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STANDARD TWO

   EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AND ITS EFFECTIVENESS

INTRODUCTION

Montana State University - Bozeman (MSU) is the comprehensive public doctoral-granting, land-grant university for the State of Montana. MSU is dedicated to providing high quality undergraduate and graduate education in the sciences, liberal and creative arts, and selected professions, particularly agriculture, architecture, business, education, engineering, and nursing. MSU serves its stakeholders through a tripartite mission (Standard One, Figure 1-01, pp. 14).

        Providing quality undergraduate and graduate educational programs

        Conducting both basic and applied research and creative activity

        Providing service through outreach to the state, region, and nation

In operationalizing its instructional mission, MSU has identified several components of the educational experience which, in essence, define MSU's instructional niche in the higher education marketplace. Drawing on the expertise of nearly 650 resident faculty, three-fourths of whom have terminal degrees in their fields and more than two-thirds holding doctorates, the institution has developed programs which enhance students. abilities to make connections between the breadth of the common body of knowledge of general education with the depth of professional, discipline-specific knowledge, between the acquisition of knowledge and the generation/creation of knowledge, and between their roles as stakeholders in their education and their roles as socially responsible, reflective citizens. Therefore, the instructional mission of MSU is further refined to include the following components:

        Emphasis on the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences to undergraduate education

        Integration of instruction with research and creative activity

        Promotion of interdisciplinary educational opportunities

        Development of critical and creative thinking, effective communication, and multicultural and global awareness

MSU is comprised of seven (7) academic colleges, General Studies (GENS), and the College of Graduate Studies (CGS). The University currently grants bachelor's degrees in a broad range of fifty (50) disciplines, master's degrees in thirty-nine (39) fields, and doctorate degrees in thirteen (13) fields. The University does not grant associate degrees nor certificates.

In this Standard, review of the instructional program at MSU is presented, with special attention given to the description of what is delivered, analyses of how the various instructional units and supporting programs contribute to the delivery of MSU's instructional mission, and how program effectiveness is assessed through curricular review processes and student outcome assessment. Problematic at areas of concern are identified, and strategies for improvement are addressed. Details of policy and procedures governing students and student records are provided in Standard Three. Discussion of the currency and qualifications of the faculty who deliver the instructional program, as well as details of their tripartite mission of teaching, research and service, are presented in Standard Four. Discussion of the information services and facilities supporting the instructional program are provided in Standard Five and Standard Eight, respectively. Sufficiency of these resources with respect to the delivery of the instructional program at MSU is discussed in the conclusion of this Standard.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

The discussion of the educational program and its effectiveness is presented as follows:

        Major changes in the curriculum since the last Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) self-study

        Policies and procedures for curriculum development and review which include strengths of policies/procedures governing curriculum, problematic areas of concern, and strategies for improvement, including assessment

        General education which includes history and evolution of the general education requirements, assessment of general education, strengths of the general education requirement, problematic areas of concern, and strategies for improvement

        Academic advising, including assessment and strategies for improvement

        Undergraduate degree programs which includes a general overview of the seven (7) academic colleges and GENS; departmental enrollment data, program mission and departmental contributions to the institution's mission, degree objectives, program assessment activities, and strategies for improvement; and summary of college strengths and strategies for improvement

        Graduate Studies which include a general overview of the role and responsibilities of the CGS; summary of university graduate admission procedures and standards; college/departmental enrollment data, missions, degree objectives and program assessments; and a summary of the CGS strengths and strategies for improvement

        Special instructional support programs

        Summary of the effectiveness of the overall instructional program and strategies for improvement including recommendations

MAJOR CHANGES IN THE CURRICULUM

In the last decade there have been two (2) substantive, external mandates which have resulted in changes to the structure and pedagogy of general undergraduate and graduate curricula of MSU. The first occurred in 1991 when, in compliance with a mandate from the Board of Regents (BOR), the Montana University System (MUS) converted from quarters to semesters [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 305.2]. The conversion afforded MSU the opportunity to thoroughly review each of its degree offerings and assess the currency and viability of each degree program. The procedures of review and conversion were two (2)-fold. The university Core Curriculum Committee (CCC) was charged with the review of the university general education requirement and making recommendations concerning the reasonable conversion from quarter to semester. Through a series of public forums, the committee solicited input from the faculty at large. Discussion focused on not only the total number of credits required, but core category totals as well. Notable changes in the core requirements were the reduction of credits in the social sciences, and the division of the humanities category into a fine arts (3 credits) category and humanities (6 credits) category. The Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) reviewed the recommendations for the university core in concert with a thorough review of all degree programs.

Advising forums were also held to prepare faculty for assisting students with the conversion. A bridge list of quarter to semester course conversions was published by the Office of the Registrar [Exhibit 2.02, Registrar's Bridge List] and distributed to faculty.

For two (2) academic years (AY) following the conversion (AY 91/92 and AY 93/94), MSU operated under an academic calendar which included two (2) sixteen (16)-week semesters and one (1) ten (10)-week summer session. The choice to schedule on a sixteen (16)-week semester was driven by the BOR policy which did not include finals week in the total seventy-six (76) day instructional requirement. In 1994, MSU requested authorization to include finals week and to schedule on a fifteen-week (15)-semester which allowed the institution to remain in compliance with NASC requirements and to be consistent with other MUS campuses who had been granted approval to include finals week. The BOR authorized MSU to schedule on a fifteen (15)-week semester, and the academic calendar was modified accordingly [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 305.2].

The second substantive change to the structure and pedagogy of the curriculum occurred in 1996 in response to Phase II of the MUS restructuring plan initiated by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) and approved by the BOR in July 1995 [Appendix 1-B, MUS Restructuring Phase II]. Recommendations made in Phase II were based on several major educational and financial concerns expressed by a variety of stakeholders in MUS. These concerns were summarized as follows:

        Getting in - making the transition between current activities and post-secondary education

        Getting through - overcoming the many academic and non-academic challenges that are part of the educational experience

        Getting a job - finding employment after graduation, particularly a job that utilizes a person's education

        Paying the way - coping with rising prices, shifting financial aid responsibilities, and weakening government support

In response to these concerns, several student-centered. strategies were identified. Those which directly impacted the undergraduate curriculum of MSU are as follows:

        Raising of entry standards to all MUS four (4)-year campuses and the introduction of proficiency-based entry criteria. MSU instituted higher standards for admission in 1991 with the conversion to the semester system.

        Continuing of current efforts to develop aggressive advising programs on all Montana campuses. The President charged a Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes (PQO) Task Force with the development of a university Advising Plan [Exhibit 2.03, University Advising Plan].

        The designing of all undergraduate degrees within 120 semester hours and the elimination of state support after 135 undergraduate credit hours. MSU response: All undergraduate degree programs were reconfigured to 120 credits with the exception of Engineering and Teacher Education [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 301.11]. MSU reconfigured degree programs to meet the 120 credit requirement in 1996.

        Students who complete university core requirements at any of the MUS campuses need not complete additional university core requirements if they transfer to another school in the system. Policy [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 301.10] was implemented in 1996.

        Graduation Guarantees at each campus. MSU implemented this in 1996.

Concurrent with the recommendations of the Phase II plan, the Governor announced his plan for what he termed a "New Partnership" with higher education. He invited all institutions of higher education in the MUS to identify ways to reward efficiency, enterprise and productivity, and positive results in higher education. Since the majority of the institutions in MUS have collective bargaining agreements, these institutions responded to the Governor. s request through their regular bargaining process. MSU, a non-union campus, responded with the PQO Agreement [Appendix 1-F, Productivity, Quality, and Outcomes Agreement] which demonstrated MSU's commitment to increasing the effectiveness and efficiencies of the University to better serve the citizens of Montana and its stakeholders. Further information about this agreement which affected faculty and faculty workloads, as well as university governance, can be found in Standards One, Four, and Six. The PQO, in effect since AY95, reflects the institution's mission of providing high quality education, and further defines and operationalizes its instructional mission. The document also provides for yearly progress reports which enable faculty and administration to monitor progress on a number of goals and improvements [Appendix 1-G, PQO Interim Report for FY 1996; and Appendix 1-H, PQO Interim Report for FY 1997]. The Agreement committed MSU to the following instructional goals which not only addressed the recommendations of Phase II, but also reinforced the instructional mission of MSU and the instructional goals of MSU's Long Range Plan [Appendix 1-C, Long Range Plan, 1994]:

        Reduce the time to complete degree requirements. This goal addresses the Phase II concerns about "getting in" and "getting through." MSU's response to improving degree completion rates includes, but is not limited to, the following strategies:

        Reduction of total degree requirements from 128 credits to 120 credits. In response to the reduction of overall credits from 128 to 120, each department reviewed its degree offerings and identified appropriate reductions. Generally, an undergraduate degree at MSU consists of three (3) parts: university core requirements, major/professional courses, and supporting electives. The review resulted in the following reductions to overall degree requirements: university core requirements were reduced by four (4) credits and major/elective requirements by four (4) credits. The College of Engineering submitted a request for permanent exemption from the 120 credit requirement citing clear pedagogical and competitive reasons for allowing degrees in Engineering, with the exception of Mechanical Engineering Technology (126) and Computer Science (120), to require 128 credits for completion. The exemption was granted by the BOR in September 1996. Similarly, the teacher preparation programs requested permanent exemption to require 128 credits for completion. The exemption was granted by the BOR in July 1996.

        Graduation Guarantees. In 1996, MSU implemented a four (4)-year graduation guarantee which offered serious, goal-oriented incoming freshmen guaranteed savings in time and money [Exhibit 2.04, Graduation Guarantee Programs]. Students were offered the opportunity to enter into a four (4)-year contract for most majors - five (5) years for architecture - which in effect guaranteed that if the student met all the conditions of their graduation guarantee plans, but was unable to complete the degree within the contracted time, the institution would pay post-contract incidental and mandatory fees until the contracted student graduated pursuant to her/his advisor-approved courses of study.

        Expansion of the opportunity to challenge courses. While MSU does not grant academic credit for prior experiential learning, it does have clear policies for granting academic credit for Advance Placement (AP), College Level Examination Programs (CLEP), and course challenges. In 1996, to further explore the procedure of course challenge, an ad hoc task force was convened by the Provost's Office to review the policies and procedures for challenge. The task force recommended that more discretion be granted to the department or college offering the course the student wished to challenge. Prior to 1996, the policy specified that a student pay a challenge fee and take a final, comprehensive examination for the course. Departments requested more flexibility in determining the method by which students demonstrated competency in the subject matter, e.g. final design project, portfolio review, or performance-based competency. The UGSC endorsed that recommendation and requested that colleges submit an inventory of courses which could be challenged [Exhibit 2.05, Inventory by College of Courses Available for Challenge].

        Enhance the quality and availability of the advising processes (pp. 40).

        Increase the quality of undergraduate education through smaller classes and active learning. This goal was met primarily through the development and expansion of the freshman seminar programs in GENS, Business, and Letters and Science. In addition to freshman seminars, MSU faculty have been involved in a number of pedagogical activities which are focused on the development of active and inquiry-based learning such as the Big Sky Institute (BSI) (pp. 122-123).

        Increase the quality of undergraduate education through expanded involvement of undergraduates in research and creative activity. This goal is addressed primarily by the development of undergraduate research opportunities such as the Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP) (pp. 126-127), and the proposed sophomore research/creative activity component of the Hewlett project (pp. 39).

        Identify and develop senior capstone experiences (pp. 29).

        Increase the quality of education through greater access to information technologies (see Standard Five).

        Expand off-campus access to classes and educational resources throughout Montana by increasing the use of telecommunications, by assuring that the focus of Extension and Outreach educational programs is on the critical needs of Montana, and by expanding the opportunities for place-bound, life-long learners to gain access to the information resources and services of the University (pp. 131-134).

The major changes in general undergraduate university requirements at MSU in the last decade are summarized in Table 2-01. Changes in the university core general education degree component are discussed under General Education (pp. 32-40).

Table 2-01

MAJOR CHANGES IN GENERAL UNDERGRADUATE UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS

 

 

University Requirements

Prior to 1991

Quarter system

192-credit degree

1991-1996

Semester system

128-credit degree

1996 to present

Semester system

120-credit degree

Total credits

192 [Arch = 240]

       [Engr = 196]

128 [Arch = 160]

       [Engr = 132]

120 [Engr = 128]

       [Teach Ed = 128]

Upper division

64 minimum

43 minimum

42 minimum

Residency

35 /last 45

23 /last 30

23 /last 30

Minors

30 minimum with

15 @ upper division

20 minimum with 10 @ upper division

21 minimum with

9 @ upper division

Freshmen Seminars

College of Business

College of Business

General Studies

College of Letters and Science

College of Business

General Studies

College of Letters and Science

Senior Capstone Courses

Specific professional disciplines

Specific professional disciplines

All departments

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Selected disciplines

Selected disciplines

USP + 489/490 courses in all departments

At each of the junctures discussed, faculty reviewed existing degree programs to determine currency and viability. Several degree programs were revised and updated, new degree programs were approved, and other degree programs were eliminated. In the event that degrees were eliminated, phase out was conducted in accordance with the BOR [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 303.4], and appropriate accommodations were made for students in the program to enable them to complete their degree requirements. Discussion of the creation and elimination of degree programs is included in the appropriate academic college sections of this standard. [Appendix 2-A, Summary of Changes in Degree Offerings.]

A summary of the number of baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees awarded by MSU during the last decade is shown in Figure 2-01. [See Appendix 2-B, Degrees Granted by College, for detailed information on degrees offered by each of the academic colleges.]



 



POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

The policies and procedures for the development of the curriculum have changed little over the last decade. Well-established procedures are in place for maximizing faculty input and governance of the curriculum development/review process. Initiatives for new courses/degree offerings and modification of existing courses/degrees begins at the departmental level. Courses can be initiated by students, faculty, alumni, professional groups, or department administration. Departmental and college curriculum committees review and approve curricular changes which are forwarded on to either the UGSC or the Graduate Council (GC) [Exhibit 2.06, New Undergraduate Course Request; Exhibit 2.07, Request for Offering 280/480 Special Topics; Exhibit 2.08, Semester Courses; Exhibit 2.09, Recommendation for a Core Course; Exhibit 2.10, New Graduate Course Request Form; and Exhibit 2.11, Request for Offering 580 Special Topics]. To ensure that all courses and programs are adequately supported by the Libraries and other information resources, a review of resources available is conducted at the university committee level. Degrees and options are forwarded for approval by the BOR. Figure 2-02 illustrates the process by which undergraduate and graduate courses and curricula are reviewed.



 


The only notable additions and changes to the process of curriculum since the last NASC self-study were the formation of the CCC and a reconfiguration of both the UGSC and the GSC. In 1986, the University adopted a university-wide core curriculum requirement. In order to coordinate the implementation of the core, a separate committee was formed, the CCC. This committee, working in concert with the UGSC and in an advisory capacity to the Provost, was charged with articulating core philosophy; setting criteria; recommending implementation policy and procedures, including requests for exceptions or waivers; and reviewing, approving, and assessing university core courses. Membership consists of the following: six (6) voting members who are faculty representing each of the core areas, one (1) faculty representing multicultural/global courses, four (4) additional faculty serving as at-large members to ensure university-wide participation, one (1) student representative, and the following non-voting Ex Officio members: Dean, Letters and Science; Dean, Arts and Architecture; Director, General Studies; and Director, Honors Program; Registrar. The committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs [Exhibit 2.12, Core Curriculum Committee].

Also, in order to ensure that all students consistently meet university core requirements, the core requirements are certified by the MSU Registrar rather than by departments and colleges. Any appeals or requests for substitutions or waivers to the university core requirements are considered by a subcommittee of the CCC, the Core Equivalency Review Committee (CERC) [Exhibit 2.13, Core Equivalency Review Committee].

The second modification in the initiation/review process of the curriculum occurred in 1996 when, in an effort to reduce faculty committee loads, the UGSC and the GSC were reconfigured. Prior to that time, the UGSC was made up of elected representatives from each academic department and GENS. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC), a subcommittee of the UGSC, was responsible for the initial review of proposals and for making recommendations to the broader committee. In the reconfiguration process, UGSC was collapsed into a smaller committee. As it operates currently, the UGSC consists of the following membership: voting members include faculty representing each academic college with two (2) members from Letters and Science, a representative from GENS, and a student member; non-voting Ex Officio members include Deans representing each academic college and representatives from the Office of the Registrar, the Libraries, and Faculty Council. The committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. It is charged with reviewing all undergraduate programs and courses; reviewing requests for changes, additions, or deletions to the educational program on a continuing basis; and considering of such aspects as academic soundness, impact on library and other institutional resources, duplication of effort, and conflicts of academic interest [Exhibit.2.14, Undergraduate Studies Committee].

Prior to 1996, the GSC was chaired by the Graduate Dean and consisted of elected representatives from each department offering graduate degrees. Similar to the UGSC, a subcommittee, GC, initially reviewed proposals and made recommendations to the GSC. The subcommittee consisted of representatives from each academic college. In the reconfiguration, the GSC was collapsed into the GC. Currently, the GC consists of one (1) elected representative from each academic college. The College of Graduate Studies coordinates the election process as follows: department heads of departments offering graduate programs submit nominations to the Graduate Office; a ballot is generated and circulated to the academic colleges. Representatives serve three (3) year staggered terms. The Council is chaired by the Graduate Dean and serves in an advisory capacity to the CGS [Exhibit 2.15, Graduate Council].

STRENGTHS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES GOVERNING CURRICULUM

In the last decade, the policies and procedures governing curriculum review and development have been effective and efficient in areas including, but not limited to:

        Curriculum review and approval. The stewardship of the UGSC, GC, and the CCC has maximized faculty input, as well as maintained integrity and stability to the process of curriculum review and approval.

