BONIFAY - Washington-Holmes Technical Center Director Martha Compton gave a presentation at the recent meeting of Bonifay Kiwanis Club announcing a possible name change is in the works for the school to Florida Panhandle Technical College.
"Many years ago, Washington-Holmes Technical Center only served Washington and Holmes County," said Compton. "But today, our enrollment has changed. We are serving from Escambia County all the way to Leon County. We've got several students from down-state that are coming up that will spend eight weeks in our CDL program."
Due to the growth, Compton explained she's spending time in legislation involved with a movement of a bill to change the name and "rebrand" technical center.
"When I was in school in the '80s it was known as 'the Votech,'" she explained. "Most of the people in my day didn't go to the 'Votech' because it was a place to go when you didn't want or feel you needed to go to college. That has changed; we are no longer the 'Votech,' so you'll hear us say 'technical center.'"
30 technical centers were favored by the House of Representatives for a title change from technical center to technical college in recent years.
"We got a little greedy, and we had some leaders in the technical centers that said we want to offer AAS degrees," said Compton. "So you know whose toes we stepped on; we stepped on the colleges' toes, and the colleges said 'oh no, this is our realm,' so the Senate shut us down."
While legislation would not allow the technical center to provide AAS degrees, they did agree to the name change.
"Those 30 technical centers got together and said they wanted to be a unified body," she said. "We don't want to be institutions, we don't want to be career centers, we don't want to be tech centers, we want to be technical colleges. I spoke with our Superintendent of Schools, we talked with our advisory group, talked with our partners, we talked with our school board members and at the next meeting we will ask for a name change to a technical college."