On March 13, the Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees voted to drop “Community” from its name. Henceforth, SCCC will be known as Seattle Central College.
And the updated “SCC” isn’t alone. North Seattle College and South Seattle College also got shortened titles.
The Board of Trustees said that its decision was made after a yearlong study of national and statewide trends, as well as opinion surveys of students, employees, and community partners, and consultation with business and civic leaders, and representatives from Seattle Public Schools. Not all students, however, agreed, and held a protest earlier this month to opposed the name change.
“A community college really gives you a sense of community,” Carlos Hernandez, who has been a student at SCC for the last three years, wrote. “Sadly they didn’t informed [anyone] about it; the only thing they did was [send] us by email a survey that was available for one week. This survey just showed [everyone] the ‘positive outcomes’ of changing the name, but it didn’t show the negative impact that it may have in the community that our community serves.”
The name change isn’t the only thing different about “community” colleges these days, either. Whereas, initially, it was only possible to obtain an associate’s degree, now some bachelor’s degree programs are also available for people who have completed a two-year technical degree.
In her presentation to the Board, District Chancellor Jill Wakefield said, “We believe this will inspire prospective students to reach higher than they thought possible. With the same open admissions policies and the same low tuition, local students can start at a local college that can eventually take them all the way to a bachelor’s degree.”
Wakefield said that removing “community” from the colleges’ names will “signal that we are part of the baccalaureate level program” and “raise the ceiling” for all students.