Vision and Values Summit Held, Narrowing in on What WCC Stands For

It has been said that actions speak louder than words, but sometimes it takes the right words to enact actions.

The Vision and Values Committee of the Faculty Senate engaged the college community in a series of questions to determine the importance of having a vision and values statement. The detailed surveys which were presented in the Vision and Values Summit on April 6 provided an outlook on the perspectives and potential guide line of what WCC looks to achieve.

“The Vision and Values statements are not just internal documents, but external as well. They can and should influence future students, employees, volunteers, donors, and other prospective members of the Westchester Community College family to join us as partners.” — Philip McGrath, Vision and Values Committee Chair

A vision statement can be defined as a statement for the future that an institute wishes to aspire to, whereas a values statement includes deeply held beliefs or ideals to guide the members of said institution. But what is the importance of having these statements?

“The Vision and Values statements are not just internal documents, but external as well,” said Philip McGrath who serves as the Chair for the Vision and Values Committee. “They can and should influence future students, employees, volunteers, donors, and other prospective members of the Westchester Community College family to join us as partners.”

The main goal for the survey and summit was to have people participate and be inclusive in regards to what the college stands for. The information gained from the 1,106 completed surveys displayed levels of perceived importance of the college having a vision statement and what values were ranked among individuals and respected group.

“It’s exciting to have these statements that guide our everyday work presented and what needs to be done moving forward as an institution,” said Professor Kamil Hamaoui who also served on the committee. “Hopefully, people will see these statements and see the importance of having them guiding what we do day to day.”

The top five highest rated values recorded were mutual respect, ethical behavior and integrity, personal growth, freedom of expression, and open, honest, collegial communication. Data was also collected on the specific ratings of each value, as well as the final product of the summits groups interacting and collaborating on defining some of the values and how they look like in action at our campus community.

“I think in many ways this exercise exemplifies what we are trying to depict in a value statement,” said WCC President Dr. Belinda S. Miles. “It was inclusive, collaborative, dynamic, and irritative as we brought a wide range of people together.”

The summit was held in a World Cafe format, which allowed a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. Each table had six members of the WCC campus collaborating and setting down their own interpretation and definition of the values presented. When finished, the group posted their interpretation onto the wall for others to compare and further discuss.

“I thought the summit was extremely insightful,” said Ava Tapia, one of the few students who participated in the event. “It gave us a chance to reflect on the values we are most interested in pursuing as a community.”

The committee will take the language that was developed inside the summit and condense it into a report that will then be distributed to the college community and presented to the faculty senate to accept or reject. Should the vision and values pass the senate the statements will then be presented to the cabinet and president for consideration.

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