Community College

Community College

What is a community college?

A community college is a two-year college (sometimes referred to as a junior college) that a student may attend in order to complete general education requirements. Once completed, they can either transfer to a university or receive occupational training and go directly into their chosen job field.

In the U.S., if students are interested in going to a university, they have one of two choices. The first choice is to go directly to a four-year college, most commonly referred to as a university, to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The second choice is to complete classes at a community college for the general education requirements of their bachelor’s degree program and then transfer to a university to complete the final two years of upper-division courses.

Why would a student choose to study at a community college?

  • Community colleges are considerably smaller than universities. Students receive more personalized attention from their instructors, as class sizes are generally smaller. This is often more appealing to international students because it can be easier to learn in an environment that is more personalized—especially when dealing with learning in a new environment in what may be a new educational system.
  • The cost of tuition and fees are considerably less than a university.
  • The community colleges in Maricopa County have transfer agreements with the three main Arizona universities (Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University). Students can receive assistance from academic advisors during their two years at SMCC in designing a schedule of classes that will easily transfer and be accepted at the three main Arizona universities. Students planning to attend a university outside the state of Arizona may also receive assistance finding a degree program that will apply to their career goals or transfer needs.

To help you learn more about the International Student resources available at each of the three main Arizona universities, links are provided below: