Empire State College Core Values

The core values of SUNY Empire State College reflect the commitments of a dynamic, participatory and experimenting institution accessible and dedicated to the needs of a richly diverse adult student body. These values are woven into the decisions we make about what we choose to do, how we carry out our work in all parts of the institution, and how we judge the outcome of our individual and collective efforts. More than a claim about what we have already attained, the core values support our continuing inquiry about what learning means and how it occurs.

We value learning-mentoring goals that:

  • respond to the academic, professional and personal needs of each student;
  • identify and build upon students' existing knowledge and skills;
  • sustain life-long curiosity and critical inquiry;
  • provide students with skills, insights and competencies that support successful college study.

We value learning-mentoring processes that:

  • emphasize dialogue and collaborative approaches to study;
  • support critical exploration of knowledge and experience;
  • provide opportunities for active, reflective and creative academic engagement.

We value learning-mentoring modes that:

  • respond to a wide array of student styles, levels, interests and circumstances;
  • foster self-direction, independence and reflective inquiry;
  • provide opportunities for ongoing questioning and revising;
  • reflect innovation and research.

We value a learning-mentoring community that:

  • defines each member as a learner, encouraging and appreciating his/her distinctive contributions;
  • recognizes that learning occurs in multiple communities, environments and relationships as well as in formal academic settings;
  • attracts, respects and is enriched by a wide range of people, ideas, perspectives and experiences.

We value a learning-mentoring organization and culture that:

  • invites collaboration in the multiple contexts of our work;
  • fosters innovation and experimentation;
  • develops structures and policies that encourage active participation of all constituents in decision-making processes;
  • advocates for the interests of adult learners in a variety of academic and civic forums.

History of the Core Values Statement