AKA what exactly is community college?

Reading up on some of GT's post-secondary experiences, I realized that I would love some clarification on the American post-secondary system, where 'college' is used as a catch-all and I find it really confusing. And GTers explain things so nicely. I'm going to try comparing what I know.

University : University

A degree-granting institution, where the degree takes traditionally four years. This is where you go for your BA, BSc, B Eng, some types of nursing programs, your Masters, your PhD, you MD, you law degree, etc. etc. May have satellite campuses e.g. UCLA/UCSD/UCSF and U of Toronto St George/Mississauga/Scarborough.

Sub-question: Some American universities get gov't funding and some do not? A 'State school' is public, but Wellesley (or Harvard or who else?) are fully private and thus charge even more astronomical prices?

Community College : ????

What is this? Community tells me it's a 'lesser' university? You get a degree from here, right? So how does Greendale differ from Dartmouth, if they both grant degrees?


???? : Canadian City College

For Canadian, college is where you go to get a diploma. Takes 2-3 years dependant on the program (regular diploma or advanced). Hospitality, cooking, HVAC and other trades, the other types of nursing, fitness, other medical professions, etc. Where do you go for those types of programs?

Junior College : ????

I've gleaned this is someplace you 'start' but then transfer to a "real" university later*? Do they only have up to level-200 classes?


*"You go to a junior college, do well, then you can transfer to UCLA or U of Texas! That's the easiest way, and your degree still says U of Texas on it! Easier than trying to get in straight from HS" I think I saw that exact quote on some article (maybe that Affirmative Action-suing woman?) Either way, I'm quoting. Not trying to diminish anyone's school. :/

Private Career College : Private Career College

DeVry, Cordon Bleu, TriOs and the like. Where you pay obscene amoutns of money because they are for profit and receive no government funding, with the hope that they are teaching you something more useful for the industry of your choice.


Okay, I *think* I got all my questions...