Middle-class students look to community college as their first option


Maria Isabel Del Castillo Schmidhuber/The Skyline View

Students walk around the Skyline College campus quad on April 18, 2018.

Community colleges have become a more common choice for education among middle-class students in the United States.

Students may not want to attend UC or CSU institutions after high school as they may be indecisive in regards to what they want to major in while many look to community college for its affordability. Many students find their path toward what they want to study in the future while attending a community college.

Research conducted by the Community College Research Center states that “among students who completed a degree at a four-year college in 2015-2016, 49 percent had enrolled at a two-year college in the previous 10 years.”

Additionally, the research shows that almost 50 percent of those with a four-year degree have gone to a community college throughout their educational path.

Skyline student Ledy Prado, explains why she thinks it’s important that both of herself and her children continue their education at Skyline as a part of the middle class.

“When my family and I arrived in the U.S the best option for me and my kids was to go to a community college,” Prado said. “Our economic situation was not solid either, so going to a UC is very expensive, so going to a community college was the best option for me and my children.”

This is a very common thing among families who end up going to community college first, yet the cost has allowed low income as well as middle-class families to gain access to affordable education.

More of Skyline’s middle-class students express their experiences attending Skyline and why they think a community college is a good option for students.

Luis Jibaja, Ledy Prado’s son, who is in computer science major, and is in his seventh semester attending Skyline shares his input about community college being a good option.

“Community college is the perfect starting point it’s affordable and it gives you the opportunity to explore multiple fields, for that reason, it’s perfect for people who are undecided about their major,” Jibaja said. “Because people can try multiple classes of different majors like for example, engineering or arts and end up finding out what their passion is.”

San Jose State University graduate student Mayra Lopez who graduated Skyline years ago and now is a Math tutor at Skyline College shares her thought on the benefits of community college.

“To me, Skyline was so helpful. It was the greatest thing that happened to me back then and I think community colleges are great for any students in so many ways,” Lopez said. “Community college prepares you for life and reality, thanks to Skyline it helped me transfer to San Francisco State University.”

A lot of students apply to a California State University or University of California when they’re in high school but then last minute end up attending a community college because of how indecisive they are about what they want to major in. A wrong decision would affect anyone massively in an economic spectrum.

Skyline psychology major Michelle Chee was supposed to go to San Francisco State University directly after high school but then decided not do.

“I don’t regret going to community college first because it gave [me] the opportunity to find myself and to find my voice,” Chee said. “It really gave me the chance to explore the classes that I wanted to.”

Chee also went into detail that community college helped her realize what pace she is in when it comes to college.

“Me knowing how much I can handle in my course load I couldn’t take as many classes,” Chee said. “For me, it’s taking longer to transfer but I don’t regret it because I know the pace I have to go in order to succeed in my classes.”