Philosophy of Education

The mission of a college is to provide an inclusive multicultural educational experience which promotes total student development and fosters the transformation of knowledge. This developmental process not only includes prescribed curricular and co-curricular activities, but also incorporates diverse learning and teaching styles as tools to further the pursuit of knowledge. This mission is translated into practice by developing a community of care which promotes student development and assists all members of the college community in understanding the needs of students.

The basic principle defining the concept of community of care is that a community of care preserves each individuals integrity by promoting inclusion and respect for diversity of ideas and people. Students must be viewed as unique whole persons capable of fully participating in their own educational and maturation process.

This inclusive educational environment promotes academic, emotional, psychological, physical, moral, and ethical growth by providing a curriculum that is pluralistic in design, and services that are nurturing, supportive, and challenging. To foster the maturation process, and assist students in their moral, academic, intellectual, and emotional development, sharing ideas, exploring values, thinking critically, and promoting self discovery should be the common themes which provide the foundation upon which integrated college activities are based.

To enhance and support the educational mission of the college, and develop a community of care, all members of the college community must not only model the ideals and behaviors of care givers to students, but we must also embrace the role of educator and articulate the philosophy of care to all segments of the college community. Students must be shown how to translate care, commitment, and nurturance to their peers, their college and society as a whole.

Communities of care not only provide students with living and learning environments which promote their development, but also help instill a sense of institutional allegiance and identity in students and members of the college community. Communities of care foster student development by focusing on students. Administrators, faculty and staff members must concentrate their attention on students physical needs, academic concerns, and emotional development. To facilitate this development, students must be actively involved in their own educational process. The institution should provide a supportive environment which helps students develop the skills of critical thinking, reflection, reasoning, questioning and inquiry. This can be exemplified by designing programs which provide the opportunities for exploration of values, morals and ethics, and which examines issues of pluralism and diversity thereby promoting self discovery.

Communities of care involve and shape the whole campus. In this collective process an educational environment is born which promotes dialogue between all segments of the college community and which promotes development for all members of the campus. The various departments and divisions of the college must work collaboratively and provide the leadership role in the development of a community of care, and the integration of student life with academic life.

The collaborative efforts of the college community of care results in the transformation of knowledge and the promotion of development for all members of the college. While aiding students with their maturation process is a primary function of education, it is imperative that opportunities are available to further enhance the talents and abilities of all segments of the college community, including faculty, staff and administration, with the desired goal being increased collegiality, and communication, and a renewed affirmation to the concept of community.

The outcome of this commitment to development is increased tolerance and understanding of oneself and others, increased openness to ideas and people, increased respect, and a commitment to a more humanistic perspective in both thought and action. It is essential that students are provided the opportunities, both experiential and academic, to explore their beliefs, ideals, abilities, spirituality, options, leadership styles and abilities. On campus there are unlimited opportunities to provide students with individual attention and tailor programs and services to meet the special needs of students. By providing an educational environmental which is both challenging and supportive students will have the opportunity to develop a more global frame of reference, become more integrated into the whole life of the college, and become citizens of the world who are caring committed leaders.

My philosophy of Education has been influenced by my professional practice, doctoral studies, and the writings of: Alexander Astin, Robert Bellah, Ernest Boyer, Arthur Chickering, Peter Garland, L.Lee Knefelkamp, Arthur Levine, Rollo May, and Nancy Schlossberg.