Adult Learning

We get it. We know the challenges adults face when going to school. From working parents to military veterans, returning students, transfer students, and first-time students, we’ve seen it all. We have over 50 years of experience serving adult students, and that experience matters. Your experience does, too. Adults contribute to our classrooms and enrich our community. We want you here. You don’t make the decision to invest your time and money lightly, so we make affordability, flexibility, and accessibility a priority. You have the drive to reach higher, and we have the resources and services to help you succeed.

As an adult student looking to enroll at the College, know that we offer flexible and convenient programs to fit your busy schedule. Fifteen of our degrees and certificates can be completed fully online with many others offered half or more online. In-person alternatives in the afternoon and evening are available, too. In addition to our variety of class times and formats, we also offer a choice of locations. Our main campus in Dryden is supplemented by extension centers in Cortland and Ithaca. Extension centers deliver classes in the heart of our sponsoring counties, offering a targeted selection of general education courses and in-demand career areas as part of our new Make it Work program.

Interested in non-credit options? We also offer professional development and workforce training opportunities through our BIZ department. With over 40 degree programs and a growing list of certificates and micro-credentials, you’re sure to find a fit with us. It all starts with a conversation.

Adult student in class

Make it Work

New for Fall 2019, the entire first year of Accounting and Human Services degrees can be completed at the Cortland Extension Center, and the first year of the Liberal Arts and Sciences: General Studies degree can be completed at the Ithaca Extension Center. The classes are offered during the late afternoon and evening to give working adults more options to pursue a degree while balancing an already busy schedule. 

The careers we are targeting in Cortland this fall are growing in our region. The community needs qualified workers in these areas, which means  there are jobs to be found when you finish your education.

Cortland Extension Center Fall 2019 Course Sessions 
Classes run 8/28/2019-12/17/2019

   Name  Cr.  Schedule
 ACCT 101  Principles of Accounting I  4

 T 6 - 9:50 p.m.

 ENGL 098  Accelerated Writing Skills for ENGL 100  3  MW 7:30 - 8:45 p.m
 ENGL 100  Academic Writing  3  MW 6 -7:15 p.m.
 *ENGL 100  Academic Writing  3  MW 6 -7:15 p.m.
 **HUMS 105  Introduction to Human Services  3  T 6 - 7:15 p.m.
 MATH 109  Statistical Literacy  3  W 6 - 8:50 p.m.
 **SOCI 101  Introduction to Sociology  3  R 6 -7:15 p.m.

*Only for students in a Freshman Learning Community. 

**Please note that some courses are hybrid courses. Hybrid courses will consist of courses in the classroom as well as online. 

Key - Monday (M), Tuesday (T), Wednesday(W), Thursday(R), Friday(F), Saturday(A).

Ithaca Extension Center Fall 2019 Course Sessions
Classes Run 8/28/2019-12/17/2019

  Name Cr. Schedule
 *ENGL 098  Accelerated Writing Skills for   ENGL 100  3  TR 7:30 - 8:45 p.m.
 *ENGL 100  Academic Writing I  3  TR 6 - 7:15 p.m.
 ENGL 100  Academic Writing I  3  TR 6 - 7:15 p.m.
 ENGL 102  Approaches to Literature  3  M 6 - 9:00 P.M.
 ENGL 201  Public Speaking  3  T 6 - 8:50 p.m.
 ENVS 112  Food Sys Sem. III: Identity,   Ethics, Culture  3  R 5 - 6:50 p.m.
 HSTY 201  American History to 1877  3  M 6 - 9:00 p.m.
 MATH 120  College Algebra  4  MW 6 - 7:50 p.m.
 PSYC 103  Introduction to Psychology  3  TR 1 - 2:15 p.m.
 **PSYC103H  Introduction Psychology-   Honors  3  TR 1 - 2:15 p.m.
 PSYC 209  Abnormal Psychology  3  TR 11 - 12:15 p.m.
 SPAN 101  Beginning Spanish I  4  TR 4 - 5:50 p.m.

*Only for students in a Freshman Learning Community. 

**Please note that some courses are hybrid courses. Hybrid courses will consist of courses in the classroom as well as online. 

Key - Monday (M), Tuesday (T), Wednesday(W), Thursday(R), Friday(F), Saturday(A).

Online Learning

Learning online doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality for convenience while you earn your degree. All of our online degree programs and courses are fully accredited the same as our traditional classroom courses and programs.

Also, many of the classes required to complete other degree programs are offered online, allowing students to tailor their schedule to their specific needs.

You can access your Tompkins Cortland online course using any Internet connection, anytime, anywhere.

Degrees Offered Fully Online

These degree programs can be completed fully online: 

Certificates Offered Fully Online

These certificates can be completed fully online: 

Visit online learning, use the Course Search to search for online courses by semester and discipline, or view all online courses to browse the entire list of offerings.

Two adult students studying in the library
Adult Student studying


First steps (in the following order)

Next steps (order is flexible)

Final step

  • Attend Welcome Week events (extended Orientation) and go to class!

Paying for Classes

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is key to opening the door to college for almost all of our students, yet it can be the most intimidating part of the applications process. As a working adult, you may still qualify for Financial Aid. 


Pathways Scholarship - Aid and Support for the Adult Student

The Pathways scholarship is designed with the specific needs of adult student in mind. This scholarship can essentially fund your education at Tompkins Cortland Community College, with a maximum award of $7,000. Full-time students will receive $1,750 for up to four semesters. Part-time students will receive $875 for up to eight semesters.


You are eligible for a Pathways Scholarship if:

  • You reside in Cortland, Tompkins, or Tioga County
  • You are 24 years of age or older when application is completed
  • You have demonstrated financial need – as determined by filing the FAFSA.
  • You enroll for at least six credits per semester
  • You have never been a college student, you’ve been out of college at least five years, or you have attempted or earned 16 or fewer college credits
  • You have never earned a degree

To Apply

Email or call 607.844.8222, Ext. 4441 with any questions to get started on your application.


As a resource for our students, faculty, staff and members of the community, the College operates the Arthur Kuckes Childcare Center at the main campus in Dryden. The Center provides care from 6 weeks through pre-kindergarten.

For more information or to schedule a visit contact Casey Goodwin, the center director, at 607.844.8222, Ext. 4477.

Other Location Options

The Cortland Area Child Care Council offers information about other childcare options in Cortland County.

The Child Development Council offers childcare information for residents of Tompkins County.

Kids from child care center wearing toy hard hats