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Academic Success After Community College?

  1. Jul 31, 2010 #1
    Well I am finally finishing my time at a community college majoring in physics. I've completed the calculus series as well as physics I and II. I begin fall semester at a regular university.

    How many of you started at a community college and then had success with the rest of your university education?

    The reason I ask is after reading some threads here, I am getting worried I'll have to start over as I haven't learned much during my CC education. For example - my physics prof always skipped derivations and I was stupid enough to think memorizing the formulas was a lot easier and did that...since the importance of deriving this stuff didn't seem important during class. Another example was in my calc III class we did Green's Theorem where only a formula was presented. I did some research so I knew what we were using it for, but in no way do I see (or could derive) the formula we used.

    So anyway, do you get a chance later to see how things are derived? I think the math will start to make more sense once I actually start using it in the applied classes, but the derivations have me worried.

    What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2010 #2


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    I started at a CC. I was a chemistry major at the time though. I found the preparation to be excellent, in fact I was better versed in organic chem than a lot of the students at the university I transferred to.

    But not all CCs are equal, some are great and some are abysmal. If I were you, I wouldn't take a super heavy load in the first term you're at a university. Give yourself time to make the adjustment, especially if you suspect you may have holes in your preparation.

    Knowing derivations is important, and you'll have time to see them. I seem to recall the junior year as being quite heavy with derivations, in E&M and QM.
  4. Jul 31, 2010 #3
    I started out at a community college as well and did just fine with the rest of my university education. I also know many other people who went to community college with me and were successful as well.

    I agree with lisab's recommendation to take a lighter load your first semester as you adjust to a new school. If you feel your preparation is inadequate at all, then you can try reading through your physics book again and following the derivations you skipped in there. There are some formulas introduced in physics 1 and 2 that are usually just given and not derived until more advanced courses. I would say if you can understand the derivations in your textbook, then you should be fine.
  5. Aug 1, 2010 #4
    Perfect, that makes me feel a lot better. Thanks for the replies.

    Maybe over the next couple weeks I don't have class between semesters I will go through some of the derivations.
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