The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, which governs the 29 state-assisted public colleges and the university, coordinated an effort to develop mission statements for the system and for community colleges as a whole and charged each college with developing a statement to reflect its strengths and distinctive characteristics.
Mission of the Massachusetts System of Public Higher Education
Massachusetts Public Higher Education is a SYSTEM with a distinguished past, increasing and measurable accomplishments, and dedicated to being recognized as having one of the nation’s most outstanding array of institutions. It comprises 15 community colleges, nine state colleges, and five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The system exists to provide accessible, affordable, relevant, and rigorous programs that adapt to meet changing individual and societal needs for education and employment. The public system is committed to continuous improvement and accountability in all aspects of teaching and learning. The Department of Higher Education, together with each respective Board of Trustees, expects all students, faculty, and staff to be held to exacting standards in the performance of their roles and responsibilities.
Mission of the Community Colleges
The 15 Massachusetts community colleges offer open access to high quality, affordable academic programs, including associate degree and certificate programs. They are committed to excellence in teaching and learning, and provide academic preparation for transfer to four-year institutions, career preparation for entry into high demand occupational fields, developmental coursework, and lifelong learning opportunities.
Community colleges have a special responsibility for workforce development and through partnerships with business and industry, provide job training, retraining, certification, and skills improvement. In addition, they assume primary responsibility in the public system for offering developmental courses, programs, and other education services for individuals who seek to develop the skills needed to pursue college-level study or enter the workforce.
Rooted in their communities, the colleges serve as community leaders, identifying opportunities and solutions to community problems and contributing to the region’s intellectual, cultural and economic development. They collaborate with elementary and secondary education and work to ensure a smooth transition from secondary to post-secondary education. Through partnerships with baccalaureate institutions, they help to promote an efficient system of public higher education.
The community colleges offer an environment where the ideas and contributions of all students are expected. Academic and personal support services are provided to ensure that all students have an opportunity to achieve academic and career success. No eligible student shall be deprived of the opportunity for a community college education in Massachusetts because of an inability to pay tuition and fees.
Bristol Community College provides an accessible, innovative and inclusive education that prepares students to navigate and succeed in our ever-changing world.