Friday, October 13, 2017

SD52 will oppose proposed name change for Northwest Community College

Storm clouds may be gathering when it comes to plans by NWCC to 
change their name,  with SD52 officials among 
some of the first to express some opposition to the project

Plans by officials at Northwest Community College to build support for a proposed name change for the post-secondary educational institution for the region are getting a bit of a push back in Prince Rupert, with School District 52 officials offering up a fairly strong rebuke to a request by the college for a letter of support in their name change quest.

As we've outlined on the blog previous, Northwest Community College has launched a major re-branding effort this fall,  a decision to move ahead with the project which came after college officials held two years of research and strategic planning.

The moves from the college expressing what appears to be a new vision plan for the Northwest educational institution, one that was expressed as an approach that will make NWCC the college of choice for experiential place-based learning by 2027.

Towards that eventual goal, the college has embarked on a number of new initiatives, from a larger focus on attracting International students to the Northwest, to an upgrade for the college's website delivery, with all of their recent moves focused on working towards their strategic planning process.

However, it has been the name change proposal has been the key element to their plan, with the college having narrowed it's options to four names over the summer, before deciding on a final candidate in September.

As they went through their process, they determined that Coast Mountain College best signalled the new image that the college wishes to project and with this September 18th announcement set about on their first round of the community engagements.

One approach has been to solicit support from around the Northwest, by asking education partners and other stakeholders in the region to provide a letter of support to the provincial ministry.

And that appears to be where some of the wheels of the name change bandwagon might be falling off.

As we noted in our review of the October 10th School District 52 Board meeting, local board officials are not all that enthused with the new name, highlighting a number of concerns that the Prince Rupert based board has with the Terrace based institution.

The Board of Education at SD52 will
not be supporting a request to offer their
support to a name change for Northwest
Community College
Among the various themes of discussion from the Board meeting was a note of the ongoing challenges that the School District has been experiencing with the college, though no detailed review of those challenges was provided as part of the School District's information release of this week.

SD52 officials also expressed concern over what they see as the ongoing consolidation of service for the region at the main campus in Terrace.

In addition to their own issues, the Prince Rupert board members also observed that the new name Coast Mountain College is quite similar to that of the Terrace based public school Board, which is known as the Coast Mountain School District.

During their October 10th meeting, Board officials chose not to write the letter of support that had been requested and instead, have instructed Board Chair Tina Last to write a letter that expresses School District 52's opposition to the proposed name change.

Judging by the comments of SD52, NWCC administration officials may have to do some significant fence mending with communities outside of the Terrace region and expand on their consultation process,  should they wish to herald the name change as a welcome one across the Northwest.

For more items related to NWCC see our archive page here, while a wider overview of education in the Northwest can be found on our Education archive page.

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