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Oklahoma's community college system sets students up for success in growing fields in one of the most affordable states in the nation. Online classes provide an education that fits around other responsibilities, while in-person classes provide hands-on learning experiences. Oklahoma's students earned nearly 2,000 degrees at the community college level in 2020, with the majority in allied health, general education, and business administration.
Oklahoma's abundant cultural offerings offer a respite from the grind of coursework. The affordability of community colleges in Oklahoma and the low cost of living make the Sooner State a great place to learn and live.
Why Study in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma both rank among the top 20 largest employers in the state. The state offers a robust system of over 45 public colleges, universities, and community college campuses, as well as a public liberal arts university. Oklahoma students may also be eligible for college scholarships under certain circumstances.
Oklahoma is positioned within a major thoroughfare across the United States, which creates booming industries in transportation and manufacturing. Gaming brings business to Oklahoma to the tune of $123.6 million in 2020, thanks to tribal casinos across the state.
Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa made the top 25 list for up-and-coming tech markets in a 2021 Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis study. The state also has deep-rooted connections to the oil industry, with the state capitol built around working oil wells.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Oklahoma is third-lowest among all states. Housing costs 75% of the national average. The Council for Community and Economic Research in Oklahoma provides a cost of living calculator to help residents plan their finances. Oklahoma also ranks among the states with the lowest income requirements to buy a home.
Cultural and Community Offerings
Oklahoma cherishes both its oil history and Native American influences. Half of Oklahoma rests on Native American land, according to a 2020 Supreme Court ruling.
Oklahoma houses more than 300 museums, an NBA team, and one of the top film festivals in the nation. Musicians from Oklahoma include Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, and Reba McEntire.
For outdoor lovers, Oklahoma offers thousands of miles of hiking trails and several distinct ecological regions.
Oklahoma's winds do come sweeping down the plains, as the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical claimed. However, Oklahoma experiences two distinct climates: The eastern part of the state has a humid subtropical climate and the west has a semi-arid climate.
Winters are relatively short with the occasional snow or ice storm, while summer is long and humid in the eastern part of the state. Temperatures might dip down to below freezing, but rarely enough to freeze the soil. A good chunk of the state experiences tornadoes, and thunderstorms are frequent throughout the spring.
Top Degree Programs in Oklahoma
Featured Online Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Oklahoma Employment Outlook
Oklahoma operates a 21st Century Quality Jobs program to inject growth businesses into the state through a variety of financial incentives. Oklahoma's central location in the nation provides growth opportunities in all transportation sectors, and the state houses the largest Department of Defense and commercial airline facility for maintenance, repairs, and operations.
Oklahoma's largest employers in 2021 included the Department of Defense, Walmart, Amazon, Integris Health, and Hobby Lobby. In 2021 alone, the state announced 70 new or expanding companies.
5 In Demand Oklahoma Jobs
Paralegals research, write, and present important legal data in a variety of workplace settings. The growth in this field is higher than average as law firms and businesses work to reduce the costs of additional support staff. Some companies are choosing to move counsel in house, leading to increased variety in workplace options for paralegals.
These professionals perform imaging tests on patients. They work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. An associate degree from a community college is sufficient for this job, but a bachelor's degree can lead to higher salaries and leadership positions.
As the first point of contact for those visiting the dentist's office, these professionals check dental histories, perform routine exams and cleanings, provide preventative care, and perform X-rays. They also assist dentists during procedures.
Physical Therapist Assistants
Physical therapist assistants work with patients and physical therapists to come up with treatment plans, perform mobility improving exercises, and help with stretching and massage. If they spend several more years in school, assistants can eventually become full physical therapists.
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
These professionals transport products from manufacturers to distribution centers to stores. While these drivers might not need associate degrees, they can gain knowledge in the craft, legalities, and safety of product transportation through certificate courses at community colleges.
Popular Career Paths in Oklahoma
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Oklahoma
Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team
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Best Community Colleges in Oklahoma
Carl Albert State College
Based in Poteau, Carl Albert State College delivers high-quality and career-relevant academic programs to 2,000 students. The school offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the region and provides financial aid in the forms of federal funding and state grants. Learners can also apply for institutional scholarships, including awards specifically for candidates pursuing credentials in nursing, agribusiness, and physical therapy. Applicants must submit standardized test scores.
