Community colleges in Maine offer numerous two-year associate degrees, professional diplomas, and certificate programs. Learners benefit from affordable tuition, career-specific programs, and open-enrollment policies that accept any student with a high school diploma or GED certificate.
An associate degree is often the first step toward a bachelor's, and earning an associate degree at a community college can help you save thousands of dollars in tuition costs before transferring to a four-year college. Alternately, associate of applied science degrees, certificates, and diplomas provide specialized vocational training that can prepare you to enter a career field immediately after graduation. Community colleges commonly offer vocational programs in popular fields like healthcare, information technology, and engineering.
Top 5 Community Colleges in Maine
- Washington County Community College - Calais, ME
- Kennebec Valley Community College - Fairfield, ME
- Central Maine Community College - Auburn, ME
- Northern Maine Community College - Presque Isle, ME
- York County Community College - Wells, ME
While Maine may be small, the state hosts several community colleges. The following list offers an overview of the state's top community colleges, including information on each college's academic programs, student services, and other distinguishing features.
Whether you pursue an academic degree or a technical program, Maine offers strong prospects for employment. The state's cost of living ranks slightly above the national average, but its unemployment rate -- 2.8% as of October 2019 -- ranks well below the national average. This means graduates of community colleges in Maine are primed to enter a robust job market. Some of Maine's top industries include healthcare, retail, tourism, education, and construction. The state also boasts high employment in region-specific industries, like fishing, pulp and paper, forestry, and aquaculture.
2020 Best Accredited Community Colleges in Maine
Washington County Community College
|Calais, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Based in Calais, WCCC serves around 500 students and offers diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees in more than 20 areas of study, including adventure and recreation tourism, criminal justice conversation law, geographic information systems, and pulp and paper. Students can also complete a two-year liberal studies program that prepares them to transfer to a four-year college.
WCCC recognizes the varied challenges facing community college students, and the school offers comprehensive support services for learners of all backgrounds. WCCC's TRiO Student Support Services office provides academic advising and counseling for first-generation and low-income students, with services including academic tutoring, degree planning, career counseling, transfer assistance, and financial aid counseling. Students can also access library services, technical support, and disability services.
Kennebec Valley Community College
|Fairfield, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
With campuses in Fairfield and Hinckley, KVCC ranks among the top community colleges in Maine, serving over 2,400 students annually. The college offers academic and professional programs in more than 30 areas of study, including biological science, allied health and nursing, early childhood education, mental health and psychology, and trades and technology. Candidates can pursue a professional certificate or degree to enter the workforce as quickly as possible, or they can complete a transfer degree and advance to a four-year college.
KVCC also offers five fully online programs in marketing, accounting, early childhood education, liberal studies, and mental health. The liberal studies program functions as a transfer degree, enabling students to transfer their credits to a four-year school. The other four programs award associate of applied science degrees and prepare graduates to pursue entry-level jobs. Mental health students can also earn a mental health rehabilitation technical/community certificate.
Central Maine Community College
|Auburn, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 23%||
CMCC enrolls more than 2,700 students annually at its campus in Auburn, and it ranks as one of the larger community colleges in Maine. Students can choose from a wide selection of certificate programs and associate degrees, such as forensic science, e-sports management, life science, and physical fitness. CMCC students with relevant professional experience may be able to earn credit based on prior learning, which enables them to complete a degree or certificate faster.
CMCC offers several distance education and hybrid programs, including six fully online degrees in accounting, business administration, criminal justice, general studies, human services, and medical coding/electronic health records. These programs require no campus visits, and most courses use a fully asynchronous format with no required class login times. Online learners receive many of the same support services as on-campus students, including academic advising, library resources, tutoring, and financial aid assistance.
Northern Maine Community College
|Presque Isle, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Based in Presque Isle, NMCC serves around 1,000 students through campus-based and online programs. As one of the top community colleges in Maine, NMCC offers a large selection of degrees and certificates through several academic and professional departments, including arts and sciences, business technology, trade and technical occupations, emergency medical services, and nursing and allied health. Students can complete many courses from a distance, though the college does not offer any fully online degrees.
NMCC students gain access to an assortment of support services that can assist them throughout their education, from enrollment to after graduation. The school's Academic Success Center offers free services to all NMCC students, including academic advising, homework help, and placement testing. Students can also receive individual and group tutoring and support for academic writing. Additionally, NMCC's student services office provides help with the admissions process, financial aid support, and general student counseling.
York County Community College
|Wells, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 18%||
Established in 1994 in Wells, YCCC now serves around 1,700 students annually through an assortment of on-campus and distance education programs. The college offers dozens of professionally focused degree and certificate programs in popular fields such as animal care and management, computer science, culinary arts, digital media, and hospitality and tourism management. Students can pursue three fully online certificates in gerontology, help desk and user support, and web development.
YCCC also offers four fully online associate degree programs: behavioral health studies, gerontology, information technology, and liberal studies. The liberal studies program is a transfer degree that prepares students to transfer into a liberal arts program at a four-year college. The other three programs award associate of applied science degrees and are intended to prepare students to enter the workforce. All four degrees require about two years of full-time study, require no campus visits, and use an asynchronous delivery format.