GRAD 5104 – Mission Statements

1. Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (my alma mater)
Sheridan is one of Ontario’s leading post-secondary institutions. Through creativity and innovation, we’re forging a new path that meets the future needs of our students, our communities and our country.

Ontario

Canada
Public, polytechnic institute, college

Sheridan’s student body is very diverse racially; the absence of mention of diversity  in the mission statement stood out to me. Also, the institution’s reach goes beyond the country. For example, its animation department has produced several Academy and Emmy Award winners and graduates of the program work in major animation studios in Hollywood. I am not sure why there is lack of mention and emphasis in that regard. I particularly liked the expression “meets the needs of our students”. It sends the message that it caters to various student needs, whether it is trades training or four-year degree. At the same time it is not reassuring to students who are interested in getting skills training and joining the workforce.

This mission statement responds to the four essential questions raised in Julian David Cortes-Sanchez’s article in the following manner:

  • Why it exists: to meet the needs of students, Canadian communities, and the country
  • Policies and behavioural patterns that guide its operation: forging new paths
  • Strategy for achieving: through creativity innovation

 

2. University of Waterloo (my alma mater)

The University of Waterloo’s mission is to advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research, and scholarship, nationally and internationally, in an environment of free expression and inquiry.

Ontario
Canada
Public, research University

What stood out for me was the reference to free expression and inquiry. In my opinion, such reference signals an emphasis that the kind of free expression and inquiry at this university is a higher degree than the standard to to be expected of a university. It also gave me the impression that all ideas, however divergent, would be welcome. I did not experience the university in that way. I do not recall anything that stands out in that regard during my time there and after. I would expect a university claiming that to have controversy for example as a result of a faculty having uncommon views.

When it comes to advancing knowledge internationally, I took it to mean through its international students returning to their countries of origin after their university education. Diversity of its student body and its world-famous co-op programs are key features of the university that I expected to be mentioned in the mission statement and were not.

This mission statement responds to the four essential questions raised in Julian David Cortes-Sanchez’s article in the following manner:

  • Why it exists: to advance learning and knowledge
  • Policies and behavioral patterns that guide its operation: teaching, research, and scholarship
  • Strategy for achieving its purpose: by providing an environment of free expression and inquiry

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