Establishments in this industry provide academic and occupational courses of study and grant associate degrees, certificates, or diplomas below the baccalaureate level. Major US community colleges include Ivy Tech Community College, Lone Star College, Houston Community College, Tarrant County College, and Northern Virginia Community College.
Community colleges are becoming increasingly popular outside the US as avenues for addressing workforce needs and expanding access to higher learning. In India, the federal government and nongovernmental organizations oversee hundreds of community colleges. More than 2 million students are enrolled in further education (FE) colleges in the UK, according to the Association of Colleges. The community college model has also been widely adopted in Israel, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and France.
The US has about 1,500 community colleges with combined annual revenue of about $60 billion.
Institutions that grant baccalaureate and higher-level degrees are covered in the Colleges and Universities profile; technical and trade schools are addressed in the Education & Training Services profile.
Demand depends on the demographic composition of the communities that surround a school and local employment needs. The profitability of individual institutions depends on efficient operations. Large community colleges have advantages in being able to offer a broader range of programs. Smaller institutions can compete effectively by specializing.
About 60% of US community colleges are public institutions; the rest are operated by private entities. More than 35% of the approximately 17 million undergraduate students in the US are enrolled in community colleges. About 60% of community college students attend part-time.
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Community colleges offer mainly two-year programs of study that prepare students either for transfer to a four-year college or university, or for direct
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Glossary of Acronyms