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junior college

or community college

Educational institution that provides up to two years of college-level academic, technical, and vocational instruction with emphasis on career preparation. Roots of the junior college may be traced to the Chautauqua movement and other adult-education programs created after the American Civil War. The first junior college opened in Joliet, Ill., in 1901. The vast majority of junior colleges are publicly supported; called community colleges, they offer a variety of flexible programs that are often nontraditional in style and content. They have pioneered in offering part-time study, evening sessions, instruction by television, weekend workshops, and other services for members of their communities. Students rarely live on campus. Graduates of junior or community colleges ordinarily earn an associate's degree. They then transfer to a four-year college or enter the workforce. Seealso continuing education.

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Junior comes from the Latin for "younger."

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