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STANDARD TWO (continued)
Table 2-33

COE PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAM PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

 

 

Program

 

Core Competencies

 

Advanced Competencies

 

 

Communication

 

Problem-

Solving Skills

Professional Judgement and Ethics

CE

CH E

I&ME

ME

Mastery

Mastery

Mastery of technical writing and presentation skills appropriate for professional and lay audiences

Individual and team skills in problem analysis and design solutions

Demonstrate understanding and appreciation

CpE

CS

EE

Mastery

Demonstrate expertise in at least three (3) advanced competencies

Mastery of technical writing and presentation skills appropriate for professional and lay audiences

Individual and team skills in problem analysis and design solutions

Demonstrate understanding and appreciation

The technical degrees focus more on the applied dimensions of their respective engineering fields and require students to demonstrate technical proficiency in a number of specific areas. Performance standards for these technical programs are illustrated in Table 2-34.

Table 2-34

COE TECHNICAL DEGREE PROGRAM PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

 

 

Program

 

Core Competencies

 

Technical Competencies

 

 

Communication

 

Problem-

Solving Skills

Professional Judgement and Ethics

CET

EEET

Mastery

Mastery

Mastery of technical writing and presentation skills appropriate for professional and lay audiences

Individual and team skills in problem analysis and design solutions

Demonstrate understanding and appreciation

MET

Mastery

Demonstrate expertise in at least three (3) advanced competencies

Mastery of technical writing and presentation skills appropriate for professional and lay audiences

Individual and team skills in problem analysis and design solutions

Demonstrate understanding and appreciation

COE Current Program Assessment. General assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes in each of the five (5) departments contains a common core of formative and summative activities. The following is a summary of these common elements:

·        Formative assessment. The generally sequential nature of each of the curricula in the COE provides faculty with numerous opportunities for continuous assessment of student progress in mastering core and advanced competencies in discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills. Course examinations, design projects, laboratory assignments, and other course-based activities provide faculty with feedback on student progress.

·        Cooperative Education/Internship Opportunities. Each department in the COE has partnered with a number of regional and national firms to provide students with the opportunity to apply their skills in an industry setting. Working with a faculty and site advisor, the student receives systematic feedback with regard to her/his performance.

·        Capstone courses. Summative assessment of students is conducted in the departmental capstone courses. These courses generally require students to collaborate in teams to engage in a major design project which requires them to demonstrate the following: proficiency in applying core and advanced competencies, professional technical report writing, professional presentation skills, proficiency in problem solving, and professional judgement and ethics. These projects are evaluated by faculty and, when feasible, members of the departmental and/or college advisory councils. A summary of capstone courses for professional degree programs can be found in Table 2-35; capstones for technical degree programs can be found in Table 2-36.

Table 2-35

COE CAPSTONE COURSES: PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMS

Program

Course

CH E

CH E 411C/412C - Design of Chemical and Petroleum Processes I & II

CE

CE 457C/458C - Senior Project I & II - all options

CS

CS 450C - Compilers

EE & CpE

EE 492C - Electrical Engineering Design II

I&ME

I&ME 443C/444C - Production Methods and Design/Senior Design Project -all options

ME

ME 404C - Mechanical Engineering Design II

Table 2-36

COE CAPSTONE COURSES: TECHNICAL DEGREE PROGRAMS

Program

Course

CET

CET 408C - Construction Management

EEET

EE 492C - Electrical Engineering Design II

MET

MET 456C/457C - Mechanical Engineering Technology Capstone Experience I & II

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. Departments formally and informally solicit internal feedback on the program from a number of sources: required student course evaluations, graduating senior surveys, alumni surveys, and the student chapters of their respective professional organizations such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of General Contractors (AGC), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association of Women in Computing (AWC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Technologies (ASMET), and the Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE).

·        Mentor program. Mentor programs in the COE had been pioneered by CE years ago. In recent years, more departments are actively developing similar programs. Recently, the M&IE has sponsored an undergraduate peer mentoring program in which junior and senior students apply to mentor freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students. The program is designed to enhance the first year students' academic and social integration into the COE and MSU. Mentors provide their own insights and experiences, as well as referring students to available services at MSU.

·        External feedback. Departments systematically receive feedback from a number of constituencies.

·        Accreditation reviews. As previously discussed, the engineering and engineering technology programs in the COE are accredited by EAC of ABET or TAC of ABET (with the current exception of CpE as noted). CS is accredited by CSAC of CSAB. Review by these boards is rigorous. Commendations and recommendations by these reviews are major components of the COE’s strategic planning and improvement processes.

·        Employers, recruiters, and CO-OP/Internship advisors. Each department receives feedback concerning student preparedness and performance from firms who recruit and employ graduates, as well as from industry site advisors who supervise students in the CO-OP/Internship programs.

·        National exams. While it is currently not a COE requirement, nearly 50% of the students in the professional engineering programs choose to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The exam assesses critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, analytical synthesis, and decision making, and serves as a first step toward professional licensure. In the past several years, the pass rate for engineering graduates nationwide has ranged between 64% and 72%. MSU engineering graduates have earned a cumulative pass rate of approximately 92% during the same period. Students in the CET program take the Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) exam. Prior to spring 1998, taking the exam was optional for students in the program. In spring 1998, the department encouraged about 30% of their graduating seniors to take the exam, and these students earned a 100% pass rate. The national pass rate for the CPC exam during that same exam cycle was less than 60%. Starting fall 1998, all prospective program graduates will take the exam.

·        Industry advisory council. Each department sponsors an external advisory council that meets annually or bi-annually. The Advisory Councils provide feedback on graduates, industry needs, and trends; members are often asked to serve as ‘external reviewers’ on senior capstone projects.

 

COE Problematic Areas of Concerns and Strategies for Improvement. In the past decade, each department has identified problematic areas of concern and initiated strategies for improvement. These are summarized as follows:

·        Chemical Engineering. The department has made the coordination and integration of mathematics and numerical analyses throughout engineering course work a priority, and target courses have been identified for application. Introduction of computer-mediated visual aids has been added to CH E 251V. Overall, undergraduate students in the program have been targeted to receive greater experience in computer-aided data analysis and computer process control.

·        Civil Engineering. Requiring the graduates of the CET program to take the CPC exam will greatly increase the department’s ability to assess the summative skills of all its graduates.

·        Computer Science. CS is the fastest growing major on the MSU campus. This has created a strain within the department and college to meet the demands posed by this growth. The growth is, of course, reflected in national trends, but is also due to the particular strengths of the program at MSU with respect to faculty, facilities, and the overall quality of the program. To help address some of this concern, two (2) new tenure-track faculty positions have been approved for the department. One (1) hire was made in 1998 and the second is anticipated by AY 1999-2000. In addition, an increased allocation in technical staff has helped the faculty manage computing systems within the department.

·        Electrical and Computer Engineering. As stated in the program proposal, the primary rationale for developing a separate degree in CpE instead of offering it as an option under EE was based on the following two factors: major changes and demands of industry professionals, and the academic strength of both EE and CS who would provide the majority of the course work. The BOR approved the degree in fall 1996 [See Appendix 2-A, Summary of changes in Degree Offerings]. Beyond the addition of the CpE program, the ECE is continuing to examine its future direction. A significant proportion of department faculty will be retiring in the next few years. Thus, the potential exists to thoroughly examine the immediate and future needs of the department and assess its future strengths and weaknesses. To this end, a national search for a new ECE department head is currently underway (anticipated hire in AY 1999-2000). The new head will be expected to lead this effort.

·        Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. The consolidation of the I&ME, ME, and MET programs into one (1) administrative unit is now moving into its fourth year. As indicated earlier, this merger provided several advantages. Academically, it has helped foster collaboration in common areas of expertise. For example, the general area of manufacturing engineering is a strength of all three (3) programs and the new department has a higher visibility in this regard. This is partly due to the creation of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) laboratory. With start-up funding by the NSF, the CIM lab is a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility in industrial robotics, rapid prototyping technologies, and automated factory systems. Administratively, there have been some cost savings in the merger, but there were initial concerns over individual program ‘loss of identity’ issues. Such concerns, however, have subsided. Each of the three (3) degree programs have a program coordinator who is responsible for promoting the program, advising new students, and otherwise assisting the department head with student academic affairs.

The ME and MET programs recently added a computer methods course for entry level students (ME 102), a materials laboratory course (ME 251), and a senior laboratory (ME 460). These changes were made to introduce more ‘hands-on’ experiences throughout the curriculum. The I&ME faculty also introduced two (2) new introductory level courses (I&ME 143, I&ME 144) for the purpose of increasing student retention into the second year. Previously, there was not a specific course to introduce I&ME majors to the breadth of the discipline.

Summary of College of Engineering Strengths

In the past decade, the COE has delivered high quality professional degree programs. The strengths of the programs include, but are not limited to the following:

·        Accreditation. All undergraduate programs in the COE are fully accredited by their respective accrediting agencies. It is firmly believed that when accreditation for the new CpE program is sought, it will be successful because the program was derived from a strong and fully accredited program (EE) with existing faculty and laboratory resources. In its most recent site visit in 1996, ABET reviewers commended all programs for their overall quality and the faculty’s commitment to undergraduate education. CE has also received ABET accreditation of its cooperative education program. CS was most recently visited in 1998 and is awaiting the board’s final report.

·        Excellent record of student achievement. Graduates of the program have demonstrated high levels of achievement as evidenced by their consistently high pass rates on the FE and on their particularly successful job placement rate. COE students have also garnered a number of national awards such as being named to the All USA Today Academic All-America Team, receiving prestigious Goldwater Scholarships in Science and Engineering, including three (3) this year, winning NSF fellowships, and being awarded graduate fellowships from the NSF and the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA). Students have won national recognition for projects such as an ‘all terrain’ wheelchair and solar racing car. Recently, three (3) COE alumni received the prestigious President’s Award at the Tektronix Corporation. Cumulatively, COE alumni have won more of these awards than any other major university from which Tektronix recruits.