Students can pursue a one-year certificate in areas such as organizational leadership, social services assistant, and hospitality and event management. They can also earn a child development director's certificate or prepare for police academy training by developing skills in law enforcement procedures. At the associate level, CASC offers transfer-focused degrees in business administration, computer technology, general studies, and prelaw criminal justice. The college also operates a two-year nursing program that prepares candidates to earn state licensure and work as registered nurses. As one of the best community colleges in Oklahoma, CASC delivers eight degrees and three certificates entirely online.
Redlands Community College
Located in El Reno, Redlands Community College serves 2,000 students each semester. One of the most affordable community colleges in Oklahoma, Redlands features tuition rates that fall far below the state average for public institutions. All students benefit from financial aid, which includes scholarships for candidates who transfer to a partnering four-year institution. The school also hosts the Oklahoma's Promise initiative, which provides free tuition to state residents who meet designated criteria.
The academic catalog features certificate programs in fields like athletic training, corrections, and human/social services assisting. Students who want to earn an associate degree can pursue topics such as psychology, life science, or business administration technology. The school also provides associate of agriculture programs, with concentrations in animal science, agroecology, agribusiness, and agriculture education.
Redlands also delivers dual enrollment for high school students and continuing education options for working professionals. High-achieving students can enroll in the honors program, which offers dedicated scholarships, innovative coursework, and independent research opportunities.
Northern Oklahoma College
Established in 1901, Northern Oklahoma College focuses on affordable and transfer-friendly academic programming. The college allows students to complete general education and lower-level major classes before transferring into a bachelor's-completion program at the University of Oklahoma. To qualify for transfer, students need to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. NOC also operates a bridge program with Northwestern Oklahoma State University, allowing learners to jointly enroll at both schools.
NOC offers certificate programs for practical nursing and childcare program management. Associate degrees cover fields like respiratory care; mathematics and physical science; and digital media, animation, and design. For students who want to earn a business management degree, NOC offers tracks in accounting, entrepreneurship, and hospitality. The college also delivers two associate nursing programs for prospective RNs and candidates who want to go on to earn their BSN. Additionally, NOC delivers an associate program in applied technology with an emphasis on military services.
Tulsa Community College serves more than 27,000 students annually at four major campuses and additional satellite locations in surrounding suburban areas. The institution also delivers distance education opportunities through the Blackboard platform. Students can take individual blended and fully online classes, or they can pursue entire certificates and degrees remotely. Fully online options include associate programs in business administration, elementary education, and mathematics. Undecided students can prepare for transfer by earning an online associate of liberal arts with a general education emphasis.
For students who prefer campus-based programs, TCC delivers workforce certificates in high-demand occupations like aircraft dispatch, dental hygiene, and advanced firefighting. Students can also train to work as phlebotomists by earning a certificate in medical laboratory technology. Associate options include programs in biotechnology, geographic information systems, and world languages, the last of which features tracks in Spanish, French, Japanese, and interpreting skills. Like some community colleges in Oklahoma, TCC delivers pre-professional associate degrees in health sciences. Candidates pick from dentistry, optometry, medical imaging, occupational/physical therapy, and veterinary medicine.
Founded in 1931 as an extension of a local high school, Seminole State College now enrolls 1,600 students in affordable certificate and associate programs. The school maintains an open-door admissions policy that requires only that applicants submit an online application, academic records, and standardized test results. Each student receives individualized guidance from a counselor, who walks them through enrollment and helps them access financial aid. Award opportunities include scholarships specifically for transfer candidates, nontraditional learners, and agricultural science students.
SSC operates transfer-oriented associate programs in biology, computer science, enterprise development, and pre-engineering. The college delivers several options for secondary education, with emphasis tracks in history, physics, math, and chemistry teaching. Furthermore, students can enroll in the social science program, focusing on either sociology or history/government.
SCC also operates two-year technical occupation programs. Students can earn associate credentials in business technology, nursing, and physical therapist assisting. Consistent with other community colleges in Oklahoma, SCC delivers online programs through Brightspace.
Western Oklahoma State College
Located in Altus, Western Oklahoma State College is the oldest two-year, postsecondary school in the state. The institution serves 1,300 students every semester and features affordable tuition prices based on residency status. WOSC offers comprehensive financial aid opportunities that include state grants, veterans benefits, and work-study positions. Students can also apply for institutional awards based on academic performance, such as the Presidential Academic Scholarship.
WOSC operates three state-approved employability certificate programs. Candidates can pursue training in either infant and toddler care or child development assisting. They may also enroll in the ranch and farm management program, which involves coursework in plant science, livestock management, and soil science. Candidates round out training by completing an agriculture internship.
