The perks of studying at a community college in North America
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The perks of studying at a community college in North America

The perks of studying at a community college in North America

There’s a reason why North America is among the most popular study abroad destinations for prospective international students. Besides providing an education that is internationally-recognized and accredited by the most respected organizations, North America also offers an unparalleled student experience.

And while most students contemplate whether to study at a state or private institution, a news report has shown that community college is the way forward for prospective students looking to advance their careers. The Observer-Reporter shares that an increasing number of students attend community college as a stepping stone to a prestigious four-year college or university. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to kick-off a career that addresses workforce needs. Students who attend community college are at a significant financial advantage, earning their credentials in half the time of those enrolled at a private institution.

In addition to these savings, students who attend community college have plenty of flexibility when it comes to choosing their majors. Here, students can decide exactly what they want to do without the pressure of having to complete a whole course before switching to another program. Although community colleges may not have the same reputation as some private universities, these institutions are still known to hold respected teams of professional and qualified professors. Many accomplished professors teach part-time at community schools, allowing them certain flexibilities when it comes to independent projects and research work.

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Image via Shutterstock

With the added advantage of small class sizes, students have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, discuss ideas and debate with fellow students. Professors also have the chance to directly speak to students, learning all about their social and academic progression. What’s more, a community college allows students to transfer and graduate from prestigious universities, all while saving precious money that can be used to pay for the remaining years in a tertiary institution. In addition, these colleges provide students with lists of universities that they can apply to while assisting them with any questions they may have about the process.

Here are four community colleges in North America providing excellent graduate pathways to university…

GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE, CALIFORNIA – USA

Located in Huntington Beach, Golden West College is not only known for its beautiful campus and strategic location, but also for innovation and academic quality. Golden West aims to help you transfer to your college or university of choice, thus also helping advance your future career. Here, students choose from a variety of majors and programs that lead to an Associate’s Degree or Certificate from any of the following divisions: Arts and LettersBusiness and Career Technical EducationCounselling and Social SciencesCriminal JusticeHealth, Kinesiology, & Athletics,  Math and Sciences and the School of Nursing.

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Image courtesy of Golden West College

At Golden West, an Associate’s Degree in the Arts or Sciences is specifically designed to give students the chance to transfer to the California State University System. In addition, seven University of California (UC) campuses offer guaranteed transfer admission to students from California Community Colleges. The institution also provides top-notch facilities like the Learning Resources Center, which includes a tutoring center, ready math, writing center, open computer lab, tech-ready study rooms, computer center with adaptive technologies, and a full-service library research center. Besides that, the College gives students the chance to participate in intercultural, co-curricular and community activities to maximize personal growth and development while building leadership skills.

HIGHLINE COLLEGE, WASHINGTON STATE – USA

Since 1961 Highline College has been a popular choice for students due to its comprehensive Community College programs and applied bachelor’s degrees. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Academy aims to produce graduates who think critically, reason quantitatively, communicate effectively and demonstrate civic responsibility in diverse and multifaceted environments. The institution offers several pathways, including a professional or technical degree, transfer degree, certificate, and two or four-year degrees, ensuring all students find the course that gets them closer to their dream career.

The College offers degrees in the following areas of study: Art, Design, Communication and LanguagesBusinessEducation and Library ServicesHealth and WellnessScience, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)Social Sciences, Human Services, Law and Philosophy. Besides that, the institution provides flexible learning options, including online, evening and weekend classes. It’s a wonderful option for students who have prior commitments or full-time work as these classes allow them to fit coursework around their busy schedules. Located just 20-minutes south of downtown Seattle, the 80-acre campus boasts a stunning view that overlooks the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.

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Image courtesy of Highline College

VALENCIA COLLEGE, FLORIDA – USA

Winning the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, students who apply to Valencia College must know they are in good hands. The institution prides itself on offering a first-rate education at a more than affordable price, boasting personalized attention from faculty, plus a small student to teacher ratio, and plenty of student support every step of the way. Choose from over 100 program areas, with more than 50 programs available to international students.

At Valencia College, you have the option to choose from various course types offered, including general studies, university transfer plans and pre-majors, career programs, certificate programs, honor programs, and an intensive English program. Students can also enjoy the flexibility of taking class whenever and wherever they want through Flex Start courses. With such well thought out programs, it’s no wonder that Valencia College has been recognized as a top community college for its strength in graduation and transfer rates, as well as the high job placement rates from its workforce training programs. On top of all this, Valencia ensures pupils make the most of their college experience by establishing clubs, organizations and study abroad programs to help get them involved in campus activities and meet friends along the way.

VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA – CANADA

As the first and largest government-accredited public post-secondary college in British Columbia, the Vancouver Community College offers award-winning career programs and first year university programs taught by highly qualified professors. Here, students pursue education in a diverse urban community that prepares them for ongoing education, direct entry to employment, career advancement and greater community participation. The School provides a range of academic programs from bachelor’s degrees, to diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships in several diverse fields, including Business, Culinary and Baking, Design, Hair, Aesthetics and Makeup, Health Sciences, Hospitality, Languages and Writing, Music and Dance and more.

Most of the College’s programs combine classroom learning and practical training to prepare students for employment. On top of that, the College hosts plenty of opportunities for students to boost their résumés, from practicum and internship opportunities, to off-campus work and post-graduation permits. From these experiences, you’ll gain the expertise and industry insights needed to elevate your future career. And if you’re still unsure where to begin, the institution boasts an excellent career services department that offers advice and CV guidance and helps you seek potential employers.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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