The vision of the founders of Sauk Valley College was established in the bedrock of the traditional values of a rural and industrial area that desired a college to improve the community and to educate the “baby boomer” generation that was swelling the local public school systems. The earliest goal of the proposed institution, according to the 1964 Citizens Advisory Committee recommendation for its establishment was to “promote maximum development of all citizens through the availability of educational resources, without arbitrary barriers or restrictions” (Out of the Prairie, p. 7 ).
More than 45 years later, the community that sustains Sauk Valley Community College is much different than that of the founders or anything they could have foreseen: only a few manufacturers remain and the many small farms have been gathered into fewer, larger operations. School districts decline in size while the average age of the population increases (Profile). But as steadfast as the river that forms the southern edge of the campus, the college continues to carry out its mission to serve. Sauk’s current version of its Mission Statement, deliberated by the college community and enacted by the Board of Trustees, is accompanied by a statement of its Vision:
The Mission Statement tells us what we should be as an institution and what we should do. The Vision Statement defines what we should strive to become. Together, these statements drive the planning process, providing the foundation for establishing goals and for evaluating whether changes are achieving them. These statements set a standard against which all of our systems, procedures, decisions, and activities may be measured.
Sauk Valley Community College asserts that it fulfills the expectation of the Higher Learning Commission that a clear mission provides the foundation upon which the entire organization builds and against which the integrity of the entire institution can be ascertained.