July 20, 2011
Community-College-myths

Let’s bury some community college myths

So you’re considering community college for your studies, or maybe you’ve taken several classes at one already. Or maybe you’re just thinking about it, but wondering if community college is right for you. Front Range prides itself on many things, but first and foremost, we’re proud of our dedication to helping students achieve their goals—and we know we’re among many excellent community colleges like us out there. So if you’ve heard that community college isn’t a high-quality educational experience, or is intended for people who can’t make it at a larger, four-year school, think again.

Myth #1: Community colleges let in anyone, so the quality is lower.

At community college, students benefit from small class sizes so they have easier access to teachers who truly care about teaching, which results in a rich learning experience. Also, state articulation agreements mean that community college course work must meet certain criteria in order to transfer to a college or university. So, classes aren’t easy just because they’re community college courses. Read more about gtPathways, Colorado’s statewide transfer policy that applies to all Colorado public institutions of higher education.

Community colleges do have an “open enrollment” policy, which means all students are automatically admitted, but certain classes and programs do have prerequisites and requirements. At Front Range, our renowned Nursing Program, for example, has wait lists because of high demand. All applicants must meet very specific requirements to be considered for admission.

Myth #2: Having a community college degree isn’t valuable because it’s just a stepping stone.

In addition to offering general education, community colleges offer career/technical programs that are designed to give students the skills and education to begin working in growing industries. What’s more valuable than having a degree that gets you a great job in a high-demand field? If you’re interested in changing careers but are short on time, certificate programs and career/technical associate degrees are a great option.

Myth #3: Most of the students at community colleges messed up in high school or are looking for a vocational career.

Also not true. Community colleges welcome students of all backgrounds. Truth is, you’ll find all kinds of people at your community college campus—high school students earning college credit, four-year-college-bound students who want to save a few thousand dollars before transferring, working adults who already have bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctoral degrees, and many others.

Myth #4: There’s no student life at community college.

This depends on the college you attend, but many community colleges have great student unions and a variety of clubs and organizations to get involved with. Sure, you might not find a big football team, but you will find colleges that foster student growth through leadership, extracurricular, recreation, and social activities. At Front Range, there’s a lot to choose from, and if you don’t find the organization you’re looking for, we encourage you to start one!

So, don’t believe the myths. Community colleges give students great access to instructors, offer small class sizes, give you access to resources that will help you develop great study habits and nurture your success, and are very affordable.

About the author:

Michaele Charles is the founder of Voice Communications and writes frequently for higher education institutions, small businesses, corporate clients, and others. She also is a fledgling children’s writer. In her pre-writing life, she worked in accounting and finance.

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