I went to a four year college, University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. I had a ball. I got to live in a dorm, be in a sorority, spend my Junior year abroad in Spain, take a tailoring class and try a year of apartment living. Oh yeah, I also got a college degree and I spent 35 years using it. My tuition was paid for by my teacher scholarship and my Dad paid for everything else. (Thanks, Dad!) My daughters did the same thing and we love U of I with all of our orange and blue hearts. We were lucky, attending a traditional four year school worked out for us.
While there aren't any other ways to experience campus life, sororities and the indulgence of a year abroad there are other ways to earn a college degree, Junior colleges.
After 8 years teaching in the Junior colleges of Illinois, I am very impressed and I think shows like Community do a disservice by mocking them. Junior Colleges deserve respect and I will tell you why a Junior college may be the perfect choice for you.
- Money - Not everyone has the financial means to go away for four years. Junior colleges let you get two years done at a much cheaper cost.
- Jobs - Many Junior college classes will lead you to a job in health care, food industry or transportation. Not everyone needs a 4 year degree.
- Pedagogy - I have experienced really lousy teaching at prestigious colleges because the focus is on the academic pursuits of the professors and how much they promote their own scholarly achievements by publishing. Many Jr. college instructors are retired or full time trained teachers who, unlike college professors, have been taught HOW to teach.
- Life happens - Sometimes taking four years off to live away isn't possible. Students are parents or have parents who need them. You can still get the college thing done and take care of your other responsibilities.
- Second chances - Some kids go away to school and just aren't ready for that much freedom. They mess up, they get homesick or they flunk out. That decision doesn't have to haunt them forever. When they are ready for college, the Junior Colleges are there for them.
- High school preparation - Some students were goof offs in high school or went to inferior institutions. If their skills aren't up to par, Junior Colleges have classes and programs to get them up to prepared.
- Everyone learns differently - Junior colleges have all kinds of help for students with any kind of learning challenge. Just because you are a non traditional learner doesn't mean you won't benefit from a college degree.
- Desire to stay home - Some students want to stay at home. Maybe they have special dietary restrictions, a love interest or just like it at home, a Junior college is probably closer to their residence.
- Retraining - People change their mind after they get a 4 year degree, they can get additional training at a Junior College.
- Advanced work for High School students - Some high school seniors enroll in dual credit courses or take an upper level class at a Junior college. For a minimal investment, they start college with credit hours and college experience.
Respecting others' choices, now that makes me sew happy!
Want to see what else I like? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. That's all, you're done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Here are other posts I have written on education. (Yes, I know this is a sewing blog but by a teacher!)