·        CO-OP/Internship programs. Each department in the COE provides students with the opportunity to enhance their academic course work with a ‘hands on’ work experience in industry. The program provides the COE

with both detailed feedback on the field performance of its students, as well as the opportunity to build strong partnerships with firms who frequently recruit and employ graduates and/or serve the COE in other support capacities.

·        Engineering/Physical Sciences (E/PS) building. In 1991, the Montana Legislature authorized the construction of the E/PS building. The project was funded at $22.3 million, the largest appropriation for an instructional facility in the history of Montana. Occupied in 1996, the complex includes the Burns Telecommunication Center, various state-of-the-art computer and laboratory facilities, technologically sophisticated classrooms, offices, and meeting rooms. The facility has contributed significantly to the COE’s and MSU’s commitment to integrating technology into instruction and preparing students for the work world of the 21st century.

·        Program support for women and minorities. In keeping with its mission, the COE specifically provides programs which support women and minorities in engineering such as the Engineering Minority Program (EMPower) which address issues that have led to the serious under-representation of ethnic minorities, especially American Indians, and women in the engineering fields. The EMPower program serves students in two (2) primary capacities: by supporting enrichment programs for pre-college students, particularly Native American students, to encourage the pursuit of post secondary education in the fields of science and engineering; and by assisting current MSU students in developing a customized retention plan which includes maintenance awards, tutoring, and referral to a variety of other MSU support services [Exhibit 2.97, EMPower: The Engineering Minority Program].

·        Research centers. The undergraduate and graduate degree programs are further enhanced by several research centers. Briefly, the supporting research centers are as follows:

·        Center for Biofilm Engineering/NSF Engineering Research Center. Established in 1990, the center fosters a new approach to university engineering/science education. At the center, multi-disciplinary research teams find solutions and applications for industrially relevant problems and research the potential of microbial biofilm formation. It is one (1) of twenty-five (25) NSF Engineering Research Centers currently in the U.S.

·        Engineering Experiment Station. The EES was created by the State Board of Education in 1924 to stimulate economic development and to promote the utilization and conservation of natural resources in Montana by fostering basic and applied engineering research activities. EES funds are used to promote research and outreach activities by engineering faculty at MSU, generally through ‘seed’ grants or as matching support administered by the Dean of Engineering.

·        Local Technical Assistance Program. Administered by CE, the LTAP program is part of a nationwide effort and one (1) of fifty-one (51) centers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, which provide technical assistance, training, and products to county and local transportation agencies.

·        Montana Manufacturing Extension Center. Created in January of 1996, the center assists Montana manufacturers in becoming more competitive. MMEC is an extension center staffed by five (5) field engineers (located in Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Missoula, and Kalispell) each with extensive experience in manufacturing and business in a variety of industries. MMEC's mission is to enhance the competitiveness of Montana manufacturers via direct, unbiased engineering and managerial assistance in partnership with other public and private resources. The MMEC is an outgrowth of the University Technical Assistance Program (UTAP). UTAP still exists within the COE and now serves to support MMEC activities and provides real-world experience for several graduate students.

·        Tribal Technical Assistance Program. This program provides technical assistance, training, and products to Native American governments and tribes. TTAP services the states of Montana, upper Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

·        Western Transportation Institute. Established in 1994, the WTI is a national and international center for research and education on rural applications of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). It is administered by CE. In 1998, the WTI was designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as one of its “Super Centers” and now helps to conduct and coordinate basic and applied ITS research with state and local agencies throughout the western U.S.

·        Feedback from external stakeholders. In order to prepare graduates who will be competitive in tomorrow’s workforce, it is essential for the COE to solicit frequent feedback from its external stakeholders in business and industry. The COE maintains close ties to these constituencies through a COE Advisory Council and various departmental advisory councils, made up of professionals from specific disciplines. Members of the current COE Advisory Council possess an impressive depth and breadth of experience. These professionals serve the COE in a number of ways:

·        As recruiters and employers of COE graduates, members provide feedback on the preparedness of students

·        As successful professionals, members provide invaluable feedback concerning the changes and demands in the work world

·        Members frequently are asked to serve as ‘external reviewers’ on senior capstone projects


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

In the past decade, the COE has identified several problematic areas of concern and implemented strategies for improvement. These include, but are not limited to the following:

·        Reduction of total degree credits. As discussed in the introduction, the BOR directed MSU to reduce its degree offerings from 128 semester credits to 120 in 1996. The COA carefully examined its degree offerings, and identified degree elements which were essential to the preparation of graduates who were thoroughly prepared in their disciplines, who demonstrated professional communication skills, who demonstrated breadth and depth of a general liberal education, and who demonstrated skill in professional practices and ethical judgement. In addition, a survey of comparable programs at peer institutions revealed that the average requirements for credits to graduate in engineering was approximately 128 credits. Thus, this analyses resulted in a request to the BOR to allow the COE to offer degrees of up to 128 credits. The BOR approved the request in fall 1996 [Exhibit 2.98, BOR Item 92-2007-R0996, Exemption to 120 Credit Limit for Engineering Majors]. The exemption ensured that degree programs would contain the essential elements required not only for reaffirmation of accreditation by the respective accrediting boards, but also to adequately prepare graduates for successful careers in engineering.

·        COE ‘D’ policy. For many years, the COE enforced what was known as the ‘D’ policy which stated that students must earn a minimum grade of ‘C-’ or higher in all required courses and that a student must repeat a course in which she/he earned a ‘D’ or ‘D+’ before enrolling in subsequent courses for which the first course was a prerequisite. In 1997, the faculty reviewed this policy and endorsed its elimination for the following two (2) essential reasons: enforcement of the prerequisite rule was difficult and had not been consistently applied; and multiple repeats of a course(s) actually had the effect of inflating the cumulative GPA’s of less able students which was not desirable. MSU policy is such that when a student repeats a course, the subsequent grade is not averaged with the previous grade; rather the new grade replaces the previous grade and credit is granted only once. An internal study has indicated that the median number of less than ‘C-’ credits earned by graduates was only 4.5 credits. This seemed to indicate that one (1) or two (2) courses were repeated by most students. Some students, however, earned many ‘Ds.’ It became apparent that the policy did not have the presumed affect of ‘raising academic rigor’ and it affected only a small number of students. Given the difficulty in administration of the policy, it was ultimately determined that the matter would best be handled at the advisor/advisee level (i.e., a student with a “weak” performance in an important prerequisite course should be encouraged by the advisor to repeat the course before moving on, though any passing grade is accepted).

·        Preparation for ABET2000. The COE is currently preparing for its next ABET visit which will require substantively different documentation of program effectiveness than has been required in the past. ABET has adopted an outcomes-based, mission-driven approach to accreditation and will require much more evidence in the realm of student outcomes assessment. In preparation, the COE is conducting a thorough, strategic assessment of its degree offerings, and engaging in the following planning steps:

·        Step 1: Reaffirm/refine COE mission and document baseline student outcomes

·        Step 2: Reaffirm/identify college-wide educational objectives

·        Step 3: Establish outcomes for each COE educational objective

·        Step 4: Document how COE educational objectives correlate to prescribed ABET2000 objectives

·        Step 5: Refine feedback loop, report on progress, and foster continued evaluation paths

·        Step 6: Identify and evaluate assessment tools and processes to document outcomes

The faculty of the COE is currently engaged in evaluating current program mission, goals, and objectives and is developing strategies to assess student outcomes. While the COE has been engaged in the formative and summative assessment of its students in the past decade, the ABET2000 criteria will require further refinement and documentation of the assessment cycle and subsequent program improvements.

 

COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE

College Overview and Mission

The College of Letters and Science (CLS) serves as the academic core of the undergraduate instructional program. Its thirteen (13) departments provide instruction and research in the humanities, social, and behavioral sciences, as well as the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences. Because of the nature of the disciplines housed in CLS, the College contributes to the MSU instructional and research mission in the following three (3) capacities:

·        University core/general education. Since one (1) of the components of MSU’s teaching mission is to emphasize the centrality of liberal arts and sciences to undergraduate education, a majority of the courses designated as university core courses are taught by CLS faculty. The college is committed to providing each MSU undergraduate with a quality general education.

·        College Seminar. The CLS is one (1) of four (4) programs to offer a freshman seminar experience for its incoming freshmen. The purpose of the College Seminar is to provide an introduction to college studies that helps students expand their intellectual interests and improve their thinking and communication skills. The College Seminar focuses on two (2) major themes: the construction of knowledge and the formation of identity.

To explore these themes, students discuss ideas and texts from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its format involves two (2) small seminars each week to supplement one (1) large lecture class. It provides each student with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member, a student teaching fellow, and other first year students. The course is designed to actively involve new students at MSU in their own education. Everyone in the course is a learner, including the faculty and student fellows. The course also fulfills the verbal core curriculum requirement.

·        Specialized programs of study. Each of the thirteen (13) departments in CLS provides an enriched educational experience in the central disciplines of the CLS.

·        Advising and mentoring. Each faculty member in CLS has responsibilities to advise undergraduate students, mentor graduate students, and supervise graduate teaching assistants. Details of these responsibilities are discussed in the academic advising section (pp. 40-41).

·        Student outcomes assessment. Each undergraduate degree program is involved in the formative and summative assessment of student outcomes. Specific details of assessment activities are included in departmental descriptions. In addition to the assessment of the undergraduate program, the faculty of CLS are actively involved in the Hewlett Core Project which will address issues and strategies for assessing the university general education program.

