Use College Mission Statements to Anchor Your Assessments
In the frenzy of searching for “the perfect college,” students often place their opinions in the hands of others. Students rely on information from virtual strangers through sites like collegeconfidential.com. Inappropriate and misplaced judgment, like “that’s a jock school” or “hope you’re ready for the cat fights of sorority life” can cause a student (or parent) to disregard individual schools or entire categories of institutions. Families have access to a plethora of information and should put it to use in productive ways. One way to evaluate schools is by examining a school’s “Mission in Action” quotient.
Students and parents rarely read a college’s mission statement (and the mission statement can be quite a challenge to locate on a website) much less evaluate it. However, the mission drives policies and decisions at an institution. It will be the anchor of every student’s experience. Reading the statement is only part of the equation, however. Most mission statements sound great. But, how well does a college act on that great intention? Next time you identify “the perfect college,” in 10 minutes or less (a very long time in the realm of web-surfing, but quite short compared to most teenager durations on skype and facebook) collect at least three relevant statistics that support the mission. A school’s mission should be alive and active, not a dust-collecting prerequisite of academia.
Now, an example: visit the News Section at www.collegeguidancecoach.com.