24. Community Colleges (1)

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The American community college system is a place for second chances. Community colleges are two-year schools that thrived in California after the end of World War II. Many American military personnel were returning to civilian life after their service to the country. Some of these young people decided not to go to college after high school so that they could serve their country during that time of need. When they returned, many of them turned to the community college system in California to continue their education.

The United States government introduced the G.I. Bill at that time giving returning servicemen and women educational benefits to help them get back to school. Soon community colleges and new school districts began appearing throughout the country. Community colleges helped ease returning military personnel back into college life. It was a low cost, less stressful alternative to going back to a four-year university.

Today, community colleges attract students from all parts of the world. In California, a large population of students comes from Asia and Latin America. These schools provide a second chance to international students who may have experienced difficulties attending college in their native countries. American students who may have not done well academically in high school, and did not enter a university, can turn to community college for a second chance, too.

Community colleges provide a much-needed resource for all these students. Former military personnel, international students, and high school students alike, are all welcome. One of the best things about community colleges is that they accept anyone at anytime. This means people who have not found what they want to do in life can try more than one area of study. If they don't like one course of study, they can always try something else. That is the beauty of community colleges.

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