Picking a college to attend is as stressful (if not more so) than taking any of your exams or finishing that all important thesis. How do you know what to look for in a college and how do you know it is right for you? If you are looking at colleges in the Gold coast, then here are a few things that you should consider when hunting for the college to pursue your education in.
Obviously this a big factor in choosing a college. While it is good to aim high there is also a lot of emphasis on being realistic. You may have very good grades but are they good enough to get into the best colleges? You will be applying to several different ones, so it is a good idea to apply to a couple with lower entrance requirements just to be on the safe side.
Ratio Of Students And Staff
This one all depends on how you learn.
Some people prefer big lecture style learning environments where they can drift into the crowd and listen to a lecture for everyone; equally many people prefer to work in small groups and in a way in which they can make their voice heard. A lot of colleges offer both these systems to accommodate everyone however some only work with one or the other. If there are a lot of teaching staff at the college then this does not automatically mean that there will be small classes so if you work in groups better than just sitting back and listening you should find out the teaching methods of the college.
The big factor when it comes to searching for colleges. This applies to both the cost of studying at the college and your own expenses. For many people going to college is the perfect chance to leave home however is it actually feasible to do so? While you can get a part time job as many do, how many hours will you have to work to cover your expenses and will this impact on your studies?
Choosing a college based solely on finances is not recommended, however they should play a large role in your decision making; going to a college that does not charge as much, nor are the living costs as high, can mean you get to enjoy a better social life and less time working.
The days of a degree or qualification making a job application weigh heavily in your favor are long gone as many people now have been to university or college, so it is all about experience. When choosing a college, look to see how they approach experiential learning – basically gaining experience in your field while you learn. This can mean assisting professors with their research, taking a 6 month placement on your course in a relevant company or even a full year of working experience. Just a qualification is not always enough and many employers like relevant experience as well after college.
Author BioSuzanne Middleton is guidance counselor who blogs about education and it’s importance in society. She has conducted career seminars at several colleges in gold coast and actively promotes education online and offline.