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: We are lifelong learners; learning is foundational to a thriving community and is at the center of all we do.
  • Integrity: We act with the highest degree of ethics, personal responsibility, fairness and openness ensuring that we match our actions with our words.
  • Collaboration: We embrace co-creative solutions and celebrate the joy of working together, empowering each other and nurturing community partnerships for the benefit of our learners.
  • Respect: We demonstrate mutual regard and appreciation for one another to assure a culture of trust.
  • Inclusion: We foster belonging and build organizational capacity that celebrates diversity and promotes equity.
  • Innovation: We are agile, imaginative and forward thinking, taking risks to meet future needs of the college and our communities.
  • Stewardship: We practice stewardship by investing responsibly in the human, physical, financial and environmental resources entrusted to our care.
  • Excellence: We commit to the highest standards of quality and service, and to exceeding the expectations of our learners and communities through continuous improvement.

(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 goals and demonstrating competence in Institutional Effectiveness Criteria.

  • Future-Focused Education: Enhance offerings through flexible academic pathways, innovative instructional delivery models and relevant, hands-on educational experiences to empower global learners for the future.
  • Student Engagement and Success: Develop and deliver comprehensive support services, robust engagement opportunities and a vibrant collegiate experience to foster learner success, goal completion and employability.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Cultivate an inclusive environment that fosters a sense of belonging and delivers equitable opportunities so all are able to thrive and succeed.
  • Community Partnerships and Engagement: Enhance collaborations that advance community engagement, economic and workforce development and innovative opportunities for lifelong learning.
  • Institutional Distinction and Sustainability: Leverage distinctive programs that strengthen institutional sustainability and expand global connections for our learners and communities.

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