Butler Community College students react to 'community college stigma'

Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 9:05 PM CST
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Steve Robinson, the president of Owens Community College, in Toledo, Ohio, is starting a social media campaign to end the stigma that surrounds going to a community college.

Robinson launched #EndCCstigma after a study shows high school students, parents and high school faculty say there is a negative stigma about community colleges.

Students at Butler Community College in El Dorado say they've heard about the stigma, but they also say their college is a good fit.

"It's like what about the sororities? What about the fraternities? What about the parties? But it's like, what about your education? That's what college is for and we have so much fun without that stuff. We have clubs and performing arts, we're all invested in that," said one student.

Another says a community college is good starting point when pursuing higher education.

"I feel like if I was at a university to start with. It might be a little bit challenging just because high school to college is big, and I feel like community college is such a great transition into that university life that we’re all wanting to go for," said another student.

Others say it comes down to the money.

"The scholarships here. It's a lot easier saving like going straight to WSU and spending all that money."

Butler says a lower cost doesn't mean a lower education. One credit hour at Butler costs $100. At KU, it's about $300. At Friends, a private university, it's more than 900 dollars.

Through the Kansas Board of Regents, all three of these colleges offer courses that are transferable but for three different costs.

Vice President of Academics Lori Winningham says Butler students come to be a part of a community.

"It’s a small class size that they’re getting the same or better at education as they were going to do university without having to spend as much money on it," she said.

Butler students say they look forward to taking the next step.

"They’re two different experiences, I think. We get to experience both while some people are at a university for four years, they don’t know what it’s like to be at a community college."