Montana State University
MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleFaculty and Staff Engagement Resource Development Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentOffice of Activities and Engagement Emailktanner@montana.edu
RequestorKathryn Tanner Phone406-994-6902
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts  
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: July 1 2013 End:  
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
The MSU Office of Activities & Engagement (OAE) is ideally positioned to support the creation of new engagement initiatives in the form of additional service learning courses. We propose to provide faculty and staff with new and innovative engagement resources and will work with academic and non-academic departments to achieve 100% engagement among faculty by the year 2019. The broader impact and benefits of this proposal will touch students and our community partners in meaningful ways and will start to support our staff to find new opportunities to engage with the on-and off-campus communities.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
This proposal addresses objective E.1 to, “Strategically increase service, outreach and engagement at MSU.” The proposed investment will directly impact MSU’s ability to involve faculty, students and staff in service, outreach and engagement. By building needed capacity and infrastructure over the next 3 years we will support the engagement of more faculty, staff and students into and beyond 2019.
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       12514      .5 
Benefits       5374       
Materials & Supplies              
Travel       3000       
Contracted Services         20000     
Capital              
Other Operations       22000       
TOTAL 42888  20000    .5 
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Salary and benefits breakdown:

  • .45 FTE Program Coordinator:
    • .45 FTE Salary = $12,514
    • .45 FTE Benefits = $5,374

    $17,888

 

Travel breakdown: (recurring in years 1 and 2)

Assessment Working Group members travel to relevant conferences (i.e. the Scholarship of Engagement Conference) $3000

 

Contracted Services breakdown:

$10,000 for 3 to 4 faculty videos in year one

$10,000 for 3 to 4 staff videos in year one or two

 

Other Operations breakdown: (recurring all 3 years)

                        $12,000 = Faculty Service Scholars Mini-Grants

                        $10,000 = Service Learning Assistant Stipends

PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

Proposal Scope

The goal set out in the new MSU strategic plan around engagement reads, “Members of the Montana State University community will be leaders, scholars and engaged citizens of their local, national and global communities, working together with community partners to exchange and apply knowledge and resources to improve the human prospect.”

 Thus the purpose of this proposal is to build the capacity and infrastructure needed for MSU to achieve this strategic goal by the year 2019.  The two objectives put forward here are to 1) establish a set of human and financial resources to support faculty and staff in their engagement efforts; 2) develop a comprehensive assessment plan to establish benchmarks and to measure and document impacts of engagement, service and outreach on all parties involved.

Beneficiaries of this work will include MSU faculty, students, staff, partnering organizations and their clients in the local, regional, national, and global communities.

Proposal outcomes include:

1)      The establishment of the following campus-based faculty-staff engagement resources:

a. Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program - Dedicated funding in association with the MSU Service Learning Advisory Board to support faculty wishing to incorporate service into a course curricula for the first time. Available by Spring of 2014.

b. Service Learning Assistants Program- We will recruit, select and train 10 student assistants who will provide support to faculty members incorporating service into a course curriculum for the first time. Available by Spring of 2014.

c. Engagement Training Videos for Faculty - We will develop a set of four 15 to 20 minute training videos to assist faculty on effectively engage their students and themselves. Available by Fall of 2014.

d. Engagement Training Videos for Staff- We will develop a set of three 15 to 20 minute training videos to assist staff on how to effectively engage with the on- and off-campus communities. Available by fall of 2014.

2)      By the Spring of 2015 we will have developed a set of metrics by which we can measure service, outreach and engagement impacts on students, faculty, staff and community partners (their beneficiaries) involved in extra-curricular or non-academic engagement activities. In addition we will develop a separate set of metrics to measure impacts on all involved in service learning (academic) or co-curricular service, outreach or engagement.

Describe the proposal

To achieve the targets set out in the MSU Strategic Plan by 2019 we must increase the resources we have available to faculty, students and staff around service, outreach and engagement opportunities. The following are the resources we propose to develop in support of faculty members to engage themselves and/or their students in new ways on campus and/or in the community.

