What are Community and Technical Colleges?

​​These are two-year schools that provide either an academic or technical education to students. Community colleges usually have more of an academic focus, and offer programs that allow students to earn an Associate of Arts or Sciences, Associate in Pre-Nursing or Associate in Applied Science—T degree, which may then transfer to a four-year institution.
 
Meanwhile technical colleges are usually more concerned with the preparation of students for immediate employment. That means they are less likely to include non-vocational or general subject matter in their offerings. If you are planning to transfer to a four year college from a technical college, it is beneficial to speak is beneficial to speak with admission personnel from both schools to detail a transfer plan.
 
Not all credits earned in a technical program may transfer to an academic program. However, there are four state-funded technical colleges in Washington state which provide AA, ATA degrees and certificates at an affordable cost. Two of these, Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College, are located in Tacoma.
 
Educational Bang for Your Buck
 
There are many reasons why attending a community or technical college makes good sense. Here are a just a few of the benefits:
 
·     Students obtain a two-year Associates Degree and/or hundreds of career certificates through programs as short as 3 months. These colleges train students for jobs in computer science, health, business, trades and many other fields. 
·     The schools are usually affordable and often near home.
·     Students who earn an Associates Degree can transfer to a 4-year university as junior and finish in two years, a great way to cut costs. In fact, 40% of four-year graduates in Washington started at a community college.
·     Financial aid is available, including the College Bound Scholarship. Be sure to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January.  And attend a Financial Aid Information session in December at your high school for more information.
·     Learn more about the variety of programs offered at Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, Bates Technical College, Clover Park Technical College and Washington’s other 30 community and technical colleges.
·         Local colleges offer numerous information sessions and application and financial aid – check their websites for details.
 
More information on two-year community and technical colleges:
 
·         For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Colleges
·         7 Red Flags When Applying to a For Profit College
·         Two-Year College Checklist