3/23/10

Community College | The Right Fit, 3

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Community colleges are schools that offer degrees after two years of full-time study. Degrees offered include associate, profession, and technical. Professional and technical degrees prepare students for immediate entry into the job market. Associate degrees prepare students to transfer to a university where they can obtain a Bachelor's degree after two more years of full-time study. Many community colleges offer on-campus housing options, but it is not required. Commuting to community colleges is a popular option.

A community college may be right for you if:

  • You aren't sure about your educational goals or your future career path. If you have no clue what you want to major in, you can get all your basic general education requirements out of the way while exploring your interests.

  • You want individual attention in the classroom. Classes are generally small. Professors are readily available for help. You will get to know your classmates, professors, and fellow students on a first-name basis. Even though the school is small, there are also plenty of ways to get involved: sports, fine and performing arts, plus clubs and organizations.

  • You want to pursue a job that only requires an Associate's degree or you want to enter the job force immediately upon graduation. Associate's, professional, and technical degrees will prepare you to start working as soon as you graduate. You can always go back for a Bachelor's degree later if you change your mind and want more schooling.

  • You work part- or full-time, have a busy life, or will be a commuter. Community colleges are the best when it comes to working with your schedule and hectic life. Classes are often offered at a variety of times, including nights if you work in the day. Additionally, there are often satellite locations that offer classes through ICN networks and online course offerings. If you can get into all ICN classes or online courses, you may not have to commute to school at all for a few terms.

  • You want to save money in the long run. And let's face it: saving money is super smart in this day and age. (You'll have less loans to pay off and be more financial stable at a younger age.) Community colleges are usually very affordable. Tuition is less. Room and board is less if you choose to live on campus. And the financial aid offices are very good with helping you finance your education. By going to a community college for two years and then transferring to a four-year school to complete your degree, you could be saving over ten thousand dollars.

To summarize, community colleges are small, locally based institutions that offer two-year Associates, technical, and professional degrees. These schools are affordable, flexible when it comes to class schedules, and ideal for commuters. It's easy to make friends and get help from professors. You can get gen-ed courses out of the way and save lots of money before going on to a Liberal Arts college or university.

Amore.

For a list of community colleges, click here.

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