Saturday, November 20, 2010

10 Most Beautiful Community Colleges in America

Miami-Dade College
Going to a beautiful college doesn’t always mean having to head off to an Ivy League campus or a private university. Some community colleges have exceptionally beautiful campuses, with views of the mountains, beaches or rolling hills and architecture that can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re looking for some of the best and most beautiful community colleges in the United States, check out these amazing campuses.
  1. College of the Siskiyous, Weed, CA: This Northern California college is small in size, with only 3,000 students, but that doesn’t mean that it’s short on scenery. Opened in 1959, the college is named after the Siskiyou Mountains, a range that runs along the California-Oregon border and can be seen from the campuses’ buildings. While the buildings themselves may not be impressive, the view showcases the majestic natural beauty the West Coast has to offer.
  2. Glendale Community College, Glendale, CA: Founded as Glendale Junior College in 1929, this community college campus has been around for years, growing and expanding to now comprise over 100 acres of land and 15 permanent buildings. The school’s more than 15,000 student enjoy the beauty of the campus in both the buildings and the surrounding landscape. The campuses brightly-colored stucco buildings stand out during the day or night and are situated on the scenic slopes of the San Rafael Hills overlooking the city of Glendale.
  3. Maui Community College, Kahului, HI: Selling this community college as one of the most beautiful in the United States shouldn’t be hard. Part of the University of Hawaii educational system, the school has expanded in recent years to offer a wider range of degree programs and opportunities. Students there will not only enjoy educational opportunities, but an amazing setting to learn in as well. The campus is sandwiched between the Maui’s stunning volcanic ridges and a beautiful white sand beach and is home to artwork from a number of noted artists, including Bruce Turnbull and Sean Browne.
  4. Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL: This Florida college has a long and storied history. It was founded in 1959 and was one of the first fully integrated junior colleges in the state, producing many famous alumni over the years. Among the school’s eight campuses, students will encounter stunning modern, green buildings designed by world-famous architects as well as buildings with more classical design, like those found on the North Campus. There, students will enjoy learning in classrooms that overlook palm-tree lined ponds and lush, open, green spaces.
  5. Casper College, Casper, WY: Casper College packs a double whammy for students looking for a scenic community college. The campuses’ buildings are artfully arranged over a sloping hill and all feature bright red rock exteriors that help to unify the buildings and enhances the beauty of the campus. The view from the campus is extraordinary as well, with both wide open skies and a view into the nearby mountain range – and Casper Mountain itself.
  6. West Virginia Northern Community College, Wheeling, WV: The real draw to this community college campus is the architecture. The main campus in downtown Wheeling is centered around what used to be the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Terminal. The building was finished in 1908 in a stunning French Renaissance style and was state of the art at the time, boasting indoor plumbing, steam heat and electric elevators. Today, the building still maintains much of its original beauty, with a few improvements to make it easier and more attractive for the school’s students to use, including new patios and some restorative remodeling.
  7. Colorado Mountain College, Spring Valley, CO: This network of seven junior colleges boasts some of the best views of any community college system in the United States. The school’s location in the Rockies is reflected in the programs it offers, many focusing on outdoor education, ski business and wilderness studies. Also spurred on the by college’s amazing setting is it’s photography program, and students have no shortage of subjects at any of the school’s campuses with ample natural scenery. While all the campuses feature mountain views, the Spring Valley campus is perhaps the most stunning, with white walled building overlooking tree-lined hillsides and snow-capped peaks.
  8. Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst, NC: While the classical architecture of this North Carolina school is appealing, the thing that makes its campus so lovely are the gardens. With an extensive landscape gardening program, it’s no surprise that the school is home to over 32 acres of beautiful horticultural gardens. The gardens are designed and maintained by students at the school as part of their training. Visitors can see 14 differently themed gardens including a children’s garden, a Japanese garden, English gardens and the largest collection of Holly on the East Coast.
  9. Clinton Community College, Plattsburgh, NY: Located a few miles south of Plattsburgh, NY this community college boasts some great academic programs connected with the State University of New York. It also isn’t too shabby when it comes to looks. Situated at Bluff Point, the college’s main campus overlooks Lake Champlain and the surrounding forests. The main building on campus was once the Hotel Champlain, the destination for New York’s high society during the Victorian era, featuring stunning architecture that still maintains much of its original charm, though it has been updated to accommodate the school’s modern needs.
  10. Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA: If you’re looking for a community college with some history behind it, look no further. The college was built around the Springfield National Armory, a building established by George Washington to supply the US with armaments. Today the building is a well-known historical monument in the area, and the century-old buildings that surround it on campus add to the academic and historical feeling students get when they attend courses. Aside from the fabulous architecture and history, students can also enjoy seeing acres of trees in the surrounding area which are particularly beautiful in the fall with brightly-colored leaves speckling the hillsides.

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