Choosing a School
Choosing a Degree Program
The plethora of two-year degree programs is one of the primary reasons more adult students are flocking to community colleges today. These schools offer a bevy of options, from general education degrees to career-specific training in everything from renewable energy to healthcare. However, the growing number of degree choices can also make it difficult for first-year community college students to settle on a program that will offer them both fulfillment and sufficient career openings. It is important to research degree programs carefully before choosing a major to ensure you find the program that will be both personally rewarding and financially lucrative.
About the Aspen Institute Award
The Aspen Institute began their quest for the top community college with a shortlist of 1,000 community colleges across the country. According to the Aspen Institute website, colleges were assessed on the following criteria:
- Student Learning
- Degree Completion and Transfer Rates
- Equity in Education
- Employment and Earning Potential after College
According to a report at TwinCities.com, the welcome mat has a history of being extended to transfer students at the University of Minnesota. In 2009, the school accepted 3,260 new transfer students, which made up nearly 40 percent of their new student population overall. However, the university plans to cut the number of transfer students they accept by roughly eight percent over the next two years – which will translate to around 300 transfer students. The university cites various reasons for their decision, including their desire to form a solid, four-year relationship with more students coming to the school. The school has also stated that fluctuating transfer numbers from year to year put a strain on university resources.
This video shares one student's experience at North Hennepin Community College.
What is 2+2?
According to a report at the Grand Island Independent, a 2+2 program is one that begins in a community college, with a two-year associate degree or certification program. Coursework taken at the community college then transfers to a four-year program, allowing the student to complete a bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time it would have taken if they had gone to the four-year institution right out of high school. Because the program is a partnership between the schools, students enter community college with a four-year end in sight and select courses at the first institution that will help them to achieve their ultimate goals.