To add to what fdmaxey said, in the USA you have places known as community colleges which are also known as junior colleges.
These institutions provide a two-year higher education degree/diploma or certificate or and associate's degrees. Many also offer continuing and adult education.
When you're in high school, you have the option to take classes at the community college, and these classes could then then transfer to a university. For instance, you could take a chemistry class in the community college and when you finish and pass the course, you get a certificate which you can then present at your chosen university, and most universities will credit you for this class.
Also, you can get an associates degree in vocations like nursing, healthcare technology, car mechanics and more.
Typically students will attend a community college to save money on university costs. For example, you can take a class at the community college for 100 USD, and the same class at a university might cost you at least 600 USD.
Or sometimes you want to get a vocation that won't take 4 years to complete and many community colleges offer these.
Many people will argue that classes at the community college are easier and therefore it is an injustice to allow people from these colleges into programs at universities, but obviously that all depends on who your teacher was.
I took classes in community colleges which were as difficult as those offered in a university, and the instructors offered real life examples which made the class a lot better, while I also had university professors who couldn't teach a subject to save their lives! :)