Community college is a common path for people seeking higher education. In fact, around 8 million students were enrolled in a public two-year school for the 2018-2019 school year. Community colleges provide students impressive educations and are a great resource for people in a variety of situations.
Community colleges can be associated with certain myths or rumors that deter people from applying, however, these community college stereotypes are false. Studying at a community college is an excellent choice for many people striving for a college degree.
Common Misconceptions About Community College
Some people struggle to decide whether to attend a four-year school or community college because of the myths associated with two-year schools. Learn about the most common community college misconceptions and the reality community colleges present to help make your decision.
1. Are Community College Courses Easier?
Some students believe that if they take a class at a community college, they will earn a high grade because the courses are much easier. This rumor is far from the truth. Community colleges have to be fully accredited. The classes will be just as challenging at a community college as they are at a four-year school.
It’s important to go into a community college class with the same mindset you’d bring to any other college class. Prepare yourself to work hard, focus and complete all your coursework so you can succeed in community college.
2. Do Community Colleges Look Bad on Resumes?
Most employers respect a college degree as a college degree. The stereotype that a community college degree holds less value is incorrect.
Employers look for more on your resume than the institution where you received your education. People who work hard in school and work full-time or part-time, complete internships, are involved in clubs or sports, or have any experiences that add to their skill set will have qualifications employers consider when looking for a job candidate. Improving your career skills and having a college degree from any school can lead you in the right direction.
3. Is Graduating From a Community College Bad?
Graduating from a community college is an accomplishment worth celebrating. You have several opportunities after graduating from community college, including:
- You can apply to various four-year universities to continue your education and complete a bachelor’s degree.
- You can immediately enter the workforce as a skilled employee with a hard-earned degree.
Graduating from a community college shows you have the drive and mindset to succeed in a career, and employers will recognize that you will be a hard worker.
4. Are Community College Professors Less Qualified?
People who view community college as less than a four-year college may also believe that community college professors are less qualified. This is not the case. Community college professors typically must have at least a master’s degree or higher and have prior teaching experience.
There are two types of community college professors — adjunct and full-time professors. Adjunct professors teach part-time, while full-time professors are focused on this career and earn a salary and benefits. When you study at a community college, your professors will be qualified and knowledgeable on the subject they’re teaching, whether adjunct or full-time. Often, adjunct professors teach the same courses at the local community college as well as the local four-year school.
5. Is Community College Only for Technical Programs?
Many people attend community college to obtain an education for a technical trade, but there are plenty of other programs available for students. There is also a distinction between a community college and a vocational school. While you can enter a vocational program at a community college, that is not the only path of study they offer.
Over time, community colleges have improved their curriculum and added degree programs to cater to more students, just like four-year institutions.
6. Aren’t People Who Attend Community College Older With Jobs?
People from all backgrounds attend community college. You may meet students who have recently graduated high school, those who are looking for a more affordable education, those who are going back to school after being in the workforce and other people in various situations. The average age of a community college student is twenty-six.
7. Isn’t Community College for Students Who Didn’t Get Into a Four-Year School?
Some people believe community college is only for students who received poor grades in high school. This myth is not true. People have various reasons for choosing to attend a community college. While it’s a great option for people who were not accepted into four-year schools, it’s also a great choice for financial reasons. Students can save a lot of money by attending a community college before a four-year school.
8. Have Any Successful People Graduated From Community College?
Many people graduate from community college and go on to have successful careers. Even well-known celebrities and public figures attended community college, including:
- Halle Berry: Actress Halle Berry attended Cuyahoga Community College before entering a successful career in the entertainment industry.
- Eileen Collins: Astronaut Eileen Collins studied at Corning Community College and continued her education at Syracuse University for her bachelor’s degree and Stanford University and Webster University for her master’s degrees.
- Morgan Freeman: Actor Morgan Freeman was a student at Los Angeles City College before launching his successful career.
- George Lucas: Filmmaker George Lucas, famous for the iconic Star Wars franchise, started his education path at Modesto Junior College.
The list of famous community college attendees is even more extensive, but this sample is evidence you can absolutely achieve your career goals when you choose to study at a two-year school.
Advantages of Community College
Students choose to go to a community college for numerous reasons. Here are five advantages of attending a community college:
- You can complete your prerequisite courses and think more about your major without paying a high tuition rate.
- You will be in less debt after completing your first two years at community college.
- Community colleges offer more personalized services and smaller class sizes.
- You can enroll in a program with a transfer agreement with a four-year school, bringing your less expensive credits with you when you transfer.
- Older students can obtain the skills they need to enhance their careers.
Mount Wachusett Community College Can Be the Right Choice for You
Receiving an education at a community college is a tremendous option. While community colleges may not be as big as some four-year schools, that doesn’t mean they lack the college experience.
At Mount Wachusett Community College, students will receive a quality education along with access to campus events, intramural sports, student organizations and more activities. We offer an affordable option to obtain your associate’s degree or a certificate.