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Community College

Considering Community College?

Community colleges often receive a bad rap. A representative from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, an organization that focuses on community college student development, underscores this when he
states that “the top students at community colleges are among our country’s greatest assets.”
Ross Perot, Tom Hanks, Calvin Klein, and Walt Disney are counted among proud alumni of community colleges. About 40 percent of all traditional-aged college students start out at community college.
Let’s dispel some myths about community colleges:
Myth: Getting a degree at a community college is not worth as much as a degree from a university.
Reality: Students who do well in community colleges have the ability to transfer to many of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Many community college graduates head straight into the labor force, making up over 80 percent of law enforcement officers and firefighters
and over 62 percent of allied health professionals.
Myth: Community college credits don’t transfer to a four-year university.
Reality:It is the student’s responsibility to be on top of what courses are accepted for transfer and which ones are not. There are many “articulation agreements” now between community college and universities that specify what classes receive credit for comparable courses at their institution. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only one in five community college students transfer to four-year universities, but those who do have high rates of college graduation.
Myth: Only older students and kids who were rejected everywhere go to community colleges.
Reality: Community colleges are designed to be flexible, therefore attracting students who work full time; but 18-24-year-old students make up one of the largest groups on community college campuses.
Myth: Community college is only for vocational and technical students.
Reality: Community colleges offer an exciting variety of majors. Many students choose to start at a community college where they can take many (if not all) of the prerequisites for their major, and then transfer to a four-year college. This allows them a smaller class size for the introductory classes and enables them to jump right into the higher-level classes at a four-year college or university.
Interest in community colleges is soaring, as the cost of traditional four year college
increases. But besides the financial benefits,many students find the adjustment to college life at a community college an easier transition than being dropped at a huge campus. Many students may go to community college reluctantly but come to appreciate its virtues and benefits.


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