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2023 Best Online Community Colleges in Tennessee

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/26/2023
2023 Best Online Associate Degrees in  Badge

Tennessee’s online community colleges offer affordability and convenience to budget-minded students who need flexibility. Students can benefit from community colleges by earning online associate degrees and certificates, as well as transferring credits toward achieving bachelor’s degrees without incurring significant student debt. Programs offered in the University Parallel program, as part of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway, guarantee the transferability of credits to all public universities offering bachelor’s degrees in the same majors. 

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#1 Volunteer State Community College

  • Salary Score: 51
  • Online Enrollment: 3,333
  • Locations: Gallatin
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Volunteer State Community College (Vol State) offers various online associate degree programs. Online majors include diverse concentrations — such as cyber defense, communication studies, liberal arts, economics, teaching (K-5), and political science. Online technical certificates are also available, including those in fields such as fire science, medical coding, sleep diagnostic technology, and entrepreneurship, which can help students enter the job market without a degree. Vol State provides an array of online resources, such as academic coaching, tutoring, writing assistance, library services, and technical support to its distance learners.

#2 Chattanooga State Community College

  • Salary Score: 44
  • Online Enrollment: 1,886
  • Locations: Chattanooga
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The availability of over thirty online associate degrees, certificates, and non-credit courses makes Chattanooga State Community College (Chatt State) a convenient and affordable option for students desiring to attend school remotely. Disciplines include allied health, business, humanities and fine arts, social and behavioral science, and math and sciences. Students can choose online majors, such as special education, physics, math, and family and consumer sciences. Online technical certificates in mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also available. Online student resources include library services, technical assistance, career services, and tutoring. Chatt State also provides free access to Ally document conversion services, HippoCampus supplemental instructional videos, and online mental health screenings.

#3 Southwest Tennessee Community College

  • Salary Score: 39
  • Online Enrollment: 2,295
  • Locations: Memphis (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Southwest Tennessee Community College makes attending college more convenient by offering online associate degrees and technical certificate programs for students who want flexibility and independent study. Students can choose from a range of online associate degree programs, such as nursing, economics, early childhood education, foreign language, and history. Students eager to enter the workforce who aren’t interested in a degree can earn an online technical certificate in computer software or logistics/transportation management. Online student resources include free career assessments and resume services, writing assistance, tutoring, library services, and mental health counseling and social services.

#4 Pellissippi State Community College

  • Salary Score: 27
  • Online Enrollment: 3,479
  • Locations: Knoxville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Located in Knoxville, Pellissippi State Community College (PSTCC) offers online degree and non-degree programs to distance learners. A student at PSTCC can enroll in an online Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science, which each include focus subjects such as psychology, philosophy, social work, international affairs, and business administration. Online job-readiness diplomas/certificates include accessible web design, e-commerce web design, pre-business transfer, and web design tools. PSTCC also offers virtual services to its online students, including a bookstore, publisher resources, library services, tutoring, and proctoring.

#5 Motlow State Community College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 2,506
  • Locations: Tullahoma
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Motlow State Community College (MSCC) is a public institution that offers a large selection of online undergraduate certificates and associate degrees. Majors at the associate level include studio art, entrepreneurship, bioinformatics, and others. The associate degrees require at least 60 credits, which students can complete in approximately two years while studying full time. MSCC accepts all students who apply, while 27% of students reach graduation.

Brightspace is the LMS used by MSCC students to complete their coursework online. Course instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. The student-to-faculty ratio is 22-1. Financial aid and scholarships are available. Online students have access to tutoring services, a writing center, and a math lab. MSCC is known for offering an extensive selection of online career training programs in areas such as hospitality, information technology, legal practices, and computer applications.

#6 Daymar College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 340
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: ACCSC

Daymar College, otherwise known as Hussian College, is a private, nonprofit institution offering online diplomas and bachelor's degrees. Bachelor's programs are in business management and criminal justice, while diplomas are primarily in two categories: (1) healthcare and (2) computer programming. Complete degrees require the completion of between 122 and 180 credit hours, which full-time students can complete in approximately four years. The acceptance rate at Daymar College is 100%, with 29% of students graduating.

Students at Daymar College use the Canvas learning management system to access their core online courses, which are taught entirely online. Courses are offered both synchronously and asynchronously. There is a 10-1 student-and-faculty ratio. Online students are eligible for financial aid and various scholarship programs. Student services, such as tutoring and career support, are available online. Daymar College is best known for its computer programming diplomas that provide technical training in specialized areas, such as 3D modeling, game programming, and illustration.

#7 South College

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 2,610
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

South College is a private, nonprofit school with online programs at every academic level including certificate, associate, bachelor's, and master's, doctoral. Most of these programs are in business, computer science, and healthcare. There's also one education specialist program for professional teachers. Bachelor's degrees may require up to 185 credits, while master's degrees may require up to 45 credits. South College has an open admissions policy that accepts all applicants, while 38% of students reach graduation.

All online courses at South College are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. This allows students to study completely online and on their schedule. Financial aid and scholarships are available. There is a 20-1 student-and-faculty ratio. Student services are available for online students and include advising, counseling, and career development. South College is known for its career-focused programs, which are based on the current national employment needs.

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