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Dispelling the Top Five Community College Myths

Jun 1, 2018

Myth #1: A degree from a community college isn’t as good as a university degree.

Graduating DVC studentsFalse! A degree from a community college can be a step directly into the job market.

  • Diablo Valley College has over 65 programs that lead to a degree or certificate in two years or less. These programs prepare students for building a career that offers responsibility, the chance for advancement, higher wages, and life-long personal growth.
  • A degree from Diablo Valley College is the ideal preparation for transferring to a university to obtain a baccalaureate degree, opening up a whole host of additional opportunities.
  • A community college education is more cost-effective, reducing your reliance on student loans, or possibly enabling you to avoid them altogether.

Community colleges provide a step-up on your career path ladder, whether that path takes you directly into the workforce, or leads you to a university to continue your education. Community colleges help you along the way, ensuring that after you complete your program, you are ready for your next step. That’s the community college difference.

Myth #2: The people who go to a community college are the ones who can’t get in anywhere else.

Students walking on DVC campusWrong! There are so many reasons students choose to attend a community college. And “choose” is the key word, because most community college students have proactively chosen community college rather than other educational options.

Community colleges are cost-effective, conveniently located with flexible schedules, offer dozens of academic programs and are closely connected with employers in the local job market. 

Community colleges attract top students, as well as students who are looking for a fresh start. Community colleges are also a first-line choice for adults in career transition. What do all of these students have in common? They all know that choosing a community college to launch or grow their career is a smart decision. What’s more, according to U.S. News and World Report, community college graduates perform better academically than students who started at a university. Students who choose Diablo Valley College are making an outstanding decision. Here are just some of our many accolades:

  • #1 in the state for transfers to UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s College and Cal State Maritime Academy.
  • #1 in the state for the total number of associate degrees for transfer conferred.
  • #2 in California, and #16 in the nation for Best Two-Year Colleges for Adult Learners
  • #3 in California for transfers to all nine UC campuses
  • #4 in EDsmart’s list of top community colleges in California based on graduation and transfer rates

Myth #3: Faculty at community colleges aren’t the same as faculty at baccalaureate institutions.

DVC professor assisting a studentThis may not be a myth after all! In our view, the education you receive at a community college isn’t “just as good” as what you might receive elsewhere; it may be even better.

  • We pride ourselves on offering a personalized education experience, with smaller classes taught by professors, rather than assistants. At Diablo Valley College, you’ll get to know your professors, and they will get to know you.
  • Our faculty stay current and up-to-date with what they are teaching, and have master’s or doctoral degrees related to what they love to do: teach.
  • Our professors takes pride in proactively connecting with area employers to ensure that students are able to secure internships and jobs that relate to their chosen field of study. Our faculty truly cares about you and values your education.

Myth #4: Community college credits won’t transfer.

DVC student giving a presentationFalse! Most course credits transfer to UC and/or CSU, as well as to many private colleges. Colleges create transfer credit agreements between institutions, ensuring that equivalent courses cover the same material with the same depth.

  • Diablo Valley College has transfer credit agreements with public universities, as well as with some private colleges, making it easy to transfer your credits.
  • Many of our career education programs offer transfer paths to California universities as well.
  • Our academic advisors can help you select courses that transfer to the universities you’re interested in, for the program you have chosen to study.
  • California’s public colleges and universities use ASSIST, an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository for transfer credit agreements between California’s public colleges and universities, providing the most accurate and up-to-date information about student transfer in California. You can access the ASSIST website to view how DVC courses will transfer to the universities you are considering.

Myth #5: Community colleges are cheap, so they must be low-quality. You get what you pay for.

Nope! Community colleges offer a more cost-effective approach to higher-education, but the educational quality doesn’t suffer as a result.

  • Most students who attend community college choose to enroll at a college near their home, enabling them to remain in their current living environment rather than having to pay for student housing or an apartment. This represents a huge cost-savings, and in fact, this cost-savings is the primary reason why a community college is so much more affordable than a university.
  • Tuition and fees charged by community colleges are lower than university tuition and fees, further reducing college costs. The State of California has made an investment in providing quality education for all programs, with an additional investment in career education programs specifically.
  • When making your college choice, it is important to consider several factors: academic offerings, educational quality, location / convenience, reputation, networking opportunities, internship and employment opportunities, graduation rate, cost, and more. Given the rising cost of education, and the prospect of student debt, cost is definitely an important consideration.

DVC is one of the top community colleges in the State of California, with an outstanding record for successful transfers to sought-after universities, as well as an outstanding record of career-related employment. So if you are looking for the best possible education at the lowest possible cost, then you’re making a smart choice by choosing DVC.

The truth

Why should you choose Diablo Valley College? Here are the facts:
  • DVC is a sought-after college choice for students who live nearby, as well as for students who live an hour or more away from the campus, and even for students across the globe! We’re that good.
  • Employers all over the Bay Area and beyond hire Diablo Valley College students and alumni. What’s more, they send their employees to us to enroll in our career education programs, helping their staff build the skills needed for success within their organization and beyond.
  • Every year, thousands of community college students transfer to the universities of their choice, including students majoring in career education programs such as industrial design, digital media, STEM careers, and more. A strong GPA from a community college is a much better credential than high school rank or ACT score. The best indicator of future university ability is a successful record of college achievements. At Diablo Valley College we have the faculty, facilities, and resources needed to accomplish your goals.
  • Diablo Valley College is well-ranked, and has an outstanding reputation with hiring managers, educators, students and alumni. If you start at DVC, you’ll be well-prepared for your next step, whether that be immediate employment or university transfer.