Mississippi Valley State University

April 20, 2014

Missions & Goals

Comprehensive Mission Statement

Vision

The vision of Mississippi Valley State University is to attain preeminence in the quality of its students’ educational experience and its graduates. In addition, the University wishes to create the optimal living and learning environment that validates its conceptualization as the Valley of Scholars. The institution ultimately endeavors to produce ethical and capable students who are exceptionally prepared for graduate and professional schools and the world of work in a global society.

Mission

Mississippi Valley State University, located in Leflore County, is a Carnegie Master’s I institution, which provides accessible, relevant and quality academic and public service programs. While the University has historically drawn the majority of its students from throughout the Delta, the institution recognizes the need to provide greater services to the south and east Delta areas. MVSU, which recognizes the need to be efficient, effective and productive in all of its operations, offers concentrated study in the arts, business, education, humanities, public services, pre-professional health services, social sciences, sciences, social work, and technology. Master’s level programs are offered in Bioinformatics, Business Administration, Environmental Health, Elementary Education, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Special Education, Rural Public Policy and Planning, and Teaching. The University also endeavors to provide additional programs that are vital and unique to the needs of the population it serves. MVSU emphasizes the study and applications of technology, basic and applied research, service learning, health and wellness, and economic and cultural affairs. The University expands its emphasis to incorporate an international focus on governmental, economic, and cultural affairs.

Out of this concept, the Delta Research and Cultural Institute provides the avenue for faculty and students to engage in theoretical and applied research on subject matter related to the cultural, social, economic and political concerns of the Delta.

Institutional Focus

• The Foundation of Excellence

Mississippi Valley State University remains committed to its original mission of preparing teachers for elementary and secondary schools and to preparing students to engage in other meaningful and productive careers. MVSU values and strives to gain multi-cultural diversity and to achieve curricular advances that place it in the forefront with high-quality and high-demand technological and professional programs. The programmatic directions incorporated in the

Ayers Agreement have produced master’s level programs in special education, computer science, bioinformatics, leadership administration, and business administration. Ayers also brings a broadening of the undergraduate curriculum, including an expansion of the teacher education offerings.

• Meeting Regional Educational Needs/Maintaining Historical Relationships

MVSU recognizes the Delta area and bordering counties as its primary service areas; however, the University also realizes the need to attract students from geographically diverse areas, both nationally and internationally, including those areas with which it has constituent relationships through alumni and family heritages and collaborative ventures. MVSU sees the need to have

strong partnerships with K-12 schools in the Delta and to provide a supportive environment for non-traditional students and those interested in life-long learning opportunities. Educational offerings in learning centers off the main campus help the University provide community-based students greater access and more flexibility in program offerings and course schedules.

• Community Service/Service Learning

MVSU is an engaged institution that strives to develop responsible citizens who are sensitive to the needs of a pluralistic society. Community Service/Service Learning is an integral part of MVSU’s mission and is carried out through community involvement by administrators, faculty, staff and students and by bringing community people to the campus for programs and services. The Community Service/Service Learning component of each student’s educational program also complements the public service mission of the University.

• Centers of Excellence

As a means of bringing focus to the academic programs and services that project the direction of the institution, MVSU endeavors to establish centers of excellence that incorporate instructional research and service functions. These include: a center of excellence in teacher education, dedicated to the enhancement of the Delta region’s teaching community through such programs

as the Institute for Effective Teaching Practices and the Delta Superintendent’s Partnership; a center of excellence in science and technology, which seeks to bridge the “digital divide” and improve diversity in science and technology education through programs such as its Saturday Academy and the Summer Science Technology Academy and through cutting-edge programs like Bioinformatics and Automatic Identification Technology; and a center of excellence in entrepreneurship and economic development, which promotes activities and provides continuous information, technical assistance and training through partnerships with such entities as the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone and the USDA Rural Development Service.

• Health and Wellness

In view of the prevalent health issues that are predominant in the University community and the Delta Region, MVSU incorporates health and wellness services into its mission. Although the University includes health and wellness content in its curricular offerings, it incorporates the concepts more intensely through community services and special projects. Through its focus on health and wellness, the University provides educational awareness, resources, screening and fitness facilities.

• Research and Culture

As the birthplace of the blues and as a place that has an abundance of creativity in the fine arts, the Mississippi Delta has unparalleled cultural and research opportunities. To date, these elements have been untapped. MVSU endeavors to promote cultural and social research, with an emphasis upon economics and the human condition.

• A Global Perspective

In view of the global dynamics that are impacting the University and the future of our students, MVSU sees the need to bring a global perspective to our curricular offerings and our total student experience. Therefore, curricular offerings and the student experience will incorporate international language development, faculty and student exchanges, study abroad programs and research abroad programs. These activities will better prepare our students and faculty for greater participation in an expanding global society.

Goals

Mississippi Valley State University endeavors to be an agent of change for the students who attend the institution. In addition to its role in the academic preparation of students, the University attempts to affect change in the students’ social attitudes and behaviors in order that they may be better prepared for positive and competitive interaction in the global society.

MVSU aims to produce graduates who demonstrate effective communication, critical thinking, and technological skills. The University also strives to produce students with applicable knowledge in their major field of study to secure employment, pursue entrepreneurship or continue on to graduate or professional school. Ultimately, the goal of the University is to produce students who become contributing members of a global society. In view of the adverse economic circumstances that impact the vast majority of its students, the University expects that the experience it provides will result in an improvement in the students’ social and economic status.

The principle goals supporting the mission are:

1. To maintain an exemplary core curriculum and concentrated studies for students with varied preparations;

2. To develop a solid foundation for students in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional studies;

3. To prepare students to be critical thinkers who are proficient in oral and written languages and in mathematics;

4. To graduate students who are cognizant of application and use of applicable technologies;

5. To engender understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and good citizenship;

6. To make students aware of the opportunities and challenges of a global environment;

7. To assist graduates in finding productive employment positions, achieving entrepreneurship, or continuing on to graduate or professional schools; and

8. To sustain a conducive learning environment with a dedicated administration and faculty devoted to research and community service (including service learning) that responds to the educational and cultural needs of the community.