TitleProposal for Masters of Social Science Education Request Date2012-11-29
DepartmentGraduate Studies
RequestorJerry Johnson Phone994.5164
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts Political Science, History and Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology, Earth Science (human geography), Education, Psychology Other departments may benefit depending on the eventual scope of the program
Proposed Dates Start: Fall 2013 End: Summer 2014
To conduct a market study to explore the implementation of a Masters of Science for the Social Science. If the study indicates support for such a program, full development of the degree will be completed with the first classes being offered spring 2014 and summer classes offered summer 2014. The program will closely mirror the current MSSE program for science teachers.
Goal L.2.2 sets the goal of increasing graduate degrees 15%. This program, if implemented, will significantly contribute to this goal.

The inherent interdisciplinary nature of the program will address the goal in enhanced integration across curriculums.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries 5000  20000           
Benefits 1634  6538           
Materials & Supplies 500  500           
Travel 3000             
Contracted Services              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 10134  27038     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Salary in 2013 is for one class teaching buyout in order to have time to adminster the market survey. Travel is for further marketing to two professional teaching organization meetings (i.e. History, Social Science). Incidental survey materials and Survey Monkey membership is requested.

In 2014 (spring) two class buyouts are requested to that if the market survey shows positive findings, I can  fullly committ to program development. 

One month of salary is requested to complete the first session suring summer 2014. A modest level of adminstrative support is included as part of the 2014 salary request.

Describe the Proposal

Strategic Investment: Social Science Education Masters Program

Jerry  Johnson, Department of Political Science, x5164,

Proposal: Build on the resounding success of the MSU MSSE program for high school science teachers by building a social science analog - the new Masters of Social Science Education degree program.

Audience: Social science teachers in the fields of government, history, psychology, geography, and social studies in need of an academic program that advances their professional careers and leads to a graduate level degree in social science pedagogy and content.

Demand: To be determined via client survey. Based on the demand for the MSSE program, we would expect quality programming to attract significant numbers of teachers nationally. The budget includes resources for a market survey using graduates and participants in the MSSE program as human vectors to reach out to their colleagues to act as respondents representing the potential market in the social sciences.

Curriculum: Based on discussion with four department heads in the social sciences and one online teacher in the MSSE program, and the current MSSE director, the curriculum would span the interests of teaching faculty and the pedagogical needs of teachers. We would adapt existing online pedagogy and content courses from the MSSE program to meet the needs of social science teachers (i.e. Research Methods, Evaluation In Education, Foundations Of Action Research, Capstone). In addition, students would develop interdisciplinary combinations of courses both online and on campus during the summer. This has the added benefit of using underutilized campus facilities.

Thematic courses will be explored with faculty and via the market survey (e.g. Lewis and Clark Journey of Discovery, Native American issues, Western History and the New West). Thematic sets of courses – especially those focused on the Greater Yellowstone region, have been popular with MSSE participants.

Development Timeline: Development is in two phases. Phase one is a completed market survey conducted Fall 2013 augmented with visits to several professional meetings for high school teachers. If the results from the survey indicate program viability then a full program will be designed, faculty hired for spring online courses, summer program designed, BOR approval will be solicited. This program could be fully implemented by Spring 2014 and begin to offer online courses by that time with summer courses offered Summer 2014. As evidenced by the MSSE program, MSU knows how to run a successful online/on campus teacher graduate program. The MSSE program generates a large block of online credits for MSU but the program is complemented by our unique on campus offerings. We should take the time to build on that experience to deliver the social science version to a large and diverse market.

Product: The market survey will be developed and program implemented as directed by the survey results.  Program planning and development will take place during AY 2013 and the first courses could be scheduled for Fall AY 14 via online format pending BOR approval. The goal will be to offer a full suite of campus based classes summer 2014 with entry of the first cohort. Upon completion of the first summer session, a decision would be made with respect to hiring a program adminstrator.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

The broader impacts of this project are fourfold. One, it addresses goal L.2.2 of the strategic plan (see above). Two, it builds capacity for carreer advancement for teachers of the SBE disciplines by providing a broad-based graduate program modeled after an already successful program in the STEM disciplines. Three, significant summer teaching opportunities for MSU social science faculty are created thereby providing enhanced salary. Four, a successful program raises the profile of MSU to a wider community of educators with direct influence on high school students, some of whom may chose MSU as thier college of choice.  

Implementation Plan

It is proposed that the funding be considered in two distinct phases. The first will be the adminstration of the market survey. The second phase is contingent on findings. If the survey results show a nonviable market then the investment is halted at full stop and no further expenditures are to be made. If the findings of the survey show market viability, the second phase of funding is implemented. There is no justification for further expenditures if the survey results are not positive. 

A third phase will eventually be explored if and when the program is up and running when an adminstrator for the program will be hired. An assumption of the program design will be that the overhead for the entire program will be met through program fees and tuition - mirroing the current MSSE program model.

Assessment Plan

See above implementation plan

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

Yes, see above implementation plan

Dean/Director: Ron Larsen (
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (