Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is a public institution with a variety of options for programs that are completely online, partially online, or include a hybrid delivery format. Online coursework is mostly taken through the Brightspace LMS, with some delivered synchronously and others asynchronously. There are only 10 fully online options available — including an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration, an Associate of Arts in Psychology, and an Associate of Arts in Humanities - Creative Writing. SCCC only offers one online certificate, which is available in accounting.
For additional resources for online students, the school includes a virtual orientation, course advisement, and digital libraries, as well as career, mental health, personal, and academic counseling. Some courses may require proctored exams that take place on campus. It's recommended that students check with an advisor during enrollment.
Monroe Community College (MCC) is a public institution situated in Rochester, NY. It's a member of the State University System of New York (SUNY System) — the largest university system in the United States. Within this network, MCC has been awarded over 120 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for excellence in teaching, professional service, and scholarships, among other areas.
The school offers over 200 online courses through Brightspace's learning management system (LMS). There are 18 programs students can complete 100% online and asynchronously, with dozens more that feature mostly online coursework. Among the fully online programs are degrees such as an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice, an Associate of Applied Science in Child Care Practitioner, as well as certificate programs in personal training, hospitality, and dental assisting. Online students can also receive academic advising and counseling services.
Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) is a public college located in Troy, NY. They offer a slate of online programs that include certificates and associate degrees in the arts, sciences, applied sciences, and occupational studies. Some examples include an Associate of Arts in Business Administration, an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, and a Certificate in IT Help Desk Support. Some degrees may require on-campus labs or proctored exams. However, HVCC notes that remote students may work with advisors to ensure they can complete entire degrees online through the Blackboard LMS.
Remote students may take advantage of educational resources, such as academic counseling, one-on-one English and Math tutoring, and even a computer loan program. Furthermore, HVCC promotes itself as a school that offers opportunities to underserved and underrepresented students through a motivational support system, referrals to tutoring programs, life coaching, and local community assistance.
Onondaga Community College (OCC) is a public college offering online associate degree programs. OCC’s featured associate degree programs are creative writing and health information technology. Online students must complete at least 60 credit hours, which can take two years with a full schedule of classes. The acceptance rate at OCC is 100%, with a 24% graduation rate.
OCC facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on a learning management system. OCC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Online students may be eligible for financial aid like scholarships, grants, loans, veterans’ benefits, and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Online students at OCC can access an online library, financial aid assistance, tutoring, and counseling. OCC offers over 100 online courses each semester in fully online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses.
Broome Community College (BCC) is a public college and a member of the SUNY System of New York colleges. Overall, 23 online programs are available for remote students, all of which are delivered entirely online through the Blackboard LMS. BCC offers 10 additional programs that require at least 50% online participation and some campus or in-person instruction. Here are three examples of fully online degrees and certificates: Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology, Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Certificate in Histological Technician. BCC has partnerships with three local universities, Bellevue University, Excelsior University, and SUNY Empire State College, that offer an easy transfer of credits to a bachelor's degree.
Along with each online program comes six variances on the instructional method including Distance Learning Asynch, Distance Learning Synch Proctored, and Distance Learning Asynch (Blended). These distinctions determine whether students can study or take exams on their own time or adhere to a more structured schedule. Online students can complete orientation online and take advantage of academic advising, tutoring, and mental health counseling.
Genesee Community College (GCC) is a public institution with online degrees at the associate level. Popular online associate degrees at GCC include liberal arts and science, criminal justice, and business administration. Typically, these undergraduate programs range between 62-63 credit hours, prospective students can expect to spend two years completing these degrees. The college accepts 100% of applicants, with 31% graduating.
GCC’s online students complete courses available asynchronously and synchronously through the learning management system D2L Brightspace. GCC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Potential financial aid opportunities at GCC include grants, scholarships, and loans. Online student support services include IT support, tutoring, transfer services, and veteran services. GCC offers several delivery options for online learning to fit each student’s needs.
Erie Community College (ECC) is a SUNY System institution located in Buffalo, NY. They feature flexible, online programs and easy transfer options to four-year universities. There are 11 degrees and certificates that students can finish 100% online through the Brightspace platform. Options include an Associate of Arts in Humanities, a Certificate in Support Technology, and an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration. Additionally, 10 options are available for partially online programs in the fields of entrepreneurship, homeland security, legal studies, emergency management, and physical education. ECC's Classroom to Career Career Certificates allows students to balance a work-life schedule while they prepare for a career change or advancement. Furthermore, online students can take advantage of academic advising and career services that include planning, job search, and employer services.
