Community College: Is It Right For You

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Community College: Is It Right for You? helps you answer that question realistically.

A practical alternative to more expensive four-year colleges and universities, community colleges are hot! At community colleges, you can get fast-track training for high-demand jobs; earn a certificate or an associate's degree; build your skills, confidence, and college credits before transferring to a four-year institution; enhance your abilities for your current job; or re-tool for a career ...

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Community College: Is It Right for You? helps you answer that question realistically.

A practical alternative to more expensive four-year colleges and universities, community colleges are hot! At community colleges, you can get fast-track training for high-demand jobs; earn a certificate or an associate's degree; build your skills, confidence, and college credits before transferring to a four-year institution; enhance your abilities for your current job; or re-tool for a career change. Over 11 million students of all ages and backgrounds enroll in community colleges every year. Should you join them?

This one-of-a-kind guide helps you decide. It describes the community college experience and covers the benefits of attending a community college, how to apply, how to afford it (including the scoop on financial aid), where a community college education can lead, and more. Whether you're considering community college as a springboard to further education, a launchpad for a promising career, or a way to enhance your skills for today's competitive job market, you'll learn what to expect and what to do if you decide community college is right for you.

Packed with practical information, this book includes:
* Snapshots—Profiles of and interviews with community college students
* Real-Life, Expert Advice—Insights and tips from community college students, faculty, and staff
* Fast Facts—Surprising tidbits of information about community colleges
* Reality Checks—Helpful questions to ask as you consider your options

Community College: Is It Right for You? could be one of the most helpful educational books you'll ever read!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471777380
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/13/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Susan H. Stafford is an anthropologist and writer from Alexandria, Virginia, with more than fifteen years of fundraising and communications experience in higher education and not-for-profit organizations. She has also worked in immigration and refugee affairs for the federal government and social service agencies. Dr. Stafford earned her doctorate in anthropology from New York University.

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Table of Contents


Introduction .

1 Keep Your Options Open: What Can a Community College Do for Me?

What Are Community Colleges? Open Doors and Opportunity.

Areas of Education.

Some Background on Community Colleges.

Community Colleges and Four-Year Institutions.

Some Reasons to Consider Community College.

Reality Check: Is Community College Right for Me?

2 Know Your Classmates: Who Goes to Community College?

A Kaleidoscope of Diversity.

Diversity in Age and Life Experience.

Diversity in Gender, Race, and Ethnicity.

Diversity in Academic Background.

Well-Known People Who Have Attended Community College.

3 Know the Choices: What Can I Study?

Options! Options! Options! Paths to Achieve Your Goals.

Path 1. Preparing for College-Level Courses.

Path 2. Preparing for Transfer.

Path 3. Preparing for the World of Work: Vocational/Technical Programs.

Path 4. Learning for Life and Work.

Additional Food for Thought.

What Can I Earn?

4 Know Before You Go: How Do I Find Out About Community College?

What Should I Consider?


Range of Programs Offered.

Convenience of Classes: Location and Class Time.

Financial Aid.

Technical Training Facilities.

Student Support Services.

Student Life.

Transfer Options with Four-Year Colleges.

Reputation .

How Can I Find the Information I Need?

Visit Your High School Counselor.

Get A Head Start While You’re in High School.

Get a Head Start on Orientation.

To Whom Should I Talk?

Go to the College Fair.

See the College Campus With Your Own Eyes.

Take the Campus’ Pulse at Open Houses and Other On-Campus Events.

Make an Electronic and Virtual Visit.

Final Deciding Factors.

Drive It.

Trust Your Instincts.

5 Knock, Knock: How Do I Get In?

What Do I Need to Be Admitted?

Papers, Papers, Papers.

Residency Requirements.

Need Shots?

Admission to Specific Programs.

Testing, Testing.

Testing Out.

Get Credit for What You Already Know.

Credits Earned Through Examination or Certification.

