Student Issues / Attending College

Academics, extracurricular activities, housing and more: be savvy about all facets of attending community college. Get tips on making the dean’s list, find ways to benefit from community college outside the classroom, and analyze the latest data on graduation and employment rates.
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Updated November 09, 2016 |
Things to Include in Your College Application Essay
Most colleges and universities require an essay as part of the application process, but how important is the essay really and what can you do to make sure yours stands out?

Deciding which colleges to apply to is difficult enough, but you add to that the stress of writing a personal essay for each of your applications. Your personal essay is supposed to give college admissions teams a snapshot of who you are as a person and who you hope to become but you don’t have to spill your guts or transcribe your whole life story. To increase your chances for getting accepted, first learn just how important your essay is and then take the time to learn the Dos and Don’ts of college application essays.

How Important is Your Application Essay?

Every year, colleges and universities receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. Many of those applications are virtually identical in terms of GPA, class load, and test scores – so how do you make yourself stand out in a crowd? The college application essay is designed to give you a chance to speak directly to the admissions committee, to tell them who you are and why you want to go to their school. But is your application essay more important than the rest of your application or is it just one factor that admissions committees weight evenly with your GPA and test scores?

According to an article published on Time.com, college application essays aren’t as important as they are cracked up to be. In fact, Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens worked alongside admissions officers at numerous top-tier liberal arts schools for 18 months and he discovered that in cases where students met

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Updated November 08, 2016 |
Getting into Law School with a Community College Degree
You don't have to be a pre-law major to get into law school, but how will your application be impacted by your community college degree?

Community college appeals to people from all walks of life for a number of different reasons. For some, community college offers a degree of flexibility that can’t be had at some colleges and universities and, for others, it is a way to save money on tuition. But will your graduation from a community college as opposed to a traditional college or university hurt your chances of success in pursuing a career in certain fields? Keep reading to learn some valuable tips for applying to law school with a community college degree.

When Should You Apply to Law School?

Many students who have been successfully admitted into law school agree that applying early is always best. Many law schools accept applications on a rolling bases, releasing their decisions over the course of several months. While applying early will not guarantee your admission, applying closer to the deadline means that there may be fewer spaces left to fill which could hurt your chances forgetting in. Keep in mind that most schools will not even begin to review your application until they have received all of the necessary documents so be proactive about making your requests for recommendations and with writing your essays. Take the LSAT as soon as you can without compromising your score – if you are fully prepared, take the test at the first available sitting. You should also keep in mind that even if you do not get accepted during the first round of admissions, there may still be hope.

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Updated October 10, 2016 |
Do You Need to Pick a Major Before Starting Community College?
Picking a major is a big decision. You shouldn't rush, but there are benefits to making your choice early. Keep reading to receive tips for choosing a major.

When you set foot on a college campus for the first time and start to meet other students, the question you are most likely to be asked first is, “What’s your major?” For some, this question rears its ugly head even earlier, during high school before you even decide where (or if) you are going to college. Choosing a major is a big decision and one that will have a serious impact on the rest of your life. This being the case, it is not something you should take lightly.

But just how important is it to pick a major before you start college? Or can you wait until you have a few classes under your belt to see what you really like? If you are still undecided, it isn’t the end of the world – you can still graduate with the major of your choice and enter the “real world” in your chosen field. Keep reading to learn more about which majors offer the best chances for success and to receive tips for choosing a major that suits your interests.

What Exactly is a Major?

A college major is simply a specialized area of study. When you choose a major, you are choosing the direction of your academic career. In addition to taking any general education requirements your school might have, you will also be taking classes that are relevant to your major. Most community colleges and traditional universities offer a wide variety of different majors, though many schools specialize in

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Updated September 15, 2015 |
Short Term Commitment – Long Term Benefits: Three Study-Abroad Options for Community College Students
While study abroad has long been considered an option only for students at four-year colleges and universities, there are actually many options for community college students who would like to experience studying in another country.
For many students attending four-year colleges or universities, a semester abroad is a typical experience and one that offers a host of benefits. Students who study abroad have the opportunity to live and study within a new culture, and often have the chance to hone valuable language skills.
 
