Mission Statement from a University and a College

This is the first blog post for pfp 2017.  Let’ start with a brief introduction of myself.

My name is Armani Chien.  I am a 3rd yeard PhD student in Engineering, Science and Mechanics (ESM) program in Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at VT. Over the past few years, I have noticed a lot of interesting cultural differences between US and my country, Taiwan.  Through this course, I anticipate I can gain a deeper insight on higher education in global perspective.

The very first question I have regarding to higher education is what is the difference between a university and a community college.  So, to answer this question, the following are mission statements from San Jose State University (SJSU) and from College of San Mateo (CSM). The former one is a comprehensive public university located in San Jose, California, United States. The latter one is  is a community college in San Mateo, California.  As far as I am concerned, SJSU is more clear on their mission statement, especially accentuating helping students to develop skills and techniques for lifelong learning besides specialized knowledge.

San Jose State University

In collaboration with nearby industries and communities, SJSU faculty and staff are dedicated to achieving the university’s mission as a responsive institution of the state of California: To enrich the lives of its students, to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society, and to expand the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.

University Learning Goals

San Jose State University graduates will have developed:

  • Specialized Knowledge
    • Depth of knowledge required for a degree, as identified by its program learning outcomes.
  • Broad Integrative Knowledge
    • Mastery in each step of an investigative, creative or practical project (e.g. brainstorming, planning, formulating hypotheses or complex questions, designing, creating, completing and communicating).
    • An understanding of the implications of results or findings from a particular work in a societal context (e.g. social or economic implications of a scientific finding).
    • Students graduating with a baccalaureate degree will have demonstrated an understanding of critical components of broad academic areas, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences and their integration.
  • Intellectual Skills
    • Fluency in the use of specific theories, tools, technology and graphical representation.
    • Skills and abilities necessary for lifelong learning: critical and creative thinking, effective communication, conscientious information gathering and processing, mastery of quantitative methodologies and the ability to engage effectively in collaborative activities.
  • Applied Knowledge
    • The ability to integrate theory, practice and problem solving to address practical issues.
    • The ability to apply their knowledge and skills to new settings or in addressing complex problems.
    • The ability to work productively as individuals and in groups.
  • Social and Global Responsibilities
    • The ability to act intentionally and ethically to address a global or local problem in an informed manner with a multicultural and historical perspective and a clear understanding of societal and civic responsibilities.
    • Diverse and global perspectives through engagement with the multidimensional SJSU community.

Character and Commitment

San Jose State University is a major, comprehensive public university located in the center of San Jose and in the heart of Silicon Valley. SJSU is the oldest state university in California. Its distinctive character has been forged by its long history, by its location, and by its vision — a blend of the old and the new, of the traditional and the innovative. Among its most prized traditions is an uncompromising commitment to offer access to higher education to all persons who meet the criteria for admission, yielding a stimulating mix of age groups, cultures, and economic backgrounds for teaching, learning and research. SJSU takes pride in and is firmly committed to teaching and learning, with a faculty that is active in scholarship, research, technological innovation, community service and the arts.


College of San Mateo

College of San Mateo provides an exceptional educational opportunity to residents of San Mateo County and the Greater Bay Area Region. The college is an open-access, student-centered institution that serves the diverse educational, economic, social, and cultural needs of its students and the community. College of San Mateo fosters a culture of excellence and success that engages and challenges students through a comprehensive curriculum of basic skills, career and technical programs, and transfer preparation. It uses analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and information, collaborative integrated institutional planning, and assessment to inform decision-making and ensure continuous improvement. Its programs and services are structured, delivered, and evaluated to prepare students to be informed and engaged citizens in an increasingly global community. To achieve this mission, the college has adopted the following Strategic Goals:

  1. Improve Student Success
  2. Promote Academic Excellence
  3. Develop Responsive, High-Quality Programs and Services
  4. Support Professional Development
  5. Implement the Integrated Planning Cycle and Ensure Fiscal Stability and the Efficient Use of Resources
  6. Enhance Institutional Dialog



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