Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.1.1 Institutional Mission

The mission statement is current and comprehensive, accurately guides the institution’s operations, is periodically reviewed and updated, is approved by the governing board, and is communicated to the institution’s constituencies. (Institutional mission)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University is a private, comprehensive university firmly grounded in the liberal arts and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Reinhardt meets the ongoing educational needs of traditional students, as residents and commuters, and non-traditional students as professionals. The University awards associate, bachelor and master’s degrees. In addition, the University is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse student population including those students with distinctive learning needs.

The Reinhardt University mission statement captures this identity: “Reinhardt University educates the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual and physical dimensions of its students.”  The Mission Statement is communicated to Reinhardt’s constituencies through inclusion in the University website [1], the academic catalogs [3, 4], Reinhardt University Faculty Handbook 2016-2017 [5], Reinhardt University Adjunct Handbook 2016-2017 [6], Reinhardt University Student Handbook 2016-2017 [7], Reinhardt University Employee Handbook 2016-2017 [8] and other publications.

Governing Board Approves & Communicates the Mission

The Reinhardt University Mission Statement was reviewed by the Leadership Team in 2016 and modified and approved by the Board of Trustees on January 24, 2017. See page 7 in the minutes. [2] The Mission Statement is communicated to Reinhardt’s constituencies through inclusion in the University website [1], Academic Catalogs [34], Faculty Handbook [5], Adjunct Handbook [6], Student Handbook [7], Employee Handbook [8] and other publications.

Mission Is Current and Periodically Reviewed and Updated

Every five years, the Reinhardt University community engages in the development of a new strategic plan that guides it in achieving its vision. This process starts with a review of the University mission.  Prior to the latest review and modification, the mission was revised and approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2005. [910]  That revision preceded the launch of “Celebration 125 – A Strategic Plan for Reinhardt College 2005-2010.” Following the 2005 update, the mission was reviewed again in 2010 in the initial stages of developing the 2010-2015 strategic plan for the university ("Excellence at Reinhardt, 2010-2015”), but no changes were deemed necessary.  As President Mallard began work on a new strategic plan in 2015-16, the University mission was reviewed and revised to its current form in 2016.

Before the latest review, the Mission Statement included two paragraphs describing the University’s commitments and the type of students the University seeks. At the beginning of the third paragraph was the statement of the mission of the University. The statement, “Reinhardt University seeks to educates the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual/moral and physical dimensions of its students” found at the beginning of the third paragraph was refined. The words “seeks to” in the phrase “seeks to educate” were omitted to make the phrase stronger. The new beginning of the mission statement now reads, “Reinhardt University educates….” The word “moral” in the dimension “spiritual/moral” was seen as redundant and was omitted.

The Mission did not change, but the language surrounding the Mission Statement was deleted. The result is a stronger mission statement that is not lost in the middle of a longer narrative.

Comprehensive Mission That Accurately Guides Operations

Reinhardt’s mission and vision guide Reinhardt’s operations. The following summary describes how the university’s operations, institutional effectiveness system, and new program approval process align with the Reinhardt mission.

Intellectual: In addition to a robust liberal arts-based curriculum that includes 43 academic programs, the University supports this dimension of its mission by providing an Honors Program and 14 academic honors societies, a Community Gathering series that brings experts in various fields to speak to the community, and a variety of academic field trips and class guest speakers. Faculty work with students in developing undergraduate research projects that culminate in presentations at academic conferences as well as serve needs in the community. The University designates $9.5 million annually to academic scholarships.

Social: The University provides many opportunities for social development including over 45 clubs, 24 athletic teams, and a variety of club sports, and intramural sports, and outdoor recreation activities as well as late night and weekend programming. The University also offers an assortment of volunteer and service learning opportunities. The Resident Assistants in each residence hall provide programming and various activities that are planned throughout the year for social interaction.

See http://www.reinhardt.edu/Current-Students/Student_Services/index.html for more information.

Personal: Several workshops and speaker series are held each year to help students develop personally. Workshop topics include Time Management, Healthy Relationships, Intentionality, Character Development, Team Building, Personal Finance, and Leadership Development. Within the Student Affairs Division, Counseling Services, Health Services and Campus Minster collaborate together to host a “Mind, Body, Spirit” series as an integrated approach to promoting the care of the whole person through which students learn how to take better care of themselves and learn how to make good decisions that can have an impact on their well-being. Each Residence Assistant is required to offer residence hall programming for personal and relational development. Examples of these include: Residence Life coordinates programming within the residence halls that focus on the following areas: diversity, social education, life skills, personal and physical wellness, service, and personal growth. Examples of these programs include: Educating on Alcohol, Squeeze Away Your Stress, Cute Organization, Power of Money (Personal Finance), and Resume 101.  Resident Assistant programming also focuses on community building within the halls through social programming such as game nights, DIY projects, video game tournaments, and other social events that are purposed to bring residents together.

