Mission, Shared Values, and Philosophies

Mission - Why we exist.

To improve people’s lives through learning. Through our decisions and actions we empower:

  • Students to reach their goals in an equitable and welcoming environment;
  • Employees to thrive and fully use their collective talents; and
  • Our Community to transform and enrich the world.

Shared Values - What we believe.

These values are shared among employees and reflect what we expect from one another to shape our work experience.


We strive to offer the highest level of excellence in our programs and services to achieve our Vision. We use research-based methods to strengthen curriculum and deliver high-quality learning-centered instruction and services.

Freedom of Inquiry

We believe learning is most engaging and viable when a spirit of free inquiry exists, allowing everyone the freedom to explore new and diverse ideas and to express their interests and attitudes. We strive to create environments where innovation and inquiry flourish.

Ethical Practices

We are responsible to carry out our work with honesty and integrity. Our Vision, not personal interests, guides our decisions and actions so that they will be enacted out of service to our students and community members.


As a public institution, we commit to making the best use of resources. We are transparent in measurement and reporting, seek feedback from others, accept responsibility for our decisions and actions, and continuously improve our practices.


We are committed to serving students, employees, and community members. The decisions and actions we undertake in carrying out our Vision derive from working cooperatively with all stakeholders.

Holistic Approach

As stewards of people’s learning, we understand their perspectives and we use our insight and compassion to support them through challenging times. We believe in educating and supporting the whole person through a comprehensive approach that addresses the emotional, social, ethical, and academic needs of students, employees, and community members.

Philosophies - How we approach our work.

These philosophies serve as our ethical compass and the lens through which we look when making decisions.


Learning is a lifelong process that empowers individuals.

Learning is the primary driver behind our Mission and Vision. Learning empowers individuals to improve their own lives as well as the economic, social, and cultural conditions of local and global communities. In partnership with faculty, we envision learning to be a lifelong process of intellectual and personal growth that allows individuals to expand their depth of knowledge, skills, and experiences.


Equity is ensuring everyone receives what they need to be successful.

At its core, ECC’s Mission to improve people’s lives through learning is a recognition that, as a community college, we are successful only when we provide access to quality education and appropriate, equitable support in an inclusive environment to all members of our community. We believe in the intentional and meaningful inclusion of diverse experiences, backgrounds, and social identities in all aspects of the college. We further believe this is a moral imperative which deepens and enriches the educational and workplace experience for everyone.


Diversity is all expressions of humanity.

ECC recognizes that diversity is an invaluable resource for teaching, learning, and fostering personal growth. The pursuit of excellence requires a diverse and representative community. The college strives to cultivate a safe environment that represents our extensive network and reflects all expressions of humanity. It is imperative that all communities are full participants in the construction of knowledge and diversity of thought.


Inclusion is valuing what makes us unique.

ECC recognizes and values its communities’ social, cultural, and geographical differences. The college is committed to ensuring these differences are represented and acknowledged throughout the campus at every level. Inclusion is not only a moral imperative but also serves to enrich and strengthen the experiences of students and employees in our institution. We commit to making our philosophy of inclusivity prominent in all institutional decisions.


Justice is ensuring our structures and systems honor individual rights.

To build on equity, respect diversity, and value inclusion, ECC acknowledges and appreciates that everyone has inalienable and inborn rights to live, learn, and grow. We must be vigilant and proactive about issues that would detract from or interfere with the rights of every person. We are aware of the harmful effects of racial inequalities, systemic poverty, and other societal barriers on members of our community. As such, the college commits to:

  • Ongoing intentional examination of college resources, policies, and procedures;
  • Challenging and dismantling structures, systems, and attitudes that perpetuate inequities;
  • Restructuring and rebuilding in just ways that welcome multiple identities and lived experiences; and
  • Advocating for full and equal participation for all, particularly those who are minoritized and historically underrepresented.