Types of Schools and Colleges
What kind of college do you see yourself attending? Different types of colleges suit different types of people. Take a look at these descriptions to help you see where you fit.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Liberal arts colleges offer a broad base of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Most are private and focus mainly on undergraduate students. Classes tend to be small and personal attention is available.
Generally, a university is bigger than a college and offers more majors and research facilities. Class size often reflects institutional size and some classes may taught by graduate students.
Community colleges offer a degree after the completion of two years of full-time study. They frequently offer technical programs that prepare you for immediate entry into the job market.
Upper-division schools offer the last two years of undergraduate study, usually in specialized programs leading to a bachelor's degree. You'd generally transfer to an upper-division college after completing an associate's degree or after finishing a second year of study at a four-year college.
Agricultural, Technical, and Specialized Colleges
Have you made a clear decision about what you want to do with your life? Specialized colleges emphasize preparation for specific careers. Thousands of students enroll in career colleges (also known as technical or vocational schools) every year. Essentially, a career college is a private or public institution that offers a range of certifications and degrees in a variety of career-specific fields. Depending on the type of career you're interested in and the school you select, you can earn a certificate, a diploma, or a two- or four-year degree.
Some career colleges only offer education in a few related fields, while others may provide a list of hundreds of career-oriented subjects. Some of the most popular subjects and careers include:
- Art and Design
- Business Administration
- Court Reporting
- Culinary Arts
- Dental Assistant
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Fashion Design
- Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration
- Hotel and Restaurant Management
- Information Technology
- Medical and Technical Careers
- Real Estate
- Single-Sex: All four-year public colleges and most private schools are co-ed. In terms of single-sex colleges, there are about 50 specifically for men and about 70 specifically for women. Some may enroll a few men or women.
- Religiously Affiliated Colleges: Some private colleges are affiliated with a religious faith. The affiliation may be historic only or it may affect day-to-day student life.
- Historically Black Colleges: Historically-black colleges find their origins in the time when African American students were systematically denied access to most other colleges and universities. These schools offer students a unique opportunity to experience an educational community in which they're part of the majority.
- Hispanic-Serving Institutes: There are about 135 institutions designated by the federal government as "Hispanic-Serving" At these schools, Hispanic students comprise at least 25 percent of the total full-time undergraduate enrollment.