Community Colleges in the Time of COVID-19
COVID-19 continues to disrupt education at all levels. College students throughout the United States find themselves studying from home while paying the same tuition they would if they were learning on campus. This disparity has led many degree-seekers to believe that the high prices aren’t worth it. Granted, some schools are slashing tuition to retain students. Yet many would-be college degree-seekers are forgoing their post-secondary education entirely.
Rather than pay too much for online education or enter the workforce right out of high school, I want to use this article to propose a different solution – community college. For decades, community colleges have helped students who couldn’t afford a four-year school advance their education and career. And as it seems that COVID-19 will continue to affect higher education for another year, it might be time for all high school seniors to consider what their local community college can offer them.
Let’s explore community colleges and how students who enroll can continue using myKlovr to meet their academic and career goals.
Community College: Facts and Misconceptions
Community colleges award associate degrees to learners who need a degree for career advancement or to transfer to a four-year college. Like four-year schools, community college offers academic majors, extracurricular activities, financial aid, and career resources. Learners who use the latter in tandem with myKlovr’s career assessments gain valuable insight into their long-term goals.
One vital misconception that many high-achieving high school students have about community college revolves around their reputation. There is the belief that they lack the prestige of four-year schools, and attending one ‘taints’ you in the eyes of the big-name colleges and universities.
This. Isn’t. True.
To put it another way, community college is one of the most practical options that all graduating high school seniors have this year. Yes, even community college students are learning online because of COVID-19. But they aren’t spending a fortune doing it.
If you decide to attend a local community college, consider how the school you select will affect your long-term academic and career plans. Public and private four-year schools use different transfer credit policies, such as a GPA cutoff and a transfer credit limit. Contact each school directly to learn about their transfer student admissions process.
Don’t forget to research community colleges with the same critical eye as you have done with four-year schools. Remember the key questions:
- What majors does this school offer?
- What services can students access if they need tutoring or other academic resources?
- Does the school offer institutional financial aid? If so, how much?
- Does the school award college credit for good AP/IB scores?
- Does the school award college credit for passing challenge exams?
While in School
Consider your year (or two) in community college as a continuation of your high school experience. You’re still preparing to attend your dream college, so don’t forget about fostering relationships with teachers, you will need 1-2 to write you a recommendation letter. Also, consider joining a club or student organization. The college may not have on-campus courses next fall due to COVID-19, but some extracurricular activities may exist in a virtual or in-person format.
Integration with myKlovr
MyKlovr’s functionality can help you stay on top of your academic goals as you work to transfer or look for employment. Start with myKlovr’s career assessments to research career paths. You may discover that your ideal job (at least an entry-level position) requires only an associate degree.
You can also ask your community college teachers and advisors to join your support network. Don’t forget about myKlovr’s academic tutors, essay writing assistance, and internship opportunities. High school and community college students benefit from these included services equally.
A lot is still up in the air regarding in-person college education over the next 12 months. Your community college experience may involve online courses and a less personalized educational experience than you desire. However, by starting your post-secondary education at a community college, you save on tuition and can apply these savings toward the latter half of your undergraduate education, and perhaps an advanced degree.