Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Students Should Consider Community College

By: Julie Clark Robinson

Description : If your reason for seeking education beyond high school is to get out into the workplace and make a good living, don't overlook the option of attending your local community college for two years in lieu of a four-year university. Community colleges are evolving to meet the needs of today's students and the benefits to you can be staggering. Here's why:

1. Community college saves you money. Did you know that the average cost per year for community college is only about $2,400 compared to about $12,000 at a traditional university? Add that to the fact that it generally takes only two years to complete your chosen course of study and the savings story takes on an even bigger role in the decision making. Wouldn't it be nice to start your career without the burden of several years of student loan payments to make? What's more, graduates in areas such as technology and nursing have been known to have as high as a 100% employment rate right out of (community) college.

2. Less is more when it comes to students in a classroom. Whereas public and private colleges boost lecture halls full of students, the typical community college classroom is for around 30 students. And, with tuition costs being so much lower, there's more time (and money) for most community college students to indulge in the exploration of their interests before having to commit to one area of study. Classes aren't restricted to weekdays; in fact, there are ample evening and weekend classes to choose from for students who have kept a full-time job.

3. The faculty's single focus is to educate you. The lure of research and publishing tend to get the attention of college professors, leaving teaching assistants to lead most of the classroom time for underclassmen on most traditional campuses. This isn't the case in community colleges because the professors come from the actual workplace in order to teach the up and coming workforce. In fact, it's not uncommon for students of community colleges to benefit from networking with their teachers in search of their first job.

4. Community colleges are centrally located in downtown areas. Because of that, most students commute from home, but do not find that they are missing out on typical college involvement. City colleges offer athletic programs and student government, as well as many social events throughout the year.

Saving money, getting a hands-on education and quality of teachers should give you plenty to think about when considering the option of choosing a community college. Just in case you'd like to put a successful face or two in your mind, how about the fact that actor Billy Crystal and former US Treasurer Francine Neff are among many on the list of community college students?

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