International Education Program > International Education Center
What is a Community College?
MORE Americans are enrolled in community colleges than in any other type of higher education institution. But these popular post-secondary schools are not very well understood outside the United States. What are community colleges? Why should international students take a closer look at them?
COMMUNITY colleges have also been called “two-year colleges” or “junior colleges,” but the preferred name is community college. These institutions, found throughout the United States, primarily serve local communities. Most community colleges are “commuter schools,” situated close to expressways and public transportation routes so that students can reach the campus easily from the surrounding area.
Community colleges offer several kinds of programs of interest to international students:
INTERNATIONAL students are probably most interested in the first program on this list: University-transfer programs. Community colleges offer the first two years of a normal four-year bachelor's degree program. Thus, students who attend a community college can prepare themselves to transfer to a four-year institution by completing the lower division courses at the community college instead of at a university. After two years, students can apply to the four-year college or university to complete their degree.
For example: (See Figure 1 on the right.)
FOR international students coming to the United States from other countries, community colleges offer some distinct advantages over other institutions:
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