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 Post subject: Rave: Community Colleges
PostPosted: August 7 19, 4:27 pm 
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I’m super thankful community colleges exist. When I started college I was fresh off my high school career where I almost flunked out. In this period of my life, my ADD was so severe a doctor told my parents college wasn’t something I could ever hope to complete and at best *maybe* I could graduate at a trade school (not there’s anything wrong with that). My sense of self-worth was at a real low point. Consequently, I ended up enrolling in Community College called Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL. The school was nicknamed “Rock Bottom” so it seemed like the right choice. Besides, who else would have me? My first 1 ½ to 2 years were kind of rocky, but I stuck with it and with the help of some fantastic on-campus resources and amazingly attentive professors I was able to turn things around. By the 3rd year (yes, I was on the 3 year plan) I almost got straight A’s. I ended up transferring to Illinois State where I graduated magna [expletive] laude with a computer science degree which setup my career nicely. I can honestly say that 3rd year of community college is the proudest and most unexpected achievement of my life. I’m also really happy how my academic path worked out for my folks. I’m certain they would have paid for me to attend school anywhere, but my associates degree combined with a state school kept their expenses relatively low and they were able to retire on time.

Fast forward 20 years with a master’s degree, I’ve decided to go back to school for personal growth. In my early academics I focused on practical courses at the expense of humanites type of classes and I’m in the process of rectifying this. While looking around for school options I decided to checkout Chicago’s community college. The cost of a class is roughly $150 per credit hour which is *much* less expensive than the other local universities. On a whim I decided to enroll and I feel like I’m getting a good education. I believe, particularly at the undergraduate level, school is mostly about what you put in to it. How much better can a 101 philosophy book at a well-regarded university with 5-10x the tuition be? Are the grad assists at fancier schools better communicating the course content than my professor with a PhD? I suspect the big difference are assignments, which are likely more rigorous elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn the same material in my community college classes. Regardless, I don’t really care. I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

I used to be kind of ashamed of my academic track, but now I’m proud of it. Community colleges are awesome!


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PostPosted: August 7 19, 4:49 pm 
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Community Colleges are really the best way to go for most students. There are plenty of HS grads that don't really know which way they want to go with their careers; community colleges help them find some direction while being amazingly affordable; and now most states have made sure that the credits from community colleges will easily transfer to universities within their borders. It is more cost efficient; it is less pressure; and it is good training for entering the work force.


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PostPosted: August 7 19, 5:14 pm 
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+ to this thread. My first year of college credit was cc. My mom worked at the college, so something like $500 per semester for tuition. Back then, most the courses were subbed out thru the private college (big bucks if I had gone there).

2nd year, felt-like i was in a hometown rut and jumped to recipocal state school (not a ball breaker financially, but still another $10k in 1980s money over if I could do have done another yr at home and CC.
-----
My kid loves Oregon. No idea yet if college there interests her (she has a beau currently, too far away). U of Oregon - Eugene, completely out of reach financially for outstate. Professor I talk to (ok, I was drinking beer with) had high praise for their Lane County CC. Said it is a great way into U of O. looked a little into it, only 90days to get residency. Damn.


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PostPosted: August 7 19, 5:33 pm 
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Michael, your going to school for personal growth thing is great on it's own merits.

Has me thinking though, it could be path to a downsizing my career when time comes -in the vein of semi-retirement, where I likely still need some $$ but wanting to do something different fun/ enjoy (outside work-trails, conservation, etc, plant foraging for food, growing weed and hops- I have a few ideas) for lesser $$.


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PostPosted: August 7 19, 10:21 pm 
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I feel stupid for going straight to a 4 year university. If I had to do over I definitely would not have gone that route. I'd have went to the local juco and then transferred. I've considered taking some accounting at the local college. I'm thinking spring semester.


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PostPosted: August 7 19, 11:04 pm 
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Quote:
magna [expletive] laude

haha


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PostPosted: August 8 19, 9:41 am 
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I got my first degree from St. Charles Community College in Multimedia & Web Design. About half of the IT Professors taught evening classes at SCCC and worked their day jobs at UMSL. A lot of them would literally use their curriculum from UMSL at SCCC for 1/5 the price.


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PostPosted: August 8 19, 10:39 am 
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There's someone in my head but it's not me
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Location: Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am.
I went to Meramec CC for my freshman year. Then transferred to 4-yr univ and promptly tried to make up for all the partying I had missed. Tried a little too hard. Okay, a lot too hard.

Should've stayed and gotten my associate degree. Perhaps the road to a bachelor's degree wouldn't have been quite so long or bumpy .


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PostPosted: August 8 19, 10:46 am 
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Definitely support this thread. When I graduated HS I was too dumb to have semblance of a plan but I was smart enough to know that I couldn't waste my parents money going to college to party and flunk out, so I worked part time and went to school full time at Illinois Central College and then I dropped out for a while and worked full time. Then I moved to arizona and worked full time and went to school full time online with Rio Salado college and then I finally finished up my degree in Business Admin at Arizona State, mostly online.

Took me like 8 years but it paid off and I have zero academic debt and my family reallocated my college fund to support my other siblings who were going through much bigger life challenges than me. While I was taking my time academically i was putting in time at the company I still work for and while I ate [expletive] like anyone does when they start at the bottom, I always had working towards my degree to make it tolerable because I knew I wouldn't be at the bottom for long and also knew I wouldn't have student loans to pay off for 20 years. Then, I finished my degree at the exact same time that I started to get a bunch of really great opportunities with the company I work for and it's honestly been pretty easy ever since.


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PostPosted: August 8 19, 11:54 am 
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Freed Roger wrote:
Michael, your going to school for personal growth thing is great on it's own merits.

Has me thinking though, it could be path to a downsizing my career when time comes -in the vein of semi-retirement, where I likely still need some $$ but wanting to do something different fun/ enjoy (outside work-trails, conservation, etc, plant foraging for food, growing weed and hops- I have a few ideas) for lesser $$.


This isn't a primary/immediate goal, but it is something I'm absolutely thinking about. In roughly 10 years I'd like to make a career 180 regardless of pay. This is part of the life planning I've posted about in the retirement thread. I really like what I do now, but I don't think I can do it until I'm 65.

haltz wrote:
Quote:
magna [expletive] laude

haha


awww yeah

thrill wrote:
Then I moved to arizona and worked full time and went to school full time online with Rio Salado college and then I finally finished up my degree in Business Admin at Arizona State, mostly online.


I didn't know you finished school. Congratulations!


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