Vocational: The University Career Services Department offers testing services to help students identify the best major for their desired career. They also offer resume writing workshops, mock interviewing opportunities, internship and part-time job placement services, as well as helping students learn to use LinkedIn and other social media and technology resources to help in their job search. A unique program, S-CAP (Strategic Career Advantage Platform) is offered on Saturdays to help students enhance their soft skills such as emotional intelligence, listening, working in teams, and project management.

Spiritual: Reinhardt’s Campus Minister leads Common Ground weekly worship services and sponsors service and mission spring and fall break trips. Our Service-Learning program helps educate students to the importance of serving others as an example set by scripture. The University also has spiritual speakers at their monthly Common Ground gathering and numerous student-led Bible studies occur across campus. The University has strong relationship with Waleska United Methodist Church located on our campus.

Physical: The Campus has a Wellness Program that involves community workout classes, yoga, and weight training. Students who are not athletes have two workout facilities located in the apartments and one in the athletic facility. Athletes have a designated workout facility in the Thomas and Betty Jo Isherwood Fieldhouse. The campus also offers 7 miles of hiking trails, a variety of club sports, and many intramural sports and outdoor activities for students.

In addition, the Institutional Effectiveness academic assessments are also aligned with the institutional mission in as much as the program student learning outcomes are aligned with Reinhardt General Education Outcomes, which are anchored to elements of the university mission.  See table below.

Table 3.1.1.-1 Alignment of General Education Learning Outcome to the Mission

Mission: Reinhardt University educates the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual, and physical dimensions of its students.

#

RU’s Gen Ed SLOs

Link to Univ. Mission

Description

1 Effective expression of ideas through writing, speech, and visual media

 

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational
Effective expression of ideas is essential to intellectual development, personal fulfillment of identity, apprehending one’s calling, and pursuing a professional career
2 Integrative, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning using evidence, logic, reasoning, and calculation
  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational
Critical thinking and inquiry-based learning develops the powers of the intellect, trains the individual to question, and equips the student with essential professional and transferable skills
3 Knowledge of various research methodologies, information, technological, and scientific literacy
  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational
Learning a variety of research methods broadens the intellect, deepens one’s understanding of diversity, and prepares students for the workplace
4 Independent thought and imagination; preparation for lifelong learning
  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Spiritual
The propensity to think independently develops a deep sense of self and self-reliance while opening one to spiritual possibilities; it also encourages innovative approaches to solving problems
5 Knowledge of the traditions of Western civilization and their global context
  • Intellectual
  • Personal
Knowledge of western civilization within a global context broads the intellect and expands the concept of personal place
6 Knowledge of the diversity of societies and cultures; the ability to view themselves and the world from cultural and historical perspectives other than their own
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Personal
Engagement with diverse people, societies, and cultures challenges social norms, activates the intellect, and expands the sense of the self
7 Integrity and Ethical Responsibility
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Spiritual
Integrity and ethical decision-making requires an intellect attuned to subtleties, a person with social sensibilities, and a strong spiritual or moral compose
8 Understanding and commitment to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness

 

  • Personal
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
Holistic wellness requires the development of personal strategies to maintain and develop the physical, emotional (personal), and spiritual self
9 Stewardship and civic engagement coupled with the ability to work with others both collaboratively and in leadership roles
  • Social
  • Personal
  • Vocational
Ownership, engagement with community, and working as a team-player grows the social, personal, and professional aspects of the individual

 

At the program level, the program mission is linked to the university mission and the program student learning outcomes are aligned to the relevant university general education student learning outcomes, which in turn are linked to elements of the university mission, as depicted above.  As an example, Table 3.1.1-2 illustrates how the university mission guides the operations of an academic program.  All recent academic program assessment reports, which contain alignments between program learning outcomes and general education outcomes and between program mission and university mission, are presented in Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.1.