The CLS supports the academic mission of MSU in a variety of ways by:

·        Offering undergraduate degrees in thirteen (13) departments

·        Offering twenty (20) graduate degrees

·        Offering numerous undergraduate minors including: biology, chemistry, earth science, English, government, history, justice studies, mathematics, modern languages, Native American studies, physics, psychology, sociology, and women studies

·        Housing programs which enhance the undergraduate and graduate instructional mission in the following areas: Center of Native American Studies/Office of Tribal Services, Center for Local Government, Writing Center, Center of Antarctic Studies, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, Center of Computational Biology, Mathematics Tutor Assisted Courses, Science Mathematics Resource Center, and the Statistical Center

Each of the departments in CLS 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 mission and contributions to MSU mission, summary of degree objectives, summary of current program assessment which includes summary of program effectiveness, student outcome assessment activities, and departmental admission criteria if applicable. Following the departmental descriptions is a summary of the strengths of the College, CLS problematic areas of concern, and CLS strategies for improvement. Graduate education is discussed in the CGS section (pp. 113-121).

[See Exhibit 2.99, College of Letters and Science Notebook.]

Department of Biology

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Biology (BIOL) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in biological sciences. BIOL supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. BIOL offers a B.S. degree in biological sciences with options in biological sciences, biological teaching, biomedical sciences, and fish and wildlife management.

·        Service courses. BIOL offers service courses for other professional programs in the College of Nursing (CON); COA; and CEHHD.

·        University core courses. BIOL provides a variety of courses designated to fulfill the natural sciences requirement of the university core.

·        Minor. BIOL offers a teaching minor in biology.

·        Medical education program. Six (6) biology faculty have joint teaching appointments in the cooperative Wyoming, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI) program, which provides access to medical education in the Northwest.

In the past decade, BIOL has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Biological Sciences. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-37.

 

Table 2-37

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Biological Sciences

421

394

467

571

682

728

758

678

654

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

·        Biology option. The goal of the biology option is twofold. The option first provides students with the basic, formal background required of applicants to graduate programs in biology. Second, the option provides sufficient flexibility to allow students the opportunity to explore their interests and professional goals.

·        Biomedical sciences. The goal of the biomedical science option is to provide a rigorous background for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences. This option provides students with a broad fundamental background in science with opportunities for investigating careers in research.

·        Biology teaching. The goal of this option is to prepare students for careers in secondary school teaching. It is similar to the biology option with the addition of course work required for state teaching certification.

·        Fish and wildlife option. This option is offered for students who have a special interest in fish and wildlife management. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers as conservation officers, refuge managers, park naturalists, and assistant fish and wildlife technicians. The undergraduate degree also prepares students for graduate work in fish and wildlife research.

BIOL Current Program Assessment. Assessment of student outcomes and program effectiveness is primarily summative in nature and is conducted in the departmental capstone courses. Effective AY 98/99, BIOL has instituted admission requirements for upper division. Departmental assessment activities are summarized as follows:

·        Admission to program and satisfactory progress. Freshmen and sophomores accepted by MSU may enroll in the biological sciences under any option. Effective AY 98/99, students must complete at least forty-five (45) total university credits with a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.50 in order to enroll in upper division Biology or Fish and Wildlife Management courses. Any major who enrolls in an upper division course without satisfying these requirements must withdraw from the course. Students must earn a grade of ‘C-’ or better in every course required in their options including courses which fulfill biology-restricted electives and required courses in non-biology rubrics.

·        Capstone courses (summative evaluation). While student learning is continually assessed in BIOL courses from the freshmen to senior level, summative data is captured in the biology capstone courses. These courses serve as the vehicle for assessing discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills. The following courses have been identified for each of the options: BIOL 443C - Current Topics in Evolutionary Biology; BIOL 451C – Biomedical Sciences Senior Seminar – Biomedical Option; and F&WL 401C – Fish and Wildlife Topics – Fish & Wildlife Management.

·        Discipline Competency Exam. In the BIOL capstone courses, a standardized exam similar to the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is administered. The baseline data indicates that students are performing at the 60% level on the GRE-style exam. The results of this examination are used by BIOL to identify modifications needed in the delivery of discipline-specific competencies.

·        Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). In the biomedical option, discipline-specific competencies are also assessed on the MCAT. Spring 1998 data, shown in Table 2-38, illustrate that MSU students are scoring above national average on the exam.

Table 2-38

SPRING 1998 MCAT SCORING

Verbal

Physical Sciences

Writing

Bio-Sciences

MSU Average, April 98

8.9

8.7

P

9.5

National Average

7.9

8.3

P

8.5

·        Other Assessment Activities:

·        Feedback from students. Feedback from current students is obtained through exit interviews and questionnaires concerning advising, teaching, and curriculum. In addition, students evaluate each course using a standardized Knapp form.

·        Feedback from peers. Faculty peer evaluation of teaching is performed during each faculty member's teaching career. Courses are evaluated by at least two (2) peer faculty members assigned by the promotion and tenure committee. Data from these evaluations is incorporated into the annual review process and promotion and tenure review.

·        Feedback from external stakeholders. At this time, no systematic feedback from external constituencies is solicited. Informally, anecdotal comments are often received from former students and employers. These are cataloged. Comments received during phonathons with alumni are noted, as is feedback from the biomedical honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta.

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

·        Pedagogical changes. Inquiry-based learning is being integrated into the undergraduate biology courses, and improvements are being made in the links between course lecture and laboratory experiences.

·        Continued summative assessment. Assessment of discipline-specific competencies continues using the content exam and integration of the data into curriculum review and revision.

[See Exhibit 2.100, Department of Biology Notebook.]

Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry (CHEM/BCHM) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in the disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry. CHEM/BCHM supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degree. B.S. degrees in Chemistry are offered with the following options: Biochemistry, Laboratory, Chemistry Teaching, and Professional option.

·        Service courses. At the undergraduate level, CHEM/BCHM provides a large number of supporting courses for degree requirements in the Colleges of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Development, Engineering, and Nursing as well as other departments in Letters and Science.

·        University core courses. CHEM/BCHM delivers eight (8) university core courses which fulfill the natural science requirement. These courses are primarily in the discipline of general and organic chemistry.

·        Minors. CHEM/BCHM offers a teaching minor in chemistry and a non-teaching minor in biochemistry.

In the past decade, CHEM/BCHM has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Chemistry. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-39.

Table 2-39

CHEM/BCHM FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. in Chemistry

34

30

44

55

52

61

73

79

80

CHEM/BCHM Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by CHEM/BCHM. Whether students are preparing for a career in chemistry, for graduate school, or for secondary teaching, they are expected to have a broad knowledge of modern concepts, methods, and instrumentation in chemistry and biochemistry.

CHEM/BCHM Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is conducted utilizing both formative, course-based assessments, and summative, end-of-program assessment. Students are assessed on their proficiency in discipline-specific knowledge, communication, and problem solving. The departmental assessment activities are summarized as follows:

·        Capstone courses. BCHM 401C - Seminar Presentation - Biochemistry option, and CHEM 401C - Introduction to Chemistry Research - Professional, Laboratory, and Teaching options, require students to synthesize chemistry and biochemistry principles from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Students’ communication skills are assessed through presentations and written projects. Additional senior course work support these capstone courses such as CHEM 490 - Undergraduate Research (professional, laboratory and biochemistry options), and CHEM 363 - Chemical Perspectives and Practice (teaching option).

·        Undergraduate research. In 1994, the undergraduate research requirement was increased to six (6) credits. This component of the degree requires students to engage in scholarly research, present and defend findings, and have that research critiqued by faculty and peers.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. Internal feedback on program effectiveness is gathered using several methods such as regular student course evaluations, faculty mentoring of undergraduate research, and senior exit interviews. The interviews are informal and typically take one-half to one hour. Students are asked to evaluate their undergraduate education and comment what they perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses in CHEM/BCHM.

·        External feedback. CHEM/BCHM receives feedback from research advisors of students who have gone on to graduate school and from employers in government and industry. Recently the department has established an Advisory Board to CHEM/BCHM. The board includes prominent industrial research chemists. The board meets annually with CHEM/BCHM to discuss needs and expectations of the profession and to provide feedback on program modifications which can improve the preparation of graduates.

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

·        Undergraduate research requirement. The inclusion of an undergraduate research requirement is in keeping with MSU’s instructional mission to link scholarly/creative activity and undergraduate education. The requirement also has provided a vehicle for assessing students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills.

·        Formation of an advisory board. Gathering systematic input from external stakeholders who have an exceptionally broad experience in the field has been beneficial to departmental review of curriculum and expectations of students.

·        Setting performance standards and expectations. CHEM/BCHM is currently refining the performance standards for student research activities, written reports, and oral presentations. In addition, the department is engaged in faculty development activities to assist faculty in becoming more effective mentors, especially in the area of identification of suitable research projects for undergraduate students.

·        Expanding university core offerings. CHEM/BCHM is currently designing a university core course entitled “The Chemistry of Human Life” which will concentrate on the chemistry of food, physiology, and health.

·        Integration of technology and internet resources. With about $1.4 million in funding from NSF and others, CHEM/BCHM has integrated computer data acquisition into freshmen laboratory courses. This software and equipment focuses students on the principles of experimental design, data organization, and analysis rather than on simple data collection. More than 200 faculty from other colleges and universities have attended MSU summer workshops to observe the use of this technology in undergraduate education. CHEM/BCHM has also increased the use of Internet and e-mail in its undergraduate courses.

[See Exhibit 2.101, Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry Notebook.]

Department of Earth Sciences

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Earth Sciences (ESCI) is to provide quality undergraduate education which integrates geographic and geologic principles to better understand earth and its inhabitants. This integration includes atmospheric, biological, geological, geographical, hydrologic, societal, cultural, historical, and economic perspectives. ESCI supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. A B.S. degree in Earth Science is awarded with options in geography, geohydrology, and geology.

·        University core courses. ESCI delivers university core courses which fulfill the natural sciences category (geology and earth science) and the social sciences category (geography).

·        Minors. ESCI awards a teaching minor in earth science and non-teaching minors in geography and geology.

In the past decade, ESCI has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Earth Science. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-40.

