A Comparison Between Community Colleges And Universities Essays Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Education, Students, Community, College, University, Degree, Time, Investment
In many states, there is an inclination of individuals to confuse community colleges and universities. Therefore, there is a need to differentiate between community colleges and universities. In many instances, community colleges tend to be more directly career-oriented than the curriculum offered at more traditional universities. Community colleges focus on preparing a student for direct entry into his chosen profession, whereas universities, as a general rule, prepare students for the workforce more slowly, equipping them with a solid background in the liberal arts and humanities beforehand. For the student who is weighing the similarities and differences between universities and community colleges, he may want to consider that the three main differences between the two types of higher learning are in the time investment, quality of education, and the cost of tuition.
Most students will immediately notice that universities require a greater investment of time than community colleges before a diploma is awarded. Typically, a university curriculum takes from four to five years to complete, before the student is awarded with a bachelor's degree in his area of study. However, it usually takes a student anywhere from nine months to two years to earn an associate's degree from an accredited community college. Generally speaking, if a recent high school graduate wants to enter the workforce as soon as possible, a community college is a good choice. A prospective college student can expect a greater investment of time if he decides to apply for enrollment in a university, or four-year college -- as schools without master's and doctoral programs are often called.
The second key difference between community colleges and universities is the quality of education. Overall, universities boast a higher quality of education than their smaller counterparts -- community colleges. In part, this difference is due to the actual size of the campus, but is also due to the fact that community colleges typically focus on the preparation of their students for immediate entry into the workforce, i.e. job placement. On the other hand, universities spend a great deal of time teaching students effective communication skills and critical thinking skills.
Lastly, many students will notice the price tag of a university education when compared to a community college education. Universities, as a rule, have much higher tuitions, dorm charges, and other fees than an average community college. This is mainly due to an in-built factor of prestige, as well as a university's budget and higher operating costs. In our society, a bachelor's degree (or higher) is also a mark of prestige and academic honor, whereas an associate's degree is considered to be important (in terms of workforce preparedness), but is also just one notch shy of the completion of a full-fledged bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
In conclusion, the comparison of universities and community colleges yields three crucial differences. One will find that the investment of time is much greater in a university's program of study when compared to a community college, the quality of education is higher at universities, and the cost of tuition is also higher at universities. Certainly, there are trade-offs when deciding whether to attend a community college or a university, but the abovementioned examples should help clarify some of the confusion individuals may have about these two types of post-secondary education.