Credits for Nontraditional Programs and Life Experience.

Credit by Transfer.

Check Out Financial Aid, ASAP!

How Will I Know What Courses to Take?

Choosing a Program of Study.

What You’ll Need to Take.

Transfer Considerations.

Getting Help Making Decisions.

Use Your College Catalog.

Be On Time: Know the Schedule and Deadlines.

Talk to the Experts—Academic Advisors.

Visit the Career Center Now!

Get Oriented!

Be Admitted and Get Enrolled!

Registration for Non-Credit Courses.

Students with Disabilities.

International Students.

6 Keep the Costs Down: How Will I Afford It?

What Does Community College Really Cost?

Tuition and Fees.

Room and Board.

Books and Supplies.


Personal/Family-Related Expenses.

Unraveling the Mystery of Financial Aid.

Go See the Experts.

Understanding Available Types of Financial Aid.

Federal Student Aid in Brief.

What Types of Federal Student Aid Exist?

State Aid.


Sources of Funding.

Eligibility Criteria.

The College Connection.

Scholarships Especially for Community College Students.

More Transfer Scholarships—for the Future.

Go for the Gold!

When to Begin the Process.

What is FAFSA?

What You Can Get in Your Package.

Applying for Scholarships.

Still Short? Here’s What to Do!

Community Service.

Employer Assistance.

Just Plain Work—But Not Too Much!

Consider a Private Loan.

The Military Option.

Get a Break! A Tax Break, That Is.

Get Credit for Learning.

7 Know the Ropes: What Can I Expect in Community College Classes?

What Can I Expect in the Classroom?

Who Will Be My Instructors?

How Large Will My Classes Be?

Who Will Be in My Classes?

Where Will My Classes Be Held?

How Challenging Will My Courses Be?

What Will Be Different from High School?

What Will My Instructors Expect from Me?

How Busy Will I Be?

8 Keep on Course: How Can I Be Successful in Community College?

Realize That You’re in Charge!

Set Goals and Priorities for Yourself.

Balance Your Personal, Work, and Academic Life.

Take Responsibility for Understanding the College’s Requirements.

Get to Know People.

Make a Connection with College Staff.

Introduce Yourself to Your Professors.

Make a Connection with Other Students.

Tips for Academic Success.

Be There!

Speak Up!

Know How to Write—as Well as to Speak—Your Piece.

Avoid an End-of-the-Semester Pileup!

Be a Neat Freak!

Make the Grade.

Mind Your Manners.

Hands off Someone Else’s Work!

Study! Study! Study!

Challenge Yourself with Honors.

Know What Resources Are Available to You.

Get Help When You Need It.

Other Campus Resources for Academic Success.

A Special Note about Support Services for Disabled Students.

9 Keep Engaged: What Else Is There to Do on Campus and Beyond?

What Types of On-Campus Activities Are Offered?

Why Should You Participate?

Honors Societies.

Connecting Beyond the College Campus.


Cooperative-Education Programs.

Service-Learning Programs.

Study-Abroad Programs .

10 Keep Your Future in Sight: What’s Next after Community College?

Employers Will Want You!

Use Your Career Center.

Network, Network, Network!

Four-Year Colleges Will Want You!

Start the Transfer Process Early.

Get Expert Advice.

Check Out Transfer Agreements.

Timeline for Transfer—By the Credit.

Stay Connected!

Continue to Learn and Enjoy The Campus.

Join A Circle of Alumni.

Give Back!

Reach for the Stars!


Talk the Talk: Terms You Need to Know.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2006

    An Easy Read---Filled with Important Information

    I wish I had this book before I selected a college. Its different from most college information guides. Throughout the book there are experiences of students about what they liked about community college, the challenges they faced, and how they were able to be successful. The section on financial aid is really useful and understandable. I found the experiences of real people who succeeded in college to be inspiring. This is a different kind of college guide. I recommend it completely.

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