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School Rankings

Best Community Colleges in Oregon

Oghenemairo Omueda - February 20, 2022


For millions of Americans, attending a community college is the best way to begin their college education. As a resident of Oregon or someone who is interested in attending college there, it might interest you to know that the state currently has 17 community colleges . With so many options, however, it can be difficult to know which one you should attend to earn your associate degree .

In this article, we break down our picks of the best community colleges in Oregon, as well as an explanation for our rankings. In addition, we’ll discuss the best online community colleges in Oregon, the best community college programs, and the best community colleges for business administrators in Oregon.

How We Defined Our Oregon Community College Rankings

These rankings are based on statistical data, as well as affordability, academic quality, and online competency. Our rankings are a reflection of data sourced from College Navigator and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) hosts both.

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To further scrutinize the quality of these rankings for some specific areas, we took the total number of graduate students for a particular major within a specific period into consideration. It’s a demonstration of the school’s commitment to a program and the priority it is given.

The Top 10 Community Colleges in Oregon

  1. Mt Hood Community College
  2. Tillamook Bay Community College
  3. Columbia Gorge Community College
  4. Clackamas Community College
  5. Southwestern Oregon Community College
  6. Klamath Community College
  7. Chemeketa Community College
  8. Blue Mountain Community College
  9. Portland Community College
  10. Central Oregon Community College

The Best Community Colleges in Oregon: Explained

A student walks through a library.
At community colleges, you have access to resources to help you grow in your chosen field.

1. Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is one of the largest community colleges in Oregon, enrolling over 33,000 students. The college has over 130 academic and professional programs. MHCC has a working relationship with some four-year colleges, including the Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, and Eastern Oregon University.

Best Mt Hood Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Business Management
  • Associate Degree in Biology
  • Associate Degree in Computer Science
  • Associate Degree in Music
  • Associate Degree in Mechatronics

2. Tillamook Bay Community College

This college operates from two campuses, one of which is in Tillamook and the other in Cloverdale. Tillamook Bay Community college offers its students a wide variety of educational opportunities, which include earning associate of science degrees in natural resources and agriculture, forestry, business administration, and criminal justice and public safety.

Best Tillamook Bay Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Forestry
  • Associate Degree in Animal Science
  • Associate Degree in Business Administration
  • Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Associate Degree in Agriculture

3. Columbia Gorge Community College

Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) is one of the smallest community colleges in Oregon with a student population of around 800 . CGCC hosts a variety of associate degree programs that can transfer to a four-year college, in-person and online classes, as well as some certificate programs. It also provides free tuition for some of its courses, such as writing and math.

Best Columbia Gorge Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Accounting
  • Associate Degree in Administrative Assistant
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Associate Degree in Computer Science
  • Associate Degree in Business Management

4. Clackamas Community College

Clackamas Community College is one of the largest community colleges in Oregon, catering to over 25,000 students, every year. It has campuses in Clackamas, Oregon City, and Wilsonville. The school offers transfer degree options for students to help them easily transfer college credits into any four-year college in Oregon with junior status. The college also offers some certificate programs.

Best Clackamas Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Accounting
  • Associate Degree in Business
  • Associate Degree in Automotive Services Technology
  • Associate Degree in Biology
  • Associate Degree in Computer and Network Administration

5. Southwestern Oregon Community College

Southwestern Oregon Community College was founded in Coos Bay, Oregon, in 1961, making it one of the oldest colleges in the state. The school has a student population of over 10,000 students and offers in-person and online degree programs. It also boasts an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-one and provides multiple transfer degree options.

Best Southwestern Oregon Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Marine Biology
  • Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
  • Associate Degree in Public Safety
  • Associate Degree in Forestry
  • Associate Degree in Fire Science

6. Klamath Community College

Klamath Community College is located in the southern Oregon city of Klamath Falls. It serves around 1,400 students every year and offers a wide range of degrees and certificate programs in different areas of study. The school also offers online programs in popular fields, as well as one-on-one tutoring, which students can access at the college resource center.

Best Klamath Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Psychology
  • Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Associate Degree in Marketing
  • Associate Degree in Business Administration
  • Associate Degree in Accounting

7. Chemeketa Community College

This community college has many campus locations across different cities in the state, including McMinnville, Salem, Woodburn, Dallas, Brooks, and Euola. Chemeketa hosts over 30,000 students making it one of the largest community colleges in the state of Oregon. This college also runs a high school-equivalent program, as well as some online learning programs.

