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Best Community Colleges in Oklahoma

Within the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges, there are 13 institutions offering degrees, certificate programs and other training in 31 locations. There are also 29 technology center districts within the Oklahoma CareerTech System and these offer two-year degrees and vocational training as well. At these colleges, students will find online courses, weekend classes and traditional schedules that meet the needs of both recent high school graduates and adult learners.

While two-year schools are often associated with technical training programs, the best community colleges in Oklahoma are also an excellent starting point for those who want to earn a bachelor's degree. The degree programs at top Oklahoma community colleges include transfer degrees that can be an affordable way for students to complete the general education requirements of many four-year schools.

Below are ten of the best colleges in Oklahoma. These schools offer diverse degrees and solid student support. Which one will you attend?

THE TOP 10 COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN OKLAHOMA

1

Tulsa Community College (Tulsa)

The Tulsa Achieves program is just one reason this school ranks among the best Oklahoma community colleges. Through the program, Tulsa County high school students may be able to attend Tulsa Community College for free. However, even those who have to pay tuition will find this college an affordable choice.

Tulsa Community College enrolls more than 27,000 students each year and is committed to core values that include student success, excellence and innovation. Its programs include transfer degrees, technical degrees and certificate programs.

The college was founded in 1970 and is Oklahoma's largest, multi-campus community college. Its locations include four main campuses in Tulsa. As one of the state's online colleges, TCC has a number of degrees and certificates designed specifically for distance learners.

2

Redlands Community College (El Reno)

Redlands Community College makes the cut as one of the top community colleges in Oklahoma thanks to its affordability, student support programs and diverse academic offerings.

The school offers an affordable tuition rate as well as 56 scholarships through the Redlands Community College Foundation. It also has a Redlands Veterans Upward Bound program to help those who are active duty military transition to the classroom. Academically, there are degrees, certificates and continuing education options. Students have the opportunity to pursue a service learning experience as well.

Redlands has its campus in El Reno. There, students will find housing and a fitness center. The school also provides career advising and has a GOALS program that provides additional services to those students receiving aid through the government's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

3

Northern Oklahoma College (Tonkawa)

As the state's oldest community college, Northern Oklahoma College has been educating students since 1901. From an initial enrollment of 217 students, it has since grown into one of the top community colleges in Oklahoma. Today, more than 2,500 men and women take classes on a part-time or full-time basis each year.

NOC offers diverse learning opportunities. Students can study abroad or pursue an internship based in the community. Meanwhile, the Reach Higher program includes online courses and is designed for adult learners who previously started college but didn't finish. A partnership with Oklahoma State University makes it easy for students to start their education at NOC and then complete it at OSU.

Northern Oklahoma College has three main campus locations: Tonkawa, Stillwater and Enid.

4

Western Oklahoma State College (Altus)

If you're looking for online colleges in Oklahoma, consider Western Oklahoma State College. Not only is it one of the top community colleges in Oklahoma, but it also offers a number of online degrees and online courses.

WOSC was known as Altus Junior College when it first opened in 1926. It holds the distinction of the being the state's oldest, original municipal two-year college still in operation. The school transferred to state oversight in 1970 and has since grown to provide diverse educational opportunities for students from all walks of life.

Students enrolled at Western Oklahoma State College can pursue either a degree program or a certificate program. The college is considered military friendly and has programs to help service members transition to the classroom.

5

Carl Albert State College (Poteau)

Carl Albert State College is another of the best community colleges in Oklahoma. The school is one of the state's online colleges as well.

Through its virtual campus, CASC offers more than 10 online degrees and certificates. What's more, online courses may be available to those in enrolled in other majors as well. All told, Carl Albert State College offers numerous technical degrees, transfer degrees and certificate programs through its six academic divisions.

CASC was founded in 1933 and is known for its affordable tuition and fees. Its strong graduation rate also helps propel it onto the list of best colleges in Oklahoma. Its campuses are located in Poteau and Sallisaw, where students will find small classes in a friendly environment.

6

Gordon Cooper Technology Center (Shawnee)

Gordon Cooper, one of the original Mercury astronauts, is a fitting namesake for this school which is part of the state's CareerTech System and earns a place among the best community colleges in Oklahoma. Gordon Cooper Technology Center has been an eight time recipient of the Gold Star Award which is given by the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technical Education to schools that meet rigorous requirements.

At Gordon Cooper, students can study a variety of fields including business, manufacturing, engineering and transportation, among others. Overall, there are more than 25 full-time programs available that enroll hundreds of traditional and adult learners. There are also short-term programs that educate more than 4,500 students at Gordon Cooper Technology Center each year.

The school's campus is in Shawnee, and online courses are available as well.

7

Murray State College (Tishomingo)

Murray State College is located in Tishomingo, one of the oldest towns in the state and the capital of the Chickasaw Nation. Today, the historic town remains small but culturally rich. It's located near Lake Texoma, one of the largest manmade lakes in the world.

