Many students opt for this approach, earning their general education credits at a community college, and then focusing on their major-specific classes at a university. Both options are fantastic, and the best choice really depends on the individual student's financial situation and educational goals!
Paul Goetzinger MPA
At the community college level. I had the opportunity to advise many of these students. The courses to took went towards high school graduation, and also earned them credits towards completing their associates degrees (or first two years of college). The standards for admission for these programs was very strict, and the students had to be at a college level in their subject areas to be considered for admission.
Why did they do it? Well, it is true that I saw many graduate with bachelors degrees at a young age, but they went on to obtains masters, and one eventually got a Ph.D. They used the program to get the credits to attain their bachelors and then get into higher level university graduate programs. So, the dual enrollment college and high school programs seem to be what you are describing.
It can sometimes be confusing but maybe it would be easier if people would refer to them as a two-year college or a four-year college. Yes, you can get a Masters and Doctorate at what I am calling a four year college. Many Medical schools have the word College in their name, too and they can be a large school, offer many advanced degrees which two year colleges don't, and have a large student body, defying the definition of "College". People in different regions use the words differently.
What the person may have meant is to attend two years at a college that offers Associate degrees and than transfer to a four year college for a Bachelors degree. The person telling you this may have thought two year colleges are "easier" . They are definitely less expensive and that may be what the person was trying to convey to you. My advice is that if you want to go to Arizona State University, definitely apply. Unless you know the reason why the person was steering you to a community college, two year college, city college. Get more opinions about what other people who know you think about your enrolling in Arizona State.
If you do decide to go to the community college, the two year college, that is, you can receive your Associate Degree there in a major. My advice is get the Associates degree as opposed to taking just requirements and transferring to the University. But if you feel alright about it, start at the University. It's up to you.
Best wishes in all you do !
However, internationally, it can be a different story too. Here in the UK, "university" and "college" have much more distinct meanings than the US. University is the term we use where the US might use "college" or "university" interchangeably; for academic "higher education" - that's bachelors, masters, doctorates; typically aged 17-18 or older.
College is a word more often used to describe vocational education and some schools - at the level called "further education" for ages 16-18. This can be a "sixth form college" (often just "6th form" without the word "college") - which I guess is probably somewhere equivalent to the last couple years of US high school, studying more academic "A-Level" classes and preparing for University entry; or a technical or vocational college, often just called "college", tending to be more hands-on training for specific workplaces like agriculture or automotive.
College is also a term used by some larger universities to describe their subdivisions; places like Oxford University are made up of eg "Jesus College, Oxford" and "Trinity College, Oxford", which each have their own student housing, facilities, tutors, events, etc; but still form part of the same total "University"
To put this all in terms of routes and your described college-then-university progression in a UK context, "6th form college" into university is the norm, although in that context we'd be unlikely to just say "college"; "6th form" then "university" would be the usual phrasing. Vocational college then university would be quite an unusual route, but I think it is possible for some subject choices.
Obviously "college" as a university subdivision doesn't make sense to do one first then the other, as they're part of the same thing - although maybe in terms of applications, you might apply to the specific college first, rather than to the university as a whole.