According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), North Dakota has a 2.4% unemployment rate. This impressive figure indicates a time when a small labor pool forces employers to raise wages to attract already employed professionals. Employers also tend to hire a larger number of recent college graduates without significant work experience when the unemployment rate is so low. North Dakota's largest employment sectors include office and administrative support, sales, healthcare, and management, all of which require education beyond high school. Additionally, the professional and business services field boasted 4.9% growth in the state between August 2018 and August 2019.
Top 5 Community Colleges in North Dakota
- North Dakota State College of Science - Wahpeton, ND
- Williston State College - Williston, ND
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College - Fort Totten, ND
- Lake Region State College - Devils Lake, ND
- Dakota College at Bottineau - Bottineau, ND
An associate degree from a North Dakota community college can help you advance your career. For instance, transfer degrees prepare students for bachelor's-completion programs at four-year schools, and career-oriented degrees -- also known as AAS degrees -- prepare graduates to enter the job market. Additionally, certificate programs focus on specific skills that professionals need to qualify for a new job or promotion. Like most four-year colleges, community colleges provide degree-seekers with essential student services such as tutoring, online learning, childcare, and more.
To help you select the right North Dakota community college, we created a list of the state's top five schools. The following ranking features important information concerning each school's academic programs, student services, application requirements, and financial aid opportunities. Click on the embedded links to learn more, and contact the school directly if you have additional questions. Counselors or advisors can give you the information you need.
Although the schools on this list possess many excellent qualities, they may not offer precisely what you need to succeed academically. If so, take note of what you like about each college and use that information to judge other schools in your search.
2020 Best Accredited Community Colleges in North Dakota
North Dakota State College of Science
|Wahpeton, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
At NDSCS, learners can select a degree or certificate in one of 13 academic areas, including human services, liberal arts, or information technology. The liberal arts transfer option features more than 24 majors that degree-seekers can complete in two years. This North Dakota community college offers courses on its Wahpeton and Fargo campuses as well as online.
The Academic Services Center at NDSCS offers academic and career counseling, in addition to college-readiness courses such as effective reading and college writing. The center also boasts educational resources for English language learners. In addition, flex-time courses allow degree-seekers to learn at an individual pace; students can take up to nine months to complete a course.
NDSCS accepts GED certificates. Applicants who possess transfer credit from a school within the North Dakota University System do not need to submit transcripts. Incoming degree-seekers with a minimum score of 22 on the ACT may qualify for college-funded scholarships. Students submit only one application to apply for all scholarship opportunities.
Williston State College
|Williston, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
WSC's six academic pathways feature transfer programs, career-oriented degrees, and certificates. Students planning to transfer to a four-year school can earn a degree through one of four departments. For certificate-seekers, the Trades Technology Department offers programs in agriculture, petroleum production, and welding, among other in-demand fields. Student learning outcomes at this North Dakota community college include skills in communication, analytical thinking, and problem-solving.
Besides awarding degrees and certificates, WSC provides over 100 workforce training and professional development programs. These short courses cover areas like transportation, technology, and first-aid skills. Local business owners can also take courses such as communicating for leadership success and resolving workplace conflict.
Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. WSC considers transfer credit from foreign colleges and universities. Incoming degree-seekers without ACT or SAT scores take placement tests. Learners interested in scholarship opportunities should apply by the May 1 deadline. Additionally, students who are part of a cultural or racial minority may qualify for a tuition waiver.
Cankdeska Cikana Community College
|Fort Totten, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 21%||
A tribal college located in Fort Totten, CCCC serves residents living on and around the Spirit Lake Reservation. Incoming students can select from 14 academic programs, 11 of which confer an AA, AS, or AAS degree while three certificate programs prepare graduates for careers as carpenters, office technology professionals, or truck drivers.
CCCC participates in the Federal TRIO Program to assist first-generation and low-income college students. In TRIO, learners can receive academic support services at no additional cost. This North Dakota community college also hosts a Head Start program that serves pregnant students and degree-seekers' young children.
All incoming learners at CCCC take the ACCUPLACER test. The college accepts transfer credit that reflects a minimum C grade. Financial aid opportunities at this North Dakota community college include scholarships. The college uses both November 1 and March 1 scholarship deadlines. Tribal members qualify for additional scholarships.
Lake Region State College
|Devils Lake, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 31%||
From its Devils Lake campus, LRSC educates over 2,000 students through numerous degree and certificate programs. Learners can select from three types of academic programs: career and technical education, liberal arts (transfer), or apprenticeship. Apprenticeship programs match learners of all ages and experience levels with in-demand career fields (e.g., information technology).
LRSC features additional academic opportunities, including a GED-preparation course. This community college in North Dakota also boasts dozens of courses that active-duty service members can take on the nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base. Through a partnership with Mayville State University, degree-seekers can earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education through LRSC.
LRSC accepts the ACT and ACCUPLACER to determine initial English and math course placement. All incoming learners also submit FAFSA results. Students with a minimum score of 18 on the ACT receive a college-funded scholarship. LRSC awards a full-tuition scholarship to incoming degree-seekers with a minimum score of 28 on the ACT, 1310 on the SAT, or 175 on the GED.
Dakota College at Bottineau
|Bottineau, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
DCB boasts a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, making this North Dakota community college an excellent choice for prospective students who want individualized instruction. The college offers AA, AS, and AAS degrees in diverse topics such as horticulture, photography, and human services. All transfer programs require 61 credits and take approximately two years to complete.
Like other community colleges on this ranking, DCB hosts an honors program. Incoming degree-seekers with a minimum score of 21 on the ACT and at least a 3.25 high school GPA qualify. Honors students complete specialized coursework in anatomy, literature, and U.S. history, among other topics. The program's benefits include small class sizes and networking opportunities.
DCB accepts applications throughout the year. In-state students save approximately 40% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international learners. Degree-seekers submit only one application to apply for over a dozen scholarship opportunities. Scholarships award up to $5,000 each semester and can renew if recipients maintain excellent grades.