Benefits of a community college

Attending a community college is one of the BEST decisions you can make to get started on your educational, career, and personal goals.  Yet, while this is true, for some reason, attending a community college isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.  Get this:  community college IS college!

As you take a variety of classes, you will start to meet students with different goals.  Some students are returning to college to change their careers, to earn a degree that they may have started years ago, to learn something that they have always wanted to do, or to complete a vocational certificate.  But, for many students, the path to earning a Bachelor’s degree starts at the community college.

Although many students are qualified to attend a university out of high school, taking courses at a community college is still a significant savings compared to the costs of attending a CSU or UC to complete your lower division requirements.  In the end, you still come out ahead by enrolling at Sacramento City College.

Attending a community college isn’t easy; courses are rigorous, textbooks will challenge you, and professors will motivate you to learn outside of the classroom.  But, as much as we want you to stay and to explore every subject that you are interested in, getting in and getting out is a goal that we have for all students.  We want you to enjoy your time at Sacramento City College, but we also want you to take the right classes so that you are able to graduate or transfer without delay.

With this said, planning your education is crucial so that you know exactly what you need to do to complete your goals.  Otherwise, for some students, this could mean that they may be at SCC a little longer than expected.

As you think about your goals, here are a few tips to consider…

1.   Focus on your required courses.  Depending on your goal, required courses include general education, major preparatory courses, and electives (if needed).  Sacramento City College offers lots of great classes, but make sure to stay on track with what you need to graduate and/or transfer.  If you need assistance with understanding graduation and/or transfer requirements, please make an appointment to meet with a counselor.

2.  Successfully complete your courses the first time.  While it’s true that you have three attempts to complete a class, starting and finishing strong the first time around is always better!   Having to repeat a class will set you back, especially if that class is a prerequisite for another class that you need.  Plus, it doesn’t make financial sense to pay for the same class three times.

3.  Use all resources available on campus to help you complete each semester successfully.  Use services from the Math Lab, MESA, Writing Center, and LRC.  Remember, all of these services are FREE and were created to help you achieve your goals.

4.  Start identifying your goals early in your college journey.  During your first semester of college, you may not know exactly what you want to major in because there are so many to pick from.  (The most important thing at this point is that you made it here!)  But, don’t wait too long before you start giving thought to your educational and career goals.  By identifying your goals early, you can start taking appropriate courses that will set you on the right path.  If you need help, there are lots of resources on campus.  For example, the Career Center offers a library of books related to different majors and careers.  Also, you may want to think about enrolling in a class called “Life and Career Planning (HCD 330).  This class is a great way for students to explore their strengths, interests, and skills as it relates to different majors and careers.

5.  Realize that the grades you receive are permanent notations on your transcript.  Ok – so you couldn’t stay awake in your 7:00 a.m. morning class and decided to stop attending.  Even though you may have assumed that your professor would drop you, that responsibility is up to you.  Unfortunately, if this happens, that substandard grade (D or F) that you received will stay on your transcript permanently.  Sure, you can always repeat the class to discount your previous grade from your GPA, but the first grade will never be deleted, replaced, or erased.  There is also the possibility of academic renewal, but you have to wait until one year has passed and you earned 12 units or more of “C” grades or better.  And, to add to this, if you are receiving Financial Aid, you may have jeopardize your eligibility to continue receiving grants!