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Old 12-09-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
westjones
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Community College

Has anyone had a child who started at a state university and then moved to a community college?

Are the classes easier? Not so much in the sense that the content it easier, but in the sense that maybe the instructors are more accessible, the class sizes smaller, the instructions for assignments are clearer?

My DD is not doing well this semester. There is a high probability she will be put on probation next semester. We are willing to give her one more semester to see if she can do better, but after that it will be time to figure out something new.

Oh and as to why she is not doing well, my DD has a learning disability (auditory processing disorder and large class sizes are very difficult for her), and she has some high stress/anxiety issues and tends to 'shut down' rather than "push herself' when things get tough.

We can't afford a small private college, so her only options are community college or the state college in our town. The state college is less expensive for us this year because my husband works there and gets a discount and my DD got a couple scholarships that will only apply there so we are paying less than a $1000 a semester (including books) for her to attend this year. Next year the community college cost and the state college cost will be closer to equal (she will have no more scholarships....although the state college for us would still be less, but not by much).

It really isn't the content that she can't handle, she can't seem to get herself organize, plan her time well, read through her instructions to check on procedures and due dates, and the large classes prohibits her from asking questions in classes (and she won't set up appointments to go meet her instructor or go to his office hours that won't require an appointment.....she will on occasion email her instructors about issues but I am not sure how well she communicates in her emails).

So anyway.....back to the question...has anyone's child moved from a state university to a community college, and did they find it easier there and were they able to do better in those classes?


Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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I work at a community college and we have quite a few students that do this. Most do well.

The classes are smaller, the instructors are accessible and we have tutoring available. Our instructors either come from a university or have the same education as a university instructor.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westjones View Post
Has anyone had a child who started at a state university and then moved to a community college?

Are the classes easier? Not so much in the sense that the content it easier, but in the sense that maybe the instructors are more accessible, the class sizes smaller, the instructions for assignments are clearer?

My DD is not doing well this semester. There is a high probability she will be put on probation next semester. We are willing to give her one more semester to see if she can do better, but after that it will be time to figure out something new.

Oh and as to why she is not doing well, my DD has a learning disability (auditory processing disorder and large class sizes are very difficult for her), and she has some high stress/anxiety issues and tends to 'shut down' rather than "push herself' when things get tough.

We can't afford a small private college, so her only options are community college or the state college in our town. The state college is less expensive for us this year because my husband works there and gets a discount and my DD got a couple scholarships that will only apply there so we are paying less than a $1000 a semester (including books) for her to attend this year. Next year the community college cost and the state college cost will be closer to equal (she will have no more scholarships....although the state college for us would still be less, but not by much).

It really isn't the content that she can't handle, she can't seem to get herself organize, plan her time well, read through her instructions to check on procedures and due dates, and the large classes prohibits her from asking questions in classes (and she won't set up appointments to go meet her instructor or go to his office hours that won't require an appointment.....she will on occasion email her instructors about issues but I am not sure how well she communicates in her emails).

So anyway.....back to the question...has anyone's child moved from a state university to a community college, and did they find it easier there and were they able to do better in those classes?


Thanks!
Has she sought help from the office for students with disabilities? They can make certain accommodations for her if she has a documented disability.

Does she sit in the front row of the classroom? Doing so should help in her situation. If she is going to stay another term, I'd have her contact the disabilities office to see how they can help her.

Good luck to your DD.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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The class size will most likely be much smaller (especially for the general requirement survey courses). Though I attended a four-year university, during the summers I got some requirements out of the way at my local community college. If your daughter or you want a dry run before transferring schools, perhaps she could attend a few courses at a CC this summer to see how it goes. If she'd like the 4-year college experience, she could also take some of the required classes that she anticipates will be most challenging for her at the CC in the summer.

I wouldn't count on the transfer improving her difficulty asking questions and seeking help when needed, though. Her university most likely has a Student Counseling Center where she could work on her anxiety and coping skills. The Office of Disability Services could also, most likely, provide her with strategies (and accommodations) too. That's one area where a state university offers an advantage over a community college - there are more support services like this available.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RitaZ. View Post
Has she sought help from the office for students with disabilities? They can make certain accommodations for her if she has a documented disability.

