How do I choose between a two-year or four-year college?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,999
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., discusses how to decide whether a two year or a four year college is best for you.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: How do I decide whether a two year or a four year college is best for me?

    Jerome Cole: I think, going back to what we talked about earlier, about that initial conversation about what you want, what is important, your likes, your dislikes, there are some wonderful two year institution out there, obviously, along with some wonderful four year institutions.

    I think when you sit down and make the choice between the two, what you want to sit down and consider is, what do you want to do? If you are interested, say for example, in construction, if you are interested in going to a field like that, a two year institution might be the way to go. There are some wonderful schools out there that have great construction programs and other technical areas where all that is really required to be successful in that particular field is to go and get an Associate degree at a two year institution.

    You take that, go out there, get some work experience and then you go on and everything is fine. What is interesting is that for the student who chooses a two year institution, it doesn t mean that at the end of that two year experience you can not then move on to a four year institution and get a Bachelors degree. So, I would say, sit down, think about what it is that you want to do. Where is the best place to get that accomplished? Is it at two year institution versus a four institution and then make your choice on that. Remember, what we talked about earlier, always go and sit down and talk to the college Counselor.