Estimates from the Pew Research Center suggest that community colleges enroll close to half of all U.S. undergraduates. Despite their size, two-year schools often boast unique and challenging degree programs.
For example, Garrett College in Maryland offers an associate's degree program in adventure sports. According to the school, the degree track is designed to combine business management, environmental science and leadership development with adventure sports skills. Graduates of the program may find a middle management position within an organization that specializes in sports activities.
Participants in the adventure program have access to many of the natural features of Western Maryland, including Deep Creek Lake - that state's largest freshwater lake, Wisp Resort - an alpine ski site, and the Savage River - location for the 1992 whitewater canoe and kayak Olympic Team Trials.
Students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree after they complete the program may do so at a neighboring university that has a transfer agreement with Garrett College.
Earning a degree can be financially beneficial, as the U.S. Department of Labor recently projected that in the coming decade, 90 percent of new high-growth, high-wage jobs will require some postsecondary education.
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