Sticking to the topic of mission statements, here is another perspective on their use and necessity.
Mission statements also reveal the potential that an institution has to influence a student. That the latent qualities or abilities can be developed within a student and lead to future success or usefulness. The student has not only the potential but also the possibility of becoming more.
With the freshman 15 students can also increase their GPE (gravitational potential energy). It’s all about what the current respective reveal to the viewer.
The question becomes what are we looking for in a mission statement? Are we seeking failure? (I certainly hope not) Are seeking success? Fame? Fortune? All of these seem a little cliché. But these subjects are in the back of a student’s mind when they read a mission statement. Will I get in? (failure) Will I be good at my major? (success) Will I be recognized for my had work? (fame) Will I get a job and make money? (fortune)
So it is not entirely unreasonable to think that a student might be using a mission statement, however vague or unassuming to help in a rather large decision in their life. For me personally, there really was not a choice. I could not go out of state and I wanted a professional degree in architecture. That left Virginia Tech and, well only that. But for someone who does not know what they want out of college (or if they should go at all) these statements leave room for a student’s potential to be guided by the institution.
In past blogs I have mentioned that the language of a mission statement can reveal the attitude of an institution, but these words can also reveals the potential that the institution can play in the student’s attitude and development as a young adult.
It is about looking a similar topic from multiple viewpoints and different scales of interaction, that we understand a mission statement’s impact.