Monthly Archives: January 2017

Blog Post 1: Mission Statements

For this assignment, I chose to focus on the two higher education institutions that I attended as an undergraduate. I attended a community college for a few years before transferring to a private institution.

  • The following mission statement is from Allan Hancock College, a community college in Santa Maria, CA:

“Allan Hancock College provides quality educational opportunities that enhance student learning and the creative, intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our diverse community.” (AHC)

In addition to the mission statement, Allan Hancock’s “Mission and Values” page also contains a vision statement, Allan Hancock Shared Values statement, a nondiscrimination statement, and a strategic plan.

  • The following mission statement is from Simpson University, a four-year Christian university in Redding, CA:

“Simpson University is a Christ-centered learning community committed to developing each student in mind, faith and character for a lifetime of meaningful work and service in a constantly changing world.” (SU)

Like Allan Hancock College, Simpson University “Mission, Vision, and Values” page also has separate identity, vision, and core values statements.

Since I attended both of these institutions, I have an idea of how they worked and how their mission statements reflect their unique identities. In thinking about Hancock’s mission statement, I’m reminded of its purpose as a community college and of its role in the community, which I believe are indicated by the words “educational opportunities.” This institution worked largely in two major ways (there I’m sure there are many others): 1) It served to prepare students for transferring to the Cal State system or the UC system. A large majority went to either of those systems, so their major programs revolved around the qualifications these schools required of their incoming transfer students. The college also had terminal programs, like nursing, dental assistant, or welding. Hancock had a very popular and prestigious nursing program for the area. So the opportunities for the students varied. Where they ended up varied. But Hancock provided the education they needed to get to where they wanted to be. Also, Santa Maria is an ethnically diverse city, and Hancock reflected this within its statement.

Simpson University’s mission statement is noticeably quite different from the statement of Allan Hancock College because of its obviously Christian background.The school is committed to the both educational and spiritual development of its students.  It’s important to note that Simpson University is partnered with the Christian-Missionary Alliance denomination, and because of this, the phrase “lifetime of meaningful work and service in a constantly changing world” is important. Simpson is big on community service and world service, and this is reflected in its mission statement.

These two institutions of higher education are very different from each other, and their mission statements indicate how they see themselves in the community they reside in and what they believe their responsibility is to the students that come from those communities and elsewhere.

Works Cited:

“Mission and Values.”  Allan Hancock College, n.d.,  linkaccessed 27 January 2017.

“Mission, Vision, and Values.” Simpson University, n.d., link, accessed 27 January 2017.

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Week 2: The Purpose(s) of the University

After reading the article and watch the videos, particularly the video from TIME, it seems the purpose of the University is two-fold, especially if the university claims the prestigious position as a research institution. The purposes of the University are to share and perpetuate knowledge, and it might do this by means of teaching and researching. Research Universities receive funding from the government, so in many ways are funded by the people; therefore, they owe the public a debt and pay it by publishing their research and teaching knowledge within their classrooms.

The TIME video was interesting because it touched upon certain issues in higher education. One of these issues is change. What needs to change in higher education? How can we change so that higher education can benefit more people in more ways? I thought that some of these answers from these higher-ups in higher ed were great and would love to see them elaborated upon and eventually implemented. For example, I thought one gentleman’s point about schools looking at a student’s score or capability in every single subject being a little excessive was relevant to how many students feel today. I think he used Alan Ginsberg as an example, saying that today, he probably wouldn’t be let into Columbia University because his science scores weren’t good enough (TIME). I think this happens to many students who are talented in one area of academics, but not so talented in another. The SAT can hinder a student whose math score wasn’t high enough for him or her to get into a philosophy program. I think something that is important to remember is that the University should be about the student, educating and edifying the student, more than it should focus on anything else.

As a student of the humanities, I would also like to see the humanities make its way back into the respect of the academic community. At a research university, the academics within the humanities often feel that they have to justify their right to existence. I had to throw that in there.

Work Cited:

“Reinventing Our Universities in the 21st Century.” TIME, 20 September 2013, link 

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Introduction

Hello, all,

I’m Jaclyn, a first-year MA student in the English Department here at Tech. My literary interests vary fairly widely, but I have a special place in my heart for late 19th/early 20th century writings by female authors. Even better if those writings are a form of immigrant literature! I haven’t decided on my thesis yet, but I hope to do some work with Willa Cather and/or Betty Smith and their depictions of immigrants in their parts of the country.

After reading the VT’s Principles of Community, I obviously wondered to what the phrase “a legacy that reflected bias and exclusion” referred. I hoped that the video would make that more clear, but I couldn’t get it to work for some reason. Googling the video led me back to a Virginia Tech site that contained a video of diverse faculty, staff, and students reciting the Principles of Community. Thinking about our country’s past, I can imagine why a Principles of Community document would be necessary, and I find our document to be refreshing. I also particularly appreciate that there is a principle which affirms our right to free speech, to our freedom to express thoughts and opinions in a kind manner without fear of being reproached. The fact that I get to hear differing ideas and opinions daily in discussions in my graduate classes is something that makes my education here both enjoyable and challenging.

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