Washington County Community College (Calais)
Originally founded as Washington County Vocational Technical Institute in 1969, Washington County Community College grew into a comprehensive institution that offers around 20 majors for academic study alongside career-focused certificate, diploma and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree plans.
WCCC features the most personalized learning environment of any of the top community colleges in Maine, enrolling fewer then 400 students each semester and boasting a very comfortable student-faculty ratio of 12:1. Apartment-style housing on campus accommodates up to 125 residential students each year.
Programs offered here include an A.A.S. in computer technology, and those that culminate in a certificate or associate degree in early childhood education or a criminal justice degree with a concentration in conservation law enforcement. Online courses are available for students hoping to add some flexibility to their class schedule.
Eastern Maine Community College (Bangor)
Eastern Maine Community College was established in 1966 and moved to its current campus location two years later. The former Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute expanded its educational efforts in the decades since its founding to include off-campus learning centers in Ellsworth, East Millinocket and Dover-Foxcroft.
EMCC awards degrees, certificates and diplomas in more than 30 areas of study, from building construction and fire science technology to small business development and digital graphic design. Numerous student activities and clubs are available as well, providing an active extracurricular life on campus.
The city of Bangor, where EMCC is located, is central Maine's most populous city. Roughly 32,000 people make their homes in the Queen City, where hiking, fly fishing and whale watching are among the top attractions.
Central Maine Community College (Auburn)
Located on the banks of scenic Lake Auburn, Central Maine Community College is the second-largest institution by enrollment among the top community colleges in Maine. More than 3,000 students attend courses here each semester.
The catalog at CMCC contains more than 40 degree and certificate programs in total. Several of the associate degrees available here can be earned exclusively through online courses, including popular study plans like business administration, criminal justice and general studies. Campus programs include those that result in certificates in culinary arts, electromechanical technology and forensic investigations.
The town of Auburn offers a pleasant combination of urban and rural environments. It's part of the Lewiston metro area, one of the more densely populated urban areas in Maine, but it remains in close proximity to rural quiet and natural beauty.
York County Community College (Wells)
A low student-faculty ratio indicates that professors are likely to be available to assist students individually or outside of class time. York County Community College posted a 15:1 ratio of students to faculty members in 2018, one of the best ratios among the best Maine community colleges.
If you're thinking about online colleges but don't want to be the only one in your virtual classroom, YCCC might be a good fit. Around 45 percent of students here take at least some of their credits through distance education, giving you more than 700 potential virtual classmates.
Students here can choose among close to 40 degree and certificate programs. Fully online degree programs include A.A.S. plans in gerontology, behavioral health studies, information technology and more.
Southern Maine Community College (South Portland)
It should come as no surprise that the largest community college in Maine is located in the metro area of the state's most populated city. Southern Maine Community College educates more than 5,800 students each term — close to twice as many as the second-largest two-year school in the state.
In addition to its South Portland flagship campus, SMCC operates a secondary campus in Brunswick and seven satellite locations spread across southern Maine, as well as making two of its degree programs and over 200 individual courses available online.
Students at SMCC can choose from a total of almost 60 degree and certificate programs. The catalog includes an associate degree in computer science and a certificate in marine design aimed at aspiring maritime architects and engineers.
Kennebec Valley Community College (Fairfield)
Kennebec Valley Community College first opened its doors in 1970, to a class of 35 full-time and 131 part-time students. The Fairfield institution has now grown to inhabit a 600-acre campus and serve a student body of approximately 2,500 full- and part-time learners.
The academic catalog at KVCC features a range of degree options, including a liberal studies degree designed to allow community college students to explore their interests while earning general education credits that can transfer to a university bachelor's degree program.
Close to 20 programs here feature at least some opportunity for distance education coursework. A.A.S. degree plans in marketing and management, early childhood education, mental health technology and accounting can be earned entirely online, while degree programs in health information management, radiologic technology and more have significant online components.