        Acceptance of transfer work. The policies and procedures for accepting transfer work are clearly defined and published in the MSU Bulletin. The MSU Registrar/Director of Admissions is responsible for implementing consistent and equitable procedures which ensure that only credits from accredited institutions are accepted, that appropriate conversions are made for quarter work and/or international course work, that appropriate lower and upper division designations are awarded, and that articulation agreements are established and maintained. The Office of the Registrar and Admissions also serves as a liaison with academic departments and the CCC to ensure that transfer courses are equivalent to MSU courses and, in cases where MSU has no equivalent course, appropriate elective credit is awarded. In order to provide timely and accurate data to students and other external stakeholders, electronic articulation agreements for all Montana schools are posted on the Web [Exhibit 2.16, Articulation Agreements].

        Monitoring improvement and goal attainment. Since 1996, the institution has monitored each of the goals stipulated by the PQO Agreement and has submitted PQO interim progress reports to the Governor's Office of Budgeting and Planning detailing institutional improvements and progress toward attainment of the goals. In these interim reports each PQO goal is monitored, assessed, and discussed.

 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT

Integral to the charges of both the CCC and the UGSC is the mandate to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the educational program. The policies and procedures for implementing these charges have been less well-defined and the issues associated with educational assessment are complex. It is incumbent upon the institution, however, to define policies and procedures which maximize faculty opportunity to document student outcomes assessment activities; to engage in the continuous improvement of teaching and learning; and to promote faculty ownership, curricular integration, and campus-wide communication concerning assessment activities. To this end, MSU implemented the following policies and procedures to address assessment:

        Coordination and stewardship of assessment. The Assessment and Outcomes Committee (A&O) was formed in 1996 to serve in an advisory capacity to the Provost to monitor the development of a university-wide program to assess student learning in general education and the undergraduate majors consistent with the accreditation standards established by the NASC. The committee serves as a clearinghouse for assessment activities and consists of the following voting members: one (1) student, the Assistant/Associate Deans of the academic colleges, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; the Director of General Studies; and the Director of Institutional Research. Non-voting ex officio members are representatives from Faculty Council, the BSI, the Hewlett Group, the Teaching/Learning Committee (T/LC), and the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC). The committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs [Exhibit 2.17, Assessment and Outcomes Committee].

        Educating and engaging faculty in assessment. A&O has coordinated a number of activities which have promoted the integration and institutionalization of educational assessment into the teaching and learning equation. A summary of its activities follows:

        Assessment Plans. A&O worked closely with departments to develop assessment plans for each of the academic undergraduate majors. Departments were asked to develop assessment plans for each of their undergraduate degree programs which address the following: degree objectives, strategies for assessing discipline-specific knowledge, communication skills (written and verbal), and problem-solving skills; and methods for soliciting feedback from internal and external stakeholders. Complete plans for all undergraduate degree programs are posted on the Web and accessible to all stakeholders [Exhibit 2.18, Assessment Plans, and departmental notebooks referenced under each degree program].

        Assessment Summaries. In the second year of the assessment cycle, departments submit a summary of the results of their assessment activities. In their assessment summaries, departments also identify short- and long-term strategies for program improvement based on the data gathered through assessment activities. Text of these results are also posted on the Web [Exhibit 2.19, Assessment Summaries, and departmental notebooks referenced under each degree program].

        Establishing capstone courses. Since much of the data gathered concerning student outcomes is class-based and formative in nature, the third step in actualizing a university-wide assessment plan was to identify in each department a senior level required course which could serve as a capstone experience for students and yield summative data on professional competencies. A&O worked with each department to define the capstone experience and to develop a common set of criteria by which courses would be designated as capstone. The definition is as follows:

        A capstone experience requires seniors to integrate principles, theories, and methods learned in courses required throughout the major. Students creatively analyze, synthesize, and evaluate learned knowledge in a project having a professional focus and communicate the results of the project effectively at a professional entry level by a method appropriate to the discipline.

The criteria for capstone designation are as follows:

        Required senior-level class

        Not independent instruction, although it may have an independent component or co-requisite

        Has a substantive communication component

        Requires a synthesizing project

In the 1998-2000 catalog, capstone courses are designated with "C" following the course number. A list of all capstone courses is posted on the Web which includes not only course descriptions, but links to descriptions of the synthesizing project and methods by which communication is assessed in the course [Exhibit 2.20, Capstone Courses, and departmental notebooks referenced under each degree program]. The criteria and courses were approved by the UGSC in 1997.

The general assessment of undergraduate degree programs is discussed in each respective section under the Undergraduate Program (pp. 41) and summarized in Conclusions (pp. 134-138). The CCC is charged with assessing the general education component of MSU's degree programs. The strategies and results are described in detail in the General Education section (pp. 36-40).

The Provost's Office and A&O have supported a number of university-wide assessment activities which have the potential to impact overall assessment of teaching and learning. Projects serve as models for faculty wishing to pursue assessment as well as provide general findings which can be applicable to a number of instructional settings. [A summary of current projects is provided in Appendix 2-C, Ongoing Assessment Projects, and reports on these projects can be found in Exhibit 2.21, Assessment Project Reports.]

A&O recommended policies and procedures which promote the integration of student outcome assessment into the organizational culture of MSU as well as into the existing policies and procedures for the continuous improvement of the curriculum. Development of faculty ownership and understanding of assessment is critical to the institutionalization of assessment. Consequently A&O recommended that assessment become a meaningful part of the regular faculty annual review process. It drafted the following policy:

        Providing quality undergraduate and graduate educational programs is one (1) of the stated missions of MSU. Toward this end, the University has established a program of student outcomes assessment with the goal of improving student learning and performance. The University's assessment program is an ongoing collaborative effort by faculty and administrators. In conjunction with guidelines published by the NASC, the faculty has established learning objectives for all undergraduate degree programs and developed departmental plans for evaluating the extent to which students are achieving the stated objectives. The University follows a decentralized approach to assessment, with departments responsible for assessing specific academic programs and appropriate faculty groups responsible for assessing general education. The administration's role is to coordinate and document assessment activities taking place at the department level, as well as to conduct surveys and provide data of institutional scope. The goal of outcomes assessment is program improvement. For assessment to be effective, faculty must document program weaknesses, as well as strengths, and use their findings to make program improvements. To ensure that assessment proceeds in accordance with this goal, deans and department heads are expected to recognize and acknowledge faculty participation in assessment activities through the annual review process at all levels.

This policy draft has been approved by the President's Executive Council (PEC) and Deans' Council. It has been reviewed by the UGSC and the CCC. It is currently under review by Faculty Council.

Procedurally, assessment is now being integrated into the established curriculum review cycle which is conducted by each department every two (2) years in conjunction with biennial catalog publication. The chair of the A&O committee has been meeting with each departmental curriculum committee to discuss the feasibility of integrating assessment into curricular deliberations and improvements. By pursuing this model, student outcomes assessment becomes an integral part of the curriculum cycle rather than an "add-on" to faculty responsibilities. The assessment cycle is illustrated in Figure 2-03.



 

 


GENERAL EDUCATION

Since 1986, the university general education core has been required in every undergraduate degree program at MSU. The purpose of the university core is:

        To ensure that each degree program includes a common university requirement which emphasizes the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences to undergraduate education

        To promote interdisciplinary educational opportunities

        To develop critical and creative thinking, effective communication, and multicultural and global awareness

To this end, the faculty of MSU developed a common core curriculum for all undergraduate students to enable them to reach their intellectual potential, to become contributing members of society, and to compete more successfully in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world.

 

HISTORY/EVOLUTION OF THE CORE

In 1984, an ad hoc committee comprised primarily of faculty from each of the colleges was charged by the President with the design of a university-wide general education core requirement. The committee solicited input from the faculty at large, thoroughly researched models of general education at other institutions, drew on the success of the 1983 Writing Across the Curriculum project, and then recommended a model for a general education core curriculum which was comprised of the following:

        Goals of the core. The following nine (9) goals were identified as essential to the education of an MSU undergraduate. Students should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

        Think, speak, and write effectively, and evaluate the oral and written expression of others

        Develop learning objectives and the means to reach them, thus developing lifelong patterns of behavior which increase the potential to adapt to and create change

        Exercise and expand intellectual curiosity

        Think across areas of specialization and integrate ideas from a variety of academic disciplines and applied fields

        Use complex knowledge in making decisions and judgments

        Make discriminating moral and ethical choices with an awareness of the immediate and long-term effects on our world

        Develop a critical appreciation of the ways in which we gain and apply knowledge and understanding of the universe, of society, and of ourselves

        Understand the experimental methods of the sciences, as well as the creative approaches of the arts

        Develop an appreciation of other cultures, as well as an understanding of global issues

        Structure of the model. The general education component was comprised of a total of fifty-four (54) quarter credits which were distributed as follows:

        Basic Skills (writing, speaking, and mathematics) (12 credits)

        Introductory Common Experience Course (2 credits)

        General Education Distribution (36 credits)

        Literature and Fine Arts (8 credits)

        Historical Study and Social Sciences (8 credits)

        Natural Science (8 credits)

        Technology and Society (4 credits)

        Cultural Perspectives and Global Policy (8 credits)

        Thought and Values - a core capstone course (4 credits)

        Criteria for university core courses. The CCC identified a set of general criteria, based on the nine (9) goals, as well as specific criteria for each category in order to evaluate courses for inclusion in the university core [Exhibit 2.22, Core General and Specific Criteria].

        Process of curriculum review. The process for review and acceptance of course proposals was to be the responsibility of the CCC (pp. 26-27).

        Faculty commitment to undergraduate education. The committee recommended that university core courses be taught by MSU's best senior faculty and that whenever feasible courses be supplemented with small discussion sections.

This model of the general education core component was presented to the faculty and subsequently submitted to the Curriculum Committee of the UGSC for approval [Exhibit 2.23, General Education Core Curriculum "Orange Document"]. After much discussion, the goals of the core, and the criteria and process for approval of courses were endorsed. The structure of the core was modified, however, by the UGSC [Exhibit 2.24, General Education Core Curriculum "Blue Document"] and included the following fifty six (56) credits:

        Communication, verbal and written (8 credits)

        Mathematics (4 credits)

        Natural Sciences (16 credits)

        Fine Arts and Humanities (12 credits)

        Social Sciences (12 credits)

        Technology and Society (4 credits)

        Multicultural/Global perspectives (6 credits of the 56)

In the last decade, two (2) more modifications were made to the requirements of the university core, one (1) to accommodate the transition from quarter to semester, and another to accommodate the transition from the 128 to 120 total credit requirement. The modifications are summarized in Table 2-02.

Table 2-02

MODIFICATIONS TO UNIVERSITY CORE OVER LAST DECADE

 

 

Core Requirements

Prior to 1991

Quarter system

192 credit degrees

1991-1996

Semester system

128 credit degrees

1996 to present

Semester system

120 credit degrees

 

Core course

designation

Communication - written

4 credits

3 credits

3 credits

W

Communication - verbal

4 credits

3 credits

3 credits

V

Mathematics

4 credits

3 credits

3 credits

M

Fine Arts

n/a

3 credits

3 credits

F

Humanities

12 credits

6 credits

6 credits

H

Natural Sciences

16 credits

9 credits

8 credits (reduced in 96)

N

Social Sciences

12 credits

6 credits

6 credits

S

Technology and Society

4 credits

3 credits

0 credits (eliminated in 96)

n/a

Multicultural/Global (concurrent with total credits)

6 credits

6 credits

6 credits

#

At each of these junctures, faculty reviewed the core curriculum requirements and reaffirmed their commitment to the basic core goals and criteria. In the transition from quarter to semester, the faculty endorsed a core which maintained the balance and breath of liberal education. The humanities category was further delineated to require both six (6) credits of humanities and three (3) credits of fine arts to ensure that students were provided the opportunity to develop an appreciation of the fine and performing arts. In the transition from 128 to 120 total credits, the eight (8) credit reduction was comprised of four (4) credits from the university core and four (4) credits from departmental requirements. The technology and society category was eliminated (3 credits) and the natural science category was reduced by one (1) credit.

ASSESSMENT OF GENERAL EDUCATION

Assessment of the general education component of the undergraduate degree has focused on two (2) strands of assessment: evaluation of the core relative to the nine (9) core goals and the core criteria, and the summative evaluation of the overall value the core adds to the undergraduate educational experience.

Assessment of the core

In the last decade, general education core courses have been assessed in a number of ways. In addition to the standard process of student evaluation, courses have been assessed as follows:

        Pilot assessment projects. During the first years of the university core, a number of departments piloted course assessment activities in order to evaluate courses in relationship to the core goals [Exhibit 1.01, October 1990 Institutional Self-Study Report].

        Semester conversion assessment. In 1991 when the institution converted from quarter to semester, the CCC recognized that courses may change substantively in the conversion and that new courses would be proposed. Therefore, each of the courses which had been designated as core courses under the quarter system was submitted to the CCC for approval as a semester. core course. The course request form included an additional section on assessment [Exhibit 2.25, Quarter to Semester Conversion Core Course Approval Form (1990)]. Course proposals were required to include not only how the general and specific core criteria were to be met, but how the course would be assessed [Exhibit 2.26, Inventory of Current Core Courses].

        Core course assessment. In 1997, the CCC undertook a major assessment of university core courses. By means of a very thorough on-line survey, the committee solicited input from faculty who were currently teaching core courses. The survey included assessment of courses in relation to the general and specific criteria, and provided faculty with the opportunity to comment on the strengths of the core, the barriers to delivering quality core courses, and their recommendations for improvement of the core [Exhibit 2.27, Report on the Core Curriculum Survey].

        Faculty survey on core issues. In 1998, the Office of the Provost conducted a faculty survey with a specific university core section [Exhibit 2.28, Core Curriculum Section from the Faculty Survey]. This part of the faculty survey was developed by a subcommittee of the CCC [see Appendix 1-K, Faculty Survey]. The survey included questions on effectiveness, credit distribution, exemptions/transfers, new proposals, timing, funding, and re-assessment.

        Student core survey. A core survey for students was also administered in 1998 [Exhibit 2.29, Core Curriculum Student Opinion Survey]. This survey included questions on core goals, core structure, and core learning experiences.

Assessment of overall value of the core

Assessment of the overall added "value" of the general education requirement has been summative in nature. The institution has gathered considerable data on both the profile of MSU incoming students, as well as the perceptions and satisfaction graduating seniors and alumni report, concerning how well MSU general education prepared them as professionals and citizens.

A detailed description of MSU's student body is included in Standard Three. The following data is pertinent, however, to the discussion of curricular assessment. First, concurrent with the transition from quarters to semesters, MSU modified the admission criteria for first-time undergraduates and transfer students [Exhibit 1.05, MSU 1998-2000 Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin, pp. 9-17]. Table 2-03 summarizes the changes. BOR Policy allows for a 5% exception for each of these categories. MSU has been consistently well below the allowed exceptions.

Table 2-03

CHANGES IN ADMISSIONS CRITERIA OVER LAST DECADE

Student

Prior to 1991

1991- present

Undergraduate: in-state first time freshmen

Graduate of accredited high school or passing score on the General Education Development Test (GED)

Graduate of accredited high school; one of the following numeric scores: 2.50 cumulative grade point average (GPA); American College Test (ACT) composite score of 22 or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) composite score of 1030, or ranked in top half of graduating class; and successful completion of college preparatory curriculum

Undergraduate: out-of-state first time freshmen

Graduate of accredited high school who ranked in upper half of graduating class or equivalent, or passing score on the GED test

Same

Undergraduate: in-state transfer

Scholastically eligible to enroll

Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and scholastically eligible to enroll

Undergraduate: out-of-state transfer

Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and scholastic eligibility to enroll

Same

As Table 2-04 indicates, MSU has consistently admitted students whose mean academic predictors are above both the Montana average, as well as above the national average. High school academic predictors indicate that MSU freshmen are well above average in their academic performance. Their mean high school GPA's have averaged above a 3.00, and they generally rank in the top third of their high school class. These indicators serve as a baseline for student academic performance.

Table 2-04

STUDENT ACADEMIC INDICATORS

 

 

Fall

High School

GPA

High School

Percentile

 

ACT

MSU

 

ACT

MT

 

ACT

US

 

SAT

MSU

 

SAT

MT

 

SAT

US

1998

3.30

66th

23.4

21.9

21.0

1091

1089

1017

1997

3.23

64th

22.8

21.9

21.0

1084

1093

1016

1996

3.17

63rd

22.7

21.9

21.0

1085

1093

1013

1995

3.19

64th

22.9

21.7

20.9

1100

1102

1010

1994

3.18

65th

23.1

21.8

20.8

1084

1082

1003

1993

3.14

65th

22.8

21.8

20.8

1070

n/a

1003

1992

3.12

65th

22.8

21.6

20.7

1077

n/a

1003

1991

3.07

64th

22.6

21.7

20.6

1080

n/a

999

1990

3.04

64th

22.7

21.6

20.6

1075

n/a

1001

 

Data is subsequently gathered from graduating seniors and alumni on their perceptions of how well the university core prepared them as professionals and as citizens. Senior surveys are distributed by each of the seven (7) colleges during spring term [Exhibit 2.30, Senior Surveys]. Surveys query students on a number of components of their undergraduate experience such as university core, student services, accessibility and quality of courses, and accessibility and quality of advising. Data is compiled by the Office of Institutional Research (IR). Data concerning perceptions of the university core from the class of 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 are shown in Table 2-05.

