Don't take the 'Community' out of this college

Monday, May 20, 2013

The folks at Jackson Community College have a strong sense of their mission and identity. Now, they're considering a name they believe more accurately reflects that.

As soon as next month, trustees might drop the word "Community" and rechristen the school as Jackson College. We do not agree there's a need for the change and encourage the trustees not to move forward — but the community needs to voice its opinion, too.

JCC officials point to three factors behind a possible name change: that the school may soon offer four-year degrees, confusion among international students and a perception that community colleges are inferior.

We think there's a lot of reason to feel pride in calling yourself a "community" college. That's particularly true for the Jackson area, where so much depends upon more residents going to college.

This area traditionally lags behind others in terms of high school graduates who earn college degrees. That once was not much of a concern, when manufacturing jobs that didn't require higher education were plentiful. How long has it been since that has been the case?

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