Best Community Colleges in Nevada

Starting a new job or working toward your first college degree can be tough, but programs at community colleges in Nevada can help you get on track for the career or degree you want.

Top programs at community colleges in Nevada tend to be more affordable than their counterparts at Nevada universities, so students can typically save some money by completing the first two years of a bachelor's program at a community college. Community colleges also tend to offer a wide range of career training and vocational programs that aim to prepare you to fill valuable roles in the workforce.



Community college programs in Nevada typically fall into two categories:

  • Those that result in certificates, diplomas and Associate of Applied Arts (A.A.S.) degrees are primarily used for quick entry into the workforce.
  • Studies in which Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees can be earned tend to be more academically oriented and are often designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year college or university.

Career-focused programs at Nevada community colleges cover a wide range of disciplines. Study in hands-on technical disciplines like automotive technology, welding technology and electrical systems technology can be found at Great Basin College in Elko and a few other locations around the state. GBC's tech-focused programs include digital information technology, graphic communications and computer programming.

Students hoping to transfer into a bachelor's program after finishing their associate degree have a different set of factors to consider when choosing their program at community colleges in Nevada. The College of Southern Nevada offers a wide range of transfer-eligible degree plans, in a range of subjects that includes psychology, sociology, history, women's studies, economics, anthropology, art and special education.

CTE in Nevada

An emerging approach to high school and college instruction, known as career technical education (CTE), is having a big impact on student success in Nevada and across the country. High school students who concentrate on CTE subjects in Nevada graduate at a rate of 91 percent, compared to an 81 percent overall graduation rate statewide.

College graduates are also enjoying success after earning CTE credentials in Nevada. Around 96 percent of community college or trade school graduates who complete a career technical education program in the state go on to find gainful employment, pivot into an apprenticeship program or begin military service within six months of earning their certificate or degree.

Take a look at these state-focused resources for more information about CTE in Nevada:

  • The career and technical education page of the Nevada Department of Higher Education can give you insight into CTE initiatives in Nevada and explain the state's goals and standards for CTE programs.
  • The Clark County School District (CCSD) also maintains a career and technical education section of its web page where you can learn about the state's CTE College Credit program and get more information on approved career clusters.
  • The applied technologies section of the catalog at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno can give you an idea of the type of college-level CTE programs available in Nevada.

The primary sources of CTE training in Nevada are two-year schools like community colleges and vocational institutions. The Nevada System of Higher Education administrates the public two-year schools in the state, while private institutions are typically governed independently. If you're thinking about enrolling in a CTE program, don't forget to look into the options at your chosen school and make sure the program you want is available.

Transferring Credits in Nevada

If you've got your eye on one of the many bachelor's degree programs at Nevada universities, it's a good idea to get on the right track for a smooth transfer as early in your study plan as possible. Depending on where you earn your associate degree, academic advisers can point you to a variety of transfer agreements and other state resources to help your transfer go off without a hitch.

Earning a two-year degree from one of the Nevada community colleges can lead to guaranteed admission and a general education core waiver at four-year schools in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). The curriculum for most bachelor's programs included in these transfer agreements should be available to you and your advisor, so you can make sure you're choosing courses that fit the framework of your intended university major.

Some community colleges in Nevada also have articulation or transfer agreements with out-of-state universities, and the ordinary course-by-course, credit-by-credit transfer method may be available if your dream school doesn't show up on the list of agreements. Always speak with an advisor before setting your schedule if you're planning to transfer.

You can also take a look at our college transfer guide, which provides more detail about transfer agreements and ways that you can work to ensure that your transfer goes smoothly. For more insight into education in the state, be sure to explore the top four-year schools in Nevada.

Resources for Community College Students in Nevada

  • The Nevada System of Higher Education can give you loads of info and data on the public two-year schools in the state.
  • Nevada JobConnect can connect community college graduates to a searchable database of job postings and provide additional resources for job seekers.
  • Information about various assistance programs in place to help students afford college and stay on target to finish their programs can be found at the initiatives section of the NSHE.
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