Criterion One—Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Core Components

1.A. The institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides its operations.

  1. The mission statement is developed through a process suited to the nature and culture of the institution and adopted by the governing board.
  2. The institution’s academic programs, student support services, and enrollment profile are consistent with its stated mission. 
  3. The institution’s planning and budgeting priorities align with and support the mission. (This sub-component may be addressed by reference to the response to Criterion 5.C.1.)

1.B. The mission is articulated publicly.

  1. The institution clearly defines its mission through one or more public documents, such as statements of purpose, vision, values, goals, plans, or institutional priorities.
  2. The document or documents are current and explain the extent of the institution’s emphasis on the various aspects of its mission, such as instruction, scholarship, research, application of research, creative works, clinical service, public service, economic development, and religious or cultural purpose.
  3. The document or documents identify the nature and scope of the higher education programs and services the institution provides and whom these activities serve.

1.C. The institution understands the relationship between its mission and the diversity of U.S. society.

  1. The institution addresses its role in a multicultural society.
  2. The institution’s processes and activities reflect attention to human diversity as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves.

1.D. The institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good.

  1. Actions and decisions reflect an understanding that in its educational role the institution serves the public, not solely the institution, and thus entails a public obligation.
  2. The institution’s educational responsibilities take primacy over other purposes, such as generating financial returns for investors, contributing to a related or parent organization, or supporting external interests.
  3. The institution engages with its identified external constituencies and communities of interest and responds to their needs as its mission and capacity allow.