The Best Online Community Colleges of 2017

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Florida Institute of Technology-Online 87.42 57% Melbourne, FL

Founded in 1958 as a private engineering college, Florida Tech earns the top ranking on our list for its extensive number of STEM-related online associate programs. The school is particularly well-renowned for aviation studies; the university operates a full research center on its main campus in Melbourne, as well as a satellite training facility at the city's international airport. Florida Tech is also a core partner in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS).

Aviation-related options are open to online students at FIT, as well. The web-based online associate degree in aviation management covers transportation costs and operations, aviation laws and safety, international business and other fundamental areas of the industry. The university awards transferable academic credit to aviation students with a valid private, instrument and/or commercial pilot's license. Additionally, Florida Tech offers online associate degrees in five business-related fields: accounting; business administration; healthcare management; management; and marketing. Associates in applied psychology, criminal justice, liberal arts and computer information systems are also available.

All of Florida Tech's online associate degrees are delivered fully online, and no campus visits will be required. Each program contains 20 or 21 total courses; because each course is eight weeks in length, most students are able to complete all of their associate degree requirements after two years of full-time enrollment. The university also eases the burden of college costs for military personnel by offering a flat undergraduate tuition rate of $250 per course to active-duty service members and reservists, as well as their spouses. Honorably discharged veterans, their spouses and dependents of deceased or disabled military veterans will receive a 10% tuition discount, as well.

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2 Southern New Hampshire University 86.27 59% Manchester, NH

Founded as New Hampshire College in 1932, SNHU is today one of the nation's largest accredited online colleges; according to Fall 2016 enrollment data, the school currently serves more than 60,000 online students (as well as roughly 3,000 on-campus students). The New Hampshire Business Review named SNHU as the state's 'Best Online Degree Program' in 2015, citing the university's "flexible" study options and a "tradition of academic excellence".

SNHU's online catalog includes eight fully online associate degree programs. One of these options is an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fashion Merchandising. This program follows a comprehensive curriculum that covers accounting and economics, design, color theory, textile silence and other core subjects. This degree prepares students to progress into SNHU's Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in fashion merchandising, or pursue entry-level careers in the fashion retail industry. In addition to this pathway, SNHU offers associate degrees in three other business-related areas: accounting; business management; and marketing. Online associate degrees are also available in criminal justice, digital photography, information technologies and liberal arts.

SNHU's associate programs are each 60 credits in length, and designed for completion after two years of full-time study. Active-duty military servicemembers and their spouses receive a 30% tuition discount when they enroll at SNHU. Online students are paired with an admission counselors and an academic counselor to assist them throughout their degree track. The university also offers courses aimed at first-time virtual learners, such as SNHU 107 (Strategies for Online Learning).

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3 Minnesota West Community and Technical College 85.29 59% Granite Falls, MN

One of the newest learning institutions on our list, MWCTC was founded in 1997 when two local schools -- Worthington Community College and Southeastern Technical College -- joined forces to serve students in southeastern Minnesota. The college currently operates five campuses throughout the region, as well as an extensive online campus that emphasizes tech-based professional training programs.

A total of 40 online associate degree, certificate and professional diploma pathways are available through MWCTC. Degree-seekers can choose from 11 fields of study. These include programs in five business-oriented areas: accounting; administrative assistant; business management; management and supervision in healthcare; and office administration. An A.S. in Nursing program is also offered to students who have earned their Licensed Practical Nursing license and wish to augment their credentials with a two-year degree. Aspiring medical professionals may pursue the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) for medical administrative secretaries, as well. Other degree options include A.A.S. programs in computer information security/assurance and energy technical specialist, as well as an A.S. in individual studies and an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in liberal arts. Of the 29 online certificate and diploma pathways at MWCTC, 12 are concentrated in computer science and seven are focused on business studies. Other options include programs in biofuels technology, community health, education, pharmacy technology and windsmithing.

Online associate degree programs at MWCTC are generally 60 credits in length, and can be completed fully online within two years. Most certificates fall between 15 and 30 credits; in many cases, all required courses may be completed within a single semester. The accountant diploma is 64 credits, and generally requires two years of full-time study; the remaining diplomas are 32 to 39 credits in length.

