The "college experience" isn't missing at community college
Compared to a four-year university, community college can be a flexible, practical ed-ucation option for students. While this is a draw for many prospective college students, some wony they will miss out on the quintessential college experience. This fear is out • dated. More two -year colleges are incorporating elements of student life into their cam-puses to accommodate the estimated 9 million students enrolled in community col-loges nationwide. From ex-tracuniculars to on-campus housing, students can Imlay being part of a true college culture. Life shouldn't be limited to the classroom, and that's why more two-year schools are offering athletics, campus clubs, student hous-ing and performing arts to students. "Our college has seen a shift in campus culture since expanding athletics, adding student housing and increas-ing clubs and participation on campus,' said Alyssa Love - less, director of residence life at Rose State College. The Village at Rose State, the college's on-campus stu-dent housing, accommodates up to 170 students in apart- ment -style living. allowing students to live comfortably and experience a college rite of passage. Its the largest urban community college in Oklahoma to offer such hous-ing to students. Two-year colleges across the country arc following suit. With housing, we help residents create a home while they are living with us by pro-viding support and programs to help them build a com-munity:. Loveless explained. The role of two-year col-leges is shifting from simply going to class to cultivating a well-rounded experience, so students are better prepared for their next step - whether that next step is transferring to a four-year institution or entering the workforce." It takes more than hous-ing to build a commuruty, however. Students rant to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Whether it's joining student government or cultuza: organizations, ev-eryone wants to feel like they belong. These activities bring the campus to life and create a vibrant identity. One activity giving stu-dents the opportunity to par-ticipate in something bigger is a sentce learning program. Erin Logan, chief conduct and servicelearning officer at Rose State College. relaunched Rose State's service learning progarn earlier this year, re-naming it Raider Relevance. A passion project for Logan, Raider Relevance gives stu-dents an opportunity to learn and serve the community at the same time. wrhis year, we launched Raider Relevance, a compre- hen sive service teaming pro-rani for Rose Stale students," Logan said. 'Tot so many of our students, having a great-er purpose of a point to their co- c-unicular activities is im-portant. This program allows them to serve their common] learn from the experiences and advance their leadership and career readiness skills" Students can choose their own volunteer protects. cre-ating an individualized path unique to the student's in - terests, which appeals to the school's diverse student pop-ulation, Logan explained. For many of our students, having an opportunity to give back is their opportunity to show thanks for help they personally received, making the experience personal and relevant in each of their lives!' So far. over 536 Rose State students have enrolled in the Program. By offering extracurricu-:ars and club activities, two-year colleges such as Rose State College provide the components needed to create a well-rounded education. When students participate in activities with their peers on campus, they create a net-work of friends and support-ers. These relationships help them grow personally and professional y - a benefit that pairs nicely with the engag-ing. Personalized academic environment available at two-year colleges. "All of these things tie into the campus community vibe and are Important for stu-dents because not only are they receiving a full college experience like what four-year universities offer, they are actively participating in their educational experience, which is directly linked to their success," Loveless said. Two-year universities can provide the same meaningful experiences offered at four-year universities, but at a val-ue that saves students thou-sands of dollars. Even more, two-year colleges are offering excellent scholarships and fi-nancial aid packages. Nearly 75 percent of students at Rose State College, for example, receive some form of financial aid. Different forms of aid are also available based on finan-cial need, merit or academics.,, Don't fear missing out on the college experience you want. For more information about Rose State College and its 60-phidegree programs, visit www.getstartedatrose.
Rose State College students participate in a painting event at the campus's wellness center.