Working with the Service Learning Advisory Board (SLAB) the OAE will create and implement a Faculty Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grants Program.  Each year we will award up to ten $1,200 mini-grants to faculty members who wish to incorporate service into the curriculum of one or more courses. Service Learning at MSU is described as a teaching method that utilizes student involvement in community service to meet instructional objectives of a course.  Students apply information from a class in authentic settings while addressing real needs of a community. One of the challenges faculty members face in attempting to transition a traditional course to course to a service learning course is out of pocket expenses.  These mini-grants would be start-up funds for these ventures, and in return for the support, faculty members will host at least two instructional sessions to share their experience and the processes they utilized with their colleagues on campus.

The second most commonly cited challenge for faculty wishing to incorporate service into their curriculum is the time consuming nature of the process.  In response to this barrier we propose the development of the Service Learning Assistants Program.  We will recruit, select and train ten students to act as assistants to faculty members who are incorporating service into a course curriculum for the first time.  We anticipate this program will cost $10,000 per year over three years in the form of ten $1,000 stipends to be paid to the Service Learning Assistants who will serve over the course of one academic year.

And finally, we propose to create two sets of short (15 to 20 minute) videos, one set with faculty as the audience and the second set geared toward staff.  All of these videos will be accessible on the web and will provide ideas and support to both populations to more effectively engage students and/or themselves. For instance, one would be a quick vignette differentiating between the several different forms of community engagement including outreach, service learning, co-curricular service, extra-curricular service, community-based research, community-based work study jobs, and community-based internships.  Another video topic might be specific to developing a service learning course with just enough information to perhaps interest a faculty member into learning more.  Do all staff members know they could be a club advisor? New and existing clubs are always looking for advisors who have similar interests or passions for the focus of that group and fulfilling that role can be an amazing way for staff to engage with students. These vignettes would be highly informational, yet fun and engaging to watch. The idea is to have these professionally produced, well marketed across campus and readily available for digestion in fewer than 30 minutes. We propose a one- time outlay of $20,000 to develop, film and market these productions.

While the ideas listed above will allow us to meet the quantitative targets behind this engagement goal, why are we doing this? What is the impact on faculty, students, staff and community organizations with whom we partner when we choose to engage?  In order or gauge these impacts and continually improve our outreach, service and engagement efforts we will develop a set of metrics to measure these outcomes. By enlisting the expertise of faculty, students and community partners we will form a working group to develop a comprehensive assessment plan over the course of the next three years. Three thousand dollars ($3,000) per year to support this effort will be utilized to send one or more of the group members to a conference focusing on assessing engagement outcomes and bring this information back to our campus. 

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

The resources we intend to develop in this proposal will be made available campus-wide and will address the most common challenges our faculty and staff members face in creating opportunities for engagement.  This proposal supports faculty members who will expand the number and variety of service learning courses available to our students across the disciplines and engages them in the process of educating their peers to the benefits of this innovative teaching technique. In addition, the new MSU Strategic Plan includes one metric which states that, “By 2019, MSU staff will have increased opportunities for engagement experiences.” Staff members may be uniquely constrained from participation in many of the of the typical engagement activities due to scheduling challenges or perhaps union/contract limitations.  This does not mean we cannot assist staff in identifying options that might work for them. Access to information sources and ideas regarding ways to engage that are readily accessible on-line is a strong step in the right direction 

Finally, if we do not assess the impacts and gauge the value of our contributions then we cannot advance or improve upon our practices.  By taking the time to explore existing assessment models, learn about new trends and implement a plan to measure engagement impacts we will be able to share stories of impact and become leaders in engagement. In this way our service does not end when the experience is over, but the narratives of our challenges and successes can potentially influence others to also choose to engage.

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

Pre- Year 1: (2012-2013)

Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Spring of 2013 will work with MSU Outreach and Engagement Council to identify working group members;
  • Establish the membership of the working group and meet at least three times over the Summer of 2013 to map out work for the Fall of 2013;
  • Working group will plan structure, mission and goals around identifying and/or developing effective measures of engagement impacts on participants.

Year 1: (2013-2014)

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Begin work in Fall 2013 with the MSU Service Learning Advisory Board (SLAB) to develop the faculty mini-grants;
  • Create systems in OAE to effectively track use of funds;
  • Launch program in Spring 2014.

 Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Work Summer of 2013 to develop training curriculum for Service Learning Assistants;
  • Map out recruitment plan and training schedule so that 10 students are recruited, selected and trained to begin serving Spring of 2014 in conjunction with Faculty Service Learning Min-Grants being available;
  • SL Assistants will meet together as a group with a facilitator from the OAE once monthly to reflect on service, share challenges, successes and best practices with one another;
  • Recruit the 2014-2015 SL Assistants in Spring of 2014. Provide them with summer reading to prepare for fall.

 Engagement Training Videos for Faculty & Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Explore production company options for the project;
  • Negotiate agreement and work on video content; 
  • At least 3 videos completed and posted on the web by Summer of 2014.

 Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Working group meets start of Fall 2013;
  • Identify conference(s) that would be appropriate resources for assessment mission;
  • Begin data collection;
  • Compile options and begin to develop our own assessment metrics/tools to assess impacts of non-academic engagement on all participants;
  • Launch use of assessment tools on participants in non-academic engagement by Fall of 2014.

 Year 2: (2014-2015)

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Reconvene SLAB in early Fall 2014 to review the program and revise criteria and processes;
  • Prepare a summary of recipient’s achievements from the previous year and release in conjunction with the call for new applicants.

 Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Review and revise training curriculum as needed;
  • Map training schedule with initial training in August 2014; 
  • SL Assistants will meet together as a group with a facilitator from the OAE once monthly.

 Engagement Training Videos for Faculty & Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Develop content for remaining videos and produce them over the Summer of 2014 to have completed and posted on the web by Fall of 2014.

 Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Continue bringing the working group together at regular intervals;
  • Find/develop assessment guidelines and tool options to measure academic engagement impacts on participants; 
  • Continue using and honing tools developed to measure non-academic engagement impacts on participants;
  • Work with appropriate faculty committees and councils to collect input and seek buy-in for assessment practices and tools in the academic setting.

Year 3: (2015-2016 )

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Reconvene the SLAB in early Fall 2015 to review the program and revise criteria;
  • Prepare summary of previous year recipient’s achievements and release in conjunction with the call for new applicants.

Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Over the Summer of 2015 review and revise the training curriculum for Service Learning Assistants as needed;
  • Map training schedule so that SL Assistants will receive initial training in August 2015;
  • SL Assistants meet together as a group with a facilitator from the OAE once monthly.

Engagement Training Videos for Faculty and Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Existing videos will be reviewed to determine relevance and extent to which they are being viewed.  This will guide any decisions about updating them for the coming year.

 Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Develop an assessment resource based on two years of research that will guide faculty to effectively measure impacts of their engagement efforts in all participant and beneficiaries
 
Assessment Plan

Year 1:

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Successfully award at least 3 mini-grants to faculty members to develop 3 new service learning courses in year 1

 Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Match at least 5 trained assistants with faculty over the course of year 1

 Engagement Training Videos for Faculty & Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Complete and post at least 3 videos on the web by the end of year 1

Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Develop/select and launch at least 2 tools to measure impacts of non-academic engagement through OAE programs and document results

 Year 2:

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Successfully award at least 7 mini-grants to faculty members to develop 7 new service learning courses in year 2

 Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Match all 10 trained assistants with faculty over the course of year 2

 Engagement Training Videos for Faculty & Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Complete and post remaining videos on the web and document at least 300 total hits to the any/all of the videos by the end of year 2

 Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

  • Identify at least 3 engagement assessment best practices to measure impacts of academic engagement to adopt at MSU and secure faculty support

 Year 3:

Service Learning Scholars Mini-Grant Program:

  • Successfully award 10 mini-grants to faculty members to develop 10 new service learning courses in year 3

 Service Learning Assistants Program:

  • Match all 10 trained assistants with faculty over the course of year 3

 Engagement Training Videos for Faculty & Engagement Training Videos for Staff:

  • Assess relevance of videos and document at least 400 new hits to any/all of the videos on the web

 Engagement Assessment Plan/Tools:

Have developed a set of assessment guidelines to measure impacts of academic engagement on all participants that is adopted by faculty governing bodies by the end of year 3

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

If objectives above are not met we will determine why they were not met, assess the value of making adjustments to the plan and moving forward, or discontinuing the plan or that portion of the plan all together.  We will work with stakeholders and senior division leadership to make informed decisions in a timely fashion.

 
SIGNATURES
Dean/Director: Matthew Caires (mcaires@montana.edu )
Executive/VP: James Rimpau (rimpau@montana.edu)