From the VPSA: Know Your Mission and Your Culture
At the core of Mount Ida College, a small college in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts is its mission to “blend career-relevant education with broad-based learning in the arts, sciences and humanities to prepare students to succeed in a changing world.” Mission is what propels each institution forward in their own unique way, and at its heart, is what needs to be kept in the front of one’s mind when advancing any initiative.
The Joy of Collaboration
While it is known that it takes an entire village to raise a child, at times, we can forget the same is true for education. As an undergraduate student, I remember first hand the joy of attending an institution that relied heavily upon partnerships between departments in order to carry out its mission, and the many benefits I received as a student because of such collaboration. Because of my experience, I am a strong believer that it takes an entire college to educate a student. As research has long shown, when an institution chooses to ignore this by setting a divide between departments such as Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, they surrender the opportunity to provide their students with the quality of education deserved to them. In an effort to ensure this doesn’t happen, collaboration between departments is essential.
Make an Impact
How many times have we told students that relationships matter? Regardless of institutional type, we see evidence that our students’ wellbeing relies on engaging with others in and outside of the classroom to support their academic, career, and personal goals (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). This same concept, in fact, is often one of the reasons identified by student affairs professionals as a catalyst to their pursuit of working in higher education (Magolda & Carnaghi, 2014).
Two Months Until MLK Day
Currently, we are “knee deep” in preparation for my favorite day of service- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day of Service. MLK Day has been a Winthrop tradition since 2000, when students and faculty voted to cancel classes to make room for events to be held in honor of the late King’s birthday. Our MLK Day of Service is a beloved event, in which we average 200 student and 50 faculty/staff volunteers. We are in our 15th year of MLK service! This year, we are planning on more student participation- so we are really ramping up. In fact, we already have 80 volunteers signed up to attend!