NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Contact: John J. Glisch, Associate Vice President, Communications
The transition from BCC to Eastern Florida State College
Brevard Community College became Eastern Florida State College on July 1, 2013 to reflect the addition of four-year bachelor degrees. To the left you'll find a link to Frequently Asked Questions about the new College name, which was chosen after input from key stakeholders, including Brevard business and community leaders, elected officials, and BCC faculty, staff, students, prospective students and alumni.
The name change was approved by the College's Board of Trustees on December 17, 2012. It was then approved by the Florida Legislature in spring 2013 and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.
Below is the transcript of BCC President Dr. Jim Richey's remarks to the board in
announcing the new name in December 2012.
BCC’s expanding mission
Members of the board, I have to tell you that when the decision was made to pursue offering Baccalaureate degrees and move BCC to the next level of its commitment to serving this region, I had no idea that I would face one of the longest decision-making process’ of my career in selecting a new name.
I can assure you that because of the great importance of this decision, the process was thorough and deliberate.
Now, any discussion concerning the renaming of BCC must include a clear understanding of why we are having the conversation to begin with.
As you may know, in 2008 the Florida Legislature passed a law allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees and become state colleges.
The reason was that Florida was not, and is not, producing enough baccalaureate degrees to meet future workforce needs.
As a result, we are not just changing our name.
Instead, we are going from a Level 1 institution that offers two-year degrees and certificate programs, to become a Level 2 institution that also offers four-year degrees, which expands our mission.
To make it very clear, this should not be confused with, nor can we be called, a university.
University status is not our goal or mission.
Since the Legislature acted four years ago, 22 colleges in the 28-member Florida College System have become state colleges, started offering bachelor degrees and changed their names.
New names have varied widely.
All dropped “community” and some added “state.” Others didn’t add any name after dropping “community.” Miami Dade College, for example.
“Community” generally denotes a Level 1 institution, and “state” is reserved for a public institution offering baccalaureate and associate degrees.
Other colleges have selected a more regional name such as Northwest Florida State College and South Florida State College. Still others have chosen specialized names, such as Florida State College at Jacksonville and Florida Gateway College.
What is most important to remember is that while our name must change, our role as a community college will continue to be our primary mission.
We currently offer more than 100 two-year degree and certificate programs and expect to add more.
We are — and will always be — firmly committed to our roots and will continue to provide the educational opportunities that Space Coast residents rely on.
Listening to community
When I brought the college renaming issue to you in August, I said we wanted to undertake a process-driven, research-heavy approach that would reach deeply into the College community and Brevard community for input.
I can tell you we have done precisely that, and what we have learned gives me great confidence in the recommendation I will make.
Marketers refer to data points when they are making these decisions.
And through the nearly 140 individuals who participated in our telephone and email surveys, and nearly 40 prospective students, business and community leaders from across Brevard County who participated in focus groups, we gathered more than 2,600 data points.
Put another way, we received more than 2,600 answers to questions that we asked.
That has provided us with a wealth of insight that has guided us in making an informed decision.
It has also provided us valuable information we will use to attract students, build business partnerships and enhance our academic programs.
When Roger Pynn of Curley & Pynn came to us at our August meeting, he emphasized this is not the kind of research we see in a Gallup Poll where researchers talk about statistically accurate sampling.
Rather, this is an iterative and interpretive process that takes those data points into account, and tests and retests them, to arrive at meaningful and workable solutions.
The research team and our College’s communications staff worked diligently on outreach that was carefully designed to gather input from a broad cross-section of the community.
In the business and civic community, we drew names from a wide variety of lists and talked to people who were representative of much larger groups.
They included chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, local government, our college faculty and staff, our student body and alumni, and current student applicants who represent the college’s future target market.
In effect, we listened — through them — to a much greater slice of Brevard from Titusville in the north to Palm Bay in the south and many points between.
We listened to representatives of the more than 1,600 dedicated full-time faculty, adjunct faculty and staff here at the College.
We listened to input from a sampling of the tens of thousands of students who are taking courses on our campuses this year.
We listened to representatives of our 87,000 alumni.
We listened to business leaders who were selected from the chambers of commerce in Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Palm Bay totaling almost 5,000 local businesses.
You name it. We listened.
Many names suggested
Regarding the name, as the report on your desk shows, more than 70 names were suggested through the survey process.
Not surprisingly, there was interest for a name that would use the term “Space,” “Space Coast” or “Brevard.”
There was also interest in a name that reflected a broader regional or geographic approach.
The research team engaged in a comprehensive analysis of the words and terms — and combinations of words and terms — that came from the research.
The creative process involved literally hundreds of combinations and options.
They poured through such things as the availability of Internet addresses, because as we know, that is the first place a prospective student or anyone interested in the college is going to look.
