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ZOIE MACDOUGALL

Zoie is majoring in Computer Engineering at California State University, San Jose.

 

ZOIE'S STORY

Dublin High School | Chabot College

There were multiple reasons I went straight to a 4-year university. Among these reasons, was that I had uneducated misconceptions about the opportunities that community colleges offered and the quality of education there.


I also didn't consider that I could have spent more time with high school friends, and I didn't appreciate that I could save SO MUCH money by going to a community college. 

I only took a community college class because I was switching majors. I was taking an introductory C/C++ programming class to make up for lost time. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I ended up enjoying the class a lot more than many similar classes I took at SJSU. 

 
Laptop & Coffee

BENEFITS OF THE CLASSROOM

At about 20 people, the class size was a lot smaller than most of the lower-division courses at SJSU, but the best part of the class was the professor. This professor taught classes at both Chabot and CSU East Bay. I wasn't expecting to learn anything since already had taken excellent programming classes in high school, but the teacher integrated a lot of his industry experience into the class.


He implemented strict programming standards and gave us a thorough background on computer architecture. But he wasn't just smart; he was also a very excellent teacher. He was always very organized and knew the content that he was teaching very precisely. He was always available for office hours and made sure to tell students that they shouldn't spend more than a few hours on assignment before coming in to ask for help. You could tell that he was there because he wanted to teach us as well as possible; he was there because he wanted to be. All together, that's a lot more than I can say for most (if not all) of the programming professors I've had in college.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

The experiences that I have had at university aren't guaranteed. But, the opportunities that the community colleges around me offered aren't guaranteed either. you'll have to go out of your way to make things fit for your lifestyle.


If I had to relive my life and make the decision again, I'm not sure which option I would choose. But, something that I would have done differently is take much stronger considerations into going to a community college. In my situation. It's an important decision, but there's only so much that you can learn without experience.

Books