NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Community College is looking to combat the lingering perception that a community college education falls short of a four-year college education in terms of meeting student needs, preparing them for careers and providing a quality student experience.
While each college experience is unique, community colleges offer exceptional value, flexibility for students with jobs, and focused expertise for career preparation, according to officials at Norwalk Community College.
Here are some common myths about community colleges worth dispelling:
- Disconnect between community colleges and employers: There is an active pipeline between community college graduates and local employers. Employers scrambling to find workers with the right stuff often turn to NCC, as the college tracks industry trends and deploys associate degree and certificate programs to produce workers who can hit the ground running.
- Low tuition means bargain-basement education: Tuition is low at community colleges because of state and federal funding. Community colleges are fully accredited institutions, offering a range of courses just as challenging as those at four-year colleges, including honors programs. Some community college instructors have master’s degrees, some have doctorates.
- Community college out of sync with students: Better educational pathways help students make the transition from K-12 to community college, four-year institutions and graduate degrees. New teaching methodologies and technologies help faculty to accommodate student schedules. NCC has forged relationships with companies to expose students to opportunities in veterinary technology, homecare training, culinary arts and hospitality management.
- Community college credits do not transfer to four-year colleges: Not true: It is important for students to meet with guidance counselors at their colleges to ensure that they are taking courses that will lead to acceptance of completed credits into a bachelor’s program.
- The overall student experience is lacking: Just because community colleges are not residential institutions does not mean students are unable to enjoy the college experience. There are plenty of options for students to enrich their time on campus. NCC offers students the chance to partake in drama productions, choral groups, student government, clubs, honor societies and countless volunteer activities. Students need to explore these opportunities and take advantage of the many pursuits colleges offer them.