At the arrival of the school year, many students from all walks of life were faced with several choices about the next move to make in their educational future.
Those students who chose schools like Pierce College may have noticed that an old idea persists which considers junior colleges as a sort of secondary institution.
Due to reasons like a guaranteed admission policy and low tuition, prestige is often lost with junior colleges and a less admirable reputation, compared to the university counterparts, is developed.
This secondary reputation questions the quality of the two-year education program at Pierce College. This creates not only a deep concern for those that plan to transfer to a university, but for any student who may think that just because they didn’t-attend a university that their education may be lacking.
Quality education is not an elite resource and is never based on economic circumstance, and for this reason the reputation must be challenged.
Addressing the reputation of a junior college is to address stereotypes often consistent with the quality of staff and curriculum.
At Pierce, there is present a high standard of professionalism upheld by professors whose own resume’s challenge the accusation of Pierce as being a second-rate school for second-rate students.
Of the many qualified professors to teach at the university, professors Larry Wiseman and Kate Keith explain that universities are often looking for their professors to apply their time to research rather than teaching, seemingly making junior colleges a more ideal environment for effective teaching.
“I believe that better education is occurring at the smaller schools,” said Wiseman, math professor at Pierce College.
In the case of professor of anthropology, Keith, who holds an impressive resume with post doctorate studies at Dartmouth College. She applied for teaching positions at some universities but was surprised to hear their response.
“They blatantly stated that I had a choice between research and teaching, they asked me to do both, but a crappy job of one,” Keith said.
She went on to explain that the universities want publication from their professors rather than quality teaching. She comes from a family of teachers and therefore she actually wanted to teach, so she began to look into community colleges instead.
A quick look at the qualifications of many of the professors at Pierce College will certainly inspire confidence in the curriculum and quality of education offered here at Pierce.
As for any lingering stereotypes about the students at community colleges, the truth is every student is in control of their own college experience regardless of where it occurs.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost