Montana State University

MSU announces development of new online programs

July 22, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN - Montana State University has announced development of three new online programs covering nursing, digital marketing and gerontology, as well as seven individual courses in its initiative to expand the university's online offerings.

Provost Martha Potvin announced that the programs were selected from those suggested by MSU faculty in response to a university-wide push to expand MSU’s service to Montanans through distance learning.

“The creation of high-quality online programs and courses continues to be a high priority for the university,” Potvin said. “The response to these new opportunities has been very positive and will provide people across the state with increased access to MSU. In addition we are incorporating 20 years of experience with quality online teaching at the graduate level to increase online course availability and scheduling flexibility for our undergraduate students.”

Funding will support development of courses needed for the new doctor of nursing practice degree approved by the Board of Regents last September. Students are being admitted and the first cohort will begin their coursework this fall. This practice-focused program will result in highly educated practitioners who will provide expert direct primary care and lead the improvement and transformation of health care, particularly in Montana’s rural areas.

Two new online undergraduate certificates are being developed. A 15-credit certificate in digital marketing will be developed to help business owners and managers learn to expand their businesses to online markets. From camouflage seat covers to gourmet caramels, many Montana businesses have succeeded in expanding their sales and success through digital marketing. The online certificate will help businesspeople learn to use Internet markets to extend their reach to national or global markets.

Two of the five courses required have already been taught online and the full program is projected to be in place by Spring 2014.

A new 18-credit undergraduate certificate in gerontology is being developed to meet the needs of both on-campus and distance students. This program will provide an opportunity for health and human development majors on campus, working health professionals and even family caregivers to focus on the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of an aging population. Coursework will cover physical activity, nutrition, caregiving, economics and related areas.

This year funding was available for the first time to support the development of individual courses for online delivery to meet campus students' needs for flexible scheduling options with quality online learning experiences. Seven courses were funded in engineering, education, Spanish, economics and math.

For more information about MSU's online programs and initiatives, visit

Contacts: Kim Obbink or Peg Wherry, MSU Extended University, (406) 994-6550,,