2019-2020 Policy Library 
    Jul 10, 2020  
2019-2020 Policy Library

Chapter 1 Mission and History of Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Colleges

1.1 Mission of Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is a highly-selective, independent, coeducational, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college. Its mission, within the mutually supportive framework of The Claremont Colleges, is to educate its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions, and to support faculty and student scholarship that contribute to intellectual vitality and the understanding of public policy issues. The College pursues this mission by providing a liberal arts education that emphasizes economics and political science, a professoriat that is dedicated to effective undergraduate teaching, a close student-teacher relationship that fosters critical inquiry, an active residential and intellectual environment that promotes responsible citizenship, and a program of research institutes and scholarly support that makes possible a faculty of teacher-scholars.

To execute our mission, we seek to enroll a diverse student body, to recruit a diverse faculty and staff, and to place great value on respect for differences. (See the Statement on Diversity and the Mission of Claremont McKenna College.)

1.2 History of the College

Established in 1946, Claremont McKenna College has a curricular emphasis on economics, government, and public affairs. Unlike many other colleges, which champion either a traditional liberal arts education or the acquisition of professional and technical skills, CMC builds bridges between the two. By combining the intellectual breadth of the liberal arts with the more pragmatic concerns of public affairs, based on principles established by founding President George C. S. Benson, CMC helps students acquire the vision, skills, and values they will need to lead society and to honor the Claremont McKenna College motto: “Crescit cum commercio civitas” (Civilization prospers with commerce).

Originally founded as Claremont Men’s College, CMC became coeducational in 1976 and changed its name to Claremont McKenna College in 1981 in honor of one of its founding trustees, Donald C. McKenna. CMC formed academic departments in the late 1960s and currently has twelve departments. It offers more than three dozen academic programs. CMC also houses eleven on-campus research institutes, offering students and faculty the unique opportunity to merge research, teaching and learning.

Claremont McKenna College is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States, and is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Education and the United States Department of Education.

1.3 The Claremont Colleges

From its founding, CMC was part of the unique plan conceived by James Blaisdell, the President of Pomona College, to form a group of institutions, called The Claremont Colleges, with common resources. The Claremont Colleges now consists of a consortium of five undergraduate colleges, two graduate institutions, and a central organization that provides services shared by all students, faculty, and staff. Based on the Oxford/Cambridge model, The Claremont Colleges represent the only planned consortium in the United States, offering CMC students diverse opportunities and resources typically only found at much larger universities. The eight institutions support and strengthen each other to become more than the sum of their parts and all but one are located on adjacent campuses. The Colleges are nationally and internationally renowned for academic excellence. The Consortium includes Pomona College, the founding institution (established in 1887), Claremont Graduate University (1925), The Claremont Colleges Services (1925), Scripps College (1926), Claremont McKenna College (1946), Harvey Mudd College (1955), Pitzer College (1963), and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science (1997). The Colleges not only share a library system, athletic facilities, and extracurricular activities, but also offer joint academic programs and cross-registration in courses. CMC faculty will often find that at least a few of their students come from other Claremont colleges. Currently the consortium has over 6,300 students and a combined faculty and staff of over 3,300 members. More than 2,500 courses are available to students in Claremont.

1.4 The Claremont Colleges Services

The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS), founded in 1925 as the Claremont University Consortium, is the central coordinating institution of The Claremont Colleges. As such, TCCS provides common services for the member institutions. These services include academic support operations such as the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, Huntley Bookstore, and the Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station. Student-related central services include the Offices of Black Student Affairs and Chicano Latino Student Affairs, the Monsour Counseling Center, Student Health Service, and International Place (operated on the CMC campus). Other central services include Campus Safety, Central Facilities, Central Mail Services, Financial Services, Information Services, Benefits Administration, and the Telephone Office. Each institution operates independently in fund raising, hiring staff, selecting students, devising curricula, and awarding degrees. There is a Chief Executive Officer who manages TCCS operations and serves under the Council of Presidents of The Claremont Colleges. Administratively, the college presidents form the Council of The Claremont Colleges; the deans of the faculty form an Academic Deans Committee; and the deans of students collaborate in the Student Deans Committee. The Colleges’ registrars also participate in an intercollegiate council. The chairs of these committees revolve regularly among the members.

Cooperation among academic programs at the Claremont Colleges is a hallmark of our consortium. The level of cooperation may vary, depending on the program and intercollegiate funding agreements. Some of the formally cooperative programs in Claremont include modern languages, ethnic and regional studies programs, media studies, and neuroscience. Cooperation and coordination also occurs among programs with less formal agreements to minimize duplication of course offerings, maximize breadth of study, and facilitate access to cross-registration.