Mission statement impossible


(Illustration by Scott Baba/The Inquirer 2010)

The Inquirer Editorial Board

Every college has a mission statement, a summary of the college’s goals for its students, but lately DVC has not been living up to the objectives it outlined in its own mission statement.

According to the mission statement, “DVC is passionately committed to student learning
through the intellectual, scientific, artistic, psychological, and ethical development of its
diverse student body.”
But statewide budget problems have lead DVC to cut classes and student services and lay
off staff and student workers left and right.
DVC offers many courses covering a range of diverse subjects, however, when classes
are so full that students can’t even get the basic courses they need to transfer, the college
is no longer achieving the goals set forth in its mission statement.
Last year DVC revised the mission statement after the Accrediting Commission for
Community and Junior Colleges visited the college two years ago and reported that DVC
needed to include language about “student learning” in the mission statement, according
to the commission’s 2008 evaluation report.
The mission statement was reworked on April 29, 2009 and many other changes were
made campus-wide resulting in DVC being praised by the commission and its perilous
accreditation status being improved.
The new mission statement goes on to say that the college “prepares students for transfer
to four-year universities; provides career/technical education; supports the economic
development of the region; offers pre-collegiate programs; and promotes personal growth
and lifelong learning.”
All community colleges should support “lifelong learning,” however, due to statewide
budget problems DVC has cut many “stand alone” courses, or courses that do not lead to
a degree.
Because of this many classes from the Applied and Fine Arts Division were cut
beginning in the Fall 2009 semester, which is truly unfortunate as many college graduates
and retirees take these courses to enrich their lives – something DVC’s mission statement
If stand alone courses must be cut, then DVC cannot promote or provide ‘lifelong
It’s time to get realistic, if DVC can’t meet the goals of its mission statement then maybe
the administration needs to go back to the drawing board and revise it – again.


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