Community Colleges in the USA

study in usa

Community Colleges in the USA

More international students are attending community colleges, which offer a popular alternative for completing the first two years of a bachelor's degree. They see community college as a starting point in their effort to earn a four-year or graduate degree from an American university. These first two years are designed to provide a strong foundation of general knowledge before a student begins concentrating on a major field of study.

Transfers and Training

In fact, many university advisors recommend that students attend community college "college transfer" programs first, and then transfer to universities for the final two years. Students transfer or use their credits from community colleges to earn a four-year degree. Many community colleges and four-year institutions also have articulation agreements to make transferring even easier.

For example, when students apply for admission to the Seattle Community Colleges, they may request a Transfer Admission Guarantee from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Students spend their first two years at the Seattle Community Colleges, then transfer to finish their degrees at Johns Hopkins.

In addition, community colleges often host “transfer fairs” and invite four-year institutions to come and recruit their students to complete the bachelor’s degree.

In addition to college transfer programs, U.S. community colleges offer a wide range of workforce (job-training) programs. These programs train students in hundreds of careers: business administration, computer programming, nursing, fashion design, hotel and restaurant management, nanotechnology, commercial photography, engineering or advertising art. Students who complete these courses earn degrees or certificates. International students who complete a workforce program that is a minimum of nine months are then eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training and gain some paid working experience in their field.

Helping the Local Community

Community colleges meet the educational and vocational needs of local communities. Almost all community colleges in the USA are government-supported. By maintaining an "open door policy" with low tuition costs and few entrance requirements, community colleges have offered many U.S. citizens a chance to get a college education. **

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