“The mission of the Clemson University Graduate School is to provide a transformative education that generates intellectual, economic and social capital for the benefit of all.”
The main thing that sticks out to me about Clemson’s graduate statement is their underlying message about equality. When they mention “of all”, it is my opinion that they are trying to highlight diversity and accessibility for all kinds of people. Graduate school can not only be a time commitment but a financial commitment, and Clemson at least is wants to emphasize that in their statement.
Also, I believe it is important that the research we do should be applicable to the real world, and Clemson also seems to be highlighting that in their statement. Not only should it enhance our understanding academically, but how can it help benefit society especially in regards to an economic perspective. Given that Clemson is a research 1 institution, they are appear to be marketing the applicability of their program to the real world on top of their academics.
Mission Statement “The mission of the Graduate School is to serve as a catalyst for excellence in graduate education at NC State by promoting the highest-quality education for students and postdoctoral scholars, including outstanding academic experiences, opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, and professional development that prepares students and postdocs for success in their fields; advancing the diversity of graduate education at NC State and of the professoriate nationwide through recruitment, retention, and support of underrepresented minority groups; fostering an environment in which graduate faculty can reach their potential as teachers, researchers, and mentors to graduate students; encouraging research and graduate programs that address the critical issues that challenge our state, our nation, and our world; achieving recognition of NC State as a model for leadership and innovation in graduate education in North America.”
NC State’s mission statement seems to be similar to Clemson in balancing between the academic benefits of going through their graduate program as well as the practical benefits. In their statement, they mention scholars while also referencing the importance of the graduate faculty and their relationship to the students. It is safe to say that a fair amount of individuals attend graduate school at the masters level with the intention of going on to a PHD, and NC State makes sure in their statement to assure potential candidates that they are getting a well-rounded experience.
The key theme to take away from both mission statements is that these universities are trying to make their education more applicable outside academia. After 4 years of undergrad, I think there’s a number of people who do not want to go to school again instead of obtaining a full-time job unless they believe it can enhance their skills when seeking a job. Especially in the communication grad program that I am a part of, it is designed mostly for people who want to pursue a PHD. If programs are able to make their graduate studies more applicable, then I believe we will see an increase in the pursuit of higher studies. That is why I am a fan of my program because we do get practical experience as a GTA for public speaking where we teach and run the class solo. Mission statements are key to changing this narrative as they summarize the goals of their respective programs, and I believe all programs should adopt in some capacity what Clemson and NC State have decided to do with their statements.
One Reply to “Mission Statements”
Thank you for the interesting analysis regarding Clemson and NC State. I liked that you discussed the mission statements of graduate schools. Personally, I found Clemson’s mission statement very promising (and bold) because of two reasons. First, as you mentioned, their mentioning “of all” gives two messages to me: inclusion and diversity, and relevance to the public. These goals, especially diversity seems very important to attain, especially for US Institutions. Second, I found the statement “transformative education” very bold in the sense that they are willing to not just teach methods, science, and engineering, but also change people’s paradigm of thinking and transforming them into critical thinkers. Being an impressive goal, to me, it looks like Clemson has a lot to get done. On the other hand, I found NC State’s mission statement very detailed, and somewhat similar – but less bold. NC State is also mentioning diversity and inclusion, which is very important. And I agree with you in that they both want to make research more relevant to the world. Overall, I cannot wait to see these institutions in action!