If you've ever wished you could name a college, here's your chance.
Pasco-Hernando Community College is taking suggestions for a new name. School leaders have proposed keeping Pasco and Hernando in the name, though they're open to other ideas.
It's the community college part that has to go.
PHCC, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, is seeking approval to add two bachelor's degree programs that would broaden the scope of the institution. By August 2014, the college hopes to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a bachelor of applied science in supervision and management. (First they'll need the approval of several agencies, including the Division of Florida Colleges, the Florida Department of Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.)
The school's broader focus should be reflected in a new name, officials said. PHCC has created an ad hoc committee of administrators, faculty and staff to offer and weigh ideas.
"One thing that the committee felt very strongly about is retaining the identity of the region we represent, which is Pasco and Hernando counties," said PHCC spokeswoman Lucy Miller. "One of the concerns of the committee is that we most likely will be dropping 'community' from the name, but we want to reassure the area that we are still representing Pasco and Hernando counties."
One of the committee's suggestions was to replace "community" with "state college," as many similar institutions have done.
PHCC created an online survey with four suggested names: College of Pasco-Hernando, Pasco-Hernando College, Pasco-Hernando State College, and State College of Pasco-Hernando. There's also a spot in the survey to suggest a completely new idea.
Submissions will be accepted until April 4. The ad hoc committee will evaluate all the ideas, then send some options to the college's District Board of Trustees, which will pick the new name.
The trustees could make a decision by mid December, in preparation for the opening of the Porter campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel, slated for January 2014.
Even if the school drops "community" from its name, the college won't forget that's who it serves, Miller said.
"We want to assure the community that we are still the institution that represents the community and embraces the community and serves the community as we have for 40 years," she said.
Samantha Fuchs can be reached at (727) 869-6235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.