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The Benefits of Attending a Small Two Year College
Did you, or are you planning on begining your education at a small, two year college?
Numerous, very false, stereotypes often surround two year institutions. A negative odium often surrounds the concept of the Community College. Yet, despite all the negative ideas attached to the concept of two year institutions, the choice to attending a small, two year colleges offer students a variety of advantages over beginning their education directly at a large, four year university. These benefits include: cost and length of completion, personalization, and the ability to leap directly into the workplace.
The most obvious advantages to attending a small, two year college are: cost, and length of completion. According to The New York Times, the average tuition for a two year institution is $2,527, while a four year institution, on the other hand, costs roughly$10,747, more than four times the amount of the average two year university1. Furthermore, the very concept of a two year intuition implies few semesters and thus fewer classes to pay for, than a four year institution. Attending a two year institution not only allows students to pay less per semester, but also allows them to attend for, and thus paying for, roughly half the number of semesters required by four year institutions. There are even more benefits to the shorter length of completion than simply the cost.
The shorter completion time of two year institutions allows students to enter the workforce much faster than their four year counterparts. Many entry level positions in popular and successful industries, such as nursing and accounting, only require an associate’s degree to enter2. Thus, two year institutions possess the ability to provide students with successful entry into the workforce, in a very short amount of time, while garnering minimal debt. In a struggling economy, the practical benefits of a two year institution could not be clearer. Furthermore, while cost, length of completion, and efficient entry into the workforce are the most obvious benefits to small, two year institutions, they are certainly not the largest.
Perhaps the single largest advantage to attending a small, two year institution is the deep level of personal interaction provided by the faculty. The smaller faculty/student ratio in small, two year colleges, gives the faculty the opportunity to take a person interest in each student’s education, and engage students on a level which the size of larger institutions simply does not allow. Since they generally preside over very small classes, with few students, many community college instructors take the time to learn each student’s name, and to speak with them before and after class periods. It is even quite common among community colleges for a high ranking faculty member, such as a Campus Director, to take time to meet with and engage students. Such faculty interaction often greatly enriches a student’s educational experience, giving them the motivation and desire to truly retain and apply the knowledge that they have attained, and, thus, be more productive when they reach the workforce. This level of personal interaction between faculty and students also contributes to one of the other major benefits to attending a two year institution: flexibility.
Another one of the top benefits to attending a two year institution, particularly for non-traditional students, is the amount of flexibility they offer. Many students, particularly non-traditional students, are burdened down by a number of outside commitments. Two year institutions often possess a combination of standard day-time courses, online courses, and evening courses, as to allow students with numerous work and/or family commitments to schedule their classes around their major life commitments. The incredible level of personal interaction between students and faculty also allows students with strict, or unpredictable, work schedules and family commitments, to speak directly with the faculty and work out alternatives, such as extensions and make up tests, when class attendance is truly impossible due to work or family emergencies.
In conclusion, there are an incredible amount of benefits to choosing a small, two year institution. Small, two year institutions are much more cost effective, and allow students to journey into the workforce much faster than their four year counterparts. Two year institutions offer a much deeper level of personal interaction between students and faculty. Lastly ,small, two year institutions offer an incredible level of flexibility. all the benefits of a small, two year institution, make it clear that beginning one’s educational journey in one such institution, is a brilliant decision, indeed.
- Lewin, Temar. “What’s the Most Expensive College? The Least? Education Dept. Puts It All Online.” The New York Times. 2011. The New York Times. Web. 9 Dec. 2011.
- “Benefits of College - Junior College.” Education Bug. Web. 8 Dec. 2011.