This is a real dilemma to many parents as most of the teachers and counsellors will suggest otherwise which may make the students and the parents feel wary and indecisive. To my surprise many teachers will never recommend this approach and make it sound demeaning and improper for the kids as if these hundreds of community colleges have been started just as “show homes” and not because of real research into students abilities and strong care about the students’ future.
Well, let’s have a look at the reams of research in our education system and the type of students it churns out. Lack of research abilities, lack of communication skills, lack of writing skills, low participation in the community, no volunteering abilities and if wanted then the community doesn’t offer it, no trips abroad to fulfil educational skills, no tersiary learning skills, no special involvement in the community and no hope for those that get grades that are below those requested by top schools. Most important of all most of our kids have no idea what to study when they get into university. Plus all universities want sat scores which our kids do not do or if done then the grades are lower than those requested by top schools. Also we mustn’t forget that 80% of our kids study in public schools with lower than needed english skills are attained so getting a high score in TOEFL or IELTS is not something that they can brag about.
Taking all of this into consideration imposes one fact only: these kids have to go to a small and nurturing place that will build the previously mentioned traits to enable them to go to the final two years of university while possessing the pre-requisites that will make them succeed.
A very important factor to remember here: Community colleges are much cheaper than universities so we are catching few birds with one stone. The small class sizes means that the students are known to their teachers hence they are not lost in the system and are looked after really well.
One last point that I would like to add here, I had a student who stayed in a university forever and took so many credits but couldn’t graduate because these credits have no particular pattern and didn’t lead to a particular degree. The aggregate of the credits was not enough to provide a major or minor but if these credits were chosen properly he would have graduated sooner. This will not happen in a college as the college counsellor sees to it that every kid receives the advise that he or she deserves.
I feel that the idea of community colleges need to be replicated in all countries.