Hence, whatever name we select must have an easily-used and easily-remembered Internet address.
It was surprising to see how many of the names suggested actually linked to commercial colleges and trade schools on the Internet. All such names would be confusing to the consumer.
The research team also searched to determine if the names being suggested were already in use. In many cases they were which eliminated them from consideration.
Valuable insights gained
In addition to the name suggestions, let me share some of the very valuable insight we gained from the community throughout this process:
First and foremost, we learned this college is treasured by this community.
That’s a testament to those who worked so hard before us, to our outstanding faculty and staff and to our community. Bottom line is that Brevard County loves our College.
Our accessibility, small class size, value and outstanding instruction were all cited by those we spoke with.
Second, we learned that business and civic leaders want a name to elevate the college on a regional level, a name that can further help the college in its important role as a driver of job-creation and economic growth and development along the Space Coast.
To that end, they want the college to create new degree and certificate programs that lead to jobs for graduates.
They also want more four-year degree programs than the two we plan to start next August.
Third, we heard from prospective students that anything even close to our present name, anything referencing “Space Coast” or “Brevard” will not work.
They want something different. Something more substantial in their view. Something that speaks to the larger world in which they live, and the global economy that awaits them.
As one prospective student said in a typical remark, “I already went to Space Coast High School. I don’t want to go to a college by the same name.”
In sum, both groups were looking at new horizons for the College and wanted us to do the same.
Meeting key criteria
In all, the research process has been enlightening and challenging.
The team made hundreds of personal phone calls and emails, completed nearly 140 surveys, and sat through hours of focus group discussions.
Over time, we whittled the list of possible names down to fewer than 10 that met these criteria:
- A name that’s representative of the region.
- A name designed to be embraced by students, alumni and community.
- A name that will serve the best long-term interest of the college and community.
And now, looking forward, once you have approved a new name, it will then go to the state Legislature and eventually Gov. Rick Scott for final approval in the spring.
We expect the new name to be official starting with the beginning of the next state fiscal year on July 1, 2013.
That will be just in time for us to launch our new four-year degree programs.
Please understand that I have spent the past few weeks weighing the pros and cons of a short-list of name and word combinations following a meeting that comprehensively reviewed all of the research gathered.
As a team, we reached consensus that a geographic reference was an essential element of a new college name brand, just as the initial feedback indicated in our survey and which our focus groups confirmed.
For a number of reasons, our location on Florida’s East Coast became very important.
We considered and flirted with names that included the term Coast or Coastal, but the focus groups revealed more confusion than clarity when that term was used.
The terms East and Eastern emerged as best identifying not only where we are but creating a broader, more inclusive region that we will serve with our expanded mission.
Adding Central or East Central caused more confusion because The University of Central Florida and the College of Central Florida are also in our general region.
Therefore, using “Central” could not be part of the name.
Furthermore, the research showed that adding “Florida” was important because Florida colleges and universities have become prominent on the national stage for academic performance, and because Florida continues to be a fast-growing state that attracts many new residents and, with them, prospective students.
The research also told us that using the word “State” was important because it is widely perceived as implying a higher degree of educational offerings, and because it indicates a connection to a larger public system of higher education.
Selecting new name
Equally important to the naming discussion is how we position the college. Here, we are talking about a positioning statement or tagline.
It was amazing in the research how we saw people react to a variety of terms that could give us a positioning statement, and with it a promise that tells everyone what they can expect us to deliver.
We heard three things over and over again:
- Focus on the student, not the institution.
- Tie the statement to regional tradition and history.
- Make it a promise.
With all that said and taking into account all research we have gathered, members of the Board of Trustees, I’m pleased to make a name recommendation to you today.
It is my recommendation that going forward Brevard Community College should be renamed: EASTERN FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE
And that our positioning statement should become: EXPLORE. ACHIEVE. SUCCEED.
Explore is a reference to our rich history as the community from which humanity has explored the universe. But it is equally about the exploration of knowledge that goes on every day on our campuses.
Achieve is about the challenge our students face to achieve new goals and become the person they hope to be.
Succeed is the goal we have for them and for our community and it is the expectation they have for themselves.
It is the promise we make to them that with an education from our college comes an overwhelming advantage for success.
To the extent you agree with my recommendation, our new internet address has been secured and will read “easternflorida.edu”.
Now, lastly I think it is important we use a bridge statement in the short run, to help us link the new name with our past. Therefore, we will use the statement: “Building on the Excellence of Brevard Community College” in select areas on our website during the transition.
Also keep in mind that, pending your approval, we will begin the design of a new logo.
I’m excited about the future of our college and our community, and I’m excited about building upon our reputation as an outstanding College and helping our students to explore, achieve and succeed.
Thank you and I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions.