TitleMSU DegreeWorks Support Request Date2012-11-30
RequestorBonnie Ashley Phone406.994-2603
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts The direct assistance is to the Registrar and Provost offices as well as the Academic Advising Centers but utilized by all advisors and students.
Proposed Dates Start: Spring 2013 End: Spring 2014
Creates a fixed-term 1.0 FTE position designed to assist all four MSU campuses with the continued development of the DegreeWorks software. In the near future, MSU will install the newest software version of DegreeWorks which contains substantial technical upgrades as well as new features. One of the more significant features is the Academic ĎPlansí component which will allow departments to develop templates to outline semester-by-semester course recommendations that help to ensure timely degree completion. Plans also allows a student to develop individualized templates for his or her unique route-to-degree completion planning and tracking.
This proposal supports the following MSU Strategic Plan Objective:
L.2 Increase graduation rates at MSU.
DegreeWorks is designed to assist students and advisors in planning toward graduation allowing students and faculty to more easily determine how each semester's coursework affects graduation plans. The implementation of "Plans" which is a significant part of this proposal provides a robust tool enabling the discussion to shift from planning next semester's classes, to planning a complete path to degree.
Both planning features address MSUís strategic goal to increase access and affordability, helping to shorten time to degree with clear & effective planning, while inherently decreasing the student debt load in that process.

Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries 33000             
Benefits 14170             
Materials & Supplies 2000             
Travel 5000             
Contracted Services              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 54170     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Fundamentally, this proposal funds one full time person for one year.  The travel allows this person to spend significant time at each MSU campus as he or she assists in maximizing the usefulness of DegreeWorks in every instance.

Describe the Proposal

This proposal creates a fixed-term, full-time position designed to assist all four MSU campuses with Phase II of the DegreeWorks implementation.

 In the near future MSU will install the newest version of DegreeWorks (version 4.1.1) which involves  substantial technical upgrades with new features.  One of the most significant features is academic “Plans”  which allows departments to develop program specific templates to outline semester by semester course recommendations to ensure timely degree completion.   “Plans” also allows a student to develop individualized templates for his or her unique route to degree completion.

 This position would provide direct support to each of the four MSU campuses through Phase II of the DegreeWorks implementation.  Under direction of the DegreeWorks Implementation Team and Project Director, this position will provide the following services:

  • Create academic ‘Plans’ in DegreeWorks for specific departments on each campus AND instruct faculty and staff in methodology to create and modify academic plan templates in the future.
  • Input course substitutions and exceptions from current formats into DegreeWorks on each of the four MSU campuses
  • Provide in-person training for DegreeWorks and develop video instructional tools for faculty, students, and staff
  • Coordinate DegreeWorks scribe (coding) solutions between campuses
  • Work to maximize uniformity in DegreeWorks application between the 4 MSU campuses, to significantly improve long-term maintenance of the software

This position is designed to ensure that each of the 4 MSU campuses maximizes the value-added new features of DegreeWorks to students, faculty and staff through direct functional support.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

This proposal helps to develop a skill set that will be valuable in meeting key components of MSU’s Strategic Plan in both the short term,and in long range planning and product improvement.  The support developed by this position will be a significant resource for the MSU 4 campus advising communities and student populations.  This fixed term position will effectively train the trainers, working with staff, faculty and advisors to continue the development and academic program specific templates for individualized student academic ‘Plans’.

Implementation Plan

Spring2013 - Advertise, select and hire 

Summer  2013 - visit each campus, and install exceptions and substitutions across the MSU system: work alongside registrar’s office staff to finalize any scribing issues; assist registrar’s office staff in new catalog upgrades to curriculum in DW

Fall 2013 - develop ‘Plan’ templates for degrees across the MSU system; work  directly with faculty and advisors on specific academic program information:  develop instructional tools and provide training across all four MSU campuses; finalize ‘Plans’ and resolve any remaining scribing (coding) issues

Assessment Plan

Assessment will be specific to the individual’s performance, and demonstrated progress in developing instructional tools, training and implementation of ‘Plans’ new features as indicated in the Implementation Plan. 

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

This proposal is for a one year fixed term appointment contingent on funding approval.

Dean/Director: Bonnie Ashley (
Executive/VP: James Rimpau (