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Intercollege Programs for Science Education

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172805
Bozeman, MT 59717-2805

Tel: (406) 994-5679
Fax: (406) 994-5575
Location: 401 Linfield Hall


Dr. Peggy Taylor

MSSE Steering Committee Handbook

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Montana State University
Master of Science in Science Education

401 Linfield Hall, PO Box 172805
Bozeman, MT 59717-2805

  November 2008


The MSSE Steering Committee Handbook is given to each member of the committee and is intended to be a brief statement of duties and responsibilities.  It is three-fold in purpose:

  1. The handbook is designed to summarize the functions of the steering committee. 
  2. It is to give a general description of the duties and responsibilities of the committee.
  3. It is to be used as a reference book and organizer for committee reports.


            Education programs establish advisory committees to help identify current and future practices, necessary knowledge and goals, and to advise on curriculum and other program decisions.  Continuous community input ensures that graduates will not be obsolete, but instead have the needed skills and knowledge that the labor market demands for success.

            An advisory committee is a diverse group of stakeholders selected from that segment of the community that comprises a specific occupational field.  Advisory committee members are experienced in their occupation; they are individuals who are knowledgeable of the needs of the field and aware of recent changes.  The advisory committee is formally organized with between six to twelve persons.   Advisory committees are to advise educators regarding program directions.  In no way are their activities intended to usurp any of the prerogatives of the classroom teacher, division head, or the university administrative staff.


            It is recognized that advisory committee members are representatives from the educational community who are busy with their own affairs.  This outline of duties is presented with the understanding that requests for the advisory committee members' time and efforts will, at all times, be reasonable in nature.
            Broadly stated, the function of the Steering Committee is to advise MSSE personnel regarding the instructional program.  Some specific functions are that the committee:

  1. Serves as a communication channel between university and community groups to relate instruction to the needs of the community.
  2. Lists the specific skills and suggests related resources and technical information for the course/program.
  3. Recommends competent personnel as potential instructors (full and part-time faculty).
  4. Helps evaluate the program of instruction by the evaluation of goals, objectives and activities.
  5. Suggests ways for improving public relations.
  6. Assists in recruitment efforts.
  7. Keeps the program informed of changes in labor market, specific needs, surpluses, etc.
  8. Provides means to inform the community of the Master of Science in Science Education Program (MSSE).
  9. Plans to meet three to four times a year. It is possible that individual members may be consulted, independent of formal meetings, should a problem arise.

                                DUTIES OF STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  1. Review current curriculum and recommended changes
  2. Advise major program decisions
  3. Attend a minimum of two meetings per year
  4. Help in recruiting faculty 
  5. Serve on program sub-committees
  6. Help in planning and conducting of feasibility studies and necessary surveys
  7. Be available for individual consultation by telephone, e-mail, and/or informal meetings to give advice to program personnel


Membership will consist of:

1. Program Director

The program director has responsibility for

  • Publishing and distributing the agenda . 
  • Reproducing minutes or other materials.
  • Mailing or e-mailing minutes to committee members and others.
  • Reminding members of meeting by telephone and/or e-mail as needed.
  • Arranging appropriate meeting time and place. 
  • The program director can and will recommend that the committee concentrate on specific topics that are of current interest to the program in a variety of areas, e.g., curriculum, staffing, etc
  • If a scheduling conflict occurs, please call the program office and not the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.  If the Advisory Committee feels their work or reports need wider circulation, then the program director has the responsibility for limited reproduction and mailing of the information.

2. Chairperson

3. Graduate School Dean

4. Program core faculty member

5. Representatives from at least four of the departments that collaborate in the
interdisciplinary MSSE program 

6. Local school district personnel

7. Graduate student representative

 A current list of the MSSE Steering Committee membership will be available on the MSSE website:

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

October, 2011

March 2012

August 2012 (PowerPoint)

October 2013

Montana State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  The University is non-discriminatory in terms of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, political alliance, or handicap.  Admission is open to all qualified individuals on an equal basis.