Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Perkinston)
Affordable tuition, convenient locations and a comprehensive degree catalog are a few of the reasons why Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is one of the state's top two-year schools. In fact, Gulf Coast says it is the only community college in Mississippi to be among the nation's top 100 associate degree producers.
Students at MGCCC can choose either an academic pathway or a career and technical pathway. Approximately three-fourths of students enroll in academic pathways that include transfer degrees in eight broad areas of study. Meanwhile, career and technical programs include degrees and certificates that are intended to take students directly from MGCCC to the workforce.
Popular programs include precision manufacturing and machining technology and business management technology. More than 350 courses and several programs are available entirely online.
East Central Community College (Decatur)
A student body of approximately 2,500 learners attends courses at East Central Community College, with roughly two out of three students pursuing their degrees full time. Technical programs like automotive technology, information systems technology and HVAC make up the bulk of the catalog here, but programs in art, music, education, health care and more are also available.
Students shopping around for online colleges in Mississippi can find plenty of distance education opportunity at ECCC, as well as an on-site office to help students become comfortable with the virtual classroom. Online courses are provided by the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC), a cooperative of the state's community college districts.
If you like the pace of life in a small rural town, you'll likely feel at home at ECCC. The city of Decatur is home to fewer than 2,000 residents.
Itawamba Community College (Fulton)
Itawamba Community College is one of the top online community colleges in Mississippi, particularly for students who may not be familiar with digital distance education. Not only is ICC the state's largest provider of online educational content, but its online learning orientation and free access to online tutoring work together to help students handle any challenges they face.
If you'd prefer a traditional classroom, however, ICC has you covered there as well. The institution maintains three separate campuses in northeastern Mississippi — the flagship location in Fulton as well as two in the Tupelo metro area — and classes are available during the day, at night or on weekends.
More than 110 total degree and certificate programs can be pursued at ICC. The general studies program here has a long list of available concentrations for aspiring transfer students.
East Mississippi Community College (Scooba)
Founded in 1927, East Mississippi Community College provides one of the more intimate two-year learning environments in the state. Despite a total enrollment of more than 4,000 students, administrators at this east central Mississippi school have managed to keep the student-faculty ratio at a comfortable 17:1.
The community college district served by EMCC is six counties wide, and the institution has established a total of seven campuses to help bring affordable education to residents at all corners of the region. Along with the original location in Scooba, EMCC operates campuses or learning centers in Mayhew, Columbus, Macon, Meridian and West Point.
Students here can choose from a catalog of nearly 50 career and technical programs alongside more than 60 academic majors in humanities, fine arts, science, math, business and the social sciences.
Northeast Mississippi Community College (Booneville)
Northeast Mississippi Community College has been welcoming students from all walks of life since 1948. The schools says students will learn in a warm environment that comes with supportive faculty and an affordable tuition rate.
There are seven academic divisions at NEMCC, and they offer dozens of degrees and certificates. Popular options include a medical assisting technology certificate and an associate degree in industrial maintenance technology. The college also has transfer degrees in majors such as English and liberal arts, and credits from these programs may be transferred and applied toward a bachelor's degree.
Online courses are available for core academics and more than 20 programs. Those who prefer to learn in-person can attend classes on NEMCC's main campus in Booneville or at off-site learning centers in Corinth and New Albany.
Pearl River Community College (Poplarville)
Historic firsts are something of a habit at Pearl River Community College. The institution began its life as Mississippi's first county agricultural high school in 1909, for example, and then took on the mantle of the state's first public two-year college when it began offering sophomore-level college courses in 1924.
Around 4,800 students are enrolled in the degree and certificate programs offered through PRCC's eight academic divisions. More than 30 subjects of study are available for students looking to finish their degrees at the associate level, but that number just about doubles for those who transfer their credits and go on to pursue bachelor's-level study. Fields of study range from block, brick and stone masonry to practical nursing.
Additional amenities exist for both academic and career-oriented students. PRCC hosts a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, and provides an online career coach for those looking for the right trajectory.
Hinds Community College (Raymond)
Students who want the hustle and bustle of a large college should give Hinds Community College a second look. Approximately 32,000 credit and non-credit students from every county in Mississippi attend classes online or on campus at Hinds. More than 12,000 of them are enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs that cover academic, career and technical and nursing and allied health fields of study.
Everyone in the five-county area served by Hinds lives within 30 miles of one of its many locations, of which the majority feature a robust selection of degree and certificate programs. The main campus in Raymond goes the extra mile with residence halls, service clubs and student athletic events.
Thanks to transfer agreements with Mississippi universities, Hinds can also offer junior and senior level courses in select degree programs. One such agreement also makes it possible for older students to earn a bachelor's degree on an accelerated schedule.
Mississippi Delta Community College (Moorhead)
Mississippi Delta Community College was accredited for the first time in 1928, and it's been building its portfolio of degree and certificate programs ever since. Approximately 2,400 students attend classes here, with 73 percent enrolled in full-time study plans.
Career and technical programs offered at MDCC come in three distinct forms: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, which tend to take between 60 and 67 credit hours to complete; career certificates, which typically require 30-32 credits; and technical certificates, which can consist of anywhere from 45 to 64 credits. Fields of study include accounting technology, field crops technology and culinary arts technology.
Like all of the best Mississippi community colleges, MDCC participates in the statewide articulation agreement with four-year universities in Mississippi. Signed in 2005, the agreement opens the door to more than 160 areas of study and simplifies the transfer process.
Holmes Community College (Goodman)
Holmes Community College was known originally as Holmes County Agricultural High School and became a degree-granting college in the 1928-29 school year. The institution maintains its headquarters at the original location in Goodman but operates two additional campuses and two satellite learning centers in its nine-county service area.
Availability of degree programs across the HCC campuses is not uniform, so make sure that the degree you're after appears in the catalog of your chosen location. Health care programs, for example, may be more prevalent at the Grenada or Ridgeland locations than at the residential campus in Goodman.
Tuition here is also fairly affordable, particularly for full-time students. The annual cost of tuition and fees for a student taking two semesters of 15-21 credits each is just over $3,100 — a discount from the national average.
Northwest Mississippi Community College (Senatobia)
Northwest Mississippi Community College structures its degree catalog in three tiers, each of which designed to interest a certain type of student. Standard college majors like elementary education, business administration and psychology are known as Academic Pathways at NMCC, and students can expect that all completed courses in the Associate of Arts (A.A.) curriculum should transfer to in-state public universities.
Technical programs at NMCC are delivered as two-year study plans that lead to an A.A.S. degree and focus on specialized, career-centered knowledge and skills. Those looking for a fast track to skills training can pursue career certificates, which can take as little as nine months of study to complete.
More than 7,500 students attend courses on NMCC's main campus and four satellite learning sites. Student residence halls are available for those enrolled at the Senatobia campus.