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Q: Why should I go to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College for my first year or two instead of directly to a four-year college or university?
A: Here are a few good reasons:
One of the advantages of going to ECTC is that commuting instead of living on campus eases the transition to college. College classes are very different from high school classes in that students are expected to be much more self-reliant, and more is required of them if they want to do well. For many students, it’s easier to manage that transition if they’re living at home and not having to deal with roommate issues and figuring out where to do their laundry.
One of the surprises at four-year institutions is that entry-level classes can be big — maybe 300 students. And many beginning classes are taught by graduate students instead of faculty members. ECTC classes are much smaller. Psychology and sociology lecture classes have a cap of 36; writing classes are capped at 24. Many classes are even smaller. So there’s more interaction with caring faculty and more chance to get to know other students in the class.
Tuition costs are rising everywhere. But ECTC still costs a lot less than other schools. Students can take 12 hours worth of classes, a full-time load, for $1,380 in the fall. And KEES money can make a nice dent in that amount. By contrast, full-time tuition at Kentucky public universities can be almost three times as much, and private institutions can be even higher. Parking fees (free at ECTC) at these schools range from $85 to $232. And on-campus housing and mandatory dining plans for freshmen at the four-year institutions average $4,000 a semester.
Q: But I’ve heard that sometimes there are problems with transfer to four-year colleges.
A: The Council on Postsecondary Education has set up some policies to ensure that community college classes will transfer into four-year programs; in fact, area state schools accept what they call a 2+2 transfer of classes. And WKU has 10 four-year programs that students complete in Elizabethtown or Fort Knox without even going to Bowling Green. They start at ECTC and transfer to Western in programs such as elementary and middle grades education and psychology. However, it’s very important that students contact the college or university where they plan to transfer to assure that they take the right classes for their major while they attend ECTC.
Q: But won’t I miss being involved in campus clubs?
A: Not at all. There are about 25 active organizations on campus, including Student Government Association, SkillsUSA, Phi Theta Kappa, Students in Free Enterprise and a chess club. Students in these groups have recently traveled to Philadelphia, Kansas City and even Germany for conferences, meetings and unique learning experiences. Most students will find an organization that fits with their needs and interests. NUMBERS TO KNOW
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
(270) 706-8800 – Welcome and Admissions Center
(877) 246-2322, Ext. 68800 (toll-free)
(270) 706-8858 or (502) 942-0101 – Fort Knox Campus
(270) 706-8700 Community and Economic Development Center
600 College Street Road, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
www.elizabethtown.kctcs.edu “Ask ECTC” answers questions about college commonly asked by high school students and adults. This week’s column is answered by Suzanne Darland, associate professor of English. Darland can be reached at (270) 706-8460 or at Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. If you have a question for this column, send it to email@example.com.