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First semester

Career Student Life Transition

Is Community College the Right Choice?

November 6, 2020

Growing up, many students and their families are led to believe that attending a four year college or university right after high school is the best decision. They hear that the quality of education will be better, the college experience will be more fun, and that it will look better on their resumes when it is time to make a career choice. But community college shouldn’t be overlooked simply based on the benefits of attending a four-year university.

Here’s why community college may be the right choice for you:

The Cost

Most families and students know that community college does tend to be less costly than a four year college or university. This is often one of the biggest reasons students begin their higher education career at a community college. Classes are a fraction of the cost compared to a four-year university, and it’s a good time to get the general education studies out of the way, or even take classes that simply sound interesting to you, since tuition won’t break the bank.

Credits Earned Can Be Transferred to a Four Year College or University

The classes you take at community college can be applied to your bachelors degree. Many students don’t realize general education classes, like your English and science requirements, are the same at both the community college and university level. Just make sure you’re passing your classes and meeting with your counselor to make sure you are on the right track to transfer your credits. It would also help to begin contacting the university you plan on attending to make sure your junior college credits will transfer and that you are taking classes that are equivalent to what is offered at their institution. 

Associate’s Degree May Be Enough for You

You can earn a degree at community college and be done with higher education, if you want. It’s totally up to you! Lots of students make the decision to pursue career options with just their associate’s degree under their belt. Other options include joining the military or attending a trade school.

Staying Closer to Home for a Bit Longer

Some students are hesitant about leaving the nest so soon after high school that they make the decision to attend a community college that’s close to home. This gives first year college students the opportunity to spend more time with their family and childhood friends, save money on school, and maybe even get a part time job. Attending community college and living at home can be an easier transition for students who are paying for school themselves or aren’t yet sure what they want to study at a four-year university.

If you and your family are trying to decide whether or not community college is a good decision, take these considerations to heart.

Other Transition

5 Tips For Succeeding In College As A Veteran

February 10, 2020

Current and newly transitioning service members who assume control of their college careers may initially find it a challenge. When you’re accustomed to following a regimented schedule, it can be tough managing study sessions, test preparation, assignments and interaction with new peers. Yet, the discipline and training that you’ve honed during your service — such as time management, attentiveness, and organization — can give you an edge in succeeding as a student.

As a veteran, you’re also empowered in a unique way. You have a singular worldview as a result of your experience and access to benefits that other students aren’t eligible for, such as the GI Bill. If you’re ready to pursue your degree, here are five tips for succeeding in college as a veteran.

1. Develop a Plan

Planning is key when preparing for military operations, and taking the next steps in your education is no different. Prospective students should contact their schools of choice for academic advising. An advisor can help answer questions about a particular area of study or degree plan. This ensures that you take the proper subjects in order to earn your degree. To be a successful student, consult with your professors and advisors about your course options before registering for classes.

2. Connect With a Veteran’s Administrator About Your Benefits

If you’ve been on active duty for at least two years, you’re entitled to certain benefits through the GI Bill. The bill provides students with a direct monthly payment they can use to cover fees, tuition, books, and other costs. Be sure to find the veteran’s office on campus, where you can connect with an administrator to discuss your unique situation. A veteran’s administrator can guide you through the process of claiming your benefits and the various documents you need to complete.

3. Create a Network

College is the ideal place to begin building a network of peers and future professionals. These connections, made both in and out of the classroom, can help you with your career trajectory. Networking is also a great way to find mentors who can provide valuable advice for your goals and point you in the right academic direction. A mentor could also help reduce culture shock, open the door to new opportunities and introduce you to new people.

4. Utilize Military-Specific Student Groups

Connecting with a military community on campus can help new veterans relate to the challenges of transitioning into college and civilian life. Many institutions of higher learning offer veteran-specific orientations, classes and organizations, which can serve as a support system and source of comfort. Bonding with peers from similar backgrounds can also make a veteran student’s academic career more rewarding.

5. Get Involved

While a strong support network is important, don’t let your military group be the only individuals you interact with on campus. Daily contact with new people from various backgrounds can help enrich your experience. Getting involved in organizations such as sports leagues, honor societies, fraternities or sororities and civic or cultural groups is a great way to meet new people, discover your passions and unwind from the stresses of school.

College doesn’t have to be an unfamiliar, foreign ordeal after your time in the military. Today’s universities offer veterans convenient ways to gain the education they desire. By taking the right steps and utilizing the resources available, a veteran can successfully transition into life as a student.

Bio: Jeremy Silverstein is Vice President of Operations and Vehicle Dispatching at Veteran Car Donations. During the years he’s been with the organization, he has become quite an expert in the industry and has handled tens of thousands of donated vehicles.

Other Transition

College Orientation Checklist!

August 26, 2017

So the time has finally come. Can’t wait to start your first year of college?  Well, before your classes get rolling and before you know the ropes, you’ll probably be attending a student orientation. Yippie! Depending on the school, orientation can last anywhere from a day to a whole week.  During orientation, you’ll learn a lot about your new school and your new classmates.

Below is a list of 5 things that you should bring for your orientation.

  1. A pen
    You’ll receive plenty of paperwork during orientation.  When you are taken for tours around campus and if you attend assemblies, your group’s orientation leader may have pamphlets with relevant information to give you.  They can be from places like the academic center, the health center, or even the library. Always listen to what your leader has to say; they are seasoned college students and are trained to know what’s what.  If you keep a pen handy, you can jot down any additional information that you’ll want to remember.  It’s also helpful to write down the times and locations of various orientation events that are being offered, so that you’re sure to stay on schedule.

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