Section 3.1 Institutional Mission
The mission statement is current and comprehensive, accurately guides the institution's operations, is periodically reviewed and updated, is approved by the governing board, and is communicated to the institution's constituencies.
The Western Texas College institutional mission statement expresses the identity of WTC--its reason for existence and its role in society. All of the purposes, goals, and activities of the college are guided by this mission. These include a commitment to educational excellence “as it challenges students to reach their full potential in developing critical thinking skills, communication proficiency, appreciation of art and culture, and an understanding of their role and responsibilities in a democratic society.” To implement its mission statement, WTC has developed nine specific institutional goals ranging from pre-professional and general education course offerings to institutional support services.
The mission statement presents a comprehensive approach to serving both the needs of the local community it serves, and the larger worldwide community of learners. The college is situated in a state-designated 9,000-square-mile service area in rural west Texas comprised of 10 counties with a total population of fewer than 85,000 persons. WTC primarily serves an ethnically diverse population. To better serve the Hispanic intensive population in its service area, the College applied for and received a Title V grant in October 2005, which specifically addressed this population. (LINK TO TITLE V CRITERIA: A-1)
As is described in the reviews of Core Requirement 2.5 and Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1, The College employs a comprehensive institutional effectiveness system to identify annual goals for all programs and departments, and these goals are required to connect directly to the college’s mission statement. The process of establishing mission-related goals begins with soliciting input from every program/department at the college that operates under a specific budget account number. This ensures that recommendations for goals and strategies are received from every area of the college. This information is incorporated into the WTC five-year strategic plan, which outlines the planning process and demonstrates how the process is driven by the college’s mission statement. (LINK TO WESTERN TEXAS COLLEGE FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN: A-2)
As an example of the application of the mission statement to the goal-setting process, Goal 3 of the mission statement provides for the College to provide “a program of distance learning education which is equivalent in quality to main-campus instruction.” To expand its capability for providing quality distance learning services, in 2005-2006 the College set and met technology goals by expanding Internet bandwidth and upgrading computers and servers, reflecting its commitment to quality distance learning and educational excellence in general. Goals set by instructional departments also reflect how the mission statement guides activities and decisions. In 2005-2006, the college made and met a goal to expand the emphasis on writing and critical thinking in psychology and sociology classes, as noted in the analysis of institutional effectiveness goals for that school year. LINK TO IE GOALS: A-3: 10197) In another related example, the college’s securing of the Student Support Services Grant (LINK TO SSS GRANT: A-4) helps to fulfill the institution’s commitments to excellence and equal opportunity in education. The institution’s Quality Enhancement Plan (LINK TO QEP COMMITTEE MINUTES A-5) further illustrates the College’s commitment to excellence in education with a particular commitment to enhancing critical thinking skills as directed by the mission statement.
The mission statement is reviewed every three years or as needed by a committee with broad representation (LINK TO IE GOALS: A-2: 10148) and further reviewed and approved by the board of trustees. The three most recent reviews occurred on April 14, 2003, November 14, 2005, and September 11, 2006. (LINK TO BOARD MINUTES: A-6)
The mission statement is published on the college web site, in the Western Texas College Catalog 2006-2007, the Faculty Handbook, the Student Handbook and the Institutional Policy Manual. The most recent and official version, which was adopted in September 2006, is published in Board Policy 5000 and on the College web site. This version supercedes all prior versions, and it will be included in all future editions of the official College publications. The specific areas in which the mission statement can be found are as follows:
- Policy # 5000 in the Institutional Policy Manual. This manual is distributed to the WTC board members and is also available to faculty, students and community members through the college president’s office.
- The Faculty Handbook (LINK to MS in Handbook) includes a copy of the mission statement and is distributed to the faculty at the beginning of each academic year.
- The Student Handbook is available online to all students. The mission statement is included on pages 1-2.
- The Western Texas College Catalog 2006-2007 is available to faculty, staff, current or potential students, community members, and any other interested person either on-line at www.wtc.edu or in book form. Bound catalogs are included in recruiting packets that are distributed to students interested in participating in athletics, fine arts, and other programs. Catalogs are also available through the admissions office, counseling office, learning resource center, administration building, and the student center. Catalogs are mailed to over 900 high schools, community colleges, and upper division colleges and universities in Texas, the United States and around the world. The students served through the Upward Bound programs are provided with the catalog. The TRIO programs provide catalogs to their students upon request.
Evidence of Support:
Western Texas College Mission Statement
Title V Criteria
WTC Five Year Plan
Institutional Effectiveness Goals
QEP Committee Minutes (date?) Board Minutes (date?)
Policy # 5000 (LINK) in the Institutional Policy Manual
(link to board minutes: A-6)