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4 Northcentral Technical College 84.49 47% Wausau, WI

Founded as an industrial training academy in 1912, this Was-based institution is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System. NCC today offers two options for web-based students: online associate degree plans that follow a traditional semester schedule, or asynchronous (self-paced) programs available through the Virtual College that feature more flexible start dates and course deadlines.

Synchronous online associate degree options at NCC are further subdivided into fully, primarily and partially online options. Fully online associate degrees are available in a total of 11 fields. These include business-oriented programs in accounting, business management, small business entrepreneurship and supervisory management. Fully online plans are also available in applied engineering technology, health navigator, human services, information technology and safety engineering technology. NCC's primarily online associate options cover five careers: administrative professional; human services (general and alcohol/drug abuse studies); insurance; and marketing/promotional graphics. Hybrid associate programs include degrees in dental hygiene, graphic communications technology, nursing, pharmacy services and nine information technology specializations. Those who pursue an online associate through NCC's Virtual College can choose from 15 pathways; these include seven business fields, four IT specializations and two human services programs. The Virtual College also offers one exclusive program, an A.A.S. in health care business services. A wide range of professional certificates and diplomas are also available in all of these different formats.

Regardless of whether students choose synchronous or asynchronous programs, each associate degree at NCC consists of 65 to 70 course credits. The Virtual College is geared toward students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other commitments that may prevent them from completing their degree requirements within two years. Outside the Virtual College, most full-time students finish their degree programs within two years (or four semesters) of full-time enrollment.

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5 University of Alaska Fairbanks 84.25 53% Fairbanks, AK

Originally established in 1917 as a vocational training center for farmers and miners, UAF is today a land-, sea-, sun- and space-grant public university. Roughly 9,870 students were enrolled at the university in Fall 2015, and more than a quarter of them attended the school via eLearning and distance education coursework. UAF also boasts a low student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1.

Online students at UAF may choose to earn an Associate of Arts degree. This general track includes coursework in five core areas: communication; perspective on the human condition; mathematics; natural sciences; and library and information research. The A.A.S. in applied business program enables students to choose from 13 different concentrations, such as administrative management, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources and tourism. An online A.A.S. for information technology specialists also allows concentrations in computing technology, network and cybersecurity and network administration. A.A.S. degree programs are available without concentrations in two other fields, applied accounting and early childhood education. In addition to degree programs, UAF offers online certification in five professional fields: accounting technician; applied business management; health care reimbursement; information technology specialist; and medical and dental reception. Web-based occupational endorsements are available in bookkeeping, financial services, medical billing/coding and medical office reception, as well.

All five associate degree programs offered online at UAF are 60 credits in length; most students complete all course requirements and earn their degree within two years of full-time enrollment. All of UAF's certificate programs are 30 credits in length, while the occupational endorsements each consist of 12 to 15 credits.

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6 Thomas Edison State University 83.28 46% Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison was a lifelong proponent of self-guided education, and this Trenton-based learning institution named for the inventor is dedicated to "flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults". In addition to traditional courses and degree tracks, online students at TESU may pursue 'e-Pack courses'. These self-taught 12-week courses do not carry assignments; students review required readings and assess their knowledge with online quizzes leading up to a proctored final exam. A full list of e-Pack course options is available online.

A total of 12 online associate degrees are available through TESU, and many of these options are geared toward students with STEM-related career goals. A.A.S. degrees are offered online in applied computer studies and applied electronic studies. Additionally, Associate of Science in Applied Science Technology (A.S.A.S.T.) degrees can be obtained in four fields: computer and information technology; electronics engineering technology; nuclear engineering technology; and technical studies. All four A.S.A.S.T. pathways culminate in a capstone project. Associate of Science in Natural Sciences and Mathematics (A.S.N.S.M.) are offered in computer science and mathematics, as well. Other online associate options include a general A.A. pathway, an A.A. in human services (including a capstone requirement), an A.A.S. in criminal justice and an A.S. in business administration.

All online associate degree programs at TESU are 60 course credits in length, and can be completed within two years of full-time study. As a postsecondary learning institution in New Jersey, TESU is part of the Comprehensive Statewide Transfer Agreement. Under this agreement, any student who earns an associate degree from TESU is guaranteed admission into a four-year state college in New Jersey.

