There are so many more education resources available to students today than a few years ago. Most of these are based on the internet and in many ways the playing fields have been levelled for students everywhere. It used to be the case that the better the University or College, the better the educational resources available. If you’ve ever visited the Bodleian Library in Oxford, or perhaps the impressive Widener library in Harvard it would be very apparent of the advantages.
But really the internet has changed all these advantages, of course there are still huge positives in prestige, teaching and opportunities afforded to pupils at the best universities. But access to knowledge and research materials is pretty much available to anyone in academia.
It gives students a great chance to conduct research on their own, most academic institutions post most of their material online. If you need to get access and it’s not available publically don’t be afraid to contact a college via email and just ask for access. The dispersation of knowledge is a core aim of any University or college they’ll normally help you out.
Don’t just use other colleges though, if you search online you’ll find most organisations put a huge amount of resources online. Most are easily accessible and again if they’re not just ask. I remember my friend who was studying a very basic introduction to astronomy in technical college showing me how he could submit requests online to a real observatory in England! The jobs would be queued for the telescope and the results emailed when processed.
Foreign language students for example could invest in VPN connections which allow them to watch the TV online in the language they are studying. You can use them to watch BBC Iplayer Abroad or a French student could watch their favorite American comedies on M6 Replay in French to practice. To find out how it’s done – check this out.
So ensure you explore the options that the internet can give you in your chosen subject. You research doesn’t have to be limited to Google and Wikipedia – find where the experts in your field are publishing material. Of course you should still validate sources, many students make the mistake of copying false information from the internet. Check and research, use the internet fully but don’t neglect other sources.
I find the school system in the USA very interesting. This is the first time I have heard of Community Colleges, public schools and universities yes, but not Community Colleges. Here in the UK we have different schools, and these generally depend on the political history of the county or local area. Some counties have grammar schools, entry to which is dependent on passing an examination. Those who fail or who don’t take the exam go to other state schools. Or, if the parents can afford it, their children attend public schools – these are fee paying and not at all like the public schools in the USA.
Once in college hard work is essential. It helps of course if the course is interesting. My favourite subject at school was history. We studied the medieval period when knights went into battle attired in suits of armour. I had a big picture on my wall of a knight in armour with his shield decorated with a coat of arms. The weight of carrying all that armour, the shield, and his weapons must have taken a lot of his strength and not left much over to actually fight!
Whichever system you attend: a Community College or university; work hard. The effort you devote to your studies then will pay dividends later in life.
Many budding young scholars are often keen on getting themselves student loans to put themselves through school. While there are many people who simply have no other choice but to get student loans, there are many who could go through school without getting stuck in debt. Because that is precisely what a student loan means, you will be stuck in debt. What makes student loans even worse is that they are akin to a bad tattoo; there is simply no way to get rid of them other than paying them in full.
Most people will instantly think well “I’m going to pay it off in full, when I get my nice plush high paying job”. However the stark reality of today’s economy is that it’s no guarantee to get a job upon graduating, even if you have an advanced degree. Millions of American college grads wind up with no job and huge bills with no way to pay them off. And there is no debt relief program that can help to alleviate the student loan debt and neither can it be discharged through bankruptcy. So heed the warning and if there is any way to put yourself through school without getting a loan please do so, it’s for your own good.
Wine doesn’t naturally seem like a perfect fit on a college campus, especially a community college where the average student might not even be 21 yet, but the wine industry is certainly thriving.
While most Universities have some kind of wine club associated with their business school, quite a few community college’s within California are taking their wine curriculum a step further. Perhaps embolden by the success at UC Davis, community college’s are adding wine tasting courses by the hundreds while others are taking the extraordinary step of instituting winemaking classes themselves. These winemaking courses can vary from the incredibly complex to the most basic depending on the community college, all of them do give their students a general idea about what it might be like for them to spend a few years learning to make wine in Napa Valley. Of course, it isn’t nearly as fun and glamorous as many tend to think as wine is at its core, a farming activity!
If you’re looking to learn more about making wine, or how to taste wine like a pro we hope you’ll have a look around your local community college to see if they have a program to fit your needs, I’ll bet that they do!