Two years, four semesters, 60 units and a few thousand dollars: all these make up the perfect “community college plan.” Survive this and you’re all set to transfer into that four year university, supposedly.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for most students. Without proper guidance and determination, the two-year plan is flawed.
College is the time in which students are discovering themselves and figuring out what they would like to do for the rest of their lives. For many, it may not come so easily and they may discover that what they thought they wanted to do isn’t actually the right path for them.
Often, students take on part-time jobs to make ends meet while in school since they aren’t required to dorm and be away from home. Part-time jobs take away from internship time, which are necessary for hands-on experience.
With the idea that time is of the essence and can’t be wasted, students feel that they must get everything done within this short time frame in order to jump start their careers. For many, it is hard to juggle a 15-unit semester so they end up decreasing their class load to better balance everything which in turn extends their time as a student.
What is also difficult is the fact that there isn’t enough classroom space to be able to get into the classes that are needed to graduate. If a student doesn’t have priority registration and needs to take all the classes that everyone else needs to graduate as well, chances are they may not even get into that class for a couple of semesters.
Throughout the years there have been higher enrollment rates and not enough classes, so students end up staying in the community college system a lot longer. Students are on a cycle of feeling the rush of needing to get out, to running into every speed bump and feeling discouraged and unmotivated.
Not every student sees a counselor on a regular basis either. Without someone who can help them map out the journey, students may not know which direction to go and it can become a little overwhelming.
A lot of students end up in classes they don’t actually need when they can’t get into classes that are specific for their major. This can lead to eventually changing their major because it’s easier to go a different route.
The two-year transfer plan isn’t completely far fetched, but unavoidable circumstances can make it seem that way.
If a student can get the help to figure out their goals, or take those initial required classes that are the base of all majors, the two year plan can be realistic. Schools need to be more proactive in helping students get those essential classes which will help students get out of the community college and into their desired university.
Community colleges are a great stepping stone into a solid future, but only if students are able to find that stable stone to step on.