Table 2-05

GRADUATING SENIOR PERCEPTIONS OF EFFECTIVENESS OF UNIVERSITY CORE

Class of

1995

1996

1997

1998

 

Competency

N=502/1531

% effective

N=545/1529

% effective

N=417/1249

% effective

N=668/1663

% effective

Analyze written arguments

90.2

88.5

89.9

88.0

Appreciate other cultures

79.1

77.9

75.4

76.6

Appreciate art and music

63.9

64.4

66.0

67.3

Broaden intellectual interests

92.1

90.0

89.2

92.0

Develop leadership skills

83.3

86.3

83.9

85.5

Improve decision-making

90.6

91.0

89.5

91.0

Increase self-confidence

85.3

85.5

82.5

85.3

Reason mathematically

78.5

80.6

78.1

76.6

Respect points of view

88.1

88.3

88.3

89.9

Set personal priorities

87.0

87.8

86.8

85.4

Speak to groups

88.1

89.6

86.3

86.1

Think independently

91.4

92.8

91.4

92.0

Understand science concepts

85.5

90.2

87.3

86.7

Use information technology

84.0

85.6

84.5

84.9

Write clearly

87.8

90.0

89.7

86.4

Each year IR distributes an alumni survey to students who have been graduated for three (3) years [Exhibit 2.31, Alumni Surveys]. The survey includes general questions concerning graduates. satisfaction with MSU and the extent to which the educational preparation they received prepared them for the professional world. Data gathered from five (5)-year alumni is very consistent with and comparative to the graduating senior data. Several years after graduation, students are reporting similar levels of satisfaction with the preparation afforded by the university core. The data are shown in Table 2-06.

Table 2-06

ALUMNI PERCEPTIONS OF EFFECTIVENESS OF UNIVERSITY CORE

Class of

1991

1992

1993

1994

 

Competency

N=309/1466

% effective

N=468/1384

% effective

N=269/1116

% effective

N=313/1156

% effective

Analyze written arguments

86.7

85.5

83.7

86.2

Appreciate other cultures

75.8

72.6

69.2

68.7

Appreciate art and music

59.4

58.8

61.7

57.8

Broaden intellectual interests

90.6

91.3

90.7

90.1

Develop leadership skills

83.4

84.7

83.6

86.4

Improve decision-making

88.4

92.3

88.8

93.0

Reason mathematically

81.8

79.2

79.9

79.9

Respect points of view

90.8

92.7

90.7

91.0

Speak to groups

82.7

83.5

83.7

86.6

Think independently

90.9

91.7

87.7

92.3

Understand science concepts

89.0

87.6

85.2

87.9

Write clearly

87.4

89.8

88.1

93.9

Data are reviewed by colleges, departments, and the CCC. Data have been stable and consistent and demonstrate that graduating seniors and alumni both perceive the university core as effective. In most cases 80% to 90% of the respondents rated the core as effective. The only category which received consistently lower ratings was "Appreciate art and music."


STRENGTHS OF THE CORE

Over the last decade, the institution has maintained a general education core with the following positive characteristics:

        Common core goals. The general education core has always been a core of "common goals" which are outcome-based competencies. Though the structure has evolved over time to accommodate other changes and demands of undergraduate education, the underlying nine (9) goals have been sustained. These goals serve as the foundation for MSU's commitment to providing quality undergraduate education which includes both the depth of departmental requirements and the breadth of core liberal education.

        Common requirement. Every undergraduate degree program includes the same university core component.   This common requirement ensures consistency in the preparation of graduates, as well as ensures that each student will have the opportunity to engage in the breadth of liberal education.

        Sustaining Writing Across the Curriculum (WxC). An informal review of course requirements for university core courses illustrates that faculty have maintained a commitment to integrating writing into university core courses. In spite of increases in enrollment, the faculty have, through a variety of methodologies, continued to require writing as an essential component of core courses.

        Faculty stewardship. Oversight of the university core is the responsibility of the CCC. Drawn from a wide variety of university faculty stakeholders, the committee is charged with the maintenance, assessment, and improvement of the core. The committee operates through the regularly established curriculum review process and provides consistency and integrity to the university core.

        Centralized certification. Certification of the university core requirement is conducted at the university level by the Office of the Registrar rather than at the departmental level. Centralizing this process of degree certification has ensured that each student is treated equitably and consistently in terms of core requirements. As discussed earlier, any exemptions or appeals of university core requirements are dealt with by CERC rather than at the departmental level.

        Student perceptions of value of core. As illustrated in Tables 2-05 and 2-06, with the exception of an appreciation of fine arts, the graduating senior data and alumni data indicate that MSU graduates perceive the core to be effective to their preparation as professionals.

        Inclusion of seminar experiences. The 1998 Core Curriculum survey reported that faculty identified small seminar courses or courses with supporting studios or recitations as providing students with the most successful core experience. Since 1991, the number of seminar type courses has increased. Inclusion of the three (3) major freshman seminars in General Studies, Business, and Letters and Science as verbal courses has provided nearly half of MSU's incoming freshmen with a seminar-based core experience.

PROBLEMATIC AREAS OF CONCERN AND STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT

Over the last decade, there have been two (2) primary areas in the administration and assessment of the core which warrant improvement. The areas of course accessibility and integrity of the core have been identified. Where indicated, strategies have been developed for addressing these specific areas:

        Course accessibility. The structure of the core is such that a student must complete her/his requirements in order to graduate. While it is preferred that students complete their general education requirements by the end of the sophomore year, particularly their basic skills competencies, this has not been completely feasible because of less than optimum course accessibility, as well as the structure of some departmental requirements [Exhibit 2.32, Core Course Availability Spring and Fall 1998; and Exhibit 2.33, Structure of Departmental Course Requirements]. The issue of accessibility of core courses has been systematically addressed by the institution. Data from the senior surveys confirm the need for strategies for improving accessibility to university core courses. The data is summarized in Table 2-07.

Table 2-07

GRADUATING SENIOR SATISFACTION WITH AVAILABILITY OF CORE COURSES

Class of

1995

1996

1997

1998

 

Quality Indicator

N=502/1531

% satisfied

N=545/1529

% satisfied

N=417/1249

% satisfied

N=668/1663

% satisfied

Availability of core courses

70.2

73.1

74.8

72.5

In summary, the following strategies have been implemented to provide students better access to university core courses:

        Priority registration was established for ENGL 121W, College Writing I; and COM 110V, Introduction to Public Communication since these two (2) courses are taken by the majority of students to fulfill their Communication basic skill requirements. New freshmen were divided alphabetically such that during a fall term, freshmen with last names A-K were given priority for ENGL 121W, and freshmen with last names L-Z were given priority for COM 110V. Priority reversed in the spring term. This process encouraged students to enroll in their basic skills courses during their freshmen year and discouraged the registration of upper class students in these courses.

        By 1994, the CCC had approved a broader set of criteria for courses fulfilling the verbal requirement in the core. This provided colleges with the opportunity to submit verbal courses for inclusion in the core and to increase students. course selection options. As a result, the following college freshman seminar courses were designated as verbal courses:

        AGED 251V, Leadership Development for Agribusiness and Industry Employees

        BUS 101V, Freshman Seminar

        CH E 251V, Societal Impacts of Chemical Engineering

        CLS 101V, College Seminar

        COM 110V, Introduction to Public Communication

        GENS 101V, Freshman Core Seminar

        Finally, in order to assess the accessibility of university core courses on a systematic and regular basis, an ad hoc working group (known as the SWAT team) meets at least three (3) times a semester to monitor availability of courses. The team is comprised of the Registrar, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Letters and Science, and the Assistant Director of General Studies. The work of this team, as well as departmental efforts, have successfully addressed many of the availability concerns cited in the Phase II Restructuring document.

        Integrity of the core. To maximize the integrity of the core experience while still accommodating MSU's stakeholders, the CCC held substantive discussions of strategies to accommodate transfer and former students while maintaining the spirit and uniqueness of the core. Since 40% of all new students at MSU are transfer students, methods for evaluating transfer credit for inclusion in the core were thoroughly discussed. It was also determined that in order to maintain consistency, the CCC would review transfer courses and recommend for or against applicability to MSU core requirements. These recommendations were forwarded to MSU Admissions for inclusion in official evaluation of courses. Subsequent to the initial review by the CCC, CERC assumed this responsibility as needed.

       Over the past decade, a number of exemptions and accommodations have been made to these practices:

        New freshmen. In order to accommodate the transition from departmental general education requirements to university core requirements (1986), freshmen were allowed to fulfill the MSU core requirements by completing MSU core designated courses and by applying previous course work which had been approved on the Core Bridge List [Exhibit 2.34, Core Bridge List]. This bridge list was approved by the CCC and included most of the courses which had been included in departmental general education requirements prior to 1986.

        Transfer students. From 1988 to 1994, transfer students were required to fulfill MSU core requirements with either MSU core-designated courses or transfer courses which were approved as equivalent to MSU core courses in content and spirit. . In 1994, in response to concerns about the transferability of courses among the MSU institutions, the Commissioner of Higher Education (CHE) charged the academic units with developing an MUS core. Representatives from MSU met with other units and articulated an MUS Core [Exhibit 2.35, MUS Core]. Subsequent to the approval of the MUS core, in-state-transfer students were allowed to apply the approved general education courses to their degree requirements. In 1996, the BOR approved a policy [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 301.10] which further defined the transferability of general education. The policy stipulated that if a student completed a general education program at one of the state-supported institutions, and that completion was so designated officially on the student's transcript, that the student's general education requirement would be considered satisfied. Currently, an in-state student transferring to MSU is considered to have completed her/his general education requirement if the completion is documented in one of the following three (3) ways:

        "Core completed" is so designated on the transcript

        Official written verification is received from the former institution's Registrar

        The transcript indicates the student has earned an Associate's Degree from one of Montana's community colleges

Since nearly 40% of all new students are transfer students, there is a high probability some or all of the

students. general education requirements have been fulfilled with course work other than MSU-designated core courses.

        Former students. Students who attended MSU prior to 1986 may apply courses from the Registrar's Bridge List to their general education requirements.

        International students. In 1996, the CCC approved a proposal which exempted international undergraduate degree-seeking students from the multicultural/global (MC/G) requirement. Based on the logic that MSU students could fulfill the MC/G requirement through an approved Study Abroad or International Exchange Program, international students were exempted from the MSU requirement.

        Second degree/post baccalaureate students. In 1996, the CCC approved an exemption for students earning a post-baccalaureate degree. The logic was based on an informal transcript analysis indicating that these students had fulfilled a general education requirement in their first degree.

        AP. Since its adoption as a university requirement, university core courses may be fulfilled through AP.

        Other exemptions. There have been two (2) additional exemptions approved for university core requirements. In 1994, the CCC approved a policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that provided alternatives for fulfilling the core mathematics requirement. The policy required that CERC approve the alternative in cases of documented Math Learning Disabilities [Exhibit 2.36, Math Learning Disability Policy]. To date, approximately four (4) students have been granted this exemption. In 1996, the CCC approved a proposal to exempt students from ENGL 121W on the basis of a student's performance on the ACT or SAT. Students with a verbal ACT score of 27 or higher or a verbal SAT score of 640 or higher were exempt from the written communication requirement. It was estimated that approximately 15% of the students would qualify for this exemption.

        All other substitutions, waivers, and accommodations. All other exceptions are reviewed and approved by CERC. The average number of CERC appeals heard each year between 1992 and 1999 was ninety-two (92). Approximately one-third of these appeals were approved. The majority of the appeals approved dealt with re-consideration of transfer credit which had not been originally approved to fulfill university core requirements. Other areas in which exceptions were considered were as follows: waiver of partial credit requirements for specific categories due to the conversion of quarter credits to semester credits, and waiver of requirements due to documented advisor error [Exhibit 2.37, CERC Meeting Agenda and Minutes].

These core exemptions are summarized in Table 2-08.

Table 2-08

MSU CORE CURRICULUM: 1988-1998 EXEMPTIONS

 

Catalog

New

Freshmen

New

Transfers

Former

Students

International

Students

2nd Degree Students

 

AP

 

Other

 

Appeals

1988-

1991

MSU + Bridge List

MSU + Equivalent

MSU + Bridge List

MSU

MSU

Yes

None

CERC

1991-

1993

MSU

MSU + Equivalent

MSU + Bridge List

MSU

MSU

Yes

None

CERC

1993-

1994

MSU

MSU + Equivalent

MSU + Bridge List

MSU

MSU

Yes

None

CERC

1994-

1996

MSU

MSU +

MUS core

MSU + Bridge List

MSU

MSU

Yes

Math: ADA

CERC

1996-

1998

MSU

MSU + BOR 301.10

MSU + Bridge List

MC/G exempt

Exempt

Yes

Math: ADA

Writing: ACT, SAT

CERC

1998-

2000

MSU

MSU +

BOR 301.10

MSU + Bridge List

MC/G exempt

Exempt

Yes

Math: ADA

Writing: ACT, SAT

CERC

 

The institution has actively engaged in a number of activities intended to provide opportunities to enhance the core. In May 1997, in conjunction with MSU's PQO commitment to provide opportunities for faculty development in instruction and active learning techniques, the Office of the Provost sponsored a faculty workshop on integrating Oral Communication Across the Curriculum (OCxC). The workshop was conducted by Dr. Michael Cronin and Dr. George Grice, both professors of speech communication at Radford University and nationally recognized experts in the field. The full-day workshop addressed the following topics: definition, need and value of an OCxC program; strategies for starting a basic program; methods for assessing effective oral communication skills; and strategies for integrating OCxC across the disciplines. The workshop was well attended by deans, department heads, and faculty from each department.

Primarily because of the structure of the core and the overlap of core competencies with discipline specific competencies, it is challenging to identify both strategies and intervention points for capturing mid-program data and developing strategies for formative assessment of the core. To address these issues, the institution has engaged in the following activities:

        External review. In 1998, the T/LC and A&O invited Dr. James Ratcliff to campus to assist in the process of identifying issues and strategies for assessment of general education. Dr. Ratcliff is a Professor of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University, Senior Scientist at the Center for the Study of Higher Education (at Penn State), and Partner with Performance Associates who provide postsecondary educational consulting services. Dr. Ratcliff met with a number of different groups including A&O, the T/LC, the CCC, the Hewlett

"Reinventing the Core" group, representatives of Faculty Council, departmental assessment representatives, and the UGSC, as well as a number of faculty who teach in various core areas. Dr. Ratcliff's visit concluded with a debriefing of strategies for improving the assessment of general education requirements.

        Internal review. Prompted by a number of concerns and perceptions about the quality and cohesiveness of the general education requirement, faculty began a substantive review of the core curriculum in January 1998. Table 2-09, using data from the senior survey, illustrates the need for improvement in the quality of core courses and core instruction:

Table 2-09

GRADUATING SENIOR SATISFACTION WITH QUALITY OF CORE COURSES

Class of

1995

1996

1997

1998

 

Quality Indicator

N=502/1531

% satisfied

N=545/1529

% satisfied

N=417/1249

% satisfied

N=668/1663

% satisfied

Quality of Core Courses

75.5

78.0

76.9

78.9

Quality of Core Instruction

77.6

85.0

83.6

83.4

In response to these data, other faculty concerns, and the goals of the Long Range Plan (LRP), a grant was submitted and subsequently funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for $150,000 to support a faculty initiative to "reinvent the core" [Exhibit 2.38, Reinventing the Core Proposal]. The grant was awarded to support the following activities:

        Campus dialogue about the core curriculum. The project supports a variety of opportunities for faculty to participate in discussion concerning the purposes and structure of the core, particularly the issue of requiring an integrated core experience vs. a broader general education distribution.

        University seminar series. The series began in September 1998 and included discussions on change, interdisciplinary courses, and teaching, and systematically integrating undergraduate student research/creative activity into the curriculum.

        Faculty retreats. A retreat was sponsored in November 1998 at which faculty discussed core curriculum issues and developed strategies for creating a more integrated core.

        Core curriculum working group. Comprised of representatives from all colleges, the working group will develop recommendations and strategies for submission to the CCC.

        Pilot curricular changes. During AY 98/99, the grant will support the "New Core Experiment." The redesigned curriculum includes the following:

        The "pairing" of core courses. For example, students will enroll concurrently in HIST 255H, Pre-Civil War American History, and NAS 201S#, American Indians of Montana. Assignments and activities have been coordinated between the faculty of these two (2) courses to maximize students. opportunities to better integrate the content of the courses, as well as to expand the understanding of the interrelated nature of the humanities and social sciences.

        Expansion of CLS 101V, Freshman Seminar. This course, traditionally taught by faculty from the College of Letters and Science, will be expanded to include faculty instructors from a number of other colleges. The opportunity for cross-disciplinary teaching and learning will be assessed. Faculty and student surveys and focus groups will be conducted to determine how the course impacts both student and faculty learning.

        Sophomore research/creative activity experience. As discussed earlier, one (1) of the barriers to assessing the value added by the university core is the absence of a systematic method for capturing mid-program data on student outcomes. The sophomore research/creative activity will provide this opportunity. Students will engage, during their sophomore year, in summative research/creative activity with faculty and trained student teaching fellows (upper division students). The activity will be piloted with approximately 100 students in Spring term 2000. Projects will be assessed through critique of the written or artistic work, as well as students. oral defense of the project.

The Hewlett project will engage in systematic formative and summative assessment of its three (3) components (seminar series, new core experiment, and sophomore research experience). At the end of the second year, the project will be considered successful if the following measures are demonstrated:

        Recruitment and retention of fifty (50) new faculty to the university seminar series

        Recruitment of 100 students to the New Core Experiment each year of the project, sixty-five (65) to seventy-five (75) who successfully complete the core during their first two (2) years and who participate in the sophomore research experience

        Development and adoption of a core curriculum with the following components:

        Clearly articulated core goals

        Clearly articulated core competencies

        Administrative structures which promote cross-disciplinary teaching and continuous improvement of general education

        Clearly defined alternative pathways and incentives for students to complete all or more of the core by the end of the sophomore year

        Well-defined methods and procedures for assuring systematic formative and summative assessment and continuous course improvement

 

ACADEMIC ADVISING

Integral to the quality of the instructional program is a system of academic advising which, through a combination of resources, provides students. with the opportunity for personal and professional growth. The wholistic advising system at MSU is comprised of the following components:

        Faculty advisor/mentors. The core of the advising system at MSU is the faculty. Advising, as an extension of teaching, is the responsibility of each tenure-track faculty member. It is expected that faculty will be accessible to students, will serve as mentors, and will assist students in their exploration of the discipline and professions.

