The term junior college refers to different educational institutions in different countries.
Junior college by country
In India, most states provide schooling through 12th grade. Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka however, have a system of junior colleges where, after taking the 10th grade board exams (see SSLC, SSC), students have to apply to junior colleges to complete their 11th and 12th grades. Junior colleges are also referred to as Pre-University Colleges (PUC). Junior colleges are frequently co-located with degree colleges.
Prominent junior colleges in Mumbai include St. Xavier's, Kishinchand Chelaram, Jai Hind, Bhavan's, Ruparel, Mithibai & Ramnarain Ruia. Prominent junior colleges in Bangalore include Christ Junior College, St. Joseph's College, Vijaya College
In Pakistan, all provinces provide schooling through 12th grade. The Junior college is known as Intermediate college in Pakistan. After successful completion of Secondary School Certificate the students apply for junior colleges. The students receive Higher Secondary School Certificate after completion of Intermediate college. Most Junior colleges in Pakistan are located close to degree colleges.
In Singapore, a Junior College (JC) is equivalent to a sixth form college in the United Kingdom. After the GCE 'O' level examinations in Secondary 4 or 5, students may apply for admission to either a JC or a polytechnic. The two years spent in a JC culminate in a GCE 'A' level certificate which is the most common qualification used for university admission.
In the past, secondary schools offered both 'O' and 'A' Levels and students in classes studying for the 'A' Levels were known as the "Pre-University" class. During the 1980s and 1990s, the government began the process of transferring all 'A' Level courses to centralised JCs. At present, students finish their 'O' Levels at a secondary school and may choose to take the 'A' Levels at a JC or as a private candidate.
In the United States, a junior college is a two-year post-secondary school whose main purpose is to provide academic, vocational and professional education. The highest certificate offered by such schools is usually an Associate degree, although junior college students may continue their education at a four-year university or college, transferring some or all of the credit earned at the junior college toward the degree requirements of the four-year school.
The term junior college has historically referred to all non-bachelor's degree granting post-secondary schools, but over the last few decades many public junior colleges, which typically aim to serve a local community, have replaced "junior" with "community" in their names. This may give the impression that a junior college must be a private school, but only a small percentage of two-year institutions are private. The first "successful and persistent" junior college in the United States was the Auburndale Female Seminary founded by Edward Lasell (now called Lasell College), which offered a two-year college education as early as 1852 (in 1989, however, it began offering four-year bachelor's degrees and no longer offers any two-year degrees).
Junior colleges in the United States have long had to contend with a reputation for low academic standards. The concept can be traced back 100 years to the original public junior college, Joliet Junior College, which was established in a high school as the equivalent of thirteenth and fourteenth grades, to prepare qualified students for the final two years of college. To some extent, this is inherent in the junior college mission of providing practical education to students who for various reasons fall outside the typical profile of a four-year college student (for example, someone who has graduated from high school and spent several years working in a relatively unskilled job). Over the years, such colleges developed a reputation as schools of last resort. According to federal statistics, 42% of public community college freshmen take remedial courses. This does not necessarily affect their future transfer prospects: a junior college graduate with good grades can generally transfer to a four-year school and go on to obtain a full bachelor's degree. There is a growing movement of students who are attending junior colleges to save significant sums of money in the first two years of a four year education.
Certain junior colleges also serve as incubators for college athletes, particularly in basketball and football; in sports parlance, they are often referred to as "Jucos". A talented player who would not meet the academic standards of a major college program may be able to play for two years in junior college, establishing an academic record in the process, and then transfer to a major college. This process has occasionally resulted in scandals, often involving the academics of the student athletes.
Military junior college
In the United States, a military junior college is a military-style junior college that allows cadets to become commissioned officers in the armed forces reserve in two years, instead of the usual four. The students must go on to complete a bachelor's degree before serving as regular officers on active duty.
There are currently five military junior colleges:
- Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, Georgia
- Marion Military Institute, Marion, Alabama
- New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico
- Valley Forge Military Academy, Wayne, Pennsylvania
- Wentworth Military Academy, Lexington, Missouri
- Arthur M. Cohen, and Florence B. Brawer. The American Community College (1st ed. 1982; new edition 2013) Excerpts; Comprehensive survey
- ED327222 1989-12-00 The Survival of Private Junior Colleges. ERIC Digest
- John Merrow, Community Colleges: Dream Catchers, The New York Times, April 22, 2007.
- Beth Frerking, Community Colleges: For Achievers, a New Destination, The New York Times, April 22, 2007.
- John Merrow, Community Colleges: A Harsh Reality, The New York Times, April 22, 2007.
- John Merrow, Community Colleges: The Smart Transfer, The New York Times, April 22, 2007.
- Robert Andrew Powell, Community College: Tennis in a Parking Lot, The New York Times, April 22, 2007
- Where Have All the Private 2-Year Colleges Gone?
- The Survival of Private Junior Colleges - US Federal Education Resources Information Center Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges, Los Angeles, California.
- college.gov - U.S. Department of Education