By MarJean Knokey, former director, Columbia College-Whidbey Island

Mission Statement: Columbia College improves lives by providing quality education to both traditional and non-traditional students, helping them achieve their true potential.

Vision Statement: Our vision is to be a highly innovative institution of higher education, dedicated to excellence in both its traditional and nontraditional programs nationwide.

Values Statement: We believe all students deserve access to affordable quality education. We believe higher learning should be individualized, innovative and flexible. We believe a liberal arts core curriculum produces globally engaged citizens who are creative, curious and ethical. We believe people of all beliefs and backgrounds should engage in civil discourse and discovery.

Peruse the websites of colleges and university nationwide and you will most likely skip to degree programs, accreditation, admission procedures, financial aid, career services, student success. What you most likely will not do is consider the important mission, vision, and values statements of the institution or read the rules and procedures governing students.

MarJean Knokey, Whidbey Iland
MarJean Knokey, former director, Columbia College-Whidbey Island

Institutions work hard to present their best light… to catch your attention, to stick in your consciousness so that you will consider their programs; however, it is paramount to understand the culture, mission, vision and values of the institution you are considering. Which is why you can access so much information from the Columbia College website, we want you to know all about us. On the other hand, if you visit a website that requires your information prior to sharing any information about the institution, you should hit pause. Consider their goal? The answer may be simple, to gather your information and to fill your mailbox with materials, most likely unsolicited.

If you are a current student check out all parts of our website, know the rules and regulations, check out scholarship opportunities, be educated on the opportunities available. If you are a prospective student, check out the face of the institution presented on to ensure you are making the best decision for your educational goals, and if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the NS Everett ((425) 259-4481) and Marysville ((360) 653-4480) locations for information.