Mission and vision statements outline the history, purpose, and future goals of an institution. Cortés-Sánchez described the mission and vision as distinct statements, where the first is focused on: (1) the existence of the organization, (2) its beliefs, (3) policies that guide decision-making, and (4) the plan for executing its purpose; whereas vision statements also focus on values and principles of an institution, but are more future-oriented. For this assignment, I chose to take a closer look at my alma mater for my bachelor’s (the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and master’s (Appalachian State University) degrees.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro will redefine the public research university for the 21st century as an inclusive, collaborative, and responsive institution making a difference in the lives of students and the communities it serves.
UNCG is …
- A learner-centered, accessible, and inclusive community fostering intellectual inquiry to prepare students for meaningful lives and engaged citizenship;
- An institution offering classes on campus, off campus, and online for degree-seeking students and life-long learners;
- A research university where collaborative scholarship and creative activity enhance quality of life across the life-span;
- A source of innovation and leadership meeting social, economic, and environmental challenges in the Piedmont Triad, North Carolina, and beyond; and
- A global university integrating intercultural and international experiences and perspectives into learning, discovery, and service.
Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. Our location in the distinctive Appalachian mountain town of Boone, North Carolina, profoundly shapes who we are. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, we fulfill our core academic missions of teaching, scholarship, and service in ways that honor our geography and heritage.
We bring people together in inspiring ways. The transformational Appalachian experience develops individuals who are eager to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, to embrace diversity and difference, and to become contributing members of society.
We create rich environments where students can thrive. Our students are educated broadly and are simultaneously equipped with strong disciplinary knowledge. Academic learning occurs in a wide range of undergraduate, selected masters and intermediate programs, and the doctorate in Education offered on campus, at off campus sites, and online.
Faculty and students engage in research and scholarship that advance knowledge and address the problems of our region, state, and world through creativity and innovation. Learning takes place within formal and informal instructional settings with dedicated faculty members, in cocurricular programs that enrich classroom experience, in interdisciplinary educational formats, and through outreach to the local community and beyond. Appalachian cultivates diverse and vibrant arts that enrich the cultural and intellectual climate of the campus and region.
We promote a spirit of inclusion that inspires students, faculty, and staff to form relationships extending well beyond graduation. Our students think critically, communicate effectively, make local to global connections, and understand the responsibilities of community engagement. We embrace our obligation to help create healthy, just, and sustainable societies by equipping our students to live with knowledge, compassion, dedication, humility, and dignity.
Appalachian State University aspires to be the destination institution for dedicated students who seek challenging academic programs and cocurricular experiences, engaged faculty and a vibrant campus culture that will shape them into engaged, responsible global citizens. Inspired by the ideal of sustainable community, we seek to deliver the Southeast’s best comprehensive, progressive education. Additionally, the university will provide excellent value; will be an influential world citizen; and will develop a distinctive identity built on the university’s strengths, location and tradition.
Our Essential Character and Core Values
Appalachian State University is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place of great beauty and cultural and recreational opportunity. The mountains inspire an appreciation for the traditions of the region as we connect to and learn from the world. We are a teaching institution with small classes in an innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrative curriculum supported by a faculty dedicated to research and invested in new strategies and technologies. Our faculty and staff inspire our students, who have a strong service ethic and involvement in the community. The green ethos at Appalachian infuses academic programs, environmental stewardship, research, and a community with an attitude of care for the planet.
What stands out to me initially is the difference in length for each university. For instance, App State explicitly states their mission and vision, whereas UNCG seemed to group these two concepts together. Additionally, App State further expanded on their principles by including a brief paragraph on their values. What is unique about App State is the community-centered approach to their statement. Boone, NC is a small Appalachia town, comparable to Blacksburg. Specifically, App State does a great job at connecting the town and the institution to create a cohesive environment on and off-campus. UNCG is located in Greensboro, NC and is well-known for its accessibility to commuters in surrounding cities. This is apparent in their mission statement because they are explicit about their reach as an institution to the Piedmont area. Additionally, UNCG emphasizes the life-long, global learner in their statement, which I believe is consistent with their actions as an institution.