Career Programs at Community Colleges

Two weeks ago I wrote you about the perils of “Career Programs on Television Commercials”. As a follow up, I make the case for pursuing career programs at community colleges.

Cost vs. Earning: Unlike “for-profit” schools, community colleges offer low tuition rates. California residents currently pay only $26 per unit. On average, full time students will pay approximately $300 per semester plus the cost of textbooks.

I agree with you if that sounds like a substantial sum of money…and the community colleges think so too. In response, all community colleges offer qualifying students fee waivers, grants, and other supplemental forms of financial assistance. Please visit the “FINANCIAL AID INFO” for details.

Fee Waivers: Qualifying students of low-income backgrounds qualify to have tuition waived; meaning that you do not pay for the cost of classes. A fee waiver covers an entire academic year and is renewable. You do not need to pay this back.

CAL & PELL Grants: Qualifying students that complete the FAFSA may receive grants (free money) to help you pay for your living & travel expenses, textbooks, etc. while in school. Maximum eligibility at a community college is approximately $7,500 dollars per academic year.

“Non-profit” education: Unlike the “for-profit” vocational schools in television commercials, community colleges do not operate to make a profit. Community college are mostly funded by taxpayer dollars; which explains why tuition is so low. Earnings from tuition are used to offset educational costs and surpluses are reinvested into the college.

Job Placement? No reputable institution will guarantee you a job. What community colleges can guarantee you is you will have access to career/job centers that will assist you in developing a resume, teach you how to look for jobs, and prepare you for interviews. As soon as you select a community college, inquire about their career counseling services.

Recognition: All community colleges offer classes and programs that lead to career and vocational certificates/degrees. To name a few, these programs can include Aviation Maintenance, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, dental hygiene, design, electrical engineering, graphic arts, nursing, paralegal studies, etc. etc. etc. These programs have broad oversight by state and federal regulators and governing bodies that accredit California’s prestigious universities.

To view vocational certificates listings for local community colleges, please visit the links below:

Los Angeles Community College District
West Los Angeles College
Santa Monica College
El Camino College

Note: This blog above only covers career/vocational certificates. Please visit this blog soon for a review of Associate Degree (A.A./A.S.) and community college transfer processes.

Angel Viramontes
Student Recruiter
West Los Angeles College
viramoa@wlac.edu
www.wlac.edu/highschool

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