A large number of Sweet Home seniors decide that going to a community college is the best fit for them.
In New York state, the number of students at a community college was 199,873, the majority of undergraduate students in the state.
Mr. Hayes, a technology teacher at Sweet Home, shared his personal opinion on the perks of going to a community college and his conclusion on why many teachers and counselors never suggest a two year school to students.
Community colleges are a great option, sometimes the only option. Mr. Hayes, who attended a community college, mentions that they are often more affordable and can be closer to home while offering a smooth transition for students that may change their mind. Seniors may feel pressured to go to a four year school and spend thousands for a major they don’t fully like. Changing majors after a semester can be challenging, classes may fill up quickly and the school may require students to pay back costs for classes they did not connect with.
Community colleges offer students the opportunity to feel curious and to feel uncertain. All students can experience a certain fear of the future, especially when one is young and undecided.
There’s always been a negative presumption that community colleges don’t offer the best programs and educational opportunities or that the credits won’t transfer. However, Mr. Hayes debunks that, he strongly encourages students to write down the programs, credits and anything else one has done throughout their semesters.
It is ones responsibility, just like in high school with AP and NU credits, to make sure they are accepted and transferable. He also suggests that students call the schools they may want to transfer to and make sure their credits will transfer.
Credit agreements solves many of these issues. For example, Erie Community College cooperates with the University at Buffalo where students who take courses at the community college for two years are automatically accepted into the University. Seniors can find the majors that take part in dual enrollment through collegiate admissions offices and their websites.
Many adults don’t give enough credit to community colleges because of their modest campuses. When asked about this issue, “lack of financial support doesn’t affect students adversely, schools can do a lot with a little. When a program does well more money is available to them.”
Advocates of community colleges also say that teachers are more student oriented, specifically toward undergraduates. It should also be noted that some seniors may not be mature enough for a four year university, who have extremely high expectations. Moreover, students can easily ask questions with ample access to professors and can participate in a smaller, less intimidating class.
The lack of information students are given about community colleges is unfair and sometimes students can be mislead. I asked Mr. Hayes why it was so rare for counselors to mention them as a good option. He concluded that it’s because getting into them is relatively easy and ended with a word of advice. “Don’t go home!” If one has questions or concerns, they should never to leave empty handed.
A previous version of this article inaccurately referred to dual enrollment. This is not necessarily the case.