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College Choices

“NCC?!” [Sneer or snicker]

For as long as I can remember, Norwalk Community College has been mocked by Westporters.

From my Staples days on, the strongest motivator students heard — from peers, parents, even teachers — was: “If you don’t do better, you’ll end up at NCC.”

These days, NCC looks pretty good.

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time, I heard a parent say — without regret or embarrassment — that his child will enroll there this fall.  A few days later, a mother called it a good option for her daughter. 

The economy is one reason.  Equally important, NCC has done a great job adding courses and programs — and updating its buildings and brand — to position itself as a viable alternative for Westporters. 

I thought of that recently, when a citizen speaking before a town board offered his Stanford degree as proof that he knew what he was talking about.  Instead, his words sounded pompous and puffy.

A few weeks earlier a California man brought the wrath of the nation — well, the portion of it that watches “Wife Swap” — upon his head when he used his supposed higher education as a cudgel against a woman from rural Missouri.

There is much to be said for NCC.  The economic and social upheavals of today are creating opportunities for new and different tomorrows.  One day soon peers, parents and teachers will say: “You better work hard.  Otherwise you won’t get into NCC.”

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