Jefferson Community College (JCC) is a public institution offering several online degrees at the associate level. Popular online associate degrees at JCC include criminal justice, liberal arts, and business administration. JCC’s online programs can range between 62-63 credit hours, which typically takes two years to finish. JCC’s acceptance rate is 100%, with a graduation rate of 29%.
At JCC, online students complete coursework available in asynchronous and synchronous formats on Blackboard. JCC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Online students may be eligible for financial aid like grants, scholarships, loans, military and veteran’s aid, and tuition assistance programs. Online student support includes advising, career planning and job placement services, military and veteran support, academic coaching, accessibility services, and an online library. JCC offers online associate degree programs that students can use to successfully transfer to four-year universities.
Prospective students can find several online degrees at the associate level at Herkimer County Community College, a public community college. Some of the online associate degrees include accounting, criminal justice, and business administration. Online associate degrees at Herkimer can range between 62-64 credit hours, which can take full-time students approximately two years to complete. The acceptance rate at Herkimer is 100%, and it has a graduation rate of 36%.
Herkimer’s online students take courses asynchronously and synchronously on the school’s learning management system. Herkimer’s student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. Potential financial aid options for online students at Herkimer include grants, tuition assistance programs, and scholarships. Online students can access academic advising, an online library, tutoring, a bookstore, transfer services, and career services. Herkimer offers a premiere two-year SUNY experience in a digital format.
Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) is a public college offering online associate degrees. Online associate degrees at FLCC include business administration, liberal arts and sciences, and accounting. At a minimum, students must complete 32 credit hours or more at FLCC, which typically takes at least one year, sometimes longer. The acceptance rate at FLCC is 100%, and its graduation rate is 29%.
At FLCC, online students complete coursework delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats on D2L Brightspace. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. FLCC may accept or offer financial aid — such as grants, scholarships, and loans. Online student services include advising, career services, and counseling. FLCC offers accredited online programs that enable students to explore their academic interests and career paths.
Bryant & Stratton College Online is a private, for-profit institution that offers online associate and bachelor’s degrees. Popular online associate degrees at this college are human resources specialist, accounting, and hospitality management restaurant and hotel services. These online associate degrees are 60 credit hours, so full-time students can spend two years to finish. Bryant & Stratton’s acceptance rate is 100%, with a graduation rate of 16%.
Bryant & Stratton facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on its learning management system. The student-to-faculty ratio at Bryant & Stratton is 41:1. Online students may be eligible for loans, grants, military benefits, tuition reimbursement, and scholarships. Online students at Bryant & Stratton can access a bookstore, career services, and financial aid. Online students can expect an interactive learning environment, where instructors are highly engaged in delivering online classes.
At Cayuga Community College, a public institution that offers online degree programs at the associate levels. Online associate degrees include business administration, liberal arts and science, and criminal justice. These degrees can be between 62-63 credit hours, so full-time students may spend two years completing their degrees. Cayuga’s acceptance rate is 100%, with a graduation rate of 26%.
Cayuga facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on the learning management system D2L Brightspace. Cayuga’s student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. Online students may be eligible for financial aid like grants, loans, veteran’s benefits, scholarships, and tuition assistance programs. Cayuga’s online student resources include IT support, tutoring, career services, disability services, transfer services, and veterans’ services. Cayuga offers students affordable and convenient online degree programs.
Tompkins Cortland Community College is a public college offering online degree programs at the associate level. Popular online associate degrees at Tompkins Cortland include criminal justice, business administration, and computer information systems. Typically, these online programs at this college are 60-63 credit hours, lasting two years or more. The acceptance rate at Tompkins Cortland is 100%, with a 33% graduation rate.
At Tompkins Cortland, online students complete courses available in asynchronous and synchronous formats on D2L Brightspace. Tompkins Cortland’s student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. Online students are eligible for financial aid at Tompkins Cortland, which includes grants, loans, scholarships, and student aid programs. Online student support services include academic advising, career services, and transfer services. At Tompkins Cortland, out-of-state students pay the resident tuition, which can help them save money on tuition.
Overview of Online Community Colleges in New York
New York boasts two community college systems: the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY). SUNY has 30 community colleges statewide serving 174,000 students, many of whom enroll in the 324 online associate degree programs currently offered. CUNY serves approximately 91,000 students with seven community colleges and 12 online associate degree programs in the five boroughs — Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx — that make up New York City.
