College asks for input on changing its name

With the recent approval of two baccalaureate degree programs, St. Johns River Community College is reaching out to Historic City News readers to help select a new name for their institution.

SJRCC President Joe Pickens said everyone is asked to participate in the survey. “We are the community’s college, so it is only natural that we look to the community to assist us in selecting a new name,” he said. “We are asking students, faculty, alumni, parents, future students and community members to participate in this historic event.”

Between July 16 and August 31, the public is encouraged to participate in an online survey where they may vote on the six potential names that have emerged during various focus group discussions or submit a name of their own. Participants may also answer questions regarding the College logo and mascot.

The survey is one step in the naming process presented to the SJRCC District Board of Trustees. In addition to the survey, members of an appointed committee will continue to poll various focus groups. Survey and focus group results will be presented to the College president, who will then make a recommendation to the Board. The final name selection will be determined by the Board during its September meeting.

In 2009, the Florida Legislature adopted legislation to rename the Florida Community College System as the Florida College System. Florida Statutes then authorized colleges accredited to award four-year degrees to change their names to better reflect their progression.

Statewide, more than 16 community colleges have changed their names. Colleges that have simply dropped the word “community” from their names are Broward College and Santa Fe College, while colleges that have inserted the word “state” into their names include Daytona State College and Florida State College at Jacksonville. Still, other colleges have elected to change their names entirely, including Lake City Community College, now called Florida Gateway College and Manatee Community College, now known as the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

“It’s been a productive and rewarding year,” Pickens said. “We would like the new name to better represent our numerous program additions as well as our commitment to the community.” In addition to the baccalaureate degrees, the College has also introduced an Honors Program and articulation agreements with the University of North Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Pickens reiterated that while the name of the College will change, the College’s mission will remain unchanged. The College will keep its open door admissions policy.

The survey is located on the SJRCC Web site at: www.sjrcc.edu.

A printed version of the survey is available for individuals who do not have access to the online survey by calling the SJRCC Public Relations Office at (386) 312-4020.

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