Community Colleges are too often considered places to go when you’re not “smart enough” to attend a University. Community Colleges are sometimes looked at with a suspicious eye because not all faculty hold the terminal degree in his/her field and because people don’t really know what they are all about. With President Obama’s wise proposal to make Community College free, the criticisms will likely just increase. Forget such criticisms you’ve heard about Community Colleges. (Be sure to check Professor Lee Hutch’s posting about community colleges, too! This was planned as a tag-team blog!)
As a proud Community College graduate and professor at one, here are 14 reasons why you should strongly consider attending a Community College before attending a University.
- Community Colleges—note the word “community”—are deeply imbedded in the communities which give them tax dollars and students and respond to local needs.
- Community Colleges provide services and classes, credit and noncredit, for individuals of all ages. This brings a special kind of diversity to campuses. (I’ve taught community college classes where 90% of the students were older than me!)
- Community College students—because of their interests and work, military, and/or family experiences, for example—bring a special kind of very important talent, experience, and motivation not always seen at Universities. Life experience adds value to everyone’s education! One of my community college professors who graduated from Columbia said community college students are much more creative and original because they didn’t enter life always expecting “greatness.” Community College students have a kind of “unmediated” worldview.
- Community College classes are taught by individuals who are experts in their fields. Sometimes even more of an expert because of their dedication to teaching and students.
- Community Colleges especially care about quality teaching.
- Community College professors almost always teach a variety of classes, making it possible to take the same professor more than once.
- Community College students work just as hard, if not harder, than University students.
- Community College students frequently get more meaningful learning opportunities and attention and more rigorous assignments because classes typically range from 20-70, not 150-450+. (A discussion-based class is impossible with 150 students.)
- Community Colleges encourage students and faculty to form bonds outside of the classroom more than seen at most universities.
- Community Colleges allow the possibility that students, faculty, and staff can personally know a variety of students, faculty, and staff—it is a community.
- Community Colleges understand that education is about much more than formal credits and academic degrees for everyone.
- Community Colleges provide numerous scholarships for their students.
- Community Colleges are usually much less expensive and provide a quality education.
- Community Colleges are fun.
My path into teaching and professorship is beyond a doubt from having attended a community college and the many personal relationships that resulted.
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives