Don’t take community colleges for granted

Jeanita Lyman, TSV Staff Writer

In a lot of ways community colleges are one of our nation’s greatest triumphs. They function to democratize higher education in our country and make it accessible to people regardless of race, class, gender or economics, which is critical in having a true democracy. They are also important in that they serve as an outlet for community members to educate themselves and explore their interests and give older students the autonomy that they need. Without community colleges, thousands of people would not have access to higher education.

The fact that community colleges are often looked down upon and scoffed at is extremely problematic and unjustified. What’s worse is when this attitude is held by students. I’ve talked to and overheard an upsetting number of people speak negatively about our school, community colleges in general, and themselves for not getting into a “good school.” As a result, they often come into classes demoralized and already consider themselves failures. It makes for a highly undesirable learning environment for everyone and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Expensive, big name schools do not have a monopoly on good education. In fact, the term “good education” is somewhat redundant. Education, in its true definition and form, can’t be considered a bad thing under any circumstance.

My advice to Skyline students is simply to make the most of your time here and take advantage of the benefits of attending a community college. Its affordability and flexibility allows students to customize their studies here to suit their exact needs. It’s also an ideal place for anyone who isn’t sure what they want to do, to explore and experiment in. And there is nothing wrong with that! Never let anyone tell you otherwise and never let anyone belittle your work here. You are learning about the world and gaining new skills, no matter what classes you’re taking and there is no right or wrong place to do that.