• USC logo Mission, Vision & Beliefs
    Part of the process of developing a strategic plan is creating a mission statement, a vision statement, a list of shared beliefs or values, and a list of goals. Click here to read the "Creating a Clear, Shared Focus:  Shared Beliefs, Vision Statement, Mission Statement and District Goals" as developed in 2008 by the USCSD Strategic Plan Committee.

    Outlined below are the state guidelines for schools to use when developing a strategic plan.
    1. A Mission statement describes who you are and what you do; however, more fundamentally, it defines the purpose of your organization as a whole. Unlike a Vision statement (which answers the question "What do we want for our future?"), a Mission statement addresses the question "Why do we exist?". When creating your Mission statement, it is helpful to begin your responses to that question with the infinitive "to" followed by an action verb such as "provide" or "foster".

    2. A Vision statement describes your vision for the future if your organization is successful in its mission. Meant to inspire, the Vision statement provides a vivid portrayal of a bright future; however, its aspirations should be realistic and clear. When creating your Vision statement, it is helpful to begin your responses to the question "What do we want for our future?" with the preposition "for" as in "for all students to…".

    3. Shared Values (Beliefs) are the core tenets shared by your stakeholders that drive your organization's culture and commitment. Unlike the Mission statement (which answers the question "Who are we?" by describing what you do), a Shared Values statement addresses the question "Who are we?" by examining what you believe. When creating your Shared Values statement, it is helpful to begin your responses to the question "What do we believe?" with the relative pronoun "that" followed by a declarative sentence as in "that all students can…".

    4. Developing goals is a way for you to break down that vision into specific and measurable terms. Often referred to as SMART goals, Specific and Measurable goals are also characterized as being Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. Other keywords may be used for the SMART acronym and other acronyms may be used in your stragic planning model (e.g., DUMB goals), but a common element to goal development is measure. When developing goals, remember to:
    • Align your goals to your Vision,
    • Create goals that are appropriate to your organization as a whole,
    • Limit your goals to a manageable number, and
    • Establish methods for determining progress towards the attainment of your goals (performance indicators).