There are several reasons students may select to attend a community college before transferring to a four-year university or college, including career uncertainty and personal situations that need them to remain close to home. One more common reason students choose community college is to increase their likelihood of success when applying to more competitive universities.
Finally, community college can be an excellent first step when returning to college after spending time in the working environment. If any of these paths describe you, here are few important tips about how you can use your community college experiences to make stronger your application to a top-tier university or college.
Set and achieve specific goals:
Success in university depends on your skills, knowledge and ability to complete projects with minimal supervision. While at community college, work hard on your projects and assignments, and concentration on ways to best complete your projects or assignments. Set particular goals you would like to accomplish, and do your best to make these a reality.
When writing your university admissions essay, consider emphasizing your workflow in completing one or more major projects or assignments. Mention your grades on the projects, but primarily focus on the ways you broke the assignments down into manageable parts and how you led a team in completing a group assignment or project.
Community college is more complex than all but the most elite high schools, and outlining your skill or ability to complete this important challenge can be a major application achievement. You don’t necessarily need to have an associate certificate or degree or in hand, although that can surely help. Simply demonstrating your ability to manage difficult projects or tasks can suggest just how serious you are about your education and carrier.
Learn to overcome challenges:
For several students, university is a new starting. Enrolling and performing well in difficult community college courses can be a great way to demonstrate that you aren’t afraid to stretch yourself, mainly because transfer admissions officers are often well aware that students don’t always thrive in the strictures of school. If you can prove that you are taking challenging tasks and classes and doing excellent, you can likewise prove that you are well suited for the rigors of a four-year degree program.
Several community college courses will include research papers, lab reports and the like. Don’t be afraid to reference these in your personal statement or to add them as supplemental materials in your admission application.
Seek help when necessary:
Letters of reference are significant component of your college transfer application. As such, it’s critical to make sure that you are speaking regularly with your lecturers and forming personal connections that go beyond class attendance. A tutor who can detail your ability to complete projects on time, your interest in your chosen field of study, and your eagerness to contribute to course discussions can build a case for your academic engagement.
It takes surprisingly little push to stand out, and you need not have the best scores to do so. Dedication and Passion count for much more than grades when it comes to references and an enthusiasm to seek assist is a trait that universities welcome in prospective students. When asking a lecturer for a reference, be sure to mention that you need the letter to highlight your skills that will enable success at the next level.
Few community colleges have formal mentoring programs that match students with experts. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain valuable academic, networking advice and career.
Several experts at community colleges are either recent graduate of advanced degree programs and late-career professionals who enjoy teaching. The first category of tutor may have a great deal of insight into the inner workings of universities and colleges.
These tutors may be able to connect you to experts at your college of choice. They also may be able to advice you on what to look for – and what to avoid – when choosing a four-year university.
Late-career lecturers, in contrast, can provide advice on long-term success in your interested field. They can also connect you with recruiters and internships. If you find a trainer who balances book learning with a lifetime of practical experience, do everything you can to learn from this individual.
Even if your community college doesn’t provide a formal mentoring program, most professors love to share their skills and knowledge. Stay after class and visit during office hours to establish rapport.
Learn to lead others:
The opportunities for leadership in community college are ironically both easier to claim and harder to locate than in high school. Each and every college has student groups, and most have some form of student government.
But since community college students usually stay on campus for less time as well as commute to school, community colleges normally have fewer well-defined groups and little or no Greek system. Thus, there is generally less competition for the leadership roles that do exist.
Take benefits of these opportunities to become involved and use that experience to bolster your admission application. Even a semester of leadership can demonstrate your campus involvement, and it can also emphasize your ability to manage various responsibilities.
Regardless of your reason for attending community college, take lot of opportunities you have to explore yourself. Then when you apply to transfer to a four-year university, be clear in emphasizing how you have grown as a student or as a person. This will extensively strengthen your application.