Sunday, November 8, 2009

Junior College = Solid Alternative

The front entrance of Oklahoma Community College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Photo provided by Spencer Smith.

College is expensive. No ifs, ands or buts about it. College is also rigorous academically. No way to disprove that fact either. There are people out there that simply cannot keep up with either of those characteristics that come with a four-year university. For those who cannot afford it or cannot deal with the academic rigors, there is an alternative option: junior college.

OCCC sophomore Spencer Smith talks about the misconceptions about junior colleges.

Junior colleges are schools that offer primarily two-year associates degrees at a lower cost than that of a four-year university. The education however, remains close to the same due to smaller classes and more intentional time with professors. 

Spencer Smith, a sophomore at OCCC, said that finances were the primary reason for him attending a junior college. 

“Due to extenuating circumstances I don’t have any scholarships so that was a very big motivating factor,” Smith said.

Chris Beaudoin, a sophomore at OCCC, said that many people attend community or junior colleges to take care of classes that they would have problems with at a four-year university. Another reason is just to get classes out of the way so that students can move on to more difficult classes within their major. 

OCCC sophomore Chris Beaudoin talks about how attending a junior college benefits him.  

The smaller student to teacher ratio is another big factor that draws students to a junior college. 

“Going to a university, the classes are 10 times bigger so I get more one on one time with my teachers at OCCC if I do not understand something,” Beaudoin said.

“At OCCC they have much smaller class sizes than at OU,” Smith said. “Also, their calculus program is said to be exceptional. That program in and of itself, that’s why I’m going there. If I have questions, I’ll have more opportunities to get one-on-one time with my teachers.”

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