This is an archived copy of the 2018-2019 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Mission Statement

Sierra College provides an academic environment that is challenging and supportive for students of diverse backgrounds, needs, abilities, and goals with a focus on access, equity, student-centered learning, and achievement. The college is committed to practicing diversity and inclusion, and recognizes that a diverse and inclusive curriculum and workforce promotes its educational goals and values. Institutional learning outcomes guide the college’s programs and services, encouraging students to identify and expand their potential by developing knowledge, skills, and values to be fully engaged and contributing members of the global community. Sierra prepares students by offering Associate’s and transfer degrees, certificates, career and technical education, foundational skills, as well as lifelong learning and enrichment.

Vision Statement

We will challenge ourselves and our community to become fulfilled citizens in a global environment by contributing to and engaging in the thoughtful application of knowledge guided by respect for ­others and the world in which we live.

Core Values

The following core values will establish our ethical principles and will guide our institutional ­decision-making. Sierra Col­lege will:

  1. Support and model excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and creativity.
  2. Provide the tools for continuing success in an ever-changing world.
  3. Provide and demonstrate the value of an inclusive and equitable community.
  4. Demonstrate collaboration in decision making.
  5. Foster active citizenship in our community, our nation, and our world.
  6. Create and nurture meaningful connections to our community.
  7. Recognize that students are active participants in their education.
  8. Support and demonstrate the sustainable use of all resources.

Reference: Sierra College Board Policy 1200

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes state the expected knowledge, skills, and abilities students possess as a result of utilizing services and completing a course, a certification or a degree. At Sierra College, instructional programs define student learning outcomes for their content areas and link them to courses, certificates and degrees. Student learning outcomes for individual programs may be found on the Sierra College website. Course student learning outcomes are included in the class schedule. The general education sequence supports students’ attainment of the college’s institutional outcomes, as do the student learning outcomes for student services. These outcomes align with our district mission, support our vision, and reflect our core values.

Institutional Outcomes

Students attend Sierra College for a variety of reasons. Based on their own educational goals and experiences, students will develop skills in the following areas:


  1. Read—Use active reading skills to comprehend and interpret information and ideas from a variety of texts, including academic prose (such as textbooks, literature, primary and secondary sources, and scholarly journals), technical documentation (such as manuals, charts, graphs, and reports), and media sources (such as newspapers, magazines, websites and online databases).
  2. Write—Communicate thoughts, ideas, and information effectively in writing in a variety of modes and for a variety of purposes. Accurately and persuasively convey information and ideas using logic, reasoning, and effective rhetorical strategies. Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, diction, style, and format.
  3. Listen—Demonstrate active listening skills in classroom, community, personal, and professional situations. Interpret and respond appropriately to verbal and nonverbal communication in a variety of contexts.
  4. Dialogue—Interact in a variety of dynamic situations by assessing the needs of the audience, creating a message, adapting to audience feedback, and responding appropriately. Through dialogue, build mutual understanding with individuals from various backgrounds.

Technology and Information Competency

  1. Demonstrate Technical Literacy—Efficiently and accurately use current computer and other relevant technologies to acquire, process, and present information. Organize and maintain records.
  2. Apply Technology—Use computer applications and other technologies in the learning process, real-world scenarios, and the workplace. Organize and maintain records.
  3. Access Information—Recognize the need for information; choose and narrow topic. Formulate search questions. Gather, organize, and discriminate among various sources of information.
  4. Evaluate and Examine Information—Filter information for relevance and accuracy. Apply criteria to determine credibility. Utilize data gathered to draw conclusions. Construct meaning from expanding and conflicting information. Credit sources according to academic standards.

Critical and Creative Thinking

  1. Inquire—Identify and understand questions or problems across disciplines and in practical applications. Develop hypotheses.
  2. Analyze—Investigate and assess the validity or relevance of arguments, claims, or contentions supported by data, observation, experience, testing or analysis. Distinguish fact from opinion. Develop an interpretation with an awareness of different views and reasoning.
  3. Problem Solve—Use sound reasoning to specify solutions and consequences. Test hypotheses using methods appropriate to the problem (such as the scientific method, mathematical reasoning, and principles of logic).
  4. Express—Acquire an appreciation and involvement in the creation or performance of works of fine art, craft, music, drama, and/or culture. Participate in games, sports, dance, and outdoor pursuits based on individual interests and capabilities.


  1. Ethics—Develop and apply ethical reasoning and decision making skills in academics, in the workplace, and in global and local communities. Value honesty, civility, empathy, interpersonal competence, social responsibility, and peaceful conflict resolution.
  2. Diversity—Recognize, understand, and respect diversity of belief, culture, value, ability, gender, race, age, and sexual orientation.
  3. Sustainability/Global Awareness—Develop values and behaviors that respect the natural environment. Evaluate social justice issues and identify social responsibilities to elicit social change. Recognize the ethical implications of political, social, and economic institutions.
  4. Personal Responsibility—Accept personal responsibility by recognizing oneself as the principal cause for opportunities and experiences. Effectively develop, apply and manage a healthy physical lifestyle and emotional well-being; self-motivate through planning and acting to accomplish goals. Recognize the value of life-long learning.