Table 2-40

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Earth Science

92

92

111

106

113

137

158

167

190

ESCI Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by ESCI. The broad objectives of the ESCI major are for the students to:

·        Learn and understand the facts and concepts central to their field of study and future career options

·        Acquire a working knowledge of the skills and methods necessary to collect, analyze, and summarize data relevant to their profession

·        Develop the ability to work independently and in teams to solve open-ended questions in geology, geohydrology, or geography

·        Communicate their summaries and findings effectively to professional and lay audiences

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

·        Capstone courses. GEOG 405C - Geographic Thought - Geography option, and GEOL 423C - Field Geology - Geology and Geohydrology options serve as departmental capstone courses in which students’ discipline- specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed. Students in the courses are required to synthesize knowledge of the field, conduct original research, and present their findings for critique by faculty and peers.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, ESCI solicits informal feedback through the regular advising process, as well as from graduating seniors.

·        External feedback. ESCI informally solicits feedback from employers who hire program graduates, e.g. U.S. Geological Survey and other Geographic Information Systems (GIS) companies.

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

·        Course-based, formative assessment. ESCI is presently focusing its formative assessment activities on individual classes in order to maximize the quality of evaluation and provide a template for further assessment of its programs. In particular, ESCI is developing and beginning to implement assessment of student skills in its natural science core classes, ESCI 111 - Physical Geology, ESCI 112 - Physical Geography, and GEOL 102 - Environmental Geology. Approximately 1,200 students per year take these classes. ESCI presently has an NSF post-doctoral fellow who is overseeing these assessments as part of her NSF duties.

·        Follow-up on assessment of laboratory competencies. Formative assessment of students’ proficiencies in laboratory exercises has been conducted in GEOL 204 - Mineralogy. Comparative data indicates that current students scored 15% higher on proficiencies; follow-up data is required to determine improvement trends and to explore the correlation between technical laboratory proficiencies and mastery of discipline-specific knowledge.

·        Formalizing informal processes. ESCI is currently identifying strategies by which informal feedback on program effectiveness can be systematically and formally gathered and analyzed. This includes plans to survey one (1)-, five (5)- and ten (10)-year program graduates on their perceptions of how well they were prepared for their professions and/or graduate school.

[See Exhibit 2.102, Department of Earth Sciences Notebook.]

Department of English

The undergraduate mission of the Department of English (ENGL) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in English for majors who aspire to enter careers in higher education, secondary education, and a broad range of other professions. As a strong pre-professional major, ENGL prepares students for entry into a number of graduate fields, including English, law, and library science, as well as for careers in teaching, journalism, public relations, management, and technical or professional writing. ENGL supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. ENGL offers a B.A. in English with options in literature and teaching.

·        University core courses: ENGL offers a number of courses which fulfill the humanities category of the university core. ENGL has sole responsibility for delivering the courses which fulfill the writing requirement of the university core.

·        Writing placement. During freshmen orientation, incoming freshmen with ACT verbal scores lower than 20 or SAT verbal scores lower than 480 are advised to take the writing placement exam. The exam consists of a structured writing assignment which is subsequently normed and scored by English department staff. Results are reported to students and recommendations made relative to their preparedness for college-level writing (ENGL 121W, English Writing I ). When appropriate, eligible students are advised to take remedial course work.

·        MSU Writing Center. Since 1983, the Writing Center has been a free service for MSU students working on university writing assignments. The Center is staffed with thirty (30) to forty (40) student and professional tutors to help undergraduate writers brainstorm, organize, and develop their ideas. Tutors work with students through all stages of the writing process, from topic generation to idea development through organization, to revising for unity and cohesion. The Center provides services to over 3000 students a semester, half from English 121W and half from other disciplines.

·        WxC. ENGL also coordinates the Writing Across the Curriculum (WxC) program which provides pedagogical and assessment support to faculty integrating writing into their courses and curricula.

·        Remedial course work. ENGL works cooperatively with the Advance by Choice office (ABC) to provide remedial course work to eligible students not prepared for college-level writing. This course work is designated as pre-college work, e.g. ENGL 001 - Basic Writing I, ENGL 002- Basic Writing II, ENGL 003 - Basic Writing III, and ENGL 005 - Basic Reading Seminar. Eligibility for enrollment is based on federal guidelines administered by ABC. Students and advisors are issued mid-semester progress reports, as well as term-end reports which assess students’ preparedness for ENGL 121. Courses are not awarded college credit and are graded pass/fail (P/F). The courses are recorded on the student’s permanent transcript, but credits are not included in the total credits earned toward a degree.

·        Minors. ENGL offers a teaching minor in English and a non-teaching minor in literature and composition.

In the past decade, ENGL has offered a B.A. in English undergraduate degree. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-41.


Table 2-41

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.A. English

200

230

237

247

270

276

276

290

254

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

·        English literature. Students in the English literature option are expected to become skilled readers and writers through the study of language and literature. Students are expected to gain knowledge of literature from various cultures and eras, especially British and American literatures, both canonical and emergent; demonstrate an understanding of critical approaches to the study of literature; and become aware of the relationship between culture and literary studies.

·        English teaching. In addition to the general degree objectives, students in the teaching option are expected to master methods of teaching English and give promise of excellence in secondary teaching.

ENGL Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is demonstrated through a number of departmental activities which are summarized as follows:

·        Admission to program and satisfactory progress. A student is eligible to enroll in the English literature option if she/he is a student in good standing at MSU and if she/he maintains a ‘C’ or better grade in all English courses. Students in the English teaching option are subject to compliance with the admission criteria for the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62). These criteria include a passing score on a pre-professional skills test and a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in the verbal and written university core courses.

·        Capstone courses. ENGL 401C - Integrative Teaching Methods - English Teaching Option, and ENGL 410C - Research Issues in English - Literature Option, are the departmental capstone courses. Students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are summatively assessed in these courses.

·        Other discipline-specific assessment. ENGL has conducted surveys of student performance on the GRE and on student acceptance rates to graduate and other professional schools. Historically, three (3) to nine (9) students take the GRE; these students have consistently scored in the 90th percentile and above. All but one (1) of the students who applied to graduate/professional school were accepted into well-respected national schools. Several students are pursuing law degrees.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. Internal feedback is gathered through the required student course evaluations.

·        External feedback. Informally, ENGL solicits feedback from students about their acceptances into graduate school and about their successes in their careers.

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

·        Curricular changes. Based on feedback from external and internal stakeholders, as well as pedagogical research in the field, ENGL has made modifications in the first-year composition course which include the following:

·        Maximum class size has been reduced from sixty (60) to thirty-three (33).

·        Each section has a content topic chosen by the instructor that allows students to understand research and their own writing as part of an academic conversation.

·        The English Teaching option has also been modified to allow for more focus in the discipline by increasing preparation in English by elimination of the teaching minor requirement.

·        Sigma Tau Delta. ENGL has recently joined Sigma Tau Delta, an English honorary society, which will provide additional information to students on upcoming professional conferences, publishing opportunities, and graduate programs.

·        Alumni newsletter. One of the major purposes of the new Alumni Newsletter is to enhance the department’s contact with graduates. The newsletter will be used in part to solicit more formal feedback from alumni concerning perceptions of how well ENGL prepared them for their careers and/or graduate school.

·        Master of Art in English. An M.A. in English with a broad-field focus on the interconnectedness of writing, teaching, and literary studies has been approved by the BOR. Applicants will be accepted for Fall 1999.

[See Exhibit 2.103, Department of English Notebook.]

Department of History and Philosophy

The instructional focus of the Department of History and Philosophy (HIST/PHIL) encompasses the disciplines of history, philosophy, and religious studies (RELS). Each subset of faculty is committed to high quality undergraduate education in its respective disciplines. The mission of HIST faculty is to investigate and interpret the past and to transmit this interpretation through teaching. The mission of PHIL faculty is to promote the understanding of the fundamental principles of knowledge and conduct, and to promote reflection of those principles through teaching. The mission of RELS faculty is to promote the scholarly investigation of theological principles.

HIST/PHIL supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. HIST/PHIL offers B.A. degrees in History and Philosophy, as well as a secondary teacher preparation program in history.

·        University core courses. HIST/PHIL delivers a number of university core courses which fulfill the humanities and MC/G categories of the university core.

·        Minors. HIST/PHIL offers a teaching minor in HIST and non-teaching minors in HIST, PHIL and REL.

In the past decade, HIST/PHIL has offered the following undergraduate degree programs: a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Philosophy. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-42.

Table 2-42

HIST/PHIL FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.A. History

77

84

103

111

106

112

140

124

136

B.A. Philosophy

20

21

17

23

26

32

28

38

27

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

·        History. Students will be expected to possess a familiarity with the primary social, economic, and political events and persons of major civilizations including the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Students will be expected to appreciate history as a method of inquiry into the human condition, as well as a form of literature. Those graduates in the history teaching option will be expected to master secondary teaching methodologies, as well as meet state teaching certification course requirements.

·        Philosophy. Graduates will be expected to be adept at philosophical methods of inquiry including the techniques of symbolic logic and ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical analysis.

HIST/PHIL Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is primarily summative in nature and is summarized as follows:

·        Admission to program. There are no specific admission requirements for students pursuing the non-teaching options in HIST/PHIL. Students in the history teaching option are subject to admission requirements of the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62)

·        Capstone courses. HIST 401C - Seminar in Historical Methodology - both options, and PHIL 400C - Seminar sequence, serve as the departmental capstone courses. Philosophy majors are required to take seminars during their senior year. Students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed in these courses. History majors are required to conduct a primary-source research project which is critiqued by faculty. Students submit papers to competitions at regional and national Phi Alpha Theta (History Honorary Society) conferences. Several of these papers have received the best-paper award.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluation, HIST/PHIL solicits student feedback through the student chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

·        External feedback, Informal feedback is solicited from graduates.

