Community Colleges began just over a century ago, but it took the post-World War II environment for them to really take off. This idea that a two-year, or Junior College, could help students who do not need a full four-year degree served specifically American Ideals in many ways. Eventually community colleges came to represent the ideal of second chances for many students who struggled in high school.
Maybe you dropped out of high school, or had less than ideal grades. Maybe you were a good student, but have not been to school many years, like a mother who has just raised all of her children old enough to attend school themselves. Community colleges reintroduce you to the academic environment in student friendly way. Just the fact that in community college you recognize that your teachers work for you makes a difference in how you study. Here you have a chance to show what you can really do, studying what you want instead of what the school forces on you, and establish a new higher standard for grades.
If you wish to go on for more than two years you will not only have a better academic record to transfer. Four-year colleges and universities in your state's system already plan on accepting successful transfer students from their community colleges. Part of the reason community colleges exist is too find talent they may have been neglected in young and less focused years.
Community colleges exist for public service, nor for profit. Counselors in community colleges are not rewarded for snagging your grants, student loans, or VA benefits. They exist to help you find the programs and assistance best for you and your goals -- from where you are right now, They have seen people pull themselves from poverty and bad school records by their bootstraps, and some have done so themselves. They understand the nature of the problems you face, and the things that people new to college culture need to know.
Community college instructors are often surprisingly qualified for the level of compensation they receive. They may be in the top of their professional fields, and the older ones may very illustrious careers behind them. They are usually settled in their community, and teaching at the local community college often matters more to them for the opportunity to help than the pay. The chance for personalized instruction and advice, in person, from these experts in their fields proves invaluable compared to the generalized advice you might find in a larger commercial school. Community college instructors invest themselves most in student success.
If you are not set on a four-year degree, and just want certification to advance in a specific job, community colleges stay in touch with community needs. They plan available vocational and technical programs in association with your own community's master plans and commercial/industrial trends. This means that their vocational, technical, and professional certification programs meet anticipated community needs, giving you a better chancethat your skills can lead to a better job right where you live now.
If you have lived in your community for awhile you have already paid for some of the cost of attending community college with your taxes -- and wherever you live your taxes support the school. That is one reason why tuition can cost less. This especially matters if you are rebuilding your academic record. You can build a high Grade Point Average (GPA) for less than the cost of a bigger school, saving more of your money and any student loan burden for the classes at a bigger school later. This alone makes community colleges the smart alternative for any student getting back into the habit of academics after awhile.