Table 3.1.1.-2 Alignment of B.A. in English Program of Student Learning Outcomes and Program Mission to RU Mission

Link between program mission and university mission:  The ability to think, read, and write clearly, critically, and creatively contributes to the “intellectual . . . [and] vocational” development of “the whole person.” In addition, through a detailed exploration of Western and multicultural literature, the whole person gains “social . . . [and] spiritual / moral” dimension.

 

Program Student Learning Outcomes Link to RU General Education Outcomes Link to the University Mission
1. All Reinhardt University English majors (literature concentration) will demonstrate sound skills in expository writing, as defined by the departmental rubric. 1.Effective expression of ideas through writing, speech, and visual media

 

 

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational
2. All Reinhardt University English majors (literature concentration) will demonstrate sound skills in critical analysis.

 

2.Integrative, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning using evidence, logic, reasoning, and calculation

 

4.Independent thought and imagination; preparation for lifelong learning

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational

 

 

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Spiritual
3. All Reinhardt English majors (literature concentration) will demonstrate knowledge of the historical and/or cultural context of literature.

 

5.Knowledge of the traditions of Western civilization and their global context

 

6.Knowledge of the diversity of societies and cultures; the ability to view themselves and the world from cultural and historical perspectives other than their own

  • Intellectual
  • Personal

 

 

  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Personal

 

4. All Reinhardt University English majors (literature concentration) will demonstrate the ability to conduct and apply effective library research.

 

3.Knowledge of various research methodologies, information, technological, and scientific literacy

 

4.Independent thought and imagination; preparation for lifelong learning

 

7.Integrity and Ethical Responsibility

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Vocational

 

 

  • Intellectual
  • Personal
  • Spiritual

 

  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Spiritual

In addition, the strategic objectives formulated in the 2016-21 Strategic Plan are aligned with the university mission and the vision in as much they all contribute to educating the “whole person” and to creating a unique Reinhardt experience where each student thrives. As documented in Comprehensive Requirement 2.5, Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.2 and Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.3, all administrative and student support units align their operational objectives to the University strategic objectives, which in turn are aligned to the university mission and vision.  In addition, administrative and student support units align their mission statement with the University mission.  Table 3.1.1-2 demonstrate an example of this alignment for Counseling Services, as reflected in the unit’s assessment report.

Table 3.1.1.-3 Alignment of Counseling Outcomes and Mission to RU Mission

Link between unit mission and university mission:  The mission of Counseling Services is to assist students to work through mental health issues, psychological problems, and life struggles by providing quality therapeutic interventions including individual counseling, group counseling, and mental health workshops. The mission contributes to the “personal” development of “the whole person.”

 

Unit Operational Objectives University Strategic Objectives Link to University Mission
1. Increase student referrals via student, parent, faculty, and staff awareness of campus counseling services and its positive effect on student development and retention.

 

Reinhardt Learns,  Objective VII: Enrich Student-Centered Services

 

  • Personal

 

2.Provide quality counseling interventions to students

 

Reinhardt Learns,  Objective VII: Enrich Student-Centered Services

 

  • Personal

 

3. Improve and continue to develop new RU counseling programing which will educate and promote student wellness via healthy decision-making and a sense of individual as well as community responsibility.

 

Reinhardt Learns,  Objective VII: Enrich Student-Centered Services

 

  • Personal

 

Lastly, all new program proposals must use a template similar to the SACSCOC Prospectus template, which includes an assessment of the need for the new program and how it helps Reinhardt fulfill its mission. See example of alignment for the proposed B.S. in Cybersecurity program. [11]

Conclusion

Reinhardt University’s mission statement is current and comprehensive. The University mission guides the institution’s operations, institutional effectiveness system, and strategic plan.  The mission is reviewed every five years before the adoption of a new strategic plan and is updated as needed. The revised mission is approved by the Board of Trustees, and is communicated to the institution’s constituencies through academic catalogs, faculty and employee handbooks, student handbooks, and the University website.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Screenshot of University Mission Website

[2] Board of Trustees Minutes January 24, 2017

[3] Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 – Mission Statement

[4] Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017– Mission Statement

[5] Reinhardt University Faculty Handbook 2016-2017 - Mission Statement

[6] Reinhardt University Adjunct Handbook 2016-2017 - Mission Statement

[7] Reinhardt University Student Handbook 2016-2017 – Mission Statement

[8] Reinhardt University Employee Handbook 2016-2017 – Mission Statement

[9] 2005 Reinhardt College Mission

[10] BOT Minutes 5 25 2005

[11] BS in Cybersecurity Program Proposal

[12] 2016-21 RU Strategic Plan