        Academic professional advisors. Supportive to the faculty advising system is a contingent of academic professional advisors. The primary center for academic professional advising is GENS (pp. 94-95). Colleges such as Business, and Education, Health and Human Development supplement their faculty advising with academic professional advising.

        Student support services. Detailed in Standard Three, these services provide a variety of student support functions ranging from student health and counseling to community involvement.

In response to the Phase II Restructuring recommendations, the goals of the LRP, and the PQO commitments, the Provost appointed an ad hoc Advising Task Force in 1997 to assess the academic advising system at MSU. The Task Force was chaired by the Director of General Studies and comprised of a variety of stakeholders in the advising process: faculty, academic advising professionals, student affairs professionals, and students. The Task Force was charged with the following:

        Review of data on advising. The senior and alumni surveys include questions concerning the quality of advising and availability of advisors. Data illustrate the continuous improvement of the areas of quality of academic advising and accessibility of advisors, as well as the need for improvement in other areas such as career and professional development advising. Table 2-10 illustrates senior satisfaction with advising.

 

Table 2-10

GRADUATING SENIOR SATISFACTION WITH ADVISING

Class of

1995

1996

1997

1998

 

Quality Indicator

N=502/1531

% satisfied

N=545/1529

% satisfied

N=417/1249

% satisfied

N=668/1663

% satisfied

Quality of Advising: Major

69.3

73.9

73.9

77.1

Quality of Advising: General Studies

74.6

71.2

71.1

75.6

Access of Advisors: Major

74.8

77.9

83.9

81.8

Access of Advisors: General Studies

87.0

79.8

73.1

81.7

Quality of Career Advising: Major

61.8

67.8

64.6

70.1

Quality of Career Advising: Career Services

60.9

59.1

53.7

67.6

Alumni were asked more general questions concerning advising and accessibility of faculty. Their responses are

shown in Table 2-11.

Table 2-11

ALUMNI SATISFACTION WITH ADVISING

Class of

1991

1992

1993

1994

 

Quality Indicator

N=309/1466

% satisfied

N=468/1384

% satisfied

N=269/1116

% satisfied

N=313/1156

% satisfied

Access of Faculty: Excellent

25.2

25.6

24.2

31.6

Good

34.4

42.1

38.3

41.2

Average

29.3

24.1

30.1

20.1

Total % rating Exc. >avg

88.9

91.8

92.6

92.9

Quality of Advising: Excellent

12.3

12.6

13.0

18.5

Good

27.9

30.6

33.1

35.8

Average

34.4

32.3

29.0

24.6

Total % rating Exc. >avg

74.6

75.5

75.1

78.9

 

        Needs assessment of advising. The identification and documentation of advising strategies and goals on campus resulted in the submission of an advising plan by each department which included a statement of purpose, description of advising procedures, description of strategies for assessing advising, and recommendations for improving both the quality of advising and the accessibility of advisors. Departmental plans are posted on the web and accessible to all stakeholders [Exhibit 2.39, Advising for Undergraduate Majors, and departmental notebooks referenced under each degree].

        University-wide advising. The Task Force developed a university-wide Advising Plan which included a definition of advising, university advising goals, a description of department advising processes, a description of academic professional advising support system, and a description of student affairs support systems.

        Recommendations. Included in the Advising Plan are recommendations for the improvement of the quality of advising and accessibility of advisors. The Task Force reconfirmed that academic advising is the responsibility of academic faculty, GENS, and other academic professional advisors. Based on the findings of the Advising Task Force and supported by the graduating senior and alumni data, the following improvements were recommended:

        The administration provide leadership to colleges and departments to recognize quality advising in their promotion and tenure (P&T) process and annual review.

        Departments incorporate periodic review of their advising plans with their regular program review processes and monitor their success in reaching their stated goals.

        Departments provide development opportunities for advisers to improve their skills and knowledge.

        The university promote a first semester Freshman Seminar (1-3 credits) for each department and/or college. Freshmen seminars are not only in keeping with the PQO commitment of providing smaller, seminar-style classes, but also are instrumental in promoting student retention, persistence, and performance.

        Establish a university Advising Council to serve in a stewardship role for monitoring the improvement of advising. The Council would be chaired by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and include experienced faculty advisors, assistant deans, student affairs professionals, and students.

        Expand the General Studies program to include an Academic Advising Center which would serve as an information clearing house for faculty and students.

        Designate a Student Development and Learning Center in the Student Affairs Division to address students needs.

        Charge Career Services with developing a program to improve the link between academic preparation and the professional world.

        Maintain and improve electronic access to student records for accurate and timely advising.

In addition to the university Advising Plan, the institution has supported the improvement of advising by developing a variety of "user-friendly" Web screens to assist both students and faculty in accessing timely information relative to degree progress. Under the "Services for Students" link on the MSU home page, students can access a "searchable" electronic version of the MSU Bulletin, term schedule of classes and course availability, transfer articulation guides, and information on student services and activities. On-line student advising screens are available which are password protected and include such information as term class schedules, academic standing, degree progress, and status of financial aid and financial obligations. The faculty screens are also password protected and contain similar information.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

The undergraduate instructional program at MSU is delivered by seven (7) academic colleges and GENS. Undergraduate education will be discussed as follows:

        A general overview will be given for each of the seven (7) academic colleges

        Detailed information will be given for each department including:

        Departmental mission

        Contribution to MSU's instructional mission

        Degree offerings

        Enrollment data [for detailed enrollment data for specific options of any degree programs, see Appendix 2- D, Fall Headcount Enrollment by Major and Option]

        Degree objectives

        Current program assessment [for a summary of departmental assessment activities, see Appendix 2-E, Student Outcomes Assessment Matrix]

        Problematic areas of concern and strategies for improvement

        A general overview will be given for GENS

Details and supporting materials are exhibited in college notebooks, as well as departmental notebooks, covering each undergraduate degree program which are referenced in their respective sections.

Any special requirements for admission to programs and continuing satisfactory progress, referred to as Academic Gates, are noted under Current Program Assessment. These requirements include, but are not limited to accreditation requirements, space limitations (particularly because of limited studio and laboratory facilities), and enrollment management. For a summary of these requirements, see Appendix 2-F, Academic Gates Inventory.

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

College Overview and Mission

The instructional mission of the College of Agriculture (COA) is to provide quality, science-based education; new knowledge; and leadership on agricultural and natural resource issues. COA promotes access to excellent and innovative education and extension programs whose goals are based on the following general educational objectives: to understand, manage, and add value to natural and agricultural resources; to develop skills in oral, written, and interpersonal communication, and in critical, analytical, and creative thinking; and to become lifelong learners.

Prior to AY 98/99, the COA was comprised of six (6) departments. As discussed shortly, the COA reorganized its departmental structure and to some extent its degree offerings in AY 98/99. For purposes of this review, the original six (6) departments will be discussed as follows: summary of degrees offered and ten (10)-year enrollment data, departmental instructional mission and contributions to MSU mission, summary of degree objectives, and summary of current program assessment which includes summary of program effectiveness and student outcome assessment activities and departmental admission criteria if applicable. Description and current program assessment of COA graduate programs is included in the CGS section (pp. 101-103). A summary of overall COA strengths and improvements is included; the revised departmental structure is discussed in more detail under COA improvements.

Table 2-12 illustrates the changes and enhancements that have been made in undergraduate education in COA in the past decade.

Table 2-12

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION CHANGES

Degree

Status

B.S. Technology Education

Moved to the College of Education, Health and Human Development in 1996

AG Short Course

Phased this two (2)-year program out in 1996

B.S. Biotechnology

New degree with three (3) options was approved in 1996

Entomology: non-teaching minor

Approved in 1998 to support other undergraduate majors in the COA and others

B.S. Agricultural Operations Technology

Degree program expanded as a collaborative offering with MSU - Northern in Havre

Departmental Reorganization

In 1998, the COA reorganized its six (6) departments

B.S. Agricultural Economics

Degree eliminated in 1996; appropriate accommodations were made so students were not delayed in the completion of their degree requirements

B.S. Abused Land Rehabilitation & B.S. Watershed Management

New degrees approved in 1993 and 1994 to better meet changing needs in the field

 

These changes were made to best serve the internal and external stakeholders of the COA. Under-enrolled programs were eliminated and new degree programs were approved which better prepared students for careers in agriculture.

[See Exhibit 2.40, College of Agriculture Notebook.]

 

Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics (AGEC/ECON) department is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in agricultural business, and in theoretical and applied economics. Degree programs prepare students for positions in business, industry, and governmental agencies as well as for graduate studies in economics, business, and law.

AGEC/ECON supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. AGEC/ECON offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics with several options.

        Service courses. AGEC/ECON provides a number of supporting professional courses for majors such as business and the honors program.

        University core courses. AGEC/ECON offers a number of courses which fulfill the social science and multicultural/global categories of the university core.

        Minors. AGEC/ECON offers teaching minors in Economics and non-teaching minors in Agribusiness and Economics.

In the past decade, AGEC/ECON has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.S. in Agricultural Business, a B.S. in Agricultural Economics; and a B.S. in Economics. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-13.

Table 2-13

AGEC/ECON FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Ag Business

132

108

116

113

111

126

124

128

118

B.S. Ag Economics

13

6

6

3

8

3

0

0

0

B.S. Economics

22

36

40

32

21

37

44

52

66

AGEC/ECON Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by AGEC/ECON. They are summarized as follows:

        Agricultural Business. Students are expected to demonstrate a solid understanding of agricultural business in the context of economic and market forces, and governmental and regulatory policies. Students are expected to be proficient in problem analysis of and solutions to complex policy and business issues in the agricultural sector.

        Economics. Similar to the degree objectives of Agricultural Business, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in problem analysis and solutions. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of applied and theoretical models of economics, as well as an understanding of how markets operate in complex social, political, and regulatory contexts.

AGEC/ECON Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature and occurs in the departmental capstone courses. Assessment activities are summarized as follows:

        Admission to program and satisfactory progress. Students in the Agricultural Business degree must earn a "C-" or better in all courses in the major.

        Capstone courses. AGEC 451C - Economics of Agricultural Policy - both options, and ECON 432C - Benefit-Cost Analysis - both options, are the departmental capstone courses in which summative assessment is conducted on students. discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills. In addition to these capstone experiences, students in the Economics degree program may participate in a departmental competitive scholarship program which is facilitated through the departmental ECON 400 - Seminar courses. Students prepare a written research paper on a problem in economics and present their findings to peers and faculty.

        Teaching and research assistants. AGEC/ECON also employs undergraduate majors as teaching and research assistants in the lower division courses. Student performance in mastery of the subject area, problem analysis and solution, and communication is observed by the faculty. The undergraduate teaching experience also provides students with an opportunity to develop leadership skills.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, AGEC/ECON conducts senior exit surveys and interviews. Feedback concerning students. performance and preparedness is gathered from faculty employing undergraduate teaching and research assistants.

        External feedback. AGEC/ECON informally gathers information from employers through professional associations.

AGEC/ECON Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. AGEC/ECON has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Engaging students in problem-solving. The department has identified their upper division seminar format as a valuable way to enrich students. problem-solving and communication skills as well as to provide mentoring opportunities for faculty and students in a small group setting. The department is developing strategies for expanding the use of these seminars.

        Faculty. A new faculty member, whose expertise is in case analysis, the integration of agri-business professionals into classroom instruction, and strategic planning, has recently joined the department in Agricultural Business.

        Maximizing departmental resources. In order to best utilize instructional resources, the B.S. in Agricultural Economics was eliminated primarily because of low enrollments, and resources were reallocated to other instructional offerings.

[See Exhibit 2.41, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Notebook.]

Department of Animal, Range, and Natural Resources

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Animal, Range, and Natural Resources (ARNR) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in four (4) primary disciplines of abused land rehabilitation, animal science, range science, and watershed management, while enhancing students. critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. Graduate and undergraduate education is further enhanced by the extensive field experiences available through the department's 13,000 acre beef and sheep ranch located thirty (30) miles west of Bozeman, and two (2) livestock farms adjacent to campus with sheep, cattle, horse, and swine facilities. Additionally, programs are also conducted at ranches located close to Missoula and Havre, Montana. ARNR supports the undergraduate instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. The ARNR department offers B.S. degrees in Abused Land Rehabilitation, Animal Science, Range Science, and Watershed Management with a variety of specialized options.

        University core courses. ARNR offered a course, ARNR 201 - World Food, which fulfilled the technology and multicultural/global categories in the university core. With the elimination of the technology category, the course was designated as a multicultural/global course by the CCC.

        Minors. ARNR offers non-teaching minors in Animal Science and Range Science.

In the past decade, ARNR has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.S. in Abused Land Rehabilitation, a B.S. in Animal Science, a B.S. in Range Science, and a B.S. in Watershed Management. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-14.

 

Table 2-14

ARNR FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Abused Land Rehab

0

0

0

7

20

33

32

48

41

B.S. Animal Science

99

100

97

118

143

164

165

156

147

B.S. Range Science

79

85

68

76

55

59

53

48

51

B.S. Watershed Mgmt

0

0

0

0

5

12

11

12

10

ARNR Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by the ARNR department. They are summarized as follows:

        Abused Land Rehabilitation. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the theories and principles of renewable natural resource science, with particular attention to the application of these principles to the rehabilitation of disturbed lands. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in utilizing fundamental livestock production and wildlife management principles in analyzing and proposing solutions for the development of sustainable land use programs for disturbed rangelands.

        Animal Science. Students are expected to demonstrate a solid understanding of biological and natural sciences, principles of animal breeding and genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, and livestock production and management. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in integrative problem-solving and communication skills in applying these principles to primarily the production environments of the western United States, with special attention to the interrelationships among livestock, rangeland, and natural resources.

        Range Science. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles of basic and applied plant, animal, and soil sciences, and wildlife management. Students are expected to demonstrate integrative problem-solving and communication skills in applying these principles to issues related to multiple uses of rangelands within an ecological framework.

        Watershed Management. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles of renewable natural resource science, as well as the interrelationships among land forms, soils, plant community dynamics, climate, and cycles of erosion and deposition. Students are expected to demonstrate integrative problem-solving and communication skills in the context of applying these principles to the development of sustainable land use and rehabilitation programs of grassland watersheds using an ecological approach.

ARNR Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature. A summary of departmental assessment activities is as follows:

        Capstone course. ARNR 401C-402C - Planning and Program Analysis I & II, serve as the departmental capstone courses for the four (4) degree programs.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluation, the department gathers program feedback through graduating senior surveys and interviews conducted by the department head.

        External feedback. ARNR maintains several advisory committees composed of ranchers, industry professionals, natural resource managers, and state and federal agency representatives.

ARNR Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. ARNR has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        ARNR engaged in a thorough curriculum review in 1998 and identified strategies by which formative, progressive assessment of writing, speaking, and problem-solving skills are conducted through a series of coordinated course-based activities.

[See Exhibit 2.42, Department of Animal and Range Sciences Notebook; and Exhibit 2.43, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Notebook (department titles reflect recent changes).]

Department of Entomology

The primary instructional mission of the Department of Entomology (ENTO) is to deliver graduate education in the discipline. Details of the graduate program are discussed in the CGS section (pp. 103). ENTO also contributes to the undergraduate instructional mission of MSU in the following capacities:

        University core courses. The department offers two (2) courses, ENTO 102# - Insects and Society; and ENTO 204N - Insect Biology, which fulfill the MC/G and natural science university core categories respectively.

        Entomology minor. In 1998, the BOR approved a non-teaching undergraduate minor in Entomology. The primary rationale for the minor was that availability of such a minor would be an asset to students in a number of different majors such as Agricultural Business, Fish and Wildlife, Horticulture, and Range Science.

[See Exhibit 2.44, Department of Entomology Notebook.]

Department of Plant Pathology

The instructional mission of the Department of Plant Sciences (PLS) is the delivery of graduate education in the discipline. Details of the graduate degree programs are included in the CGS section (pp. 103-104).

Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences

The undergraduate mission of the Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences (PSES) department is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in three (3) primary disciplines: crop science, horticulture, and soil science. PSES supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. PSES offers B.S. degrees in Crop Science, Horticulture, and Soil Science with a number of specialized options.

        University core courses. PSES offers two (2) courses, PSES 101N - Introduction to Biotechnology; and PSES 102N - Plant Science, Resources and the Environment, which fulfill the natural science category of the university core.

        Minors. PSES offers a non-teaching minor in Soil Science.

In the past decade, PSES has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.S. in Crop Science, a B.S. in Horticulture, and a B.S. in Soils. The B.S. in Agronomy was a degree offered under the quarter system which included options in crop and soil science.   Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-15.

 

Table 2-15

PSES FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Crop Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

13

20

B.S. Horticulture

58

55

59

64

69

83

105

118

135

B.S. Soil Science

 

 

 

35

38

33

41

35

43

[B.S. Agronomy]

52

29

31

33

22

26

16

5

3

PSES Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by PSES. They are summarized as follows:

        Crop Science. Students are expected to demonstrate a broad understanding of biological and natural sciences, as well as specific knowledge of crop growth and culture and pest management strategies. Students are expected to demonstrate problem analysis, problem-solving, and communication skills in the context of decisions concerning crop production systems. The program prepares students for positions in business, industry, and governmental agencies, as well as for graduate study in the field and certification as crop scientists. Many of the students proceed to take the Certified Crop Advisor Exam.

        Horticulture. Students are expected to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the scientific principles of plant growth, as well as high levels of functional and aesthetic judgement in landscape design, and the technical and managerial dimensions of site development. The program prepares students for careers in landscape design and for certification as professional nurserymen. Many graduates proceed to take the Montana Association of Nurserymen's Certified Plant Professional Exam.

        Soil Science. Students are expected to apply basic soils knowledge in solving problems in the areas of environmental science, land resource management, and land use planning. The program is designed to prepare students for positions in business, industry, and governmental agencies, as well as for graduate study in the field and certification as soil scientists by the American Registry of Certified Professionals in Agronomy, Crops, and Soils.

PSES Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature. A summary of assessment activities is as follows:

        Capstone courses. The following courses serve as the capstone courses for the degrees offered by PSES: Crop Science: PSES 428C - Cropping Systems and Sustainable Agriculture - both options; Horticulture: PSES 435C - Nursery Management - Horticulture option, and PSES 432C - Landscape Architecture - Landscape Design option; and Soil Science: PSES 459C - Soil Science - both options.

        Internship/field experiences. Most of the degree programs offered by PSES give students the opportunity to enrich their academic experience with a field or internship experience. Feedback from cooperating professionals concerning student preparedness and performance is used to assess the curriculum.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluation, PSES conducts graduating senior surveys and student interviews with the department head. The Soils program hosts an informal "Soils Night" during each fall term to gather feedback on students. perceptions of program effectiveness and other issues.

        External feedback. PSES solicits feedback from program alumni and employers. Through faculty professional associations, PSES gathers feedback on current needs and demands of the field, as well as on student performance. Field/internship cooperating field professionals also provide detailed feedback on student performance. Student performance on the national certification exams previously discussed provide PSES with additional summative data on students. discipline-specific knowledge and skills.

PSES Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. PSES has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Crop Science. In response to feedback from external stakeholders, PSES has identified the need for students to take more business-related courses in the curriculum.   Strategies for addressing this issue are being developed. In addition, PSES is also developing strategies to greatly increase the number of students in the program who participate in an internship/field experience related to potential career goals.

        Horticulture. In response to the demands of the profession, PSES has identified the need to add a LandCADD course to the curriculum. This is in keeping with MSU's instructional goal of integrating technology into the classroom.

        Soil Science. PSES has identified the need for a junior-level "bridging course" which will enable the department to gather more mid-program, formative data on student outcomes, as well as provide opportunities for students to synthesize lower-division prerequisite knowledge with higher-level discipline-specific knowledge.

[See Exhibit 2.45, Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences Notebook (department title reflects recent change).]

Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology

The Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology (VTMB) is a unique research/academic unit in the COA whose instructional efforts focus primarily on graduate education (CGS section, pp. 104). At the undergraduate level, VTMB coordinates the interdisciplinary B.S. degree in Biotechnology, as well as advises undergraduate students in the non-degree pre-veterinary program. [See Appendix 2-A, Summary of Changes in Degree Offerings.]

VTMB supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. VTMB coordinates the COA interdisciplinary B.S. degree in Biotechnology.

        Pre-Veterinary (non-degree). VTMB provides advising and student services for these non-degree students.

VTMB Biotechnology fall enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-16.


 

Table 2-16

VTMB BIOTECHNOLOGY FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Biotechnology

 

 

 

 

 

3

27

40

55

 

VTMB Biotechnology Degree Objectives. The B.S. degree in Biotechnology is comprised of the following components: a common core of preparation (freshman/sophomore year), an advanced preparation in one (1) of three (3) options (one (1) of which must be declared by the student's junior year), a junior level research internship in a biotechnology research or industrial laboratory, and a senior capstone experience. Students are advised by faculty in their area of concentration. Since the B.S. degree is interdisciplinary in nature, the faculty from the disciplines represented in the options have collaboratively developed the following degree objectives:

        All options. The purpose of the degree is to prepare students to utilize their training in biotechnology to solve agricultural, engineering, natural resource, and social problems. Students are prepared to pursue careers in agricultural, industrial, or pharmaceutical industries which incorporate the principles of biotechnology in research/development and production processes. Students are expected to demonstrate understanding of the general principles of organic and biological chemistry and biology, including genetics and technologies associated with recombinant DNA, as well as a high level of proficiency in mathematics.

        Animal systems option. In addition to the general competencies, students are expected to demonstrate specific knowledge of animal physiology and advanced principles of biochemistry and biology. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for professional ethical standards of the field.

        Plant systems option. Students are expected to demonstrate advanced knowledge of plant pathology, principles of sustainable agriculture, and immunology.

        Microbial option. Students are expected to demonstrate advanced knowledge of immunology, biochemical methods in molecular biology, and research methods in microbiology.

 

VTMB Biotechnology Current Program Assessment.   Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature. A summary of assessment activities is as follows:

        Internship. In the junior year, students are required to complete an internship in a biotechnology or industrial laboratory. Criteria for acceptance into the internship program varies for each option. Cooperating field professionals provide detailed feedback on students. performance and preparedness.

        Capstone courses. Students discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are summatively assessed in the following capstone courses: VTMB 477C - Biotechnology - Animal Systems option; PSES 400C - Biotechnology - Plant Systems option; and MB 400C - Seminar - Microbial Systems option. Each course has one (1) of the following co-requisites: VTMB 476, MB 476, or PSES 476 - Internship.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, VTMB conducts graduating senior surveys and interviews.

        External feedback. Extensive feedback is received from cooperating field professionals who supervise students in their internship experience.

[See Exhibit 2.46, Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology Notebook.]

Pre-Veterinary Program

Although MSU does not offer a bachelor's degree in veterinary science, faculty in VTMB provide advising for students enrolled in the non-degree pre-veterinary medicine program, as well as students enrolled in other degree programs who are interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. VTMB also provides opportunities for students to work with veterinarians through internship programs and receive college credit while gaining practical experience. There are also opportunities to work in the state's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and in the Veterinary Molecular Biology department.

Students complete the pre-veterinary curriculum which meets the requirements for application to any of the twenty-seven (27) accredited veterinary schools in the nation. These requirements are met concurrently with applicable degree requirements of an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Biotechnology, Animal Science, Microbiology, and/or Biology.

MSU is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and participates in WICHE's professional student exchange program. This program enables pre-veterinary students from Montana to receive in-state tuition and admission preference over non-residents at the participating WICHE veterinary schools. The participating WICHE veterinary schools are Washington State University, Oregon State University, Colorado State University, and the University of California-Davis. The Montana legislature budgets money in the CHE's student subsistence budget specifically for veterinary medicine slots. The 1997 legislature designated funds for seven (7) veterinary students per year. There were twenty (29) students from Montana who applied for these seven (7) WICHE slots. The average GPA of a student receiving WICHE support was 3.80.

Pre-Veterinary fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-17.

 

Table 2-17

PRE-VETERINARY FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Program

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Pre-Veterinary

42

47

56

70

57

40

25

30

31

College of Agriculture Collaborative Degree Programs

In addition to the undergraduate degree programs discussed, the COA offers two (2) collaborative degrees which are jointly administered by the COA and other academic units. The B.S. in Agricultural Education (AGED) is cooperatively administered by the COA and the College of Education, Health and Human Development (CEHHD). Since BOR approval in 1998, the B.S. degree in Agricultural Operations Technology (AOT) has been cooperatively administered by MSU and MSU - Northern in Havre, Montana. [See Appendix 2-A, Summary of Changes in Degree Offerings.]

Agricultural Education. The undergraduate mission of AGED is to prepare students as extension agents, teachers, and other professionals in business and industry.

AGED supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. Students may earn a B.S. degree in Agricultural Education with several options of specialization.

        University core courses. AGED offers the following course which fulfills the verbal requirement of the university core and serves as a program-based freshman career development course: AGED 251V - Leadership Development for Agribusiness and Industry Employees.

In the past decade, AGED has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Agricultural Education. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-18.

Table 2-18

AGED FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Ag. Education

45

43

47

46

46

54

48

57

66

AGED Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for AGED. They can be summarized as follows: students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of basic philosophy, design and practices in agricultural production and mechanics; to have a working knowledge of the principles of animal and plant sciences and mechanics; and demonstrate mastery of appropriate educational methodologies. Students are expected to demonstrate professional communication skills and problem-solving skills in the context of instructional delivery and evaluation.

AGED Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative in nature. A summary of assessment activities is as follows:

        Admission to program and satisfactory progress. Students are subject to all criteria for admission into the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62). They must also comply with standards established for qualification for student teaching.

        Capstone courses. The following courses serve as capstone courses for the program: AGED 417C - Critical Thinking for the Food and Fiber System - Extension option; and EDSD 413C - Professional Issues - Agricultural Education Teaching and Broadfield Teaching options. Students in the teaching options must also concurrently enroll in EDSD 410 - Student Teaching.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, AGED conducts graduating senior surveys, alumni surveys, and focus groups.

        External feedback. AGED receives feedback from its teacher education advisory council who meet semi- annually to discuss trends and demands of the field. Detailed feedback is received from cooperating teachers who supervise students in their student teaching experience. The program also conducts an annual employer survey to assess the preparedness of students and the program's effectiveness.

AGED Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. AGED has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Needs and trends of the field. In response to feedback from external stakeholders, the faculty is developing strategies for updating the topics covered in the student teaching seminar, especially in the area of special needs students and compliance with the ADA.

        Freshman seminar. Based on the success of other freshman seminars on campus and on the program's commitment to connecting with the students in the program, the faculty is exploring the possibilities of creating a departmental freshman seminar or modifying an existing course such as AGED 251 to fulfill this need.

Agricultural Operations Technology. The undergraduate mission of AOT is to prepare students for careers in farm/ranch management, agribusiness, financial and lending institutions, and government agencies.

AOT supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following way:

        Baccalaureate degrees. AOT offers a B.S. in Agricultural Operations Technology.

AOT fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-19.

 

Table 2-19

AOT FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Ag Operations Tech

18

12

18

22

20

24

39

40

33

AOT Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published the following specific degree objectives for the program. Students are expected to demonstrate solid understanding of agricultural subjects which relate to owning/operating an agriculturally-related enterprise. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the business, regulatory, and ethical dimensions of the industry. Students must demonstrate professional communication skills and problem-solving skills applicable to commercial agriculture.

AOT Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature. A summary of assessment activities is as follows:

        Capstone course. AOT 417C - Critical Thinking for the Food and Fiber System, serves as AOT's capstone course.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, AOT receives feedback through graduating senior surveys, from interviews, and from the student AOT chapter.

        External feedback. AOT solicits informal feedback from program graduates particularly in regard to their successes in commercial agriculture.

AOT Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. AOT has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Expanding internship opportunities. The faculty has identified the development of new internship opportunities for students as one of the program's priorities.

        Collaborative program. Since the collaborative delivery of AOT will require increased use of distance/distributed learning technology, the program faculty is in the process of developing these offerings.

 

Summary of College of Agriculture Strengths

Development of new information and technologies to address the needs of Montana agriculture and to protect the natural resources upon which it depends has been central to the mission of the COA and the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) since their establishment in 1893. As such, the combined contributions of both the COA and the AES are fundamental to MSU's land-grant mission.

While the COA and the AES fulfill separate roles within the University, each division compliments and enhances the other. By means of split appointments and responsibilities of faculty, new information, technology and management strategies generated through research in AES are integrated into undergraduate and graduate education in COA courses. Course content and faculty currency and productivity are enhanced by participation in the research mission of the AES.

Over the last six (6) months a series of meetings between representatives of Montana agricultural organizations, the Montana Legislature, and the COA/AES faculty have generated a list of the following overall COA/AES strengths:

        Concerns of external and internal stakeholders are well addressed. This includes constituencies such as students, farmers, ranchers, and natural resource managers.

        Programs are delivered by high quality faculty who are well established in their fields and who are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions.

        Faculty have been successful in gaining competitive grants from the USDA, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

        Student enrollment has not only steadily increased over the last decade, but the academic caliber of students has increased as well.

        The Montana Legislature is supportive of both post-secondary education and AES. In particular, the state support for AES has led to funding by the USDA for the construction of a new state-of-the-art Ag BioSciences building. AES has also provided students with access to laboratories and laboratory equipment which would be unavailable if the COA had to provide it.

        The COA is committed to the delivery of quality, personalized instruction to students, to integrating research into undergraduate education, and to preparing students for agricultural careers in the 21st century.

In general, the synergy between the COA and the AES shapes the "flavor" of the instructional program. With 93% of the COA faculty splitting their responsibilities between AES and COA, the educational philosophy of the instructional program emphasizes problem solving. Students are expected to master the basic skills and knowledge of the disciplines early in their freshman and sophomore years and to apply these skills and concepts in relevant laboratory and problem-solving activities in their junior and senior years. The integrative approach allows the COA to be responsive to the changes created by the globalization of agricultural markets and to adapt its degree programs and course work to better prepare students for careers in the protection and rehabilitation of natural resources.

Summary of College of Agriculture Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

The COA has identified the following general problematic areas of concern and instituted strategies to address these problems:

        During the past decade, the COA experienced a decline in student enrollment. Similar patterns occurred nation- wide due to a general perception that agriculture was a dead-end profession with declining job opportunities. During the same period, however, COA faculty at MSU, as well as at other land-grant institutions, were developing new knowledge and practices which would become the basis for a variety of new endeavors. At MSU, research efforts began to focus on biotechnology, riparian ecology, biological control of noxious weeds and insect pests, and natural resource inventory procedures for global positioning systems. In order to counter the general perceptions of agriculture as an "out-dated" major, faculty conducted a thorough review of its degree programs and sought ways to let stakeholders know that the new knowledge and technologies were being integrated into undergraduate and graduate education. Over the past few years, enrollments have steadily increased and the caliber of students has improved considerably.

        In response to the changing needs of agricultural stakeholders, the COA developed an interdisciplinary degree program in Biotechnology. Faculty from PSES, VTMB, ARNR, and Microbiology (in the College of Letters and Science) undertook a collaborative effort to create a new degree to prepare students to work in research, medical, environmental quality, forensic, and academic careers using biotechnology. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the subject matter, the faculty approved the degree as a college-based rather than departmentally-based program. This provided students access to faculty working in different areas of biotechnology without the added cost of creating a new department and providing additional laboratory facilities. The popularity of the program is evident in the steady increases in student enrollment.

        Horticulture Sciences also undertook a modernization project to broaden its appeal to the growing urban population of the State of Montana and the Pacific Northwest. The department developed a request to reconfigure an agronomy position into a turfgrass position. The COA approved the request and with the hire of a turfgrass specialist, PSES developed an option in turfgrass management. This program has proven to be very popular. An integral part of this program has been the development of internship opportunities with golf courses, turfgrass farms, nurseries, and lawn care companies. Graduating senior and employer surveys indicate a positive response to the learning opportunities provided through the directed internship. The experience has prompted other COA degree programs to include and enrich the undergraduate internship experience.

        Animal Science, Range Science, and Biotechnology majors must now complete an industry internship to graduate from their respective programs. This degree requirement has enhanced the academic preparation of these students, as well as provided the COA with valuable feedback on the preparedness and performance of its students. External stakeholders continue to stress the importance of internship or industry experience in the preparation of their prospective employees; the COA has been very responsive to these needs.

        Input from agricultural businesses and grain producers has led to the development of a new course in Agricultural Economics entitled "Follow the Grain." This senior-level course combines grain production, grain harvesting, storage and transportation, and marketing strategies with a ten (10) day field experience to Pacific Rim countries. In each unit, the students learn about the costs, infrastructure constraints, and market demands for wheat and barley. Most importantly, the demand and consumer standards are studied at both the regional and international level. Students have the opportunity to "follow" a shipment of grain from the farm in Montana where it was produced to the factory in Taiwan where it is processed. Because of the "real world" applications

in this course, the Montana Grain Growers Association and the Montana Farmer's Union cost share travel costs for the program with the COA.

These examples illustrate the ways in which the COA has been responsive to both its internal and external stakeholders and has engaged in continuous improvement of its instructional, research, and outreach mission to provide students with state-of-the-art education in the disciplines of agriculture. Each academic department has an advisory committee that provides input on degree programs and student outcomes. This information is systematically integrated with employer and graduating senior survey data to assess the quality and timeliness of undergraduate and graduate education in the COA. The COA strives to stay abreast of the changes in agriculture and natural resource management in order to maintain quality academic programs.

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE

College Overview and Mission

The College of Arts and Architecture (CAA) is committed to an aggressive and continuing process of growth and development in pursuit of artistic and academic distinction. Each discipline maintains currency and involvement with its associated professional field and with the academic and theoretical frontiers of knowledge and creative expression in the field. Programs nurture student understanding of the knowledge base and history of the discipline, provide extensive studio experiences and innovation with the methods and expressions of creative work in the field, and ultimately engage students in the passion of artistic creation and performance.

The mission of the CAA is to prepare students to think, create, and communicate in the art forms of their choice. The college promotes an active, interdisciplinary approach to learning that encourages creativity and artistry through individual and group projects, performance, and production. Through studio-based learning, internships, foreign and domestic travel, international exchange programs, electronic media, virtual courses, and non-resident enrollment, the CAA students experience and grow to understand the professional and cultural world of their respective disciplines. In addition, the CAA provides nearly all of the courses which fulfill the fine arts category in the university core.

The CAA is comprised of the Schools of Architecture and Art, and the Departments of Media and Theatre Arts and Music. The CAA has additional administrative responsibilities for KUSM, Montana Public Television (pp. 124), and the professional touring theatre company, Shakespeare in the Parks (pp. 125-126). The CAA's goal is to meet the needs of the citizens of the State of Montana for education, innovation, and service in architecture and the fine, performing, and media arts. Through academic and outreach programs, research, creative activity, and professional service, the college enriches the cultural life of the University, the state, and society, in keeping with the mission of a land-grant university.

Table 2-20 illustrates the changes and enhancements that have been made in undergraduate education in the CAA in the past decade.

 

Table 2-20

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION CHANGES

Degree

Status

B.A. Environmental Design

In 1998, the CAA reconfigured its five (5) year undergraduate degree in Architecture into to a four (4) year B.A. in Environmental Design and a fifth year professional Master of Architecture degree. This degree replaces the Bachelor of Architecture

B.A. Interior Design

Admission was suspended to this degree in 1993; responsibility for the interior design focus is still assigned to the School of Architecture

B.F.A. in Art - Studio

The CAA has received approval for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; the program will admit new students in fall 1999.

