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Howard Community College Named to America’s Top 10 Two-Year Colleges for Adult Learners

Washington Monthly Honors College Second Year in Row
best college for adult learners

Columbia, MD – For the second year in a row, Howard Community College has been named as one of the nation’s top 10 two-year colleges for adult learners, according to rankings released today by Washington Monthly. Howard Community College came in at number seven on the list, with high scores for its ease of transfer, services for adult students, and flexibility of programs. The Washington, D.C.-based magazine started the first-of-its-kind ranking last year to recognize two-year and four-year colleges for their service to adult students.

“Howard Community College is committed to providing adult students with the workforce-focused education and support services they need to prosper,” said Dr. Kate Hetherington, president of Howard Community College. “Washington Monthly’s rankings recognize an important principle of higher education in America: to advance as a nation, we must focus on educating both youth and adults throughout their lives.” 

To develop its rankings, Washington Monthly used data from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey, College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, and the College Scorecard. In addition to ease of transfer services, and program flexibility, the magazine also looked at the percentage of students over age 25, earnings 10 years after attending college, loan repayment rates, and tuition and fees.

“[Community colleges] are the workhorses of higher education, and especially valuable resources for adult students—44 percent of community college students are adults,” wrote Paul Glastris, editor in chief of Washington Monthly. “They deserve a moment in the national spotlight for delivering quality educations for adult learners.” *

In the fall 2016 semester, Howard Community College served more than 9,740 credit-seeking students, with adult students (ages 25 years and above) amounting to 35 percent of the population. The average age for all of the college’s credit students is 27 years old.

At Howard Community College, adult students have the option to earn their associate degree, advance their career with certificates and other credentials, or update their job skills. Academic programs vary from science, cybersecurity, and engineering to teacher education, accounting, business, and allied health. The college also provides a broad array of noncredit courses to help students enter or advance quickly in the workforce. Among the offerings are certified nursing assistant, child care, information technology, project management, and event planning. With a majority of credit and noncredit students enrolled part time, Howard Community College offers courses in a variety of delivery methods—online, hybrid, and in-person, as well as daytime, evening, and weekend.

Adult students benefit from extensive services such as academic advising, tutoring support, military and veterans assistance, and credit for prior learning. Students can also find support with all aspects of the employment process at the college’s Counseling and Career Services Center. Both personal and career counseling are available to students. Other opportunities include help with writing resumes, improving interview skills, finding internships, and securing new jobs.

Read the full list of two-year colleges in the Washington Monthly rankings online here, or learn more about the Washington Monthly’s college rankings at

For more information on services and support for adult students at Howard Community College, visit

Photo by Ayers Saint Gross. © Tom Holdsworth. 

*Article Excerpt © 2017 Washington Monthly – used with permission

Topics: Accolades
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