Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Northwest Community College narrows its name change list to four

NWCC officials have released their short list of potential names that
could soon replace the Northwest Community College brand in the region

The process of rebranding the community college that serves the Northwest is moving into a new phase this month, with Northwest Community College officials sharing the shortlist of four options for what could be the new name for the post-secondary educational institution in the region.

As we outlined on the blog in February, NWCC has been looking at ways to build a new recognition factor for the college in the region and that apparently means a new name, which will reflect the new direction that college officials seem to be charting for the future.

While they haven't outlined the shortlist through the NWCC website, or the range of their social media options that they have available. The four options being considered for a new name have been taken out for a test drive, revealed through the Terrace newspaper.

In an interview with the Terrace Standard, Sarah Zimmerman the college's Chief Communications official outlined the prospective new names and the thinking behind them.

As they consider retiring the NWCC brand, the new options include:

Sitka -- Taken from the Sitka spruce which grows in coastal forests

Skeena -- the name of the region's predominant river

Coast Mountain -- reflecting the major mountain range which runs north-south

North Coast -- providing a geographical reference, incorporating the word North to place the college in the company of other colleges with similar branding.

For those of us living on the North Coast, if there is to be a change (and we suspect that few share the enthusiasm of the college officials), the last of the four would probably fit our vision the best, as at least it offers recognition to our little corner of the region.

For many in the Prince Rupert/Port Edward area, the two options of Skeena and Coast Mountain, would probably be far too reflective of our neighbours in Terrace. Especially when you consider that Skeena is the name of the Middle school in that community, while Coast Mountain is quite close to name of the School District for the Terrace-Kitimat corridor.

Pushing ahead to make either of those two options the new brand, might add to the growing concern of distance when it comes to what Prince Rupert hopes to see from the College, an institution which already features an overwhelming focus on the Terrace area.

As for the concept of Sitka, that might actually cause more confusion than exists now, tied as it is to Alaska and is actually the name of a campus location with the University of Alaska Southeast.

When you review the four names that they have selected for the short list, one wonders if perhaps the existing name is actually the best way to help build for the future. 

When you look at the current name, calling itself Northwest Community College, really does seem to cover all the themes they are looking for and at least offers inclusion for all the "communities" that the College serves.

As for community reaction, so far, if the comments section to the Terrace Standard story on the name change plans are any indication, that particular focus group is against all four of the options.

Such is the commentary to this point, that NWCC officials may wish to just let that thread be their sounding board for the idea, making for a great way to save some money on research for the topic. 

Though with the name change debate, comes a number of other comments for college officials to explore as well, many of which seem to suggest that the college is perhaps not directing their attention to where it should best be focused.

For many, the idea of a name change might be a little low on the priority list, perhaps best placed in the category of someone trying to reinvent the wheel.

Should the college move forward with their plan, any name change requested by the college would have to be approved by the Provincial government. 

For more items related to education on the North Coast see our archive page here.

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