5 Things: Choosing a Community College

  • Alma_Matters
  • 25 Sep, 2021

5 Things: Choosing a Community College

By Alma_Matters

September 24, 2021

Episode #138:

 What is a Community College? “A Smarter Option”, says Dr Miloni Gandhi of Foothill College, California.

Dr Miloni Gandhi, Adjunct Faculty at Foothill College in California, is a big believer in Community Colleges.

Community Colleges which started in the US before the 1850s, has grown to over 900 colleges around the country.

Dr Gandhi believes that Community College is a “Smarter Option” and a cost-effective route for International Students to take, and then Transfer to a 4-year college.

We asked Dr Gandhi how Students, both domestic and international, should choose the Community Colleges to apply to.

Here are 5 Things to consider while choosing Community Colleges:

  1. Geography
  2. Majors Offered
  3. Extracurricular Activities
  4. Student Support Groups
  5. Transfer Rate to 4-year Colleges


1. Geography

The location of the Community College is a big factor, especially if you plan to transfer to a 4-year college after 2 years.

Often, Community Colleges located close to the colleges you're interested in transferring to, or at least within the same state, will have transfer agreements with those four year colleges. 

Additionally, there are a certain number of seats allocated for the transfer to that 4-year college.


2. Majors Offered

For the Community Colleges you pick by Geography, Research the Community College websites to see what kinds of majors are offered, what kinds of courses of study are available.


3. Extracurricular Activities

Research each college to see if it has the kinds of extracurricular activities you want to be involved in.


4. Student Support Groups 

Find colleges with a sense of community, like minded peers. 

For example, a college with an Honors Program, or where the Transfer Center is active. You want to pick a place where you will find other students who have similar goals to yourself, and will kind of lift you all up together in that transfer experience.

Make sure you're able to find like minded peers who are going to go down the same path as you, to collaborate and support each other.

If you are an international student, go to places that have vibrant international offices, which do special things for the international students, to help you adjust to being on an American college campus.


5. Transfer Rates to 4-year College

Research the Transfer Rates, like the rate of success of students who have transferred from the community college you're looking at, to possibly have a four-year college that you're looking at. Most of the data is available on a Community College's website, or you easily Google that information.

State systems typically aggregate all the data regarding transfers and make it publicly accessible for bragging purposes. This enables a State to share how many of their students have been able to transfer to a specific 4-year college.  

Similarly, the four year schools like to publicize their rates of Transfer success as well.

Considering these 5 Things should go a long way in helping you find the best community colleges for you.

In addition to this, in the Podcast with Dr Miloni Gandhi on “What is a Community College?”, we discussed:

  • What is a Community College?
  • Why should a student consider Community College?
  • How do you Select Community Colleges to Apply to?
  • How do you Apply?
  • Advice to Students once they get there

If you are college-bound, this Podcast is a must listen to be inspired and motivated about your own future.

Subscribe or Follow our podcast College Matters. Alma Matters at any of these locations: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, Breaker, Anchor.

Trending Articles

    Is College in US for you?