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7 Foothill College 82.85 75% Los Altos Hills, CA

Founded in 1957, this community college based in the Los Altos Hills of California recorded a Fall 2015 enrollment of more than 13,500 students. Online students gain access to DegreeWorks, a comprehensive online portal that allows them to track and organize their required courses, class schedules, deadlines and other specific program components.

Online students enrolled at Foothill may choose from 14 A.A. degree programs. Many of these options are grounded in the arts and humanities. Two programs are geared at aspiring music professionals: a general degree in music, as well as a music technology that covers studio recording, dubbing, video production and other related areas of the industry. Another cutting-edge option is the A.A. in graphic and interactive design. This program delves into topics like modeling, typography, digital art and web design. Other associate programs for liberal arts students include degrees in anthropology, art history, English, general social science, history, humanities, psychology and sociology. Degree plans are also available in three business-related areas of study: accounting, business administration and economics. Other options for online students include 13 online career certificates and certificates of achievement; seven of these programs are concentrated in business studies, and another four are focused on technology-oriented subjects. Additionally, 14 certificates of proficiency are available in specialized fields like bookkeeping specialist, enrolled agent preparation, medical anthropology and songwriting.

All online associate degree programs at Foothill are 90 credits in length. Because the college follows a quarter-based calendar, most associate degree-earners complete their course requirements after two years of full-time study.

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8 Excelsior College 82.72 46% Albany, NY

Established in 1971, Excelsior is a private, nonprofit online college made up of schools in five core subjects: business and technology; health sciences; liberal arts; nursing; and public service. The school is a premier destination for non-traditional learners. Out of more than 39,000 students enrolled at Excelsior in Summer 2016, the average student age is 37.1 years.

Most of Excelsior's online associate degree options are concentrated in technology-oriented fields. The associate degree in technology is available with five different concentrations: computer technologies; electromechanical technology; electronic instrumentation; nuclear technologies; and power plant technologies. Additionally, an associate degree in technical studies is offered with the same specializations. Most of these technical-based degrees offer credit to students who have completed relevant training through the U.S. military or other certified employers. A similar offer is made for students who pursue the associate degree in criminal justice; up to 57 credits may be transferred from other institutions, including some types of official law enforcement training. Aspiring nurses can choose between an A.S. or an A.A.S. in nursing. Additional options for students seeking an associate degree include an A.A.S. in administrative and management studies, an A.S. in human services and general A.A. and A.S. liberal arts pathways.

Excelsior's online associate degrees are delivered in a fully online format. Many programs feature the opportunity to accelerated eight-week courses, allowing students to potentially complete all of their associate degree requirements in less than two years.

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9 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 82.52 50% University Park, PA

The oldest institution to earn a spot on our ranking, Penn State first opened its doors in 1855. The university's World Campus was established in 1998, and today features courses taught by the same professors and faculty members that lead on-campus courses. According to data from Fall 2015, 12,242 students were enrolled at the World Campus -- a figure representing roughly 14.4% of the university's entire student body.

Six online associate degree programs are available through the Penn State World Campus. One option is the A.S. in turfgrass management. Penn State became one of the first postsecondary schools to offer a turfgrass-oriented degree program in 1929, and the current 61-credit program incorporates a mix of chemistry, biology, horticulture and environmental ethics. Students seeking a more generalized program may opt for the A.A. in letters, arts and sciences. This multidisciplinary liberal arts track is available with concentrations in business, history or mathematics. The A.S. in human development and family services also comes with multiple pathway options: students can choose between concentrations in 'adult development and aging services' or 'children, youth and family services'. The A.S. in information sciences and technology allows students to specialize in business or networking; other options include a baccalaureate track for aspiring transfer students, as well as a flexible 'individualized' schedule. The final two associate degrees are concentrated in business fields: a general business administration curriculum, as well as a 'labor and employment relations' track aimed at future human resources personnel.

All six associate degree programs offered through Penn State World Campus are 60 to 61 credits in length. The turfgrass management and human development/family services degrees include required internships that must be completed offline, while the A.S. in information sciences/ technology allows students to choose between an internship or capstone project. The remaining three associate programs are delivered in an exclusively online format.

