What's so bad about community colleges?

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29 Replies - 5555 Views - Last Post: 28 December 2012 - 10:53 AM

#1 Graxun  Icon User is offline

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What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:28 PM

I always here people talk about community college like a bad thing. Is it that bad? Whats your opinion? I want to go to college for Computer Science/Programming and the college I was looking at offered everything I want, including certificates for Java Programming. Also it is close to my house "15-20 miles", and it's cheap.
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#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Common comments all over here but the short version is this:

Colleges don't teach you how to be a software engineer: They take a year or more to hand-hold you through the same material you can get from "Learn C# in 30 days" books.

Colleges aren't in the business educating. They are in the business of selling course credits. The more courses you have to take to learn something the more money they make. So its just good business to break up your 'education' into as many courses as they can.

I think it was pretty well covered recently in this thread:
http://www.dreaminco...5&#entry1730475

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 12 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

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#3 mojo666  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

I went to community college for 2 years then transfered to university. At community college, I got most of my general education finished as well as the core engineering courses. The most annoying part was all the prereq. courses they require, but in general CC was good for my plan of transfering. Would it have been sufficient if I had only done CC? No. I took a series of programming courses and in doing so accidentally earned a certificate in c++ programming. That may initially seem impressive, however the final class of that certification (and the most advanced class offered by the college) transferred as CS125 at UIUC. This is the first class all programming majors take their freshman year at Uni. I didn't learn programming at community college. I learned syntax. An analogy would be aspiring to be a writer and trying to accomplish this by taking foreign language courses. In my experience, CC was not enough to be a programmer. I had not even completed freshman CS and thus spent the next two years (summers included) earning 4 years of knowledge and the degree that goes with it. CC is ok as a beginning but not an accomplishment.

This post has been edited by mojo666: 13 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

Job applicants that I've interviewed for my repair shop from ITT or another local community college are incredibly unprepared for the real world. They are not given many 'tasks', or 'projects' to complete. They get introduced to technologies, hardware, & code, explained & taught about the method & theories, & then tested. There is very little overall hands-on & understanding by the applicants.

The most recent told me they went over everything on a Linux system. I replied 'oh really, everything? Please tell me more about everything on a Linux system'. He stared at me. 'Well, we logged in, & went through it's configurations'. So again, I asked for more details 'Tell me about what you configured, & how it applies to everything in the Linux system'. To which he had no response. When I asked the percentage of command line to GUI usage in a Linux system, he said they went over how to use the command line, but all tools were used in GUI. So I asked what he knew about the command line, & he could open it.

I know that they are not all like this, but this is how they are prepared. They are sold on 'job availability' & 'percentage in the working force', but they are really just introduced to computers & given buzzwords. As I stated before, they are not given projects to research, complete, & be graded upon understanding. They are graded on memorization of technologies.
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#5 Graxun  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

Thank you so much for the very long and great replies, I really appreciate this community and everything it has helped me with.
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#6 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

It's what you make out of it.

The best attitude that you can have in college is to commit to learning the material on your own.
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#7 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 13 November 2012 - 01:14 PM, said:

Job applicants that I've interviewed for my repair shop from ITT or another local community college are incredibly unprepared for the real world. They are not given many 'tasks', or 'projects' to complete. They get introduced to technologies, hardware, & code, explained & taught about the method & theories, & then tested. There is very little overall hands-on & understanding by the applicants.

The most recent told me they went over everything on a Linux system. I replied 'oh really, everything? Please tell me more about everything on a Linux system'. He stared at me. 'Well, we logged in, & went through it's configurations'. So again, I asked for more details 'Tell me about what you configured, & how it applies to everything in the Linux system'. To which he had no response. When I asked the percentage of command line to GUI usage in a Linux system, he said they went over how to use the command line, but all tools were used in GUI. So I asked what he knew about the command line, & he could open it.

I know that they are not all like this, but this is how they are prepared. They are sold on 'job availability' & 'percentage in the working force', but they are really just introduced to computers & given buzzwords. As I stated before, they are not given projects to research, complete, & be graded upon understanding. They are graded on memorization of technologies.

Spot on. I actually went to ITT, and that's pretty much how it went. I made the most of it by actually taking the time to sit with my instructors to talk about assignments, and taking on projects on my own outside of class. Unfortunately, I'm the exception to the rule I think. The "went over everything on linux" bit made me laugh, by the way, envisioning a condescending wonka image macro...again I'm different in that I was introduced to Linux when Red Hat 7 was new, so had that going in to school too.

I look down on my classmates :( only a few others were actually interested in software development - and that was the focus of our program. I made the most of it, I still have all my school books dog eared to hell for reference, but there were classmates I had who just didn't even bother or try. In a class of 22, 4 of us built our final project - and incidentally we were the only 4 to actually graduate too.

