Institutional vision is a philosophical template”a concept of what, at its best, a college or university is like and the kinds of human beings that institution is attempting to cultivate. A content analysis of the institutional vision of a nation-wide sample of Catholic schools was performed and key linguistic components found to constitute a well conceived, viable, and easily diffused mission and vision were isolated. The prevalence of these components in comparison to other types of religious schools and secular four-year institutions is discussed. Findings suggest that Catholic schools are vision-driven institutions that communicate their priorities and defining characteristics by employing clear, highly optimistic, and inspirational language. They do little to articulate effectively a unification among the community of students, faculty, and staff, or coordinate their vision of the institution with that of the administration. They are less likely than other types of religious and secular schools to address the pragmatic benefits of their education.

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