The integration of mission in the co-curriculum: A case study of Messiah College

Margaret J McKeon, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation is about the integration of mission and values into the co-curriculum. Interest in the topic grew out of the author's experience of working with students at a Catholic liberal arts college. The Catholic mission and values of the college were expected to guide the development and implementation of programs and activities offered to students. In order to develop a co-curricular program that integrated the mission and values of the college, the author sought to find a model that could be adapted to the college. A review of the literature indicated that mission has been studied on many levels within academia. The preponderance of research has focused on the mission from an institutional or organizational perspective. Some authors reported that no college has successfully integrated the mission into the curricular and co-curricular program. Chickering, Astin, Kuh and Pascarella have promoted the importance of student engagement and the integration of curricular and co-curricular programs. NASPA and ACPA have called for an integration of academic learning and student development. Ernest Boyer encouraged higher education to return to its roots and to educate the whole person by developing strong communities and bridging the gap between the curricular and co-curricular programs. Faith based colleges such as Messiah are called to integrate mission, values and faith into the co-curricular program. The Coalition of Christian Colleges also calls for the curricula and co-curricular programs to be integrated. Messiah College through its organizational and governance structure offers a model that integrates mission, values and the curricular and co-curricular programs. Administrators, faculty and student affairs professionals may find Messiah's model of integration through the Community of Educators to be adaptable to their colleges. The study presents Messiah's successes and challenges while offering areas for future research.

Subject Area

Higher education

Recommended Citation

McKeon, Margaret J, "The integration of mission in the co-curriculum: A case study of Messiah College" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3209976.