The Best Two-Year Colleges in Massachusetts
Berkshire Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Roxbury Community College
If there’s one thing that Massachusetts is known for, it is its numerous institutions of higher education. Boston alone is responsible for numerous important universities and colleges such as Boston University and Emerson, while across the river in Cambridge lie Harvard and MIT. Academic excellence is definitely in the state’s rich history, with our country’s founding fathers setting up everything from private high schools to entire colleges. And from the woods of the Pioneer Valley to the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, the Bay State is one of the most geographically diverse places to attend school in the entire country, let alone just new England. Those who aren’t quite ready to try their luck at getting into some of the nation’s most demanding academic institutions have quite a few options to choose from as far as college goes. The good news is that numerous two-year colleges in Massachusetts give students the chance to transfer to four-year universities in-state.
While many students in Massachusetts might have their hearts set on the urban bustle of Boston, just as many students enjoy being close to nature instead. Consistently ranked as one of the best colleges in the area, Berkshire Community College is an excellent opportunity to get an education that in and of itself is thorough, but which also provides the chance to continue on at a four-year institution. Located in Pittsfield, this may very well be the most academically rigorous community college in the entire state, with over 40 different academic programs to choose from. Students can opt to earn an associate degree in applied science, arts, or science. There are also numerous certificate programs. With a student population of just over 2,000, getting the one-on-one attention necessary to truly develop academically is considerably easier than at more crowded two-year colleges in the state.
Located smack in the middle of the Cape, Cape Cod Community College makes commuting from Hyannis just as easy as it is to commute from Provincetown. This central location means that CCCC actually manages to serve the entire cape. Partnerships with numerous in-state four-year institutions make transferring easy, and students who attend CCCC often decide to enroll at some of the more prestigious Boston-based universities as well. While students are attending Cape Cod Community College, they can also enroll in courses at various four-year colleges in the area, including Bridgewater State College, Boston University, and Wheelock College. This and the more affordable price tag of CCCC is one of the reasons that it consistently sees students, though the small campus size of 500 ensures personal attention on-campus as well. With associate degrees in arts and science available through a number of different courses of study, CCCC is definitely an excellent alternative to a larger, less personal community college in the heart of Boston.
Established in 1973, Roxbury Community College has provided countless educational opportunities for those residents of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. In a city that still struggles with segregation, it speaks volumes that RCC has managed such success. Numerous local high school students opt to continue their educations by attending RCC, and those two years in the associate degree program on-campus often plant the seeds for two more years at a local four-year institution. RCC actually has a program that allows for duel enrollment with Eastern Nazarene College, while other students opt to transfer to other institutions instead. With a recent renovation adding a large, up-to-date performing arts space that often features community performances as well as school events, RCC is serving its community as more than just a source for education. Students can choose between the associate of arts or associate of science degrees, and numerous programs on campus focus more on workforce-oriented skills and the opportunity to earn training, as well as a certificate. For the artistically inclined, other popular arts colleges, including MassArt and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts are a short bus ride or drive away, and transferring to MassArt is considerably easier than before.
One of the most popular community colleges in the entire state, Middlesex Community College is the go-to academic institution for those who happen to live close to Lowell and Bedford. With over 8,000 students enrolled for credit and countless others simply interested in lifelong learning, the student body is thriving and diverse. The college was founded in 1970 in Bedford, and while the main campus remains there, there are now satellite campuses in Burlington and other neighborhoods within Bedford. In addition to its 50 different associate degree programs, Middlesex Community College offers 26 certificate programs and dozens of career-focused training opportunities. The original campus features buildings that are of historic note, including a striking old saltbox farmhouse where special performances and on-campus meetings are held. Recent construction down by the river has added a performance theatre, a high-tech Health, Science, and Technology Center, and an up-to-date campus center.
Right outside of Boston in Charleston, Bunker Hill Community College offers educational opportunities to over 10,000 students, many of whom come from the neighboring suburbs. A different campus in Chelsea serves even more students more focused on vocational training and workforce-related programs, and satellite campuses have opened up in Cambridge, Somerville, Revere, and even in the heart of Boston. Numerous students take advantage of an educational opportunity at BHCC because of the fact that previous students have enjoyed an incredible rate of success at transferring to highly-regarded Boston colleges after completion of their associates program here. With special programs designed for those focused on transferring to four-year colleges and universities, students get the chance not just to tackle the proper coursework, but to work with an advisor. This hands-on attention is rare with student populations so large.
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