02/24/2012 09:45 am ET Updated Feb 24, 2012

Metropolitan State College Of Denver Closer To Name Change After Panel Approval

On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee approved changing the name of Metropolitan State College of Denver to Metropolitan State University of Denver in a 6-0 vote. The name change must still be approved by the full Senate and House, but the approval brings Metro State one step closer to its desire to rebrand itself, The Denver Post reports.

In a statement made on the Metro State College of Denver website, the reasoning behind the name change is because Metro State believes there is confusion about whether Metro is a four-year institution or a community college which can negatively affect job seekers who have graduated from the four-year college when employers think Metro is a two-year institution. The school hopes that the inclusion of "university" in the name will clear up any of that confusion.

According to Education News Colorado, Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminster) was the only voice of dissent on the name change. Hudak was concerned that the change to include the word "university" might put off Metro State's target demographic -- minorities, low-income and first-generation students. However, Metro State President Steve Jordan was adamant that the name change including the word "university" will only increase the value of Metro State degrees.

This is a significant step forward for Metro State who have pursued the name change for the last three years. In 2011, Metro State's plans to change their name were derailed by a dispute with University of Denver, or DU, who felt that the 2011 proposed name change of "Denver State University," or DSU, could confuse prospective students about the difference between the two schools, 7News reported last year. Lawyers representing DU said in a letter to Metro State that that the 2011 suggested name change "merely juxtaposes elements of the University of Denver mark and includes the word 'state.'"

But on Thursday, DU appeared to be comfortable with the new proposed name. Kevin Caroll, Vice Chancellor of DU University Communications, told the DU student paper DU Clarion that the school was "happy" for the change saying that last year the school was "just trying to protect the DU brand and make sure that there's no harm to the University's brand in the process. What we agreed in principle is that DU would continue to have its brand and its image. It allows both of us to move forward and market and brand ourselves as we have been. They'll have their name and their branding and we will have ours."

Read the letters between the two schools about this long fight about the name change here.