Mission and Values

Pitzer College gates looking eastward.

Mission Statement

Pitzer College produces engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world through an academically rigorous, interdisciplinary liberal arts education emphasizing social justice, intercultural understanding and environmental sensitivity. The meaningful participation of students, faculty and staff in college governance and academic program design is a Pitzer core value. Our community thrives within the mutually supportive framework of The Claremont Colleges, which provide an unsurpassed breadth of academic, athletic and social opportunities.

Pitzer Core Values

At Pitzer, five core values distinguish our approach to education:

  • Social Responsibility: At Pitzer, students spend four years examining the ethical implications of knowledge and individual responsibility in making the world better. They learn to evaluate the impact of individual and collective actions manifested in social and political policies.
  • Intercultural Understanding: Individual perspective and approach to the world are informed by the culture in which one resides.  Intercultural Understanding enables Pitzer students to comprehend issues and events from cultural lenses beyond their own. From Los Angeles to Botswana to Nepal, Pitzer students are educated to thrive and succeed in an ever-changing global community.
  • Interdisciplinary Learning: Pitzer College students are taught to challenge traditional ways of learning and to make immediate connections between academic disciplines. Faculty is organized by field groups instead of traditional academic departments. Scientists, sociologists, historians, writers and artists influence each other’s work and often teach courses together.
  • Student Engagement: Pitzer’s unique curriculum allows students the flexibility to direct their own educational and career paths by creating their own majors. In addition, students are active members of college governance – making decisions on everything from academic policies and faculty and staff hiring to public art displays and building design.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Sensitivity for and preservation of the environment is a key value of Pitzer College.  Campus landscaping utilizes drought-resistant, native plants and the College is proud of its many LEED-certified sustainable buildings. Students shape their daily activities, programming and studies to ensure they leave the environment and the world stronger than how they found it. Students interested in environmental issues will find Pitzer an exciting living and learning laboratory.

Community Values

These aspirations for all members of our community are not enforceable requirements but rather ideals that promote ethical practices in a diverse community built upon trust.

Community – We come together to live and work in a shared learning environment where every member is valued, respected, and entitled to dignity and honor founded upon the following rights and responsibilities:
Diversity  – We learn from the rich and complex histories, view points, and life experiences in our community. We value and celebrate the synergy created by our differences and similarities.
Dialogue  – We support the thoughtful exchange of ideas to increase understanding and awareness, and to work across difference without intimidation. We have the right to be heard and the responsibility to listen. Communication, even at its most vigorous, should be respectful and without the intent to harm.
Inquiry – We prize the powerful possibilities of learning and the principles reflected in our educational objectives including our dedication to access and justice, civic involvement and environmental sustainability, and our respect for pluralism, freedom of expression, and the sustained effort necessary for achieving academic excellence.
Action –These values are mere words until we practice them. We expect to see them evidenced, hear them named, debate their integrity, and demand change on their behalf. We are committed to the hard work and dedication this will demand.

This is a living document to be revisited annually by the community to affirm and measure its progress; to suggest new aspirations; and to support demands for institutional change. We prize the conversation, and even tension, that may arise from contradictions at the heart of these values, for this is where they first might inspire action.