Mission & Goals

Welcome from W. Houston Dougharty, Vice President for Student Affairs

Welcome to Student Affairs at Grinnell! We are staff members and students who are committed to your success and these web pages are designed to help you know about us and our intentional, student-centered programs and advocacy. My student affairs colleagues and I stand ready to do all we can to challenge and support all Grinnell students. You are welcome to be in touch with me at sa[at]grinnell[dot]edu or call Student Affairs at 641-269-3700. Below is our mission, values and vision for The Division of Student Affairs (DSA).

DSA Mission:

The Division of Student Affairs advances the College mission and strategic plan by intentionally fostering and proactively promoting student learning and development within our residential liberal arts college community, where self governance and personal responsibility are hallmarks. We achieve our mission by embracing our core values.

DSA Core Values:

We value:

  • Student-centeredness
  • Diversity, social justice, and global citizenship
  • Being curious, learning, thinking critically, reflecting, and pursuing passions
  • Relationships, collaboration, and partnerships
  • Providing challenge, support, empowerment, and accountability to students and colleagues
  • Integrity, honesty, authenticity, well-being, and personal responsibility
  • Hard work, dedication, and positivity

DSA Vision:

The Division of Student Affairs aspires to be a nationally recognized model, comprising exemplary, collaborative, and student-centered educators, who challenge students as they discover their potential, achieve excellence, and serve the common good.

DSA Desired Learning Outcomes:

The Division of Student Affairs staff engage Grinnell College students to foster personal growth and learning outside of the classroom. We do so through our programs, services, and resources; mentoring, advising, and counseling; and facilitating student self governance in our residential community. As a result of interacting with Student Affairs educators, students will:

Develop Intrapersonal Skills

  • learn behaviors, attitudes, and skills that promote well-being, resilience, and personal safety and that reduce risk to self and others
  • learn to be self-reliant, appropriately assertive, and resourceful so that they may be their own advocates

Value Diversity, Social Justice, and Global Citizenship

  • learn to recognize, understand, and appreciate difference while respecting the ideas and dignity of all
  • learn to challenge and work productively against injustices, locally and globally
  • learn to actively engage with and positively affect the communities of which they are members, including identity-based groups, residential self-governing campus, City of Grinnell, nation, and world

Think Critically

  • learn to challenge assumptions and consider alternative perspectives
  • learn to apply existing knowledge and experience to new situations

Relate to Others

  • develop the capacity to establish healthy, mutually-beneficial relationships with others
  • enhance communication skills to effectively listen, reflect, and convey ideas
  • develop behavioral maturity and awareness of how their actions impact individuals or groups, and manage interpersonal conflicts effectively and civilly

Live with Integrity

  • learn to identify values and principles in decision making and to act in congruence with their beliefs
  • enhance leadership skills by collaborating with others to reach their goals and positively effect change

We intend that students develop, practice, and integrate these competencies into their lives at Grinnell and beyond.