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Benefits of Community College Versus University

Dec
22

For many students, enrolling at a community college versus a university is a hard choice to make, with many details and implications to consider. 

If you are planning to pursue the path of higher education and do not know whether a community college or university experience is right for you, consider the following factors, including cost, class size, and overall academic value. 

Are Community Colleges Are More Affordable?

According to the Community College Review, the average tuition for full-time, in-state students in 2018-19 is $4,836. This is half the average cost of attending a public university as an in-state student. While this doesn’t cover the cost of fees and books needed, it is a smaller starting figure. 

If the option is available, you can also save even more money by attending a community college near home. This gives you the ability to live at home rather than spend more money on rent. For students that need to work while attending school, flexible community college schedules can make it easier to work part-time.

The variance between attending a community college versus attending a university can vary widely and is usually the biggest difference between the two entities. Across all areas, community colleges are less expensive to attend than universities. 

To put it into perspective, community college tuition can be as little as $3,500 per year, compared to upwards of $35,000 for out of-state-students attending a public university. While costs vary and depend on many factors, it is safe to say that community college is the lower-cost option for those who consider price a major determining factor. 

Community Colleges Have Smaller Class Sizes

You have probably seen they stereotypical large lecture hall freshman class in movies. It is not that from the truth for intro courses at large universities. In comparison, community college classes are generally much smaller. 

A smaller class size benefits both the students and teachers. Teachers can give more individual attention to students and customize the experience to fit the needs of a smaller group. Students will also have the opportunity to get to know their classmates, ask questions during the lesson, and have one-on-one conversations with professors in a smaller classroom environment. 

Because universities have larger student bodies, class sizes are significancy bigger compared to community college class sizes. This distinction is important to consider if you prefer and benefit from one-on-one learning or if you can handle a more hands-off learning style. Consider how essential this aspect is to your academic success and if you know you do better with personalized feedback in a smaller setting, you should consider the community college route

Less Strict Admission Requirements

Community colleges are ideally suited for students who want to earn a degree but may not have a competitive high school GPA for applications. By providing students an opportunity to improve their grades and earn credits towards a degree, community colleges are helping students become better candidates for university admission requirements. 

One important thing to remember if you are hoping to transition to a four-year school for your BA is how your credits will transfer. You want to make sure you don’t pay for a class you already took at a higher price tag.  

Improved Academic Quality at Community Colleges

In the past, community colleges were thought of unfavorably by some, and were not considered a solid academic experience. That has been changing, and while there is still variety in the student experience, community colleges are more generally accepted as a way to complete your gen ed courses before transferring to a four-year program. 

Community colleges have enhanced their academic standards to attract more students and meet the transfer requirements of large universities. This creates the opportunity for students already attending a four-year university to take summer classes at local community colleges for a lower cost. 

Easier Transition from High School to College

Typically, the transition to community college is easier on students leaving high school.  With smaller classrooms, flexible schedules, and entry-level courses, students who are worried about getting lost in a large school might find community college a better fit. 

It’s also important to remember the stress of leaving home and the newly discovered independence of living on your own that can be disruptive for students. 

Overall Academic Value

The difference between the kind of degrees and programs offered and the quality of those degrees and programs vary across community colleges and universities. In Many Cases, community colleges are known as ‘2-year’ colleges that offer associate’s degree programs that might be completed in two years or less. There are many jobs only require a two-year associate’s degree, rather than a four-year bachelor’s degree, including positions like an air traffic controller or a dental hygienist.

In many instances, community colleges are regarded as preparation for transfer to a more extensive university program, in which students can engage in more time-intensive educational options. 

A university offers lengthier programs: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, which take longer to complete. Universities generally offer a more comprehensive range of degree and program options for more specialized areas of study. Think about your career aspirations before committing to a decision, and decide the path that makes the most sense for you and your future.

Finally, it is essential to consider what you want to get out of your college experience, whether that be a community college or university. If you want to be medical doctor, you should follow a four-year university program that sets you and your resume up for success when you apply to medical school. The choice really comes down to what you want for your life and career, and there is no wrong answer.

Quarantine Birthday Ideas for Teens

Dec
11

Quarantine Birthday Ideas for Teens

In an era where theme restaurants and spectacular birthday events traditionally occur, being locked down for a teenager’s birthday could feel like a major disappointment. While another activity at home or on Zoom may initially receive a lukewarm reception, having fun and interesting things to do may make the kids forget for a moment they are in a situation like this. Here are some suggestions for activities and ideas on what to do when your teen has a birthday while under quarantine.

