College Counseling & Planning      Orleans, MA. (774) 801-2449      Ashland, OR. (541) 488-0919
My daughter Olivia had a clear idea of what she wanted in a college; I wanted to help her manifest...more
--Lorraine Florio, parent of Olivia, Johns Hopkins University, 2013; Angelica, George Washington University, 2015

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ADVANTAGES OF ATTENDING A COMMUNITY COLLEGE

ADVANTAGES OF ATTENDING A COMMUNITY COLLEGEThough we hear a lot of buzz in the hallways this time of year about who got into what colleges, not many get excited about choosing to go to a two year community college.

This is unfortunate since Oregon has a remarkable system of community colleges located throughout the state. Not only do these schools offer an array of professional technical programs in areas like: Arts & Communications (Graphics, Photography), Business & Management (Computer Application, Hotel Management & Tourism), Health Services (Emergency , Fitness Technology), Human Resources (Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education), Industrial & Engineering Systems (Auto Body Repair, Construction Technology) and Natural Resources (Environmental management, Veterinary Technology) but also some of them offer transfer programs in which the student can study core courses for two years and then transfer to a four year school.

A community college is often a good choice for students who have realized too late that they want to pursue a college education but do not have the academic preparation, because they either did not take the appropriate high school course work or were academically unsuccessful. Another group of students who benefit from choosing the two-year path is those who want to pursue a vocational or technical education. Practically all careers that will provide meaningful work both financially and psychologically require more education than a high school diploma. If a studentās financial situation requires working while going to school, a community college will offer more flexibility when scheduling courses. Students who truly are unsure about attending college can benefit by experimenting with higher education at the community college level. Still other students plan eventual transfer to a four-year college but may not be financially, academically, or psychologically ready for a four-year institution just yet.

A community college can offer a small environment, small class size, easy access to instructors, one-on-one advising and mentoring, short-term training programs, strong connection with employers in the community, and lower cost per class. The requirements for admission are less demanding ö neither a minimum GPA or SAT scores are required. In a sense, for many students this is an opportunity to start over. It is an opportunity to get more serious about education than they were in high school. It is an opportunity to take the courses of interest rather than what has been required. Now is the time to be thinking about a community college as a choice rather than a last resort.

Judith Christie
College Planning Consultants