An overwhelming number of respondents to a survey prefer the name Pasco-Hernando State College as the new name for the local community college.
Out of 1,384 responses, 661 (or 36 percent) chose it over three other recommended names.
As a result, Pasco-Hernando Community College officials will move forward with the lengthy process of gaining approval for the name change and have targeted December for the switchover.
The change will occur pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Then the fun of changing everything from stationery, logos and signage begins, said Lucy Miller, PHCC executive director of marketing and communications.
In second place was Pasco-Hernando College, which gained 383 votes, or 21 percent.
Last month, Pasco-Hernando Community College launched the survey and gave students, staff, alumni and community members four suggestions. People could also write in their own name preference.
“We were very, very impressed with the response,” said Lucy Miller, PHCC executive director of marketing and communications.
The third highest was a combination of different names that included the terms “west and “central.”
Eighteen percent, or 330 people, liked names such as West Central Florida College, Central Florida College or West Coast College.
In fourth place, was a mix of names with the words “nature coast” in the title: Nature Coast State College and College of the Nature Coast were two suggestions.
Miller said the name change is necessary because the college is seeking approval to offer two new baccalaureate degrees: a bachelor’s in nursing and a bachelor’s of applied science in supervision and management.
“When you add those programs, the tradition is to move to a state college because we will have four-year programs and community colleges are associated with two-year programs,” Miller said.
Miller said the board strove to keep the names Pasco and Hernando in the name to reflect the college’s local roots.
Miller said the college hopes to have the new name in place prior to the opening of the new PHCC Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel on Jan. 1.
“As part of the baccalaureate degree approval process, PHCC has an opportunity to select a new name to reflect its role of providing advanced degrees,” according to a PHCC press release. “Many of the 28 institutions within the Florida College System that began offering bachelor level programs selected new names in the process.”