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Best Community Colleges in Vermont

Community college can be a great way to dig deep into subjects you're passionate about, pick up some in-demand career skills or earn some credits toward a degree at one of the top four-year schools in Vermont. Many of today's hottest careers require specialized training and some form of college degree or diploma, and enrolling in one of the top Vermont community colleges can be a great way to work toward those essentials without breaking the bank.

As of 2018, there are just two institutions in the Green Mountain State that offer vocational training and two-year degrees. Our snapshot of the best community colleges in Vermont will look closely at the state's comprehensive institution, where students can earn academic degrees as well as career and technical certificates.

THE TOP COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN VERMONT

1

Community College of Vermont (Montpelier)

Founded in 1970, the Community College of Vermont became a part of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) system after two years and earned regional accreditation in 1975. The original campus in Montpelier is the college's home base, but students in other parts of the state can seek certain degrees from the catalog at academic centers in 11 other cities around Vermont:

    • Bennington
    • Brattleboro
    • Middlebury
    • Morrisville
    • Newport
    • Rutland
    • Springfield
    • St. Albans
    • St. Johnsbury
    • Upper Valley
    • Winooski

If the degree you're looking for isn't available at your regional site, however, don't lose hope. CCV stands tall among online community colleges as well, offering nearly all of its degree and certificate programs in the virtual classroom. The array of online courses available can allow you to pursue the best degrees Vermont community colleges have to offer without the need to travel to campus every day.

Total enrollment at CCV is around 6,000 students each semester, making it the second-largest college in the state. Available degree tracks include Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs. Certificate plans cover subjects like allied health, child care, bookkeeping and Web design.

Resources for Transfer Students in Vermont

Nearly 50 percent of graduates from the Community College of Vermont choose to move their credits forward into bachelor's programs at universities in Vermont and elsewhere once they've finished the requirements for their associate degree. Here are a couple of the most common ways that students get themselves on track for a smooth transfer:

  • Other members of the Vermont State Colleges system -- Northern Vermont University, Castleton University and Vermont Technical College -- offer a Direct Admissions program that includes nearly 50 bachelor's programs. Courses for Direct Admissions students count toward both a CCV associate degree and the intended bachelor's degree at their destination school.
  • Students looking to transfer out of the VSC system can make use of Special Transfer Agreements that CCV maintains with individual public and private institutions. Over a dozen colleges and universities have such agreements with CCV, and they may be restricted to particular subject areas or degree tracks.

Even if your target school isn't included in any of the above agreements, it's still possible to make a conventional transfer. Remember to meet regularly with an advisor to make sure you're taking all the right course. When you're ready, explore the top universities in Vermont for more insight into education in the state.

Methodology

We ranked community colleges in Vermont on multiple factors related to educational opportunity, student performance and student services.

Each school was scored on a 10-point scale, using the following 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
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 29-30, 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=VT&ct=1+2&ic=2
  • Vermont State Colleges System, accessed October 29, 2018, https://www.vsc.edu/
  • School pages, accessed October 29-30, 2018: Learn About CCV, Community College of Vermont, https://ccv.edu/learn-about-ccv/; CCV Facts & Figures, Community College of Vermont, https://ccv.edu/learn-about-ccv/facts-figures/; Explore CCV Programs, Community College of Vermont, https://ccv.edu/explore-ccv-programs/; Transfer from CCV, Community College of Vermont, https://ccv.edu/explore-ccv-programs/transfer-from-ccv/; Special Transfer Agreements, Community College of Vermont, https://ccv.edu/explore-ccv-programs/transfer-from-ccv/special-transfer-agreements/
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds