For those of us who attend or work in a community college and watch sitcoms like Modern Family, we cringe when we hear the Dunphys threaten to send Haley to community college because she can’t make it at a “real” college. But sitcom kidding aside, the truth is on some level, they’re right. Community colleges are a great place for students who either struggled at other colleges, or are undecided on their career path. For example, at Joliet Junior College, we have an entire department dedicated to student success. This department includes counseling, tutoring, career services, and more – and their jobs are all about helping students – period.
But community colleges aren’t just for students who need extra guidance. They are ideal for all types of students – adult first time students and returning students, summer school students, even high school students that want to get ahead. And if you can look past the negative commentary about community colleges in shows like Modern Family, you and the Dunphys could be laughing all the way to your four-year degree, with thousands more in your savings account. When was the last time you had a conversation with someone who actually specified that their degree from DePaul, the University of Illinois or Ohio State was only for their last two years of college? Nowadays it's not where you start, it's where you finish.
So let’s keep laughing at those comedies that poke fun at community colleges. In the end, JJC students will likely have less student loan debt to repay and end up with the same, if not better, career opportunities as their four-year counterparts. Who will be laughing then?
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