Best Chemeketa Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Computer Science
  • Associate Degree in Hospitality
  • Associate Degree in Communication
  • Associate Degree in Mathematics
  • Associate Degree in Music

8. Blue Mountain Community College

Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) was established in 1962 as a vocational school. Today, it caters to about 2,700 students in the counties of Umatilla, Morrow, and Baker. The school offers various certificates and associate degrees. BMCC has partnership programs with four-year colleges in the state to help students complete their degrees.

Best Blue Mountain Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Associate Degree in Agriculture Business
  • Associate Degree in Early Childhood education
  • Associate Degree in Fire Science Technology

9. Portland Community College

Portland Community College (PCC) is the largest community college in Oregon with a student population of over 89,000. This college has four main campuses around the Portland area. PCC offers degrees and certificates in many professional and academic disciplines. PCC is rated as one of the best community colleges for media arts.

Best Portland Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Addiction Counseling
  • Associate Degree in Architectural Design and Drafting
  • Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies
  • Associate Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Associate Degree in Biology

10. Central Oregon Community College

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) was established in 1949 to serve the counties of Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crookes and is the oldest community college in Oregon. This college runs transfer programs and currently caters to 8,700 students, offering certificates and degrees in a wide variety of fields.

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Best Central Oregon Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Biological Sciences
  • Associate Degree in Business Administration
  • Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship
  • Associate Degree in Chemistry
  • Associate Degree in Communication

Other Oregon Community College Rankings

Student in front of a computer
Going to community college is a great option and is easier than ever with online learning increasing in popularity.

Online learning is becoming an increasingly convenient option . Due to the pandemic, more focus has been placed on remote learning, eliminating distance as a hindrance to earning a college degree. As such, we’ve listed the best online community colleges below. Additionally, you’ll find some of the best community colleges for business administration in Oregon.

Best Online Community Colleges in Oregon

  1. Blue Mountain Community College. The online courses at Blue Mountain Community College require a certain amount of on-campus attendance. Once the pre-requisite courses are completed, the rest of the program’s courses can be done 100 percent online.
  2. Umpqua Community College. Umpqua Community College offers many options for online learning with 24/7 online support. Their online courses cover various subjects across vast fields.
  3. Portland Community College. Portland Community College allows its students to earn some of its degrees almost exclusively online. Online students can earn their degree in less than a year if they enroll in the school’s accelerated accounting program.
  4. Klamath Community College. A number of online community college courses are available from this college located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Prospective students should check out the school website for more information about the online degrees offered.
  5. Lane Community College. Lane Community College offers four elearning programs that online students can benefit from. Students can take these programs in hybrid, online/hybrid, teleclass, and live interactive video course options.

Best Community Colleges for Business Administration in Oregon

  1. Portland Community College. This college offers an Associate Degree in Business Administration as a pathway to transferring to Oregon State University’s business school.
  2. Central Oregon Community College. Central Oregon Community College offers options for associate degrees and one-year certificates which are transferable to an Oregon university’s business program.
  3. Mt. Hood Community College. At Mt. Hood Community College, business administration students can enjoy the benefits of a highly focussed curriculum, with a variety of transfer options to four-year universities.
  4. Clackamas Community College. This community college has one of the most competitive programs for business administration students in the state. Students can earn their associate degree and have the option to transfer to finish their bachelor’s degrees.
  5. Klamath Community College. At this college, students can earn their associate degree in business management or marketing. Upon completing their associate degrees or fulfilling transfer requirements, students can transfer their credits to a university to finish their bachelor’s degrees.

Should You Attend Community College in Oregon?

Yes. Attending a community college in Oregon can help you reach your academic and professional dreams without the financial stress that four-year-universities often impose. Community colleges should be more widely considered as they are an excellent option for students, especially since the credits you earn at a community college can be transferred to a four-year institution at any time.

Best Oregon Community Colleges FAQ

Does Oregon have good community colleges?

Yes. Oregon has some very good community colleges that offer great learning opportunities. Some of these include Tillamook Bay Community College, Lane Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, and Columbia Gorge Community College.

What is the oldest community college in Oregon?

The oldest community college in Oregon is Central Oregon Community College, which was established in 1949.

Is community college education free in Oregon?

No. Community colleges collect tuition fees from students. However, the average tuition costs are far lower than those of a four-year university. Similar to most states, Oregon offers college students need-based financial aid that can partially or fully cover tuition and related fees.

How many community colleges are in Oregon?

According to information on the official website of the State of Oregon, there are 17 community colleges in Oregon.

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Oghenemairo Omueda

About the author: Oghenemairo is an expert content writer who has been published on Opera News and Medium. He holds a degree in microbiology from the University of Abuja. He also has a Facebook Certificate in Digital Journalism and a Google Digital Marketing Skills Certificate.

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