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

·        Assessing currency of history teaching option. In the past two (2) years, HIST/PHIL has thoroughly reviewed the currency of the history teaching option. A review of the profession prompted curricular change to include additional non-United States foundation courses to better prepare students to teach World History and non-Western History. Since nearly two-thirds of the history majors are enrolled in the history teaching option, the department periodically conducts such needs assessment. HIST/PHIL is also committed to developing a system for monitoring the progress of teaching option students after graduation. One (1)-, three (3)- and ten (10)-year graduates will be surveyed with respect to their perceptions of how their degree requirements prepared them for teaching careers.

·        Realignment of the non-teaching history option. HIST/PHIL conducted a thorough transcript review of students pursuing the non-teaching history option and discovered that students' choices of electives and focus areas were fragmented. HIST/PHIL subsequently realigned course requirements to allow for more topical or geographic focus.

·        Pedagogical revisions. Recently HIST/PHIL conducted an analysis of student performance to determine if students who had completed foundation history courses with recitation sections were better prepared than those who completed foundation history courses without recitation sections. It was determined that the recitation experience did positively impact students’ performance, especially in written and oral skills. Based on this data, HIST/PHIL has reconfigured its foundation history courses to include a recitation experience.

·        Undergraduate research in philosophy. As a supplement to the scholarly work already required in the PHIL 400C - Seminar sequence, HIST/PHIL plans to promote the undergraduate honors thesis with a significantly larger number of its majors.

[See Exhibit 2.104, Department of History and Philosophy Notebook.]

Department of Mathematical Sciences

The Department of Mathematical Sciences (MATH) is recognized as a leading department in mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Its mission is to prepare students for graduate school, careers in secondary teaching, and for a variety of careers in business and industry. MATH supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. MATH offers a B.S. degree in Mathematics with applied mathematics, mathematics teaching, and statistical options.

·        Service courses. MATH delivers the mathematics foundation courses for the campus. These are delivered both as instructor-based courses as well as Tutor Assisted Courses (TAC).

·        University core courses. The role of MATH in delivering university core courses which fulfill the quantitative skills requirement is twofold. First, MATH delivers a number of courses designed to fulfill university core and departmental preparatory requirements. Second, MATH manages the math placement activities on campus to ensure that students enroll in mathematics courses for which they have the prerequisite skills and knowledge. There have been significant changes in the procedures of math placement over the last decade; these are discussed under program improvements.

·        Remedial course work. MATH offers one (1) pre-college level mathematics course, MATH 085. The course is clearly designated as pre-college level and is graded on a P/F basis. The course is recorded on the student’s permanent transcript, but credits are not included in the total credits earned toward a degree.

·        Minors. MATH offers teaching minors in mathematics and non-teaching minors in mathematics and statistics.

In the past decade, MATH has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Mathematics. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-43.

 

Table 2-43

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Mathematics

111

92

84

87

95

105

89

79

80

MATH Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by MATH. Graduates are expected to possess extensive mathematical knowledge and be adept at applying mathematics in a variety of settings. Those graduates in the mathematics teaching option will be expected to master secondary teaching methodologies, as well as meet state teaching certification course requirements.

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

·        Formative assessment. The nature of the discipline and the linear pre-requisite structure of the curriculum allow for progressive, course-based assessment of mathematical skills and discipline-specific knowledge. Course-based assessment includes traditional problem-solving activities and exams, as well as performance proficiencies with graphing calculators and a variety of software packages, e.g. Mathlab, Minitab, and S+.

·        Capstone courses. MATH 416C - Modern Algebra - Mathematics option; MATH 442C - Numerical Solution of Differential Equations - Applied Mathematics option; MATH 428C - Mathematical Modeling for Teachers - Mathematics Teaching option; and STAT 424C - Mathematical Statistics - Statistics option serve as the departmental capstone courses in which discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, student input is solicited through Pi Mu Epsilon, a mathematics honorary society.

·        External feedback. Trends in both mathematics education and in business and industry are frequently surveyed by MATH faculty. Increasing use of mathematical modeling and technology in techniques of advanced mathematics and statistics have prompted changes in courses and requirements. For example, in the Mathematics Education program a new course in math modeling was offered spring term, 1999. MATH has also increased its site license for Mathlab from ten (10) users to fifty (50) users to accommodate demand. Currently, feedback from program graduates is solicited informally.

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

·        Math placement. Over the past decade, there have been several significant changes in Math placement policies and procedures. Prior to 1996, MATH administered a locally developed exam to all incoming freshmen and transfer students. In response to concerns about the reliability and validity of the exam, as well as concerns expressed by external stakeholders, the placement procedure was modified to include additional data. Currently, students may place in mathematics courses based on one (1) of the following three (3) options:

·        ACT/SAT quantitative scores. Based on national studies of the predictive validity of standardized test scores, as well as the ‘best practices’ recommendations of the professional mathematics community, the mathematics department developed a placement flow chart which is used to advise students into their first mathematics course.

·        Scores on math placement exam. MATH has chosen the ACT-Compass Exam for math placement. The exam is computerized and available to students during orientation at the mathematics department and at remote sites such as GENS during the year.

·        Transfer students. Transfer students may apply previous course work to their degree requirements in mathematics and/or pre-requisite mathematics requirements. Students who are unsure of the applicability of their transfer mathematics courses are advised by MATH.

·        Pedagogical changes. In response to feedback from its internal and external stakeholders, MATH has modified several of its course offerings. Trigonometry, taught as a TAC for a number of years, was recently delivered as an instructor-taught course. In fall 1998, MATH also offered two (2) sections of MATH 105 - College Algebra, as instructor-taught courses. Comparative data is being collected to determine if there are any differences in student success rates between the TAC MATH105 sections and the instructor-taught MATH 105 sections.

·        Math centers. In support of lower division mathematics courses, MATH provides two (2) math centers. The Math Learning Center is staffed by adjunct mathematics faculty and undergraduate tutors. It is open fifty-seven (57) hours each week and is utilized by 1,400-1,600 students each semester. The Calc-Stat Learning Center is staffed by faculty and GTA’s, is open thirty (30) hours each week, and is available to students in any 100-level, non-TAC course.

·        Math study guides. In an effort to assist incoming freshmen with preparation for college-level mathematics, MATH developed a comprehensive study guide which is available to prospective students for a nominal charge. Information is distributed to students through the regular Orientation mailings from New Student Services (NSS).

·        SIMMS: A number of department faculty have been involved in the Systematic Initiative for Montana Mathematics and Science (SIMMS) project. The project is a five (5)-year, cooperative initiative involving the State of Montana and the NSF. The goals of the project include the redesign of secondary (grades 9-12) mathematics curricula using an integrated, interdisciplinary approach for all students, and the incorporation of technology at all levels of mathematics and science education including college and university levels. These curricular and pedagogical innovations impact the delivery of mathematics instruction at MSU in primarily two (2) ways: preparation of mathematics teachers and assessment of incoming student competencies, and subsequent success rates in mathematics and science. The project will require a long-term commitment to assessment since the first SIMMS-prepared students are just now enrolling at the university level.

[See Exhibit 2.105, Department of Mathematical Sciences Notebook.]

Department of Microbiology

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Microbiology (MB) is threefold. MB is committed to

expanding the frontiers of microbiology; passing on a current molecular and classical understanding of microbiology to its students; and training scientists, professionals, and educators who will apply their knowledge and continue these essential pursuits. MB supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. A B.S. degree in Microbiology is offered with options in Environmental Health, Medical Laboratory Science, and Microbiology.

·        Service courses. MB supports the Microbial Systems option of the Biotechnology major offered in the COA.

·        University core courses. MB delivers several foundation courses in microbiology which fulfill the natural science category in the university core.

In the past decade, MB has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Microbiology. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-44.


Table 2-44

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Microbiology

117

119

134

125

128

147

156

123

128

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

·        Microbiology option. Students are expected to be well prepared in the fields of medical, ecological, physiological, and environmental microbiology, immunology, virology, and molecular biology. This curriculum is excellent preparation for graduate study in MB and other related biological, medical, and dental fields and careers in industry, university research, and government.

·        Environmental health option. Students are expected to achieve a broad understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological factors in the environment and their relation to health. Specific areas of study include the following: study of infectious and toxic agents; epidemiology of human diseases; control of hazardous substances and microbial agents in food, water, and air; and environmental control in medical care facilities. This option prepares students for careers in local, state, and federal health and protection agencies, industry, or graduate studies in related fields such as environmental engineering and industrial hygiene.

·        Medical laboratory science option. Students are expected to develop competence in a range of medically- oriented fields including immunology, medical bacteriology, virology, parasitology, hematology, mycology, and chemistry. Foundations in molecular biology and computer science are also emphasized. This option prepares students for careers in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS). Students may complete degree requirements and prepare for professional certification by pursuing one (1) of two (2) plans. Plan A allows students to attend classes at MSU for three (3) years and complete a fourth year internship year with an affiliated CLS program such as the University of North Dakota (UND). Upon completion of the one (1)-year internship, students will receive a degree from MSU and take the national certification examinations through the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or the National Certification Agency (NCA). Plan B allows students to complete all four (4) years at MSU and then independently seek an approved hospital training program in CLS. Upon completion of this internship, these students have the opportunity to take certification exams. This certification qualifies students for graduate education and careers in clinical analysis (microbiology, hematology, chemistry, and immunohematology), medical research, industry (product development, sales, maintenance of equipment, etc), public health laboratories, and health care administration.

MB Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes has primarily been summative in nature and is summarized as follows:

·        Capstone courses. In each option students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed in the MB 400C - Seminar.

·        National scoring. Scores on national certification exams are used for assessment.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, input is gathered on a required senior exit survey.

·        External feedback. Faculty frequently solicit feedback from external stakeholders and employers in order to assess the currency of the program relative to professional needs and expectations of the field. MB has also instituted a post-graduation survey of one (1)- and five (5)-year alumni to survey their perceptions of how well their education prepared them for their careers, as well as what changes have occurred in employment since graduation.

