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Exploring the Missions of Selective Colleges and Universities

Exploring the Missions of Selective Colleges and Universities

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This investigation examines materials and information related to institutional missions found on the websites of the top ten most selective colleges and universities the United States: Harvard University, Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Columbia University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, University of California at Berkeley, and University of California at Los Angeles (Ohio State University was also examined because it is relevant to the Kirwan Institute).

The five most prevalent themes include: 1) advancing knowledge to serve society; 2) service to the local, national, and global communities; 3) promoting a diverse environment; 4) equitable access to the university; and 5) developing leaders for civic engagement. A literature search was conducted to contextualize these themes within the framework of American higher education.