International Students: Find A Community College That Fits
The U.S. has more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. With so many to choose from, experts say it is important that students find the right community college fit for them.
Here are three ways prospective international students can start their community college search:
Look for schools with an international students webpage, find colleges that help international students transfer and contact current international students.
Look for Schools with an International Students Webpage
Not all community colleges have a separate webpage for international students, but those that do may provide some insight on how much they seek and support students from different countries.
For example, Midwestern Career College in Chicago “has an entire section of our website dedicated to international students,” says Jihoon Doh, an international student adviser at the school.
The MCC webpage features information about the school’s English as a Second Language program, programs for international students such as Understanding U.S. Culture, and how to connect with an admissions counselor through phone, email or Skype.
Sally Rubenstone, a senior adviser to College Confidential and a former admission counselor at Smith College, a four-year school in Massachusetts, says a simple Google search – using the keywords of “international students” plus the name of the college – “can be a valuable way to gauge whether or not a school is committed to those from beyond the U.S.”
She says sparse or hard-to-find information on a community college online “could translate into insufficient support for international applicants, while clear and extensive information should serve as a wide welcome mat.”
Find Colleges That Help International Students Transfer
Bryan Lam, international student specialist at Grossmont College, says students should look for schools that have guaranteed transfer agreements. These are formal agreements between the community college and another institution that allow a student to transfer to a four-year university after completing a required set of coursework that meets minimum GPA requirements.
“An example is if you get an associate’s degree at Grossmont College, you are guaranteed admission into Arizona State University,” Lam says. “In the California community college system, there is a program called Associate Degree for Transfer, which guarantees that you will be admitted to a California State University institution if completed.”
Contact Current International Students
Experts say other international students who have taken the community college route can be a great resource. Prospective international students can turn to online forums like the one focused on community colleges on the College Confidential platform, as well as social media.
“Prospective international students can learn a lot about the college experience by connecting with current students at their school of choice,” says Talia Popovski, managing director of international student recruitment and global engagement at Valencia College in Florida. She says the school manages a Facebook group and an Instagram page for international students; the Facebook group is active and has more than 4,000 members.
“It’s common for prospective students to ask questions about housing, roommates, teachers, courses and life in the U.S. in general,” Popovski says.
Read the original article by Anayat Durrani in full on the U.S. News website