Mission, Vision, & Values
Pasadena City College is an equity-minded learning community dedicated to enriching students’ academic, personal, and professional lives through an array of degree and certificate programs, campus engagement, and customized student support.
Every student at Pasadena City College is welcomed into a safe and dynamic learning community that:
- affirms them and their experiences,
- creates conditions for empowerment, critical thinking, and informed civic engagement, and
- provides the support needed to meet their personal, academic, and career aspirations.
Academic excellence is at the heart of what we hope to achieve as educators. Academic excellence is creating an environment whereby a student can excel in scholastic activities, demonstrate superior learning, and develop intellectual capacities and skills that prepares them for service to their community. Ethical behavior is a personal, institutional, and societal responsibility. Academic integrity entails honesty, responsibility, and openness to both scholarship and scholarly activity.
The act of opposing racism and white supremacy in all forms--in our society, other people, and even the racism that exists within ourselves and in the ways we perpetuate racism with our behaviors. It is about identifying the root causes of racism and ending them (Pratt Institute, n.d.).
Anti-Racist: one who is supporting an antiracist policy (see below) through actions or expressing an antiracist idea (Kendi, 2019, p. 13)
Anti-Racist Policy: a proposed/adopted policy geared toward reducing racial inequities and creating equal opportunity (Kendi, 2019, p. 32)
We value student-centered and student-first attitudes, processes, policies, and culture that will lead to student-first decision-making. By placing the changing needs and educational goals of our student population at the heart of our decision-making, the college is committed to not only student-first but a student-inclusive governance environment.
The “ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person].” Hook et al.(2013) and Tervalon and Murray-Garcia (1998) (as cited in Waters & Asbill, 2013).
- A lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique. We never arrive at a point where we are done learning, so we must be humble and flexible, bold enough to look at ourselves critically, and desire to learn more. Willingness to act on the acknowledgment that we have not and will not arrive at a finish line is integral. Understanding is only as powerful as the action that follows.
- Desire to fix power imbalances where none ought to exist. Recognizing that each person brings something different to the proverbial table of life helps us see the value of each person.
- Aspiring to develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for others. Though individuals can create positive change, communities and groups can also have a profound impact on systems. We cannot individually commit to self-evaluation and fixing power imbalances without advocating within the larger organizations in which we participate.
Cultural humility, by definition, is larger than our individual selves—we must advocate for it systemically.
Social Justice has 4 essential goals:
- Human Rights: a just society protects and respects everyone’s human rights.
- Access: access to essentials like shelter, food, and education is crucial; when access is restricted based on factors like gender, race, or class, it leads to suffering for individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Social justice activists work to increase and restore access, giving everyone equal opportunities for a good life.
- Participation: social justice isn’t possible if only some voices are heard, though the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable are often silenced. Even when society tries to address problems, solutions won’t work if those most affected can’t participate in the process. Participation must be encouraged and rewarded so that everyone – especially those who haven’t had a chance before – can speak.
- Equity: “equity” (not “equality”) takes into account the effects of discrimination and aims for an equal outcome. (Racial inequality is one of the most common social justice issues in the world. It affects a racial group’s ability to find work, get access to healthcare, and receive an equal education.) (https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/what-does-social-justice-mean/)
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right for every person around the world. All people have the right to hold their own opinions, and the right to seek, receive, and share information and ideas.
Introspection - the process of looking inward at yourself, understanding your motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.
Reflection - the habit of deliberately paying attention to your one’s own thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.
Pedagogy that acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates diverse cultures and that offers full, equitable access to education for students from all cultures. It recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning. (Ladson-Billings,1994).
- Learning within the context of culture
- Student-centered instruction
- Culturally-mediated instruction
- Reshaping the curriculum
- Teacher as facilitator
By centering the identities and lived experiences of the members of our campus community, we are affirming who they are beyond data points. We are listening to them tell us their truths and realities. We will use that to inform not only our practices but policies. By centering them in this way it positions us to be a responsive, equity focused, and a relevant institution that aids in the capacity-building of our students.
Deep learning is personal, characterized by student agency, connections to self and intercultural identity, the development of skills, knowledge, self-confidence, and self-efficacy through inquiry. It is about relationships and the human desire to connect with others to do good. Fullan et al. (as cited in Crowley, 2018)
Recommendations for reimagined learning environments:
- Create learning driven by curiosity where “learners are infiltrators and shapers of the future” by working on real issues of relevance to themselves and the world.
- Teach students to be problem designers, shifting from thinking of opinions of “what is” to thinking of proposals of “what could be.”
- Pose problems in which students can be involved, not just asked to solve.
- Provide opportunities for finding solutions to new ambiguities.
- Foster living as a perpetual amateur where learning is about taking risks and is a lifelong venture.
- Believe students will exceed all our expectations—where we teach them not to be scared (of the unknown) but rather to be curious.
- Recognize that innovation and creativity are innate to every human being.
The college values the exchange of ideas and lively debate that will allow students, faculty, and staff to come together in an engaged and informed conversation. Transformational problem solving looks at issues from multiple perspectives and provides space for the acknowledgment of the past and envisioning of the future as a necessary ingredient for the reframing of the present. It necessitates the need to listen, build trust, not rush to judgment, and have the difficult conversations.