Community colleges can be an important link the chain of somebody’s school and career ambitions. This week, Joel Gagne speaks with Rick Hanes, the Vice President of Business and Community Partnerships for Edison State Community College. The talk about why people should take a close look at community college, the cost, some of the false stigmas that some attach to them, and some of the great benefits.

Why should people look at community colleges in the future?

It’s an amazing back door resource for people in the community. There are general education courses but also more specific courses and programs in things like engineering or the health field. There is the potential of gaining a degree and partnerships that can provide connections and relationships that can provide a career.

How much do it cost?

Students can go through the college for two semesters (a year) for $4,250, $5,000 with books. Other schools, even public can cost upwards of $25,000 per year. The savings can be paramount and still eventually lead to a four year institution, you’ll just save on the first two years.

Great Options

Student in high school have the ability to take some courses during their high school experience (college credit plus in Ohio) and it can expose students to the freedom and accountability necessary for a college atmosphere while still at home. Some students can even leave high school with an associate degree and h.s. diploma.

A student leaving high school can also enter community college when they may not be ready or sure of what they want to do. Classes are smaller, professors can better differentiate, and when students struggle or need more help, the options are much greater than that found in larger, 4 year institutions. It breaks students into what the routine of college life is like. It teaches time management, responsibility and promotes maturity, all close to home.

Stigmas of community college

If you go to a community college you won’t earn what you would with a four year institution. This simply isn’t true. It costs less to attend, you enter the job force or four year institution with a leg up. Many community colleges have partnerships with large companies like Honda, where they have co op programs that help usher students into careers.

How does Edison make itself an attractive option?

When you look at the image of Edison, it’s about producing great candidates and a strong educated workforce, as well as continuing to develop and educate the people of the community in careers and school. Making the awareness in the community that the college is a place to help develop people both in the workforce and into the workforce. Edison aims to differentiate to every possible need, from sixth grade into adulthood.