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10 Liberty University 82.49 66% Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1971 by Pastor Jerry Falwell, Liberty is a nonprofit, private Southern Baptist university headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. With a total enrollment in excess of 110,000 students, Liberty is considered the largest Christian postsecondary institution in the world. The university also recorded 94,000 online students in 2016, and roughly 80% of Liberty's graduates earn their degrees through web-based coursework.

Liberty students seeking a religion-centered education can choose from several faith-based online associate degree programs. The A.A. in religion covers the fundamentals of theology and biblical study, while the A.A. in psychology is offered with a Christian counseling emphasis. The associate degrees in general education and interdisciplinary early childhood education also focus on Christian learning facilities; both of these options are non-licensure tracks. Other programs, such as the A.A. in paralegal studies, incorporate scriptural laws into lessons about ethical practices. Secular online associate programs offered at Liberty include A.A. degrees in accounting, business, information systems and medical office assistant. All online associate programs at the university are 60 credits in length; according to the transfer agreement, at least 15 of these required credits must be obtained through Liberty courses.

All of Liberty's online associate degree programs are delivered in an exclusively web-based format, and students will not be required to make any campus visits. Military personnel and their spouses receive a substantial tuition discount when they enroll in online courses at Liberty; veterans, active-duty members and reservists pay a flat rate of $250 per credit hour, while military spouses pay $275 per credit hour.

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11 Wake Technical Community College 82.21 48% Raleigh, NC

Founded in 1963 as an industrial training center with just over 300 students, this Raleigh-based institution today enrolls more than 70,000 students on a yearly basis. Students can evaluate their own readiness for WTCC online coursework using the eLearning Intro: Online Learning Readiness Assessment tool; this comprehensive webinar includes three separate modules, and requires students to earn a minimum score before they are able to enroll in web-based courses.

The college offers a total of 17 online associate degree programs. Seven of these associate degrees are concentrated in business studies. These include pathways in two areas of supply chain management: global logistics technology and distribution management. Other business-oriented tracks include degrees in general business administration, accounting, business analytics and office administration. On the technical side, WTCC offers cutting-edge associate degree programs in computer programming and development, criminal justice technology, fire protection technology and information system security, as well as three pathways dedicated to web design and development. In addition to associate degree plans, more than 70 professional certificates are also available online. These cover 17 different professional fields, including advertising and graphic design, computer programming and data science, lateral entry teaching, mechanical engineering and network management.

Eight of the college's online associate options feature at least one hybrid (or blended) course, which may require campus visitations; the remaining nine options are delivered in an exclusively online format. All of the online associate degree programs offered through WTCC may be completed after two years of full-time study.

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12 Northwest Iowa Community College 82.19 63% Sheldon, IA

This Sheldon-based community college boasts a student-faculty ratio of 13 to 1 and low tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state students. A member of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium, NCC allows online students to select from a pool of more than 750 online courses offered at postsecondary institutions throughout the state.

Distance learners enrolled at NCC can choose from 13 different online associate degree pathways. These include 'pre-professional' A.A. degree programs in seven different fields: accounting; business; criminal justice; early childhood education; education; human resources management; and paralegal. An A.A. in business is also offered with two possible concentrations, management or financial/insurance services. The four remaining associate options are A.A.S. tracks in health information technology, agriculture, accounting and powerline technology. Although some online courses at NCC are asynchronous, most are not self-paced and students will be expected to meet weekly deadlines. The timetable for these courses will also vary; in addition to traditional semester-length (16-week) courses, students may also select from accelerated four-, eight- and 12-week modules. Regardless of course length, the curriculum and course content will be identical, and students will be expected to complete the same amount of work.

As part of the Iowa State University Admissions Partnership Program, NCC strives to serve students who plan to transfer into a bachelor's degree programs. NCC's 2 Plus 2 Transfer Guarantee plan ensures admission into the University of Iowa for students who have completed at least 30 credit hours. The college also holds articulation agreements with 19 four-year institutions throughout the state.

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13 Bismarck State College 82.12 46% Bismarck, ND

Established in 1939, this comprehensive community college is today recognized for its extensive renewable and non-renewable energy education opportunities. BSC is currently the third largest institution in the North Dakota university system, with an annual enrollment of roughly 3,800 students and a student-faculty ratio of 15 to 1.

