In Defense of Community College Professors: An Open Letter

To those in academia who think less of community college professors:

I don’t quite get it. I know many of you don’t fit in to this group but there is a rather large group of educators and other facilitators who seem to think that community college professors do not deserve the same respect that you wish to receive. You also do not think that these teachers radiate the same prestige as yourselves. Maybe you are too far inside the box to truly see the inaccuracy in such claims. As a student, let me tell you what I see.

Educators. I see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Where do I see these types? Both at a community college and university levels. I am not sure what makes a university professor think that he or she is somehow more educated or more qualified than that of your community college counterpart. Do you not realize that many of these supposed “lesser than” teachers also obtained a Ph.D. and often from colleges that are well respected? And even if they have not received their Ph.D. it doesn’t mean they are incapable of teaching, encouraging, and inspiring students. So please tell me what it is? I truly want to know. 

Am I a bit unnerved right now? Obviously, yes. I don’t like when people I respect and care for get chopped down to mere nothingness simply because they chose to teach at a community college. Especially when I know quite a few CC profs who could run circles around their university counterparts. I think those who made this choice were brave in some ways and incredibly smart in other ways. Community college is simply the first 2 years of an undergrad program and should be respected by the university community especially now that so many students start their college career at the CC level. And since a school is only as good as its teachers, they deserve respect too.

I know there are mediocre professors, I KNOW that for sure but I cannot say that I have exclusively found those types at my previous community college — they are everywhere. So are the amazing educators who lift students out of the dust of their own struggle, enabling them to rise above their circumstances and excel. The best professor I have ever had the privilege of learning from was at a community college and while she is capable of teaching graduate level seminars I respect her for walking in to a classroom full of students at a community college and changing their lives for the Good.

I hope you all can stop trying to one-up each other and start working together to help students like me succeed. And let’s face it, if we the students respect community college professors then so should you.

I know this isn’t well written but it’s just a thought. Maybe a challenge.


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