Cleveland State Approves A New Mission Statement

Cleveland State Approves A New Mission Statement

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:00 AM

By Dr. Bill Seymour
Cleveland State CC

Have you ever read many college or university mission statements? If they had not been updated lately they were likely to contain everything plus the kitchen sink. I have been part of these writing processes in the past and the tendency was to make sure there was something to cover every college function.

Cleveland State’s former mission statement fit this stereotype. It was long and comprehensive befitting a comprehensive community college. It was seventy-seven words long. I asked once in a campus meeting (jokingly) if anyone could recite it from memory. Not surprisingly, nobody volunteered to try. The truth is many had not laid their eyes on it in a very long time.

We are nearing the end of our planning process for Cleveland State’s next strategic plan. For lack of a better name, we are calling it the Vision 2025 Plan. It will become official on July 1, 2020. Last fall, in advance of our planning process, we decided it was time to rethink our mission statement. A new mission statement would give us better focus and hopefully, inspire our planning process.

We were very purposeful to keep it shorter. In a retreat of our campus leadership team last summer, I gave them an exercise on writing a new mission statement. Each person had five minutes to draft a new statement with a requirement that it must be less than fifteen words. Everyone accomplished their task and we shared them with each other. I think we were all surprised how good they were. This convinced us that a brief statement would encourage all of our stakeholders to become much more familiar with our mission.


So, here is the new Cleveland State Community College mission statement:

Woman sitting on ground lacing up her tennis shoes.


This takes some time to sink-in. Not only did we take several months to consider this statement, we have come to understand what each word represents to our students, employees and community. We are excited that this statement can be memorized easily and will be used readily by campus and community partners.

In many respects, we think of ourselves as a new college. This may seem strange considering we have been doing many of the same things for the past 53 years. Still, I believe we function with a very new attitude; reflecting how we think about ourselves, our commitment to student success, and our relationship with the communities we serve. Our glass is not only half-full, it is over flowing. We have a sense of confidence that is stronger than ever before. We have set higher expectations and we have achieved them. We have learned that sharing small and large victories has a powerful impact on an organization.

It is with this renewed spirit that we proudly present the new Cleveland State Community College Mission Statement.


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway