Junior/Community College

  • solo sunrise

    solo sunrise (260)

    Neutral Zone
    I know the terminology is different in different places, so what I'm referring to when I say Community College is the two-year, non-bachelor's degree granting schools. You can get associate's degrees or certificates, and can often transfer to undergrad schools for four-year degrees.

    Like most high school seniors, I was dead-set on going to a four-year university right out of high school. I got accepted into several, but I can't afford any of them without a massive amount of loans. I can go to community college for free. So, as of now, I've decided to do my first two years at community college. I started community college when I was sixteen, so I have only a semester (actually, like one course) left before I can get an Associate's in Sciences degree. This way, if I take out loans, it'll only be for two years, rather than four.

    My grandmother graduated a few years ago, age 70, with her Associate's in Sciences. My mom is going to school to get a paralegal certificate.

    The thing I want to talk about, though, is the massive stigma attached to these types of colleges. People really like to make fun of community college students for being "lazy" or "underachievers." I've taken the brunt of this teasing in recent months, as I get to watch the people of similar standing in high school go on to major universities as I stay back home for another year. For most, it's two years.

    I honestly don't think the stigma is fair, and—this is probably not a popular opinion, but—I also think that a lot of people who make fun of community college students are the same middle-class/rich people that make fun of poor people, because it's far easier to go to community college for free or a very low rate than university.

    And I don't think the education received at community college is inherently inferior to four-year universities; I had a professor over the summer who taught the exact same course at a nearby acclaimed university. And that's not uncommon.

    Is anyone on here a junior college student? Have you noticed the stigma? Even if you're not a junior college student, how do you feel about them/people who attend?
    March 14th, 2016 at 01:56am
  • matt murdock

    matt murdock (100)

    United States
    For the past year, I've been taking classes at a community college, after getting my bachelor's degree at a 4-year university. I did this because I was stuck in between what I wanted to pursue for higher education, but knew that I needed a solid background in biology no matter what, which I didn't do at uni purely because it wasn't required for my degree (plus the fact that the biology classes were a little convoluted but that's another story).

    Having taken classes from both, I can honestly say that I enjoyed my time at the community college much, much more. The classes I take have no more than 20 students in them, which included a mixed bag of students straight out of high school to a 40-something year old mother who used to do research on chemical engineering at a telephone company. The research class I'm taking is much more forgiving than the work I did in a research lab back at uni, and I feel like I'm learning a lot more (probably due to the fact that I interact with my Principal Investigator for this project 90% more than I did in my first research lab). I feel like I'm getting the attention I need from a prof that I wouldn't be able to get at this class level at my old university, unless you were in the upper level courses (and even then, sometimes the professor was tenured and no longer gave a crap, so it still sucked).

    The stigma attached to community college isn't nearly as strong here I think (in Hawaii)--it's still a thing, but I think it's also been illustrated that the work the community colleges is on the same level, if not above the level on some areas, than that of the university that's in the same school system. Some of my classmates are some of the most hard-working people I've ever seen--some even moreso than the people I knew back at uni. Hell, if your main campus is the university, you're still welcome to take classes at the community colleges because it's cheaper and can sometimes fit in a person's schedule much better.

    I think I may be a little spoiled though, because my community college campus has a better reputation than the others on the island I think...but I still hold onto my claim that community colleges are absolutely a viable option for any sort of student looking to further their education.
    May 5th, 2016 at 10:37am