Community colleges are also known as junior colleges. Essentially, a community college is a two-year post-high-school institution that offers Associate programs, certification programs and many other programs. Since community colleges are generally public schools, the emphasis is always on open access to quality education and a minimalist admissions policy, operating on the credo that everyone should be provided the opportunity to pursue higher education.
A community college offers students from all backgrounds the opportunity to join and learn with an emphasis on learning, not on the historical accreditation (perception of credits) or the degree. As it is, many courses and programs offered by a typical community college are non-credit courses and often just about imparting knowledge and vocational skills.
In fact, apart from the flexibility offered by their two-year program, community colleges are in many respects quite similar to colleges with four-year programs. While there is an emphasis on preventing people the benefits of a higher education, there are minimum requirements that students are expected to maintain in terms of academic standing. This combination of an open-door policy with the benefits of a regular four-year college system in terms of quality of education and motivating students to maintain minimum standards can be surprisingly effective in the rapidly changing social environment of today.
Community colleges have become increasingly important in recent years due to the extra demands of the workplace. Employers today demand more education and skills from their employees than ever before. A college degree offers the complementess of education and knowledge that employers look for. In addition, community colleges allow students to benefit from the positive aspects of voluntary learning by preparing them for a career-oriented life in a two-year program. For students that want to get a head-start in their career or students that are still undecided that they want to go through four years of college education, a community college may be the perfect choice for them to get started.
The course curriculum in a community college is unique in its practical nature. For people who want to learn immediately applicable skills that will allow them to enter the work and be eligible for higher level jobs, the options that a community college education offers are very valuable. As such, community colleges are a popular choice for people 'returning' to college to learn a new skill or certification. In fact, community colleges are most popular for their ability to easily integrate members from varied backgrounds into their student body.
The decision to attend a community college is an important one to make. Often, the need to learn a new skill will push you towards acquiring a certification. Sometimes however, you may need the extra choices and flexibility that a two-year program provides. No matter what your needs, a community college education is to be seriously considered for those students who wish to follow an alternative path to the traditional career path (through a four-year program).