DRIVE-BY BIRTHDAY PARADE – If you’re far from ready to have outside guests over to your home, host a drive-by birthday parade. Ask your guests to drive by your place at the same time with decorated cars and homemade birthday signs. Have them honk as they go by, drop off gifts at a safe distance, or sing “Happy Birthday” out the vehicle windows.  Make this a total surprise, and your kid will be impressed.

MOVIE PARTY – Netflix now has a new feature called Netflix Party, where everyone can watch the same movie on Netflix and talk to each other in the group function. They can also watch a movie together using another streaming service and then chat over an app such as FaceTime.

VIDEO CARD – Challenge your guests to each makes a short video about the birthday honoree. Encourage each guest to make it something specific for the birthday celebrant. Please post it on any social media platforms like TikTok or YouTube, and don’t forget to create your own unique birthday hashtag to add in the comments.

KARAOKE SING OFF – Karaoke combines all the best things in life: music, socializing, and making a total fool of yourself with friends. You’ll want video conferencing software, so your child and their friends can all see and hear one another. The other tech application to consider is Watch2Gether, which enables users to stream videos at the same rate. If you type the song title plus “karaoke” into the search bar at the top of the page, it will then deliver songs to sing. 

A GOODIE BAG WITH AN ACTIVITY IN IT – A couple of days before, drop off a goodie bag at everyone’s place. When the moment comes, everyone can enjoy the same treats as if they are in the same room. Send out an appropriate task in the bag, such as a small Lego building set, so both parents and kids can get creative together during the event.

PAINTING PARTY – If your teen is into art, having a virtual paint night is a unique and fun way to celebrate their birthday while letting their friends join along. Invite all their friends to join the party over Zoom, and send the guests a week or a few days before the party a DIY Paint Night Kit for them to use. Then, when it’s time to get the party started, they can all paint together.

HIRE AN ENTERTAINER OR EXPERT – Think of a real-life activity you might have considered for an in-person party and now do it as an online group activity. Pick something your teen enjoys: a cooking class, magic lessons, a TikTok dance party, acting or improv games, or a small concert/sing-a-long.   The instructor will lead the activity while offering encouragement and feedback. The kids will end up with a fun new skill, maybe a souvenir, and some great memories.  It’s also a fantastic way to support small business owners, instructors, or entertainers who are getting creative themselves these days to stay in business. 

GIVING BACK – Take the moment to help those who may not be as fortunate as you and your neighbors.  Whether it’s writing letters of thanks to first responders, making masks for people who need them, or some other community service activity, take this opportunity to have your teen and their friends learn about being engaged in our area. This could start a habit of giving that could last a lifetime.  

SEARCH ENGINE SCAVENGER HUNT – Many teens think they know the Internet better than adults do, so let’s put them to the test. Pair up a series of teams and have each team find these on the internet. Once found, have them take a screenshot and report back. Use our suggestions or come up with your own: 

  1. Locate an online Earthcam that is at least 500 miles away from where you are right now. 
  2. Assign each team a specific food and come up with at least three pictures of different ways to prepare it. 
  3. Find out the names of the mayor of your current city and the city next door you where you are.
  4. Find pictures of items in exotic colors:  try colors such as Sarcoline, Coquelicot, Smaragdine, Mikado, Glaucous, Wenge, Fulvous, and Xanadu. 
  5. Identify someone with the same exact name as someone on their team. Where do they live? Tell us two additional facts about them.
  6. If it’s noon here, what time is it in England, Egypt, China, New  Zeeland, and Hawaii … or any other destinations you suggest?
  7. Plan a car trip starting at home then drive the most direct route to any five of these actual American cities and head back home again. How many miles did you travel in total, and how long did it take?

Bacon, Indiana Bad Axe, Michigan  Big Rock Candy Mountain, Vermont

Buttermilk, Kansas Cheesequake, New Jersey Chicken, Alaska

Dinkytown, Minnesota Dinosaur, Colorado Frankenstein, Missouri

 Fries, Virginia Horseheads, New York Normal, Illinois

Riddle, Idaho Sandwich, Massachusetts Soda Springs, Idaho

Zzyzx, California Whynot, North Carolina Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

  1. What is the most expensive item they can find? How much does it cost? Where can you buy it?
  2. The year they were born, what were the number one song, movie, TV show, and a championship team in a sport of your choice.
  3. Have the birthday guest or someone else come up with something for the teams to find.