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It's always advised to go to a 4 year institution instead of a community college if possible here for prerequisite classes, but I'm a bit fuzzy on precisely what counts as a community college.

My state, Florida, passed a law a while ago mandating that all community colleges in the state develop at least one 4 year degree program and change their names. Most of them added 1-3 bachelors programs, and dropped the word "community" from their name, but are otherwise the exact same as before. For example Broward Community College and Miami-Dade Community College are now called Broward College and Miami Dade College, each with a couple random bachelors degrees.

Would places like that still count as a community college? Or are they now seen as 4 year institutions despite only having a couple of 4 year programs?
 

ThePhoenician

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Overall a CC will offer 2-year degrees and some 4-year degrees. Smaller. Cheaper. Public.

However, a university offers bachelor's, master's, doctorates, etc. Bigger. More expensive. Private OR Public.

It's not so much classifying as a "4 year institution", it's more about the level of education that each facility provides... I assume.
 
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KnightDoc

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It's always advised to go to a 4 year institution instead of a community college if possible here for prerequisite classes, but I'm a bit fuzzy on precisely what counts as a community college.

My state, Florida, passed a law a while ago mandating that all community colleges in the state develop at least one 4 year degree program and change their names. Most of them added 1-3 bachelors programs, and dropped the word "community" from their name, but are otherwise the exact same as before. For example Broward Community College and Miami-Dade Community College are now called Broward College and Miami Dade College, each with a couple random bachelors degrees.

Would places like that still count as a community college? Or are they now seen as 4 year institutions despite only having a couple of 4 year programs?
I'm no expert, so hopefully an adcom can weigh in (@Goro, @gonnif, @LizzyM, @gyngyn ???), but to me, given the changes you are describing in FL, I would define a CC as any school that offers associates degrees.

Universities and colleges that we traditionally think of as 4 year institutions just don't offer two year degrees at all. To your point, a CC that now offers a few 4 year degrees but is otherwise the same is still really a CC. When UF starts offering an associates degree I guess I'd have to revisit!!
 
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KnightDoc

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A quick Google search yields: Associate Degrees on Rise at 4-Year Institutions

I don't consider devry a university. I got an associates at southern Illinois University.
Look -- I have absolutely nothing at all against CCs or two year degrees. OP asked about the bias against CCs (whatever their benefits may be -- cost, convenience, etc., there is no question they are far easier to gain entrance to and in general are less academically rigorous than 4 year institutions). OP asked whether a traditional two year school adding a few 4 year degrees would change the med schools' perception of these schools. I opined that med schools would likely draw a distinction between schools that offer two year degrees and those that don't, and asked those more knowledgeable than me to weigh in. They did, and we have our answer. A rose is still a rose, even if it offers a few bachelors programs.

I totally agree with you about DeVry, but its owners would disagree with both of us! :)

I am not familiar with Southern Illinois, but a quick check of its website shows that it is a real, honest to goodness university. I did not, however, see any reference to a two year program, so if they still have it they aren't making it easy to find on the website!

I'm not sure what that article from 6 years ago is supposed to show, other than an increase in people seeking out two year programs, and some 4 year schools looking to profit from it, the same way other schools, including some very prestigious ones, have cashed in on the executive education trend to make extra money. Nothing in that article made the point that because some 4 years schools are cashing in on the trend that there is no longer an academic distinction between classes taken as part of an associates program and those taken in pursuit of a bachelors. Of course, if people are in fact taking the exact same classes in both programs, while the admission standards at one are far more rigorous than at the other, once would expect students' relative performance in those classes to reflect that difference, and hopefully med schools would take that into account.

The fact remains that someone attending a two year program at a 4 year school will be looked at exactly the same way as someone attending a two year program at a two year school. You do what you have to do, and it's certainly possible to get into med school after having attended a CC. That doesn't change the fact that med schools prefer transcripts from 4 year schools (not two year programs at 4 year schools), especially for prereqs.
 
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Look -- I have absolutely nothing at all against CCs or two year degrees. OP asked about the bias against CCs (whatever their benefits may be -- cost, convenience, etc., there is no question they are far easier to gain entrance to and in general are less academically rigorous than 4 year institutions). OP asked whether a traditional two year school adding a few 4 year degrees would change the med schools' perception of these schools. I opined that med schools would likely draw a distinction between schools that offer two year degrees and those that don't, and asked those more knowledgeable than me to weigh in. They did, and we have our answer. A rose is still a rose, even if it offers a few bachelors programs.

I totally agree with you about DeVry, but its owners would disagree with both of us! :)

I am not familiar with Southern Illinois, but a quick check of its website shows that it is a real, honest to goodness university. I did not, however, see any reference to a two year program, so if they still have it they aren't making it easy to find on the website!

I'm not sure what that article from 6 years ago is supposed to show, other than an increase in people seeking out two year programs, and some 4 year schools looking to profit from it, the same way other schools, including some very prestigious ones, have cashed in on the executive education trend to make extra money. Nothing in that article made the point that because some 4 years schools are cashing in on the trend that there is no longer an academic distinction between classes taken as part of an associates program and those taken in pursuit of a bachelors. Of course, if people are in fact taking the exact same classes in both programs, while the admission standards at one are far more rigorous than at the other, once would expect students' relative performance in those classes to reflect that difference, and hopefully med schools would take that into account.

