Why Community College

Learn all about community college and whether it is the right choice for your academic career. We'll cover the history of community colleges, the latest trends and issues, and the top degree-producing schools. Find out why students are turning to community colleges, see what issues affect campuses with such a diverse student body, and get information on the latest trends in degree offerings.
View the most popular articles in Why Community College:
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Licensing and Certification Opportunities at Community Colleges
Learn about the numerous licensing and certification opportunities available at community colleges.
From careers in construction, electrical work, teaching, to even daycare employment, nearly all careers now demand that employees maintain professional certification. Furthermore, for individuals new to their particular field, even jobs that do not require a four-year degree now demand that applicants have met professional licensing standards. 
Providing students and professionals with easy access to affordable opportunities, community colleges are now one of the top venues for continuing education and certifications for qualified advancement.  
The Top-Paying Careers with Professional Licensure Requirements
According to DAS Human Resources, legislation was passed in 1996 that permitted the expansion of application requirements, resulting in the shift that requires many jobs to demand that all workers meet “professional licensure, degree, accreditation or certificate requirements.” While the requirements for certification and licensure may have become more stringent, data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau, according to CNN, assert that some of the top paying jobs in the country are careers that do not require a four-year degree
Among the top-paying jobs are careers as an air-traffic controller, storage and distribution manager, transportation manager, and police/detective work—all of which boast of an average annual income above $60,000. The careers expand to include non-retail sales managers, real estate agents/brokers, and dental hygienists—which also average an annual income of over $58,000. 
While the prospects for interested candidates in these careers are financially outstanding, CNN continues to assert: “Though a college degree is not a requirement for these positions, all require moderate to extensive on-the-job training or apprenticeship. In
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Obtaining Your Bachelors Degree at a Community College
Learn about the growing trend of obtaining your bachelor's degree in community college.
In recent years, community colleges have been experimenting with baccalaureate degree programs. With great success, many states are now encouraging community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree programs, as they promote the acquisition of higher education for the greater public, while also providing degree programs in an increasingly wide range of majors and subject areas. 
The Growing Trend
While baccalaureate degrees were traditionally only earned through a university or four-year institution, a drastic shift began to occur in the 1990s. At this time, the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) sought to change this tradition, and devised the mission statement that they intended to: "promote the development and acceptance of the community college baccalaureate degree as a means of addressing the national problems of student access, demand, and cost.” In support, The American Association of Community Colleges has also recognized the community college baccalaureate as, “an emerging development in higher education.”  
This video describes the University of Mississippi Medical Center's partnership with Mississippi's 15 community and junior colleges in a statewide effort aimed at increasing the number of health-care practitioners with baccalaureate degrees.
The reason community college baccalaureate degrees have become so popular is threefold. First, community colleges are able to respond to increased workforce needs more quickly than four-year institutions. For example, increased demand in recent years for qualified healthcare workers, such as nurses, has led to the explosive growth of bachelor degree programs in nursing at the community college level. Secondly, community colleges have been able to respond to
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Community Colleges and the Global Economy
Learn how community colleges have evolved to prepare students for the global economy.
Community colleges play an integral role in our country. In fact, according to the Community College Journal, almost one-half of the nation’s undergraduates start their post-high school educational careers at a community college. 
As community colleges continue to evolve, they address the importance of a global perspective for students and faculty. Globalization present in today’s economic environment means students must be prepared to face international competition. Not only have many U.S. jobs moved overseas, but also jobs available in this country require a higher level of skills than was necessary a decade ago. 
Educating the workforce and preparing students for this new global environment is now one of the primary goals of many community colleges. As you will see, they are embracing this challenge with innovative ideas and remarkable passion.
The Importance of a Global Perspective   
If community colleges want to prepare students to work and to succeed in the global marketplace, the first step is to build a global perspective at the school itself. That is exactly what a number of community colleges are doing. For example, Southeast Community College in Nebraska surveyed its faculty in 2004 to ascertain how syllabi reflected a global perspective. For example, did English courses incorporate literature from around the world? 
In this TED talk, Heather Wylie challenges us to change the conversation from community colleges as places of last resort to institutions of innovation inspiration and social change.
Southeast Community College also expanded its mission to include diversity education, and it now requires every staff person
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What to Expect Your First Semester of Community College
Learn what to expect in terms of classes and student life in your first semester of community college.
Congratulations! Enrolling in your first semester of community college marks an important milestone in your professional career. Building your academic accomplishments and technical skills creates the springboard for your future working endeavors. 

However, for many students, the first semester of community college is not met with flying colors. In fact, according to 2007 research by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), approximately six out of 10 community college freshmen with high school diplomas drop out after the first semester!   Therefore, it is important to understand what to expect in your first semester of community college; this will help with supporting your transition and long-term academic success. 
This video illustrates one student's experiences during her first semester at community college.
Choose the appropriate classes
Although you will most likely be asked to take placement tests, you will also have great freedom in choosing the classes to take at community college. It is important that you carefully evaluate your academic abilities – as well as your long-term interests – to determine what your first-semester course load should be. 
 Are you looking to transfer to a four-year institution from your community college? If so, your first-semester curriculum will be different than the student who is planning to enter into the workforce with an Associate’s degree. If your ultimate goal is to transfer to a four-year college, then it is important to begin planning within the first semester. You generally only want to take classes that will afford you transfer credit, while still meeting all of the
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High School Diploma vs. GED
Does it make a difference whether you earn your high school diploma or a GED? Grace Chen looks at the issue in detail.
The lack of a high school diploma, or its equivalent, precludes a college education and is a substantial barrier to compete successfully in the workforce. For students currently in high school, it is essential to see it through until graduation. Those who have already dropped out of high school need to obtain a GED in order to put their best foot forward in the workforce. This article compares high school diplomas and GEDs in terms of their acceptance by colleges and universities, the business world, and the military. The article also discusses how homeschooled high school graduates show that they have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Regular High School Diplomas
A high school diploma from a traditional bricks and mortar school that requires attendance in a classroom is the gold standard in demonstrating completion of high school and mastery of traditional high school skills. A high school diploma signifies that the holder has attended and successfully completed all the courses required by the applicable school district. A transcript of the courses taken and grades issued, a common requirement for college and job applications, can be furnished upon request.
Acceptance: Colleges and universities, businesses, and each branch of the United States military accept a regular high school diploma. In order to attend college, a high school diploma or GED is required for admission. Students who have a high school diploma and have demonstrated good grades will often be
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Recent Articles
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Why Community College


What is a community college and why are more students turning to them? Who are some of the most famous community college graduates? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.

Trends and Current Issues

Get information on the latest trends and issues affecting community colleges today. Explore the impact of community colleges on the global economy, get information on how community colleges have changed over the years, and see how the latest technologies are being employed on campus.

Student Populations

Attracting students from all walks of like, community college campuses are rich with diversity. This section covers a myriad of issues relating to student populations. Learn more about LGBT support on community college campuses, explore adult-friendly degree programmers and, see what resources are available to veterans.

Enrollment & Admissions

We provide a comprehensive look into some of the most important issues affecting enrollment and admissions. Get the latest news on declining enrollment across the country and the impact it has. Learn more about the latest trends in admissions requirements from vaccinations to placement tests. Find expert advice on what to expect your first year, and lean more about the pitfalls to avoid.


Community colleges have been expanding course and degree offerings. This section provides information on your options, from GED to a bachelor’s degree. Learn how you can benefit from a professional certification, find out which community colleges are offering bachelor’s degrees, and identify the top degree-producing colleges.