By Denny Han/Staff writer/@dennyh_
There’s an elitist stigma towards the education provided at community college that I absolutely despise because of the implication that we’re all “too poor”, “too broken” and “too stupid” to have been accepted into a “real” college – a stigma posed not only by four-year university acceptees, but also by some of the students and teachers here at the community college themselves.
When I asked LBCC President Oakley on his position towards the stigma and why he’d gone to work for a community college instead of a U.C. or CSU, he reminded me that he himself was a product of a community college after returning from the military, explaining: “I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if it weren’t for a community college – Golden West College – and I’d say that it gives thousands students just like me the same opportunity.”
And that’s what this is about. This is not an ASB propaganda piece designed to instill school spirit and it certainly isn’t an attack on those who chose to go to a four-year university from the start. This is a cold, hard, truthful reminder that we should be taking advantage of every opportunity we can get in this time of severe economic recovery where more than 4 out of 5 of those intelligent, adequately funded and mentally stable students graduated from a four-year university in 2014 without a job, and while two-thirds leave with over $35,000 in student loan debt on average.
The skills, knowledge and education gained in the two years here, given to the opportunity seekers of all races and classes, are what ultimately lay the foundation for a four-year degree are the exact same as that of a university. A freshman introductory economics course is still, at the end of the day, a freshman introductory economics course with the same material being covered regardless of who is teaching it.
And I, the impoverished, broken and moronic reject of Long Beach City College, am leaving in 268 days for places like Berkeley, Irvine, LA and San Diego, and I am taking with me the debt-free, opportunistic college education and experience I’ve had here with me.