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Plug for local schools

emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
edited April 2005 in Parents Forum
It has been very exciting to read about all the wonderful acceptances for kids on these boards- how gratifying to hear from schools that they "really, really like you!"
But of course it can be a crapshoot and it is possible that someone has not recieved any acceptances as of yet ( although they may once the waitlists move) and is tearing their hair out wondering what to do.
aside from taking a year off to work & save money or participate in one of the many gap year programs- I wanted to put a plug in for applying to a local public school with rolling admit or even gasp a community college.
My daughter as you might remember was attending a top LAC- where she was majoring in biology. Because we needed financial aid for her to graduate- when she needed to retake a course- she was forced to come home to attend the local CC as the local university wouldn't let her attend unless she formally transfered ( which her LAC didn't want her to do)
Anyway- while yes it is true in general the students aren't as academically minded ( it takes some a while to get focused) and it is true that the lab facilities are hard to compare to her college ( which has recently plunked $$$$ into the labs) the instruction is great- her OChem lab instructor teachs at a competitive science program summers for high school students & seems to be quite tickled to have someone of her background. Big ego boost for her-
She is having to be much more independent in her lab work- instead of a lab partner she opted 2nd quarter to do it on her own- as she was always having to reexplain what the procedures were. However she has met several people who have degrees from well known schools and who are changing careers so it isn't without intellectual stimulation. There also is something to be said for attending a more 'diverse' school. This is the first public school she has ever attended- and CCs are often where top international students attend to save some money- it has been much more diverse than her K-12 schools or even her college.
So if forced to because of lack of choice or money- don't count out a community college- you can get a decent and perhaps very good education and get impressive skills to transfer.
Post edited by emeraldkity4 on

Replies to: Plug for local schools

  • SusantmSusantm Registered User Posts: 2,188 Senior Member
    That is very true. I speak from personal experience. I graduated from Stanford, where I feel I received a great education. However, then I decided to change directions. I first took several classes at the local community college to help me decide what I really wanted. I found those classes to be better than I had expected and had one teacher there who really inspired me in the direction I decided to go. Then I went to the closest state university for my teaching certificate. I also enjoyed those classes very much, as well as the people I met there. No, it didn't have the same intellectual atmosphere as Stanford, but it was still a great place to learn what I needed to learn.

    There are many, many great places to learn, and a person's life will definitely not be ruined if they don't make it into a "top" college.
  • AvalonAvalon Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    I'm a homeschooled high school junior currently taking a couple classes at the CC (have been since beginning of high school), and I feel almost guilty raving about my CC experiences! I've had the chance to build some wonderful friendships with students and instructors alike, and it's been so affirming to have so many people who believe in you and aren't cutthroat about med school or whatever, but rather collaborative and encouraging. One thing I've noticed is that many of the instructors are "real people." They play soccer, fly airplanes, take their kids to Little League games, and play the bassoon. As my math instructor from last semester put it, "First you're going over homework, then 20 minutes later your talking about last night's Simpsons episode." Very true. And the diversity of the students has shown me what I want in a four-year college -- a place where I can hear seven or eight languages in ten minutes.
  • AvalonAvalon Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    I've also noticed that the instructors at CC's are people who ENJOY teaching. My cell biology instructor from last semester has degrees from Yale & Columbia as well as a postdoc from Stanford. Research rat? No way! She makes herself an equal with her students -- instead of us calling her Dr. ______, she has us call her by her nickname, and she even invited us to her band's autumn concert.

    The Ivies may have the rankings, but the CC's sure have my heart!
  • WhitneylmWhitneylm Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    I really wanted to like the CC classes I took in HS. Badly.

    In fact, I found that the professors are amazing! They were funny and above all, fascinated with teaching their subject. However, I was hoping to escape from the High School atmosphere by taking these classes. It didn't work quite as well.

    In the English class I took I was made fun of repeatedly, often to my face, and basically hated by most of the people. They'd complain about me and basically made me hate the CC. It was English, one of my major strengths, and I would do all the reading and added frequently to the discussion. Few others in the class read the books (save the back of it) and most relied on AMAZON.COM REVIEWS! for discussion. Then, when my additions were so different they assumed I was some smarty pants looking to suck up. Needless to say, I flocked back to high school (which was actually accepting) and have taken the rest of my CC classes online.

    I know, however, that my experience was just that. However, it made me so depressed and miserable (I'm also taking two classes at a different HS, one where they sort of look down on anyone from my HS and make it quite known) that I would be nervous to try again. However, I have no doubts of the CC's merits. I love my professors (even online!) and really enjoyed the work we did. In fact, I'm taking another online class from the same CC this quarter.
This discussion has been closed.