Is Daytona State College not cool?

I see that Lisa Hill published this blog post yesterday: Daytona Beach Now Has a State College!. It’s a sales pitch for real estate; apparently having a “state college” in the town is great for property values. I like her enthusiasm. “Daytona Beach has a state college! This should be a big draw for students from all over the country.” Umm, it’s the same college as before. It hasn’t changed a bit, really. They just changed the name. I could change this blog to “The Daytona State College Chronicles” and it wouldn’t make one difference because it would be the same stuff.

But enough of that. This is the paragraph that hit home for me:

My own daughter obtained one of Florida’s Bright Future’s Scholarships and will be starting her college of choice next week. (Apparently, attending college in the same county where you were born and raised is not cool.)

I got the same thing from a lot of people before joining the college. “When will you be moving off to college?” “I’m not, I’m going to DBCC and staying with my parents.” “You baby!”

Even if your moving out of the house, if you’re staying in the same area to go to college, a lot of people think it’s “not cool.” Like you have to prove something to the world by moving away and spending lots of money on an apartment / dorm room and being around strangers and being away from your family / girlfriend / boyfriend. Let me tell you now, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It makes no difference if you go to Daytona State or Harvard. You think it does, and other people think it does, but it actually means nothing. It only means something if it means something to you, but if it does you’re on the wrong path because this stuff shouldn’t matter to you to start with. There are more important things in life, like finding your purpose, making money by independently doing what you love, motivation, intellect, and more, none of which you’ll learn in college. In fact you’ll be worse off because you’ll be using your college education as a crutch. Don’t do that.

I know that most of my Daytona State colleagues are a smart bunch. They don’t fall for the stigma of going to a local college or the stigma of a community college (err, maybe a little). They don’t care about coolness. They’re above coolness. I hope I am too, but when pressured to answer, I say that DSC is undoubtedly cool. Any college that has a room with 150 computers has got to be cool (building 500, the “Advanced Technology Center” student computer lab). But the classes are fascinating too. We’ve got QUANTA, which is the coolest thing ever.

Daytona State is as good as every other college, even the bigger ones. I believe that college is not valuable; I’m just going their for the prestige. 😀 There’s a great community at the college, everyone is friendly, and the administrators only revoke scholarships occasionally. The BrightFutures program really is great; it pays for all my tuition and half of my books. You can’t get that at a “cool” college.

Do you think the college is cool? Is attending a local college in general uncool? Are community colleges cool? Does coolness even matter? Let me know in the comments section. I spent the last day reprogramming the comments system, and it’s looking fantastic now, if I do say so myself. If I get a few interesting comments I’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post.

2008-08-24 Update:: Read Lisa’s follow-up, The “Cool” College in Daytona Beach vs “un-cool” colleges. My reply:

I wasn’t thinking of the gradual evolution of the college, but you’re right, it has gotten a lot grander over the years, and is much more worthy of the “state” title now. The dual-enrollment thing is great, particularly for being free. I thought about using it but didn’t because I was far enough ahead in high school and had the BrightFutures scholarship coming.

The State of the Name

Daytona State College’s name has been all over the place. In October of 2007, the school stripped “Community” from its name, becoming Daytona Beach College instead of Daytona Beach Community College. Then on 2008 June 20, a press release was posted to the website announcing the new name as Daytona State College. I passed the college on International Speedway Blvd. on 2008 July 14, and this is what I saw:

New Sign for Daytona State College

However, there are signs all around the campus still saying DBCC or DBC. Even the enrollment banner above the DSC sign still has the old name and website. It must be awfully confusing to visitors or prospective students.

The state of the domain name is even worse. The name has been lengthened to daytonastate.edu, even though early announcements said DSC had procured dsc.edu. All of the faculty and student email addresses are going through another change. My address is the incredibly lengthy richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu.

As for the old addresses, DSC’s performance has been abysmal. dbcc.edu was redirecting to dbc.edu a week ago, but now goes nowhere. dbc.edu and daytonastate.edu are currently existing in parallel, and there are links to different domains all over the place. Many links are broken. Hasn’t DSC every heard of HTTP 301 redirects? When I changed richardxthripp.com to thripp.com two weeks ago, I had no problems using them to redirect every page over to the new address. You’d think their sysadmins could do that.

All falconmail.dbcc.edu email addresses are irrevocably broken. I just received this email from the college on the 14th:

Dear Daytona State Student:

Name Change: You may have heard the college Trustees voted to change our name to Daytona State College. Our new name will allow us to build upon the core mission and values that have been central to the college for more than 50 years, while expanding into affordable baccalaureate degree programs. We look to the future for new ways to provide opportunities to our students and to help foster economic development, culture and quality of life in the communities we serve.

Email Address Change: You may have noticed that your FalconMail address has been updated to be first_last@ falconmail.dbc.edu. As of Monday, July 14th, please start using your address as first_last@ falconmail.DaytonaState.edu. If you experience difficulties, your dbc.edu account will work for two additional weeks.

Please note: As of July 11, 2008 the dbcc.edu address will no longer be valid and no mail will be delivered.

Email address for staff will also be changing to the DaytonaState.edu, please review the college website for more information.

To reach the enrollment services offices, you can email:

Admissions@DaytonaState.edu
Advising@DaytonaState.edu
Assessment@DaytonaState.edu
Financial Aid@DaytonaState.edu
Registration@DaytonaSate.edu
Records@DaytonaState.edu
StudentAccounts@DaytonaState.edu

Thank you. If you have any questions about the use of FalconMail you can contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@dbc.edu.

So apparently, I’ve got 8 days to tell everyone about my new address before richard_thripp@falconmail.dbc.edu breaks. Why can’t every email address and domain work forever? It isn’t that hard to set up.

WCEU Channel 15 is supposed to become WDSC eventually. Their website still says Daytona Beach College, and their programming is just as bad. Some shows say DBCC, some DBC, and probably DSC by now if I was still watching.

I hope they’re sticking with Daytona State College and daytonastate.edu now.