An old community college

What Is A Community College

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What is a community college? Good question.

This is an institution of higher learning that offers a 2-year curriculum that can lead to an associate’s degree.

Also, there are programs offered at a community college that can transfer towards a four-year degree and occupational programs. Besides the coursework that focuses on academic programs, there are other community college courses geared towards personal growth and development.

Historically, community colleges were born in the early 20th century to meet the needs of young adults who didn’t want to leave their families in their pursuit of higher education.

The population was mainly made up of women and African Americans who wanted to go to college. Keep reading to understand more about what is a community college.

Everything You Should Know About A Community College?

Community colleges were established in smaller communities which is a main distinguishing factor from the typical four-year colleges.

For the latter, students had to leave their homes to stay on campuses with the popular accommodation being dorms.

In community colleges, many students enrolled in new vocational education programs while others prepared for grammar school teaching positions.

Traditionally, students who went to community colleges stopped after they got their two-year degree. But now, many are going on to get a four-year degree after they graduate from the community colleges.

What Can You Study At The Community Colleges

Many of the subjects taught in universities are also taught in community colleges.

These are some of the endeavors you can pursue at a community college:

  • Career studies like continuing education coursework.
  • One year certificates for those who want to work in a vocational field these are courses like Practical Nursing Certificate, Management Certificate, Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate, etc. These one-year certificates can prepare students for licensure examinations.
  • Associate degrees
  • Transfer programs which are basically programs of study a student can take while planning to transfer credits earned to a program within a four-year college. These don’t necessarily culminate in a 2-year associate degree.

How Is A Community College Different From A Four-Year College

Besides the number of years it takes to graduate, community colleges and four-year colleges differ in terms of their admission policies and the focus on-campus living.

Community college set-up doesn’t center around students staying on campus. They can live in their own apartments or at home.

Also, they are no student accommodation facilities in community colleges. However, in the four-year colleges, most students live on campus.

However, those who can afford and are willing to live off-campus,they are allowed to do so.

Even so, there is an exception in four-year colleges located in population cities. The campus accommodation can be a block away where the school cannot afford acres of land to build enough dorms for all students studying there.

The second major difference between these institutions is the admissions policy.

Many of these community colleges have an open access policy. There is an application process but community colleges are not keen on the competitive application process.

As long as someone wants to enroll he or she can make an application. However, this is for public community colleges. For the privately owned community colleges, the admission policies, and admissions criteria might be different.

Why Should You Choose A Community College?

Now that you know what is a community college you may wonder why you should pick this over a four-year college.

Here are some good reasons why you should go to a community college:


A community college education will be way cheaper than attending a four-year college.

As per the American Association of Community Colleges you are likely to spend only $2,076 per annum on tuition at a public community college.

At a four-year college, you will spend triple or quadruple that per year. This is quite expensive and you may have to take a loan to meet the expenses.

You can avoid student loans by attending a community college.

It Gives You Time To Decide On A Major.

If you are not sure of what you want to pursue in college you don’t have to panic.

It is better to take your time than make the wrong decision. A community college can help you complete your undergraduate work without necessarily committing to a four-year college.

In the end, you are likely to be sure of what you want to study so that you can make an informed decision.

What is the purpose of a community college?

The main purpose of a community college is to get people faster and inexpensive post secondary education than going to the 4 year college system.

What does it mean to be a community college?

Sometimes they are called junior colleges as the create a pathway for one to join the 4 year college.

How do community colleges work?

Community colleges provide a two year degree curriculum .

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