8 Michigan Community Colleges Where You Can Kick-Start the Next Phase of Your Life

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By The 'Gander Staff

June 26, 2023

If going to a four-year university isn’t in the cards for you yet, that’s okay! Whether you’re unsure about your major or career goals, or just want to explore different subjects before committing to a specific path, community colleges provide a more flexible and affordable way to test the waters of higher education.

These junior or technical colleges offer a wide range of programs and courses that cater to various interests and goals. It’s also cheaper in terms of tuition and fees (compared to four-year universities), the student body is often way more diverse, and the classroom sizes are usually smaller, meaning you’re likely to get the kind of personalized attention you might want from a professor.

Plus, you can always transfer the credits you’ve earned at a community college to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree whenever you’re ready. 

If starting your college career at a community college feels like the right move, here are a few of the top-quality schools in Michigan.

Grand Rapids Community College

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Grand Rapids Community College is a public community college known for its affordable tuition rates and highly regarded healthcare and culinary programs. The college’s healthcare program offers hands-on experience in state-of-the-art facilities, preparing students for careers in nursing, radiologic technology, and more. The culinary program, meanwhile, provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-paced and exciting world of food service.

Did You Know? Grand Rapids Community College was Michigan’s first community college. It was founded in 1914 and was previously known as Grand Rapids Junior College. 

Macomb Community College

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Macomb Community College, located in Warren, is a public community college with a diverse student body. It offers over 190 degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields, including business, engineering, health sciences, and more. The college also has a strong focus on student success, offering a range of support services such as tutoring, career counseling, and academic advising.

Fun Fact: When Macomb Community College first started offering classes in 1954, there were only 84 students in attendance. By 1962, there were 3,000 enrolled students.

Oakland Community College

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Oakland Community College, located in Bloomfield Hills, is a public community college with a reputation for excellent transfer programs and strong partnerships with local businesses. The college offers over 100 transfer programs, allowing students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost before transferring to a four-year university. Additionally, the college has partnerships with numerous local businesses, providing students with valuable internship and job opportunities.

Did You Know? When Oakland Community College opened its doors in 1965, it had a record-breaking 3,860 students sign up for initial enrollment.

Washtenaw Community College

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Ann Arbor’s Washtenaw Community College is a public community college with a reputation for innovative programs and flexible scheduling. It offers over 120 degree and certificate programs in various fields, including automotive technology, graphic design, and more. The college also offers flexible scheduling options, including evening and weekend classes, to accommodate the busy schedules of working students.

Fun Fact: Washtenaw Community College has only had 4 presidents since it was founded in the early 1960s.

Lansing Community College

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Lansing Community College is a leading institution dedicated to providing high-quality education and career development opportunities. The school offers a wide range of programs and courses designed to meet the needs of diverse learners.

As one of the largest community colleges in the state, LCC boasts state-of-the-art facilities, experienced faculty, and a vibrant learning environment. Students can choose from academic and vocational programs, like business, arts and sciences, technology, and more. Flexible class schedules are offered, as are online learning options and affordable tuition rates. Lansing Community College also ensures accessibility for all students.

Did You Know? Lansing Community College has “an extension site for students” in Otsu, Japan.

Delta College 

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Delta College in University Center offers a wide range of courses and programs designed to empower students and prepare them for success in today’s competitive job market. At Delta, students can choose from a variety of academic pathways, including certificate programs, associate degrees, and transfer options. 

Whether you’re interested in the arts, engineering, or business, Delta College has a program suited to your interests and career goals. With small class sizes and personalized attention, students receive an education tailored to their individual needs. 

Delta also offers comprehensive support services, like career counseling and academic advising, in addition to job placement assistance. 

Fun Fact: According to student headcount, Delta College is “the 9th largest of Michigan’s 28 community colleges.”

Gogebic Community College

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Gogebic Community College is a premiere educational institution in Ironwood. With a commitment to hands-on learning, personalized support, and academic excellence, Gogebic is perfect for students seeking the knowledge and skills required to succeed in today’s rapidly changing job market.

At Gogebic, students can choose from a variety of courses, including botany, human anatomy, marketing, law enforcement, and more. Transfer pathways are available, as are certificate programs. With dedicated faculty and small class sizes (Gogebic boasts a 13:1 faculty-to-student ratio), students receive individualized attention and mentorship, which helps ensure a high-quality, well-rounded experience for everyone.

Did You Know? In 1938, Ironwood Junior College was changed to Gogebic Junior College to recognize the Gogebic County Board of Supervisors’ annual financial support. It was then changed to Gogebic Community College in 1953.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

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Kalamazoo Valley Community College offers a variety of academic programs and courses designed to empower students. With a commitment to excellence, innovation, and student success, Kalamazoo Valley is a dynamic learning environment dedicated to transforming students’ lives.

A wide range of studies are available, including those dedicated to arts, humanities, sustainability, and science. One of the standout features of Kalamazoo Valley is its strong emphasis on hands-on learning and career readiness. Through internships, cooperative education programs, and partnerships with local industries, students gain valuable real-world experience and develop practical skills that are highly sought after by employers.

Fun Fact: The Texas Township Campus was designed by Alden B. Dow, who was a student of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

This story was produced with the support of research by ChatGPT.

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