Regardless if community college is something you have considered before, take a look at this Q&A with Dr. Jasjeet Singh, a child psychiatrist who attests to the value of a community college education.
Jasjeet attended Southwestern Community College in Iowa just 4 years after moving to the United States from India where she earned her associate degree before transferring to the University of Iowa. Upon graduation, she dove right back into the education scene and completed medical school in the Caribbean. She then returned to the states for her clinicals and Board exam. After 4 years of an adult psychiatry residency and a 2 year fellowship in child psychiatry, Jasjeet earned her title as child psychiatrist which she has continued for 20 years.
With such an impressive resume, I wanted to hear her insight into what made her achievements possible. The answer, a deep dive into community college.
Q: How did community college help you go from credit to career?
A: I took all my science courses in community college and got my Associates degree there. I really enjoyed them because the classes were small and I got 1:1 attention from the teachers, giving me a base knowledge in the subject that I later built on. At University of Iowa, it was a whole different ball game. The classes had 400 students and I mostly interacted with Teaching Assistants instead of forming relationships with my professors.
Q: How did community college help shape who you are today?
A: If I hadn’t excelled in my classes those 2 years, I probably wouldn’t have gone into medicine like I am now. It propelled me toward my goals that I have since been able to reach. My first year at University of Iowa was really tough and had I started there for my first year, I don’t know how much I would have continued toward my goals.
Q: What about community college do people not realize?
A: People think you can only go to community college if you want a 2 year degree and that’s it. I used to get stuck in that thought and not want to go to a university after, but it’s so nice to get your base courses done in a nurturing environment and then go to university.
Q: Why do you think there is a stigma surrounding community college?
A: When you’re in high school, there is so much emphasis on getting into a good university to do well in life so all you think about are the 4-year universities. But, you will do just as well starting at a community college. Schools need to emphasize the importance of community colleges.
After asking Jasjeet for some final words, she shared this:
“I probably wouldn’t have made it to this point without community college.”
So, take it from Jasjeet. Community college can help any learner succeed and believe in themselves that much more. Take the plunge and dive into community college. You're sure to make a splash.