Night classes are a great option for students struggling to find the time. However, it can be tough on you and the tips in this article help you manage that.
Yes, community colleges have night classes. However, is that your best option? In this detailed guide, we will look at all the pros and cons of opting to study in night classes and explain everything you need to know about night classes at community college.
Yes, you can. Community colleges were initially formed to make education more accessible to Americans who were otherwise denied the opportunity.
According to a study by CollegeBoard, over 40% of undergraduate students in the US attend community college.
Staying true to what they stood for, community colleges are constantly working to make their curriculum as accessible as possible. And so, many of these colleges introduced night classes, also referred to as evening classes, as part of their curriculum.
“They would rather do anything than turn students away,” Norma Kent, spokesperson for the American Association of Community Colleges told USA Today.
She believes that if community colleges have faculty that’s willing to teach at an unconventional hour then many problems regarding the enrollment crisis can be solved.
However, because of this accessibility, over the course of the last decade, more and more non-traditional students started enrolling in community colleges. This forced these colleges to look into expanding their operations in a variety of ways.
Offering more and more night classes became a viable solution to cater to the consistent increase in enrollment numbers.
How do night classes work?
Night classes typically work the same way regular classes do.
The only difference is the time that they are conducted, which varies from college to college but are usually evening onwards.
The majority of Americans who opt for night classes do so because they are full-time employees during day time. Their employment is in fact the primary hurdle in obtaining education even when it could help them advance their careers.
The time duration for night classes varies from program to program and also depends on the community college itself. However, the classes are generally conducted during after-work hours (5 PM-10 PM
Programs offered during night classes
To get started, you should know what kind of programs and classes are being offered. Community colleges offer a variety of night programs that include:
Associate’s degree program
Associate degrees are typically two-year programs offered by community colleges in a variety of fields. A lot of students eventually transfer their credits to a 4-year university to pursue their bachelor’s degree.
The most popular associate’s degree fields at community college include:
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
Business Administration and Management, General
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Shorter certificate courses
A community college certificate is a short course ranging from a few months to a year. Essentially, a certificate acts as evidence that a student completed education and/or training in a specific field.
These certificate programs are usually built around acquiring technical skills quickly for people looking to get employed or advance in the workplace. They are also a great option for those looking to learn a new skill or study to change their careers.
The most popular certifications at community college include:
Unmudl Tip: If you feel that you are stuck in a career and going nowhere fast, this in-depth article is a great guide to help you plan to switch careers.
The most popular bachelor's degree fields at community college include:
Business Administration and Management
Healthcare and Nursing
Pros of night classes at community college
Now that you have a better understanding of what night classes are, here are some of the reasons why most Americans opt to enroll in them:
The purpose of night classes was to allow non-traditional students to pursue higher education while balancing other aspects of their lives.
According to studies, over 2 million community college students are parents of children under 18. Their hectic lifestyle is a hurdle for them to get a quality education. However, night classes allow student-parents to take classes during a time when they find it more convenient!
Similarly, around 81 percent of undergraduate students in the US were part-time students and around 43 percent were full-time students. Having a job no longer means giving up on your education.
Night classes are scheduled during after-work hours. This means that you don’t have to worry about your class timings clashing with your work hours.
Balancing your educational life with your everyday commitments is not easy! However, night classes help give students the opportunity to study around their regular schedules.
Night classes can be taken in two different ways. You can either choose to take multiple short classes or a few long classes per week.
These classes give you the flexibility to choose what sort of frequency works for you according to the obligations you may have.
For example, if you have a short attention span or if you’re someone who, after a long workday, wishes to stretch out their study time throughout the week, then multiple short classes are the perfect choice for you!
Most of the students taking night classes are either part-time or full-time employees.
Attending classes with working professionals creates room for great networking and socializing opportunities.
You can get to know more people and find more opportunities in the field that you’re pursuing.
So, taking this opportunity actually opens up the door for even more opportunities
Community college as an overall option is easier on the wallet than traditional four-year universities and can save you a lot of money. According to the 2018-2019 U.S. News Data report, the average annual fee for private colleges was a whopping $35,830.
In comparison, community colleges cost an annual average of $3,660 for in-state students. Community colleges offer courses for every budget, including many that cost less than $50, and some states have even started offering free community college.
