Century College is a comprehensive community and technical college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota that offers liberal arts and occupational-technical programs. It was established in 1996 with the merger of Lakewood Community College and Northeast Metro Technical College. The school is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.
The campus is spread over 170 acres and features a wildlife refuge and a walking trail. The academic programs serve more than 13,000 degree-, diploma- and certificate-seeking students and 12,000 students taking non-credit courses.
Accreditation is granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Students may choose to follow one of six types of academic programs: Associate in Arts (AA) degree, Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree, Associate in Science (AS) degree, Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, Occupational Diplomas, and Certificate programs.
The Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), and Associate in Science (AS) degree programs are designed for students who eventually want to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The AA is offered in areas including Accounting, English, Elementary Education, Journalism, Mathematics, Occupational Therapy, and History. AA-seeking students also pursue numerous areas of specialization including Business Administration, Computer information Systems, Engineering, Human Services, and Nursing. The AFA is available in music.
The college offers the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree for students that want to enter a specific profession directly after completing their coursework without earning a four-year degree. Students opting for the AAS can major in areas such as Accounting, Automotive Service Technology, Computer Forensics, Business Management, Dental Assistant, Engineering CAD Technology, Interior Design, and Investigative Sciences.
Occupational Diploma and Certificate Programs
Various career-oriented diplomas and certificates are available for students who wish to prepare for specific occupations or upgrade their skills. Diploma programs are 31-48 semester credits in length whereas certificate programs are 9-30 semester credits in length. The areas in which various occupational diplomas and certificate programs are offered include Accounting, Auto Body Technology, Computed Tomography, Dental Assistant, Education, Horticulture, Global Studies, Medical Assistant, and Public Safety.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Any student who has graduated from high school or has a GED certificate can apply to enroll in classes. Students who do not meet these criteria can still apply for admission; their applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
To apply for admission students are required to complete the application form and submit the admission fee. Transfer students are required to submit their official transcripts from all previously-attended colleges and universities. All applicants are also required to take Accuplacer placement exams for accurate course placement based on their current skills.
Some programs (such as Automotive Service Technology, Dental Assisting, EMSP-Paramedic, Medical Assistant, and Nursing) have specific application procedures and might require students to appear for readiness assessment tests.
International applicants are required to submit the international student application form along with their official transcripts from all high schools, colleges, or universities previously attended. International students must also provide a certificate of finances to demonstrate availability of funds to finance their education expenses for one year. International applicants are also required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English by submitting their TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores.
The financial aid office offers assistance to eligible students to help them pay for their education. The different financial aid programs available for Century students are grants, work-study opportunities, scholarships, and student loans.
Scholarships, Grants, and Loans
Merit-based awards offered to eligible students include the Barbara B. & J. Keith MacKenzie Scholarship, Century College Alumni Association (CCAA) Legacy Scholarship, Unitarian Universalist Empowerment Scholarship, Ellie Slette Holistic Nursing Scholarship, and the Jon & Metta Belisle Horticulture Scholarship. Need-based grants that are available to some students include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Minnesota State Grant (MNSG), Minnesota Child Care Grant Program, and Alliss Educational Foundation Grant. Students may also be eligible for various loan options, such as subsidized and unsubsidized federal Direct loans and Parent PLUS loans. Students can also apply for different on-campus jobs, both regular student employment and and work-study positions.
To apply for financial aid students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education. To be eligible for financial aid, students must be U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens.
Century believes in the philosophy that learning occurs both inside and outside the classroom and provides numerous opportunities for students to explore their potential.
Student Services, Organizations, and Activities
Counselors are assigned to students to provide academic, transfer, personal, and career counseling. The Multicultural Center organizes various events and services for ethnic minority and international students for enriching their college experience. There are also numerous clubs on campus which provide opportunities for the students to get involved in the campus life.
The Wood Duck Times is the weekly student newsletter that publishes information regarding upcoming activities and events.
There is no residential housing on campus, but Student Life provides assistance to students in searching for off-campus housing. Dining facilities are available for the students at the college. Food options include sandwiches, hot entrees, salads, and snacks.
The college bookstore stocks new and used textbooks, school and art supplies, backpacks, and imprinted clothing.
GPS LifePlan is a very popular resource available to students to help them devise their goals, make plans, and be successful in their academic and career objectives.
The college is also home to the Busy Bees Child Care Center, which provides quality childcare for children between 3 months to 11 years of age at reasonable rates.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department is a member of the Minnesota College Conference (MCC) and the NJCAA National Junior College Athletic Association, Division III. The intercollegiate athletic teams include men’s and women’s soccer, men’s baseball, and women’s softball.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.