What is a Community College?
The term can have a different meaning in each country. Countries that have Community Colleges are; the USA, Canada, The UK and Australia but here we concentrate on Community Colleges in North America.
For the UK colleges please visit the Further Education College section.
Australian college information can be found here
Community Colleges in the United States of America
In the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public institutions providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, awarding certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. Many also offer continuing and adult education.
After graduating from a community college, many students transfer to a university or liberal Arts College for the final two years of a four year bachelor's degree.
Comprehensive community colleges
You may see that some community colleges use the term comprehensive to describe their institutions. These schools typically offer the following types of education:
Transfer education – The two-year student who will then transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a BS/BA degree.
Career education – The two-year student that will graduate with an Associate Degree and directly enter the workforce.
Developmental – Remedial education for high school graduates who are not academically ready to enroll in college-level courses.
Continuing – Non-Credit courses offered to the community for personal development and interest.
Industry training – Contracted training and education wherein a local company pays the college to provide specific training or courses for their employees.
Within the transfer education category, comprehensive community colleges often have agreements in place that provide guaranteed acceptance into four-year partner institutions. At some community colleges, the partnering four-year institution teaches the third and fourth year courses at the community college location allowing you to obtain a four-year degree without having to physically move to the four-year school.
Community Colleges in Canada
In Canada, the term community college is not widely used. There are 150 institutions that could be roughly equivalent of the US community college in certain contexts. They are usually referred to simply as "colleges" since in common usage a degree granting institution is almost exclusively a university.
Colleges are educational institutions providing higher education and tertiary education, granting certificates, and diplomas. Associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees are granted by universities, but, in some courses, there may be an agreement between colleges and universities to collaborate on the education requirements toward a degree.
Each province has its own educational system reflecting the decentralization of the Canadian provinces and the education system. Most of the colleges were founded in the mid-1960s to provide education and training for the then-emerging baby boom generation and for immigrants from around the world.
What are the advantages of attending a Community College?
Low cost & high quality
International student tuition at a commuinty college is much less expensive than at a university, you would save tens of thousands of dollars by taking two year a transfer program. Despite the lower cost the course work is the same as at a university. GetSet's partners community colleges are well respected for their quality and have guaranteed transfer partners.
Community college class sizes are much smaller than most universities or colleges.This mean students receive closer support and attention from professors and staff. Many international students who are new to North America say they feel it's easier to adjust to life and study at a community college than at a university.