Online associate degree programs at BSC include A.A.S. tracks in several energy-related fields, including electric power and transmission systems, nuclear power, petroleum production and plant technology. A blended A.A.S. in energy service and energy technician is also available; this pathway explores the fundamentals of wind power, hydroelectricity and other sources of renewable energy. Other technical associate options include degrees in computer support, geographic information systems, information processing, instrumentation/control technology and web page development/design. Bismarck State also offers business-oriented associate programs in administrative assistant, business administration and management. In addition to degree plans, professional certificates are also available in each of the associate fields.

The college's online associate degree tracks generally run 50 to 60 credit hours in length, and can be completed within two years; some require occasional on-campus lab courses, while others are delivered exclusively online. Certificate programs vary by credit requirement from 30 to 60 credits; depending on the length, certificates will require one to two years of full-time study. Although the tuition rates for online courses vary by delivery (synchronous or asynchronous), web-based students pay the same rate regardless of their state of residence.

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14 Shoreline Community College 81.65 49% Shoreline, WA

Located just a few miles north of Seattle, this community college first opened its doors in 1964. Of the roughly 10,000 students enrolled at Shoreline each year, 14% exclusively enroll in online courses while another 27% complete their degree requirements through a combination of online and on-campus coursework.

A total of six online applied associate degrees are available to students at Shoreline. These include pathways in three business-oriented fields: accounting; general business; and business technology. The latter associate program culminates in a comprehensive individual project. The A.A.S. in health information technology, concentrated in informatics and information management, also features a capstone requirement for second-year students. The final two associate programs require students to supplement their online coursework with supervised training. Students who pursue the A.A.S. in criminal justice must complete internships in criminal investigation and police operations, while those earning an A.A.S. in early childhood education/paraeducator must complete a practicum 'observation' course in a functioning classroom. All six online associate degree programs offered through Shoreline are between 90 and 94 course credits in length -- but due to the school's quarter-based calendar, these programs can be completed in two years of full-time study.

Additionally, online students at Shoreline may choose to participate in the Direct Transfer Agreement program. This pathway allows students to transfer into participating four-year schools throughout the state of Washington. DTA opportunities are available in the following academic fields: business; criminal justice; economics; elementary education; English language and literature; health information and information management; history; political science; and psychology.

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15 Western Wyoming Community College 81.35 60% Rock Springs, WY

Founded in 1959, this two-year institution is headquartered in the town of Rock Springs. WWCC's relatively small enrollment (3,620 students) allows the school to maintain a favorable student-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. Online students utilize the Mustang Cruiser, a comprehensive eLearning portal that allows students to access all web-based courses (powered by the Blackboard LMS platform).

Students enrolled at WWCC can choose from a total of 11 online associate degree plans. A.S. degree options include three business concentrations -- accounting, business administration and marketing -- as well as computer information systems and general studies pathways. Those seeking an A.A. degree can choose from five fields: criminal justice; general studies; social science; social work; and sociology. An A.A.S. in office information systems is available, as well. In addition to full associate degree programs, six online professional certificates are offered through WWCC. These include: 15-hour tracks in journalism and Western American studies; an 18-hour track in website development; a 20-hour track in digital design; a one-year track in accounting; and a self-paced track in emergency management. Most online courses run the entire semester and follow a synchronous schedule, although select courses may be available in an accelerated format.

WWCC maintains a transfer agreement with the University of Wyoming for associate degree-holding graduates who wish to enter a bachelor's degree program. The college also holds articulation agreements with some of the nation's top online colleges and universities, including Ashford University, Kaplan University, Southern New Hampshire University ad Western Governors University.

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16 Surry Community College 80.70 46% Dobson, NC

Based in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina, this two-year institution was established in 1964 and today honors an open-door admissions policy for any applicants who have received a high school diploma. Online degree pathways at SCC are designed to mirror their brick-and-mortar counterparts; most courses follow a synchronous schedule, and span the entire semester.

