What Community College Is
Community college can be a great fit for a range of students, from those who just graduated from high school to those who are looking to further their careers. Sometimes called junior colleges or city colleges, community colleges are mostly two-year public universities that offer certificate, diploma and Associate’s degree programs. Similar to four-year schools, they vary by diversity, curriculum, size, student services, and location. Admissions are open, meaning anyone who wants to enroll is accepted.
Reasons to go to Community College
There are a whole range of different reasons to enroll in community college. Depending on where you are in your life or career, and what you want to do next, community college can fulfill your education needs and help you get to the next step. Here are some of the most common reasons that people enroll in community college:
- Transfer Education – If you eventually want to attend a four-year institution to pursue a BS/BA degree, community college is a great place to start. Many community colleges make it easy to transfer credits and pre-requisite classes over to a four year college or university.
- Career Education – For those looking to start working fast, earning an Associate’s degree or career certification will allow you to graduate and directly enter the workforce.
- Developmental Education – These classes are for high school graduates who want a little extra help before enrolling in college-level courses.
- Continuing Education - Want to learn how to speak Italian? Or build your own website? Non-credit courses are offered by community colleges for personal development and interest.
- Industry Training – In this setting, a local company or employer pays the college to provide specific training or courses for their employees.
Benefits of Going to Community College
Community colleges are convenient in terms of both location and time. In some areas, there are several colleges in close proximity that you can choose between. With the majority of students holding jobs, courses are scheduled for flexible times, including nights.
Courses are reasonably priced and undoubtedly less than tuition at four-year schools. Plus, you’re eligible to receive federal financial aid, just as you would at a four-year institution.
- Transferring is Easy
If you’re looking to transfer, most schools have academic advisors that will work with you to choose the right classes and ease the transfer process. Many colleges create articulation agreements with nearby four-year institutions. Essentially, these agreements establish which specific credits and classes will transfer through to their university.
- Smaller Classes
Opposed to large universities which sometimes have classes filled with more than 700 students, class sizes tend to be on the smaller side which allow for a greater degree of interaction between the instructor and students. Colleges often hire instructors who have advanced degrees and professional experience, meaning they’ve worked in a specific field and have “real-world” insight to offer.