B.A. Art: Studio

The graphic design option was combined with the studio arts option in 1994

B.A. Art: Art History Option

This option was added to the School of Art offerings in 1994.

B.A. Theatre Option

The Theatre Option was merged with the B.A. Motion Picture/Video option in 1998, and the department was renamed Motion Picture, Video and Theatre Arts.

The CAA identified, as its priority college goal, the need to deliver the most relevant degree programs and titles with respect to the current curriculum offerings and emerging professional and academic fields [Exhibit 2.47, College of Arts and Architecture Strategic Plan]. The changes listed reflect attainment of that goal.

[See Exhibit 2.48, College of Arts and Architecture Notebook.]

School of Architecture

Fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the undergraduate mission of the School of Architecture (ARCH) is to provide quality undergraduate instruction and professional preparation in architecture. ARCH supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degree. Prior to 1998, the School offered a five (5)-year, fully accredited, Bachelor of Architecture degree. This degree has been replaced by the four (4)-year B.A. in Environmental Design plus the fifth-year professional Master of Architecture degree, approved by the BOR in 1997. [See Appendix 2-A, Summary of Changes in Degree Offerings.]

        University core courses. ARCH provides a number of courses which fulfill the fine arts category in the university core.

ARCH fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-21.

Table 2-21

ARCH FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B. Architecture

387

371

390

409

413

419

407

366

377

B.A. Environmental Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

12

 

ARCH Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by ARCH. They are summarized as follows: students are expected to master the necessary body of knowledge and competencies in the social, aesthetic, environmental, technical, practical and legal/regulatory dimensions of the discipline   Students are expected to demonstrate competence in areas such as architectural design; use of technical systems and requirements; health and safety issues in design; historical, human and environmental contexts of architecture; and ethical/legal responsibilities of professional registration.

ARCH Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative in nature.

        Admission to program. Admission to the program is very competitive and highly selective. While the first year is generally open to all prospective students, subsequent admission to the program in the second year is rigorous. Students are admitted to the program on the basis of performance in the first year design sequence, overall academic performance, and a juried design portfolio. The number of students admitted is mitigated by a space available. factor determined by the School. Policies and procedures governing admission to the program are clearly defined in the MSU Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin.

        Formative assessment. The nature of the discipline lends itself to continuous, progressive assessment of students. discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills. A combination of course-based activities, portfolio review, and studio critiques provide faculty with multiple opportunities to assess student outcomes.

        Capstone courses. Currently, ARCH 560C - Architectural Thesis, serves as the senior capstone course. The course requires students to demonstrate their discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills by preparing a written document, a graphical presentation, a three-dimensional representation, and an oral defense. Student work is assessed by a jury of at least three (3) faculty.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, ARCH solicits input through graduating senior surveys as well as formal student participation on the School. s Student Advisory Board. The Board is comprised of the director, student representatives from each of the five (5) levels, a member of the American Institute of Architectural Students, and a student representing Students Over Traditional Age (SOTA ).

        External feedback. ARCH systematically solicits feedback from a variety of external stakeholders. These include, but are not limited to the following:

        Review by the NAAB. In its recent (1996) review of the School, the NAAB granted the School five (5)- year (maximum) reaffirmation of accreditation

        Professional contacts. Professional faculty contacts at the state, regional, and national level, with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), NAAB, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

        Interviews. Structured interviews with the director and on-campus recruiters and employers

        Appraisals. Annual surveys of Montana architects focus on appraisal of recent graduates and the educational program

        Architect Registration Exam (ARE). Students have consistently high scores on the ARE which is taken following graduation and a three (3)-year apprenticeship

ARCH Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. ARCH has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Master of Architecture. In response to input from external stakeholders and demands of the profession, the School reconfigured the undergraduate program to meet these needs. Students may complete a B.A. in Environmental Design and a professional Master of Architecture.

        Contributions to MSU university core. The ARCH curriculum committee has recommended changes to ARCH 121F- Introduction to Design, to include MC/G dimensions. This is in keeping with MSU's mission to maximize students. exposure to diverse and global perspectives. The modified course will be submitted to the CCC for review and approval.

        NAAB recommendations. Full response of ARCH's vision and goals are detailed in the CAA Strategic Plan.

[See Exhibit 2.49, School of Architecture Notebook; Exhibit 2.50, NAAB 1996 Architecture Program Report; and Exhibit 2.51, 1996 NAAB Architecture Program Report Appendices.]

School of Art

Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the undergraduate mission of the School of Art (ART) is to provide high quality instruction in fine arts, art history, and art education for prospective artists, craftspersons, designers, and teachers.

ART supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. ART offers a Bachelor of Art with options in K-12 broadfield teaching, studio/fine arts, and art history. ART was given approval in 1998 by the Montana Board of Regents to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. [See Appendix 2-A, Summary of Changes in Degree Offerings.]

        Service courses. ART delivers a number of courses which enhance other university majors such as elementary education.

        University core courses. ART provides a number of courses which fulfill the fine arts and MC/G categories of the university core.

        Minors. ART offers teaching minors in K-12 art and non-teaching minors in art history.

In the past decade, ART has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.A. in Art. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-22.

 

Table 2-22

ART FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.A. Art

246

241

233

236

236

274

312

332

365

ART Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by ART. Collectively, the faculty expects that students in each of the three (3) options will demonstrate mastery of the non-verbal language of art and design, strive for excellence in their chosen medium, be familiar with and appreciate the major achievements in the history of art, understand the principles of aesthetics, and engage in the substantive critique of their work and the work of others. Each option identifies additional competencies which are summarized as follows:

        K-12 art education broadfield option. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of basic studio skills, as well as demonstrate understanding of and appreciation for artistic styles and principles of all major visual art media, as well as the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of the discipline. Students must demonstrate competency in appropriate educational methodologies and complete course work which meets State of Montana certification requirements.

        Studio arts option. Students are expected to demonstrate both the highest possible level of technical competence in their chosen medium, as well as a broad knowledge of and appreciation for art and art history. Students are expected to be adept in critiquing their own work and the work of others using sound aesthetic principles.

        Art history option. Students are expected to master the vocabulary and body of knowledge associated with the history of art, including the works of past and present artists. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between the creative process and the social, cultural, and economic milieu in which it occurs. Students are expected to demonstrate sound aesthetic judgement.

ART Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative in nature.

        Satisfactory progress standards. Effective in 1998, ART instituted the following standards for satisfactory progress: students must maintain a minimum 2.30 cumulative GPA and earn a "C" or better in all required art courses. In part, this initiative was in response to a dramatic increase in majors and ART's limited capacity for ensuring a quality studio experience. Students in the teaching option are also subject to admission standards of the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62).

        Formative assessment. Particularly in the studio arts options, students are continually assessed on their performance in a variety of course-based assessment activities. Student regularly engage in self and peer critiques, as well as portfolio reviews.

        Capstone courses. Students. discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed in the following capstone courses: ART 410C - Careers in Art - all options. Studio Arts and Art History option students are also required to enroll in a co-requisite, ART 490 - Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity. Studio Art option students must prepare a Graduation Senior Exhibition.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, ART conducts surveys of graduating seniors.

        External feedback. ART is systematically reviewed by its accrediting agency, NASAD. ART received reaffirmation of accreditation in 1992, and will be revisited in 2002. Informally, the School solicits additional input from external stakeholders, such as site internship supervisors and art teachers.

ART Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. ART has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Bachelor of Fine Arts. In response to feedback from internal and external stakeholders, ART has been granted approval to offer a B.F.A. degree in studio arts.

        Goals and strategies. A detailed, priority list of ART's goals and strategies is included in the CAA Strategic Plan.

[See Exhibit 2.52, School of Art Notebook, and Exhibit 2.53, NASAD 1992 Accreditation Report.]

Department of Media and Theatre Arts

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Media and Theatre Arts (MTA) is to prepare graduates who are both artistically and technically excellent in their chosen medium of expression.

MTA supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degree. MTA offers a B.A. in MTA with options in motion picture/video production, photography, and theatre arts.

        University core courses. MTA provides a number of courses which fulfill the fine arts and MC/G categories in the university core.

        Minors. MTA offers a teaching minor in theatre arts and a non-teaching minor in photography.

In the past decade, MTA has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.A. in Media and Theatre Arts. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-23.

Table 2-23

MTA FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.A. MTA

294

307

302

313

321

373

394

420

452

MTA Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by MTA. They are summarized as follows: students will be expected to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of the artistic and technical dimensions of their chosen medium. In addition, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the history of the medium and the major aesthetic and social theories related to the role of the medium in society and culture. Students may focus on one of the following media: motion picture/video production, photography, or theatre.

MTA Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative in nature. Assessment activities are summarized as follows:

        Admission to the program. In an effort to manage increases in enrollment and maximize quality production/studio capacity for students, MTA has instituted a two-tiered admission process for the motion picture/video production and theatre options. In order to advance to the sophomore year, students must complete the first year departmental foundation sequence with a minimum 2.75 GPA. In order to advance to upper division, students must earn a minimum 3.00 GPA in the departmental first and second year foundation courses.

        Formative assessment. The progressive and performance nature of the curriculum allows faculty to regularly assess students. proficiencies and development through a variety of course-based activities including periodic performance and/or portfolio review.

        Capstone courses. Students. discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed in the following departmental capstone courses: MTA 472C - Motion Picture/TV/Video/Theatre Senior Production - Motion Picture/Video and Theatre options; and MTA 473C - Photography Senior Production - Photography option.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, MTA systematically consults with senior students. Feedback from these contacts is discussed at departmental faculty meetings.

        External feedback. In addition to informal contact with graduates and employers, the photography option is accredited by the NASAD.

MTA Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. MTA has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Admission to the program. The admission process previously described was instituted in 1998 primarily in response to increased enrollments. The department's capacity to provide students with a quality production/studio experience has remained relatively constant. Assessment of the effectiveness of the admission process has been identified as one of the department's five (5)-year goals.

        Goals and Strategies. A detailed summary of the department's goals and strategies for improvement are included in the CAA strategic plan.

[See Exhibit 2.54, Department of Media and Theatre Arts Notebook.]

Department of Music

Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education (NCATE), the undergraduate mission of the Department of Music (MUS) is to prepare students for careers in teaching.

MUS supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. MUS offers a B. of Music Education with options in K-12 broadfield teaching and studio teaching.

        University core courses. MUS delivers a number of courses which fulfill the fine arts and MC/G categories of the university core.

        Minors. MUS offers non-teaching minors in music theory/composition, music literature, and musicianship.

In the past decade, MUS has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B. of Music Education. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-24.

Table 2-24

MUS FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B. Music Education

72

75

78

78

70

74

84

90

92

MUS Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the options offered by MUS. They are summarized as follows: students are expected to demonstrate mastery of performance skills in a major performance area as well as demonstrate understanding of music theory through aural, visual, and verbal analyses; and demonstrate appreciation for and understanding of music in diverse cultural, historical, and technical settings.

MUS Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative in nature. Assessment activities are summarized as follows:

        Admission to program and satisfactory progress. Students are subject to the standards for admission to the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62). To demonstrate satisfactory progress, students must earn a "C" or better in all music concentration courses.

        Formative assessment. The performance nature of the curriculum allows for continuous assessment of student progress. Through course work, applied lessons, weekly performance seminars, formal recitals, and concerts, faculty assess students. mastery of their discipline-specific skills.

        Capstone courses. MUS 405C - Form and Analysis - all options, serves as the departmental capstone course in which students. discipline-specific, communication and problem-solving skills are assessed. This course supplements the student's professional capstone experience, Student Teaching, in which students are assessed by faculty and supervising teachers on their mastery of degree objectives.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, MUS regularly solicits input from students. At the conclusion of the sophomore level, each music student meets individually with the Department Head to discuss the students. goals. Graduating seniors participate in the CAA graduation survey.

        External feedback. MUS systematically receives feedback from a number of agencies and external stakeholders. These include, but are not limited to the following:

        Accrediting agencies. MUS is systematically reviewed by NASM on a ten (10) year cycle. The most recent self-study and review was in 1992 with a reaffirmation of accreditation visit scheduled for 2002. MUS is also subject to review by NCATE and the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI).

        Supervising teacher feedback. MUS receives substantive feedback from public school teachers and administrators regarding the preparedness of student teachers and subsequent field teachers.

        Montana music educators. MUS regularly solicits input from such professional organizations regarding the expectations and needs of the field.

MUS Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. MUS has identified the following strategies addressing problem areas of concern and program improvement:

        Details of the goals and strategies of the department are included in the CAA Strategic Plan.

[See Exhibit 2.55, Department of Music Notebook; and Exhibit 2.56, NASM 1992 Accreditation Report.]

Summary of College of Arts and Architecture Strengths

The CAA is the cultural heart of the campus and the community. The major strengths and contributions include, but are not limited to, the following:

        Delivery of quality degree programs. All degree programs that have national accrediting bodies are fully accredited: Architecture by NAAB, Music by NASM, and Art and Photography by NASAD.

        Additional library support. The Creative Arts Library (CAL), housed in Cheever Hall, serves as a complement to the Renne Library and allows students to access fine arts journals, slides, books, CD Roms, and other relevant media. CAL supports both undergraduate and graduate programs and is open to all MSU students.

        Cultural enrichment activities. The CAA faculty and students contribute to the cultural enrichment of MSU and the Bozeman community. Faculty and students participate in over 100 concerts and recitals a year; show their work in galleries both in the Fine Arts Complex and the Student Union Building (SUB), and present main stage theatre productions. In the community, faculty and students participate in organizations such as the Intermountain Opera, the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, the Bozeman Symphonic Choir, Montana Ballet, Montana TheaterWorks, the String Orchestra of the Rockies, the Montana Committee for the Humanities, the Montana Arts Council, the Vigilante Players, the Spontaneous Combustibles, the Community Design Center, the Bozeman Film Festival, the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Festival, and the Emerson Cultural Center.

        KUSM-TV. The CAA serves in an administrative capacity for the PBS affiliate. The station is staffed largely by MTA students which gives a level of access to technical equipment unmatched in the region (pp. 124).

        University core. The fine arts core is delivered almost exclusively by the departments within the CAA and constitutes approximately 9,000 student credit hours (SCH) of core per year. Students have a variety of choices in appreciation and performance courses in architecture, art, motion picture/video, photography, music, and theatre.

        General student participation. Many of the opportunities to participate in the fine or performing arts are open to all students on campus. Some are by audition only; others are open for general student enrichment and enjoyment.

Summary of College of Arts and Architecture Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

In the CAA Strategic Plan, completed April 30, 1997, thirteen (13) priority goals are listed, with implementation strategies and target commencement and completion dates. Several of these have already been achieved and some are long-term, continuous commitments. The goals are subdivided and prioritized in the following categories: student goals, faculty goals, curriculum goals, and resource goals. Complete details of each goal, target commencement and completion dates, and strategies for implementation are included in the plan. In summary, the CAA has made substantive progress towards attaining its primary of goal of developing the most relevant degree programs and titles with respect to current curriculum offerings and emerging professional and academic fields (such as the B.F.A. for ART and the B.A.E.D and the M. Arch. for architecture). Other goals which have been reached include:

        Hiring a Development Officer for the College

        Increasing the funds for faculty professional development through an increase in the CAA block grant program

        Increasing funds for faculty research/creativity support with the help of the Vice President for Research/Creativity and Technology Transfer

        Developing enrollment and retention management systems that align pedagogical objectives with available resources

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

College Overview and Mission

As one of only 10% of the colleges of business in the nation accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the mission of the College of Business (COB) supports the undergraduate instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degree. The COB grants a B.S. degree in Business with options in accounting, finance, management, and marketing.

        Service courses. The COB provides a number of service courses and courses which serve as professional electives for the Colleges of Agriculture; Arts and Architecture; Education, Health & Human Development; and Engineering.

        University core courses. The COB contributes to the university core by providing one of the courses designated to fulfill the verbal requirement (BUS 101V), as well as several courses in global business and marketing which fulfill the social science and MC/G categories (MKTG 242S# and MGMT 245S#).

        Freshman seminar. BUS 101 - Freshman Seminar, is the cornerstone of the COB curriculum. The course combines the essential components of a freshman seminar with a global introduction to the basic functional disciplines of business and the organizational culture of the COB. Students engage in community service, start-up business planning, and a discussion of current business issues and practices, as well as reflect on their personal and professional preparation for a career in business. In the past decade, the course has grown from approximately fifteen (15) sections per year to twenty-five (25) sections per year. The COB has been able to provide this experience to nearly all of its incoming freshmen. The course has been instrumental in promoting student retention and persistence and has been nationally recognized for its innovation. In 1994, the Decision Sciences Institute awarded the course its highly competitive Innovative Instructional Award. In 1997, the course was one (1) of only fourteen (14) national recipients of the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education given by the Freedoms Foundation.

        Minors. The COB offers non-teaching minors in both business administration and accounting.

                              

In the past decade, the COB has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Business. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-25.

 

Table 2-25

COB FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Business

1273

1106

1039

966

890

927

979

1022

1040

[See Exhibit 2.57, College of Business Notebook, Exhibit 2.58, AACSB 1997 Volume I Self-Study; and Exhibit 2.59, AACSB 1997 Volume II Appendices]

 

COB Degree Objectives. The desired outcomes and objectives of the B.S. degree in Business are consonant with the COB mission which focuses on preparing students for professional careers in business. General degree objectives have been identified as follows:

        To prepare for leadership roles in a diverse and global business world

        To acquire knowledge of current business practices and theory and be conversant in the language of business

        To develop competencies in critical thinking and problem solving, rational and ethical decision making, communication and leadership skills, and current technology

        To become lifelong, self-directed learners as demanded by the dynamic business environment of the future

In addition to these general degree objectives, and in concert with expectations and standards of AACSB, specific degree objectives have been identified in the following areas: oral/written communication, quantitative problem solving, current technology literacy, critical/creative thinking, global business, multicultural diversity, ethical decision making, and leadership.

