community college

Community College 101

Community college is a launching pad to earn your bachelor's degree and enter the workforce.

What is community college?

Community colleges are public institutions that offer affordable and flexible educational opportunities, degrees, and certifications for various types of students. 

What degrees can I earn at community college?

Many students attend a community college to earn an Associate Degree. This is an undergraduate degree that usually takes about 2 years to complete. There are Associate Degrees for many different areas of study. For example, you can earn an Associate Degree in English or an Associate Degree in Chemistry. An Associate Degree provides students academic and technical skills and knowledge that prepare them to continue their education, or enter the workforce. 

In California, one specific type of Associate Degree is called an Associate Degree for Transfer. This is also referred to as an ADT. This degree equips students with the academic knowledge and background necessary to transfer into a 4-year university to complete their bachelor’s degree. An ADT is a stepping stone for earning a bachelor’s degree. 

What is the difference between an Associate’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree?

An Associate’s Degree is a 2-year degree while a Bachelor’s Degree is a 4-year degree. As an undergraduate student, when you receive a diploma from a university like UC Berkeley or Denver University, you have earned a bachelor’s degree. 

However, it is very common to earn an Associate’s Degree en route to earning a Bachelor’s Degree. This is where an Associate Degree for Transfer comes in! As a California community college student, you can spend your first 2 years at community college to earn an ADT, and then spend your last two years at a university to earn your Bachelor’s Degree. 

Why should I attend community college? 

Small class sizes. At four year universities, general education classes are often taught in big lecture halls with upwards to 500 students. In community college, your classes will have about 30 students, and you have the opportunity to get to know your professors and learn in a more intimate setting. 

Diversity. California community college students are the most diverse student body in America. Students come from every background and demographic. Some students recently graduated high school, some students have had a successful career prior to community college, and some students have recently moved to America. You will have the opportunity to learn about new perspectives and cultures. 

Cost. As part of the California Promise Program, as a full-time student, you can attend community college for free! This means that you can complete your entire lower division coursework without paying a dollar. As an international student, the cost of community college is not free, but it is significantly more affordable than starting out at a university. 

Flexibility. Not every student is ready or can move away from home right out of high school. Not every student wants to start at a university. Community college provides flexibility. You can take night classes or online classes if you need to work. You can take classes at multiple campuses. You can even attend a community college away from home. Community college allows you to explore and learn, without the commitment of locking into a university for four years. 

Transfer Opportunity. Community college is an incredible launching pad to transfer to a university. Did you know that 51% of UC STEM majors started at community college and 60,000+ students per year transfer to a CSU? Not only can you transfer to a public California university, but you can transfer to a private university, online university, and an out-of-state university out of a community college. 

Start your journey at community college on EdVisorly!

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