Middlesex County College, citing ‘stigma,’ drops ‘County’ from name, becomes Middlesex College

Middlesex County College wants prospective students to view its educational experience without what it calls the “stigma” of a county college label — so, it has changed its name to Middlesex College, it announced recently.

The college said in a news release that its board of trustees approved the name change in October, and it took effect Jan. 1. A new logo and branding will take place in May, the school added.

“We know two things,” President Mark McCormick said in a prepared statement. “First, that students receive an excellent education here, and when they transfer to a four-year college or university, they do as well or better than students who start at a four-year institution. They are very well prepared.

“But, we are also well aware that there is a stigma attached to community colleges. While we know the high quality of the educational experiences we provide, that message has not fully penetrated in our community. We hope this name change will go a long way in doing that.”

McCormick made clear that the name change has no effect on the school’s objectives.

“Our mission remains the same,” he said. “It is to offer a quality, affordable education for the people of Middlesex County, and to help our students thrive in education, growth and personal success. That will not change.”

He noted the school has the support of the county commissioners — who know something about name changes, no longer being known as freeholders — as well as the county administration.

Diplomas for May graduates will read “Middlesex College,” and the school hopes to have new admissions materials created by April and a full website revamp in place by the fall semester. College athletic teams, formerly the Blue Colts, will now be the Middlesex Colts, with a new mascot also coming soon.

Middlesex is not the only two-year institution in the state to not have the word “county” or “community” in its name. Rowan College of South Jersey has its main campus in Sewell (which serves Gloucester County residents) and a branch campus in Vineland (which serves Cumberland County residents).

The news of the name change was first reported by TapInto New Brunswick.