By LYNN CERESINO NEAULT, ED.D.
Flummoxed by a public health crisis that has bought a disappointing end to high school for many, along with uncertainties about starting college in the fall, today’s high school grads are feeling anxious and confused about what lies ahead.
As the public health crisis prompts many colleges and universities to pronounce online learning for the coming fall semester, many students and their parents are pondering alternatives, including a “gap year,” while waiting to return to more a more traditional college experience.
It’s easy to see why. For many, the pandemic has quashed the iconic scenes of college life: living in a dorm, packed lecture halls, fraternity or sorority pledges, or the excitement of college football. As tempting an idea that a gap year represents, the downside is that it only prolongs the process of acquiring a college degree at a time when more jobs are requiring at least some post-secondary education for workforce training.
As leaders in transfer to San Diego State University and many other four-year institutions throughout the state and nation, Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges have robust transfer programs that provide a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree. In fact, more than half of CSU graduates and 30% of UC graduates began their studies at a community college.
Community colleges, the leading source of workforce training in the state, are also key to the economic recovery of the state and East County. Grossmont College programs like nursing, respiratory therapy and Administration of Justice, and Cuyamaca College programs such as paralegal studies, water studies, and ornamental horticulture are just a few of the many workforce training programs that thousands of residents throughout the county utilize every year to prepare for employment in good-paying careers.
At just $46 per credit, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are the logical alternative to paying the high cost of four-year universities. With many universities holding online classes in the fall, starting at a community college, albeit online, makes more sense now than ever before. Even better, recent high school graduates can now attend the first two years of community college for free under the College Promise Program. The Promise program also provides students with financial need $250 to pay for books and other expenses in their first semester.
For new high school graduates unsure of your plans for the fall, I urge you to attend Grossmont or Cuyamaca College. You will get an excellent education at a fraction of the cost of a university. To learn more, go to cuyamaca.edu or grossmont.edu.
— Lynn Ceresino Neault, Ed.D. is chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.