Online students enrolled at SCC may select from eight associate degree programs. The most extensive option is a 73-credit early childhood associate pathway. This option covers fundamental concepts like child psychology, educational technology and curriculum planning; the program culminates in a final capstone project. The remaining online associate tracks range from 65 to 68 course credits in length. These include degrees in four business-oriented areas of study: accounting; business administration; medical office administration; and office administration. Students with an interest in marketing and design may pursue an associate in advertising and graphic design technology, which covers concepts like modeling, digital photography and web design. SCC also offers a criminal justice technology associate program; students who have completed official law enforcement training may receive credit for up to four of the required courses. Finally, a general A.A. pathway is available; with the exception of this option, online certificates in all associate degree subjects are offered, as well.

All online associate degree tracks at SCC are designed for completion after two years of full-time study. Free tutoring services are available for all online students.

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17 Southwest Virginia Community College 79.77 39% Richlands, VA

This two-year institution located near the city of Richlands first opened its doors in 1968. The most recent school records cite an overall enrollment of 2,630 students and a student-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. In addition to its traditional academic programs, SVCC recently received a $1.4 million grant to retrain professional coal miners who have been displaced by poor economic conditions.

SVCC offers a total of seven online associate degree pathways. Students seeking a tech-oriented education may pursue an A.A.S. degree in administrative support technology; this plan features two possible specializations, electronic medical records or information systems technology. Options for business-oriented students include an A.A. in business administration, an A.A.S. in accounting or an A.A.S. in management with an insurance emphasis. Two programs are geared toward aspiring teachers. The A.A. in education with a teacher preparation specialization offers concentrations in early childhood (PK-3), elementary (PK-6), middle school (6-8) and special education. An associate in early childhood development is also available. The final associate option, an A.A. in general studies, allows students to choose psychology or liberal arts specializations. In addition to traditional associate degree programs, online certificates are available in six fields: early childhood education; legal studies; general education; electronic medical records specialist; management specialist; and network administration.

All online associate degree plans at SVCC range from 61 to 67 credits in length, and can be completed by full-time students within two years. All three A.A. programs are geared toward transfer students, while the A.A.S. plans are designed for students who plan to immediately enter the workforce after earning their degree.

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18 Hodges University 79.57 47% Naples, FL

Founded as 'International College' in 1990, this private nonprofit institution maintains a main campus in Naples, Florida. In addition to traditional two-year online associate degrees, Hodges allows students to take part in the UPOWER Self-Paced Learning program; students who pay a flat rate of $2,750 are able to complete as many courses as they wish within a six-month timeframe.

Hodges features a total of eight online associate degree programs, although the course delivery will vary by subject. Students seeking an associate in accounting or business administration may choose to follow traditional semester (15-week) or accelerated timetables. Two additional online associate degree options -- computer information technology and digital design/graphics -- are offered in the UPOWER self-paced format, as well as a synchronous two-year schedule. Other associate options include fully online tracks in four subjects: criminal justice; healthcare office administration; interdisciplinary studies; and paralegal. Additionally, Hodges offers a cutting-edge online certification program titled 'eDiscovery/eLitigation'; this pathway is designed for legal professionals hoping to learn more about the digital tools and platforms commonly used in their industry.

The online associate degree plans in criminal justice and healthcare office administration follow flexible tracks, allowing students to typically complete their program requirements within one year and eight months. The remaining six associate options consist of 60 credit hours, and are designed for completion after two years of full-time enrollment. Transfer students must complete their final 20 credits at Hodges before being able to earn their associate degree.

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19 Southwestern Assemblies of God University 79.03 70% Waxahachie, TX

Located within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Area, this private Christian institution has received official endorsement from the Assemblies of God USA -- the only school to do so in the state of Texas. The university has offered distance-based education for more than 25 years, and today's students with a professional background may qualify for up to 25% of their programmatic degree requirements through the Experiential Learning Credit program.

SAGU's current catalog includes a total of 10 online associate degree programs. As a faith-based learning institution, these options include a degree in bible studies and a mission-oriented intercultural studies program. Other study plans integrate Christian teachings into the curriculum. For example, the associate in psychology includes lessons in 'psychology of selfhood and the Christian faith', while the associate in business administration track incorporates 'a Christian vision of business' to guide entrepreneurs and management professionals. Additionally, all associate degree curricula require at least 12 credit hours of general biblical studies courses. On the secular side, online associate programs include degrees in addictions counseling, education (general and early childhood), English and social studies. The general studies associate track allows students to follow a customized curriculum of courses in social/behavioral sciences, natural science/mathematics and physical education.

