Perception is a problem for MSCD students

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Posted Wed, Feb 23, 2011

 

President Stephen Jordan speaks at Metro Town Hall meeting Feb. 9. Photo by Heather M. Smith

 

The proposed name change at Metropolitan State College of Denver supposes that the perception surrounding the campus is one of a “community college” as opposed to the more highly regarded perception of a “university.” And when perceived value is critical to receiving funding, as well as, appealing to and attracting new attendees and growing enrollment at a time when federal funding is at an all-time low and decreasing exponentially each year…what other financial options does a state college have?

MSCD Officials hope that a name change will allow for a greater appreciation of the actual value in education that is provided by the school and its open enrollment policies.

Stacey Lewis of Sector Brands, the company who is conducting the $50,000 assessment, said that evidence shows that the benefits of a name change are enhanced internal esteem and outside perception of prestige. Both factors are significant in attracting higher quality faculty and students with higher aspirations. Additionally, donor revenues will increase with higher quality standards. She also said that there are no demonstrated negative repercussions if handled appropriately.

However, Lewis underlined the point, that 87 percent of alumni view Metro as a four-year college. Only 12 percent believe it is still viewed as a community college.
So, why spend the money to change the name if the misperception is only external?

“Tuition and fees will continue to be impacted by the changes in State appropriations, but not by the name of the institution,” explained MSCD president, Stephen Jordan.

A former CU student, currently in his second semester at Metro, said that Metro has been a more helpful education overall. But as a Sports Industry

Former CU Student questions president Jordan at Metro Town Hall meeting Feb. 9. Photo by Heather M. Smith

 

 Operations major, he believes that exposure is a great catalyst for recognition and that the way to achieve such recognition is to have a football team associated with the change to a university and additional division two coverage and local broadcasts.

“It’s much easier to support a team than an institution,” the former CU student said.

Jordan said that one of the initiatives under his leadership as chair of the NCAA Division II was to increase the number of division two programs that are broadcast on CBS Sports. But said it’s impossible to get Division II on national television except for in very limited ways.
“One of my big frustrations is the Denver Post is only two blocks away and it’s impossible to get coverage,” Jordan said.

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