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Nov 10, 2016 07:58 AM EST

How Community College Life Is Different From The 4-Year College Experience

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Students who are working at the same time may opt for a community college as they juggle both work and education. Community colleges are able to provide more personalized attention as well as become a stepping stone toward a four-year institution.

U.S. News reported that going to a community college may be the right decision for some high school graduates. However, they should also be aware that the environment in this type of school is different from a traditional four-year college because of the following reasons.

Oftentimes, community colleges are commuter schools

Students at community colleges will not be able to experience living inside the campus because majority of these institutions can't provide housing. Some students find this as a challenge to getting involved with the school community.

The student population is more diverse

It was previously reported that community colleges are offering more support for international students with orientations, peer mentors as well as on-campus housing, among others.

Aside from racial diversity, community college students also tend to be older than the usual college students. A lot of students work and some have families as well.

It's more challenging to get involved at a community college

While these institutions have the same extracurricular activities as traditional four-year colleges and universities, many students are unable to join because of their work.

Michael Cunningham, dean of students at the Community College of Rhode Island, revealed that it is a challenge to have busy students meet up for non-classroom activities and programs.

Community colleges are more in tune with its local communities

Cunningham added that the campuses for his community college even have differences.

One campus is smaller and urban. Here, traditional college-aged students spend a lot of time in the campus. On the other hand, students at the two suburban campuses only attend school to do what they need to do and then leave. Another campus, which is focused on rehabilitative health sciences, has slightly older students who come to school at night after working during the day.

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