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Community College Crisis?


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I attended a community college for a two year Associates in BiologyI would say it was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me. For once in my life, I talked to people. I had to drive to a different city on the KS Turkpike for an entire year every day because I didn't live in the dorms and lived with my parents in my childhood home in Wichita. I actually raised my hands to answer questions and had conversations with people. It was a stark difference to previously in my life. It was one of the best experiences in my life even though I had to drive that far. 

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  • 7 months later...

I also was in community college right after school because I didn't have enough money to start university. And it was a great experience, and for me, it's hard to understand why so many people underestimate it. I had nice groupmates and professors, and I acquired a lot of skills and knowledge that helped me continue my education.
Of course, not every community college is good, but the same can be said about universities. And a lot of things depend on you. If you want to study and you dedicate effort, then the place is not the main thing which matters. Now I'm at uni, and I'm happy that I went to a local community college because I was more prepared for uni. Of course, I still have some difficulties, especially with writing, but https://edubirdie.com/accounting-homework-help is the service I use whenever I need help with that. It's better than missing the deadline and getting 0. But I work on my skills; I've learned a lot before, so now just a little extra efforts are needed.

Edited by joanellis
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I can speak positively to the concept of CC from the prospective of a parent.

Here in Arizona, the three four-year, public, land-grant universities are UofA, ASU, and NAU.  These are all part of a system administered by the state of Arizona.  In addition, the Higher Learning Commission also accredits and coordinates the ten CCs.  As a result, the process for students to transfer or accrue credits from all 13 schools into a single, unified transcript is quite easy, through the power of computers.

During high school, my daughter had four ways of earning college credits prior to graduation.  IB class credits, CLEP exams, AP exams, and dual-enrollment courses.  The dual-enrollment courses are exactly what it says on the box: the student takes a high school class and simultaneously completes the requirements for a CC class.  As a parent, the comparison between those four credit-earning activities was stark, as dual-enrollment required steady endeavor to complete the class, while the other three culminate in high-stakes exams that burn up A LOT of emotional energy.

Furthermore, the cost of a credit hour via dual-enrollment class in high school was ~10% the cost of a credit hour at ASU.  Similarly, summer session classes at the CC also cost that same ~10%.  As a result, my pocketbook was saved some serious cash by the summer classes and dual-enrollment classes compared to what it would have cost had she just waited to take them at ASU.

Between AP and dual-enrollment classes and summer sessions at CC, my daughter started her undergraduate work with a full academic year's worth of credits already on her transcript.  Another strong win in my book, as it gave her more freedom to create an efficient class schedule each semester.

My daughter indicated that the summer-session classes at the local CC were valuable and well-taught.  These were lower-level, required courses (100- and 200-level classes), but she was able to knock them off her required list and seemingly found no egregious differences from her classes in the Barrett school at ASU.

So as a bill-paying parent, community colleges, at least here in Arizona, are an obvious winner.  I have been counseling our Ukrainian friend's kids to enroll in as many dual-enrollment classes as they can squeeze in during high school.

Other states may not have this same system, and I recall that the experience of transferring summer session classes I took at a public land-grant university into my snooty private college registrar's domain to be a nightmare back in the dark ages.  So this interoperability may not be the same elsewhere.  But at least here in Arizona, community colleges ought to be high on any student's agenda, as well as their parent's.

The one downside is obviously the reputation of CC's.  However, I find that the people who look down on the CC classes are the same ones whose kids are not likely to be either officer material or to develop into technical subject matter experts.  They are instead spending four years engaging in social life, with occasional appearances in class, resulting in no significant economic or civic value upon completing their college experience.  YMMV.

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I'm a big fan of the community college system.  First year of college at most 4 year universities, at least in the sciences and engineering, consists of taking introductory classes in math, physics, chemistry, etc. where the class size is often over well over a hundred, and the quality of the instruction can be pretty shit, depending on the professor.  At research focused institutions, teaching is secondary to publishing for professors trying to get tenure, so you can end up with some pretty shitty professors teaching your courses.  For the basic intro courses, the instruction at community colleges is unlikely to be worse, and could even be better in many cases.

If I could do things over, I would have done the first year at a community college, and then transferred to a 4 year institution to take the more advanced courses and complete my degree.  Would have saved a lot of money if I did it that way.  Tuition at private universities is crazy now, at least in the US.


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