Community colleges and those who attend them can get a bad rap from the four-year college crowd, yet who’s laughing last once the first student loan bill arrives in the mail? Food for thought, eh?
With more and more students turning toward community colleges as a more affordable option, Christina Oriel at Take Part wants to break down the walls of reluctance by busting five myths about these institutions of higher learning.
Myth #1: Community college is for those who were rejected by four-year institutions.
Students choose the community college path for different reasons, be it to save money, earn an additional degree, or discover a new field of interest. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “Community colleges, I continue to believe, have this ability to transform young people’s lives, adults’ lives, older people’s lives in very profound ways.” The total fall enrollment in community colleges increased from 5.7 million in 2000 to 6.2 million in 2005 and 7.1 million in 2009. In 2009, 2.9 million students were enrolled full-time.
Myth #2: The education at a community college is not as top-notch.
The cost of attending a community college amounts to only a fraction of the average tuition at a four-year school, but that doesn’t mean the education isn’t high quality. A diverse list of courses are offered at these colleges—some of which even require placement tests in order to get in. The Washington Post reports:
”Most community colleges offer courses ranging from strictly academic subjects that are designed to prepare people for further academic study, to continuing education enrichment courses that are not graded. Many colleges also partner with local businesses to provide career-oriented training in fields such as technology or health care. Often, the range of courses offered at a community college will reflect the needs and goals of the community it serves.”
The argument for community colleges.
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