College of the Redwoods


Cal Poly Humboldt

College Matters | CR offers an economical way to pursue an education

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 1:30pm

In April, I wrote about the misguided notion, propagated by the media and certain outspoken individuals, suggesting that a college education is no longer essential or even useful, which was followed by a wonderful College Matters article from my colleague Dr. Tom Jackson, president of Cal Poly Humboldt, that championed community colleges in general and College of the Redwoods specifically.

I want to thank Dr. Jackson for speaking about the value of a community college education. I am confident in saying that the partnership between College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt, which offers a seamless pathway for our students into a four-year degree, has highlighted the important opportunities for academic growth, career training, and professional proficiency CR provides to students.

I believe that students wishing to go directly into a four-year institution could not find a better choice than Cal Poly Humboldt. With 12 new academic programs launching in fall 2023, and at least additional eight programs expected to launch by fall 2029, it has never been a more exciting time to work in education in our area.

In this article, I would like to outline the many ways a student benefits if they begin at CR.

It is well-known that College of the Redwoods has exceptional faculty, many of whom also teach at Cal Poly Humboldt. Comprised of scholars, experts, and industry professionals, our faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience to the educational landscape.

Even with a less-than-stellar grade point average, students can enroll in any course of their choice, and we give them the hands-on support, small class sizes, and individualized attention they might need to turn a subpar academic performance around.

As noted in previous columns, education has become expensive, however, the College of the Redwoods’ College Access Program (CAP) offers two free years of college for first-time, full-time students, and our associate degrees for transfer offer guaranteed admissions to Cal Poly and other CSUs, essentially cutting the cost of a 4-year degree in half.

At CR, students are given an opportunity to explore different vocational and certificate courses at an economical cost and discover their passion, which could assist them in shaping their careers. We also offer re-skilling courses and certificates that allow students to transition into new careers without the years it takes to apprentice or learn on the job.

CR integrates classroom learning with hands-on lab work and field trips, giving students real-world experience. Many students graduate with third-party certifications that employers value. Furthermore, employers recognize the importance of soft skills developed through a liberal arts education, such as problem-solving, creativity, and ethical decision-making and often hire for these skills over technical ones.

College of the Redwoods provides a flexible schedule that helps students in creating a balance between their studies and their other activities outside of the classroom. Students often say that nonflexible class schedules complicate other aspects of their life but at CR students can build custom part- or full-time schedules with day, evening, and online classes.

In short, students who start at CR will be well equipped to go anywhere — whether it be a career, Cal Poly Humboldt, or another 4-year institution.

Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of the College of the Redwoods.