Students enrolled at MSC can choose from dozens of degree programs. Its Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees can be transferred to a four-year school and applied toward a bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, the Associate of Applied Science is intended for those who want to go directly into the workforce after graduation.

Those looking for online colleges among the best colleges in Oklahoma will find a number of distance education degrees at Murray State College. There are also study abroad opportunities for most students.

8

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (Miami)

Commonly called NEO, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College can trace its roots back to 1919. Its basic curriculum covers the education requirements for freshmen and sophomores intending to earn a four-year degree. However, the school also has a number of certificate programs and technical training options.

NEO makes the list of best Oklahoma community colleges, in part, because of the depth of its degree catalog. There are dozens of options ranging from business to beef cattle. Online courses are available within many of these programs although fully online degrees are not an option at this time.

To promote a positive experience, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College offers student support services, an honors program and a learning resource center. Its campus is in Miami.

9

Oklahoma City Community College (Oklahoma City)

Serving more than 24,500 students, Oklahoma City Community College is known for offering diverse academics at an affordable price. As one of the top community colleges in Oklahoma, the school is the fourth-largest college in the state and offers thousands of classes.

Recognized as a leader in technology education, OCCC has more than 80 associate degree programs. There are also 20 certificate programs available. An honors program is available to outstanding students and provides mentoring and enhanced scholarship opportunities.

Both traditional and adult learners are welcome at Oklahoma City Community College. The school offers night, weekend and online courses to fit the needs of every student's schedule. In addition to the main campus in Oklahoma City, the school has three other learning locations.

10

Seminole State College (Seminole)

As one of the best Oklahoma community colleges, Seminole State College says its mission is to empower people for lifelong learning, academic success and personal development. To that end, it offers a range of educational programs ranging from remedial classes to transfer degrees.

SSC was established in 1931 as a junior college. The school was originally an extension of the local high school but transitioned to a fully state-sponsored college in 1975. Throughout the years, the educational programs at Seminole State College have evolved but its commitment to student success has remained the same.

Today, SSC offers both transfer degrees and technical occupational programs. Students are assigned a Degree Program Mentor to guide them through their time at the college. The school's campus is in Seminole.

Transferring Credits in Oklahoma

A key benefit of community college is being able to complete the general education requirements needed for a bachelor's degree but at a tuition rate below what is charged by many universities. However, to make this strategy work, you need to understand how your credits will transfer between institutions.

Many of the best community colleges in Oklahoma have articulation agreements with four-year schools that outline when and how credits transfer from one school to another. Other schools may transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. Check with the college for more information. Or visit the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education website which lists course equivalencies between schools.

To know how your credits will transfer, you need to know both the community college and the four-year school you plan to attend. You've already read about the top community colleges in the state. Now you need to do research on the best four-year colleges in Oklahoma. Then, you'll be ready to start on the path to the bachelor's degree you've always wanted.

Methodology

We ranked 17 community colleges in Oklahoma. The schools were ranked on multiple factors related to educational opportunity, student performance and student services.

Each school was scored on a 10-point scale, using the following six 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
  • Welcome from the Executive Director, Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges, Accessed August 2018, https://okcommunitycolleges.com/about-oacc/
  • Fast Facts, Oklahoma CareerTech, Accessed August 2018, https://www.okcareertech.org/about/careertech-system/annual-report-fast-facts
  • About Us, Tulsa Community College, Accessed August 2018, http://tulsacc.edu/about-us
  • Redlands Fast Facts, Redlands Community College, Accessed August 2018, https://www.redlandscc.edu/content/did-you-know
  • Reach Higher, Northern Oklahoma College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.noc.edu/reach-higher
  • 2016-2017 Fact Books, Northern Oklahoma College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.noc.edu/Websites/northok/files/Content/5475602/2016-17_Fact_Book_Final.pdf
  • Degree Programs, Western Oklahoma Community College, Accessed August 2018, https://www.wosc.edu/index.php?page=College-Catalog#degree-program-websites
  • About Us, Carl Albert State College, Accessed August 2018, https://www.carlalbert.edu/discover-us/about-us/
  • About, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Accessed August 2018, http://www.gctech.edu/about/
  • Oklahoma ACTE Awards, Association for Career and Technical Education, Accessed August 2018, https://acte.secure-platform.com/a/organizations/ok/home
  • About MSC, Murray State College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.mscok.edu/about_msc.aspx
  • Academic Programs, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.neo.edu/academics/academic-programs/
  • Future OCCC Students, Oklahoma City Community College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.occc.edu/future/index.html
  • About SSC, Seminole State College, Accessed August 2018, http://www.sscok.edu/About_SSC_Pg.html
  • Course Transfer, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Accessed August 2018, https://www.okhighered.org/transfer-students/course-transfer.shtml
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/