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– Community College in the USA –
Are you looking for a better Community College in the USA? All you need is here. The American education system offers many choices for higher education to international scholars.
There are 1,167 community colleges in the United States, according to the American Association of Community College.
However, the benefits of attending a community college include the ability to save money by enrolling for two years and then transferring to a four-year university to finish their degree.
Many international students are not familiar with the American education system and therefore may not understand what a community college is.
So, in this article, we are going to focus on what you need to know about a community college in the USA.
What is a Community College in the USA?
A community college, sometimes known as a junior college, is a two-year institution that provides affordable higher education as a stepping stone to a four-year degree.
Finishing a 2-year degree at a community college is called an associate’s degree.
The advantages of attending a community college are that students can save money by attending a community college for two years and then transfer to a 4-year university where they will complete their degree.
Many community colleges are now offering select bachelor’s degrees besides associate’s degrees. Because of this, many community colleges have changed their names by removing ‘community’ and calling themselves a ‘college’.
Community colleges programs give the Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree.
These colleges also have technical programs with close links to secondary schools, community groups, and employers in the local community.
Undergraduate students studying at community colleges can earn academic credit for a bachelor’s degree.
Earning academic credit at a community college, which is usually less expensive, can help lower the overall cost of a bachelor’s degree.
Community colleges often lead the United States in educating students in innovative fields such as biomedical technology, robotics, laser optics, internet and computer technologies, and geographic information systems.
The small size of classes at community colleges can be highly beneficial for international students as they adjust to the pace of U.S. academic life and practice their English-language skills.
Community colleges offer a variety of support services and cross-cultural programs, including tutoring, advising, career planning, study skills, and counseling, many designed specifically for international students.
How to Find a Community College
The first step to studying in the United States is researching your options to find a college that best fits your needs.
After you’ve attended a community college in the United States, you’ll need to begin your search; this part will explain how to locate a community college that best meets your interests.
Community colleges share many academic aspects and policies across the country, but each one is distinct in its own way. Similarly, each student is unique, so what works for one student may not work for another.
Learn more about academic fields, what to think about or look for while choosing a community college, and how to pay for tuition and fees.
Advantages of Community College
Community colleges emphasize the needs of local students and the local job market.
Students who could not afford campus or off-site housing at a four-year college, or for other reasons cannot move, can attend courses while staying in their local community.
1. Although an associate degree is typically less financially lucrative in the long term than a bachelor’s degree, it can still provide a respectable income at much less cost in time, along with the option of upgrading to a bachelor’s degree at a later time.
Even ten years after graduation, there are many people with certificates and associate degrees in fields where they earn more money than the average B.A. holder.
Despite persistently high unemployment, there is still a demand for some skilled trades that do not require a bachelor’s degree, such as paralegals, mechanics, electricians, and technicians.
2. They may solely dedicate community college professors to teach, and classes may be small.
In comparison, they may also teach a large university college course to 300+ students by a teaching assistant, while the professor attends to research duties.
Outside of those teaching in the technical fields, most instructors at community colleges have master’s degrees and many hold doctoral degrees.
In addition, community college professors can help students achieve their goals by working more closely with them, and offering them support, while at four-year colleges and universities.
3. Several community colleges have athletic programs; certain colleges also serve as incubators for college athletes, particularly in baseball, basketball, and football.
A talented player who would not meet the academic or athletic standards of a major college program may play for two years in junior college, establish an academic record, and then transfer to the major college.
Disadvantages of Community College
1. Transferring credit can sometimes be a problem, as each four-year college has its own requirements for enrollment.
However, many four-year colleges have planned, known as articulation agreements, allowing associate degrees to qualify for transfer, some cases allowing the student to complete the bachelor’s degree via distance learning.
Some states have passed rules whereby certain associate degrees in a field will automatically transfer to state universities as the core curriculum for specified bachelor degrees.
Minnesota, Alabama, and Oregon have created a statewide “transfer curriculum” allowing credits to be transferred to any other public university and almost all the private colleges.
2. While community colleges are open enrollment institutions, meaning they accept and enroll all prospective students as long as fees are paid, and the student enrolls in classes.
This open-door policy is a revolving door, with many students, nearly 2/3 not completing their education.
3. There is a historic connotation that they often consider community colleges as schools of last resort
This is because of their open-admissions policies, which may reflect poorly upon students who could not receive admission to a college offering a wider variety of degrees programs.
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