1. Too Expensive
Many of our students are “undocumented,” which means they would need to pay out of state tuition. The cost favors full time, local students who are legal residents or citizens. For them, a semester’s tuition is only $1,703. Full time out-of-state students pay $5,089.
Most of our students could not afford full-time study, however, even if they could access in-state rates. Part-time students pay considerably more. In-state part-time students pay $453 for a three credit class or $863 for two three credit classes. Out of state students pay $1,349 and $2,579 respectively..
A three credit class may meet for less than 3 hours (160 minutes.) for sixteen weeks (less holidays.) The cost for in state students would be $ 10 per hour. For out of state students, the cost would be closer to $19.00 per hour.
2. Too Impersonal
The average class size at a community college is 20. The average teacher is not very interested in teaching the “developmental” and “ESL” classes that are required for ethnic students to advance. Even those that are rarely have time to get to know their students on a personal level – a factor that research is beginning to show make a big difference, particularly for Hispanic students.
The average class size at our school is eight. In fact, some classrooms cannot hold more than eight students. Our faculty numbers are small, meaning that students will interact with the same instructor many times over the course of their studies with us. Social events at the school and off site, field trips and “extra help” sessions guarantee opportunities for students to interact with their teachers on a personal level.
This year, through a special grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation, we have added a counselor, whose primary job it is to maintain contact with our students. Two missed classes will result in a call from him. In support of him, we have added a special “Student” Newsletter that contains stories about our trips, events and other items of interest to the students.
3. Too Far Away
Our students prefer to stay near home for their lessons, at least at the beginning. They find it difficult to get to classes that are twenty minutes or more away by bus or car. Though we have a community college branch in Danbury, course selections are limited.
Our school is open six days a week, for morning, evening and Saturday sessions. Located in the center of the downtown area, we are easily accessible by bus. Those driving can find easy parking at one of the two parking garages.