COB Current Program Assessment. Operationalizing and assessing these general and specific degree objectives has been systematically addressed by the faculty in the COB. The assessment cycle utilized by the COB is comprised of the following steps:

        Identification of general and specific degree objectives. Provide students with the opportunity to prepare for a variety of careers in business. In defining and refining its mission, the COB has identified student outcomes which are essential to well-prepared business professionals, as well as reflective and socially responsible citizens.

        Design of curriculum. Clearly defines when and how these objectives will be addressed. The COB curriculum is designed as a developmental progression through the following four components: the university general education core, the business pre-core, the business core, and the option courses.   The business components of the degree are positioned such that BUS 101V - Freshman Seminar, functions as the cornerstone of the curriculum; the business core and option courses provide depth in the functional disciplines of business, and BUS 474C - Senior Seminar, serves as the synthesizing capstone course for the curriculum.

        Linking degree objectives and course requirements. The COB has designed matrices for each of its options which identify where and how each of the general and specific degree objectives are addressed in each of the business and option courses. Sample matrices are included in the recent COB AACSB Self-Study.

        Operationalizing degree objectives. The operationalization and assessment of degree objectives has included the following steps:

        Linking courses and objectives. COB faculty has systematically linked the general and specific objectives with objectives in each of the courses taught. Sample syllabi are included in the COB Notebook to illustrate these connections.

        Setting standards. The COB faculty have determined criteria for performance for the following degree objectives: communication (written and verbal), quantitative problem solving, and technology literacy. Standards define acceptable levels of performance at the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior level. It is expected that students. performance at the senior level be at or above levels expected by the professional world.

        Tracking critical thinking. The COB faculty has determined that critical thinking will be assessed using the Perry Scale of Epistemological Maturity. The instrument used is the Learning Environment Preferences [Exhibit 2.60, COB Learning Environment Preferences] which is administered in the freshmen seminar (baseline) and the senior seminar (summative). Analysis of the data indicate that COB freshmen are not significantly different from national freshmen, but that COB seniors are at significantly (statistically) higher levels on the scale than both freshmen and a sample of national business seniors. A full analysis of the data is included in the COB Notebook.

        Formal admission to the COB. Since its original accreditation, the COB has enforced a separate admission to the COB at the upper division. Students must apply and meet all of the published criteria for admission which are junior standing (60 credits), completion of business pre-core, "C" or better in all business courses; and a minimum 2.50 cumulative MSU GPA. The COB Office of Student Services reviews and takes action on all applications.

        Summative degree assessment. BUS 474C - Senior Seminar, serves as the capstone course for the COB. The Senior Seminar is uniquely designed to allow students to demonstrate acquired competencies by solving business problems through group and individual analyses. The Senior Seminar emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, rational and ethical decision making, communication and leadership skills, and current technology competence, as well as discipline-specific skills and knowledge.

        Other assessment activities:

The COB systematically gathers both internal and external feedback about its degree offerings and requirements as well as its success in preparing graduates for the professional world. Examples of internal and external assessment include the following:

        Business Advisory Council. Periodically, focus group discussions are held with the COB Advisory Council to identify current needs and issues in the business profession.

        Employer satisfaction. Systematic collection of data regarding satisfaction of recruiters with MSU business students is conducted by the Career Services Office which includes career preparedness, verbal and nonverbal communication, and general interview preparation. The COB will administer an Employer Satisfaction Survey in June 1999.

        Alumni survey. Systematic data has been gathered from graduates concerning preparation for the profession. The most recent survey was completed in the summer of 1997. This data has been analyzed and college-wide improvements were made during AY 97/98 [Exhibit 2.61, COB Alumni Survey].

        Self-assessment. The COB curriculum committee conducts bi-annual catalog reviews which include intensive self-assessment of the quality and consistency of their degree offerings.

Summary of College of Business Strengths

The strengths of the COB evolve from its commitment to its mission of preparing students for the professional world. The quality of the program can be demonstrated in a number of ways which include, but are not limited to the following:


Instruction and Program Assessment

        Full AACSB accreditation. The COB has met all the standards set by its national accrediting body. Initially accredited in the early 1980s, the COB was granted reaffirmation of accreditation in 1997.

        Freshman seminar. The COB Freshman Seminar has garnered national recognition for its innovation and excellence as well as been an effective component of the COB curriculum.

        Program assessment cycle and student outcomes assessment. The COB is committed to the process of continuous improvement and has integrated assessment and quality assurance into its existing process of curricular review and revision.

Student Success Indicators

        Employment placement rates. The success of COB graduates has been demonstrated in a number of ways. Career Services reports consistently high placement rates for COB graduates, especially from the accounting option whose placement rates are as high as 96%.

        Student recognition. Accounting option students have scored consistently well on the Certified Public Accountancy Exam (CPA). In the last ten (10) years, their performance has ranked MSU as one (1) of the top ten (10) schools in the nation on the pass rate; in 1995 and 1996, MSU was ranked first in the nation on the CPA pass rate. In the management option, students have been consistently successful in the annual Small Business Administration case competition. Since 1992, COB students. cases were first in the region five (5) times, second in the nation once, and first in the nation twice.

        Commitment to service. Since 1991, the COB has integrated a strand of service-learning into the curriculum to promote students. ethical development and appreciation of their roles as socially responsible business professionals. Students participate in short-term community service projects in BUS 101 as part of a team building assignment. In BUS 474C, students participate in a long-term, strategic project with not-for-profit agencies and entrepreneurs in which they utilize many of their discipline-specific skills to assist these agencies. In sum, COB students have contributed literally thousands of hours of service to the community. The original "Into the Streets" (Standard Three, pp.164) event was conceived and designed by COB students.

Facilities

        Computing and technology facilities. The COB has been committed to providing students with state-of-the-art instructional facilities to provide the opportunity to develop technology literacy skills. With the assistance of a number of COB donors and support from the Information Technologies Center, (ITC), the COB remodeled one of its classrooms into a computer classroom. Currently, courses in production and operations management, information systems, and market research are taught in this classroom.

Faculty

        COB faculty have achieved substantive professional distinction as accomplished teachers and researchers, and through contributions to professional and academic organizations. Research highlights include refereed publication in nationally recognized journals, and successful grant applications with the NSF and the U.S. Dept. of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grants. Unique research output at MSU includes projects focusing on Tourism and Rural Development, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Parks, and The Impacts of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agricultural economies.

        The COB faculty are dedicated to personalized teaching and advising. Highlights regarding teaching excellence include the Phi Kappa Phi Fridley Distinguished Teacher Award, the MSU Alumni-Chamber of Commerce Awards, the Montana Society of CPA's Award for Excellence in Accounting Education, and the Mortar Board awards for outstanding teaching.

        As mentioned previously, faculty curricular innovations include BUS 101V - Freshman Seminar, BUS 474C - Senior Seminar, and national recognition for student achievement in the Small Business Administration case competition.

        College faculty have also demonstrated distinction through professional service and outreach including regional and national leadership in academic and professional organizations. In recent years, COB faculty have chaired academic conferences, edited proceedings of academic meetings, served as advisors to the national governmental standards boards, and served as the President of the Montana Society of CPA's.

Summary of College of Business Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

In response to several concerns expressed by the AACSB accrediting team and its own self-assessment, the COB has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

Instruction and Program Improvement

        Curriculum changes. Based in part on feedback from the COB alumni survey, feedback from the Business Advisory Council, and self-assessment, the COB has made several improvements to its undergraduate curriculum. These include, but are not limited to the following:

        Redesign of the COB capstone experience. In 1996, the faculty created a very unique and innovative capstone course, BUS 474C - Senior Seminar. Originally, all students in the COB completed a traditional course in business ethics (BUS 468) and business policy (BUS 469). These two (2) courses were combined and redesigned into a seminar style course taught by a team of faculty from each of the option areas.  

        Modifications in the business core. Primarily, improvements have been made in the pedagogy of BUS 311 - Information Systems, and BUS 331 - Production and Operations Management, to better prepare students in these areas.

        Modifications in the management option. Major modifications have been made to the management option courses to better link strands of managerial analyses and action.

        Program and student outcome assessment. In its interim report to AASCB, the COB was charged with clarifying and defining more specifically all elements of the COB's mission and to link assessment with planning. In response to that charge, the COB Strategic Planning Committee assumed the responsibility for defining and clarifying each element of the COB mission [Exhibit 2.62, January 1999 AACSB Interim Report]. Once these elements were defined, the COB Curriculum Committee was charged with operationalizing those elements and recommending strategies for assessment. Details of their progress is included in the AACSB interim report.

        Advising. For the past decade, the COB has utilized a dual model of advising which includes a centralized advising office (Office of Student Services) supplemented with faculty advising. In response to students. concerns and confusion about the roles and responsibilities of advisor and advisee, the COB invited students to design a developmental advising plan which clearly defined student and faculty roles and responsibilities throughout a student's four (4)-year tenure with the COB. The plan includes advising goals for required advising sessions at the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years, as well as strategies for documenting these sessions. Since the implementation of the plan, student retention rates have increased and the number of graduation "problems" have been reduced dramatically. Full details of the plan are included in the COB Notebook.

        Promotion of MC/G dimensions of business. Providing students with the opportunity to experience the MC/G dimensions in a relatively rural and isolated environment has been challenging. To that end, the COB has cultivated a number of international exchange programs which, in addition to the traditional International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), are designed specifically for business students. To date, students have had opportunities to study business at universities in Japan, Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, New Zealand, and Australia. The COB has also included in its strategic plan specific strategies for recruiting and retaining minority students, especially Native American students.

Facilities

        One concern expressed by the AASCB team was the limited access students and faculty had to computer-based instructional facilities. In response, the COB has augmented its general strategic plan with a Computer/Technology Upgrade Plan. The COB has also acquired two (2) portable computer projectors which are dedicated to student presentations and projects. Details of the plan are included in the AACSB interim report.

Faculty

        The AACSB certified the current level of COB intellectual productivity. They did recommend, however, that faculty expectations for research and creative activity be clarified. Concerns were expressed that the research expectations for annual reviews be consistent with standards applied to candidates for P&T. To address this issue, the COB P&T committee has drafted research standards to be applied uniformly in both the annual review and in P&T reviews.

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

College Overview and Mission

The mission of the College of Education, Health and Human Development (CEHHD) is to provide high quality educational preparation for students seeking careers in the helping professions such as teaching, school and family counseling, family and consumer science education, movement science, health, and nutrition. The CEHHD is comprised of two (2) academic departments: the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Health and Human Development (HHD).

Each of the two (2) departments in the CEHHD contributes to the instructional mission of MSU and will be discussed as follows: summary of degrees offered and ten (10)-year enrollment data, departmental instructional charge and contributions to MSU mission, summary of degree objectives, program assessment plans which include abridgment of program effectiveness and student outcomes assessment activities, and departmental admission criteria, if applicable. The section concludes with a summary of overall CEHHD strengths and improvements.

Table 2-26 illustrates the changes and enhancements that have been made in undergraduate education in CEHHD in the last decade.


Table 2-26

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION CHANGES

Degree

Status

B.S. Technology Education

In 1996, the degree program was moved from the College of Agriculture to the CEHHD

B.S. Health and Human Development

In 1996, the degree programs in the Health and Human Development department were modified from a B.S. Physical Education and a B.S Home Economics to a B.S. HHD with a variety of options

B.S. Health Promotions

In 1998, the Health and Human Development degree with an option in Exercise and Wellness was approved as a separate B.S in Health Promotions

B.S. Health Administration

This program was approved in 1998 and is under development for the 2000-02 catalog

The change in 1996 to a general degree in HHD with specific academic options is a reflection of:

        National trends in the holistic approach in concepts of general human wellness.

        An attempt to provide entering students with common lower division academic experiences. The common lower division course work would assist students who chose to change options within the department by maximizing the number of credits which would count toward their "new" degrees.

[See Exhibit 2.63 College of Education, Health and Human Development Notebook.]

Department of Education

Fully accredited by the NCATE and approved by the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI), ED is divided into two (2) units: Curriculum and Instruction, which includes programs for the preparation of students wishing to be certified as elementary and secondary teachers; and Education Leadership, which offers graduate education in public school teaching, administration, and adult and higher education. The graduate program is discussed in the CGS section (pp. 107-108). The undergraduate mission of ED is to provide accredited teacher preparation programs for prospective elementary and secondary school teachers.

ED supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. ED offers B.S. degrees in Elementary Education and Secondary Education with a variety of specialization areas.

        Teacher preparation component. For prospective, discipline-specific teachers, students who wish to pursue careers in secondary teaching in disciplines such as chemistry, biology, English, history, music, and physics complete the teaching option of their respective baccalaureate degree. ED provides the required course work and certifies their endorsement.

        Minors. ED offers teaching minors in Instructional Media (K-12), Reading (K-12), and Technology Education.

In the past decade, ED has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.S. in Elementary Education, a B.S. in Secondary Education, and a B.S. in Technology Education. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-27.

Table 2-27

ED FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Elementary Ed

493

484

543

560

571

573

611

581

537

B.S. Secondary Ed

112

117

103

113

98

116

125

128

102

B.S. Technology Ed

34

27

28

37

42

38

44

42

43

ED Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by ED. Common to each degree program are the following:

        Satisfactory completion of prescribed teacher preparation course work which prepares students in their respective disciplines to succeed in positions in public or private schools in a wide variety of social, political, and economic contexts

        Demonstrated mastery of the body of knowledge relevant to the discipline

        Demonstrated personal/professional philosophy of teaching which reflects an understanding of and appreciation for the historical events and philosophical positions which have influenced American education

        Demonstrated ability to communicate and to nurture healthy self-image in prospective students

ED Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is both formative and summative. Assessment activities are as follows:

        Formative assessment. All students in the elementary and secondary degree programs, as well as those pursuing teaching options in degree programs outside ED, are subject to several mid-program assessment activities. These require compliance with specific performance criteria in order to progress in the student's degree program. These activities are as follows:

        Admission to the program

        Minimum 2.50 GPA in the communications/mathematics university core requirements (verbal, written, and mathematics) with no grade lower than a "C."

        Minimum 2.50 cumulative MSU GPA.

        Minimum scores on all sections of the Praxis Exam (formally National Teacher Exam). Minimum scores are established by the Montana Board of Public Education and enforced by the Montana OPI.

        Elementary Education students must submit a writing sample which is subsequently scored by the MSU Writing Center Staff. The department has set standards of performance for writing with which all students must comply.

        Application and approval for student teaching. In order to qualify for a student teaching assignment, students must demonstrate maintenance of satisfactory academic performance at the level required for admission to the program, complete required methods courses, and obtain advisor approval.

        Recommendation and approval of certification. Students must complete courses specified in the Teacher Education Program Plan (TEPP), obtain the approval of their advisors, and obtain the approval of the Director of Field Placement.

        Elementary Education. In addition to these proscribed steps for certification, elementary education students receive mid-program performance evaluations in their junior methods block courses and para-professional experiences. Students are supervised in the para-professional experience by graduate teaching assistants (GTA), and are provided feedback on classroom performance from both their supervising GTA and their cooperating classroom teacher.

        Capstone courses. EDEL 414C - Professional Issues, and co-requisite EDEL 410 - Student Teaching serve as the departmental capstone courses.

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, ED systematically receives internal feedback on program and student preparedness from the following sources: senior exit surveys, alumni surveys, and student organizations such as the student chapter of the Technology Education Collegiate Association.

        External feedback. ED receives feedback from its external constituencies from the following sources:

        Accreditation. The degree programs are fully accredited by NCATE, as well as in full compliance with state standards set by the Montana Board of Public Instruction. ED was last reviewed in 1996 and received reaffirmation of accreditation.

        Advisory councils. ED solicits information from its teacher education and school administration advisory councils with members representing practicing professionals, leaders of professional organizations, and Technology Education Association of Montana (TEAM).

        Cooperating teachers. Through a variety of para-professional and supervised student teaching experiences, ED receives detailed assessments of students. preparedness and field performance from classroom teachers.

ED Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. ED has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Pedagogical improvements. Students in all options have consistently requested that they have an opportunity to participate in a teaching seminar prior to student teaching. ED is developing strategies to restructure the curriculum to accommodate this request which will require considerable logistical planning since most public schools are generally in session before the university. Students in the secondary education - physical science option have requested the opportunity to participate in a supervised para-professional experience. ED has piloted such a project with students in 1997.

        Technology. For the past several years, students enrolled in student teaching have had the opportunity to communicate regularly with their faculty advisors and student teaching supervisors through e-mail. Supervisors still make regular site visits to observe students. performance in the field; however, e-mail contact has allowed students to seek advice on problems and issues on a regular, on-going basis.

[See Exhibit 2.64, Department of Education Notebook. For NCATE 1996 accreditation reports see Exhibit 2.65, NCATE I.A. Conceptual Framework and I.B. General Studies; Exhibit 2.66, NCATE I.C. Content Studies and I.D. Professional & Pedagogical Studies; Exhibit 2.67, NCATE I.E. Integrative Studies; Exhibit 2.68, NCATE I.F. Advanced Professional Studies; Exhibit 2.69, NCATE I.G. Quality of Instruction; Exhibit 2.70, NCATE I.H. Quality of Field Experience; Exhibit 2.71, NCATE I.I. Professional Community; Exhibit 2.72, NCATE II.A. Qualifications and II.B. Composition; Exhibit 2.73, NCATE II.C. Monitoring & Assessing Progress; Exhibit 2.74, NCATE II.D. Ensuring Competence; Exhibit 2.75, NCATE III.A. Qualifications; Exhibit 2.76, NCATE III.B. Composition and III.C. Professional Assignments; Exhibit 2.77, NCATE III.D. Professional Development; Exhibit 2.78, NCATE IV.A. Governance & Accountability; Exhibit 2.79, NCATE IV.B. Resources for Teaching & Scholarship and IV.C. Resources for Operations; Exhibit 2.80, NCATE Diversity; and Exhibit 2.81, NCATE International Activities.]

