The Best of the Two-Year Colleges of New York
Kingsborough Community College, Dutchess Community College, Erie Community College, LaGuardia Community College
The Empire State has always been known as an important center of education, as institutions like Columbia University not only preceded the United States but also trained Founding Fathers on their way to making history. Since the earliest schools were less affiliated with religious groups than with solid public education, the tradition of state and community-sponsored education has always had its rightful place in New York. Today’s students who are hoping to get a quality public education in any part of the state will have the opportunity to begin in one of the number of community colleges and transfer to a 4-year institution. From Manhattan to Poughkeepsie, Brooklyn to Erie, the far corners of this dynamic state are all covered by the community college system. Here are five key institutions in the state system which are consistently getting high marks.
While the New York City student will typically not expect the most picturesque locations from a community college, Kingsborough students will find their school located at the water’s edge at Brooklyn’s end. The seventy acres on Kingsborough CC’s campus serve a student population that tops 30,000 on an annual basis. Like New York itself, the student body is comprised of undergrads from so many different countries and speaking so many different languages that it is difficult to count. Students at Kingsborough are typically focused on the completion of the two-year degrees in anything from general studies in the arts and sciences to coursework more focused on practical technology. While many students will look to transfer to a 4-year institution, numerous programs which prepare students to enter the workforce in two years are available.
Dutchess Community College has continued to introduce new programs over the years, all of which enhance its reputation as a quality state school with the lowest tuition in the entire state of New York. DCC’s main location is in Poughkeepsie, but it has another location in Wappingers Falls, both of which combine to offer more than sixty programs to local students. The Associate of the Arts, the Associate of Science and the Associate of Applied Science degrees are offered alongside certificate programs and the type of community continuing education that has made Dutchess invaluable to the upstate community.
The motto of ‘Start here, go anywhere’ has served Erie Community College students well for decades and students from Buffalo, Williamsville and Orchard Park continue to take advantage of the school’s extensive resources. Students typically arrive at Erie looking to major in Business, Engineering, Health Sciences or Technology. Associate degrees in the arts, sciences or applied sciences will await the successful student at the end of the two-year programs. For more specific skill sets which do not require college credit, certificate programs are open to enrollment for all New York residents in possession of a high school diploma or GED certificate. Erie Community College’s reputation will ensure that students hoping to transfer and finish a four-year degree can get the education they have been seeking. Some highlights among course offerings include Casino Gaming Machine Repair, Civil Engineering and Computer Science, though studies in Education and English Literature are also available.
Known for its diverse student body with people from more than 160 countries attending classes, LaGuardia Community College – known as the ‘World’s Community College’ – is located in Long Island City, Queens and has more than fifty degree programs open to New York City residents. One of the most well-rounded of local community colleges, LaGuardia is continuing to get high marks from the press and education community alike. Students typically pursue a two-year degree from LaGuardia, with the Business and Technology, Computer Programs, Creative Arts, Engineering, Education, Law and Labor Organization, Liberal Arts, Math and Health Sciences programs all attracting attention. The Honors Program is gaining in stature as one way for students who have proven to excel to continue in a community college setting. Situated a few minutes from Manhattan via subway, LaGuardia’s location is hard to beat among all the community colleges in the city.
Students who want to immerse themselves in the fast pace of Manhattan and pursue a quality, affordable education can look to the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Part of the City University of New York system, BMCC is located in Tribeca, at the western part of downtown Manhattan below Canal Street. In this bustling environment once known as the stomping grounds of New York’s acting community, students can pursue Associate Degrees in anything from Accounting and Business to Respiratory Therapy and Video Arts. AA Degrees in Writing, Bilingual Education and Criminal Justice are also on the table. Associate in Science Degrees in Mathematics, Forensics Science, Theatre, Human Services and Early Childhood Education can definitely put students on the right road to a degree at a baccalaureate institution.
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