For fresh high-school graduates, it is hard to digest the differences between colleges and universities because they appear exactly the same. Besides, there shouldn’t be a concern about whether we are going to study at colleges or universities in the US. The point is that the US is an amazing country and a powerful country, so it shouldn’t be a real deal whether it be a college or a university. Regardless, there are differences when it comes to both studying and education quality.
Yet, what is it for a college, and what it is for a university? A college or community college by the US standard is often a small institution that offers associate’s degrees or two-year diplomas for students in some limited majors. Even though, some community colleges offer four-year Bachelor’s degrees to students; it is not always the rule of thumb. In contrast, a university is a larger institution that offers programmes for Bachelor, Master and PhD levels. There is, therefore, a large contrast between colleges and universities in the US that Cambodian students need to know before continuing their educations in the United States. The following are five differences for Colleges Vs. Universities in the US.
- Fast Diplomas Vs. Four-Year Programmes
Students who go to community colleges or colleges in the United States often emphasizes on fast-track diplomas or associate’s degrees which those students including the Cambodian ones can earn by taking courses for two years. Furthermore, there are options for them to continue education for a higher Bachelor’s degree level, so there shouldn’t be a hassle for some fast-track associate’s degrees.
There is a point regardless that universities don’t make the same journey with colleges by offering the exact same certificates for associate’s degrees. Cambodian and other students can spend the first one or two years taking foundation courses which they don’t earn any degrees at all. They are thus supposed to earn their degrees when they take courses usually for four years for common degrees except for some special majors such as medical degree that requires more years.
- Hard Skills Emphasis Vs. Soft/Hard Skills Emphasis
No matter what, students who study at community colleges and don’t go to universities can lack soft skills and other fundamental skills such as liberal arts which prepare them for later in lives. The foundation courses don’t directly prepare them for careers like those associate’s degrees. The foundation courses in universities offer them opportunities to study courses such as history, advanced math, philosophy, ethics and more that enables Cambodian students and the likes full perspectives over lives.
Cambodian students who take the journey with colleges don’t study anything like that rather than hard-core skills that literally prepare them for careers. For a perspective, careers are not everything to students’ lives. It is only an aspect of lives. As a result, those Cambodian students who go for colleges or community colleges can miss fundamental courses that are truly important for them.
- Small Options for Courses Vs. Variety of Courses
It is a significant difference between colleges and universities. It is true that universities are larger than colleges. Many universities in the US contain pools of colleges within universities. There should not be a question that there is a great variety of courses to take at universities than colleges. At universities, Cambodian students can take courses across different colleges and schools. Cambodian students can major in International Relations and take some courses related to finance and accounting.
However, it is different for colleges. Colleges are small. Consequently, there are limited choices and options for courses. Moreover, colleges don’t cover the Master’s and PhD programmes. Consequently, there are not many professors from those programmes who can design and offer courses for your Bachelor’s degrees. This difference is very significant, and Cambodian students especially those high-school fresh graduates should take this into your main considerations.
- Small Campuses Vs. Large Campuses
Cambodian students can get amazed by facilities offered by universities compared with smaller campuses and averaged facilities given by colleges. Universities in the US are often large. They have football pitches, in-house sports hubs, theatres, cafeterias, dorm buildings, apartment stores and almost anything students need on same campuses. Cambodian students, therefore, can enjoy the full experience of studying at universities in the US.
For colleges, they are often small campuses. American students often see community colleges or colleges as a stepping stone for degrees in universities. They choose to go to community colleges first before universities because of lower costs. Nevertheless, when there are low costs; the qualities can be compromised as everything ranging from libraries to the Internet speed is much more limited and cannot be compared with universities.
- No Access Vs. Access to Graduate & Post-Graduate Programmes
It is safe to say that once you are done with colleges or community colleges, you are done with it. There is nothing else, and it is hard to get connections and know a few professors who teach your desired majors for Master’s programmes.
We should thus consider universities when we desire for graduate and post-graduate programmes as everything is in the same schools. However, there is no downgrade of community colleges or colleges because some Cambodian students want to earn fast-track certificates, so they can look for jobs. This reason allows colleges to be an interesting option for some Cambodian students, consequently.
What Should You Get from the Article?
In this article, you start to understand the differences between universities and colleges in the United States. Overall, universities are larger institutions with more choices of courses and access to graduate and post-graduate programmes. Meanwhile, many American students consider colleges or community colleges as only gateways to continue for Bachelor’s degrees in universities because of colleges’ cheaper costs.
When it is your personal preferences to go for one or another because the two have their own and different advantages, we encourage you to contact advice consultancy or consultancy for study abroad. From us, we also have a service which is free for consultation. You can contact us WEduAbroad the Cambodia-based consultancy for study abroad at the 9th Floor, B-Ray Tower, Preah Norodom Blvd, Tonle Bassak Commune, Chamkamorn District, Phnom Penh (map here) or call us via 017 548 354. Please also visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WEduAbroad/ .