Montana State University
MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleAssessment and Strategic Planning for the University Testing Center Request Date2012-12-02
DepartmentCollege of Education Health & Human Development Emailcarl.fox1@montana.edu
RequestorCarl Fox Phone406-994-5555
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts  
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: July 1 2013 End: June 30 2014
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
The MSU Testing Center (TC) located in the College of Education, Health & Human Development (EHHD) provides critical support to students to help them meet their professional and educational goals. The TC operating with 2.0 FTE offers more than 20 different testing programs (e.g., CLEP, PRAXIS, GRE, etc.) and services to students. While the TC administered 2882 separate tests in FY 12, the demand for services by the MSU Testing Center is approximately 4X the current capacity of the TC. The College of EHHD with Student Success is proposing to lead an assessment and planning effort for the TC in the coming year and add staff to increase access.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
The proposal addresses the major MSU goal, Learning, and more specifically, Objectives L.1—Assess, and improve where needed, student learning of critical knowledge and skills; and L.3---Increase job placement and further education rates. The MSU Testing Center while largely a service organization can provide critical assessment methodologies and feedback to improve learning and assist students in achieving their career development goals.
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries 53539             
Benefits 31436             
Materials & Supplies 500             
Travel 3000             
Contracted Services              
Capital              
Other Operations 5000             
TOTAL 93475     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

One time:

 

  • Salary and Benefits—0.50 FTE for Wendy Rivers, Director of the MSU Testing Center to lead the planning grant to assess and develop a university strategic planning effort for the Testing Center; 0.50 FTE for a Program Assistant to provide administrative support to Wendy Rivers for the planning grant; 1.0 FTE for new Program Assistant for the Testing Center to increase Testing Center hours by 25 per week with an expected 25% increase in capacity to administer tests.
  • Materials and Supplies---copying and office supplies
  • Travel---3 trips at $1000 each to visit testing centers at other universities (e.g., Penn State).
  • Other---travel for 3-5 consultants (Testing Center Directors from other universities) to visit MSU and discuss their programs with campus leaders.

 

 

PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

The MSU Testing Center (TC) located in the College of Education, Health & Human Development provides critical support to students to help them meet their professional and educational goals.  The TC operating with 2.0 FTE offers more than 20 different testing programs (e.g., CLEP, PRAXIS, GRE, MCAT, GED, etc.) to students. While the TC administered 2882 separate tests in FY 12, the demand for services by the MSU Testing Center is approximately 4X the current capacity of the TC.    Capacity is severely limited by physical space, computer equipment, and testing personnel. 

The College of Education, Health & Human Development in association with Student Success and the Provost’s Office is proposing to lead an assessment and planning effort to specifically define and quantify the demand across the entire campus; review other university testing centers including their missions, services, and practices; and create a vision and implementation plan for testing at MSU.  Funds requested in the proposal will also be used to increase the hours the TC is open by about 25 hours per week to address some of the demand over the next year.

The scope of work for the “Assessment and Strategic Planning for the University Testing Center” will focus on two major objectives:  (1) Increase the current hours for the Testing Center by 25 hours to address the current demand; and (2) Develop and lead a task force of constituents (e.g., Student Success, Faculty, Administrators) to assess the current demand and develop a strategy for the future by reviewing the “state of the art” at other leading universities.  Increasing current hours by 25 will be accomplished by adding into the base a 1.0 FTE program assistant.  The Testing Center will be able to be open 7:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 7:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday.  The added hours should increase the capacity of the Testing Center by about 25% or 720 additional tests.

The review, assessment, and planning objective will be lead by Wendy Rivers, Director of the MSU Testing Center.  Wendy will lead a task force of university representatives (7-10 members) to review current testing center activities and demand as well as develop a strategic plan for the future.  The current Testing Center is very restricted by physical space, computer equipment, and testing personnel.  While the Testing Center administered 2882 tests in FY12, the demand for testing is at least 4X that number.  Disability and Veterans Support Services, in particular, is in need of additional capacity for testing and assessment.

The University Task Force lead by Wendy Rivers will spend time reviewing other university-based testing centers, define the MSU demand for services, and create a vision for testing and testing services at MSU.  Ms. Rivers will travel to at least three other universities known for their well-developed testing centers (e.g., Penn State) to meet with center personnel and view their physical space and equipment.  Ms. Rivers will also identify 3-5 university testing center directors that will visit MSU and review the MSU Testing Center and provide recommendations for future development.  The end product of the planning effort will be a strategic plan for testing services at MSU with a vision for the future.

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

The MSU Testing Center addresses the major MSU goal, Learning, and more specifically, Objectives L.1—Assess, and improve where needed, student learning of critical knowledge and skills; and L.3---Increase job placement and further education rates.  While, the MSU Testing Center is currently a service organization that provides critical assessments to best position student for success it can also be an organization that develops new methodologies to improve learning.  By creating a vision and a strategic plan, MSU can position itself to not only provide effective learning environments for students but become a leader in the development of assessment tools for student success.

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

Implementation Plan

 

  • July 1, 2013 or as soon as funds are available, a 1.0 FTE Program Assistant can be hired so the Testing Center can increase its hours by 25 per week.

 

  • April 1, 2013 Wendy Rivers will identify 7-10 faculty, administrators, and student support staff to form the study task force.

 

  • July 1, 2013 Wendy Rivers will initiative the study including travel to other university testing centers and gathering data to inform the task force.

 

  • September 1, 2013 the Task Force will kick-off its study to review current needs and demands on the University Testing Center and assess what other universities are doing relative to testing students and providing testing services.

 

  • October – November 2013 the Task Force and other interested university faculty, staff, and administrators will work with 3-5 testing center directors from other universities invited to MSU to discuss their programs.

 

  • January – March 2014 the Task Force will complete it review and assessment.

 

  • April 1, 2014 the Task Force will make a campus-wide presentation and present their report to university officials.
 
Assessment Plan

Assessment Plan

 

The assessment plan for objective 1 (increase hours for the Testing Center) will be based on a comparison of the number of tests administered with the added hours compared to the previous three years.  The Testing Center has complete data to compare numbers of tests, types of tests, etc..

 

Assessment of the Task Force objective will be based on the completeness and vision for testing services at MSU.  Three to five directors of testing centers at other universities (those who visited MSU) will be asked to evaluate the plan specific to MSU.

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

Sunset Plan

 

If hiring additional personnel does not increase the ability and capacity of the Testing Center to increases its services, these personnel will not be rehired.  If the Task Force fails to deliver its report, it will be disbanded.

 
SIGNATURES
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (mpotvin@montana.edu)