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Another name change coming for FSCJ?

State senator proposes dropping 'state' from names of all state colleges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New legislation could force state community colleges, like Florida State College at Jacksonville, to change their names.

A proposal by Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart would not allow any of Florida's 28 community colleges to include the word "state" in their names beyond 2015.

That would force FSCJ to change its name for the second time in six years.

Negron proposes changing FSCJ's name to Jacksonville College.

Students and staff had mixed reaction about the proposal on Tuesday.

FSCJ spokeswoman Jill Johnson worries Jacksonville College could be confused with Jacksonville University.

"This would be something that would be devastating to us as building a brand and an identity," Johnson said. "The logistics would certainly be challenging."

In 1965, the school was started as Florida Junior College, which later became Florida Community College at Jacksonville.

In 2009, FCCJ changed its name to FSCJ when it added bachelor's degree programs. 

"If you think about all the things that are going to have to change, all the money that's spent, all the signs and programs," FSCJ student Kyle Latimer said. "There's still people calling it FCCJ and changing it a third time just seems unnecessary."

Supporters of the bill said community colleges are regional and not statewide in nature, but some students disagreed.

"Since it serves most of the state and outside the city, I don't see the reason for it," FSCJ student Zachary Ference said.

Other students said the current name can be confusing and wouldn't mind the change.

"I think it may bring clarity, because a lot of people do mix the Florida State College with the Florida State University, so I think it'll just provide clarity," FSCJ student Venus Darling said.

The students and staff all agreed the focus should be on education.

"It's more of the education and what the school has to offer as opposed to the name," Darling said.

The bill still has to be approved by two other committees before it can head to the floor for a full Senate vote. And currently there's no similar legislation in the House.