Many American and international students attend a community college for the first two years of university studies. There are many benefits of this model in comparison to studying all four years at a university. Community colleges offer significantly lower tuition, smaller classes and strong student support. Students then transfer to a 4-year college or university for the final two years of their bachelor’s degree. This plan is known as the “2 + 2 model” – two years at a community college and two years at a university.
During years 1 and 2, students at universities or community colleges study “General Education” which includes arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural science courses. In addition, students take some foundation courses to prepare for their major. They often select courses with their academic advisor so that they are prepared to enter their “major” at Year 3. The major is the primary focus of their study in the final two years.
There are 1,200 community colleges to choose from in the United States, and each one has its own unique qualities.
Seattle Central College is a leader in international education, ranking consistently in the top 10 in international enrollment. Our graduates transfer to a wide variety of 4-year colleges and universities, including University of Washington, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Dartmouth, and many others. Approximately 85% of our international students do the 2 + 2 model.
To assist students with the transfer process, Seattle Central College offers the university Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. International students can choose from approximately 20 TAG partners listed on the Seattle Central application form, and they receive a letter from the university along with their Seattle Central acceptance materials.
The university TAG letter is addressed to the student and guarantees general admission to the college, usually upon completing Seattle Central’s Transfer Degree with a specific grade point average (GPA). The GPA required to guarantee transfer ranges from 2.0 to a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. At Seattle Central, international students average a 3.4 GPA, making transfer to one of our TAG partner institutions very attainable.
With such high GPAs, Seattle Central students have many other choices, too. Our graduates have transferred to hundreds of 4-year institutions across the United States. After that, many choose to go on to Masters and Doctoral programs.
Attending a community college is a smart choice. It allows students an opportunity to potentially save many thousands of dollars on tuition and still graduate from a top-ranked 4-year college or university.
Andrea Insley, Ed.D.,
Associate Vice President of International Education Programs at Seattle Central College