Community Colleges in the United States

    19 March, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

    Suppose you are thinking about attending college in the United States, but perhaps you might not be ready for a university with a four-year program. About 88,000 international students have found solution. They are attending U.S. community colleges, such colleges are sometimes called junior colleges. They offer two years or education above the secondary of high school level.

    Community Colleges in the United States
    Community College Locations by May, 2012.

    Community college students can choose from subjects like medical assistance,computer science or law enforcement. At the end of their study program, they receive a document of completion, called a certificate.

    Other students work toward an associate degree in traditional academic subjects like Science or History. Some students with associate degrees move on to attend a four-year college or university. They may have only two years of study left before they receive a bachelor's degree.

    Many educational experts agree that saving money is a good reason to consider a community college. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) says, a public two-year college costs average of 3,000 dollar a year, that is true if the student lives in the same state as the school. A student at a four-year public college may pay more than 8,500 dollars a year for classes and user fees, that does not include books and other materials.

    International students may need more preparation in English before entering a four-year school in the United States. For example, Istrif Montgomery came to the U.S. from Kosovo in 2006. He soon were graduated from the University of Maryland's University College, but he did not begin his college level education at the university.

    First, he spent three years at a Maryland junior college with, by chance, the same name as his last name. He worked to improve his English at Montgomery college for a year, then for the next two years, he attended classes in basic subjects.

    Some international students at two-year colleges need to find a place to live. Most community colleges do not provide student housing on their grounds. But Mr Montgomery had a home near by.

    "It was right there, I was able to drive my bicyle, I was able to walk if I want it."

    Scott Crow is with American River College in Sacramento, California. He says most community college students live near their school. For example, he says most American River students live within five to ten miles off the college.

    And that's the Education Report from VOA Learning English. We will have more about community colleges in a future report. You can visit our website at I'm Bob Doughty.