All online associate degree programs available through SAGU are delivered in a fully online format. Degree plans range from 60 to 65 credits in length, and are typically completed after two years of full-time study.

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20 Tiffin University 78.76 55% Tiffin, OH

Named for the city in which it was originally founded, Ohio's Tiffin University first opened its doors in 1888. With a current enrollment of roughly 3,500 students, the school boasts a stellar student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Additionally, more than half of Tiffin's courses feature a class size of 20 students or less.

Students at Tiffin seeking a business-related education may pursue an online associate degree in business administration with four available specializations: accounting; business; computer and information systems; and health administration. All four of these options consist of 61 credit hours; 30 of these credits consist of specialization-related coursework, while the remaining 31 are classified as 'knowledge skills and liberal education core' courses or electives. Tiffin also offers an associate degree in criminal justice with a law enforcement emphasis. The curriculum for this program covers the fundamentals of juvenile justice, forensic technology, criminology and other topics related to this field. Lastly, the online associate degree in general studies consists of a 60-credit curriculum in five core areas of study: humanities (18 credit hours); knowledge skills (15 credit hours); social sciences (12 credit hours); open electives (nine credit hours); and natural sciences (six credit hours). Available courses in this degree plan cover a diverse range of subjects, including algebra, art appreciation, philosophy, earth science, oceanography, economics and psychology.

Most students who enter an online associate track at Tiffin will finish their programmatic requirements and receive their degree within two years. All associate programs at the university are delivered in a fully online format.

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21 West Kentucky Community and Technical College 78.37 52% Paducah, KY

Headquartered in the town of Versailles, this two-year institution first opened its doors in 1997. As part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTC) consortium, WKCTC offers online degree programs in two formats: 'Learn by Term', a synchronous system that follows a traditional semester calendar; and 'Learn on Demand', which allows students to parse 15-week courses into asynchronous 'module' classes that run three to five weeks in length.

A total of eight online associate degree programs are available at WKCTC in the Learn by Term format. These options include degrees in three technology-driven fields: computer and information technologies; marine technology; and medical information technology. Aspiring business students may choose to earn an associate degree online in business administration systems or logistics/operations management. An online associate degree in criminal justice is also available, as well as pre-baccalaureate A.A. and A.S. programs. In addition to two-year degrees, online certificates in computer-aided drafting (CAD)/design and interdisciplinary childhood education are also offered through Learn by Term. On the Learn on Demand end, seven full associate degree plans are offered online: business information systems; computer and information technologies; logistics and operations management; marine technology; medical information technology; and general A.A. and A.S. degrees.

Because Learn on Demand courses are self-paced, expected degree completion time will vary from student to student. Most students finish Learn by Term degree programs after two years of full-time enrollment. While most of the courses will be delivered over the web, some online courses/associate degrees feature labs, practicums and other components that require occasional campus visits.

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22 Alexandria Technical & Community College 78.14 67% Alexandria, MN

Founded as a vocational academy in 1961, this two-year college joined the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 1995. As part of the Distance Minnesota consortium, Alexandria allows students to select from a pool of online courses offered at postsecondary institutions throughout the state.

Nine online associate programs are available to Alexandria students. Aspiring administrators can select from degrees in business administration, legal administrative assistant or medical administrative specialist. The college also offers an A.A.S. in paralegal, as well as a transitional diploma for trained law enforcement officers that can be completed within three semesters. Alexandria's other online associate options include degrees in computer information systems, human services practitioner, liberal arts and sciences and speech-language pathology. Additionally, a medical coding specialist diploma is available in an accelerated five-semester curriculum. Finally, generalized liberal arts/sciences and individualized studies pathways are offered for students who eventually plan to enter a bachelor's degree program. Following the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) guidelines, these options include possible concentrations in 10 areas of academic study, such as natural sciences, history and the social/behavioral sciences, the humanities and global perspective.

