Want to know a secret? Nearly half of the college students in the United States now attend two-year colleges. These schools are becoming increasingly popular for students with a variety of goals.
Okay, so that’s not really such a big secret. But you might be surprised to learn just how much two-year colleges have to offer prospective students. Everybody knows that community or technical colleges are less expensive than four-year schools. But there is much more to the two-year college story. Here’s a look at some of the “best-kept secrets” of America’s dynamic two-year schools.
Some people assume that because it costs less to attend a community or technical college, students must settle for a second-rate educational experience. But it is a mistake to equate low cost with inferior teaching.
People who are concerned about skyrocketing costs at four-year institutions may mistakenly view the lower cost of going to their local community college as the main benefit. What they often find out when they enroll is the secret of quality. Community colleges have top-notch instructors who devote most of their time to teaching and to helping students achieve their goals.
In fact, most community and technical college faculty members have excellent credentials. Those who teach academic courses typically have at least a master’s degree, and many hold doctorates. Many also have real-life experiences in the fields in which they teach, special certifications, or both. An important factor is that those who teach in two-year colleges tend to regard themselves as professional teachers rather than researchers. They thrive on direct contact with students and focus their energies on the classroom experience.
Two-year colleges come in all sizes, from small rural schools to large urban colleges that dwarf some universities. But a common denominator in virtually all of them is a commitment to limiting class size.
Many students would agree that class size is one of the biggest advantages of two-year schools. The average class size at Victoria College is about 18 students, and most instructors know their students by name. On the other hand, students who attend universities may never have the opportunity to speak with their professors.
Small classes in community colleges mean a lower instructor-to-student ratio. The smaller classes help students get more involved, and student involvement is shown to be an important factor in overall success.
Community colleges are a super place to start if earning a four-year or graduate degree is your goal. In fact, you can complete a year or two of studies at a fraction of the cost of a four-year school and then transfer to a university.
VC has articulation agreements with numerous colleges and universities to assist transferring credits. Just keep in mind when transferring to another college, it is that college or university that determines how credits transfer and how they are applied to degrees at that institution. Each transfer agreement is subject to change without notice, so be sure to talk to an academic advisor at your preferred university about transfer plans before enrolling in classes at VC.
If you’re looking for a quick entry into the workforce, VC also has programs that take anywhere from two months to two years to complete. If you need help preparing for college, VC offers free courses to help adult learners improve their skills to prepare for the GED and to reach a college-ready level. Additionally, VC offers Workforce & Continuing Education classes to help you improve your knowledge and skills.
There’s more to college than classrooms and textbooks. Community and technical college students can participate in sports, student government, student organizations, music performance groups, and other activities. VC has more than 20 student clubs, organizations, and sports teams. By getting involved in clubs and other activities, students get real-life, hands-on college experience.
Perhaps the greatest strength of two-year colleges is their flexibility. Want to work during the day and attend school at night? That shouldn’t be a problem. Victoria College offers evening, online, and some weekend courses.
Two-year colleges really are a tremendous value that people sometimes overlook because they don’t know about these “secrets.” Whatever the goal, a college like VC is a great place to learn more and do more.