ROCK HILL — The Rock Hill college named for Caleb Isom Clinton has undergone six name changes since it opened in 1894.
First it was Clinton Institute. Over time, the college was identified as a normal school, signaling it was awarding teacher certificates and an industrial college. It wasnt until 2009 that all properties owned by the college came under the banner of Clinton Junior College.
But over the years it was unofficially Clinton College. President Elaine Copeland has a school badge from 1935 with that name. Some of the road signs pointing the way to the school on Crawford Road are for Clinton College.
Now the unofficial name is official.
The Transnational Association for Christian College and Schools, Clintons accrediting organization, has approved the name change to Clinton College. Paperwork has been filed with the appropriate state officials to change the name.
The name tells better what we do, Copeland said. Junior college is a relic of the past. Its an inferior name that was popular in the 1950s.
The name change comes as Clinton begins its first four-year degree programs in business and religion. The school has added four part-time faculty to teach in the new programs.
It now offers two bachelors degrees and five associate degrees. Living in a global economy has been integrated into all curriculums, Copeland said.
With the new programs the school is considering offering its first summer classes in business, religion and possibly math or English if there is enough student interest, she said.
Copeland expects the new degree programs to increase the schools enrollments. Clinton has 143 students enrolled, down from 174 last year. The schools goal is 350 students.
The name change means the college will adjust its seal and logo. The website will change, but Copeland wasnt sure what the new web name will be. She expects the Internet address to change to .edu. When the school first applied for an Internet address it lacked the needed accreditation for an .edu designation, Copeland said.
One thing that likely wont change is the historic sign at the college that marks location as Clinton Junior College, she said.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066