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Online Community Colleges

Possibly the best known online community college is probably Rio Salado College in Phoenix, AZ which serves 60,000 students through its 500 online courses and ten service centers scattered around Maricopa County. Their extensive list of online degrees includes such options as the associate's degree in accounting and even an online associate's in computer science.

Several states pool their community college academic resources to create a central online campus. New York's SUNY Online Learning Network includes its community colleges, which participate as individual providers: the virtual campus draws an online associate's in business administration degree from one college and an associate's in criminal justice from another. There are about 25 New York community colleges offering dozens of online associate's degrees - some of which overlap but offer differing starting times and curricula.

The Illinois Community College Consortium delivers its online associate's degrees via the Illinois Virtual Campus. A student can enroll in one community college and earn an online degree at any of them. There are perhaps forty options - one school offers six online IT degrees with concentrations in multimedia, computer design, data administration, etc. Others focus on business, social services, and other academic disciplines.

Community colleges are generally being much more aggressive about delivering online education than their public university counterparts. Michigan has a network similar to the Illinois online community college. The Virtual College of Texas is an effort by the state's fifty community college districts, enrolling a student in one school and providing online courses contributed by individual members.

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