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College Official Name On July 1, 1966, our name was changed to Cowley County Community Junior College.

The official name of the college is Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational-Technical School. Sometimes, it’s referred to as Cowley College, for short.

In the 1960s, the college’s name seemingly changed annually. For more than 40 years, it was Arkansas City Junior College, its name in the very beginning. In 1965, the Kansas Legislature provided measures for junior colleges on a county-wide basis, if approved by the electorate. The date for the referendum was Nov. 9, 1965. By a rather close margin, 5,737 for to 4,217 against, the college’s name was changed to Cowley County Community Junior College. The name change took effect on July 1, 1966.


Many changes occurred between 1965 and 1966. Two measures passed by the Kansas Legislature were the initial key factors in the change. The first was the enactment of Senate Bill 438, which passed both houses in 1963 without a dissenting vote. The act provided for the establishment of area vocational training schools. Originally, the plan was to provide for 20 such schools. But as of 1980, only 14 had been approved. The vocational-technical school in Cowley County Community Junior College was the first and only one of its kind in association with a junior college. The second measure, originally known as House Bill 893, or the Community College Act, was enacted in 1965, making possible the creation of a uniform system of community colleges, not to exceed 22. All existing institutions began the fiscal year on July 1, 1965, as community colleges. Thus, the original Arkansas City Junior College became the Arkansas City Community Junior College, under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of District 470. After the vote of Nov. 9, 1965, the Kansas Superintendent of Public Instruction certified a further name change that same year, one which specified a completely independent community college district which encompassed the entire county of Cowley.


Hereby began Cowley County Community College and Vocational-Technical School, in compliance with the acts passed in 1963 and 1965. However, the Board of Education of District 470 acted in a dual capacity by also serving as trustees of the college. Complete fiscal and administrative independence did not become effective until July 1, 1967, when a separate board of trustees, elected by the citizens of Cowley County, assumed full control.


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