Riverland Community College

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Two-Year Online Riverland Degrees for Working Adults

Riverland Community College appears in our ranking of the Top 15 Affordable Associate’s in Web Development Online

On D2L Brightspace, the Online Learning and ITV Division uses an accelerated, eight-week format to deliver nine associate degrees, 13 certificates, and three diplomas digitally at a 27:1 student-faculty ratio with Riverland Community College’s unique laptop lease program. For example, the Web Developer AAS has a fully online 60-credit, HLC-accredited sequence led by Prof. Doc Andree with 32 hours of internship experience for earning World Organization of Webmasters certification. Chaired by Prof. Sharon Hyland, the 60-credit Psychology AA starts its 2+2 behavioral curriculum thrice yearly online for transfer to Bemidji State, Winona State, Metro State, or MSU-Mankato.

Since Fall 2017, the Business AS at Riverland Community College has developed a 61-credit, eight-semester FlexPace plan under Prof. Deb McManimon with 85 percent completion online for entry-level placements like Land O’Lakes, Polaris Industries, Securian Financial, and 3M. The Applied Engineering Technology AAS directed by Prof. Richard Finley brings its 60-credit degree online on Desire2Learn with flexible 1000-level courses, such as Analog Circuits and Motor Control, for MSSC System credentials.

Other online offerings include the Business AA, Accounting AAS, Administrative Assistant AAS, Social Media Marketing Certificate, and Machine Technologist Certificate.

About Riverland Community College

Riverland Community College originated on September 3, 1940, when an inaugural class of 138 first enrolled at Austin Junior College for short-term career training. In 1966, the Minnesota Junior College Board renamed it Austin State Junior College. On January 29, 1967, its current 187-acre Mower County campus headquarters were dedicated near Cedar River. The next Fall, Mr. Wayne Broecker opened its first satellite at Albert Lea Area Vocational-Technical School. The Owatonna Extension Center soon followed in 1971 for serving Steele County. Fully accredited since 1972, it was called Minnesota Riverland Technical College in 1991. On July 1, 1996, President John Gedker finally adopted the Riverland Community College name. By 2016, Riverland had joined the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture Excellence.

Allocated $10.2 million, Riverland Community College now employs 180 faculty teaching 4,900 Blue Devils “Success Starts Here” either online or at three sites with 30+ clubs like Criminal Justice Society. In 2018, Riverland had one Minnesota State Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient. The same year, Riverland was chosen for the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. In 2016, Riverland Community College earned the Minnesota Council for Continuing Education & Customized Training Exemplary Award too. On Niche, Riverland was named the state’s 12th top two-year institution. Washington Monthly named Riverland the second best college for auto mechanics nationally. WalletHub placed Riverland 76th overall with the 169th best education outcomes. Value Colleges also noticed Riverland Community College for the 47th cheapest online associate degrees.

Riverland Community College Accreditation Details

On August 19, 2016, Riverland Community College received a formal action letter from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) Institutional Actions Council to extend the Level I accreditation through 2025-26 under its 12th president, Dr. Adenuga Atewologun, who earned the first Minnesota Distinguished Diversity Leadership Award. Located 406 miles east via Interstate 88 in Chicago, Illinois, this giant 19-state Upper Great Lakes Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Education Department to continually check Riverland’s 24 associate and 76 certificate options. The Academic Advising Office also lists the following programmatic accreditations:

  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • World Organization of Webmasters
  • National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Riverland Community College Application Requirements

The U.S. News & World Report classified admission to Riverland Community College as “least selective” because 100 percent of the 1,231 Fall 2013 entrants were accepted for open access. First-year Blue Devils still must verify high school diploma or GED certificate completion. Minimum grades are only listed for specific applicants. For instance, the Postsecondary Enrollment Option requires at least 2.5 GPAs and 850 MCA scores. The Honors Program seeks freshmen with cumulative GPAs of 3.5 and higher in Grades 9-12. Most undergrads are admitted if Accuplacer scores reach 63 for Reading and 71 for Algebra. Placement testing waivers are available with a minimum 16 ACT or 1010 SAT score from the last five years. Foreign learners also need at least a 400 TOEFL pBT or 3.0 IELTS mark.

Riverland Community College generally has rolling admission for convenience. Non-U.S. residents must apply by June 15th for Fall or November 15th for Spring though. Financial aid priority deadlines are currently July 15th, November 1st, and April 15th. Accordingly, create a StarID to submit the Minnesota State Application online for free ($20 if international). Contact high schools and colleges for official transcripts mailed to 1900 Eighth Avenue NW in Austin, MN 55912. For testing results, select ACT code 2082 or SAT/TOEFL code 6017. Other steps include the Accuplacer exam, online orientation, registration appointment, transfer evaluation, financial statement, and one-page personal essay. More information is gleaned by contacting (507) 433-0600 and

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Riverland Community College charged traditional on-campus tuition of $185.67 per credit. Online courses were generally $212.67 per credit. However, Biology online classes were $225.67 per credit. Online Computer Technology students spent $237.67 per credit. The Online Welding Technology Certificate cost $210.67. The Accounting AAS Online was the cheapest at $188.17 per credit. Undergrads paid a $7.77 student life fee, $9.95 technology fee, and $0.35 MSCSA fee per credit. Average annual full-time associate tuition was $5,570. Riverland budgeted $1,600 for textbooks, $5,708 for off-campus living, and $4,372 for personal expenses. Grand totals were $17,250 for one year and $34,500 for two.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office at the Austin East Building disburses $6.39 million combined yearly for 56 percent of full-time Riverland Blue Devils to earn $3,579 on average. Institutional funds include the Albert Lea Scholarship, Maureen Cahill Scholarship, John Bolstad Scholarship, Jake Moe Memorial Scholarship, Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services Scholarship, Doherty Staffing Solutions Scholarship, Dan Bissen Memorial Scholarship, Al Mayotte Scholarship, Dan Ruble Memorial Scholarship, Alliant Energy Foundation Scholarship, and Katie Ann Nelson Scholarship. The Minerich Presidential Scholarship gifts $1,000 each Fall to freshmen with minimum 3.0 GPAs. Online Applied Engineering Technology AAS students qualify for the $1,000 AT&T Aspire STEM Scholarship. Phi Theta Kappa awards over 200 associate awards like the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship for up to $5,000. Filing FAFSA applications coded 002335 judges Federal Pell Grant, Teach Grant, SEOG Grant, and Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan qualifications. The Minnesota State Grant also helps residents receive a maximum of $7,463 based on need.

Continue reading about Riverland Community College at the Online Learning and ITV Division website.

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