Junior College

The affordable option

Photo of Ashley Haskins
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In high school I took all the right classes, played sports, was involved in clubs and volunteered for programs that were to prepare me to go straight into college. However, during my senior year my family separated and my yearbook advisor (I was the chief editor) went on long term disability. I suddenly had to transition in to survival mode. My support systems were broken.  The next thing I knew it was spring and my friends were receiving college acceptances and I had missed the application window by months!

I spent the next two years at the local junior college and working part time. Finally, the college application window was open again. Money was tight in our family and College applications were expensive.  At this time my family had reconciled but was now caring for my aging grand father. Even though both of my parents were college graduates, they were both  working full time just to make basic ends meet. I was encouraged to only apply to 2 schools which applications would fit in the budget. We also, didn't qualify for any financial assistance. Fortunately, I was accepted to both California State Universities that I applied to.

The opportunity for me at the local Junior  College was affordable and practical. It also prepared me for the rigor of the university where I transferred, and to ultimately earn my bachelors degree and teaching credential. 

The JC experience afforded me the perfect stepping stone between high school and university. 

1 comment

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Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Ashely, So glad to see you back on the Teachers Guild!!!! You were such an inspiration during the last challenge, it is great to have your thoughts, ideas and energy on the #reachwayhigher campaign!  

Thank you for sharing you story. Junior college is a smart, viable option for many. In fact, my younger brother did a year of junior college since he wasn't really sure what he wanted to study. I strongy encouraged this because I spent the better part of 2 years at college, racking up student debt without a major. I eventually found education but needed to complete all the course work with then ended up putting me in undergrad for almost 6 full years. I really think junior college helped my brother think through what he wanted to study before transferring to university. 

There are quite a few folks on the platform talking about junior college:

Danny Scuderi https://collaborate.teachersguild.org/challenge/reach-higher-better-make-room-teachers-guild-college-journey-collaboration/discover/nothing-junior-about-junior-college

Lynn Smaagaard https://collaborate.teachersguild.org/challenge/reach-higher-better-make-room-teachers-guild-college-journey-collaboration/discover/available-to-all

Might be worth checking out their posts and/or partnering up for the ideate phase.