Does she sit in the front row of the classroom? Doing so should help in her situation. If she is going to stay another term, I'd have her contact the disabilities office to see how they can help her.

Good luck to your DD.
Yes she is part of the 'students with disabilities'. They gave her access to tutoring, but she did not like it (for math, they won't help with homework problems; but without working on homework problems she didn't know what to ask them to help her with and she is just not a 'driven' type who will 'push' for things....I honestly think she could have gotten a lot out of the tutoring, but I could only encourage her to go, I couldn't force her to).

I did tell her to try to sit in the front of the room, not sure if she did (and she gets upset if I ask too many questions like that.....she doesn't want me involved in all the little details, she wants to handle things herself....but the problem is she isn't handling things....so I can only do so much).

The office for students with disabilities also made it clear they only want to talk to the student, not to the parents. In high school, I had a lot of access to teachers and the resource room and could communicate issues whenever needed. Here at the university they only want HER to communicate to them and well.....she isn't doing that (she is also very introverted and doesn't like talking).

She WANTS to be at the university. Her friends, her boy friend, her sister, and her sports team are all there. She will, of course, no longer be allowed to play on her sports team if she moves to the community college (which being the introvert that she is, has been her main source of developing new friends and she loves her team----another reason we are willing to give her one more semester to try and turn things around, so she doesn't have to give up her team).

But if she doesn't turn things around next semester, she will need to move to the community college. And hopefully she can do better there.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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Your daughter can take courses at a community college by registering as a "visiting college student". She will not have to show her grades and will not be officially admitted. She can do this during the summer or anytime of the year.

My son is enrolled in a state university and had to repeat two of his courses because of a "D". They will not transfer into his major. This semester he lived at home. He continued to commute to the university for one night class a week and took 7 credits at a community college.

In some classes the work is easier. He is getting an A in macroeconomics (CC) this semester and he got a D in micro (University) last spring. He is also taking calculus and, although that course is very rigorous and he still might not get the 75 he needs to pass, I have seen him actually apply himself and really try to study and master the material. It's difficult once you are already far behind from inadequate preparation in high school.

The university that my son attends does have a process for approving community college courses for credit. The courses do not factor into the student's overall GPA.

Many states also have a matrix website where you can see exactly what courses will transfer for credit between state universities, private colleges, and community colleges. In Maryland it is called ARTSYS. This system only works for in state schools, but you can make an educated guess regarding how it will apply to out of state schools.

I am a big advocate of community college education. I attended a community college and it prepared me very well for transfer to a large university. I ended up doing well academically.

I wish your daughter much success. I know how difficult it is when your son/daughter struggles.

She may also qualify for disability services. My son is eligible for them, but refuses (because of ADHD). Some children have a terrible time with professors that have heavy accents. This is a common problem with kids with attention disorders and it helps if they can pick their professors carefully. At the risk of sounding not politically correct, I think its a huge problem for some kids who spend most of their attention deciphering what the professor is saying.

I hope that some of this information was helpful to you. Good luck!

Edited to say: You are extremely lucky to be paying such a low tuition. If your daughter is local and can stay enrolled in the university and take a few courses at a community college, I would HIGHLY recommend this. Even 3 credits will keep her enrolled. Obviously if she is on a sports team that plays in the fall, she would need to bump back up to fall time. The CC courses may give her the confidence she needs and teach her better study skills.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Yes, my DD did this. She did find the courses to be much easier. In fact, she was pretty much a straight A student in community college. Not so much in the 4 year college. The classes are much smaller and she did have more "personal" interactions with the teachers. The community college teachers also seemed to be a bit more understanding about students who have other responsibilities (work, kids, etc) that isn't seen as much at the 4 year college level.

