Stuck in the 13th grade

Attending a local community college is only for underachievers, the losers in the school.

This seems to be the stigma attached to community colleges.

But, with community colleges serving nearly half of the undergraduates across the United States, and nearly 2.4 million students attending the California community colleges alone, it cannot be that all of these students are losers.

Community colleges are a gateway for students who may not have determined a career goal yet, and require more time or direction.

There is a myth that community colleges offer classes that are easier and taught by subpar teachers.

However, it is ignorant to believe that community college professors who have achieved a master’s degree or higher are inferior.

This is not to say that certain community college myths are false.

Many students decide half way through the semester that they will only attend every other class so as not to get dropped, when on the first day of the semester they fought for that very seat.

Some students attend class just long enough to receive their financial aid check, and then disappear forever.

For this handful of students: you are giving the rest of us a bad reputation.

Because all applicants are accepted, it may appear that anyone with a pulse can attend a community college.

However, success in school depends on the student showing up to their classes each day, doing the work, and persevering, just the same as individuals that attend four-year universities.

Some believe that students who attend community colleges are not striving to reach their full potential by attending more prestigious schools.

But with fewer student loans, smaller class sizes and the ability to speak to your teacher in person, community college students are simply getting more bang for their buck.

Community colleges are a great place for students to test the college waters and try a variety of classes at $46 per unit rather than spending more than $3,000 on six units of coursework at a university.

At a four-year university, there is no time to explore various subjects and fields because you are paying so much more per unit.

Students must decide on a future career and stick to it, lest they wind up with even more loans. Attending a community college is a cost efficient way to acquire an associate’s degree and narrow a field of focus.

With many community college students also working full time in order to pay rent or while raising a family, it seems that taking general education classes at a much cheaper rate and the proximity of the school to their home would be top priorities.

It is time to acknowledge community college as a place of higher learning, not just a continuation of high school.

We should no longer be ashamed to admit that we “just” attend a community college.

The quality of your education is not based on the high-status label attached to the school.

As community college students, we must take back pride in our education and let others know that they should consider doing the same.