The fact remains that someone attending a two year program at a 4 year school will be looked at exactly the same way as someone attending a two year program at a two year school. You do what you have to do, and it's certainly possible to get into med school after having attended a CC. That doesn't change the fact that med schools prefer transcripts from 4 year schools (not two year programs at 4 year schools), especially for prereqs.
You seem really heated from an otherwise normal comment
 
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rdyotz

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Look -- I have absolutely nothing at all against CCs or two year degrees. OP asked about the bias against CCs (whatever their benefits may be -- cost, convenience, etc., there is no question they are far easier to gain entrance to and in general are less academically rigorous than 4 year institutions). OP asked whether a traditional two year school adding a few 4 year degrees would change the med schools' perception of these schools. I opined that med schools would likely draw a distinction between schools that offer two year degrees and those that don't, and asked those more knowledgeable than me to weigh in. They did, and we have our answer. A rose is still a rose, even if it offers a few bachelors programs.

I totally agree with you about DeVry, but its owners would disagree with both of us! :)

I am not familiar with Southern Illinois, but a quick check of its website shows that it is a real, honest to goodness university. I did not, however, see any reference to a two year program, so if they still have it they aren't making it easy to find on the website!

I'm not sure what that article from 6 years ago is supposed to show, other than an increase in people seeking out two year programs, and some 4 year schools looking to profit from it, the same way other schools, including some very prestigious ones, have cashed in on the executive education trend to make extra money. Nothing in that article made the point that because some 4 years schools are cashing in on the trend that there is no longer an academic distinction between classes taken as part of an associates program and those taken in pursuit of a bachelors. Of course, if people are in fact taking the exact same classes in both programs, while the admission standards at one are far more rigorous than at the other, once would expect students' relative performance in those classes to reflect that difference, and hopefully med schools would take that into account.

The fact remains that someone attending a two year program at a 4 year school will be looked at exactly the same way as someone attending a two year program at a two year school. You do what you have to do, and it's certainly possible to get into med school after having attended a CC. That doesn't change the fact that med schools prefer transcripts from 4 year schools (not two year programs at 4 year schools), especially for prereqs.

Another quick search on SIU's website shows some associate degrees (Associate Degree Programs | College of Applied Sciences and Arts | SIU), yup, ASA only has 2 evidently. If you are at a university, the classes for a 2-year program are the same as a 4-year program, with some differences based on the degree-specific courses (can vary). I got my associate's at the same time as my bachelor's and the courses for the associate degree counted for the bachelor.

My initial comment was merely pointing out that 2-year or 4-year degree programs are not indicative of whether one is a university or a college. Here are the points in your initial post that I was responding to:

... I would define a CC as any school that offers associates degrees.

Universities and colleges that we traditionally think of as 4 year institutions just don't offer two year degrees at all...

I then offered a direct rebuttal of your claims (listed above) using a link showing other programs (not just Harvard or DeVry) and my own experience at SIU. The article merely shows that as time passes more universities are offering associates degrees...as in it is now more common, and will likely continue to be so. I don't get the point of claiming they are just in it for money. If so, then they are just in it for money with bachelor programs as well. At no point did I make an argument that CC are deemed just as competitive as universities and I'm unsure why you are saying that was my argument. In fact, I agree that a CC that started offering 4-year programs (whether their own or in conjunction with a university) is still a CC.

Now, to your last point:
The fact remains that someone attending a two year program at a 4 year school will be looked at exactly the same way as someone attending a two year program at a two year school. You do what you have to do, and it's certainly possible to get into med school after having attended a CC. That doesn't change the fact that med schools prefer transcripts from 4 year schools (not two year programs at 4 year schools), especially for prereqs.

The fact is that most medical schools require a bachelor's degree. So if you only get an associate's (whether at a CC or at a university), you would not be eligible. Getting an associate's from a university is different from a CC, as all your courses are through a "4-year school." I can only argue the caliber of a single "2-year program" and how it was definitely on par with the remainder of courses for my bachelor's.

Some of the confusion is likely my fault. My initial two comments were done on my phone, so I did not spend time specifically addressing what points I was responding to or clarifying my position regarding CC competitiveness.
 
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LizzyM

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Let's not worry about community college vs. college vs. university. Go to the best school you can. What is "best"? The most rigorous, the school with the best reputation for rigor, the school with the most accomplished student body, the school that is the most difficult to gain admission to that will take you.

The point in all this is if you are taking Physics I and II at a school where most of the students in the room with you are reading and doing math at an 8th grade level despite having graduated high school, you are likely to get a curriculum that is slow and "dumbed down" to match the abilities of the student body and the prevailing attitude that every HS graduate should go to college regardless of readiness for college level coursework. Do you think that Miami Dade College is teaching physics I at a level equal to what it taught at MIT or Swarthmore? Will an A at any one of those schools be equally valued or will you have merely benefitted from the curve at Miami Dade College being in your favor?
 
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