A Mission Statement is a concise summary of your advising program’s unique contribution to the institution/college/division/department. It reflects the purpose, values, and beliefs of the program, and provides reasons for why the program exists. The mission statement contextualizes and guides the program’s goals and learning outcomes.
Program Goals describe how the mission is going to be achieved. A goal is a statement on what the program PROVIDES (e.g., service, activities, resources, staff/advisors, learning environment) and tries TO DO (e.g., support students, advisor enrichment, etc.) not only for students but also for the advisors, partnering units, institution, etc.
An advising mission statement should include your program’s purpose (why you exist), how your program accomplishes its purpose (what you do), and reference your program’s principles and values (why you do it). A mission statement should also be consistent with the mission of the University, the Berkeley advising mission, and with professional standards. It should also be clear and concise, as well as motivational and inspiring, and it should refer to student learning and development (see: CAS).
Guiding Questions to develop…
a mission statement:
- What is unique about your advising program? Philosophy?
- Do you know campus-wide advising principles and vision
- Who are you going to involve in the conversation?
- What advising activities and resources do you deliver to students?
- How do you keep up with the changing needs of the students?
- What learning environment do you create for your students?
- What do you expect students to gain out of your advising activities (i.e., learning outcomes)?
- Brainstorm. Great ideas can be found in unexpected places.
- Include multiple stakeholders to ensure all voices are represented
- Schedule during a regular department meeting
- Expect revisions!
- Expect to meet more than once
- NACADA: Sample academic advising mission statements from various universities (link is external)
How do you use what you learned here now? What is your next step? If you already have a mission statement in place, are you ready to review your program's mission and purpose?