美國教育制度

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美國教育制度 - 社區學院 (Community College)

美國教育制度 - 社區學院 (US Community College) 

海外及美國的學生於高中畢業之後,除了選擇四年制大學,也可根據家庭的經濟情況去選擇學費較便宜的社區大學(Community College)或兩年制學院(Two-Year Junior College)。學生畢業後可獲副學士學位(Associate Degree)或以轉大學課程(Transfer University Program)的成績,轉入四年制大學繼續後兩年的大學課程。 

其實美國社區大學所提供的課程主要可分為轉大學課程、副學士學位、職業課程和進修課程。 

轉大學課程 (Transfer University Program)、副學士學位 (Associate Degree) 

轉大學課程以銜接四年制大學的科目為主,所修學分大多可以被四年制大學認可。在美國,有近40%的社區大學學生會轉入四年制的大學,因此很多人會稱此為2+2」課程 - 即大學首兩年課程在社區學院完成,後兩年在四年制大學裡讀。 

社區學院很受海外學生歡迎,甚致接近49%的美國中學畢業生也先入讀社區學院。而學生為什麼要先選擇社區學院呢﹖學費便宜是一大因素,學費幾乎是四年制大學的一半。而社區大學的『小班制』也是吸引人的地方。教學者多注重『教學』,這和注重研究的四年制大學是不一樣的。社區大學的學生出來拿到的學位叫Associate Degree。此外在社區學院獲取足夠的學分(Credits)後,遍佈各州分的大學及其主修科,都可以是同學的申請目標呢!

「中學完成課程」(High School Completion Program)

華盛頓州的社區學院更提供這個比較特別的課程給美國及海外生,香港同學只要年滿十六歲,可同時完成「中學完成課程」及「副學士課程」,使同學可以節省時間及費用。因為始終是學院/大學,同學需要有一定的自理能。 

以下兩個課程只適用於當地人仕﹕

職業課程 (Certificate course/Vocation training)﹕以就業導向為主,針對個人興趣及就業市場需求,修習有關的職業課程。如護士﹑機械工﹑水電工等。社區大學和當地的工商業界有良好的關係。社區大學每年頒發將近20萬張一年或二年期的結業證書。 進修課程(Continuing education)﹕這類的課程可以讓學生以非修學分的方式進修,學習各種專門領域。 

美國約有1,100所社區大學。根據美國社區大學協會(AACC)所做的調查﹔在被接受調查的 600所學校中,幾乎80%都有開設國際性質的英請語課程(ESL)。 

由於社區學院主要採小班制,因此學生能得到更多的關注,它的選課也相當有彈性,超過65%的受訪學校表示他們有提供國際學生專門的選課輔導,而60%的學校有專門的部門來處理國際學生事宜。 

很多社區學院也會邀請國際學生們主動參與班上或校內活動,他們也可能會找機會請國際學生們到當地的中、小學去講解自己袓國的風俗文化,在校園內也常常會看到一些國際性的佳節慶典,這也是社區大學強調多元化(Diversity)的重點之一。 

註﹕社區學院與博雅課程(只提供英文版) Community Colleges & The Liberal Arts Posted on August 4, 2011by lizgross

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an interesting article this week about liberal arts education. The author pointed out that when it comes down to it, the majority of college graduates receive their liberal arts education at a community college. This education shapes many of the “soft skills” that are highly sought after by employers.

I had no idea what happened at a community college until I started working at one last year. Not only do our professors (not TA’s) teach rigorous academic material, but I’ve heard students come back after they transfer to a four-year campus and comment that the courses they take their junior year are much easier than the courses they took on our campus.

I’m assuming what happens on my campus is not an anomaly, so why are community colleges not recognized for their contribution to liberal arts education inAmerica? As the author writes, the national media and even our government generally refers to community colleges as drivers of workforce development.

I think that technical preparation programs and community colleges get lumped together in this narrative. If more students had a clear understanding of the role of a community college, would they choose to spend their first two years there (saving money, enjoying smaller class sizes, maintaining connections in their community) rather than starting at a four-year campus?

What is your perception of community colleges? If you attended one, what do you remember when you reflect on your experience?

Source: http://lizgross.wordpress.com/

 

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