So reads the first sentence of a frequently cited US News & World Report article by Lynn F. Jacobs and George R. Boggs entitled, "10 Reasons To Pick A Community College." The article first appeared in June of 2009. As envinced in its title, the article highlights the top 10 reasons why students should consider applying to a community college (in some cases called two-year, junior, or technical colleges).
The top 10 reasons to attend a community college include the following:
1. Affordability. It's no surprise affordability tops the list. The average annual tuition and fees for a full-time community college student, according to Jacobs and Boggs, is around a third of the cost of tuition and fees at four-year colleges and universities. Attending a community college translates into big savings.
Just compare Green River's resident tuition and fee rate with that of any four-year university.2. Convenience. Community colleges, as Jacobs and Boggs also observe, offer classes at times and locations that are convenient for students who have jobs, kids, or other family responsibilities.
Take Green River, for example, which offers early morning, morning, afternoon, evening, online, flex, and weekend classes to accomodate diverse student populations who want to attend on a full-time or part-time basis. Also at Green River, students can take classes on the main campus, or the Kent Station campus, or the Enumclaw campus, or the Auburn Center location.3. Open Access. Community colleges, write Jacobs and Boggs, do not have exclusive admissions standards that require high scores or a certain grade point average from high school. They provide open access to the community.
It usually only takes a day or two to have your application for admission to the college processed. In addition, at Green River, students don't even need their GED or High School Diploma to begin attending college level classes. Open access is the name of the game and puts the community into community college.4. Teaching Quality. Jacobs and Boggs correctly point out that community college classes are taught by experienced faculty, not graduate students or teaching assistants. Community college faculty members, while still committed to their respsective academic disciplines, aren't pulled away from the work of teaching by stringent research / publishing requirements.
Click here to read about three distinguished faculty members at Green River.5. Class Size. Jacob and Boggs state that class sizes at community colleges are significantly smaller than freshman and sophomore level classes found at public universities. Nationwide, most community college classes have fewer than 35 students.
The average class size at GRCC is 30.6. Support Services. Community colleges, write Jacobs and Boggs, offer a variety of services to help students.
Green River has three different tutoring centers, financial aid tutorials, workforce education funding workshops, counseling services, a variety of student clubs, and extensive library services, only to name a few.7. Choices. Community colleges, according to Jacobs and Boggs, frequently offer a variety of educational pathways, from transfer degree programs to vocational training.
Green River fits the bill on this point. We are a comprenhensive community college. That is, we offer academic transfer programs, a wide variety of professional technical programs, adult basic skills, GED preparation, High School Completion, study abroad programs, international student programs, and continuing education classes designed for personal enrichment and professional development. The choices are endless.8. Diversity. Jacobs and Boggs keenly observe that community college serve the most diverse group of students in higher education. The opportunity, they write, to interact with and to learn from other students of diverse ages and diverse backgrounds is invaluable. Attending a community college, therefore, prepares students to live and flourish within an increasingly globalized, diverse world.
Green River's chief aim is to help diverse students reach their goals. One only needs to visit any one of our campuses to see a student population of diverse age, enthinicity, culture, and socio-economic status.9. Access To Modern Technology. Because of the strong partnerships with business and industry, community colleges, according to Jacobs and Boggs, often have cutting-edge equipment that is used by students in the classroom. Since community colleges offer two degrees, the use of the best equipment isn't reserved for upperclassman or graduate students.
Green River offers 44 different professional technical training programs. Professional technical programs typically combine classroom learning with hands-on training using technologies specific to a wide variety of occupations. Professional technical programs are also guided by Industry Advisory committees which ensure training meets the demands of local industry and business.10. Good Company. Jacobs and Boggs, in jocular fashion, point out that some of the most accomplished people started their education at a community college - from J. Craig Venter (who mapped the human genome) to Ricahrd Carmona (the former US Surgeon General) to Eileen Collins (the first NASA female shuttle commander) to Nolan Ryan (famous MLB pitcher).
Green River alum extend far and wide. Read more about Green River alumni by clicking here.