiple factors related to educational opportunity, student performance and student services.

Each school was scored on a 10-point scale, using the following data points:

  1. The percentage of students enrolled in distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  2. Cost of attendance, based on the average net price for students receiving scholarship and grant aid, and the total cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  3. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  4. The graduation rate in 150% time, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  5. The transfer-out rate in 150% time, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  6. Flexibility, based on the following data points from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2016

                a) Whether the school offers credit for life experiences
                b) Whether the school offers programs of study that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
                c) Whether the school offers on-campus day care for students' children
                d) Whether the school offers any kind of alternative tuition plan.These may include, but aren't limited to, payment plans or guaranteed rates

Article Sources
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 31, 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=DE&ct=1+2&ic=2
  • School pages, accessed October 31, 2018: About DCAD, Delaware College of Art and Design, https://www.dcad.edu/about/; Why DCAD?, Delaware College of Art and Design, https://www.dcad.edu/about/why-dcad/; AFA Program, Delaware College of Art and Design, https://www.dcad.edu/academics/afa-program/; Certificate of Completion Programs, Delaware College of Art and Design, https://www.dcad.edu/community-programs/certificate-programs/; Memorandum of Agreement Between Delaware College of Art and Design Associate in Fine Arts Degree in Visual Art and Watkins College of Art Bachelor of fine Arts Degree in Fine Art, Delaware College of Art and Design, https://www.dcad.edu/wp-content/uploads/Watkins_IL_Sequential.pdf; About, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/about; Our Campuses, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/our-campuses; History, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/about/history; Fast Facts, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/sites/default/files/fy16-heoa-fast-facts-delaware-tech.pdf; Academics, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/academics; Programs of Study, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/academics/programs-study; Tuition & Fees, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/admissions-financial-aid/tuition-fees; Transfer Options, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/academics/transfer-options; Connected Degrees, Delaware Technical Community College, https://www.dtcc.edu/academics/transfer-options/connected-degrees; Affiliated Schools, Pratt Institute, accessed October 31, 2018, https://www.pratt.edu/academics/school-of-design/affiliated-schools/
  • Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time, Trends in Higher Education, The College Board, accessed October 31, 2018, https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-and-board-over-time
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds