Mission, Vision & Values

Northwestern Michigan College was the first comprehensive community college chartered in the State of Michigan. Since its founding in 1951, NMC has provided quality, affordable access to higher education for learners of all ages and backgrounds. NMC is integrally woven into the economic, social and cultural fabric of the region, providing leadership and support for key initiatives that shape our communities and prepare our learners for rich and meaningful lives.


We deliver lifelong learning opportunities to transform lives and enrich our communities.

(NMC Board Policy C-100.00)


We aspire to be a global community where all learners unlock their full potential.

(NMC Board Policy C-101.00)


Our individual and collective efforts create the legacy of NMC. In order to achieve our mission, we are individually committed and responsible to live these values:

  • Learning is at the center of all we strive to achieve. It is the foundation upon which an enlightened citizenry and a dynamic community are built and is a lifelong process in which we are all engaged.
  • We will continuously improve the learning experience and its global relevance to those we serve through innovation, agility and thoughtful risk-taking.
  • Our actions are governed by the highest degree of ethics, integrity and personal responsibility, exhibited through transparency, openness and trust.
  • We each will practice responsible stewardship for the human, physical, financial and environmental resources entrusted to our care.
  • Each of us will strive to exceed expectations for quality and service in all that we do.
  • We value all people and will invest in their personal and professional growth and development.
  • We will exhibit foresight by monitoring the changing world around us and taking actions today that prepare us to meet future needs of our communities.
  • We will seek others who share our vision and values, and collaborate with them on behalf of our communities.

(NMC Board Policy C-102.00)


To meet our mission, we are fully engaged in each of the following purposes, with the result that our
learners meet their goal(s) of being college-ready, transfer-ready, career-ready and ready for lifelong-learning:

  • Associate degree, certificate and transfer education in liberal arts and sciences, and occupational studies
  • Career/occupational education and workforce development
  • Bachelor degrees in select programs
  • Cultural and personal enrichment
  • Baccalaureate and graduate program facilitation
  • Regional economic development

(NMC Board Policy C-103.00)

Strategic Directions

In order to accomplish NMC's stated Mission, Vision, and Purposes, organizational activities focus on achieving the following strategic directions and demonstrating competence in Institutional Effectiveness Criteria.

  1. Ensure that NMC learners are prepared for success in a global society and economy.
  2. Establish national and international competencies and provide leadership in select educational areas connected to the regional economy and assets:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Arts and Culture
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Fresh Water
    • Health Care
    • Renewable Energy and Sustainability
    • Value-Added Agriculture
  3. Deliver learning through a networked workforce.
  4. Establish lifelong relationships with learners.
  5. Transcribe most learning to establish credentials of value.

Institutional Effectiveness Criteria

  1. Scholarship, Enrichment and Workforce: Helping Students Learn
  2. Partnership:
    1. Economic Development and Community Involvement
    2. Building Collaborative Relationships
  3. Champion:
    1. Understanding Student and Stakeholder Needs
    2. Supporting Organizational Operations
  4. Culture: Valuing People
  5. Operations:
    1. Leading and Communicating
    2. Measuring Effectiveness
    3. Planning Continuous Improvement