Cons of night classes at community college
While there are many advantages of taking night classes at community college, there are also certain things you must take into consideration before enrolling yourself in the program!
No (or limited) access to student services
Many student services are not available at night.
These services may include financial aid offices, cafeteria/dining, admissions office, libraries, clubs/societies, etc.
This means that if you require any of these services, you may have to go out of your way and come earlier to campus.
Limited hours can be especially difficult for things like office hours or tutorial sessions where you can have important questions about course material answered.
Because of that, emailing your professor for clarification becomes more important.
The limited access to services does vary from college to college. Some community colleges do have late-night events and activities.
After working all day, studying after hours can be extremely exhausting. Students may find it difficult to pay attention and focus if they are not well-rested.
Before enrolling you should make sure that the class schedule is set in a way where you have enough time to relax!
If your schedule permits, consider waking up later in the morning so that you have more energy in the evening.
Missing out on a social life
With your nights taken up by classes, you may be forced to miss out on certain activities like happy hour for work, Monday Night Football, etc.
You’ll just have to remember that your sacrifice will be worth it and with the help of DVR, you can always re-watch anything you missed the next day.
Tips to help make night classes easier
Having so many things on your plate can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips on how you can manage night classes more effectively and efficiently.
Be well-rested and energized
With demanding priorities during the day, one can get extremely exhausted even before entering the classroom.
Make sure you’re getting enough time to sleep and rest and try to plan out that time before choosing your college and class schedule.
Generally, you want to avoid long commutes when dealing with night classes unless night driving is your thing.
Additionally, you should make sure you have enough water and food during your day. Having a quick snack before your class can also be extremely helpful; studying on an empty stomach is never good!
Time management is key!
With all that you have going on, organizing your day can seem tough. However, with just a little bit of scheduling and planning, you can help make your routine more efficient and productive.
Try to create your evening routine as soon as possible, especially if you’re relying on caffeine. It will help to know exactly how much you need and exactly when to take it so you don’t crash in class and don’t find your mind racing all night when you get home!
Understanding yourself is also an important part of getting organized. For example, let’s take the case where you are trying to find time during your week to do your homework.
Whether you prefer to work on the weekend (when you have a day off) or during the week (getting it all done so you can rest easy during the weekend!), you should choose what works best for you and your priorities.
Night classes are not as boring as they are said to be. Most of the teachers know that you’ve had a long day and try to make the class more interactive and interesting.
Most of the people in your class are in the same situation as you, interacting with them will not only help you stay alert in class but it will also help make nighttime classes a little more fun.
This is also a great opportunity to collaborate on projects and assignments. With all the students in these classes going through the same difficulties, they are all empathetic to each other’s situations.
Community colleges that offer night classes
Over the years, more and more community colleges have started to offer night classes. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of some of the community colleges that offer night classes.
We have also shown the address and the state in which each community college operates to help you apply for in-state tuition discounts, scholarships, or financial aid where applicable.
Note: These online colleges are not ranked in any specific order.
GateWay Community College (GateWay CC) offers evening classes in a variety of fields such as Nursing, Phlebotomy, Emergency Medical Technology, Web Design and Development, Computer Information Systems, etc.
The GateWay CC main campus is located on 108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, United States.
Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) offers a variety of night class programs for traditional associate’s degrees and certificates, Fast-Track / Accelerated Degree Programs, and Adult Basic Education.
CNM also has the following services available during evening hours:
The CNM main campus is located at 900 University Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, USA.
SUNY Broome Community College (SUNY Broome) offers long and short-term degree programs, non-credit courses for personal enrichment that are all available during evening hours. SUNY Broome offers degrees in the following field divisions:
Bellevue College offers a variety of classes at multiple times during the evening and night. They offer classes in academic fields such as Healthcare, Psychology, Theatre, Math, etc.
The Bellevue College’s main campus is located at 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007, United States.
At the end of the day, whether you should choose night classes or not really depends on your specific situation. Night classes might not be for everyone, however, they can be an amazing opportunity for non-traditional students looking to pursue their education while balancing other priorities.
If you do end up taking night classes, the guide above gives you a number of tips to manage your time effectively. You've got this, good luck!
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