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Thinking Without Tunnel Vision: When Students Need An Alternative

students-fall-01-600x385She looks likes she’s been there hours before zero period, but that’s probably because stress is keeping her up at night, makes her look perennially awake, anxious and expectant. You’re no sleepwalking slouch and usually get in pretty early yourself, so being greeted like this means one thing: somebody’s let the clock run out, and her hair’s on fire.

Or she’s extremely eager to get a jump on the Spring courseload crunch, and wants to know what’s available. She needs help. Now. But you don’t judge. She’s worried she’s waited to long to get into college. You’re the first place she thinks to turn to and her last best hope.
Either way, here’s where you earn your keep; where you get to be even more creative. Otherwise known as just another day at the office.

When Fall rolls around, the college window of opportunity often feels like it’s quickly shrinking to a pinhole and it seems like it’s about to close shut fast. But you know different. Students (and their parents) sometimes get tunnel vision when thinking about college. The concept of alternatives is always present, but it’s at the edge of consciousness, not something they’ve actively considered, much less pursued.

Accelerated Instruction For Catching Up and Getting Ahead

Community college is often top of mind for vocational studies as one of the swiftest and surest routes from high school into the workforce. One of the most overlooked options for students looking at late registrations and Spring load lighteners: Fall and Winter sessions at community college. With more than 100 campuses throughout the state in more than 70 college districts, these schools have far more flexible, more affordable, and more effective interim solutions. That’s not just alternative: that’s serious opportunity and tons of choice. Talk about alternatives!

If university has been the primary (or only) focus, it may come as a surprise that the Fall/Winter sessions at community colleges are often specifically tailored to the matriculation needs of these specific two types of students: late deciders needing a solid place to land and catch up, and early birds looking to get a jump on what’s next. The sessions may look abbreviated, but they’re actually intently focused, highly concentrated courses created to accelerate academics for students striving to catch up or get leg up. This academic acceleration is also ideal for more streamlined vocational studies geared to helping students acquire vocational knowledge and earn certifications so that they may enter the workforce even more quickly.

student-600x400So whether she needs to get on track with degree requirements, or she’s looking for an affordable way to to lighten the Spring load, Fall/Winter session at a California community college could be just the ticket.

TIP: Narrow Down, Not Tunnel Vision

For the most complete university-like experience, it’s easy to narrow the field. Community colleges with on-campus housing provide an environmental experience most like that of university, helping students better acclimate to the transition into more autonomous community living away from home. There are less than a dozen campuses in the 112 school community college system that with on-campus housing, which really helps narrow choice when this is a requirement.

So good luck helping your students dial in their options without tunnel vision.

[Note: California Student Housing is an independently owned and operated student housing facility located right on the beautiful campus of Columbia College, in the Yosemite Community College District, within walking distance of all classes.]

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