Department of Health and Human Development

HHD is sub-divided into two (2) instructional units: the unit of Family Studies and Consumer Sciences (FSCS), and the unit of Health, Nutrition, and Movement Sciences (HNMS). Programs in these units are fully accredited by:

        NCATE

        The American Dietetics Association (ADA)

        The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

        The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

        The American Association for Family and Consumer Science (AAFCS)

The graduate program is discussed in the CGS section (pp. 108-109).

The mission and objectives of each unit are described in respective degree objectives sections.

HHD supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degrees. HHD offers a B.S. in Health and Human Development with a variety of specialization options.

        University core courses. HHD offers university core courses in a number of categories: dance as cultural expression which fulfills the fine arts and MC/G categories; human development across the life span which fulfills social sciences; and human nutrition which fulfills natural sciences.

        Minors. HHD offers teaching minors in Family and Consumer Science Education and Health Education, and non-teaching minors in Apparel Design, Dance, Fashion Merchandising, Food Services Systems Management (non-dietetics), Health Science, Home Economics Extension, and Human Development.

In the past decade, HHD has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Health and Human Development. Prior to 1996, HHD offered a B.S. in Home Economics with a variety of options and a B.S. in Physical Education with a variety of options. (For the purposes of this study, both degrees are combined in the following data. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-28).

Table 2-28

HHD FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. HHD

560

583

636

601

596

585

586

604

574

HHD Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by HHD. They are summarized as follows:

        Family Studies and Consumer Sciences. The mission of the FSCS unit is to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields which include the following:

        Human development, early childhood education including exceptional children and early intervention, family science, and lifespan human development

        Family and Consumer Science

        School and mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, and education/extension (includes preparation for professional licensure and certification)

        Health, Nutrition, and Movement Sciences. The mission of the HNMS unit is to prepare students for careers in a variety of professional fields such as the following:

        Community health education, health promotion and wellness, public school health, health enhancement teaching, and exercise sciences

        Foods and nutrition, including dietetics and preparation for professional certification

        Health enhancement and exercise testing and prescription (includes preparation for professional licensure and certification)

HHD Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes in each of the units is both formative and summative. A summary of assessment activities is as follows:

        Admission to program and satisfactory progress.

        FSCS. In order to be eligible for enrollment in upper division courses, students must complete the written and mathematics core requirements by the end of the sophomore year. In order to be accepted for their para-professional/internship experience, students must submit a statement of professionalism. and be reviewed by the faculty. To graduate, students must earn a "C-" or better in all required option courses; students may repeat courses no more than twice if they receive unsatisfactory grades.

        HNMS. All students must earn a grade of "C-" or higher in all upper division required courses in their respective options. In addition, students in specific options must meet the following requirements:

        Students in the Foods and Nutrition option must apply for admission to the upper division program at the end of their second year; they must be in compliance with the following criteria: 2.85 cumulative GPA, completion of the pre-dietetic core, and junior standing (60 credits earned). Students must maintain a minimum 2.85 GPA after admission and must earn at least a "C-" in all required courses.

        Students in the Athletic Training option must apply for admission to the program at the beginning of their sophomore year; they must be in compliance with the following criteria: 2.50 cumulative GPA, and an earned grade of "B" or better in BIOL 209/210 and HDPE 220. Students must submit a written application with their advisors. approval prior to completing their internship requirement. The program is currently in moratorium.

        Students in Health Enhancement are subject to the standards for acceptance into the Teacher Preparation program.

        Formative assessment. Assessment of students. discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed throughout the students. progression through their respective curriculum.

        Capstone courses. A summative assessment of student outcomes and performance is conducted through the following departmental capstone courses.

        EDSD 413C - Professional Issues - Health Enhancement K-12 broadfield option, and co-requisite EDSD 410 - Student Teaching

        HDCF 475C - Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Child Development option, and co-requisite HHD 454 - Practicum in Early Childhood Teaching

        HDCF 475 - Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Consumer Science, Family Science, Textiles and Clothing, Family and Consumer Science Education/Extension options, and co-requisite HHD 476 - Internship

        HDFN 475C - Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Food and Nutrition option, and co-requisite HHD 476 - Internship

        HDHL 475C - Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Community Health and Pre-Physical Therapy options, and co-requisite HHD 476 - Internship

        HDPE 465C - Exercise Testing and Prescription - Exercise Physiology option

        HDPE 489C - Undergraduate Research/Creativity Instruction - Biomechanics option, and co-requisite HDPE 490 - Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity

        HDPE 475C - Senior Seminar: Professional Issues - Health Promotion option, and co-requisite HHD 476 - Internship

        Other assessment activities:

        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, HHD receives feedback on the program from the following sources: graduating senior surveys, alumni surveys, and student chapters of professional organizations such as the Family and Consumer Science Association, Phi Upsilon Omicron, Fashion Design and Merchandising Board, Council of Consumer Science, and the Association for Education of Young Children.

        External feedback. HHD receives feedback from the following external constituencies:

        Accreditation boards. FSCS is fully accredited by the AAFCS with the next review scheduled in the year 2006. The dietetic program in Foods and Nutrition has been granted approval status by the Commission/Approval for Dietetics Education of the ADA through the year 2004.   The Health Enhancement option is fully accredited by NCATE and approved by the Montana OPI.

        Internship site advisors/cooperating teachers. HHD receives detailed information on a student's performance from field advisors and cooperating teachers.

        External advisory councils/groups. FSCS receives feedback from its external advisory council which is made up of professionals in the field including program alumni. HNMS receives external feedback from the Health Enhancement Activities for Rural Teachers project (H.E.A.R.T. Project) and from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

HHD Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. HHD has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

        Pedagogical improvements. HHD has identified the need for more integration of technology and utilization of smart classrooms. in its curricula. HHD has submitted proposals to both the Equipment Fee Allocation Committee (EFAC) and the Computer Fee Allocation Committee (CFAC) requesting funding for computer resources and upgrades of instrumentation and laboratory equipment for movement science, food science, and textiles and clothing. Revisions have been made in the following options: Health Enhancement, Textiles and Clothing, Community Health, and Family and Consumer Science.

        Faculty. Integration of Extension Specialists with instructional faculty has enhanced program delivery in projects such as special community nutrition programs.

[See Exhibit 2.82, Department of Health and Human Development Notebook.]

Summary of College of Education, Health and Human Development Strengths

CEHHD has delivered a number of high quality, accredited degree programs. In 1996, FSCS and its programs regained full accreditation status from the AAFCS, and the Food and Nutrition option maintained its approval status from the ADA. The Child Development Center received accreditation from the NAEYC. All three (3) of the counseling options received accreditation from the CACREP which makes this program the first in the nation to have all three (3) programs accredited and the first and only accredited program in the State of Montana. Health Enhancement and Family and Consumer Science Educations received accreditation from NCATE. Strengths and improvements are cited in the departmental sections.

Summary of College of Education, Health and Human Development Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

The CEHHD has promoted improvements in the following areas:

        Teacher preparation degree requirements. In 1996, when the BOR mandated that degree programs be delivered with no more than 120 total credits, the CEHHD joined the College of Engineering in a proposal which requested exemptions from this requirement. Initially, the BOR granted the Teacher Preparation Program a temporary one-year exemption with the requirement that a thorough program assessment and curricular review support continuation of the exemption. The College provided that information and was granted permanent exemption of the 120 credit limit in spring 1997 [Exhibit 2.83, BOR Item 92-2001-R0796, Exemption to 120 Credit Limit for Education Majors].

        Advising. In order to enhance advising, the CEHDD has supported programs in both departments which promote connections between faculty and students. In ED, CEHHD created an advising center to more effectively advise and mentor freshmen and sophomores in the elementary teacher education program during the students. first two (2) years. The center currently serves over 400 students and is staffed with a full-time director and utilizes a peer advising program which not only assists the lower division students but also provides leadership opportunities for upper division students.

        HHD. CEHHD supported expansion and development of the departmentally-based freshman seminar: HHD 172 - Strategies for Success. Students enroll in a common lecture and one (1) of four (4) recitation sections, two (2) of which are for students in FSCS and two (2) for students in HNMS.

        Child Development Center. CEHHD has been assisting the Child Development Center in reaching solvency by moving to a full-day, full-year program. The Child Development Center is a university laboratory school which provides a high quality program that is developmentally appropriate to meet the unique needs of preschool-age children. The Center is staffed by a director and teachers trained in child development, plus MSU students enrolled in child development classes. Students are carefully supervised and supplement their academic education experience with field experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate activities for preschool-age children.

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

College Overview and Mission

With accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC), the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC), and both the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), as well as the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), the College of Engineering (COE) is committed to providing and supporting professional engineering and technology in the context of MSU's land-grant mission. The primary focus of the instructional program is the application of engineering principles and technical methodologies for the betterment of society. Degree programs are oriented toward career preparation of professionals who demonstrate both technical competence, as well as critical and ethical decision-making skills.

The COE contributes to the MSU instructional mission as follows:

        Provides professionally accredited undergraduate engineering programs

        Provides a professionally accredited undergraduate computer science program

        Provides professionally accredited undergraduate engineering technology programs

        Provides graduate and cooperative education which supports undergraduate engineering, engineering technology, and computer science programs

        Promotes ethnic and gender diversity in all COE programs

        Continuously reviews programs for currency and quality to maximize the marketability and competitiveness of graduates

        Maintains active research programs that complement the educational program, that are relevant to society's problems, and that contribute to faculty development

        Recruits and supports a quality faculty and staff that maintain their currency and qualifications through continued professional development and research

        Supports MSU's land-grant public service mission through application of the COE's technical expertise and resources

The COE is comprised of the following five (5) academic departments: Chemical Engineering (CH E), Civil Engineering (CE), Computer Science (CS), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (M&IE). The COE also houses two (2) non-degree granting departments: Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC) and Military Science (Army ROTC). The undergraduate and graduate mission of the COE is further supported by the following centers: Engineering Experiment Station (EES), Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE), National Science Foundation (NSF), Engineering Research Center (ERC), Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC), Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP), and the Western Transportation Institute (WTI).

Table 2-29 illustrates the changes and enhancements have been made in undergraduate education in the COE over the last decade.

Table 2-29

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION CHANGES

Degree

Status

B.S. Agricultural Engineering

In 1993, the degree was modified and combined under B.S. in Civil Engineering, bio-resources option

B.S. Computer Engineering (CpE)

Approved by the BOR as new degree in fall 1996, it is administered by the renamed Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

B.S. Industrial and Management Engineering (I&ME) - Manufacturing option

Added in 1994, the option was in response to changes and demands of the industry

Merger of I&ME and Mechanical Engineering (ME) departments

B.S. degrees are still awarded in I&ME, ME, and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET); departments were administratively merged in 1996

Military Science (ROTC): Army

Moved to COE in 1998 from the College of Letters and Science; no degrees are awarded

Aerospace Studies (ROTC): Air Force

Moved to COE in 1998 from the College of Letters and Science; no degrees are awarded

 

The change in the agricultural engineering program primarily reflected a trend nationally in the scope of similar programs moving away from agricultural mechanics and moving towards science-based, natural resources-oriented engineering. The latter is a recognized area of the civil engineering discipline and is a particular strength of CE.

Prior to 1996, computer engineering was a BOR recognized option under the B.S. in Electrical Engineering. In the fall of 1996, it was approved by the BOR as a separate degree program. This change coincides with the rapid growth nationally in similar programs and is driven by tremendous industry demand. Computer engineering now represents one of the most rapidly growing areas of engineering. To help reflect this new emphasis and the administration of the CpE program, the Department of Electrical Engineering was renamed the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

An ME option in the I&ME program was added in 1994. Manufacturing has always been a recognized area of industrial engineering and this change was in response to demands by industry for the emphasis. It also reflected a growing strength of the I&ME program at MSU. In 1996, the I&ME department was administratively merged with the ME department. Now known as M&IE, this alignment of programs also draws upon common areas of emphasis and expertise, particularly with respect to manufacturing.

The non-degree granting departments of Military Science and Aerospace Studies were realigned with the COE, from the College of Letters and Science, in 1998. This move was driven principally by the desire of the Army and Air Force ROTC faculty to be more closely aligned with a professional school. Most of the students affiliated with either ROTC department are seeking professionally-oriented degrees, including engineering.

While each of the departments in the COE focus their instructional mission on specific fields of engineering practices, there are a number of common elements in the way in which the instructional program is delivered. In light of those similarities, the degree offerings in the COE will be discussed as follows: summary of degree(s) offered and ten (10)-year enrollment data, common elements of departmental instructional missions and contributions to the MSU mission, a summary of degree objectives, and a summary of current program assessment which includes program effectiveness and student outcomes assessment activities. Graduate education in engineering is discussed in the CGS section (pp. 109-113). Following the discussion of the common elements of the instructional program, specific departmental problematic areas of concern and strategies for improvement will be discussed. In conclusion, summaries of overall COE strengths, problematic areas of concern, and strategies for improvement will be provided.

[See Exhibit 2.84, College of Engineering Notebook; Exhibit 2.85, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume I; Exhibit 2.86, Department of Chemical Engineering Notebook; Exhibit 2.87, Department of Civil Engineering Notebook; Exhibit 2.88, Department of Computer Science Notebook; Exhibit 2.89, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Notebook; and Exhibit 2.90, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Notebook.]

College of Engineering Departments and Undergraduate Degrees

The undergraduate mission of each of the departments in the COE is to provide students with a professionally accredited, competitive program of instruction; to prepare students to use their knowledge and skills to contribute to their profession and society; and to succeed in positions in industry and/or graduate school.   The departments of the COE support the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

        Baccalaureate degree. The five (5) departments in the COE offer accredited degree programs in both professional and technical tracks. The degrees are accredited by their respective boards on a maximum six (6) year cycle. The engineering and engineering technology programs were last reviewed in 1996 and 1997, respectively (accreditation review has not been sought to date for CpE since ABET will not visit until there are a minimum number of graduates to review; all graduates, however, have also earned an Electrical Engineering (EE) degree); CS was reviewed in 1998. A summary of the degrees and their respective accrediting boards is shown in Table 2-30.

 

Table 2-30

SUMMARY OF COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEGREES AND RESPECTIVE ACCREDITING BOARDS

Degree Program/Option

Accrediting Board

B.S. Chemical Engineering (CH E)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Civil Engineering (CE)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Computer Engineering (CpE)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Computer Science (CS)

CSAC of CSAB

B.S. Construction Engineering Technology (CET)

TAC of ABET

B.S. Electrical Engineering (EE)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology (EEET)

TAC of ABET

B.S. Industrial and Management Engineering (I&ME)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Mechanical Engineering (ME)

EAC of ABET

B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET)

TAC of ABET

[See Exhibit 2.91, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume II, Chemical Engineering.; Exhibit 2.92, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume II, Civil Engineering and Bio-Resources Engineering Option; Exhibit 2.93, CSAC/CSAB 1998 Accreditation Report; Exhibit 2.94, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume II, Electrical Engineering; Exhibit 2.95, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume II, Mechanical Engineering; and Exhibit 2.96, ABET 1997 Self-Study Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Programs, Volume II, Industrial and Management Engineering.]

        University core courses. CH E offers CH E 251V - Societal Impacts of Chemical Engineering, which fulfills the verbal category in the university core.

        University service courses. CS delivers a number of service courses which supplement other university majors such as business. Engineering mechanics is also used to fulfill requirements in programs such as pre-physical therapy and biomechanics. Other CE course work (bio-resources) is required by agricultural technology.

Prior to 1996, CS 150 - Computer Literacy fulfilled the Technology category of the university core. The Technology category was eliminated when degree programs were reduced from 128 to 120 credits by BOR mandate. Continued very high enrollments in the course indicate that even though the course does not fulfill a university core requirement, it is a very popular professional elective. As illustrated by Table 2-31, enrollments dropped in 1996, but have leveled out and remained stable.

Table 2-31

CS 150 ENROLLMENTS SINCE FALL 1995

Year

Enrollment

Fall 1995: three (3) sections lecture/lab (Technology core course)

1052

Fall 1996: three (3) sections lecture/lab

755

Fall 1997: three (3) sections lecture/lab

706

Fall 1998: two (2) sections lecture/lab + two (2) sections Internet delivery

441 (lecture/lab) + 388 (Internet) = 799

        Minors. CS offers a teaching and a non-teaching minor; M&IE offers non-teaching minors in I&ME and ME.

In the past decade, the COE has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, a B.S. in Civil Engineering, a B.S. in Computer Engineering, a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Construction Engineering Technology, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology, a B.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Table 2-32 illustrates fall term enrollment snapshots for each degree.

Table 2-32

COE FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Chemical Engineering

168

187

202

186

181

190

164

155

167

B.S. Civil Engineering

223

230

317

366

385

415

398

393

367

B.S. Computer Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

42

B.S. Computer Science

209

199

188

200

205

252

256

289

326

B.S. Construction Engineering Technologies

161

156

149

158

185

189

221

234

250

B.S. Electric Engineering

349

320

316

258

233

229

237

225

241

B.S. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology

86

69

67

67

57

55

47

47

38

B.S. Industrial and Management Engineering

88

87

99

73

68

74

95

105

115

B.S. Mechanical Engineering

387

399

390

369

367

319

333

316

342

B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology

138

113

104

79

54

37

45

49

53

COE Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for the degrees offered by each of the five (5) departments. While each department has identified discipline-specific skills appropriate for their respective fields, there is a set of common expectations for graduates of each program. Degree programs in the COE may be divided into two (2) basic categories: professional and technical degrees. The professional degree prepares graduates for careers in industry and/or graduate school. Table 2-33 illustrates the level of performance standards expected of graduates in the professional programs.

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