There was a time when saying someone was going to college almost always meant just one thing - a four-year university in some far-off city. That university's still there but there are many more ways to attain higher education today.
Many students choose community college over a university, especially when just graduating from high school. In fact, this choice is so common, most communities have at least one community college campus in them.
Graduation from high school is a turning point in every student’s life, one that signals the end of childhood and the beginning of a more serious phase of life. Facing this turning point can be daunting, with an adventurous spirit often at odds with the desire to cling to the familiar.
Enrolling in community college after high school graduation can ease the transition a bit. University campuses often seem large and impersonal, leaving a new student wondering how to find answers or even how best to navigate a sprawling campus. Some recent high school graduates find the prospect of university enrollment just too intimidating.
The typical community college, however, is generally smaller and more personable than many universities seem to be. The comfort of the familiar is especially apparent when the community college is in the student’s home town, too.
While there are exceptions, most of the degree programs offered at a community college are for two years of study. Many of the degree programs available are compatible with similar courses taught at four-year universities.
Many students choose to ease away from home gradually, enrolling in a nearby community college for the first two years of study after high school before transferring credits to a four-year university to resume studies for a baccalaureate degree. This practice is so common that most community colleges design their curriculum so this transition can be made with ease.
It’s also possible that a degree from a community college is all a student desires. Many community college courses are geared toward vocational goals instead of academic. These degree plans train the student how to perform certain jobs, giving them a head start in their chosen professions.
The nursing and medical technology professions are excellent for community college students. Other popular courses of study include information technologies, office management, and food service.
Universities are excellent for academic studies but many students feel community college is better for them – more hands-on training that will produce an immediate impact in the workplace.