It’s your high school graduation day. Cap, gown and tons of confetti commemorate the day. Some of the graduates sitting beside you will go on to a university, others will enroll in a tech or vocational program, some will enlist in one of the branches of our armed forces and others will be heading to a Community College.
A positive aspect of Community College is its affordability. Enrolling full-time (12 units) at LBCC at $46 unit will cost students around $591, whereas 12 units at Cal State Long Beach will cost much more than that, around $2,871 for an undergrad degree. The lower cost can allow students to explore career options if they are undecided by taking courses that could either deter them from a specific career path or lead them down another.
The lower cost of Community College can also allow for people to come back to school and have a second chance at receiving an education. Another benefit of attending a Community College are the smaller class sizes, which allow for more individual attention from professors.
One final positive aspect of Community College is that it is more convenient and flexible than a CSU. Applying and taking care of Financial Aid is much simpler than at a CSU. More options are available for class time offerings, allowing for class scheduling that can fit almost anyone’s needs.
An aspect of Community Colleges that is positive and negative is that anyone with a high school diploma or a GED can get into a Community College. The easy access is good for students who want to come back to school or just want to take a class or two. This process, however, might not be good when it comes to students being placed in classes that are too difficult for them and it could hold back the progression of the class.
One of the most negative aspects to Community Colleges is that classes fill up ridiculously fast. The logjam makes it hard to get into classes that you need to graduate. Also, if students need a specific class to graduate, and it has a low enrollment, the class may be dropped. The delay could push graduating back a semester.
Counseling also can be complicated at a Community College. Students either don’t know that they should see a counselor, or don’t know how to see one. Also some counselors may not be as knowledgeable as needed when it comes to helping students make their educational plan. It’s also possible if you see two different counselors, they may each list completely different classes you need, which is frustrating.
Altogether, Community Colleges have their benefits and drawbacks. However, the benefits can outweigh the negative aspects of attending a Community College.