Harper adopts new mission statement

March 3, 2015

Harper College has adopted a new mission statement that will help determine future initiatives and serve as a guide to leaders developing the next five-year strategic plan. The Board of Trustees' unanimous vote followed a yearlong development process that included input from more than 1,000 people.

"Mission statements are essentially the rudder of an institution providing the purpose and reason for why we're here," said Dr. Mark Mrozinski, Dean of Continuing Education and Business Outreach. "It's something against which we can test new strategies and directions."

Harper's previous mission statement dated back to the 1980s and underwent a minor revision 13 years ago. Mrozinski, who oversaw the development of a new statement with Professor of philosophy Colleen Burns, said an overhaul was necessary in part to better reflect the rapidly changing demographics of the community. The Higher Learning Commission also requires updated mission documents as Harper goes through the reaccreditation process.

Mrozinski said one goal was to broadly communicate the College's purpose in a succinct and focused manner. Members of the Harper's Strategic Planning & Accountability Committee reviewed other community college mission statements; held multiple workshops, focus group sessions and surveys; and sought and reviewed input from more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, community members, alumni, legislators, education and business leaders and the Board of Trustees.

"The development of our new mission statement is a great example of how we do things here at Harper," Burns said. "Our committee went to great lengths to gather input from as many members of the Harper community, both internal and external, as possible. The result of our efforts is a statement with a nearly 80 percent approval rating, almost unheard of in higher education."

New mission statement:

"Harper College enriches its diverse communities by providing quality, affordable, and accessible education.  Harper College, in collaboration with its partners, inspires the transformation of individual lives, the workforce, and society."

Old mission statement:

"William Rainey Harper College is a comprehensive community college dedicated to providing excellent education at an affordable cost; promoting personal growth, enriching the local community and meeting the challenges of a global society. The specific purposes of the College are:

  • To provide the first two years of baccalaureate education in the liberal and fine arts, the natural and social sciences and pre-professional curricula designed to prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities;
  • To provide educational opportunities that enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to enter a specific career;
  • To provide continuing educational opportunities for professional job training, retraining and upgrading of skills and for personal enrichment and wellness;
  • To provide developmental instruction for under-prepared students and educational opportunities for those who wish to improve their academic abilities and skills;
  • To provide co-curricular opportunities that enhance the learning environment and develop the whole person.

Essential to achieving these purposes are all of the College's resources, support programs and services."

Press contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159