Tyler Junior College looks into dropping the ‘Junior’

A research organization has looked into what students, staff think of a new name
Updated: Feb. 14, 2019 at 6:37 PM CST
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -Tyler Junior College is exploring the idea of a name change.

The college’s accrediting agency has questioned whether the word “junior” serves as a disadvantage to students earning bachelor’s degrees now offered at TJC.

“Times are changing,” said Cheryl Rogers, a TJC alum and former faculty member. “The fact that we can do bachelor’s degrees right here now. I’m not sure I would want my diploma to say I have my bachelor’s degree from Tyler Junior College.”

Such concerns are what led the college’s accrediting agency to ask if students are being negatively impacted by the word "junior.” A private research organization sought to find out.

“When asked directly if they would like to change the name or retain the name, roughly 40 percent wanted to retain it and 25 percent thought it would be better if there was a change,” said Jeff Webster, the director of research.

Many respondents felt that TJC is more than just a name; it’s a legacy. However, most agreed the word “junior” could have a negative impact when it comes to transferring to a university or employment for students who earn more than an associates.

"When you insert the word ‘junior,’ the percentage that thought it had a negative affect rose and the percentage that thought it had a positive affect declined,” Webster said.

The survey also included ideas for a new name they included Tyler College, East Texas College, and Texas Eastern College.

This isn’t the first time TJC considered a name change. Notes from a 1949 board meeting reveal that trustees were considering the names Texas Eastern College and Rosemont College at the time.

In the 1950s, two TJC departments bore the “Texas Eastern” name - the Texas Eastern School of Music and the Texas Eastern School of Nursing. At this time, the board of trustees is considering the research, but there is no timeline as to when or if a decision will be made.

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