Get the Most from Community College
Where should you attend college? That’s one of the biggest decisions you will make. Before you decide on the right institution, it’s important to frame this choice accurately. The kind of experience you have at college is at least as important as the name on the college t-shirt. If you’re considering community college, here are some factors to consider before you decide where to attend. Considering these issues will help you make a decision that works best for you.
Get to Know Your Professors
How big do you want your classes to be? At community colleges, class sizes are typically low. Faculty are focused on teaching and learning, and you are quite likely to get to know your professors. They are also quite likely to know you by name. If you happen to struggle in a class, it can be helpful to have access to your professor through email, phone calls, office hours, and after-class discussions. Students who work closely with professors succeed at higher rates than students who don’t; they also have someone to ask for help on topics like choice of major, transfer admissions, and job placement. If getting to know your professor is important to you, consider a community college.
Take Advantage of Student Life
Meeting new friends is one of the most exciting parts about the college experience. In some respects, college means building a new set of friends as you engage new peer groups. Community colleges facilitate that experience by providing robust student life programs with a wide range of possible opportunities. Student government, honor societies, club sports, service groups: these are just a few examples of what your local community college likely offers as part of the student experience. To get the most from your college experience, you should find out what opportunities exist and take full advantage. Chances are, you will find something that interests you.
Build a Network Near Your Home
One of the main reasons people attend college is to increase their earning potential and ensure a career path that is rewarding. But entering college students sometimes fail to consider this fact: students often enter the workforce in the geographic region of the college granting their degrees or certificates. At community colleges, students can build a professional network in the college’s geographic area, which can boost job prospects and earning potential upon graduation. Depending on your program, you may even be able to leave college with a community job offer in hand. If your goal is to get a job in the area you live in, community college may be a smart choice for you.
Meet People Who Are Different than You
Your college years present a wonderful opportunity to broaden your horizons, expand your thinking, and grow in your ability to work well with people. Community colleges serve the most diverse group of students within higher education. One of the under-rated benefits of attending community college is the chance to meet new people who are diverse with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and so many other categories. Engaging with a diverse group of people might challenge your thinking, at times. But it will also make you a better leader, a more employable graduate, and a more well-rounded student. You might not have to go far to find diversity; your local community college might offer a great opportunity to meet people who are different from you.
Where to attend college is not a simple decision. The first years of college can be expensive; it’s important for you to consider all factors before jumping into your college experience. Don’t overlook the benefits offered at your local community college!