That said, you *can* absolutely still run across an instructer here and there who is not understanding.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westjones View Post
Yes she is part of the 'students with disabilities'. They gave her access to tutoring, but she did not like it (for math, they won't help with homework problems; but without working on homework problems she didn't know what to ask them to help her with and she is just not a 'driven' type who will 'push' for things....I honestly think she could have gotten a lot out of the tutoring, but I could only encourage her to go, I couldn't force her to).

I did tell her to try to sit in the front of the room, not sure if she did (and she gets upset if I ask too many questions like that.....she doesn't want me involved in all the little details, she wants to handle things herself....but the problem is she isn't handling things....so I can only do so much).

The office for students with disabilities also made it clear they only want to talk to the student, not to the parents. In high school, I had a lot of access to teachers and the resource room and could communicate issues whenever needed. Here at the university they only want HER to communicate to them and well.....she isn't doing that (she is also very introverted and doesn't like talking).

She WANTS to be at the university. Her friends, her boy friend, her sister, and her sports team are all there. She will, of course, no longer be allowed to play on her sports team if she moves to the community college (which being the introvert that she is, has been her main source of developing new friends and she loves her team----another reason we are willing to give her one more semester to try and turn things around, so she doesn't have to give up her team).

But if she doesn't turn things around next semester, she will need to move to the community college. And hopefully she can do better there.
I understand. It's tough at this age. You can give them advice, but that doesn't mean they will apply it. I have a 20 yr. old without disabilities and it's the same way.

I hope things work out for your daughter. If she is lacking motivation, it will be difficult no matter what educational setting she chooses. Maybe CC will be the right fit for her.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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Your daughter can take courses at a community college by registering as a "visiting college student". She will not have to show her grades and will not be officially admitted. She can do this during the summer or anytime of the year.
This may not be true. I was not able to do this here in Texas this past fall. I was told you can only do this for the summer term.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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I know you want to give your daughter her independence and let her work things out on her own, but it sounds like she can't. Maybe you need to have a tough-love conversation with her. Either she does the things you ask, like sitting up front,meeting with instructors, or you stop paying for her to go to that school. Yes, she has special learning needs, but you keep saying she isn't driven. If she truly wants to be there then she needs to step out of her comfort zone and do what needs to be done to keep her there. She needs to figure out these skills now while she is in school so she can be successful in the real world when she doesn't have parents as a safety net. An employer isn't going to have much tolerance for someone who isn't driven. I think community college could be a great option. Maybe a year there will help her build her skills so she can move back to the state school later on.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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Must differ from state to state.

DS went from private university, to Community College to a second community college. DD went from State University, to Community College, back to a State University.

Community College classes here are huge here because the kids can't get into or afford State or Private University. State College and Private college classes are smaller.

Accessability to Professors is no different between Community College and State University, DD says Professors rarely are available during their office hours. DS says in Private college, Professors were almost always available during their office hours, and often outside those hours too.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #12
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OP, if the two colleges are in the same town, would it be possible to have her take the difficult course (like math) at the CC and then the other classes at the Uni?

I am a BIG fan of CC for basic college work, then move the kid to Uni for the 4 year degree. It saves families a lot of money, and they get a lot more 1 on 1 time for the basics if they are struggling at all. There are a lot of programs at our CC programs to help struggling kids or kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:34 PM   #13
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(and she won't set up appointments to go meet her instructor or go to his office hours that won't require an appointment.....she will on occasion email her instructors about issues but I am not sure how well she communicates in her emails).
[B]
This seems to me to be the biggest issue. IF she won't go to office hours or set up an appointment to meet with the professor to ask questions or clarify problems, then she's isn't taking enough responsibility, and as a parent, I would have a huge issue with that. Office hours are designed to give the students a way to ask questions without taking away from class time, and she shouldn't be afraid to go talk to the professor there.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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My husband didn't do well when he first went to a four year college. He went into the Army reserves, went to community college (where he did well), went to a smaller four year school and got a degree in Accounting, and then ended up going to seminary and he now has two Masters degrees.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:40 PM   #15
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Each state has their own cc system so somethings may be different got your state. And each cc will be different.
Check into it. You acne talk to them about her disabilities in general and what they can do.
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