A community college is a good place to start exploring career options and degree paths. Students enroll in SUNY and CUNY to earn associate degrees to boost their prospects in the highly competitive New York job market. Many save money by completing their first two years of college and general education credits before transferring to a bachelor's degree program. Most online associate degree courses are worth three credit hours. It takes full-time students approximately two years to complete a 90-credit associate degree. Part-time students often take longer to finish.
Students enroll in SUNY and CUNY to earn associate degrees to boost their prospects in the highly competitive New York job market.
Some community colleges in the SUNY and CUNY systems have noted higher graduation and transfer rates. Because tuition and other factors vary by campus, always check individual campus information when doing your research.
How Much Does it Cost to Attend Community College in New York?
Average yearly tuition and fees in New York are $5,390 for in-state students and $9,340 for out-of-state students — much higher than the $3,730 national average for full-time, in-district students. SUNY charges tuition based on state residency for online programs. However, CUNY charges in-state tuition for all online programs regardless of residency, which helps students save money.
Students who meet the following specific requirements may qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship:
- Established New York residency
- Enrollment in a SUNY or CUNY community college
- Completion of 30 credit hours per year
- Continued residency in New York after graduation
Federal financial aid can also help pay for tuition. Students should first fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if they qualify for federal grants, scholarships, work study programs, or student loans. Federal student loans offer lower interest rates than traditional loans through private lenders and have more flexible repayment options.
Attending an Online New York Community College
Working students may consider online learning as a convenient way to complete their education. Classes are often small in size and asynchronous, so students can log in anytime and virtually anywhere to complete tasks. Distance learning programs may also appeal to students who are not interested in traditional campus life and want to focus on their classes and career goals without distraction.
Those eager to gain industry-specific job skills without completing an associate degree or general education courses for transfer can earn certificates online in areas of study such as culinary arts, medical billing and coding, dental assisting, computer networking, and court reporting. Community college certificate programs may be a convenient way to pursue higher education and gain marketable skills.
SUNY and CUNY have a state-recognized Transfer Guarantee Program for students transferring within these systems, allowing students who meet general education requirements to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year program as juniors. Both SUNY and CUNY systems offer several online bachelor's and graduate programs at their four-year universities. Students transferring to schools outside these systems would still have standard enrollment requirements to meet, including official transcripts, a minimum 2.0 GPA, an application fee of approximately $50, and sometimes a letter of intent.
Careers After Community College in New York
While earning an online associate degree in New York can prepare students for work anywhere, many stay local after graduation. The SUNY and CUNY online community college programs help students acquire the in-demand skills New York employers desire. Students can network with peers and faculty online to make professional connections and boost career opportunities.
When searching for work in areas with high unemployment rates, such as New York's tight job market, community college graduates with marketable skills may have a competitive edge. As of September 2021, state unemployment is 7.4% and in New York City alone it's 8.9%. These figures are much higher than the 4.8% national average unemployment rate reported by the BLS in September, or the rates in states like Nebraska and Utah, which hover around 2%.
It's imperative to carefully consider future job prospects before enrolling in an online program. Finding work in a growth area increases your marketability. According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are three top job sectors that are showing high growth rate projections through 2028:
- Healthcare and Social Assistance enjoy a job growth rate of 34%. SUNY and CUNY both offer online programs in health information technology, community and human services, dental assisting, medical assisting, and health studies to meet this demand.
- Education Services are seeing a job growth rate of 14.9%. Students can earn an online associate degree or a certificate in early childhood education, educational studies, teaching assistance, developmental disabilities, and special education assistance.
- Professional and Business Services lists a job growth rate of 14.6%. SUNY and CUNY offer associate degree and certificate programs in areas such as business administration, communications, accounting, marketing, paralegal, and business and environmental sustainability.
Where you choose to live may also dictate your earning potential and overall livability. Cost of living indexes measure how far your salary will go toward expenses in one place as compared to another. While these numbers take into account many factors and can change over time, a recent analysis found that New York City ranks very high at 187.2, where the U.S. average is 100. Other areas throughout New York state ranked lower than the national average, such as:
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy at 94.6
- Buffalo-Niagara Falls-Erie County at 79.5
- Syracuse metro area at 83.8
- Oswego at 76.7
Between lower unemployment rates and a lower cost of living, choosing to live outside of New York City after graduation from a New York community college may be more affordable.
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