Two Year and Community Colleges
Two year colleges are private institutions that provide a variety of opportunities for students who want additional education beyond high school. Community colleges are public two-year institutions that also provide a variety of opportunities for students who want additional education beyond high school Students may elect certificate programs which offer specialized training and instruction, Associate degree programs which can lead to a terminal two year degree, or a transfer option to a four year institution. Students with a certificate will be eligible for specific jobs. Those who have earned Associate's Degrees will be eligible for immediate employment or the opportunity to transfer to a four year college.
Both community colleges such as NOVA and private two-year colleges are similar to four-year colleges with respect to admissions policies, residence facilities, and on-campus activities. The successful completion of a two-year program results in an Associate degree.
Northern Virginia Community College
Their objective is to offer programs that are financially and geographically accessible to the local community.
- open admissions policy—high school diploma or equivalent is accepted
- no minimum grade point average
- SATs and ACTs are not required
- placement tests are given at the time of enrollment (The results of the tests determine the appropriate level of courses a student should take.)
- register early for classes after talking with an advisor
- designed to meet the increasing need for workers in occupational and technical fields
- prepare students for immediate employment
- result in either a certificate of completion or an Associate degree
- include freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences and pre-professional programs
- meet standards acceptable for transfer to four-year colleges (However, the student is responsible for determining which credits will transfer to the receiving institution.)
- program completion results in an Associate degree
Advantages of attending community colleges
- lower tuition fees
- no expense for room and board
- flexibility to pursue education while employed
- opportunity to use the two years at community college to improve chances of getting into a more selective four-year college
Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program
This is a program designed to increase access to a four-year college education for students in the Northern Virginia region. The Pathway Program provides a supportive environment fro a smooth transition for students from high school through Northern Virginia Community College to George Mason University (or other 4-year college). See your counselor for details.