The Benefits of Beginning at a Community College

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Chris BowserThis week Chris Bowser, Dean of Student Services at Indian Hills Community College, will be discussing the benefits of starting your college career at a community college. Prior to this position, Chris served as the Enrollment Services Manager at Kirkwood Community College and has also worked for the Iowa College Access Network. He received a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University, where he is currently pursuing a Ph. D.

There are many reasons why starting your college career at a community college is beneficial.  First, community colleges offer a variety of academic programs.  There are programs available for both students who have the ultimate goal of attending a four-year college or university (two-year programs leading to an Associate’s degrees) in addition to those who are looking to study within a program that leads directly to employment (occupational certificates and diplomas).

Another reason to explore starting your college journey at a community college is cost.  Typically, community college tuition is less expensive than that of a four-year college or university.  This can allow students to complete their academic work at a lower overall cost, giving students the opportunity to save some cash while preparing to transfer or getting the needed skills to enter the job market.

It is important to note that even though the cost of attending a community college is lower, the academic programs offered are of the highest quality.  Because many of the programs on community college campuses are smaller in size, faculty can give more attention to students individually.  There is often an open exchange of ideas between instructors and students that can provide a more in-depth understanding of the material for students.

There is no doubt that an education will be one of the most important investments you will make.  Iowa’s community colleges offer a wide variety of academic programs, services to students, student activities, intercollegiate athletics programs and other reasons to make one of them your home as you begin your educational journey.

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