With a struggling economy, a changing employment market, and the price of a college education continuing to climb, more and more students are beginning to look at community colleges as their best college choice. The question is, “Is it the right college choice for you?” Below are a few things to consider that may help you answer that question.
Cost – Classes at the community college tend to be less expensive than those at a 4-year college. You can definitely save money by taking your general education classes at a community college then transferring to a 4-year college to complete your bachelor’s degree. Just be sure that you check with the college you plan to transfer to, to make sure you are meeting all the transfer requirements and that all the classes you are taking will be accepted.
Convenience - If you need to work to save money or cover your living expenses, a local community college could be the perfect college choice for you. The variety of classes offered may give you the flexibility you need to hold a full-time job. By choosing a local community college, you may also be able to save some money by living at home.
Specialized Programs – Many community colleges offer excellent programs in the areas of Medical Technology, Culinary Arts, Mechanical Arts, and Information Technology – to name but a few. Check out your local community colleges to find out if they offer programs that you might be interested in. You may even discover that they offer 4-year degrees in some areas.
Instructors – Many of the instructors in community colleges, especially in specialized programs, are actively working in their field. That can mean that they are up-to-date on the latest developments and may be aware of emerging trends in their areas. Such current information, which is likely to be discussed in class, may ultimately provide you with an edge in the job market.
Academic Support – Community college may also be a great place to start if your high school grades aren’t quite what you had hoped they would be. Most community colleges have a variety of resources that can help you develop the skills you will need to be successful in college and have more options for transfer. They also offer services for students with learning differences.
Still not sure if a community college is the right college choice for you? I encourage you to take a tour of your local community college and talk to an admissions advisor about what the college has to offer you.