There are almost 80 colleges and universities in West Virginia. The two largest public universities are Marshall University and West Virginia University, which has an Institute of Technology and Hospital Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Erma Byrd Center for Public Higher Education provides students with the convenience of taking a variety of college classes offered by different state colleges and universities in one location. There are also 9 community colleges in West Virginia, and 48 private, for-profit trade and technical schools.
Online education opportunities are growing in West Virginia — for individual courses and for full degree programs. West Virginia University Online gives students flexibility to take undergraduate and graduate courses online only, or in combination with on-campus classes. The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia makes courses offered at the state's public colleges available online. Many private universities also offer online education in the state. Some West Virginia colleges participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) that sets national standards for postsecondary distance education. This makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.
Students in West Virginia can take advantage of two special initiatives. The "15 to Finish" program helps students graduate early by planning an increased course load. This can save students time and money and it can allow them to start their career sooner. Another initiative, Complete College America (CCA), increases college completion rates while closing attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.
For more information about postsecondary options in the state, visit the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.