If you’re lucky enough to live close to a community college and are interested in furthering your education, why not check out the range of classes they offer. Long gone are the days when getting a community college education was inferior to attending other types of colleges. The range of classes these institutions offer these days may surprise you, as will the level of professionalism and quality of the certifications on offer. Community colleges also play an important role in their local communities by offering a range of vocational options for locals who don’t necessarily want to travel to get an employable education.
Many nurses for example have come through the community college system, which has a reputation for providing more clinical experience than many of the nation’s top nursing bachelor programs. This means many community college trained nurses, who hold an associates degree rather than a bachelor degree, are often far better equipped at the end of their training to provide patient care than many nurses with bachelor degrees. However, if you’re interested in an administrative nursing role you will need the bachelor degree because most hospitals require this qualification for those roles. It doesn’t mean community college trained nurses are any less capable or qualified though.
Other advantages of attending your local college include the fact that usually the teachers are dedicated teachers. Their primary purpose for being there is to teach students. It’s not something they do ‘on the side’ when they’re not busy working on their own research and reports. Therefore, they’re far more likely to be interested in helping you reach your educational goals and less likely to consider you an interruption to them achieving their own goals.
If you weren’t a shining light academically at school, community colleges offer you an alternative path to obtaining an employable certification or degree. They’re also a good option for mature age students who are looking for a career change or simply want to learn more about certain hobby’s they’ve developed. The classrooms, and typically the classes, are small and because there is a lower teacher to student ratio, the teachers have more time to spend with students. This all adds up to a quality education in an environment conducive to a good learning experience.
Research has found that drop out rates amongst students who go straight into 4 year + degrees at university or similar from high school is higher than for those who spend a couple of years in a community college first. Furthermore, many community college graduates find their college certification is enough to get them a job and improve their earning potential compared to those who have no tertiary qualifications at all. Additionally, they can always complete further study at some point in the future to improve their qualifications if they need to.
However, a community college education may not suit everyone. Some universities for example don’t recognize community college courses so won’t accept them as transfer credits. Therefore, if you are planning on moving on to university after leaving college, make sure you do your research first and find out what courses your university of choice requires. Alternatively, you may be better off just going to university and not worrying about college.
If you don’t have a local community college, or your commitments are such that attending college is almost impossible, there are other alternatives available. Notably online alternatives! Furthermore, some professions have their own colleges so if you are interested in a career in one of these professions, you will either have to attend that college, or ensure you enroll in their approved courses at other institutions, or online. A good example of this is online fire officer classes for fire service professionals.