Since they made bachelor’s degrees accessible and affordable in the American education system, community colleges have become popular. If you are reading this, you are probably considering enrolling through a community college. Nevertheless, you might be asking yourself, is it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree from a community college?
The popularity of community colleges has skyrocketed over the years since they started offering bachelor’s degree programs. However, many students wonder whether these community colleges are eligible to provide degree programs and whether the certifications are acceptable in the workforce industry. Through this article, you will learn facts about community college bachelor’s degree programs and why you should consider them.
When did community colleges start offering bachelor’s degree programs?
It is until the 1990s that community colleges started offering baccalaureate degrees. In the past years, only four-year institutions or universities offered bachelor’s degree programs. The Community College Baccalaureate Association found it deem fitting to change the tradition and decided to avail a chance for students to enroll for baccalaureate degrees in their institutions to enhance education access to all the students of the nation at a considerable cost. Since then, community colleges have been offering bachelor’s degrees to students.
Why are community college baccalaureate degrees popular?
There are around 19 states where community colleges offer bachelor’s degree programs, with Florida topping with community colleges offering baccalaureate programs. However, what are the reasons behind the skyrocketing popularity of community colleges?
Addressing workforce needs
The job market has become overly competitive, with the majority of employment opportunities necessitating a baccalaureate degree. Employees with a bachelor’s degree tend to receive higher pay as compared to the ones without. Therefore, community colleges have adopted the job market requirements and trends and are now offering bachelor’s degree programs to meet the employment industry’s demands.
Students attending community colleges are equipped with skills and irrefutable knowledge that enables them to meet workforce needs. For instance, hospitals and institutions requiring nurses and healthcare professionals prefer those who attended and graduated from community colleges.
Community colleges are addressing the economic pressures experienced by students.
Universities and colleges are termed expensive. Apart from tuition fees, students will have to deal with the board, supplies, food, and other expenses. For this reason, many students are unable to enroll through the four-year university bachelor’s degree program. Nonetheless, community colleges make the economic pressure facing students to disappear through making studies accessible and affordable.
Traditionally, a student had to enroll through the community colleges as an associate and then transfer to a four-year university or institution after a year or two. The process of transferring credits is hefty, and at times, students find the process hustling and hassling. Nowadays, students can enroll through community colleges and receive their bachelor’s degrees at a more affordable rate, making the entire process convenient.
Enhanced accessibility of the baccalaureate programs
In the past years, few students enrolled through the four-year institutions for a bachelor’s degree. Nevertheless, as community colleges are permitted to offer baccalaureate programs or degrees, many students can enroll and acquire the competitive workforce industry’s prerequisites. Students who are to enroll through traditional universities will have to relocate from home and spend a lot of money, which they might not have. However, through community colleges, students will not migrate from their homes, and the fees are highly affordable.
Community colleges have enabled all people to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program regardless of their age. Adults have other obligations that might hinder their class attendance during the day. It is through considering such the fact that community colleges allow their students to have evening classes. For instance, where a student is a mother to a young child who needs a lot of attention during the day or a dad who needs to provide for the family and has a job in the city, evening classes will be the best option.
How community colleges Work
Statistics show that community college classes have around 35 students or even less. The number of students in traditional institutions offering the same baccalaureate degree has hundreds of students in one class. Therefore, students joining community colleges are highly advantaged. They will always relate well with one another and have a lot of time to ask their professors their questions. The teacher-student relation matters much, and community colleges make this a possibility.
Traditional university professors must conduct their research often, which tends to conflict with their teaching schedules. There is also a high tendency of university professors to assign some of their classes to graduate assistants. Consequently, students enrolled in these traditional universities don’t get quality time with their professors. Community college professors are always dedicated to teaching, as they aren’t required to conduct research. Therefore, professors at community colleges can manage to customize teaching materials and techniques for their students to equip them better.
Disadvantages of attending community colleges for a bachelor’s degree program
The low number of degree programs
As opposed to traditional universities and institutions, community colleges are offering a low number of baccalaureate degrees. There is a lot of infighting between traditional institutions with community colleges as the institutions believe community colleges shouldn’t offer bachelor’s degree programs. Some states have limited the number of courses that a community college can offer to its students.
There is a misconception that only graduates from traditional universities are qualified with the job market’s necessary skills. The illusion contributes to students from community colleges to be looked down upon. The stigmatization might cause psychological torture to professionals who have graduated from community colleges with a bachelor’s degree.
The misconception makes recruiters avoid hiring professionals with degrees from community colleges as they feel they aren’t qualified enough. However, it is evident that students from the traditional universities re-enroll through community colleges to sharpen their skills since the education and training offered at the community college are of excellent quality.
There is no doubt that community colleges will never match the standards and levels of four-year universities. However, community colleges have played and will continue playing a significant role in training and producing quality and highly skilled workers who will address the employment industry needs. Community colleges have also made it possible for all to enroll for a bachelor’s degree without breaking into a bank or neglecting one’s responsibilities.