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Quality of Education in Community Colleges

As the economy continue to face new challenges and the tuition fees soar high, the quality of education being provided by universities also change. To date, more students opt for the low-cost public education offered at community colleges rather than the traditional four-year universities because it is highly accessible and cheaper. Meanwhile, there are counselors who say that the quality of education offered at community colleges are not better than their four-year counterparts so students have to be aware of this.

It is important to note that to determine the value of community colleges, students should not just rely on hearsay and start doing their own research prior to entering one. What researches really say is more important because this is a one-time opportunity for them to attend a cheap school that offers impressive and quality education they can use to either apply for technical jobs or be admitted at four-year institutions.

What the research says

In a Gallup Poll conducted last Q1 2016 at both four-year colleges and community colleges in 25 states, 66% percent of student respondents rated their community colleges as "excellent” and "good,” while the remaining 34% rated their school as "poor” and "unsatisfied.” Meanwhile, 73% of respondents rated their four-year universities as "excellent” and "satisfied.” This shows that the mean difference between the two groups is not far behind each other.

The same respondents who claimed community college as having quality education also said that these institutions provide necessary preparation before entering the workforce and academic literacy before enrolling at four-year institutions. Even those respondents from the four-year university group believed that the quality of education in community colleges is valuable for students coming from low-income and middle-income status.

Bottom line

For some people, community colleges are already doing their job and meeting the demands well. But there are still others who view them only as second-class education that cannot measure up to the quality of education offered by four-year universities.

Community colleges still hold the reputation that they are putting students in a position where they can achieve quality education despite the common misconceptions about them. To achieve this, they need to not just go beyond their teaching strategies and innovative curriculum, because they also need to measure how well their teaching models work for students.

The findings from the Q1 2016 Gallup Poll suggest that many students still believe in the quality education of community colleges. Therefore, two-year institutions must find ways to effectively address the issues being thrown at them. Challenges – like budget cuts, lack of teaching staff, and increasing academic demands from students – should be solved efficiently because this will prove their worth in the education sector.

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