Top Two-Year Colleges in Missouri
Three Rivers Community College: An Accessible Education
With a comfortable climate, beautiful parks and open spaces, and some exciting cities as well, Missouri offers great opportunities for visitors and residents alike. Students who wish to get through programs and enter the workforce often opt for one of the area’s many community colleges, represented by the MCCA. The organization was formed in the 1960s by members of the growing community college community, and it continues to organize events that promote the exchange of information between schools. In addition, it ensures that the curriculum offered at the dozen participating two-year colleges is up-to-date and relevant for the labor market. Students flock to associate degree programs in addition to a range of diploma and certificate programs, which often take just a year or two of study.
Voters in Butler, Carter, Ripley, and Wayne counties approved the creation of Three Rivers Community College in 1967, in Poplar Bluff. For over four decades, Three Rivers has offered a range of degree programs for residents of the Southeastern part of the state. Over 3500 students were enrolled in more than 37,000 credit hours in 2009, while over 700 students participated in non-credit classes. More than half of students are under 25, and about 60 percent were enrolled as full time students. The most popular majors were General Education, Pre-Nursing, Teaching, Criminal Justice/ Administration, Nursing, Business Administration, and Early Childhood Education. The school prides itself on offering county residents quality education that is affordable, and also prepares students for the jobs available in the area.
St. Louis Community College (STLCC) consists of four campuses and a total of more than 25,000 students. Each campus has its unique focus, and the Forest Park location is recognized for preparing students for careers in the health field. Around 6000 students take courses on its campus, and the medical programs include Radiologic Technology, Dental Hygiene or Assisting, Respiratory Therapy. They finish their program with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. Technology-based programs prepare other students for work in mechanics and construction, and STLCC-Forest Park programs include Building Inspection & Code Enforcement Technology, Plumbing Design Engineering Technology, and Fire Protection Technology. For students interested in an international education, study abroad options include England, Italy, Spain, Belize, Germany, and Macedonia.
Just two decades ago, Springfield residents and the area public school districts voted to create what became the Ozarks Technical Community College. The first class in 1991 included around 1200 students, a number that started to grow rapidly, especially after OTC obtained accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission. Around 22,000 students take credit and non-credit courses in a variety of fields including Accounting, Health Information Technology, Graphic Design, Dentistry, Culinary Arts, Nursing, and Education. Students work toward the completion of programs including Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and more than twenty Associate of Applied Science degrees. The Center for Workforce Development focuses on responding to the needs of the local community, and includes both a Transportation Training Institute as well as Continuing Education classes.
Built on the foundations of what was once Fort Crowder, Crowder College continues to honor an important Missourian named General Enoch Crowder. Since 1963, this two-year community college has provided affordable education to residents of the Junior College District of Newton and McDonald Counties in the southwestern part of the state. For the past decade, it has maintained one of the highest graduation rates of community colleges and it currently services about 4,000 students. On campus housing is offering in modern buildings, and students select from Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well as a range of Certificates. Crowder earned international attention with its alternative energy program, which included the creation of a solar powered vehicle that traveled across the country in 1984. It continues to compete with four-year institutions in competitions such as the Solar Decathlon, and to perform well in challenges relating to alternative energy.
Since 1927, the Moberly Area Community College has aimed to serve the needs of its students by maintaining a low student to faculty ratio, personalization education, and supporting a diverse student body. Around 5000 students take classes, many on the Moberly campus that includes the sports center known as the Fitzsimmons-John Area where the team plays basketball. Over forty areas of study let students earn Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and Associate of Science degrees as well as classes in Career and Technical Education. Following completion of these programs, many students continue on to four-year institutions to earn degrees in fields as diverse as engineering and teaching.
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