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Best Community Colleges in Florida

Community colleges are different from four-year colleges and universities due to the difference in the types of degrees and certifications they offer. For instance, community colleges confer only two-year associate degrees and occupational training certificates and focus on career and technical education.

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For some students, enrolling in a university for a four-year university can be on the expensive side for some students, community college is the solution to this program as it runs for just two years. After graduating from a community college, students can transfer their associate credits to four-year colleges.

Learners can typically transfer to a four-year college with an associate degree to complete their bachelor’s degree or enter the workforce directly with some practical skills and job training. An added advantage that Community colleges in Florida offer is affordable tuition, this will save students thousands of dollars over the course of a four-year degree.

Several community colleges in Florida also offer students a fully online, hybrid, and on-campus option for taking courses. The Community Colleges in Florida offer an array of academic programs that helps students to make quick transitions from college to entry-level jobs in high-demand industries.
Are you a high school graduate who is looking to further your education in Florida and you are looking for the best Community College? This article will apprise you of the best and only the Best Community Colleges in Florida.

Best Community Colleges in Florida

1. Lorenzo Walker Technical College

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Lorenzo Walker Technical College is located in Naples, the Technical College offers about 25 career and technical programs in courses such as drafting, dental assisting, pharmacy tech, and veterinary assisting.

Most of the programs offered at LWTC typically take a year to complete. Students meet with their instructors two, three, or five days per week to meet their program’s required clock hours.

Evening classes are also offered at LWTC through its community education program. The evening programs train learners for jobs such as private investigators, nail technologists, or other skills.

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Applicants are required to complete an online application and consult with a workplace education advisor.

LWTC is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and the Advanced Accreditation Commission.

2. Florida Panhandle Technical College

Florida Panhandle Technical College is located in Chipley, Florida. The community college offers a wide variety of associate programs and technical training programs. Graduates of this college qualify for employment in fields such as corrections, construction, and healthcare.

The length of  FPTC’s programs ranges from 6-60 weeks. The school’s 60-week heavy equipment mechanics program trains students to repair and maintain diesel engines.

The licensed practical nurse (LPN) program runs for 45 weeks and prepares graduates to enter nursing as an LPN or apply their hours to a degree in nursing. The program in digital video production runs for 30 weeks and readies learners for entry-level careers in the film and television industry.

Applicants are required to submit their high school transcripts, college and career readiness test scores, and Florida residency forms.

FPTC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

3. Pinellas Technical College-Clearwater

Pinellas Technical College St. Petersburg is located in Tampa/St. Petersburg area. This technical college offers 24 full-time certificate programs, five apprenticeships, and 10 short courses.

The college offers day, evening, and distance options for students. Learners can pursue numerous career and technical programs, including culinary arts and hospitality, interior design, web development, and automotive services.

Programs offered at this college typically include a planned sequence of courses that teach workplace skills.

Students are given receive hands-on instruction in fields such as building maintenance, machining, or electrical contracting through two- to four-year apprenticeship programs.

Applicants are required to complete an online registration form and provide proof of residency.

PTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Occupational Education.

4. Pinellas Technical College-St. Petersburg

Pinellas Technical College-St. Petersburg is one of the two campuses, this campus serves about 5,000 full-time students and offers six apprenticeships, 36 full-time certificate programs, and five short courses that offer day, evening, and online options.

Students enrolled in the career and technical education programs are prepared for careers in fields like education, medical administration, construction, and auto repair. Students can train as early childhood educators, firefighters, or plumbers through two- to four-year apprenticeship programs.

PTC students enjoy access to a variety of resources, including the Pinellas County School District’s digital library.  Applicants are required to complete an online registration form, pay application fees, take the necessary tests, and provide proof of residency.

PTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Occupational Education.

5. Orange Technical College-Westside Campus

Orange Technical College-Westside Campus is located near Orlando and offers full- and part-time career preparation programs and apprenticeships.

OTC’s Westside campus serves high school students through tuition-free dual enrollment and traditional students as part of Orange County Public Schools. Some of OTC’s programs also feature online course offerings.

Graduates gain eligibility for jobs such as massage therapist, HVAC technician, veterinary assistant, or welder through OTC Westside’s career programs. Career programs can take as little as two months or as long as one year or more. Employer-sponsored apprenticeships can take up to five years.

Applicants are required to submit a completed application on campus. All Orange Technical College campuses are accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

6. Emerald Coast Technical College

Emerald Coast Technical College operates its campus in DeFuniak Springs and offers career and technical programs in six areas of specialization:-  architecture and construction, manufacturing, cosmetology, nursing/healthcare, transportation, and information technology. ECTC’s programs are mainly focused on work-based learning to prepare learners for the demands of the workplace.

Students are prepared for careers in areas such as IT, web development, welding, practical nursing, or automotive service upon graduation.

Applicants are required complete application forms, attend an online orientation, take the required tests, and submit transcripts.

ECTC students can download Office 365 for free. The school is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

7. Manatee Technical College

Manatee Technical College can be found south of Tampa-St. Petersburg in Bradenton. The college offers career and technical programs that can be completed in 6-12 months. The school offers flexible programs including full- and part-time options, day and evening classes, and express classes that meet on evenings and weekends.

Programs offered at Manatee Tech include manufacturing, digital technology, business administration, health sciences,  hospitality/tourism, and architecture and construction. Students are also trained for careers as personal trainers,  firefighters, or paramedics.

Manatee Tech offers over 80 self-paced, noncredit online career training programs, such as certified paralegals, digital marketing specialists, and wind energy professionals.

Manatee Tech is accredited by the Commission on Occupational Education.

8. RIVEROAK Technical College

RIVEROAK Technical College was Founded in 1966,  this college offers technical training and education through Suwannee County Schools. The school features a 20-acre campus located in Live Oak.

RTC offers 19 career and technical programs to train students for careers in early childhood education, practical nursing, automotive services, masonry, and cosmetology, among other fields.

Programs length ranges from six months to 1-2 years. In addition, learners can complete a digital design or pharmacy technician program in just one year.

RTC offers full-time enrollment, part-time options, and also online career training programs that start each month as well as community education classes.

Applicants are required to complete an application and schedule form and meet with student services. RTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

9. Marchman Technical Education Center

Marchman Technical Education Center is located just outside of Tampa-St. Petersburg in New Port Richey.  In addition to the career certificate programs offered to high school graduates, MTC also provides dual-enrollment courses to students at Wendell Krinn Technical High School, including classes in commercial arts, welding, culinary arts, and electricity.

Programs offered include construction, manufacturing, automotive technology, the service industry, and information technology. Most programs are run during the day but some programs are offered in the evening including programs like cosmetology and electricity.

Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, and some programs translate into college credit toward an associate degree. Applicants are required to complete the career certificate program application available online. MTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

10. Orange Technical College-Orlando Campus

Orange Technical College-Orlando Campus located in Orlando was established in 1981. The college offers career training programs and a two-year childcare apprenticeship. OTC-Orlando provides courses for high school students through tuition-free dual enrollment operating under the authority of Orange County Public Schools. The school offers flexible programs and online courses for other learners.

Through OTC-Orlando’s 18 career training certificate programs and two licensure programs, students prepare for careers in the arts, communications, business, education, and health services. Career training programs last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. Learners may take courses such as fashion technology and production, accounting, surgical technology, and baking.

Applicants are required to submit a completed application to campus. Those who qualify may receive federal financial aid for some programs.

OTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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