School and Ranking Information
There are a few schools within 25 miles of Houston offering degree programs in computer programming. Based on school type, tuition and program offerings, the top three schools include the following:
- Winner: Alvin Community College, found in Alvin, is the winning school on account of the number of awarded certificates and degrees in the field, its student-to-faculty ratio and cutting-edge computer labs.
- Runner Up #1: San Jacinto College in Pasadena secures first runner up due to its tuition rates and program level options within the discipline.
- Runner Up #2: Houston Community College in Houston is in third place resulting from being situated within the city, being a public institution and for the top-5 national ranking received from Community College Week in 2011.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Alvin Community College||San Jacinto College||Houston Community College|
|Location||Alvin, TX (24.9 miles from Houston)||Pasadena, TX (12.8 miles from Houston)||Houston, TX|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$1,432 (in-district, undergraduate), $2,440 (in-state, undergraduate), $3,544 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*||$1,312 (in-district, undergraduate), $2,296 (in-state, undergraduate), $3,496 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*||$1,627 (in-district, undergraduate ), $3,355 (in-state, undergraduate), $3,751 (out-of-state, undergraduate)*|
|Computer Programming Degree Levels Offered||Certificates; associate's degrees*||Certificates; associate's degrees*||Associate's degrees*|
|Computer Programming Certificates and Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||34*||22*||19*|
|Most Popular Computer Programming Program (2011-2012)||Certificate in Computer Programming (24 awarded)*||Associate's in Computer Programming (19 awarded)*||Associate's in Computer Programming (19 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2009 Entering Class||12%**||14%**||13%**|
|Noteworthy||State-of-the-art computer labs and small class sizes||Veterans service centers at all three campuses of SJCC||HCC ranked among the top ten in 2011 for awarding associate's degrees to minorities by Diverse magazine**|
Sources: * NCES College Navigator, **Houston Community College
Winner: Alvin Community College
- Student-faculty ratio of 18:1, according to NCES
- Since 1974, the ACC Foundation has provided scholarships to about 1,000 students, according to the school
- ACC participates in the Quality Enhancement Plan of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
At Alvin Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Computer Information Technology, with an emphasis on computer programming. The first year covers areas such as programming, Visual Basic programming and C programming. The second year consists of a number of programming electives, as well as courses in math, communication, behavioral sciences and humanities. The program leading to a Computer Information Technology Certificate is essentially the first year of the associate's degree program.
Alvin also offers an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Computer Information Systems. Programming courses are available as electives. Students interested in earning a bachelor's degree should note that the A.S. is transferable to a 4-year college.
Runner-Up #1: San Jacinto College
- Ranked in top 50 for Hispanic enrollment by Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education magazine
- SJC has three campuses
- The school was a finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2013
At San Jacinto College, students can complete an associate's degree or certificate program in information technology applications with a specialization in programming. The applications programming specialty includes coursework in computer languages and basic application programming. The programs delve into operating systems, programming fundamentals, Visual Basic and C++ programming. In addition to programming, students complete a practicum or field experience.
Runner-Up #2: Houston Community College
- In 2011, the Community College Week ranked HCC 5th nationally, according to the school
- In 2011, in partnership with the University of St. Thomas, HCC was awarded the Minority Science and Engineering Program Improvement grant from the U.S. Department of Education, according to the school
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rated 26 of HCC's workforce programs exemplary, according to the school
The school's Computer Science Technology Department offers programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science; however, the programs all refer to specific applications. Students can earn an A.A.S. in Computer Programming, with an emphasis in Microsoft C# or Java. Within the C# specialization, students examine C# programming, ASP.NET programming, XML and database theory. The Java specialization delves into SQL, XML, web programming, programming fundamentals and database design. In the final semester of each program, students are required to participate in a 3-credit cooperative education course in programming.