Junior Colleges provide more bang for the buck

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 25, 2006

Raising tuition at Alabama's four-year universities, it seems, has become a game of one-upmanship. The University of Alabama recently voted to raise tuition 8.5 percent, which means students taking an average course load will pay an extra $414.

Which lends us to look at the educational bargain derived from two-year colleges throughout the State of Alabama.

In a state where full tuition for a four-year run at a major university – such as Auburn, Alabama or Troy – is reaching unprecedented costs, two-year community colleges has become a viable option for those students and parents seeking a quality education without breaking the bank.

The public two-year system includes 21 community colleges, of which Lurleen B. Wallace Community College - Greenville, is a part. LBW offers more than 20 career programs and a variety of courses for academic transfer to a four-year institution. Students can easily garner two-years of valuable education from LBW – or one of the various other community colleges throughout the state – and then attend the four-year college of their choice to conclude their degree requirements.

Junior colleges play a significant role in Alabama education. For graduating seniors, junior colleges offer an excellent venue to decide if college is the right choice. They also familiarize those students that would quickly find themselves lost at a major university to a college atmosphere.

Classroom settings are intimate and instructors are readily approachable for questions and answers. Some students just aren't ready for the required responsibility and initiative necessary for attending a four-year university as a freshman. Also adults, entering college for the first time after years away from school, find that community colleges provide flexible hours and scheduling.

This makes, in our eyes, community colleges the backbone of Alabama's post-high school education system.