MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleExpanding Student Engagement in Political Science Sociology and Anthropology Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentPolitical Science jointly with Sociology and Anthropology Emaillmyoung@montana.edu
RequestorLinda Young Phone406 599 2570
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts This proposal will provide benefits to the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, and Political Science.
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: June 2013 End:  
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
The departments of Political Science and Sociology & Anthropology propose to hire an interdisciplinary internship and engagement coordinator to enhance and expand community engagement opportunities for our students (Objective E.1 of MSU Strategic plan). Such a position will afford both departments the opportunity to collaboratively increase and sustain internship and engagement opportunities, improve program structure, and collect data pivotal for program assessment. We will contextualize the strategic plan by trying new ways to increase student engagement, and will share lessons learned broadly across campus.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
MSUís strategic plan highlights the importance of student engagement in our local, national and international communities. Two departments in the College of Letters and Science, Political Science and Sociology & Anthropology, have joined together to propose the hiring of an Internship and Engagement Coordinator. This person (.5 FTE appointment) will be responsible for a myriad of duties designed to integrate the community into the lives of our students and provide them with meaningful experiences to serve and to learn. If funded, this proposed position will serve to help the university accomplish Objective E.1 of the MSU Strategic Plan: Strategically increase service, outreach, and engagement at MSU, by establishing and sustaining an interdisciplinary program of internships and engagement for students across three different disciplines. We will contextualize the strategic plan by trying new ways to increase student engagement, we will collect data on key indicators of success, and we will share our experiences broadly across campus with other departments and the Office of Activities and Engagement.
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       20000      0.5 
Benefits       6538       
Materials & Supplies       1000       
Travel       2000       
Contracted Services              
Capital         2500     
Other Operations              
TOTAL 29538  2500    0.5 
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Salary: Base salary of $40,000 for this position. We intend to hire a NTT faculty member with a minimum of a masters degree to facilitate the integration of learning and engagement.

Benefits: calculated as per instructions above.

Materials and supplies: for communications and information.

Travel: to meet with potential community collaborators.

Capital: one time funding to purchase a computer.

PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

A political science student currently engaged in an internship recently stated that the “community is our lab” when she explained the significance of her work with the ACLU; how this opportunity has given her the chance to use the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom; the intrinsic rewards from her work, and finally, how it will increase her ability to find employment upon graduation. The disciplines of sociology, anthropology and political science focus on how to understand and improve the human condition, and engagement in the processes of governance, policy analysis, the provision of social and justice services, are key components of student learning and success.

We propsoe to hire an Internship and Engagement Coordinator. This person (.5 FTE appointment) will be responsible for a myriad of duties designed to integrate the community into the lives of our students and provide them with meaningful experiences to serve and to learn.

 Under the guidance of this coordinator, students will have the opportunities to engage in a variety of community-focused activities, (with some for credit), including, but not limited to, the following:

ü  Participating in internships that enable students to “take the classroom to the community”;

ü  Co-curricular service learning;

ü  Curricular service learning;

ü  Short-term and event volunteer opportunities;

ü  Student organized lecture and public-speaking events

 If funded, this proposed position will serve to help the university accomplish Objective E.1 of the MSU Strategic Plan: Strategically increase service, outreach, and engagement at MSU, by establishing and sustaining an interdisciplinary program of internships and engagement for students across three different disciplines.  We will contextualize the strategic plan by trying new ways to increase student engagement, we will collect data on key indicators of success, and we will share our experiences broadly across campus with other departments and the Office of Activities and Engagement. We have discussed our proposal with Kathy Tanner, Office of Activities and Engagement, to seamlessly coordinate our proposed activities with their efforts.  She supports our efforts to provide engagement activities specific to our disciplines and we see opportunities for collaboration in meeting MSU’s strategic goals for engagement. 

Need: While both the Departments of Political Science and Sociology & Anthropology have offered internship opportunities to students in the past, we seek to increase intern opportunities and improve program structure and sustainability. Presently, the Department of Sociology & Anthropology has initiated an Internship Program for sociology majors, but it is being organized and guided by two NTT faculty members as part of their course load responsibilities. The sustainability/continuity of this burgeoning program is highly dependent upon resources that the department may not have for the next year, let alone a longer period.

The Department of Political Science has had 70 interns over the past five years, with 20 in the last year alone. Debriefings of student interns have indicated that their experiences have been positive and significant. Currently the faculty member coordinating our internship program is struggling with the time required due to increased demand by students at a time that he faces significant new administrative duties.

 Responsibilities:

  1. Serve as a liaison between the Departments and the community at large;
  2. Serve as a liaison between the Departments and the MSU Office of Student Engagement;
  3. Identify, develop, and maintain internship opportunities within the community, state and nationally;
  4. Review and implement procedures for managing internships;
  5. Supervision of students in conjunction with the partner community organizations in all aspects of the internship or engagement opportunities, including:
    1. Intake
    2. Assignment
    3. Teaching and evaluation;
  6. Compile and maintain data on the students involved in the program (details in the section on our assessment plan);
  7.  Compile data on job placement of students involved in various engagement activities (as well as a sample of similar students who do not participate in such engagement activities).
 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Broader Impacts and Benefits of this proposal:

  1. Increase the participation of Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology majors in engagement activities;
  2. Sustain engagement opportunities for majors across both departments;
  3. Enhance interdisciplinary learning for students across our disciplines, by structuring more opportunities for our students to collaborate in community-focused activities;
  4. Strengthen the bonds between community constituents and Montana State University generally;
  5. Facilitate the cultivation of students acquiring leadership positions, both on campus (short-term) and in the community (long-term);
  6. Enhancement of student learning through the application of course based knowledge and skills to practical experiences;
  7. Enhancement of the transition between school and careers for MSU students.
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

Implementation Plan (Please describe with timelines)

  1. Advertise position and hire coordinator (Summer 2012);
  2. Review existing internships relationships, identify new partners in the community (Summer-Fall 2012);
  3. Review and implement procedures for managing internships (Summer-Fall 2012);
  4. Initiate application and assignment of students for internships and other engagement opportunities (Fall 2012);
  5. Begin internship and engagement activities; begin collecting data (Fall 2013);
  6. Assess first year activities and data; make recommendations for program continuation and improvement (Late Spring 2013);
  7. Given assessment, work with the Office of Activities and Engagement to publicize lessons learned for departments;
  8. Continue this cycle of program implementation and improvement. 
 
Assessment Plan
  1. The Coordinator will collect data on an on-going basis including:
    1. Number of SCHs generated by internship opportunities
    2. Tracking of job placements after graduation
    3. Student satisfaction surveys
    4. Student learning measurement
    5. Organization/Community group satisfaction surveys
    6. Focus group meetings with organization/community group constituents
  2. The Coordinator will provide an annual evaluation to the department heads describing the program, emphasizing the opportunities provided for student engagement and internships, lessons learned, and an analysis of the data listed above.
  3. The department heads will use this report and input from university offices and collaborating agencies and organizations to make continual recommendations for improvement.
 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

If stated objectives are not met after three annual cycles of implementation, evaluation, and adjustments, the department heads will conduct a more thorough review process, leading to major adjustments or termination of the program. Both a representative of the Office of Activities and Engagement, and a member of the Provost's office, will be asked to serve in that review process.

 
SIGNATURES
Department Head: Linda Young (lmyoung@montana.edu)
Dean/Director: Paula Lutz (plutz@montana.edu)
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (mpotvin@montana.edu)