Chapter 2 - Mission and Goals
The governance, academic and administrative structure of the university is the framework through which the institution seeks to accomplish its mission and goals. For years, Shippensburg's mission statement emphasized many components common to those of similar institutions, such as teaching effectiveness, faculty scholarship and service to the surrounding community. While these elements are still included in the current document, the mission of the university was revised after 1995 to reflect a more student-oriented focus, one that emphasizes the total learning process, both inside and outside the classroom, with the aim of fostering individuals who are prepared for citizenship and for the workplace.
Mission of the University
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is a regional state-supported institution. It is part of the State System of Higher Education of Pennsylvania, which is made up of 14 universities located in various geographic regions throughout the Commonwealth. Founded in 1871, Shippensburg University serves the educational, social and cultural needs of students primarily from southcentral Pennsylvania. The university enrolls students from throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic region, the United States, and various foreign countries as well.
Shippensburg is a comprehensive university offering bachelor's and master's degree programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Human Services. The curricula are organized to enable students both to develop their intellectual abilities and to obtain professional training in a variety of fields. The foundation of the undergraduate curriculum is a required core of courses in the arts and sciences. These courses prepare students to think logically, read critically, write clearly, and verbalize ideas in a succinct and articulate manner; they also broaden students' knowledge of the world, past and present.
The university's primary commitment is to student learning and personal development through effective and innovative teaching and a wide variety of high quality out-of-class experiences. The ultimate goal is to have students develop to their utmost the intellectual, personal and social capabilities they need to perform as competent citizens prepared to embark on a career immediately upon graduation or after advanced study. The personal attention given each student at Shippensburg is reflective of the strong sense of community that exists on campus and the centrality of students within it. The university encourages and supports activities that give students many opportunities to apply the theories and methods learned in the classroom to real or practical situations, such as faculty-student research and student internships. Student life programs and activities complement the academic mission and further assist students in their personal, social and ethical development.
Committed to public service and community-centered in its relationship to the region, the university works closely and collaboratively with other organizations at institutional, programmatic and individual levels to develop common goals, share resources and invest cooperatively in the future of the region.
To implement the new learning-centered mission, fourteen overall goals were modified from previous documents or developed that provide specific dimensions to the direction of the university. These goals address each division of the institution, but a number of shared themes are predominant. In addition to the promotion of excellence in the learning process, the goals envision a campus that reflects the diverse and multicultural nature of society, that efficiently and humanely manages its physical, technological and human resources and that reaches out to its alumni and friends and to its service region.
- Maintain an environment that emphasizes excellence, innovation and technology in teaching and learning and results in lifelong purposeful learners.
- Enhance the diversity of the students, faculty, administration, and staff to improve the campus milieu in which they interact and to make the curriculum more gender-balanced and inclusive of different cultures and ethnic perspectives.
- Develop and provide curricula in the liberal arts and professional fields that are responsive to the needs of our student body, the region and society at large.
- Enhance and expand opportunities for students, faculty, administration and staff to become engaged in community service activities within the region.
- Continue to provide and expand multicultural activities complementary to curricular programs and to support the establishment of a campus environment that embraces an understanding and appreciation of diversity.
- Offer co-curricular programs that provide all students with a wide array of opportunities to enhance their development by being engaged in campus activities as leaders and as active participants.
- Enhance student development opportunities in the campus community that are complementary to curricular programs by enhancing and/or expanding programs and services.
- Maintain and develop resource management systems and procedures that provide timely and accurate information, assure sufficient accountability and compliance, and support further decentralization of budgetary management and control.
- Develop a more effective and people-oriented approach to the provision of financial, administrative, human resources, facilities, public safety and computing services to the university community through application of technology, staff training and functional realignment.
- Make the advantages of state-of-the-art computing and information technology available to all elements of the university using non-proprietary standards and the shared computing power inherent in networking.
- Develop campus physical facilities to more adequately support current programs and services as well as future directions. Develop a facilities master plan to assure efficient and effective allocation and use of space, long-term viability of facilities through adequate maintenance and repair programs, and regulatory and statutory compliance.
- Implement a university-wide marketing program complementing the enrollment management process of the institution that will result in an undergraduate and graduate applicant pool from which to select incoming classes of students who will represent greater diversity, who will graduate in greater numbers and who will yield the best match of interests and abilities with the resources of the university and the needs of the region.
- Continue programs, initiatives and activities that enhance the work of alumni development, fundraising, and overall university enhancement as it pertains to institutional advocacy and Foundation fundraising.
- Continue emphasizing the university's role in enhancing the quality of life in its service region through economic development initiatives, town/gown relations programming, shared cultural and educational activities, and public service.