MB Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. MB has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement. Changes and improvements in MB have been primarily instructional and pedagogical. In response to feedback from internal and external stakeholders, MB has made several instructional improvements to the curriculum.

·        MB 100. To better acquaint students with the expectations and requirements of the field, MB reinstated its one- credit first-year seminar, MB 100 - Options and Careers in Microbiology.

·        Learning methods. Inquiry-based learning, laboratory discovery-based learning, and Internet-based learning have been integrated into the MB course sequences.

·        MB honors program. For majors with a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA in MB and 3.00 overall GPA, the department offers a departmental honors program which includes both undergraduate research credit, as well as a senior thesis and oral defense.

·        Research laboratory experience. In order to increase students’ proficiencies in problem solving and research, the department supports undergraduate students in its research laboratories. Currently forty-five (45) students are supplementing their course work with direct laboratory experience.

·        New courses. New courses in “Applied & Environmental Microbiology” and “Microbial Ecology” consolidated material that was taught in the second semester of general microbiology and in courses on food and water microbiology. Also, a new course entitled “AIDS: Disease and Society” combines concepts in microbial pathogenesis with the effects of disease upon society.

·        Extended opportunities. The 3+1 Medical Laboratory Science Option with the UND was established in 1997 and subsequently approved by the BOR. This option has greatly enhanced students’ opportunities to complete their clinical training during their senior year, rather than having to perform a post-graduate year of internship.

[See Exhibit 2.106, Department of Microbiology Notebook.]

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (ML) is to graduate students who are prepared to enter graduate school, the foreign language teaching profession, and/or international business and industry. ML supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. ML offers a B.A. degree in Modern Languages with options in languages (French, German, and Spanish), teaching, and commerce.

·        Service courses. ML provides classes for art history, history, English literature, and geography majors, as well as the University Honors Program whose students have specific language requirements in their curriculum.

·        University core courses. ML delivers university core courses which fulfill the humanities and MC/G categories of the university core.

·        Minors: ML offers teaching (K-12) minors in French, German, and Spanish and non-teaching minors in French, German, and Spanish.

In the past decade, the ML has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.A. Modern Languages. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-45.

Table 2-45

ML Fall Enrollments AY 1990-91 Through AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.A. Modern Language

50

61

52

61

63

54

64

67

72

 

ML Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for each of the degrees offered by ML. Preparation of certified foreign language teachers is the primary emphasis. Those students wishing to go on to graduate school or major in a foreign language may pursue a non-teaching B.A. For students interested in careers in international business, ML offers a B.A. degree in Modern Languages-Commerce.

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

·        Formative assessment. The nature and structure of the discipline allows for intensive, course-based assessment of students’ proficiencies in the grammatical and phonetic structure of language, listening comprehension, and oral and written fluency. Students are assessed based on proficiency standards defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) which have been adopted by the national associations in each language discipline, as well as by the Montana State Board of Education (MSBE). In addition, ML utilizes the national CLEP examination for students who have previous language experience. Performance on the exam assists faculty in placing students at the appropriate language level.

·        Satisfactory progress and admission to the program. All majors must earn a ‘C’ or better in all upper-division requirements. Majors in the teaching options are subject to admission standards of the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62).

·        Capstone courses. MLF 450C - Seminar: French Literature and Culture - all French language options; MLG 450C - Seminar: German Literature and Culture - all German language options; and MLS 450C - Seminar: Modern Hispanic Literature - all Spanish language options, serve as the capstone courses for ML. Summative assessment of students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are conducted in these courses. In addition, teaching option students must pass the department's language proficiency exam before being allowed to receive a student teaching assignment.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, ML systematically solicits input from students. A student representative from each language area sits on the Modern Languages Council, a departmental planning committee. Students also participate on faculty search committees. The department sponsors language clubs and informally receives feedback from their members.

·        External feedback. ML is particularly cognizant of their preparation of language teachers. To that end, they maintain continuous contact with high schools and graduates. The faculty are active participants in their respective foreign language associations.

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

·        Facility and technology upgrades. Even though a new language lab was installed in 1990, it is in need of upgrading to provide all language students the kinds of learning opportunities a very up-to-date foreign language laboratory can provide. ML is currently conducting an upgrade needs assessment for the lab and will make a proposal to EFAC in spring 1999. Increased interactive technology which supports language study is needed.

·        Study abroad/international exchange opportunities. ML continues to work closely with the Office of International Programs (OIP) to improve the opportunities for and procedures of study abroad. Clear articulation of courses and advising responsibilities is being addressed. ML strongly supports students’ interests in supplementing their educational program with a study abroad experience.

·        Expanded offerings. ML has received approval to hire a faculty to teach Elementary Japanese. A search is currently underway. The hire for this position will teach first and second year Japanese language and culture and work with a new hire in Japanese history to develop the foundations of a Japan Studies Program, possibly a minor.

[See Exhibit 2.107, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Notebook.]

Center for Native American Studies

The Center for Native American Studies (CNAS) was established to provide and advance quality education for and about American Indians of Montana. CNAS supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        University core courses. CNAS faculty deliver a number of university core courses which fulfill the social sciences, humanities, and MC/G categories of the university core.

·        Minor. At this time, the CNAS offers a non-teaching minor in Native American Studies (NAS). The minor is designed to prepare American Indian students to take leadership roles in their communities and to prepare non-Indian students to work with Indian communities, as well as with Indian people in any setting. Although the minor is non-teaching, pre-service education majors are encouraged to complete the minor in order to better prepare for professions in teaching, particularly in Montana.

·        Student support. In keeping with the MSU mission to provide diversity and support of American Indian students, the CNAS provides extensive student services. A full-time counselor/advisor is available to assist students in their transition to the MSU learning environment, as well as to work with prospective American Indian students. In spring 1998, the center assisted over 270 American Indian students. In addition, the CNAS has made a concerted effort to recruit and support American Indian graduate students in disciplines in which American Indians are under represented. The CNAS supports several graduate fellowships which have addressed this need. The Native American Adult and Higher Education Project, the Native Americans in Public Administration Project, and the Berger Fellowship Project all serve graduate students.

CNAS Current Program Assessment. Assessment of program effectiveness and student outcomes is measured primarily by the graduation rates of American Indian students over time, as well as their subsequent success in their chosen professions. CNAS records indicate that in the last thirteen (13) years, nearly 400 American Indian students have graduated from MSU. Surveys of alumni indicate that American Indian graduates hold a wide variety of key positions at the tribal, state, and national levels. In addition, CNAS solicits internal feedback on instruction by means of required student course evaluations. Externally, the CNAS faculty is active in professional organizations which keep abreast of the dynamic nature of the discipline, especially the political and legal dynamics between tribal entities and the federal government.

[See Exhibit 2.108, Center for Native American Studies Notebook.]

Department of Physics

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Physics (PHYS) is to provide students with the disciplinary knowledge and problem-solving and analytical skills necessary to succeed in technically oriented professions and/or in graduate school. PHYS supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. PHYS offers a B.S. degree in Physics with options in interdisciplinary studies, professional preparation, and teaching.

·        Service courses. PHYS provides a number of service courses for majors such as architecture, engineering, nursing, and other science-related majors.

·        University core courses. PHYS provides a number of courses which fulfill the natural sciences category in the university core.

·        Minors. PHYS offers teaching and non-teaching minors in physics.

In the past decade, the Physics department has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. Physics. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-46.

Table 2-46

PHYS Fall Enrollments AY 1990-91 Through AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Physics

74

71

65

62

48

50

57

58

51

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

·        Professional option. Graduates are expected to have a broad knowledge of physics which includes classical, modern, and experimental physics. They are expected to be adept at formulating and solving problems analytically and communicating their findings to a variety of audiences including scientific peers, clients, and the public.

·        Interdisciplinary option. Graduates are expected to have the same broad knowledge of physics as the professional option graduates, with less emphasis on advanced mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.

·        Teaching option. Graduates are expected to have a broad knowledge of physics, a mastery of secondary teaching methodologies, and course work required to meet state certification requirements.

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

·        Admission to program. Students in the teaching option are subject to admission requirements set by the Teacher Preparation Program (pp. 61-62).

·        Formative assessment. Because of the nature of the discipline and the sequencing of knowledge, students are continuously assessed on their discipline-specific and problem-solving skills through course-based activities.

·        Capstone courses. Discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed through a combination of senior research projects (PHYS 470 - Individual Problems or PHYS 489/490 - Undergraduate Research) and the following capstone course in which students present and defend their findings: PHYS 406C - Capstone Presentations.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, PHYS solicits feedback from students through graduating senior interviews conducted by the department head and through the Society of Physics Students (SPS). Students regularly serve on department committees.

·        External feedback. PHYS solicits feedback from its external stakeholders in a number of ways including two (2)- and three (3)-year alumni surveys; tracking student performance on national examinations such as the GRE, MCAT, and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT); and tracking student employment and graduate school admissions and feedback from its external Advisory Board.

PHYS Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement. PHYS has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement primarily in the areas of instruction and pedagogy. In response to feedback from students, performance of students on the GRE, and feedback from external constituencies, PHYS has initiated the following improvements:

·        Required Freshman Seminar. All physics majors are required to take PHYS 100 - Physics Today, which introduces students to the profession, career, and discipline of physics. The course has been instrumental in departmental student retention efforts

·        Course sequence restructuring. PHYS 261 - Physical Measurements I, and PHYS 231 - Introduction to Theoretical Physics, were divided into two (2) sequences to provide greater depth of topics. Quantum mechanics has been moved earlier in the curriculum to address concerns about student performance on the GRE. Nearly 50% of physics majors go on to graduate school and were taking the GRE before they had adequate preparation in quantum mechanics.

·        Inquiry/technology. Integration of inquiry-based and technology-based learning are being examined and discussed by the faculty.

[See Exhibit 2.109, Department of Physics Notebook.]

