BROOKSVILLE — With little fanfare Tuesday night, Pasco-Hernando Community College officially got a new name that better reflects its growing course offerings.
It's now Pasco-Hernando State College.
The college's board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the new name, which took effect immediately and recognizes the fact that the school — which includes five campuses in Pasco and Hernando counties — now offers a four-year bachelor's program in nursing and applied sciences.
Beginning in August, the college will offer a bachelor of applied science degree in supervision and management and a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
College president Katherine Johnson called it a "historical moment in this institution."
"It took the efforts of everyone at the college," Johnson said. "We're all really proud of the fact that we're continuing to meet the needs of our community by expanding our course offerings."
Board of trustees Chairman John DiRienzo Jr. agreed.
"To have a four-year institution center in the Pasco-Hernando area is really a good thing for the community," he said. "I'm sure it's just a steppingstone for other programs."
The college, which was founded in 1967, will begin a long process of switching to the new name. It's not as easy as flipping a switch, Johnson said.
She said administrators will first focus on changing the name in places that are frequently accessed by students and the public.
The school is in the process of updating its website, which as of Wednesday morning bore a large headline that read "We are now … PHSC" with a picture of the school's new logo.
At Tuesday's board meeting, board members approved a new mission and vision statement.
In December 2013, the college received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees. That allowed the college to change its name to better reflect the new offerings, Johnson said.
Many of the 28 schools in the Florida College System already have moved in that direction, Johnson said.
Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.