Getting Started

This section provides an in depth look at choosing the right community college. We’ll cover the reasons why community college is a good choice and the best steps to take when making your decision. Find tips and resources to aid in your search for the perfect school.
View the most popular articles in Getting Started:
Updated   May 29, 2017 |
The Rise of International Students at Community College
We explore reasons behind the increasing number of international students at community colleges across the country and what those schools are doing to accommodate students from overseas.
Community colleges have been diversifying their student populations in recent years to include students from other states and even other countries. As some two-year schools become known for specific programs, transfer agreements with four-year institutions and even partnerships with local businesses, their appeal is expanding as well. International students interested in a U.S. community college may enjoy a number of benefits, but face unique challenges in making their higher education dreams a reality.
 
Why International Students Choose Community College
 
There are a number of reasons why international students are looking at community colleges today, according to a report at U.S. News, including:
  • Lower Tuition Rates – Students from a distance find affordable higher education through America’s community college system. For example, U.S. News and World Report cites the average cost of 24 credits from Diablo Community College in California at around $6,000, while the same number of credits at San Jose State University, a neighboring four-year school, is around $16,500 for the same number of credits.
  • Transfer Options – Many community colleges across the country now have transfer agreements with four-year schools, ensuring students that begin their education in a two-year program can finish their baccalaureate degree at a nearby institution.
  • Smoother Transition – Students coming from other countries often find community college is an easier transition to the American way of life. Many community colleges provide English language courses and other services to help international students adapt to a new language and culture.
  • Easier Requirements – For
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Updated   May 30, 2017 |
A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing to Attend Community Colleges
We perform an in-depth overview of the community college system, including their primary purpose, history, benefits, and their changing role in today’s society.
Community colleges are not a new addition to the world of higher education, but they have certainly received more attention in recent years. As the current administration strives to increase college graduation rates across the country, community colleges are primed to play an important role in meeting that goal. For adults looking for an effective way to make a career change, or high school seniors weighing all of their options in the next phase of their academic career, understanding the full picture of community college can be an important component in the planning process. What are community colleges and what is their primary purpose? Read on to learn the basics of these essential institutions of higher education.

 

What is a Community College?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, community college is a “two-year school that provides affordable postsecondary education as a pathway to a four-year degree.” These schools also offer industry specific training that helps graduates land jobs in the community directly after graduation. As the economy in the U.S. has changed in recent years, the quest for affordable, practical education has been on the rise. Community colleges tend to fit that bill to a “T” from trade-specific training to higher education that can stand alone or take the student directly into a four-year program.

Degrees offered by community colleges are typically associate degrees, which take two full years of coursework to complete. However, many certification and licensing programs may also be available through
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Updated   August 26, 2016 |
5 Steps to Choosing the Best Community College for You
Take the five steps to selecting a community college that will best suit your academic, professional, and personal goals.
Today's students enjoy more programs and degree opportunities at community colleges than ever before! However, with so many choices, finding the right community college can be overwhelming.  While there are many factors to consider in choosing a community college, there are four specific checklist steps you can take to choose the perfect community college for your future.

Step 1: Consider Your Professional Pathway
 
Before you enroll in community college, it is important to understand what your long-term professional goals are. Do you want to be a nurse? Would you like to be a scientist or engineer? Does being a wine taster fit your professional fancy? Based upon your projected professional goals, create a list of community colleges that offer reputable programs and degrees in your field. This will help you narrow down your choices based upon campuses that will propel into professional success.
 
In addition, keep in mind that even university-bound students can benefit from attending community college first. Instead of being an ?undeclared? major at a four-year university, explore your options at community college first. University courses often cost twice as much (or more) than the average community college classes. Students who are eager to explore different subjects can save thousands of dollars by enrolling at a nearby community college before wasting tuition costs at a university.
 
Step 2: Investigate the Industry
 
Once you have made a decision about your professional goals, experts strongly recommend meeting with an employer in your field of interest. For
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Updated   July 25, 2017 |
Choosing a Community College
Learn how to evaluate and choose a community college that is right for you.
Many things factor in one’s selection process when choosing a community college. After briefly introducing you to these factors, we will discuss each factor in detail in turn. Here are some of the selection criteria that students consider when investigating community colleges:
  • Why are you going to school?
  • If you plan to continue with a four year degree, what type of articulation agreements does the community college have with four year colleges?
  • What type of coursework do you need?
  • Is cost an issue?
  • Do you want or need a virtual campus?
  • Do you have a four year college in mind?
  • Location, Location, Location!
  • On Campus Activities
  • Student Support
Let’s look at each of these factors in detail now that we have introduced them to you.
 
Most people attending a four year college go with the sole target of getting a four year bachelor’s degree to help prepare them for their professional career. But with community colleges, students attend for different purposes.Many students attend to get a two-year degree. There are, however, other end goals for students including:transferring to a four year college, getting a high school diploma, remedial education including “English as a Second language, personal growth, professional certification, or workplace required continuing education.” While nationwide statistics were not available, numbers are available by looking at records that BellevueCommunity College in Bellevue, Washington, collected from 2002 to 2004 on the purposes that their students reported for their enrollment intent. The following statistics is from their Fall 2004 student population (the statistics do not total 100% probably due to rounding
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Recent Articles
October 09, 2017
Forget the degree! Many community college students are landing good jobs with just a community college professional certificate.
October 07, 2017
Learn tips on how to support your child during during their transition to community college.
Choosing a School

Getting Started