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An Argument for Community College

Hadley Rosengrant, Casey Kula, and Holly Bradshaw

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In Richfield, Ohio, Donald Trump stated, “I don’t know what that means, a community college.” Since even the president doesn’t know what a community college is, we are more than happy to inform you! Community college has somewhat of a bad reputation. People see it as a last resort or somewhere where they can’t receive a quality education. However, that is not the case. Community college just might be the smartest choice for you!

College educations are super expensive. Moneycrashers.com brings up the point that an education at a private university costs around $36,000 per year. So if you attend for four years, that’s going to cost around $144,000! Public universities are much cheaper, usually costing around $9,000. That’s still $36,000 for a bachelor’s degree. The average annual cost of attending a two year college is $2,963. So if you go to a community college for two years to get your required general classes out of the way, you can save from around $12,000 to $66,000. Community college can also help improve your transcript. If you didn’t get straight As or athletic scholarships, your grades from your time spent at community college can help you receive more scholarships later.

Katheryn Champion, Bob Jones’ college advisor, stated, “[Community college] is a great transition from living at home to college life.” You can stay in the area you’re most comfortable in, while getting the experience of living away from home for the first time. It can also help you learn what you want from a college. It’s hard to know what you want while you’re still in high school, but if you go to a community college you can give yourself time to figure out what you want. You can decide if you want to go to a bigger school or a smaller one or iyou want to move to a different area or stay close to home. You also have some more time to consider your career options and possible majors. 

In Alabama there are two community colleges near us: Calhoun, a community college in Huntsville and Decatur, and Wallace State, located in Hanceville, Alabama. Students who attend Calhoun are eligible to receive an Associate of Science Degree (AS) and an Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS). An AS Degree is a general studies degree, which allows for students to obtain a 2 year degree and allows for students to transfer to a four year college using STARS, a program in the state of Alabama that helps provide guidance for transferring college students. An AAS degree is for specialized studies. It allows for students to obtain a 2 year degree, and to go into the workforce upon completing their studies. Some classes allow transfer to a four-year college. Additionally, Calhoun offers a certificate program which allows students to receive training for a specialized skill, this is useful in acquiring a job.

Wallace State, on the other hand, offers four pathways related to majors for general studies: Liberal Arts, S.T.E.M, Applied Technology, and Health Science. This makes Wallace State especially useful for medical students at Bob Jones. They offer a variety of programs in the Health Science field; these range from degrees in Nursing to a major in Respiratory Therapy. For students interested in the medical field, Wallace State may be the right community college for you to look into.

Community colleges allow for high school students to take part in dual enrollment. Dual enrolment programs allow a high school student to be enrolled in both a college course and their high school at the same time. This can be extremely beneficial to students because it can help them get used to the college environment. It also allows for high school students to take courses that aren’t offered in schools, technical courses and other classes offered in colleges greatly outnumber those in high schools. They’re also beneficial in helping students find an area of interest for their career, and helps students get college credits early on. However, in order to dual enroll you must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and ACT score of 25. It’s also recommended to take these classes during school, and Bob Jones offers you opportunities to sign up for these classes.

So now that you know what the benefits of community college and dual enrollment are, be sure to consider Wallace State and Calhoun! Wherever you go, be sure you’re making the best decision that you can and don’t stress yourself out!

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An Argument for Community College