However, for community college students, many of whom have important responsibilities outside of the classroom, spending months away from home and work is impractical at best, and more than likely impossible.
 
In recent years several community colleges have identified the benefits of studying abroad, and have acknowledged the unique challenges their students face in doing so. As a result, many community colleges now offer short-term study-abroad programs, as well as traditional semester programs. In the last decades, the number of community college students who take the opportunity to study abroad has expanded tremendously, from just fewer than 4,000 students back in 2001, to almost 300,000 in 2015.
 
Community colleges offer programs to fit the schedules and unique learning needs of almost any student:
  • Short-term educational programs
  • Traditional semester-long programs
  • Short and long term volunteer or service learning programs
Community college students can work with study abroad program providers, who will coordinate with a student’s college to assess the credit available for different short and long term programs. They can also enroll directly with foreign universities and transfer credits when they return. Finally, students can work with their own community colleges’ programs.
 
Short Term Study Abroad
 
Several providers offer short-term study abroad programs that are ideal for busy community college students.
  • CIEE
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Updated April 10, 2015 |
Mental Health Support for Community College Students
With serious mental health issues on the rise on college campuses nationwide, community colleges are scrambling to provide expanded mental health services to students.
Heading off to college is a time filled with excitement about the future. Meeting new people, learning new things, and experiencing college life are all events that many college students look forward to. Yet, college is also an extremely stressful time. The cost of college attendance, increased academic demands, and concerns about dating, relationships, and friendships are all common factors that contribute to an increasing number of college students that report a mental health issue.
 
If you find yourself feeling down, anxious, or otherwise mentally unwell, you are definitely not alone. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that 44 percent of students that seek help at their college counseling center have a severe psychological issue. That’s up from just 10 percent in 2000!   Most mental health issues present themselves between the ages of 18-24 as well. 
 
The National Alliance of Mental Illness surveyed college students diagnosed with a mental health condition within the last five years, with 19% of the surveyed individuals being community colleges.  Depression and bipolar disorder constituted more than 50% of the respondents' diagnoses.  The results across the spectrum were:   
In this article, we review several common mental health problems that community college students face, as well as solutions to help you get back on a path to good mental health.
 
Depression
According to research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 27 percent of college students live with
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Recent Articles
November 24, 2016
Learn about the variety of mentoring programs available in community colleges, and why you may want to be involved as a mentee or mentor.
November 24, 2016
Consider these five reasons, ranging from resume benefits to professional opportunities, to volunteer during your time in community college
November 24, 2016
Learn about President Obama's budget proposals, entitled "A New Era of Responsibility," and the provisions outlined that will help community college students access affordable education.
Student Issues

Extracurricular Activities

Community college can be fun and socially enriching, especially with the right extracurricular activities. Reasons to join the debate club, volunteer opportunities and wellness programs are just a few topics covered here. Explore the benefits of community college outside of the classroom, from holiday celebrations to athletic programs, schools are finding ways to keep students engaged on campus.

Graduation

Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations. How does state spending impact graduation rates? Who are the oldest community college graduates? What initiatives are in place to stem the rate of dropouts? Find the answers to these questions and more.

Community College Housing

The number of community colleges offering on-campus housing is on the rise. Learn more about campus living options, compare the pros and cons of dorm life, and get help deciding what housing is best for you.

Improving Learning

Get helpful tips and expert advice on boosting your GPA. This section will provide valuable tips on studying, mentor programs and how to avoid academic probation. Examine the latest trends in student motivation techniques, take a good look at online learning, and find resources to guide you on the path to success.

Improving Your Job Search

Whether you have just enrolled in community college or you’re ready to graduate and enter the job market, our articles can help improve your opportunities of landing the perfect job. Internships and apprenticeships offer lots of benefits, find out how participation in these programs can move your resume to the top of the pile. Analyze employment data for community college graduates and determine who is getting hired. Get valuable tips on polishing your candidacy and making the most of job fairs.

Class Schedules

- Do you need child care? Are you employed full-time? Community colleges offer a variety of scheduling options, allowing most students to easily integrate continued education into an already busy schedule. From weekend classes to courses at midnight, we cover the gamut of flexible class schedules at community college.