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.
- Registered nurses
- Nursing aids, orderlies and attendants
- Licensed practical and vocational nurses
- Computer support specialists
- Hairdressers and cosmetologists
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics
- Preschool teachers
- Insurance sales agents
- Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians
- Real estate agents
- Computer Science/Math
- Physical Science
Even when your community college has an articulation agreement with a nearby university, it is important to check the specific classes you take to ensure those credits will transfer. Some transfer agreements also have grade requirements, meaning you must earn a minimum of a certain grade in order for it to be transferrable to the university. Your overall GPA may also determine how many of your credits transfer. Be sure you know all the requirements before starting your community college courses, or you might end up having to repeat some of the classes when you get to the university.
Students planning to transfer at the end of their two years at community college will want to work closely with a faculty advisor or counselor to ensure they remain on track throughout their community college years. These advisors will be sure students take the right courses toward their degree programs and work closely with students to be sure all their credits taken at the community college level will transfer.
Does Your School Offer Career Counseling?
Just like it is important to enlist the assistance of a counselor to ensure your credits transfer, it is also essential to work with your community college career counselor if you plan to head into the workforce as soon as your two-year degree program is completed. Nearly all community colleges will offer career advisement to their students, from choosing the best career path to nailing the interview and getting the job. According to the website for Pulaski Technical College, some of the responsibilities of a career counselor might include:
- Creating an environment where students can easily explore career options and research various job descriptions
- Providing career guidance from the first weeks at community college until graduation
- Collaborating with other departments at the community college and community associations to offer the best career resources possible
- Providing career programs and events that help students with their career planning and job search
- Assisting in career planning development, from course choices to practical experience in the student’s chosen field
- Teaching students job hunting strategies and techniques so they are prepared for the job search while still in college
- Assisting employers in the area in finding qualified candidates for job openings from the pool of community college students preparing for graduation
- Recognition that there is a need in a community for collaboration between a college and local industry
- Establishment of shared goals and values between the community college and the business world
- Assurance that the values are achieved and embraced on both sides of the training spectrum
- Strong executive leadership from both the community college and area industries, to ensure the partnership continues to progress
- Development of accountability and governance mechanisms that keep the partnership in a flexible, dynamic mode that will continue to address the needs of both the students and area businesses