Despite the stigma associated with them, community colleges boast small class sizes, excellent faculty whose sole job is good teaching, and many smart and highly motivated students. I took a personal finance class at my local community college while in high school and was pleasantly surprised to find my professor was a Harvard MBA. He fell in love with the California foothills and decided to trade a high paying job for a better lifestyle. He was far from unique.
Since I took that class, the faculty have only improved further. There are simply fewer good tenure track positions available so more PhDs now apply to teach at local community colleges. And some fields, like English, continue to crank out way more graduates than the university market can reasonably bear, so many end up teaching at two year schools. Obviously not all PhDs make good teachers, and many in fact have little interest in teaching, but I just want to drill home the point that for the money and the personal attention you receive, there is no greater value in education than two year schools. Oh, and it also helps applicants when they apply for college as transfer students.
Anyway, it's good to see that President Obama shares my enthusiasm (Time).