Department of Political Science

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Political Science (POLS) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in political science which fosters students’ understanding of the social, political, and ethical issues of the modern world, and their appreciation of the cultural diversity of the United States and the world. POLS focuses primarily on the following subfields: American politics and institutions, public policy, public administration, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. POLS supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. POLS offers a B.S. degree in Political Science.

·        University core courses. POLS delivers a number of courses which fulfill the social sciences and MC/G categories in the university core.

·        Minors. POLS offers non-teaching minors in political science and public administration.

In the past decade, POLS has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Political Science. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-47.

Table 2-47

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Political Science

169

129

121

124

117

98

108

97

84

POLS Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for the degree offered by POLS. They are summarized as follows: graduates are expected to have substantive knowledge about the disciplines of political science; be familiar with the theory and methodology of research in political science; and have proficiencies in written and oral communications appropriate for success in government, other public service-related employment, business and/or in graduate study in political science, public administration, law, and related fields.

POLS 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. Students are expected to successfully complete a departmental core of lower division course work with at least a ‘C’ grade in all courses. In order to be graduated, students must earn a ‘C’ or better in all POLS courses.

·        Formative assessment. Assessment of discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are integrated into all political science courses through course-based activities.

·        Capstone course. POLS 460C - Senior Capstone Seminar, is required of all political science majors.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, the department solicits feedback through graduating senior exit surveys.

·        External feedback. POLS solicits feedback from alumni. Informally, faculty track student scores on the LSAT and solicit feedback from site supervisors who sponsor student internships for government agencies, law firms, public policy groups, and other professional sponsoring agencies.

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

·        Internship opportunities. POLS is exploring strategies for increasing the number of students engaging in an undergraduate internship experiences.

·        Expansion of the MPA program. POLS has a five (5)-year goal of increasing enrollment in the Masters of Public Administration program both on campus and at the remote site in Helena.

[See Exhibit 2.110, Department of Political Science Notebook.]

Department of Psychology

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Psychology (PSY) is to provide high quality undergraduate instruction in psychology and communication which increases students’ critical thinking skills, facilitates their acquisition of the body of knowledge inherent in the study of human behavior, equips them with research methodology skills, and prepares them for employment or further study. PSY supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. PSY offers a B.S. degree in psychology with options in applied psychology, communication, and psychological science.

·        Service courses. PSY delivers a number of courses which serve as professional electives for majors in business, education, nursing, and biology.

·        University core courses. PSY provides a number of courses which fulfill the social sciences category in the university core, as well as the major course, COM110V - Public Speaking, which fulfills the university core verbal requirement.

·        Minors. PSY offers a teaching minor in psychology and non-teaching minors in psychology and speech communication.

In the past decade, PSY has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Psychology. In 1994, the Speech Communications department was merged with the Psychology department. The Psychology department reconfigured its options to include a communications option. Appropriate accommodations were made for students who had been enrolled in the B.A. in Speech Communication (SPCM) so that they could complete their degree requirements. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-48.

 

Table 2-48

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Psychology

122

122

128

135

158

183

211

226

231

B.A. SPCM

85

80

89

94

79

37

7

0

1

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

·        Mastery of the basics. All Psychology majors are expected to master the basic scientific and applied areas of the discipline. They are expected to understand the theoretical and experimental dimensions of the field, be familiar with the various methods used in psychological research, and make critical, informed judgements about the strengths and limitations of each research methodology.

·        Applied Psychology option. In this option, students are expected to enroll in additional course work in applied psychology and to apply their knowledge in a supervised field practicum with an organization or agency in the community.

·        Psychological Science option. In this option, students are expected to enroll in course work focusing on additional research methods and training in laboratory research and to complete a faculty-supervised undergraduate research project.

·        Communication option. In this option, students are expected to complete additional course work in communication and to apply their knowledge in a supervised internship.

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

·        Admission to program. Admission to Advanced Standing requires students to comply with the following criteria: sophomore standing (30 credits), completion of psychology lower division core with ‘C’ or better grades, and a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. Students must also submit an application which includes a resume and statement of goals. Students are interviewed by at least two (2) faculty members. Based on the application, resume, goal statements, and interview, students are admitted to Advanced Standing. In order to maintain satisfactory progress, student must earn a ‘C’ or better in all psychology and communication requirements to be graduated.

·        Formative assessment. Through a variety of course-based assessment activities, students are assessed on their discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills. For example, students must demonstrate their knowledge of basic statistics by passing a competency exam during the first week of PSY 221 - Research Methods I.

·        Capstone course. In addition to the option requirements of internship, research project, and field practicum, students complete PSY 493C - Senior Thesis. This course requires students to present the results of their research, field work, or internship both in a professional paper and presentation. Assessment is conducted by the course professor, as well as all other faculty who have advised the student on her/his project. Field supervisors and agencies with whom the students have worked are also invited to the presentations.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to required student course evaluations, PSY solicits feedback from students in focus groups which are conducted as part of the capstone course. Psi Chi, the national student professional organization, provides feedback to faculty, as well as sponsors a professional lecture series and other activities.

·        External feedback. PSY systematically solicits feedback from the field supervisors and agencies with whom students work. PSY also conducts surveys of two (2)-year alumni to determine the extent to which their education has prepared them for their careers and/or additional specialized education.

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

·        Adapting to program merger. In 1994, when SPCM was merged with PSY, the faculty undertook an intensive review of its curriculum and degree offerings. PSY reconfigured its option offering to accommodate the communication option; the new options provided students with more focused curriculum paths that were congruent with their professional goals.

·        Admission to advanced standing. Establishment of admission standards appears to have had a positive effect on the quality and number of students. Trend data indicates that total enrollment figures have increased by about 10% since the more rigorous admission standards were adopted.

·        Cooperative learning. Feedback from internal and external stakeholders reinforce the need for cooperative learning approaches to maximize the development of communication skills in psychology research courses, particularly in laboratory courses. PSY has made a five (5)-year commitment to integrating cooperative learning into the curriculum.

·        Statistical skills. PSY is currently working cooperatively with MATH to determine ways to increase students’ knowledge of and skills in statistical methods. PSY has recommended either a separate section of STAT 216 for Psychology majors or the integration of psychological research examples into the course materials.

·        Facilities. Upgrading of the animal teaching laboratory prompted PSY to submit a proposal to the EFAC and the BSI. The proposal was funded and provided for increased access to state-of-the-art equipment for studying animal biology in a variety of psychology courses.

·        Oral Communication Across the Curriculum (OCxC). Similar to the WxC, OCxC is designed to integrate communication assignments and activities into many university courses. To date, PSY has hosted a faculty development workshop on the principles of OCxC.

[See Exhibit 2.111, Department of Psychology Notebook.]

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

The undergraduate mission of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SOC/ANTH) is to provide high-quality undergraduate instruction in Sociology, Anthropology, and Justice Studies, with particular attention to students’ development of rational inquiry, logical thinking, and critical analyses in each of these disciplines. SOC/ANTH supports the instructional mission of MSU in the following ways:

·        Baccalaureate degrees. SOC/ANTH offers a B. S. degree in Sociology with options in anthropology, justice studies, and sociology.

·        Service courses. SOC/ANTH delivers a number of courses which serve as professional electives in majors such as business, nursing, education, health and human development, and biology pre-med.

·        University core courses. SOC/ANTH provides a number of courses which fulfill the social science and MC/G categories in the university core.

·        Minors. SOC/ANTH offers teaching and non-teaching minors.

In the past decade, SOC/ANTH has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B.S. in Sociology. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-49.

Table 2-49

SOC/ANTH FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B.S. Sociology

204

192

238

288

278

304

296

267

245

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

·        Anthropology option. Students are expected to master a holistic understanding of the four (4) major fields of the discipline: physical anthropology, archeology, social/cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics. Students are expected to be adept at the scientific method and to be cognizant of current issues in modern human biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity. Students are prepared for entry-level career opportunities in the field and/or graduate school.

·        Justice Studies option. Students are expected to master the application of the sociological perspective to their critical understanding of the construction, interpretation, and application of law within society. They are also expected to develop a critical understanding of how the perspective applies to the social organization and administration of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections.

·        Sociology option. Students are expected to master a holistic understanding of the four (4) fields of the discipline: classic sociological theory, basic social structures, basic social processes, and application of sociological theory in research.

SOC/ANTH 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 in each of the options must apply for admission to upper division and comply with the following criteria: a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA; minimum grade of ‘C-’ or better in all Anthropology, Justice Studies, or Sociology courses; completion of the university core foundation courses; and completion of at least forty-five (45) semester credits, which should include a minimum of seven (7) university core courses in addition to the foundation courses. SOC/ANTH has also had a long-standing requirement that students must earn a minimum grade of ‘C-’ in all option courses in order to be graduated.

·        Formative assessment. Through a variety of course-based assessment activities, students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills are assessed.

·        Capstone courses. ANTH 422C - Anthropological Theory - Anthropology option (alternate years); ANTH 425C - Social Organization - Anthropology option (alternate years); JS 411C - Theories of Crime and Delinquency - Justice Studies option; and SOC 451C - Senior Capstone Seminar - Sociology option assess students’ discipline-specific, communication, and problem-solving skills.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. In addition to the required student course evaluations, the department conducts exit interviews with graduates. The student honorary, Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), provides additional student input. SOC/ANTH has also tracked academic performance over a twenty-five (25) year period; mean GPA’s have varied only .2 on a 4.0 scale. The mean GPA in 100-level courses has remained fairly constant at 2.03; the mean GPA in 400-level courses has been stable at 3.00.

·        External feedback. SOC/ANTH informally solicits information from external stakeholders including monitoring graduate school acceptance and performance, and self-reported GRE and LSAT scores.

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

·        All options. Exit interviews consistently identify inadequate library holdings and limited class offerings as problematic. The diversity of options within SOC/ANTH coupled with resource constraints compounds the problem. In response, SOC/ANTH has developed cross-listed courses which are relevant to both sociology and justice studies students such as SOC 414 - Family Violence, which is taught by a social psychologist and appropriate for both options.

