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New Name, New Look, Expanded Mission: South Florida State College

Published: Jun 28, 2012 12:13 PM EDT

                 As of July 1, 2012, South Florida Community College will don a new name, new look, and an expanded mission when it officially becomes South Florida State College. SFCC has campuses in DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties.

                      Although the SFCC District Board of Trustees approved the college’s name change in its Sept. 28, 2011 meeting, the college could finally become South Florida State College by gaining the approval to offer baccalaureate degrees through the Florida State Board of Education (SBOE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges. SBOE gave SFCC the nod on Sept. 20, 2011, and SACS approved SFCC as a baccalaureate degree-granting institution on June 21, 2012.  

                “We are excited to begin this new step,” said Dr. Norm Stephens, president, SFSC. “So far, 22 of the 28 Florida colleges have or are in the process of adding bachelor’s degree programs and changing their names. In addition to our new bachelor’s degree, we will maintain our current mission.”

                The name change will benefit students who graduate from SFSC. “Institutions that offer bachelor’s degrees are not typically called community colleges,” Dr. Stephens said. “In Florida, colleges can only use ‘state college’ in their title if they are authorized to offer bachelor’s degrees. The new name will be included on students’ transcripts, indicating the student has graduated from such an institution.”

                “The opportunity to have access to bachelor’s degrees in their community benefits our local students,” he said. “It’s convenient and affordable. It also benefits area businesses and organizations that have a need for workers with that level of education.”

                With its new name and new status as a state college, SFSC launches a new brand identity on July 1.  The college logo and seal have been transformed. A college committee was charged with creating a fresh evolution of the South Florida Community College logo, reflecting a unique identity, and expressing ideas engrained in past logos but in the context of its expanded mission as a state college. It is a symbolic representation of the college’s mission and its seven core values and purposes.

Seven orange and blue segments of the logo represent the college’s seven core values and purposes outlined in the college mission statement. “The four blue lines represent the Highlands, DeSoto, and Hardee campuses and Lake Placid Center, and the three orange lines represent the three counties SFSC serves—Highlands, DeSoto, and Hardee,” Dr. Stephens said. “The white pathways between them represent the journeys our students make along the way to achieving their educational goals. The shape of the logo forms a letter ‘s,’ representing both ‘south’ and ‘state.’” Curved lines project energy and movement while representing lines of latitude.

The logo was also developed to accommodate the demands of the electronic age-- for the Internet, for smartphone and tablet app buttons, and as social media profile pictures. Official college colors will remain a deep, almost burnt orange and white, with the addition of a dark blue accent.

A new college seal was designed by artist and SFSC alumnus Keith Goodson. Rich in elements symbolic of the college, its mission, and service district, it will be the first seal designed for the college since its inception as South Florida Junior College in 1965. College seals are traditionally used for formal and official documents such as diplomas, legal and official records, transcripts, programs for formal academic ceremonies, and any other legal agreements binding an educational institution.

“Some months ago, the college did an inventory of all the ways its name and images are used,” said Deborah Bell Latter, director, Community Relations and Marketing. “Internally, we’ve already begun adding the new logo to forms, stationery, and official documents. The first changes the public will notice will be a fresh, new college website and Facebook page. Over the coming weeks, signage, printed publications, and much more will be updated. It’s a huge, but invigorating effort. Employees and students are excited about the new name, new look, and expanded mission of South Florida State College. To celebrate its new name, a college-wide celebration is being planned for September.”

                South Florida Community College was established as South Florida Junior College in 1965 by the Florida Legislature and became South Florida Community College in 1984. The college, which serves over 20,000 residents, has four campuses: Highlands Campus in Avon Park, DeSoto Campus in Arcadia, Hardee Campus in Bowling Green, and Lake Placid Center. It is an open-access, higher education institution that offers college transfer degrees, career and technical training, adult education, corporate education, community education, cultural programs, a Career Development Center, athletics, and selected bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Editorial contact: Deborah Bell Latter, 863-784-7251 or

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