Mission and Goals
Paul Smith's College: Mission and Goals
Mission Statement. Paul Smith's College actively educates students to become productive citizens by combining experiential and traditional instruction through our commitment to discovery, discipline, and creativity. Our Paul Smith's College community, residing within the Adirondack Park, promotes economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Strategic Goal. We are a school of opportunity, providing students with the opportunity to become empowered leaders, successful professionals, engaged cultural, environmental and global citizens, respectful collaborators, and active learners capable of determining and taking responsibility for their own future.
Vision Statement. Paul Smith's College will be recognized for culturally, environmentally and globally active citizenship through experiential education.
All Paul Smith's College students will be able to:
- Communicate organized and informed ideas clearly and persuasively to diverse audiences in writing.
- Apply quantitative and mathematical methods and models to develop potential solutions to real-world problems.
- Generate meaning by using appropriate research methodologies to collect, analyze, evaluate and synthesize data.
- Collaborate, interact and empathize with individuals and groups who represent diverse cultures, and contemporary and historic perspectives.
- Creatively express an informed point of view regarding human experience, cultures, values, and choices in a manner appropriate to audience and context.
The Bachelor of Science in Forestry Program at Paul Smith's College: Mission and Goals
The Forestry BS provides students with a strong theoretical and experiential forest science framework built on a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and general education, consisting of a college core that includes courses in English composition, mathematics, science, and social science/humanities. Forestry education at Paul Smiths College prepares students for careers in forest science and management in a supportive, student-centered learning environment that emphasizes the connection between theoretical and experiential learning and encourages curiosity, critical thinking, and personal development.
Overall, the Forestry BS degree at Paul Smith's College develops students (a) with a broad foundation in the liberal arts; and (b) with a broad knowledge of forest science and forestry practices and technical skills that will be of direct and immediate utility to our graduates. The goal of the Bachelor of Science in Forestry is to:
- Prepare students for careers in the diverse field of forestry;
- Develop broadly educated leaders in forest science, sustainability, and management;
- Take advantage of our location among over 14,000 acres of college-owned and managed forests, lakes, and wetlands to offer the best academic and experiential learning opportunities;
- Promote scholarship, curiosity, and creativity in forest science and forestry practice;
- Create and maintain an environment of student-centered forestry education that enhances the learning and success of all students;
- Provide meaningful opportunities for international study, community service, and co-curricular learning related to forestry and the environment; and
- Develop, promote, and implement strategic and tactical approaches to the conduct and management of the Forestry Program and the School of Forestry and Natural Resources (SFNR) that are consistent with the college’s strategic plan.
The Bachelor of Science in Forestry Program at Paul Smith’s College: Program Development and Accreditation Standards
The Society of American Foresters (SAF), the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States, defines forestry as:
"The profession embracing the science, art, and practice of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources for human benefit and in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values. The broad field of forestry consists of those biological, quantitative, managerial, and social sciences that are applied to forest management and conservation including such specialized fields as agro-forestry, urban forestry, industrial forestry, non-industrial forestry, and wilderness and recreation forestry." (Helms, 1998)
In essence, the SFNR views forestry as the science dedicated to describing and understanding society's relationship to forests. The interconnectedness between forest resources and society is reflected in our forestry curricula in courses ranging from silviculture to forest policy and mensuration to forest economics, as well as in course content in courses such as Timber Harvesting and Advanced Silviculture. The School of Forestry and Natural Resources engages in the continual improvement of its curricula based on input from SFNR faculty and students, advisory boards, and recommendations from the SAF.
In addition, the SFNR recognizes that forest science and management are becoming increasingly complex and that a wide range of other skills and knowledge, including communications and critical thinking, are needed, especially if our graduates are to advance to positions in natural resource stewardship and leadership. SFNR Forestry Program goals, objectives, and curricula reflect adherence to several sources of program philosophy and oversight, including: the general goals and values associated with the college’s liberal arts foundations and philosophy of participatory learning; specific forestry program objectives; and recognition and accreditation standards of the SAF.