What Is Community College?
- September 4, 2022
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Study Abroad
A community college is a higher education institution that aims to provide job-oriented education to students from the local community. It is a system that provides education with skill oriented as well as traditional courses.
In an attempt to bridge its differences and provide easily accessible educational opportunities, short term courses that offer training on various standardized skills began functioning across different colleges in the country.
The community college framework offer courses that combine traditional education with skill based training.
Students who join these courses can accumulate and improve their skills and have it certified and recognized by the institute of higher education in the form of a diploma, an advanced diploma, an associate degree and or a PG diploma.
Community Colleges in Different Countries
Community colleges cater specifically to the needs of unemployed students. Several community colleges now offer graduate programs in collaboration with universities.
Unlike community colleges in the United States, that offers associate’s degrees, Canadian colleges offer 2 and 3 year diplomas. Colleges are primarily focused on teaching technical skills to students in order to prepare them for employment.
They place more emphasis on articulated academic credit transfer program pathways to universities.
In the United States, a 2-year degree program is known as an ‘Associate Degree’ (also known as intermediate).
Instead of 120 to 128 credits in a four-year program, an associate degree carries 60 credits over two years. Community colleges offer general education courses while focusing on a specialized field of study.
What’s the difference between a Community College and a University?
1. Degree Program Length
The main difference between a community college and a university is that most community college degrees are completed in two years, whereas full time university degrees are completed in four years.
Community college is a higher education institution that serves the surrounding community by focusing their curriculum on skill based courses that are helpful for the students to land in their job.
Students who are working full-time, handling parenting or care giving responsibilities, or have other competing obligations benefit significantly from community colleges unlike a full time university.
In addition, the degrees you earn in each country differ. Most bachelor’s degree programs in the U.S.A are 4 years long. Bachelor’s degrees in Canada are often 3-year programs.
2. Cost of Tuition
In general, community college education is affordable. The community colleges minimize costs such as large campus infrastructure and extracurricular programs, their typical tuition is half that of a public university, although books and food remain the same price, many community college students save money by living at home.
Community colleges have a far more diverse student body in terms of age and background than formal universities. Students’ ages range from 17 to 60, and occasionally beyond.
According to the American societies of community college the average age is approximately 30.
Students who begin their studies at a community college are prepared to enter university as juniors, requiring only two more years to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Community colleges don’t offer a bachelor’s degree; instead they offer associate degrees or diplomas.
4. Financial Aid
Financial aid is available to community college students as well as four-year college students. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, over 60% of community college students who apply for financial help receive financial aid.
For international students, regardless community college or university rely on their own sources of funds to pay for the tuition.
Admission standards for community colleges are often less strict than those at universities. Many of them, in fact, have an open admission rule, which means that anyone who graduates from high school and applies is accepted.
We are answering some of the frequently asked questions and queries regarding courses in community colleges:
5. Who can join courses of Community Colleges?
The basic requirement to join these courses is having a higher secondary school completion certificate or any other equivalent qualification from any recognized board.
6. Are there any age restrictions to join these programs?
There are no age restrictions to join the courses. Anyone above 18 years of age can enroll themselves for these courses.
7. What is the duration for these courses?
The duration of these courses can be ranging anywhere between 6 months to 3 years depending on the level of training the students require.
8. Why choose courses under community colleges?
- The courses are designed to be affordable and open to students from all cross sections of people
- Courses offered in Community colleges are a shift from conventional educational courses, making it relevant to the present working trends. Anyone who is interested in undertaking a different route from the traditional courses can opt for such courses.
- The trainings offered there are need-based, flexible and non-formal.
- The courses are structured to be skill-oriented and so more importance is given to practical training rather than theories.
- The courses are offered in different modes such as, online, face-to-face, part time and full time. s
- These courses are also an excellent choice for students who want to explore and acquire different skills in a short span of time.
When compared to a university, a community college offers numerous social, practical, and financial advantages. Some people may opt for community college as the best option if their goal is to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
Need help? For expert advice, get in touch with Kavitta Mehtta at 3RDiConsulting.