|MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES|
|Title||Return-to-Learn Program||Request Date||2012-12-07|
|Department||Office of Student Successfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cross Depts||Admissions Registrars Career & Internship Services Financial Aid Office of Financial Education Other Academic Departments|
|Proposed Dates||Start: March 1 2013||End: June 30 2015|
|There is a tremendous opportunity to bolster MSU graduation rates and create a more diverse student-body by on-boarding former and non-traditional students with a Return-to-Learn program housed in the Office of Student Success. According to the Lumina Foundation, over 134,000 working aged Montanans indicate they have some college but no degree. Further, 14,840 students have left MSU since 2002 without earning a degree. These statistics create a compelling reason to develop a program supporting student success for a unique population from “pre-entry” to graduation through a grassed-roots-effort encouraging Montanans to "Return-to-Learn."|
|This program meets at least two objectives in the strategic plan, first by developing a program supporting the goal to increase our graduation rates by targeting former students and inviting them to “Return-to-Learn” (Objective L.2 Increase Graduation Rates). Further, the proposal addresses Objective A.2 – Diversify the student body by specially targeting non-traditional students.|
|COST AND REQUIREMENTS|
|Funding Type:||One-Time Only Funding||Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding|
|FY13||FY14||FY15||Base ($)||OTO Startup ($)||FTE;|
|Materials & Supplies||4389||477||477|
|Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.||
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|Describe the Proposal|
College access and completion are important considerations in the knowledge economy. The goal established by the Department of Education and the Lumina Foundation (whose mission is to expand access and success in education beyond high school, particularly among adults, first-generation college going students, low-income students and students of color) is to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025.
This goal is a national priority because:
Montana State University can and should participate in this goal and expected outcomes on behalf of the citizens of the state of Montana by focusing its efforts on establishing a comprehensive Return-to-Learn Program supporting:
There is a tremendous opportunity to bolster MSU graduation rates and create a more diverse student-body by on-boarding non-traditional students. For instance, since 2002, 14,840 individuals have left MSU and did not graduate from another institution. We consider these former students to be “Return-to-Learn eligible” and a prime target for a special program that invites and supports former students with re-enrollment, learning strategies, financial education, tutoring, career coaching and other efforts to retain through graduation. New non-traditional students would also be eligible for this effort.
The Lumina Foundation also provides insight on the opportunity to provide educational opportunities for non-traditional students. According to their most recent publication (2011), 26.3% of the 512,000 working aged adults in Montana (134,656 individuals) indicate they have “some college” but no degree. These statistics, combined with the urgency of the Lumnia Foundation and the Department of Education create an opportunity to develop a program to support non-traditional aged students to be successful at Montana State University.
Re-enrollment and completion would benefit the student since many have left this or another institution with debt (and no degree). Re-enrollment and completion would also benefit the institution, since a significant number could be included in our graduation outcomes report. In addition, this effort is consistent with the Land-grant mission and the goals of the strategic plan for MSU, the Lumina Foundation and the Department of Education.
The purpose of the Return-to-Learn program is not to replace the admissions function, but rather have an entity responsible for “mentoring” students at the point of “pre-entry” throughout their academic career who are at higher risk for not completing their degree for the following reasons:
While housed in the Office of Student Success, this program would work in concert with the Admissions office to “on-board” new students and the Registrar’s Office to “re-enroll” former students to the university. Further, for the program to be successful, Return to Learn staff would work collaborative with academic departments and administrative offices to trouble shoot issues related to financial aid, student account holds, and other issues that can be challenging for students as they attempt to enter the university either as a new non-traditional student or re-entering MSU student.
Compelling Data for Former MSU Students
While it is difficult to analyze data for the Montana population at large, we were able to conduct analysis on former MSU students (2002-2012) who did not graduate from this or another institution. This data is instructive for developing program constructs.
From Fall 2002-Fall 2012 there were a total of 28,061 degree seeking undergraduate students who started a degree at Montana State University, but did not complete an undergraduate degree from Montana State University.
Residency Classification (out of 14,840)
Gender (out of 14,832)
Holds (out of 14,840)
Financial Eligibility (out of 14,715)
Of the students not eligible for financial aid (out of 6,045)
Major constructs of the program include:
10. Development of a team within the Office of Student Success and the campus community to support the unique needs for non-traditional student success.
11. Development of methods for measuring efficacy of the program.
 Lumnia Foundation - http://www.luminafoundation.org/goal_2025.html
|Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal|
The program has the potential for significant impact at the individual, family, institution, employer, community and state level, especially when considering 134,000 Montanan’s would be eligible (realizing a much smaller percentage would likely participate). Clearly this is good for the institution as MSU will have an opportunity to “do the right thing” while also improving our graduation rates (based upon the 14,840 who have attended but have not earned a degree). More importantly however, outcomes from this proposal have the capability of transforming the lives of individuals and families, opportunities for communities and employers and lead to improved state statistics for individuals with a bachelors’ degree or greater.
Assessment will be conducted using the following methods:
|If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?|
If results from above are not satisfactory the program should either be drastically redesigned or eliminated.
|Dean/Director:||Carina Beck (email@example.com)|
|Executive/VP:||James Rimpau (firstname.lastname@example.org)|