What Community Colleges Do that Universities Won’t
Community colleges once were considered the step-child of higher education.
Academics looked down at coursework taken at a two-year college, considering it to be a weak bridge between high school and a university. That perception has changed drastically in the last decade.
A two-year school is a valid option for many students because community colleges do what universities won’t do.
Provide excellent instruction in a flexible environment
Classes at a two-year college are comparable to those at a four-year university.
The professors at community colleges have master’s degrees, and most have a doctorate. Their classes are every bit as rigorous as a university class. University professors are often engaged in research, leaving instruction to inexperienced teaching assistants. Community colleges, on the other hand, assure that the professor will be your teacher.
Also, community colleges have the flexibility to hire subject matter experts from industry, especially science and business. These professionals offer student insight that professors cannot. Community colleges can create authentic learning experiences for their students by helping them build tangible products and create personal meaning.
Smaller class sizes and lower tuition costs
Smaller class size means better student engagement. Attending lecture-style classes at the university along with hundreds of peers can make students feel disconnected from the instruction as well as their university experience. Two-year colleges, however, are more likely to encourage student participation in class because smaller class sizes permit it.
One of the top reasons for attending a community college is the cost. Not only is tuition more affordable, but many students live at home because the community college is often closer, which saves more money. The cost difference per year between a two-year and a four-year university can be as much as $20,000.
Community colleges can keep their expenses down because they have fewer extracurriculars, such as athletics teams.
Partner with the workforce
When industry tells schools exactly what they are looking for in employees, and colleges produce candidates with those skills, it’s a win for everyone.
Students with associates degrees are finding work in their chosen fields, and the community colleges are doing an excellent job helping them prepare for their careers. Almost 35 million grads with associate degrees are employed, and their number is steadily rising.
Community colleges are doing what universities won’t do, and they are doing it successfully.