The two-year, “community college” stigma needs to end. The thoughts and opinions of two-year colleges in the past does not pertain to the current benefits attending community college has today.
No, going to community college does not mean you are behind the rest of your class.
No, going to community college does not mean you are any less qualified to go to a four-year.
No, going to community college does not mean you will be stuck and unable to move forward.
These are all false. They are stigmas that have stayed glued to the concept of attending two-year institutions.
Four years ago when I had intentions of traveling out west to become an Oregon Duck, I never would have thought I would be where I am today.
After deciding to go to Sussex County Community College for the next couple years has been one of the best decisions I could have ever made.
By gaining an associate’s degree and transferring to Seton Hall, I was able to get ahead of the curve in a sense of loans and knowledge. I have gained valuable hands on experience that Seton Hall has taught me in these last two years that I know I would have never received if I had attended school somewhere else.
Who would have thought this small university tucked away in New Jersey would be the place I would call home and be proud to be an alum. To be able to say these things is because of the choice I made to save time, money and other valuable resources. In an article written by Scott Jaschik entitled “Fighting the Stigma Against Community Colleges,” he states that:
“Counselors at public schools were much more likely to strongly agree that community colleges offer rigorous academic course work than were their private school counterparts (42 percent compared to 23 percent).”
Going to community college does not mean you are any less educated and knowledgeable than those who attend a four year university right out of high school. Community college offers benefits in terms of affordability, small enrollment size that aides a larger support network, and the flexibility to be able to attend school while working full time.
SCCC opened doors for me in terms of coming to Seton Hall because it set me up to succeed in my college career. I have worked hard and put in my time to be able to proudly walk across that stage to accept my diploma.
Seton Hall has given me various opportunities that I am forever grateful for. I have met incredible people along my journey and have made life-long friends along the way.
Without attending community college, I know I would not be where I am today: happy, excited for the future, and only a few dollars in debt as compared to what it could have been.
Community college stigmas need to die and become a thing of the past because it has helped me succeed and I am positive it has helped many other people as well.
Merinda Gruszecki is a senior public relations major from Franklin, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.