Santa Clara University

Office of Assessment

Identify Mission and Goals

Articulating your Program Mission


Definition of a Program Mission
The values and philosophy of the program, a vision of what the program is supposed to do. A mission statement might include a brief history and philosophy of the program, the type of students to be served, the academic environment and primary focus of the curriculum, faculty roles, the contributions to and connections with the community, the role of research, and a stated commitment to diversity and nondiscrimination. A program mission statement should be consistent with the SCU mission statement. (adapted from M. Allen, 2002).

Example One - Program Mission
The mission of the department of ___________is to provide students with educational experiences and environment that promote the mastery of discipline knowledge and methods, the ability to succeed in discipline-related graduate programs and careers, and the skills and dispositions needed for citizenship in our diverse culture and the world.

Example Two – Program Mission of Environmental Studies & Sciences Department at SCU
The Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) is an interdisciplinary community of scholars -- composed of faculty, staff, and students -- dedicated to understanding the interactions between humans and the natural world. We serve local and global communities by addressing environmental issues through education, research, and leadership. Our bachelor-level degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies challenge undergraduates to integrate knowledge and research in the natural and social sciences with ethics, service, and leadership to promote a sustainable world. The ESS Department offers a seminar series and opportunities for research, service, and study abroad. 

Articulating your Program Goals


Definition of Program Goals
The general aims or purposes of the program and its curriculum. Effective goals are broadly stated, meaningful, achievable and can lead to assessable outcomes. Goals should provide a framework for determining the more specific educational objectives or outcomes of a program and should be consistent with your program mission and the SCU mission. In current practice, many programs move directly from the Mission to the Program Objectives/Outcomes without explicitly defining the goals as a separate category.

Example One - Sample Program Goals
  • Understand and can apply fundamental concepts of the discipline.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Conduct sound research.
  • Address issues critically and reflectively.
  • Create solutions to problems.
  • Work well with others.
  • Respect persons from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Commitment to open-minded inquiry and lifelong learning.

Example Two: Program Goals for Classics Department at SCU (includes Scholarship and Service Goals as well as Student Learning Goals)

  • To provide major and minor programs, as well as core classes, that cultivate reflective thought among students in the best tradition of a liberal education
  • To foster campus-wide exposure to and study of the classical worlds and Western culture
  • To promote an active community of scholars within the program and beyond
  • To be contributing citizens within the university and the wider community 

 

 

*Material adapted from Cal Poly Assessment Guide

 
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