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Advisors, students discuss benefits and drawbacks of community college

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Students read pamphlets that promote community colleges during one of the three State Center Community College campus visits this year.

Whether a four year university, city college or gap-year program, most seniors have decided where to go after May 24. But for juniors and younger, life after high school is still coming into focus.

State Center Community Colleges, like Clovis Community College, Fresno City College and Reedley College, provide an option for students who want to earn a bachelors or higher degree at a UC college, but for whom the price is too high.

David Navarro, relations specialist at Clovis Community College, says benefits of attending CCC out of high school include a cheaper general education and a personalized experience.

“Graduates can use their degrees to transfer to a four-year college or university to continue their academic pursuits or began their processional/vocational careers in wide variety of industries,” Navarro said. “At the community college, we do everything we can in partnership with the student to help build the foundation for success and inspire them to make a significant impact within their families, workplace, and world.”

Low tuition was one factor that attracted senior Wyatt Koop to apply for CCC. Koop also says that the benefit of having another two years to decide his major influenced his decision.

“I decided to go to Clovis Community because I didn’t yet know what I wanted to go into and major in,” Koop said. “At Clovis Community, you get two years to get your general education out of the way and all the way it’s a lot cheaper than going to major colleges like Fresno State. Out of Clovis Community, once I get my general education out of the way, I can transfer over to other UC colleges or Fresno State and get my major once I know what I want to do.”

Advantages of taking classes at community college include more affordable tuition, personalized education and closeness to home. However, depending on student goals, community colleges also present drawbacks. One drawback, academics counselor Evangelina Tello believes, is that community colleges offer fewer courses.

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Campus academic counselor Evangelina Tello acknowledges both the pros and cons of attending community colleges. She can help students through the acceptance process.

When it comes to courses, its very limited, because it’s not like you’re able to get your bachelors, you’re not able to get your doctorates, you’re only able to get your associates,” Tello said. “At a university, you can choose from tons of courses. At a community college, it’s going to limited to a few. There won’t be a lot of major courses, its mostly to get your general education. That’s a main drawback that I feel for most students is that when it comes to courses and classes there won’t be a whole variety, compared to the university or UC state school.”

According to Bradley Fuster of US News, another benefit of state community colleges is their online courses. In his article, 3 Benefits of Online Programs at Community Colleges, Fuster argues that online courses increase the number of options students have, and provide the same ability to transfer to a four-year university.

In addition to college classes, Clovis community also offers courses for high school students in their high school enrichment program. Classes are free to 10-12 graders and registration opened April 20. For more information on CCC’s high school enrichment program, contact academic counselor Evangelina Tello. For monthly article on college preparation, read The Feather’s College Corner series, including the most recent: College Corner: Prevent rescinded applications by Tello.

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