It’s time to address the elephant in the room - the stigma surrounding community college.
Far too often you hear people saying that community college is for those not “smart enough” to attend a 4-year university. However, that could not be farther from the truth.
I sought out the opinion of Simrun, a community college student with plenty of knowledge to share. Simrun is a rising sophomore majoring in psychology on the pre-med track at Texas A&M University, but has paired her education journey with community college every step of the way. Whether it be through a high school dual credit program, a summer certification, or classes at her local community college, I gained insight into Simrun’s enriching experience.
Q: Why did you decide to take classes at a community college?
A: I have actually taken community college classes at three different times so far. The first was in high school for dual credit in college. Then I took an EMT-B course right after high school graduation to gain insight into my possible future job of emergency physician. The last time I took community college classes was the summer in between my freshman and sophomore year at Texas A&M. I took physics so my credit load at A&M wasn't so heavy during the academic year. Long story short, community college has retained a continued presence in my life.
Q: Tell me a bit about your EMT program through a community college
A: I took my EMT class through Blinn Community College on the edge of A&M's campus, and it was absolutely amazing. The class size was small so everyone was able to meet each other and create personal relationships, and I could talk to my prof daily. On top of the amazing lectures, the labs were equipped with state of the art equipment, really preparing me for my clinical rotations and real patient interaction which the college arranged for me.
Q: What are some myths about community college that you found not to be true?
A: Some myths about community college that I heard were mostly in high school, from my teachers, counsellors, and other students who would say that community college is for people with “no ambition” or for students who weren’t “very smart.” I experienced, first hand, that community college is for people who prefer much smaller class sizes, cheaper tuition, one-on-one interaction with the prof, and a very flexible schedule.
Q: How has community college helped you succeed academically and/or prepared you for future endeavors?
A: Community college gave me my EMT-B license which is a career in itself. However, for me, I am not pursuing this as a career so it gave me much insight into the world of emergency medicine. It helped me ensure that I am not wasting my time at Texas A&M by pursuing a pre-med route. Also, by getting my general education credits out of the way at the community college, I'm able to lessen my semester load and really focus on my major specific classes.
Q: Anything else you want prospective learners to know?
A: I would like prospective learners to know that underestimating community colleges is a HUGE mistake. Community colleges have so much to offer, and you should at least check out their technical and general education classes - at least once.
This is a real story from a real community college learner, and this story could be yours. Unmudl is here to help you get there.