Central Texas College (Killeen)
Military life is has tremendous influence over the city of Killeen, where Central Texas College is located, and the school's approach to higher education reflects its close affiliation with the U.S. armed services. Along with its main campus in Texas, CTC partners with more than two dozen military installations across the country to offer classroom courses and more for enlisted personnel and officers.
CTC is also one of the top community colleges in Texas for online courses and degrees, particularly in terms of variety and availability. More than 60 associate degree and certificate programs are available online here, such as an online associate degree in criminal justice and an online certificate in business management. Students can also choose from a catalog of over 450 individual online courses.
Military servicemembers aren't the only ones who benefit from the distributed campus model at CTC. Civilian sites near Brady, Gatesville, Lampasas, Fredericksburg and Marble Falls also offer the institution's degree and certificate plans.
Lone Star College System (The Woodlands)
The Lone Star College System includes seven colleges, 12 centers and more than 20 online programs. The system has the largest Hispanic population in the nation and is second in the nation when it comes to granting associate degrees to those students.
There are more than 200 educational programs offered through the Lone Star College System, and the college was the first in the state to offer registered apprenticeship programs. In addition to degrees and certificates, LSC offers industry training through non-credit Fast Track programs. Online programs include a computer programming specialist certificate and an associate degree in accounting.
More than 87,500 students were enrolled at LSC during the fall 2019 semester, and they pay a tuition rate that is only a fraction of that charged by nearby universities.
Eastfield College (Mesquite)
As a part of the Dallas County Community College District, Eastfield College serves a diverse population of more than 16,500 students. Approximately half of those enrolled are first generation students, meaning they are the first from their family to attend college.
While face-to-face classes remain the most popular option at Eastfield College, nearly a third of students take classes online. These courses run on an 8-week term and can be accessed from any mobile device. Fully online programs include transfer degrees such as an Associate of Arts and career and technical programs like a criminal justice certificate.
Whether you want to study on-campus or online, Eastfield College offers comprehensive support resources including career services, veteran services and a food pantry. The college also has free training opportunities for high school students and small business owners.
Richland College (Dallas)
Approximately 20,000 credit students attend this Dallas institution, which was established in 1972 as one of seven campuses in the Dallas County Community College District. Flexible scheduling is available to students here, whether you're looking for traditional 16-week spring and fall semesters or shorter flex terms that take place throughout the year.
Richland College has received some high praise in the more than 40 years of its existence. One example is the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. Richland was the first community college to receive this recognition conferred by the White House and U.S. Department of Commerce.
The programs at Richland include dozens of degrees and certificates that cover eight instructional divisions. These include popular programs in business and health care as well as more unique degrees such as an associate degree in interactive simulation and game technology which teaches skills for video game designers. For distance learners, Richland has more than 20 fully online degrees and certificates.
Brookhaven College (Farmers Branch)
Located in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch, Brookhaven College is another of the seven institutions in the Dallas County Community College District. Since its founding in 1978, Brookhaven has grown to educate more than 13,000 students each year and offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs.
The numbers show that Brookhaven may be one of the best community colleges in Texas for students looking for an affordable college experience. The institution reports a total annual cost of less than $1,800 for Dallas County residents taking 15 credits or fewer during the year, which represents approximately 50 percent savings on the national average yearly community college tuition of $3,440.
If you're looking to change careers or enhance your skillset, Brookhaven has that covered as well. Popular programs include an associate degree in accounting and emergency medical services training. Workforce and continuing education programs like industry certification courses are a solid part of the catalog here.
Ranger College (Ranger)
Ranger College is located off of Interstate 20 between Fort Worth and Abilene. Founded in 1926, the college has seen significant growth in recent years and offers affordable programs covering a dozen areas of interest. Cosmetology, machining and nursing are among the available options.
Ranger is also one of the oldest two-year institutions in Texas. Its first class of students was enrolled here nearly 100 years ago, when the school operated out of the third floor of a local high school building. It's grown considerably since then, not only moving into its own dedicated campus in the town of Ranger but expanding to include learning centers in Brown and Erath Counties.
The institution also partners with more than 40 area high schools to offer dual-credit programs, which can save time and money on a college education. Dual-credit courses count both toward high school graduation and college degree or certification programs.
North Lake College (Irving)
With four campus locations, North Lake College is part of the Dallas County Community College District. The school opened in 1977 and serves more than 11,500 students in its credit programs. It's an affordable option that offers flexible scheduling choices.
Students can earn transfer degrees or gain technical training at North Lake College. The school has a core curriculum of 42 credit hours that serves as the basis of many of its associate degrees. Thanks to transfer agreements, these credits are guaranteed to transfer to public colleges and universities in Texas.
CTE programs at North Lake in fields such as construction management provide hands-on training and practical workplace skills. There are also online degrees and certificates that can be a convenient way for busy adults to finish their education.
Cedar Valley College (Lancaster)
Whether you want to study online or on-campus, Cedar Valley College is one of the best community colleges in Texas. The school is part of the Dallas County Community College District and was founded in 1977.
In the years since, Cedar Valley College has gone to earn numerous accolades thanks to its innovative programs. The school received two national awards for sustainability in 2016, launched a Rising Sons program in 2018 to encourage success among minority males and saw its largest graduating class ever in 2019.
Students at CVC can earn associate degrees and certificates or complete continuing education classes. Some online courses run on 8-week terms, and night and weekend courses are available as well. Popular programs at CVC include real estate and veterinary technology.
El Paso Community College (El Paso)
Affordable is one way to describe El Paso Community College. In-state students may have tuition rates as low as $1,500 per semester. What's more, 74 percent of students receive financial aid to reduce their costs even further.
There are more than 130 academic and career programs offered at EPCC. These fall into one of eight categories and may result in an associate degree or certificate of completion. Teacher education, business and criminal justice are all popular majors. For those who need continuing education, more than 300 classes are offered at El Paso Community College.
EPCC was established in 1969 and is in the process of revitalizing its campus. The school has identified six major construction projects that will help it expand academic space, facilitate more hands-on learning and create technical and workforce training facilities.
Clarendon College (Clarendon)
Located in the Texas Panhandle, Clarendon College is the oldest institution of higher education in its area. The school was founded in 1898 by the Methodist Episcopal Church but is now part of the state's community college system.
Academics at CC cover the liberal arts, career and technical education, agriculture and science and health. Students can earn a certificate of completion or an associate degree, depending on which program they select. The college's agriculture program is well-regarded, and its career and technical programs can help students prepare for state licensure. Online courses are available for some programs.
As one of the top community colleges in Texas, Clarendon College including a learning resource center and Honors College. Housing and dining are available on campus.