Practical, Flexible, and Affordable – The Advantages of Community Colleges in the United States

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Studying at a community college is an incredibly practical, affordable, and flexible option for both local and international students alike. First-time students will be pleased to see that community college class credits generally transfer to four-year universities and those interested in signing up for only a few classes, a professional certificate program, or an ESL program will find it easy to apply and affordable.

2+2 Programs

A 2+2 program starts at a community college with either a two-year associate degree or certification program. Classes taken at the community college then transfer to a four-year program at a partnering college or university, allowing the student to complete a bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time it would have taken if they would have enrolled in a four-year institution directly out of high school. Students find that 2+2 programs, such as the excellent one offered at El Camino College in Torrance, California, help them to achieve their career goals while saving money in the process.

Specialized Community College ESL Programs for International Students

Community college classes are open to everyone, and students may begin classes any semester. This flexibility means you don’t need to do substantial planning ahead, and you will be amongst a very diverse learning community. Though few offer housing, community colleges generally have regular campus services, student centers, bookstores, and more. They are often strategically located in cities or near major four-year universities, so you will still get to experience college student life.

The following ten community colleges offer ESL programs for international students interested in learning English for personal or professional reasons or for academic degree program preparation:

Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington offers a variety of two-year degrees and shares a campus with the University of Washington, Bothell – a 5,000-student public university.

North Seattle College boasts over 250 ESL students and serves as a stepping-stone to further studies in the United States. Whether they start as ESL students, High School Completion students, or enroll in associate degree programs, NSC’s transfer partnerships guarantee that graduates with good academic standing will be automatically accepted to excellent universities, continuing their educational journeys.

College of Marin, Indian Valley Campus is known for its personalized teaching approach, location in the San Francisco Bay Area, and convenient Pathway program to nearby universities.

Diablo Valley College is also located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the ESL program ensures students get the full California experience by organizing regular outings to sporting events, major cities, and volunteer projects.

Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon has a strong career development office, and many opportunities for students to become involved in campus life.

Clackmas Community College, located in Oregon City, Oregon, serves approximately 30,000 students - more than half of whom are pursuing non-degree studies such as ESL, personal enrichment courses, and workshops.

Mission College, located in Santa Clara, California, offers an attractive MC2IT program that gives its students valuable access, visibility and work experience at the top Silicon Valley companies through internships. Also the size of Mission College allows for personalized attention and care to each of MC student.

South Puget Sound Community College, Located in Olympia, the capital city of Washington State, South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) offers intensive English for motivated language learners. ESL students who complete the Intensive English Program are guaranteed admission into college-level classes at SPSCC. When they complete their associate degree, they can participate in the 2+2 Transfer Program: SPSCC students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are guaranteed admission to a dozen nearby universities, where they complete their four-year degrees with a variety of program options.

Pierce College's IEP, located only 45 min from Seattle, is one of the greatest hubs for technology, providing great opportunities for students to make professional connections. Pierce College’s ESL students can either focus on improving their English language skills, complete their first two years of a bachelor's degree, earn a professional/technical degree or certificate, or finish a high school diploma while earning college credits.

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