Community college is known for being cheaper, but less prestigious than a four-year university. But what do you get in lieu of that prestige?
You get diversity.
The percentage of students attending Pensacola State College (PSC) aged 25 and up is 45.35%; with 18-24-year-olds, it’s 42.8%.
With age diversity, there are first-time college students and second-time college students, and sometimes professional college students. There are degree-seeking grandmas and those who had a family or a military career first. There are those who just want to finish what they started or start what they never did.
There are those who want a career change and those who just want to learn something new. There are those who are just graduating from high school and those who chose the collegiate high route, skipping half of high school (and the drama that comes with it) altogether.
There are the dual-enrolled and those who have found their career niche at PSC and who want to move up in their current career.
Not everyone knows what they want to do from the time they’re in middle school, or even after high school; even for those who do, that can change several times over the course of a lifetime. In the non-academic world, it’s easy to figure out what you don’t want to do; community college helps one figure out what they do want to do.
Community college isn’t a waiting place, but a place of transition. You just want to get there, and it won’t cost you a fortune to do it.
It’s a place where sometimes, the professors are younger than you. It’s a place where technology is often part of the curriculum, even for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes.
It’s a place where the younger students help the older students with that technology, and where the older students can offer their life experiences, and sometimes the wisdom gained from those life experiences, creating a rich learning environment.
Years ago, one-room schoolhouses taught a variety of ages. We learn best when we learn from one another.
Community college is just that—a community. It is a place of discovery and inclusivity, where everyone is equal, but different.
The flexibility and affordability of community college makes it a viable option for everyone. At PSC, despite the lack of Greek life, there is a vibrant college life, with numerous events, clubs, and organizations to choose from.
There are math and writing labs available when the teacher is not, job placement services to help keep you stocked in ramen and coffee, and scholarship opportunities that can enable you to take classes in the summer so as to finish faster—PSC offers all the tools students need to get their college degree, regardless of age.
You can go here and get there.
Where there is, is up to you.