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Common myths about community colleges

Common Myths about Community Colleges

Community colleges are not always the number one choice for high school seniors. Many choose to go away to a university because the education and experience is better at the university, right? Well, it’s time for you to decide. Here are some common misperceptions of community colleges.

Myth #1: Community colleges offer low quality academics

Kishwaukee College courses are equivalent to those at universities. These are called ‘articulation agreements’ between institutions. Faculty at a community college must hold at minimum a master’s degree in their field or have proper certification. In fact, a number of faculty members at Kishwaukee College hold doctorate degrees in their fields. Plus, Kishwaukee College faculty also have work experience in the fields they teach. This creates a more in-depth classroom environment for our students to experience.

Myth #2: Community colleges concentrate solely on vocational programs

Community colleges do offer occupational certificate and degree programs — Kishwaukee College has over 70 programs that lead to a degree in two years or less and prepare students to enter the workforce. However, a significant portion of the student population is composed of transfer degree students who are planning to continue their education at a four-year institution. Community college transfer students actually perform better academically at a university than the students who began their education at that university from the start.

Myth #3: Community colleges are like glorified high schools

Community colleges are more like a microcosm of society—students from all ages, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and educational background are represented at a community college. This diverse experience creates a classroom environment that is unlike any other because students can engage in meaningful discussion in a small classroom with people who come from completely different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. Diversity at a community college carries over to life outside the classroom---many opportunities exist to get involved and have extracurricular experiences with other students. Assuming an officer position in an organization with members of diverse backgrounds is quality leadership experience.

Myth #4: Transferring to a university is difficult

In Illinois, all community colleges have an agreement with in-state public universities to ensure the transfer process is simple. Graduating with an Associates of Arts or Science degree from Kishwaukee means that a student can enter a public university with all general education requirements (Gen Ed’s) fulfilled and some of the foundation courses for an intended major completed. Quite simply, this means a community college graduate enters the university as a junior in their major. Also, two years at Kishwaukee College and two years at a 4-year institution is equivalent to the cost of attending a 4-year institution for just 3 years. Student can potentially save an entire year’s worth of spending by choosing to attend a community college. Community colleges like Kishwaukee College are the unheralded gems of the American educational system. They provide a quality education, prepare students for the working world in their chosen occupations, and offer a diverse, rich, and high quality instructional environment at an affordable cost. Attending a community college is an excellent—and financially savvy—decision.

Myth #5: Students attend community college because they did not get accepted to four-year universities

With more and more economic burdens placed on individuals and families, many students are deciding to make more financially-sound choices, such as choosing to attend a community college. The costs of moving away from home and attending a university can be intimidating, and by attending a community college, students can save on tuition and living costs while still enjoying the college experience. Students can also use the first two years at a community college to explore majors and career options while enrolling in courses they would have taken at the university anyway. This allows students to create balanced course schedules, accumulate the highest GPA possible, and consider applying to the top programs in their field upon graduation.