A college is a place where you can upskill your knowledge. It is the place where you can really discover yourselves, learn new things, learn new skills, meet new people, make new friends. But before knowing the many benefits of a community college, let’s understand.
What Is A Community College?
A community college or a junior college both are the same. A community college is the one that offers not only an associate's degree (after two years of study) but usually offers occupational-vocational certificate programs that can be completed in less than two years and are designed to fulfill the employment requirements of the community.
Well, universities have dual missions of teaching and research generally. They also offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees but the community colleges have teaching as their primary mission. However, some research takes place there, most time is spent on teaching and improving student outcomes. Mostly, the community colleges offer only associate’s degrees and workforce certifications. Only a few offer bachelor’s degrees are offered in community colleges but they are usually in fields universities don’t cover, not common majors such as business or education.
The two-year degrees i.e., Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, etc., are offered by the community colleges. These are generally used to transfer to four-year schools, certain certificates such as computer-related, automotive, etc. When a community college is big enough, in terms of funding, academia, etc. then the community college will become a state college, which offers limited bachelor’s degrees while still doing things that a community college does.
The admission process at the community colleges is usually an open admission. It means that anyone can enroll, such as a student who wishes to transfer to a four-year school needs to have a high school diploma or a GED.
Community colleges are public institutions. Their tuition rates are usually in-state (some have in-district, which is cheaper than in-state), out-of-state, and international (some have the same rate for international and out-of-state).
Benefits Of A Local Community College
Now that you know all about community colleges and the degrees offered by them, let's further check out the benefits of a community college. Below listed are some of the advantages of a community college.
Career Training In Just Two-Years
You performed poorly in high school or for any of the reasons you are not ready or able to go to a university then the community college will give you a chance to redeem yourself. A community college is also for the students who don’t want to go on after 2 years, the possibility of obtaining career training in two years.
Community college is substantially cheaper than universities. The cost includes both the tuition costs as well as housing costs because typically community college students live at home and have a short commute. And community colleges have agreements in place with many universities saying that students who complete a 2 years degree are eligible to transfer to the four-year colleges to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Opportunity To Complete Education
You haven't finished high school then you can join a community college as it offers concurrent enrollment programs and a few offer joint high school and college. Moreover, numerous students test out of high school without finishing and go directly to the community college.
Helps In Exploration Phase
If you are not sure what you want to do, then you can join a community college which can be a great place to take diverse classes and discover new interests. Some community colleges have great courses in the very skilled trades of electricians, welders, robotics for the day when machines replace humans on the assembly lines, and many more.
Based on the ability to teach, instructors are hired at community colleges. Whereas if we talk about the universities then the hires are made based on teaching and research with the emphasis on the latter. Therefore, you will often find a higher number of superior instructors at community colleges.
Small Class size
If you prefer smaller class sizes with more student and professor interaction, then community college is just the right fit for you. The size of the class in the community college tends to be smaller, hence you will experience a more personalized educational experience.
Freedom To Choose Your Own Faculty
In community colleges, you are basically allowed to choose which professors you want to take the class with. So, while picking the professors, you can choose the ones that are significantly suited to your needs. You can select by checking out what kind of reviews they have from talking to various students or checking the websites.
Flexible Class Timing
You can take admission to a community college if you are a non-traditional student. As the community colleges can be flexible if you need to work, take care of a family, etc. Various classes in the community college are offered as night classes, which is a great advantage for you if you are working in a day job.
If you don’t want a bachelor's degree you can take admission to the community college. As the community colleges are more than just stepping stones to universities.
If you are sure and choose to do your first two years at a community college, you need to be proactive and take charge of your education plan.
Figure out where you want to transfer and plan your classes so when you transfer, you'll be at a junior level and ready to do upper-division work. Many community college students aren't careful in this area. You can also take extra classes but if you don’t have endless time or you don’t want to explore other courses, then it is suggested not to take extra classes. Stay on your course and try to find the best community college teachers and take them.