If you are considering applying to a community college or institute, your post-secondary planning process should begin as early as high school. Community colleges--or particular programs within a community college--can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Your area of interest will determine what you should take. If you are considering a science or technology-based program, you should load up on courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools and programs that make your list. If your school offers courses in electronics, mechanics or other areas of technology, those are also recommended. Communication skills are always important in technical fields, so don't forget your English! In general, English and math are the most-often required courses for all fields of study at community colleges.
In addition to keeping your grades up, there are several additional things you can do to prepare for success in your community college application:
Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for your program. This will also help you if admission requirements include an interview, since you will be able to impress the interviewer or committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to your area or program of interest.
Community college admissions committees may also be interested in a student's personal qualities, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining or even starting school clubs, whether related to your area of interest or not. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any application.
Prove your work ethic. Work experience - paid or volunteer - is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees. Any work experience related to your chosen field is extremely beneficial: community college programs often offer co-op or practicum components, and being able to show the school committee that you have some experience in the field will be a definite plus.