By any other name: Taking the 'community' out of college | New Hampshire
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By any other name: Taking the 'community' out of college

October 12. 2017 9:24PM

The New Hampshire Community College System faces a number of daunting challenges.

Its name is far down the list.

State Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, suggests taking “community” out of the name as part of a rebranding effort. White Mountain Community College would become White Mountain College.

Reagan cites a Wall Street Journal report showing 80 of 1,200 schools nationally have dropped “community” from their names.

Rather than trying to blur the line with four-year colleges, the New Hampshire Community College System should stake a claim to provide the vocational and technical education for which it was founded.

Lawmakers have praised the system’s response to an audit revealing serious breaches in how it did business. That’s progress. Let’s not try to fool prospective students into attending colleges that pretend to be something they are not.

There is no shame in providing options outside of a bachelor’s degree at a liberal arts college. Students who want to learn a trade, at a reasonable cost, should want to attend. For instance, the advanced welding program at White Mountain Community College is helping to fill a huge gap in the labor market and providing lucrative careers for its graduates.

There’s no place for university envy. The Legislature should focus on making New Hampshire community colleges better, rather than rebranding them.

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