Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

Texas is home to 63 community colleges that provide a diverse range of two-year associate degrees and certificates to over 720,000 students.

The Texas Association of Community Colleges, a non-governmental organization, represents the interests of public community college districts in the state. It has collaborated with various nonprofit and government entities, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Community College Student Engagement, Educate Texas, the Greater Texas Foundation, Jobs for the Future, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

Community institutions dominate the higher education landscape in Texas, boasting an annual enrollment of over 720,000 students, making it the largest segment in the state.

What is the value of Community Colleges?

Certainly! Community colleges offer a unique opportunity for students to expedite their transition from education to the workforce through specialized pathways. In as little as two years, students can obtain an associate degree or a short-term educational certificate. To ensure a direct route to entry-level professional careers, community colleges in Texas establish enduring partnerships with diverse enterprises and corporations. Moreover, these colleges are known for their flexibility, affordability, and transferability of credits earned, with the majority being accepted by four-year institutions.

Quality Education

Texas is home to many reputable universities and colleges known for their academic excellence. Institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Rice University, and Southern Methodist University offer a wide range of programs and have strong faculty members who are experts in their fields.

Diverse Program Offerings:

Texas universities provide a diverse range of academic programs across various disciplines. Whether you’re interested in business, engineering, arts and humanities, sciences, or healthcare, you’re likely to find a program that suits your interests and career goals.

Research Opportunities:

Texas has a thriving research ecosystem with ample opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research and innovation. Many universities have well-funded research centers and institutes where students can collaborate with faculty members on impactful projects.

Networking and Connections:

Texas has a robust network of alumni from its universities, and the state’s strong business community provides ample opportunities for networking and building connections. These connections can be valuable for internships, job placements, and future career prospects.

Friendly and Welcoming Environment:

Texans are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature, making it easier for international students to adapt and feel welcome in their new environment.


As of 2021, Texas boasted the ninth-largest economy globally, employing over 14 million individuals in the civilian sector. It ranked second in the United States, following California, which holds the position as the largest economy nationwide.

Community Colleges in Texas

1. Laredo Community College

Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

Laredo College, founded in 1947 on the premises of Fort McIntosh, caters to a student population of nearly 10,000. The institution provides a range of educational opportunities, including associate’s degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses. It facilitates dual-enrollment and dual-credit programs, allowing high school students to earn college-level credits. Laredo College also offers a blend of online and classroom-based courses to accommodate diverse learning preferences.

Laredo College, recognized as one of Texas’s premier community colleges, provides a wide array of associate degree programs. These degrees are transferable and encompass various subjects such as engineering, computer science, and foreign languages, offering seven distinct specialization options. In addition to the AA and AS degrees, students can pursue applied accounting, culinary arts, and business courses as part of their educational journey at Laredo College.

By enrolling in certificate programs at Laredo College, students can quickly gain the essential skills needed for highly sought-after careers in fields such as medical assistance, network and data security, and automotive technology. These programs are designed to provide a rapid path to acquiring the practical knowledge and expertise required in these in-demand occupations.

To uphold its open-door admission policy, Laredo College simplifies the application process for candidates. Merely submitting an online application, along with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and passing the Texas Success Initiative assessment test, is sufficient. In addition to the affordable tuition, students also benefit from on-campus employment opportunities and institutional grants, further enhancing their educational experience at Laredo College.

2. Lee College

Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

Lee College caters to approximately 8,200 students across an expansive 11-county region. Its main campus in Baytown and a satellite campus in Liberty provide convenient access to education. With over 100 academic programs available, Lee College equips students with the necessary skills to enter the workforce or smoothly transition into bachelor’s degree programs. The institution also offers non-credit community and workforce education classes, further expanding its educational offerings to meet diverse needs.

Lee College continues to provide an extensive selection of associate degree programs, encompassing subjects such as Mexican American studies, environmental science, and criminal justice. Additionally, Lee College offers career-focused certificates in fields like welding technology, industrial systems, cosmetology, and administrative technology. To accommodate students with familial or professional commitments, the college offers hybrid and fully online courses through Blackboard, providing flexibility and convenience in their learning journey.

Applicants are required to submit official high school transcripts and identification as part of the application process. In-state students have the opportunity to apply for institutional prizes, including scholarships specifically designed for minority and STEM students, as well as benefit from lower tuition rates. Furthermore, the college supports candidates who choose to pursue further education at a four-year university by offering participation in a state-sponsored tuition rebate program.

3. College of the Mainland

In 1967, the College of the Mainland embarked on its journey by welcoming a class of 414 students and inaugurating its campus. Presently, the institution hosts over 4,700 students enrolled in a diverse range of associate’s degree and career training programs. Leveraging the Blackboard platform, distance learners can conveniently enroll in individual courses or pursue complete associate degrees. Additionally, the college offers a dual-credit program, enabling high school students to earn college-level credit while still in school.

For students seeking expedited entry into the workforce, the College of the Mainland offers certificate programs in professional bookkeeping, entrepreneurship, and firefighting. Notably, COM boasts one of the top fire protection technology programs among Texas community colleges. Through the Fire Academy at the college, students can pursue various certification levels as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree, providing comprehensive training and education in the field of fire protection.

4. Northwest Vista College

Northwest Vista College, located in San Antonio, serves an enrollment of over 16,000 students. The college offers a range of educational opportunities, including dual-enrollment classes that empower high school juniors and seniors to fast-track their college education or acquire skills for entry-level employment. Furthermore, Northwest Vista College provides technical certificates and associate degrees that are transfer-oriented, facilitating a seamless transition to four-year institutions. Additionally, the college offers noncredit workshops and activities to enhance the professional development of individuals in fields such as community health, medical insurance billing, and child development.

Recognized as one of the premier community colleges in Texas, NVC presents a range of associate degree programs designed to meet diverse academic interests. Students can pursue degrees in speech and communication studies, information assurance and cybersecurity, and advanced materials technology. Additionally, NVC offers specialized programs in production and programming, enabling students to obtain certifications in game development, further enhancing their skills and career prospects in this dynamic field.

5. Southwest Texas Junior College

Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) was founded in 1946 in Uvalde, initially serving as a trade school for returning soldiers. Over the years, SWTJC has evolved into a comprehensive two-year institution, providing support to nearly 7,000 students. The college offers a diverse range of programs, including associate degrees, adult education initiatives, dual-enrollment opportunities, and workforce development programs, catering to the diverse needs of its student population.

SWTJC provides associate degrees with a strong emphasis on transferability, allowing students to opt for either a general education path or fulfill prerequisites for engineering and teaching careers. The institution offers a range of courses catering to students interested in technical education, such as radiologic technology, aviation maintenance, and emergency medical services. Additionally, SWTJC operates a wildlife management program that equips students with the skills necessary for careers in game refuge management, ecotourism, and conservation research.

6. Amarillo College

Amarillo College boasts an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students across its six campuses. The institution offers an extensive array of certificates and degrees, with the convenience of online learning through the Blackboard platform. Students have the flexibility to pursue various associate degrees remotely, including criminal justice, radiation treatment, and business management. Additionally, distance learners can acquire an online certificate in mortuary science, providing them with the necessary training for careers as forensic technologists and funeral directors.

A diverse selection of on-campus programs awaits students, encompassing associate degrees in psychology, graphic design, dental hygiene, and hospitality management. Amarillo College stands out among Texas community colleges with its unique offering of a two-year degree in renewable energies, featuring concentration options for wind and solar energy. The college is also dedicated to nurturing future educators by offering associate degrees in teaching, equipping graduates for advanced studies, and eventual state licensing.

