Merced County Office of Education

Types of Schools

‚ÄčTypes of Schools

    Which school is right for me? If you find yourself asking this question, as many have, it is important to research the many different options. When researching the different kinds of colleges out there, you're likely to come across a number of different schools, each offering different programs, focuses, or career choices. In California, there are five main institution types:

  1. Vocational schools focus on direct job training, teaching you the skills necessary to perform well in a skilled occupation. Typically award certifications in limited areas of expertise.
  2. Community colleges (CC) are publicly supported and locally oriented colleges that offer programs for transfer to a four-year college, career education programs, remedial or "catch-up" programs, and continuing education for cultural growth, life enrichment, and skills improvement.
  3. California State Universities (CSU) are a high quality, accessible, student-focused education. With 23 campuses in California, it is one of the most affordable educational systems. Teaching is it's primary focus.
  4. University of California (UC) schools are high quality research based, theoretical institutions. With 10 campuses in California, research is the primary focus.
  5. Private universities range in teaching styles, focus, and quality.