It's not that a community college doesn't offer the information - they just don't have the motivation or mindset of a place of higher learning, really. They want to sell you credits, as was said - not educate you. They don't have a prestigious name to honor, they get testimonials from success stories to advertise. They are to academia as telemarketers are to customer service. Honestly, I regret going to ITT because putting it on my resume makes me look like one of the twats I went to school with - but not putting it on would be a lie. :( It's a mark against me, I assume - and I try to offset that by highlighting my time time tutoring and the classes I tested out of instead.

You get what you put in to it. If you go with the mindset to learn you'll do well, but it isn't like a university. You'd likely do well on your own in independent study and might as well put the money towards certifications instead.
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#8 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

ITT is not a community college. ITT is a tech school. More specifically ITT is a private, for profit, school.

Community Colleges (well in the states this is) is a state/county funded/subsidized school that primarily does NOT give you bachelor degrees. But instead gives you associate degrees (2-year degree) that can then be used to move on to a University or State College and get a bachelor, masters, and doctorate.

Many community colleges also have a tech degree section as well. A common one is an attached nurse tech wing to learn to be a nurse. You can get technical degrees and certifications from these.

Most community colleges offer education paths that automatically get you accepted into the state universities upon completing them. This is good for those kids who couldn't get accepted as first years for said universities, or couldn't afford universities.

They're also almost nearly always cheaper than universities.



Now most community colleges have a 'programming tech' course which isn't a real computer science route. All of the credits are considered electives usually and can help get you into a university, but don't really count shit towards a computer science degree. You can use some of the certifications from them to get beginner level jobs in the IT world.

If you want to do community college it's best to treat it as a place to get your associates degree on the cheap, and move up to university from there. Finish up your maths and english there, in a small class room, for cheap.

But if you're just going to take a bunch of Java and C# classes... and forego continuing to university... cheaper and faster to just get a bunch of books and teach yourself. Those tech certificates are a dime a dozen...

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 14 November 2012 - 09:53 AM

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#9 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:24 AM

I am a proud community college graduate. Was I prepared for a career straight out of school? No. But I've met CS majors from Ivy Leagues who are ill-prepared for the workforce as well.

Regardless of where you go for your schooling, it will take initiative on your part to learn the practice of coding, not just the theory they'll cover in the classroom.

There is always a learning curve once you finally get on the job. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a community college education. In the end, we're all in debt for a magical piece of paper. The educational elitism astounds me.

Do what works best for you, your time, and your budget. Build your portfolio and be proud of what you do. I've yet to be denied a job because I didn't have a degree from a big, expensive school.
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#10 lordofduct  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

Same here... I went to community college for mathematics. Dropped out, taught myself to code, and got a very nice job.
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#11 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

There's nothing wrong with community colleges. Community colleges suffer the same issues universities suffer, which is shitty students.

If you are serious about learning you can do it anywhere.
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#12 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

View Poststackoverflow, on 15 November 2012 - 01:21 PM, said:

Community colleges suffer the same issues universities suffer, which is shitty students.

Not true.

Shitty students are weeded out of population in general universities. Mostly because they will not cut it for four years, & either drop out of fail out. As long as a student is paying tuition, they are given passing grades at a community college, & only have to last 14 months.
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#13 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 15 November 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

View Poststackoverflow, on 15 November 2012 - 01:21 PM, said:

Community colleges suffer the same issues universities suffer, which is shitty students.

Not true.

Shitty students are weeded out of population in general universities. Mostly because they will not cut it for four years, & either drop out of fail out. As long as a student is paying tuition, they are given passing grades at a community college, & only have to last 14 months.


Not true.

Every year a number of unqualified students graduate either by luck, cheating or other means. If you've ever interviewed junior developers with BS/MS degrees you would notice this very quickly. :P
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#14 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

I'm not saying that every university has stellar students, or that even one has 100% competent graduates.

What I am saying is that the community collage actually caters to those likely to fail, which answers the question as to why they are bad & looked down upon.

I went to a community college, so I'm speaking first hand (as well as my experience with candidates). There was a girl in my class that got straight a's in the computer fundamentals, & then didn't know why the files on her network drive were lost. She was accessing the floppy drive rather than the network mapped R: drive.

From my experience, the school catered to the ignorant, I felt completely ripped off for my money, & anyone that I've ever interviewed from this school or from ITT has been a complete lack of actual do-it-yourselfness. The general consensus of the students is "If I do steps A. B. & C., I'll get a jarb".
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#15 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: What's so bad about community colleges?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 15 November 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

As long as a student is paying tuition, they are given passing grades at a community college, & only have to last 14 months.


If this were in the Lounge, I'd be lobbing obscenities at you from all directions. Not every community college graduate is a moronic waste of space. No one "gave" me passing grades in my courses. I had to earn them. And in the case of my misogynist COBOL instructor, I had to lower my personal standards to get them.

You cut me deep, no2. :cry2:
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