All of Alexandria's online associate programs are 60 to 64 credits in length, but study requirements vary by degree ranging from 62 to 79 hours per week. The human services practitioner, medical administrative specialist and paralegal tracks feature required internships, while the speech-language pathology program includes a clinical practicum requirement. The remaining associate programs are delivered fully online. The medical coding specialist diploma features a required internship, as well.

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23 Hutchinson Community College 78.14 59% Hutchinson, KS

Named for the Kansas town where its original campus was built, this two-year institution first opened its doors in 1928 and today enrolls between 5,000 and 6,000 students on an annual basis. The school's academic offerings have grown over the years to include programs in high-demand public service fields like firefighting, law enforcement and homeland security.

The OnlineEd branch at HCC offers roughly 200 web-based courses each semester, as well as a selection of 11 online associate degree programs. A.A.S. pathways represent the largest number, with programs in six areas of study: business administrative technology; criminal justice; early childhood education; health information management; and paralegal. Aspiring teachers can choose from A.A. and A.S. tracks in general education, as well as an A.A. degree in early childhood education. A.S. pathways are also offered in accounting and general business. In addition to standard degree plans, Hutchinson allows students to pursue online certification in the following areas: business technologies; accounting or office support; early childhood; health coding specialist; information technology in healthcare; medical transcription; pharmacy technician; and paralegal.

Most online courses at HCC feature flexible start dates and follow an asynchronous schedule; courses may be accelerated or run the length of the entire semester. The college's associate programs are designed for completion after two years of full-time enrollment. Most online courses at HCC are delivered fully online, although some feature proctored exams that require visits to campus or a predesignated testing site.

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24 Gateway Community and Technical College 77.15 46% Florence, KY

The newest school to earn a spot on our ranking, this two-year institution first opened its doors to students in 2002. Like West Kentucky Community and Technical College (#21), Gateway is a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTC) consortium. This enables students to choose from two formats for their online two-year education: Learn by Term, a synchronous system that follows a semester-based calendar; and the asynchronous Learn on Demand option, in which students divide their courses into class 'modules' that span three to five weeks in length.

Seven online associate degree programs are available to Gateway students through KCTC's Learn on Demand wing. One cutting-edge option is the associate in marine technology. This business-meets-technical pathway comes with four possible concentrations: wheelhouse management; marine culinary management; marine engineering; and marine logistics operations. Other STEM-related Learn on Demand programs include degrees in computer/information technologies and medical office administration; both come with four possible concentration tracks, as well. Students seeking a corporate-oriented education may pursue an associate in business administration systems with human resources and management concentrations, as well as a standalone degree in logistics and operations management. General A.A. and A.S. pathways are also offered for students who plan to transfer into a bachelor's degree program. In addition to associate degree options, an online nurse aid certification program is available through Learn on Demand; this pathway includes onsite practicum and clinical requirements. Although individual associate degree plans are not available at Gateway through the Learn by Term system, students may choose to primarily enroll in online courses and satisfy their degree requirements using a blended format.

Learn on Demand associate degree programs generally run 60 to 65 course credits in length, and are typically completed after two years of full-time study.

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25 Allen County Community College 76.84 49% Iola, KS

Originally named Iola Junior College after the Kansas town where the main campus was built in 1923, Allen Community College is a public community college that enrolls roughly 2,500 students every year. The college allows students to earn associate degrees in 36 academic subjects -- and many of these pathways can be completed partially, primarily or entirely online.

Allen Community College students seeking an associate degree online may pursue an A.A. track in 17 different fields. For aspiring teachers, degrees are available in five fields: early childhood education; elementary education; secondary education; and two tracks for health and physical education teachers. These also include fields related to the performing and visual arts, as well as tracks in subjects like anthropology, English, history, psychology and sociology. Allen also offers 15 A.S. degree programs, including pre-professional studies in engineering, medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine. A.A.S. degrees are available in seven areas: addictions and prevention studies; business: management development; early childhood education; farm and ranch management; information technology; pharmacy technician; and production media. Finally, an Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.) pathway is geared toward students who plan to eventually transfer into a bachelor's degree program.

Although credit requirements vary by program, most Allen students are able to complete their associate degree within two years' time. Online courses at Allen Community College follow a synchronous schedule with the same assignments and deadlines as on-campus classes; online students should plan to study at least six hours per week for each course in their current schedule.

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