It’s never too early to start thinking about your future, especially when it comes to making plans for college. For many students, the community college experience is essential in helping them achieve their goals. Some, however, don’t see the point. Why go to community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year school later? Why not just go right to the four-year school first?
You Can Experiment With Many Career Paths
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you’ve ever been asked that question but struggled to come up with a definite answer, community college can help. Community colleges not only offer many of the same majors as traditional four-year institutions, but also continuing education and trade certification programs such as web programming, automobile repair, and massage therapy school. And because community college is so much more affordable than four-year schools, it means you can experiment with different fields until you find a career path that’s right for you.
Smaller Class Sizes Provide Individualized Instruction
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average community college class size is about 25-35 students, whereas even introductory level courses at larger four-year institutions can pack 150-300 students into a single lecture hall. Needless to say, when you’re sharing one instructor with 299 of your peers, it can be hard to get the kind of individualized education you need. Attending community college is both a better way of receiving one-on-one attention geared towards your own unique strengths and weaknesses, and also of building stronger bonds with both teachers and other students.
Struggling Students Can Get the Assistance They Need
Community colleges are designed to cater to the diverse needs of a much broader student body than most four-year institutions. As a result, community colleges often make it a priority to offer a wide range of after-class tutoring and mental health programs, as well as professional workshops and credit-transfer prep seminars. If you need additional help, either academically or with other issues, community colleges want to make sure you get the assistance you need so that you’re fully prepared to move into the workplace or transfer to the four-year school of your choice.
It Gives You an Opportunity to Improve Your Transcripts
Not everyone comes out of high school with perfect transcripts. If you have your heart set on a specific four-year school or a specific program, you might find that your transcripts are actually holding you back. Many students fresh out of secondary school know that community college offers a valuable stepping stone to the four-year school of their dreams, not simply by giving them a more affordable avenue for meeting Gen Ed requirements, but additionally providing them the chance to improve their transcripts and possibly even qualify for previously unobtainable scholarships.