University Culture

Community College Students

Involvement & Internships

Understanding the importance and power of co-curricular (outside of the classroom) activities and their impact on your personal and career development is crucial in your early years of college life. Did you know that students who are involved on campus, either through a student organization, as a faculty research assistant, or even through on campus employment, are more likely to graduate from college? Incredible, right? It’s a wonder how students who do more while in college are actually more successful. The key ingredient to this success is that there is a community of support (faculty, employers, peers) who are encouraging you on a consistent basis to succeed. It truly takes a village!

Get in the Know

Your involvement on campus is a phenomenon that is correlated to your character development due to your involvement in co-curricular activities, your interactions with professors or classmates, and your involvement in academic or non-academic activities. Research also points to your involvement being directly tied to you coming back to school each semester. Joining a club, attending a social event hosted by a student services area like the Transfer Center, signing up for sports or intramurals, running for a position with ASI Student Government, or even taking a class to assist with adjusting to your campus are all excellent ways to become involved and make the most of your experience. Not only will involvement in on-campus activities bring you academic success, but it will allow you to improve your social skills and develop relationships with your peers and college staff.

Another idea to consider is getting directly involved with on-campus support systems that provide individualized counseling support and social opportunities. Many of these programs require you to fill out an application, and some even provide financial assistance if you exhibited a demonstrated need. One of these such programs at California Community Colleges is known as the Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) and is a state funded program designed to assist students financially as well as provide support by informing, recruiting, admitting and academically motivating low-income students to pursue a college education. Other support services come in the form of federally or state supported programs. The following list of program descriptions provides you with a sample of support services that are offered at various public and private 4-year universities. If these support services interest you, keep in mind that when you apply as a transfer student to your desired 4-year university to follow up with an admissions representative to ask about programs like these below as many require additional applications.

Sample Support Programs

Educational Opportunity Program

EOP is a student-centered program that provides college access to students whose educational and economic circumstances have limited their college opportunities. EOP aids in the success of students by providing a comprehensive program of active and targeted support aimed at increasing academic accomplishment and individual empowerment. The ultimate goal of EOP is to provide incoming students from historically underserved backgrounds with the tools that will help them succeed in college and ultimately graduate from a CSU.

Educational Opportunity Centers

Educational Opportunity Centers located throughout the country primarily serve displaced or underemployed workers from families with incomes under $33,075. These Centers help people to choose a college and a suitable financial aid program. There are 124 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving 195,000 individuals. A study of EOC participants found that 57% of college-ready students were admitted to institutions of higher learning and 56% of EOC participants who had been college dropouts had re-enrolled.

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program is designed to encourage low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study. Students who participate in this program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors. This program was named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion. Currently, there are 201 projects, serving more than 5,400 students. Of the 1999 McNair-participant college graduates, 25-41% reported attending graduate schools and of those in their second year of graduate school, 91% were still enrolled.

Student Support Services

Student Support Services projects work to enable low-income students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Participants, who include disabled college students, receive tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction. Students are now being served at 947 colleges and universities nationwide. On average, students enrolled in the program saw their GPA rise from a 2.3 in their freshman year to a 2.6 by their senior year. Similarly, 77% of those who started college in the 1998-1999 school year were in good academic standing and by their senior year, 88% were in good academic standing.

Veterans Upward Bound

The Veterans Upward Bound program provides intensive basic skills development and short-term remedial courses for military veterans to help them successfully transition to post secondary education. Veterans learn how to secure support from available resources such as the Veterans Administration, veterans associations, and various state and local agencies that serve veterans.

You Won’t Know If You Don’t Try

Visiting your Career Center on campus is the first step to securing an internship that will give you hands-on experience in a field of your interest. Not quite sure what career field you’re interested in? Accessing this resource on campus will allow you to take interest inventories and career assessments that can further help you clarify your career or educational options.

It is important during college that you develop a lifelong process of learning and gain new experiences through internships or community volunteer involvement. Developing such experiences will also boost your resume, help you with your interviewing skills and may help you land your ideal job. The following website hosted by The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office provides several resources to search for internship opportunities,

Who do you want to be?

The Who Do U Want 2B website has a wealth of information related to California high school and community college courses, career alternatives and financial resources. It can guide you in terms of making more informed decisions as to what classes to take in high school and at a community college. Therefore, being informed about the various options can provide you with an opportunity to have a great job and a potential future career.

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The following PDFs describes the various sectors that are available as career pathways. This can serve as a visual aid to better understand what each sector involves and what career option you may like to follow:

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The two videos below give personal insight from current community college students at various California Community Colleges throughout the state:



If you have thoroughly read over the Involvement & Internship section and still don’t know whether or not to get involved on your community college campus, take it from an expert: just do it!