A college is an institution that offers an opportunity to attain higher education to the students in the courses of their choice. Different meaning is assigned to colleges in different countries. It can be a tertiary educational institution that awards degree, a vocational education offering institution, an institution within a federal university, or a secondary school.
A College is a place where a student experiences the turning point in his life. He chooses the subject of his choice and specializes in it. The atmosphere is much more informal than a school. Here the onus lies on the students themselves to study and build their career. Discipline is maintained here but it is still less as compared to schools. A new world opens in front of the students and they become more aware of the various opportunities that come across them.
There are a variety of colleges that offer specialized courses to the students. Some of them are-Liberal Arts Colleges, which offer a wide gamut of liberal art courses like history, literature, languages, philosophy, mathematics, social sciences and humanities. They are mostly privately owned and they often target undergraduate students mainly. The duration of the courses offered by them is generally four years. After completion of this course the students receive a bachelor’s degree. Generally, during first two years, students take courses in a number of subjects and later choose a major.
The Colleges mainly aim to prepare students for a variety of courses like MBA courses. As far as Universities are concerned, they have a number of colleges affiliated to them. They offer more options in reference to majors and degree in comparison to other types of colleges. They also offer architecture, medical, engineering, health and other programs besides liberal arts majors. Here, a student has an opportunity to gain bachelors, masters as well as doctoral degrees. One can prepare for a range of careers at a university.
Community Colleges are the most common type of colleges and they offer a two-year course. Here, the students have the liberty to decide whether they would like to continue with their education or join a job directly. They generally offer an associate degree that prepares a student to move to a four-year college and complete studies to earn a bachelor’s degree. There is a focus on career readiness in case of other types of associate degrees. The education here can be afforded easily as they charge low tuition fee.
Vocational Colleges, as the name implies, offer an opportunity to provide specialized training to students in the fields of their choice. In institutes like these, the students do not have to study all subjects and they can concentrate only on those that are going to benefit them in building their career in a specific field. One can choose areas like dental hygiene, culinary arts, firefighting or medical-records technology. After the completion of these courses, the students are awarded an associate degree.
The Special Interests Colleges are meant to offer education to a particular student population of particular area of interest. Arts Colleges, as the name suggests, focus mainly on a variety of subjects related to arts. The college offers training in subjects like music, photography, theatre, fashion designing and many more besides regular course work. Associate or bachelor’s degree is offered by most of these colleges on successful completion of the courses.
Public Colleges are basically funded by state governments and are considered to be owned by the public sector. Such colleges usually charge lower tuition fees and offer good standard of education. As a social policy, the government offers funds to these colleges to disseminate proper education to the slightly under privileged of the society. On the other hand, there are several private colleges as well which receive a part of government funds but for their working and operations they mainly rely on fees, tuition, development fees, endowments, etc.