Community colleges offer advantages beyond art credits

May 22, 2019 — by Michael Wong

With the vast amount of resources closeby, students should explore taking such classes over the summer.

Facing a required 10 credits of visual or performing arts by Saratoga High to graduate, some students have opted for taking classes over the summer at local community colleges to receive credits, avoiding a full year of an art class.

However, this convenience casts a shadow over the many other advantages community college provides. With a multitude of diverse and interdisciplinary classes readily available, community college courses are an excellent and free opportunity for students to pursue interests further, allowing students to delve into topics that are otherwise unavailable at Saratoga High.

With the limited number of classes and teachers at Saratoga High, many intriguing subjects are unavailable; previously, students have complained about the lack of business and yearlong economics classes. Similarly, harder math and sciences classes like multivariable calculus are unavailable but can be taken at community colleges. For students interested in taking those classes and pursuing those subjects deeper, community college serves as an excellent solution.

Furthermore, certain college-level courses expose students to the rigor of attending a post-secondary school, where classes are generally more demanding. Attending such classes can better help students adapt to a college environment, where most students will find themselves within a couple of years.

Taking community college courses can also be a valuable way to spend one’s summer. While academic camps such as COSMOS and similar hosted camps by top universities garner lots of attention each year, the competitiveness of such programs turn many students away each year. Attending college courses only require fulfilling basic prerequisites, rather than competing among prospective students for a spot. As most students will be unable to get admitted to top programs, such courses hold lots of value and are a viable alternative.

Finally, attending a California community college as a high schooler is completely free, with the exception of the comparatively-meager textbook costs. With high demand and willingness from parents to send their children to top tutoring centers and teachers, often charging up to a $100 per hour and thousands per course, community college offers rigorous courses without the high price tag.

With the depth and diversity of materials available for free, students interested in pursuing academics over the summer should look at the option of attending community college courses.

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