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Community colleges usually have strong ties with their state's universities and their region's business sector, and so are sometimes referred to as the community's college. Programs of study at community colleges usually include: Two-Year Associate Degree Programs designed to fulfill the requirements for the first two years of a four-year bachelor's degree.
They may be called transfer degree programs because students who complete them later transfer to four-year universities for the final two years of study. such programs include pre-business administration, pre-engineering, fine arts, liberal arts, and computer science. · designed to prepare students for immediate employment in fields such as automotive engineering, interior design, aviation flight technology, child development, criminal justice, health care services and sciences, business, fire science technology, paralegal studies, food management, and photography.
These are sometimes called terminal degree programs. Certificate Programs Certificate programs train individuals for positions in areas like social work and human services, health care, building trades, and technologies. Certificate programs may be short- or long-term depending on the type of course that is offered. Long-term programs include nursing, while short-term certificate programs include such specialty areas as office technology, real estate, and computer-assisted design.
Institutional accreditation of a community college is very important, especially if you hope to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year institution, in which case you will want to ensure recognition of your first two years of study. Nearly all the community colleges and private two-year institutions in the United States are accredited by the same agencies that assess the four-year colleges and universities in their geographical area. However, prospective students should always verify the accreditation of any two-year college in which they are interested.
Transfer and articulation
In addition to accreditation, the smooth transition from a community college to a four-year institution depends on the strength of the articulation agreement between the two schools. These contracts specify which courses transfer automatically from one institution to the other and, therefore, can be counted toward the four-year degree. Public community colleges work closely with the public universities in their state to develop transfer guidelines. The transfer of credits involving a private or an out-of-state institution may not be as well-defined. If your ultimate goal is to earn a bachelor's degree, then you should declare your intent to pursue a transfer associate degree confer with the academic/transfer counselor at the community college to identify a major; · select a four-year institution and seek out the latest information on its transfer policy and its programs of study.
One reason for planning carefully is that schools do not have the same course requirements for identical degrees. By targeting the four-year institution early and determining what is needed to transfer, then following a carefully designed program, you can avoid unnecessary work and expense. Also, because of accreditation or university requirements, some four-year institutions cannot accept certain courses from other schools. Before taking a lot of courses in one field of study, especially business or engineering, students should talk to their academic/transfer counselor, who will be familiar with any restrictions.
Recent innovative arrangements have made transferring easier. Some institutions have worked together to establish "dual admissions" policies whereby students are admitted to both the two-year and the four-year schools at the same time. Immediately after completing an associate degree, the student may transfer directly into the bachelor's program at the cooperating university.