As one of the top community colleges in Oklahoma, WOSC delivers associate programs in behavioral science, physical and engineering sciences, and criminal justice with a specialized corrections track. Students can also enroll in a two-year program for agriculture education, communication, and leadership. Additionally, the college provides applied training for aspiring aviation mechanics and pilots.
Eastern Oklahoma State College
Based in Wilburton, Eastern Oklahoma State College offers affordable certificates and associate degrees to 1,500 students across four campuses. Prospective learners receive one-on-one guidance from academic counselors who help them clarify career goals and schedule classes. In addition to low tuition rates, EOSC provides institutional scholarships based on a candidate's GPA and standardized test performance. The college also facilitates federally and privately funded work-study positions.
EOSC operates academic programming that covers six broad areas of study. Students interested in business can pursue associate degrees in business administration and enterprise development. The school also provides a variety of life science degrees, including tracks in biology, communication science and disorders, and prepharmacy.
Setting itself apart from many community colleges in Oklahoma, EOSC delivers an associate of science program in forestry and natural resource management. Students pick from three degree tracks: wildlife ecology, ecosystem/range management, and environmental science and natural resources. Outside the classroom, EOSC supports learners by offering online tutoring services, distance education through Blackboard, and study abroad opportunities.
Rose State College
Midwest City, OK
Rose State College enrolls 13,000 students at its Midwest City campus. The school offers the lowest tuition prices among higher education institutions in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Over 75% of full-time students receive some form of financial aid such as government grants, tuition waivers, or veterans benefits. The school also facilitates ample scholarship opportunities, like the Ticket to Rose program for local high school graduates. Consistent with other community colleges in Oklahoma, Rose State operates an open-door admissions policy.
The catalog features over 60 associate programs, many designed for transfer to partnering four-year institutions. Degree options include health and sports science, psychology, biological sciences, and fine arts. Students can also enroll in an engineering program, selecting either an electrical/computer or mechanical/aerospace engineering track. For learners who want to pursue technical occupations, Rose State offers two-year programs in dental assisting, paralegal studies, and network security.
Based in Warner, Connors State College serves more than 2,000 students each semester. The school provides accessible campus-based and distance education programs. CSC delivers dual-enrollment opportunities for high school juniors and seniors with either a minimum 3.0 GPA or adequate ACT scores. All students benefit from affordable tuition prices and scholarship opportunities. CSC also provides dedicated resources for low-income students through its FOCUS initiative. This program offers technical training and career placement for candidates who receive federal aid through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
Similar to other community colleges in Oklahoma, CSC operates transfer-oriented associate programs in fields such as psychology, computer information systems, and social sciences. The school offers registered nursing programs for active LPNs and paramedics as well as candidates without relevant work experience. Students can also train for careers as physical and occupational therapy assistants. Additionally, CSC offers a plethora of agriculture programs, with specialized tracks in food science, purebred ranch operations, preveterinary medicine, and biosystems engineering.
Located in Tishomingo, Murray State College educates over 2,100 students. The school maintains an open-door admissions policy for first-time students. Transfer candidates need to submit evidence of a minimum 2.0 GPA and adequate performance on the SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER exam. On top of low tuition rates, MSC offers generous financial aid that includes state-funded grants and institutional scholarships based on academic performance and area of study.
Students may enroll in associate programs in child development, international studies, and veterinary technology. They can pursue two-year training in business management with concentrations in administrative accounting, office technology, or retail sales. The school also offers an associate of hospitality management.
MSC stands out from other community colleges in Oklahoma by providing associate programs in gunsmithing technology and custom gunmaking. These programs combine classroom lectures with hands-on training through workshop projects and practicum requirements. Students who want to pursue online education pick from seven fully remote associate degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Oklahoma
Community colleges are a great fit for certain students. These schools generally charge much lower tuition rates than four-year schools. Students can save a significant amount of money by completing an associate degree and general education requirements at a community college before transferring to a four-year school to complete a bachelor's degree.
Furthermore, community colleges offer specialized elective classes and professional focuses, just like four-year institutions. Many community colleges in Oklahoma offer online courses.
There are 12 community colleges in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma's Promise program offers free tuition to qualified candidates. Qualifications include a family income of $60,000 or less, being an Oklahoma resident, and being enrolled in high school. A three-year grace period allows enrollment for students who take a break or leave after high school. Recipients can enroll part time or full time.
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