|A Two Year College May Be Right For You|
Two-year colleges offer an Associate Degree after comple-tion of a two-year curriculum. Their programs fall into two categories. They are either university parallel (i.e.) transfer programs, or terminal programs.
The university parallel transfer program provides a curriculum substantially similar to what one may expect during the first two years at a four-year college. After completion of this program the student is awarded his Associate Degree. If he wishes to obtain a Bachelor Degree he then applies for admission into a four-year institution to complete the final two years of undergraduate work. It should therefore be clear, that by starting a post high school education at a two-year college, the student is not being relegated to the status of 'second class citizen' in the eyes of the academic community.
The terminal program, after completion of a two-year curriculum, similarly earns for the student an Associate Degree. It may cover, to mention just a very few, such fields as business administration, data processing, accounting, nursing or secretarial science. The terminal program is an occupational or career oriented program. The term "terminal program" may be a misnomer when related to certain programs which also enable the student to transfer to a four-year college and gain a Bachelor Degree.
Admission policies of two-year colleges are frequently more lenient than those of four-year institutions, thereby giving the student who has not achieved to any great extent in high school, an opportunity to prepare for a career, or pursue higher education on an adult level and create a new image of academic ability.
Many students who have not excelled in high school are unsure of their ability to cope with the demands of a four-year curriculum. A two-year college offers the opportunity to try without the commitment of four years.
When a student is uncertain as to which field he wishes to major in, a two-year college can fulfill the necessary prerequisites before declaring a major. After the two years when a decision has been reached regarding a major, an Associate Degree will, in most instances, assure Junior standing at a four-year college. The ensuing two years are most important because the student is then involved with and committed to his major concentration. In this respect the two-year college graduate has the additional flexibility and opportunity to select a college that has a strong department in his field of interest.
Four-year institutions are actively recruiting the two-year college graduate. After two years of college level work, the four-year college has an extremely good indication of what to expect academically and otherwise from the entering student. This should be of particular interest to the high school senior who has not achieved to his potential in high school. Since his two-year college record will be of far more importance than the high school record when applying for admission into a four-year college, a good two-year college record should enable the student to enter into a higher quality institution than he could have upon graduation directly from high school.
One way of judging the quality
of a two-year college is to examine its transfer record. This
is a record of the four-year colleges which have accepted its
graduates. This record is usually obtainable from a school upon
request. The better its record, the prouder the school is to
supply this information. Also, as in the case of four-year colleges,
consideration should be given as to whether the two-year college
is fully accredited.
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