Education has always been an issue for many individuals willing to improve their qualifications for various job positions and also the high school graduates. However, as much as there are many reasons why people are very concerned about education, the importance of education cannot be underestimated. A community college sometimes called a nonresidential junior college is two-year schools offer courses to those people who stay in a particular location near the facility. At the same time, university (Usually four years) in most cases is where a student will extend his or her education to a bachelor's degree after the completion of academic credits. When a student decides to join a university or a junior college, this is a personal as well as the subjective decision to the remainder of his or her life.
There has being an increase in the number of high school graduates going to a community college in the university before going off to a seemingly prestigious four-year university. In this instance, the student uses the non-residential junior college as a stepping-stone. This paper will show the benefits of obtaining education through a community college as compared to university education and in the process highlighting the stigma that faces individuals who go through a community college education program.
When a high school student is providing with their years in school, they are regularly exposed to various learning curves that prepares them for life after school. The high school years are in many used as a springboard for the future to come. During this period, a student decides on whether how they are going to approach the immediate future. It is known that the students who get ready and go to college (either university or community college) do so to increase their chances of developing a successful career.
However, even though there are these choices, some good number of students are not sure of what they want to accomplish in future, and hence they make no particular plans after high school. In several cases, a good number of students will decide to go directly into the workforce, and others decide to go to a trade school. Consequently, the Students who would wish to go to any particular college also have various choices. The two common choices for those who decide to go on with their studies are either to go to a university or to go to a community college.
After graduating high school, the infamous question that had followed high school students all throughout their senior year in high school is pressed more than ever by curious acquaintances, friends, co-workers and distant family members. Whenever community college goers are asked about their upcoming plans to join college, they feel embarrassed and many usually have no honest answer to give back. This predicament can result in a multitude of reasons. From being the kid that stays in the small town, not being able to afford to attend a university right away, and also being the kid that stays in the small, there are too many stigmas related to students who choose to attend community college.
Kristen OKeefe in her article expresses her opinion of how there is an unfortunately widespread view about community college being lesser than universities. "Along with there being multitudes of advantages to choosing junior college first, community college and its students should be considered as valuable as any other college because the education is the same, the class work is just as difficult, and most attendees work extremely hard" (O'Keefe 5).
There is an unfortunate and popular opinion about community college education being lesser than that offered in the universities, and with that comes the habit of it being talked down upon. Keefe in her article notes how common it is for individuals to speak negatively about a community college education. She uses an example of how a high school principal is guiding students on the minimum requirements to graduate, then goes on to suggest the criteria needed to get into a university, directly referring to it as a "real college, not community college." (OKeefe 10). This a perfect example of a way that negative views about community college starts for students and is wrong considering the benefits a community college can present.
One advantage of being enrolled in a community college is that a student can join the workforce during the school year and also they can work full-time hours. Rather than racking up tremendous amounts of debt and student loans the student can find a job to help pay for the living and also the school expenses. In some cases, companies will offer to pay some school fees If a student works full-time and goes to school. This is very advantageous considering that community college tuition fees are continually rising. The student will not have to rely much on borrowing from a credit card or making huge amounts of debts (Eneriz 5).
Having a job during college also opens the opportunity to build a resume. A resume will allow the community college student to enter the job market with a unique experience and it is well known that experience is sought after by many employers. While attending a community college, many students have the opportunity of joining an internship. An internship is a perfect opportunity to get experience in the particular work field that the student is looking to pursue a career shortly. The placement can lead to new career goals as well as permanent employment. As much as Internships can be challenging they can also be much rewarding. Unlike in a university, taking classes at a community college, a student has more time to look for internship opportunities and get more job experience in their field unlike in the university where such time would be hard to find (Zeilinger 6).
Community colleges are not only made up of young students coming straight from high school but also adults who already have experience in the workforce with full-time jobs. A community college is very beneficial for the adults returning to school because community college allows for a flexible schedule and the ability to live at home. This flexibility allows the student to continue with other important aspects that matter to his or her life. Most people will go to a two-year community college to get their general class requirements out of the way. If a person wants to go to school and get a degree but they have a family to take care of and a job, they will most likely attend a community college that is closest to them (Beach 101). This does undermine their desire to continue learning and growing as essential people in the society.
Additionally, many people continue to believe that University education is far better than schooling offered by community college without looking into some essential factors in education such as the ratio of teacher to student. In community colleges, students are fewer in one class meaning that the more and better interaction between the teacher and the student. The interaction between teachers and a student is vital since it offers an opportunity to those students who did not get the point made by the teacher while in class or would like to get more explanation to understand better (Zeilinger 12). This interaction can even be one on one at times since the ratio of student to the teacher is less thereby the student learning experience is enhanced. This fewer ratio also means that there is more recognition when it comes to individual and student teaching.
On the other hand, universities do not have these liberties. There is certainly less one on one among teachers or lectures and the students. Hundreds of students all expect services from the few teachers. Furthermore, the classrooms at the university are usually crowded each student struggling to get the best position to sit to listen to the lecturer efficiently. Therefore, the majority of students would never receive the kind of attention and response the community college student get.
Additionally, when students are leaving for a university that is the freshmen, they might find it very hard to adapt to the new campus life with some going through depression. Having never separated from their families is a factor that should not be taken lightly as individuals are born differently and have a different reaction (Eneriz 5). Community college allows one to continue with normal life yet at the same time they are still studying and improving their lives. However, university education is not entirely bad or completely ineffective, but rather it does have some benefits.
There some things that community college education cannot offer such as when one wants to pursue some specialized courses. If an individual has set up a career mind such as becoming a doctor or a lawyer, the university then is the only straightforward option. Furthermore, some individuals feel the need to study until they reach the highest level of education that Doctorate level and some even dream of becoming professors. University education would be appropriate for such group of individuals since the education program at universities allows this to happen smoothly. However, these do not entirely mean that community college education does not or cannot create important individuals in the society as many people in the society do amazing things yet they never went to the university.
So how is the stigma that surrounds community college going to be corrected? Though the exact solution is unclear, some steps can be taken to start changing the mass negative views of junior college. High school students should be made aware of the potential benefits of choosing junior college first and should be encouraged by faculty to take advantage of those benefits rather than be shunned for selecting that option. College students and peers should uplift one another and praise each other for their efforts on furthering their education and striving to obtain a degree. Individuals should show their own community college school spirit, and be proud of themselves for chasing a promising future. Society as a whole needs to be made aware of the trials that many community college students work hard to succeed through, and that the education that community college provides is just as valid as any other higher education.
In conclusion, education certainly has no definite end, and whether one chooses to go to a university education or community college education, life will always require one to continue learning. Community college education has previously been seen as an ineffective type of education and regarded as "losers territory" however, several changes in the country has seen people appreciate this form of education. Community college education has many benefits that disqualify it to be called ineffective type of education.
Beach, Josh M. Gateway to opportunity?: A history of the community college in the United States. Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2012.
Eneriz, Ashley. Benefits of Attending Community College for Two Years to Save Money. MoneyCrashers. SparkCharge Media, 2007. Web. 1 November 2016.
OKeefe, Kristen. The Community College/ Real College Divide. NYTimes. The New York Times, 15 February 2015. Web. 1 November 2016.
Zeilinger, Juile. Why The Stigma Against Americas Community Colleges Has to Stop. Identities.Mic. Mic, 27 October 2015. Web. 1 November 2016.s
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