The Four California Systems of Higher Education
October 31, 2013
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As their last year at King/Drew progresses, many of the seniors at our school find themselves facing nearly the same dilemma. Seniors face possibly one of the most difficult decisions of their educational careers. This decision, this dilemma, is the decision of what school to attend the next few years in pursuit of higher education.
In California there are four systems of higher education: Community Colleges, California State Universities, Universities of California, and Private/ Independent schools. Private and Independent schools can also be attended out of state; these schools in particular are not limited to California necessarily. Community colleges can also be found outside of California, however the emphasis of this article is on the education systems in California.
These four systems are different and unique in comparison with each other, however it depends on the student to determine the benefits and downsides of each educational institution, and ultimately make the decision on which to attend.
Reasons to attend a certain school depend on a variety of factors. These factors could be financial factors, they could be related to the student’s GPA, or how much time the student wants to spend in school… and the list could go on and on.
Regardless of the decision that students make, it is important to remember that it is very valuable that our students think ahead and desire to pursue a higher education. According to the Foundation for California Community Colleges, “almost 60 percent of graduates of the CSU system and 30 percent of the UC system transferred from a California Community College”. Those individuals considering community college, hopefully, are encouraged by these numbers; our soon to be King/Drew alumni who attend community college will add to these numbers.
We asked one of our College Peer Counselors what aspects of a student’s educational career may determine what school that student may want to attend. Specifically how these factors may determine the decision to attend a two year of four year institution. Our CPC responded saying that it, “depends on who you are and what you want to pursue. For exampleif student feels that their grades may hinder their opportunities to go to a four year school then that student might want to consider a community college. On the other hand for a student more confident in their high school education, a four year university may be a better educational investment”.
Which schools are “better”? Are large schools better? Are smaller schools better? This all depends on the perspective of the student. Our CPC stated that, “small privates are preferred by her, for in these schools you get more attention”. Many might take into consideration that prestigious schools are the better option, for this may potentially open more doors. However we must take in mind that by choosing any of these four higher systems of education, we are already open more doors for our future.
When making the decision of what school to choose we must not only look at what we want , but also we must look at what we can do and have done. This could be done by looking at the specific requirements for each school system. Pictured below are “cards” derived from the California Four Systems of Higher Education handout provided by Ms. Golden. Within these “cards” one could see the requirements, approximate cost, programs, and curriculum for each system of higher education in California.