Junior College

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's degree, although junior college students may continue their education at a 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.

Cultural connotations
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 set up in a high school as the equivalent of grades 13 and 14 in order 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 the schools of last resort. According to federal statistics, 42% of public community college freshmen take remedial courses. However 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; and 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.

Athletics
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 the 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 still 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

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