6 February, 2016
A community college is a kind of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different nations.
In the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public institutions offering higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas, and associate’s degrees. Many also offer continuing and adult education
After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Before the 1970s, community colleges in the United States were more commonly referred to as junior colleges, and that term is still used at some institutions. However, the term “junior college” has changed to describe private two-year institutions, whereas the term “community college” has evolved to describe publicly funded two-year institutions. The name originates from the fact that community colleges primarily attract and accept students from the local community, and are often supported by local tax revenue.
Comprehensive community colleges
Many schools have progressed into and adapted the term comprehensive to describe their institutions. These schools typically offer six facets of education.
Transfer education – The traditional two-year student that will then transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a BS/BA degree.
Career education – The traditional two-year student that will graduate with an Associate Degree and enter the workforce right away.
Developmental – Remedial education for high school graduates who are not academically prepared 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.
eLearning – Distance learning occurs online using one’s computer and proctored exams. Pell grants and federal aid apply to eLearning also. For example, studying Spanish in an eLearning environment is possible when in another state and federal aid is applied to out-of-state tuition.
Within the transfer education category, comprehensive schools typically have articulation agreements in place that provide prearranged acceptance into specific four-year institutions. At some community colleges, the partnering four-year institution teaches the third and fourth year courses at the community college location and thereby allows a student to achieve a four year degree without having to physically move to the four-year school.
There are a number of institutions and organizations that offer community college research to inform practice and policy.
In several California cities (including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento), and in other large cities, New York City, and Chicago, community colleges are often called “city colleges,” since they were municipally-financed and structured to serve the needs of the residents of the city in which they are situated. The Los Angeles Community College District is the largest community college system in the United States. The Maricopa Community College District in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, is the largest community college district in the United States in terms of enrollment.