College is simply too time consuming and expensive for what it is. Many of my buddies are graduating with BA's, MA's and are in some serious, reversible debt reaching close to 100k. Don't fall into the trap of thinking college is the only way to be successful. Create your own business or invest the money into something else besides a degree. Buy real estate in this down market and cash out kids.
Generally, focuses on a more practical, hands on approach rather then a theory heavy approach. Also has much less focus on the academic subjects and more on technical ones (although most programs will have at least some academic subjects but they’re not the focus).
Usually costs far less then a four-year degree program type of college and is often a more practical option for people that don’t want tens of thousands of dollars in debt from student loans.
People tend to look down on community college because of its technical focus rather then academic focus. They seem to feel that anyone not strong academically is stupid. People that think this way seem to forget that not everyone is academically inclined and everyone learns differently (hence, why there are different options for education).
Many go to Community College because they cannot afford the privilege of going (away) to a four-year college or university.
In short, Community College is another option for education that has a technical rather then academic focus.
2. A springboard for students who require assistance with the transition from high school into college.
3. A greatly misunderstood but highly useful institution that is useful for students' educations and personal knowledge stores while being easier on the pocketbook.
While some students will succeed in community college and obtain a vocational credential or transfer to a 4-year school (both of which are noble) many will find it just as difficult as their high-school experience and will drop out and work in a menial job for the rest of their life. Others will graduate with an Associate's degree in nothing special and will find jobs pretty much as inaccessible to them as if they only had a high school diploma or equivalent.
Either way, society helps its members find their own level, giving those with merit the opportunities they deserve while preventing those who don't meet a basic threshold of academic aptitude (or intelligence/ambition/discipline) from obtaining a degree they surely DON'T deserve.
Of course, this is NOT what CC's themselves SAY they exist for--it's what they ACTUALLY DO.
"I'm going to the local community college to get my paramedic's certification."
Superman: Wow, you must be really smart.
Batman: No I just attend community college. I studied about 45 minutes for my exam which was worth 15 percent of my grade and still managed a 105 percent due to all the extra credit I got on the exam.
"A person who attends the most prestigious University right after high school has just bought out Google."