7. San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College operates three campuses and twelve extension locations to cater to the educational needs of over 30,000 students residing in the greater Houston area. Like many community colleges in Texas, San Jac offers dual enrollment programs for high school and homeschooled students. Through dual enrollment, students benefit from significantly reduced tuition and fees, paying only 25% of the regular cost. Moreover, eligible participants who qualify for the Public Texas Education Grant enjoy an even greater reduction in expenses.

The San Jacinto catalog encompasses a wide array of vocational training options, including certificates in administrative assisting, game creation and development, and worldwide logistics and supply chain management. Students interested in specialized fields such as HVAC, maritime transportation, and restaurant management have the opportunity to earn an associate of applied science degree. Additionally, the college offers programs designed to enhance process technology abilities, equipping students with growing employment opportunities in refining and petrochemical operations.

8. Galveston College

Galveston College, a comprehensive two-year institution, provides support to nearly 2,000 students through a variety of educational pathways including on-campus, online, and study-abroad programs. Students aiming to obtain associate credentials can explore academic transfer programs offered in general studies, social work, and criminal justice. Moreover, the college offers opportunities for pre-professional study in healthcare fields such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

The university also offers affordable workforce education programs tailored to train students for careers in the medical field. Students can opt for the 45-credit vocational nursing program or explore various other options such as nuclear medicine, emergency medical services, and diagnostic medical sonography. Additionally, GC’s law enforcement academy provides a flexible one-year program designed for working individuals, equipping them with the necessary skills to pursue entry-level positions as officers.

9. El Paso Community College

Established in 1971, El Paso Community College welcomed an initial cohort of 901 students. Fast forward to the present day, and EPCC has experienced remarkable growth, with over 35,000 students currently enrolled. This notable expansion places EPCC among Texas’ leading community institutions in terms of enrollment growth rate.

EPCC provides a range of certificate programs that equip students with career-ready skills in a rapid timeframe. These programs include renewable energy technology systems, medical billing and coding, and real estate management. To address the complex healthcare needs of communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, EPCC offers training in border health issues. The college also offers technical associate programs in areas such as homeland security, drug and alcohol misuse therapy, and culinary arts. Additionally, EPCC offers associate degree programs focused on transferable credits for applicants seeking further education opportunities.

10. Palo Alto College

Palo Alto College provides affordable academic transfer programs and career training opportunities that contribute to the growth of local economies and empower students.

Palo Alto College (PAC) offers dual enrollment and early college programs, similar to those provided by other community colleges in Texas, enabling students to fulfill their high school requirements while simultaneously working towards postsecondary degrees. Additionally, PAC’s TRiO Upward Bound program assists high school graduates in transitioning to college life by providing academic counseling, test preparation, and tutoring support to participants.

PAC offers associate transfer programs in various disciplines such as geology, theatre, engineering, kinesiology, and health, allowing students to pursue their academic goals. In the field of biology, students have the choice between a generalist or pre-nursing curriculum. Additionally, the college provides certificate programs that prepare students for careers as cosmetologists, pharmacy technicians, and nurse assistants. PAC also offers five online degrees, including specializations in office management and energy technology.

Top 10 Community Colleges in Texas For International Students

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Why is Texas such a great location for international students?

Texas ranks as the United States’ third most favored state among international students. These students choose to pursue their college education in the second-largest state in the country for several compelling reasons, including its esteemed universities, delightful climate, and abundance of outdoor activities.

Which degree in Texas is the most difficult to earn?

What are the recommended areas of study in Texas? In Texas, the most sought-after fields of study revolve around business, medicine, engineering, and technology. Pursuing these majors in Texas can potentially lead to lucrative job opportunities that are in high demand.

What is the Texas average wage?

In Texas, the minimum hourly wage is set at $7.25, which aligns with the current Federal Minimum Wage rate. With a few notable exceptions, such as tipped workers, certain student workers, and specific exempt occupations, the majority of employees in Texas are required to be paid at least the minimum wage.

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