When individuals create an organization for a combined purpose, it is important to make that purpose clear. A mission statement can be used as a tool to hold participants accountable and guide their actions and decisions in upholding the goals and values of the organization, and communicate those goals and values to others outside. For this assignment, I’m focusing on the first option and what these mission statements communicate to me. For the two institutions I chose: Walla Walla Community College, the top-ranking community college in the US according to the first result after a Google search for “best community college US,”2 and Johns Hopkins University, the research institution that received the highest amount of NIH funding in 2019 at about $764 million.1 I chose these two kinds of institutions because I attended a community college before attending a research school, and wanted to reflect on how they serve different roles.
WWCC’s mission statement is “Walla Walla Community College inspires all students to discover their potential and achieve their goals by providing relevant, equitable, and innovative learning opportunities and services.”4
WWCC exists to provide for any and all of their students. This is a very broad but very important mission. In providing a relevant education, they are communicating that this is an education that is worth paying for, and you will get returns on your education. The term that stands out is equitable, communicating they can provide for all students. In summary, they provide for all students whatever they need for their individual definition of success.
JHU’s mission statement is “To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”3
JHU’s mission statement is relatively specific. They want to have their students become researchers that will help the rest of the world. The mission is much less student-centric than WWCC, 2/3s of the statement are about the research. This sounds a lot like Ut Prosim and I don’t really feel the need to reflect any more on it.
I don’t have any criticism of either statement, and I think it is very reflective of what the two institutions should provide. The “best” community college in the US should be preparing every one of its students to pursue whatever they may want and the top research institute in the US should be developing individuals into successful researchers and be producing the best research. Regardless, I think this was a really interesting exercise because it helped me as an outsider really understand why these two institutions exist and do what they do. I’m looking forward to reading other blogs and getting an idea of the spectrum of institutions that I haven’t considered writing about.