·        Undergraduate research options. The ANTH option is exploring strategies to promote increased undergraduate research projects with students.

·        Theory courses. Meeting the diverse needs of students in the three (3) options has been challenging. The departmental curriculum committee has proposed that the single 300-level theory course is inadequate to meet these needs and that the department design a 200-level theory course for sociology and justice studies majors, and redesign SOC 427 - Social Theory, as the sociology capstone course.

·        Justice Studies. Of the options in SOC/ANTH, this option is comprised of the greatest number of non- traditional, non-residential students. Many majors are already working the field. Some of these students prefer the program be a focused, pre-professional program which provides training in law enforcement and corrections; however, feedback from employers indicate they prefer students who are broadly educated and who have a strong social science background. SOC/ANTH is developing strategies to address these concerns.

[See Exhibit 2.112, Department of Sociology and Anthropology Notebook.]

Summary of College of Letters and Science Strengths

Overall CLS instructional strengths:

·        Students in classrooms and laboratories have benefitted from significant growth in faculty scholarly activity which contributes to their preparation for careers in the 21st century. Top faculty from such distinguished institutions as Berkeley, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Indiana, and Vermont have shifted their research/creativity programs to the Bozeman campus and brought with them state-of-the-art curricula and teaching methods.

·        Undergraduates in CLS disciplines have extensive opportunities to participate in individual research projects with faculty.

·        Grant indirect costs (IDC) are routinely used to support undergraduates in labs and send students from across the college to conferences where they present their project results.

·        The College Seminar (CLS 101V) focuses on critical reading, thinking, and communication, and invites students to become active participants in the intellectual life of the university. Seminars of fifteen (15) students each are led by senior faculty.

·        Core course availability has improved over the past four (4) years.

·        College faculty are leading a university-wide re-examination of the core curriculum, supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

·        Upper-level students have opportunities to receive credit for learning to teach first-year students in History and Physics courses, and in the College Seminar.

·        Degree options and course offerings throughout the college have undergone extensive revitalization in concert with new trends in the disciplines and in response to feedback from a wide variety of assessment activities.

·        The college is collaborating with the COE on the Science and Engineering for All (SEA) project, supported by NSF, to increase the number of rural women, including Native Americans, pursuing majors in science, engineering and computer science.

·        The college has taken a lead role in the establishment of the BSI which promotes active learning strategies in classrooms and labs.

Summary of College of Letters and Science Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

·        Students have consistently experienced difficulty with the self-paced/tutor-assisted mode of instruction in Algebra I and II courses.

·        Laboratory and classroom equipment and computer needs have not been adequately addressed.

·        Summer session enrollments have declined and too few courses take advantage of the unique Montana environment.

·        College funding to support instructional innovation and other assessment activities is unavailable. Resources to encourage and assist faculty with professional development is non-existent.

·        Department operations budgets are critically low which impacts course modes of instruction.

·        Two (2) sections of Mathematics 105 - Algebra for College Students were taught by an adjunct faculty member in fall 1998. Preliminary data indicate that student pass rates were significantly higher for these sections than in the TAC sections. A proposal is under consideration by the Provost to increase the number of instructor-taught sections for AY 99-00.

·        Student computer (CFAC) and equipment (EFAC) fees are a primary source of funds for the purchase of new equipment and computers. The percentage of these allocations is not always equivalent to college’s percentage of student credit hours, the basis for fee collection. College administrators will increase their efforts to ensure that this practice does not lead to shortages of computers and equipment in many classrooms and laboratories which serve students in all MSU degree options.

·        One factor contributing to decreased summer session enrollment is the rising cost of both summer session tuition and AY tuition. Many students must stay home to earn enough income during the summer to attend school in the fall. In the past, much of the tuition generated by summer enrollment has not been returned back to the colleges. Serious discussions between deans and the upper administration to change the summer session funding formula are underway and may lead to a climate wherein faculty are better motivated to design more attractive course offerings.

·        CLS has one of the lowest level of funding per student credit hours (SCH) of any college at MSU [Exhibit 2.113, Instructional Expenditures Per Student]. To balance annual CLS accounts, several rounds of cuts in department operations budgets and the Dean’s reserve have left these two (2) accounts with inadequate funds. Students in general education courses and other “service” courses delivered by the college are affected by these cutbacks. The Strategic Planning and Budget Committee (SPBC) and the Provost are considering ways to remedy this situation.

COLLEGE OF NURSING

College Overview and Mission

Fully accredited by the National League of Nursing (NLN) since 1949 and approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing, the College of Nursing (CON) is dedicated to the preparation of students for careers in professional nursing at the baccalaureate level. It is the first program to be site-visited by the new national accreditation body: The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The visit was held in September 1998. Accreditation status was conferred in April 1999. The evaluation team report from the accreditation review stated that the baccalaureate and master’s degree program are in full compliance with the Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Education Program.

The mission, philosophy, and goals and objectives of the CON are congruent with those of MSU, and it is the state’s lead institution in the field of Nursing. As a multi-campus program, the CON has developed particularly strong documentation of its connection to the parent institution and uses this documentation to anchor both the identity and the standards of the program on each campus, ensuring that one (1) quality program is delivered consistently to multiple sites. The CON mission statement strongly reflects its institutional connection. As acknowledged in its mission statement, the CON recognizes its responsibility to provide education, service, and research toward meeting the health care needs of all the citizens of the State of Montana. The MSU general education core requirement provides a foundation in liberal arts and sciences. Baccalaureate nursing education builds on that foundation in the development of the unique art and science of nursing.

The CON’s statement of role and scope underscores the institution’s mission of outreach and integration of education and research in service to its external stakeholders. It states that the faculty accept responsibility to serve as leaders in nursing; to educate knowledgeable, skilled, competent persons for nursing; to generate knowledge

through research; to disseminate knowledge through scholarly writing and presentations; and to serve the community by providing expert consultation and education, as well as leadership regarding health care issues.

The CON began the development of the current undergraduate curriculum in June of 1987 with the initiation of a faculty curriculum workshop. Between 1987 and 1991, the faculty revised the CON mission, role and scope, and philosophy. The conceptual framework (including major dimensions, concepts, and descriptions), assumptions, leveling strategies, educational level objectives, and educational outcomes were revised along with the sequence, structure, and process of courses. These revisions were guided by several significant publications such as the Essentials of College and University Education for Professional Nursing, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Social Policy Statement, and the criteria for the Evaluation of Baccalaureate Programs . After several revisions and input from all faculty members, students, and external stakeholders such as clinical agency representatives and employers throughout Montana, the faculty approved the curriculum, and the CON implemented the new curriculum in the fall of 1991. The following is a description and analysis of the undergraduate program in Nursing. Discussion of the graduate program in Nursing is included in the CGS section (pp. 118-119).

In the past decade, the CON has offered the following undergraduate degree program: a B. Nursing. Fall term enrollment snapshots are shown in Table 2-50.

Table 2-50

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

B. Nursing

577

567

584

620

598

586

538

537

529

[See Exhibit 2.114, College of Nursing Notebook; Exhibit 2.115, College of Nursing Self-Study; and Exhibit 2.116, College of Nursing Self-Study Appendices.]

CON Degree Objectives. Faculty have identified and published specific degree objectives for the B. Nursing degree which recognize that graduates of the program will be capable of the following:

·        Practicing professional nursing which entails synthesizing theoretical and empirical knowledge

·        Utilizing the nursing process in the delivery of quality care to clients

·        Demonstrating theory-based clinical judgements in the delivery of quality care to clients

·        Incorporating professional values and legal/ethical responsibilities into nursing practice

·        Integrating responsible and accountable behavior into professional practice

·        Utilizing leadership and management skills to enhance the quality of health care

·        Applying research findings to nursing practice

·        Participating in continued, life-long learning

·        Adapting nursing practice to changes in society and to meet individual client needs

·        Appreciating the unique characteristics, backgrounds, and needs of individual clients, groups, and communities

·        Promoting nursing as a profession

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

·        Measurable outcomes. Identification of progressive, measurable educational outcomes for each level of the curriculum have been defined in the CON Master Evaluation Plan [Exhibit 2.117, CON Master Evaluation Plan]. These outcomes define expected competencies and standards of performance which are measured at the end of the sophomore, junior, and senior years.

·        Established standards for satisfactory progress. The CON maintains clear standards for satisfactory progress in the nursing curriculum. These standards are published in the MSU Bulletin and may be summarized as follows:

·        Students must earn a minimum of ‘C’ or better in all required courses

·        Students may not repeat required courses more than once in which they have not earned a ‘C’ or better

·        Students must earn a minimum 2.50 cumulative MSU GPA to be considered for upper division placement

·        Admission to clinical training. Students’ upper division clinical experience is delivered by faculty at the following off-campus sites: Missoula, Great Falls, and Billings. A full contingent of resident CON faculty are available at each of these sites which were chosen because of access to health care facilities which provide the degree of complexity, size, and diversity of patient population needed for a quality clinical experience. Upper division placement is very competitive.

·        Formative and summative student outcomes assessment. Because of the nature of the discipline, assessment of student outcomes is conducted at regular intervals as a student progresses through the program. Student performance is measured in courses, in compliance with CON standards for satisfactory progress, and experientially in the clinical experience. The CON also conducts several summative assessments of students’ performance. These include, but are not limited to the following:

·        Capstone course. N 484C - Management Concepts in Nursing, serves as the capstone of the nursing curriculum.

·        Assessment of problem-solving skills. The CON administers the California Critical Thinking Test to all graduating seniors.

·        Assessment of discipline-specific skills. The CON administers the NLN Comprehensive Nursing Achievement Test for Baccalaureate Nursing [Exhibit 2.118, CON NLN Comprehensive Nursing Achievement Test] to determine students’ competencies in identified discipline-specific skills. In addition, most CON graduates go on to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) licensing exam, a national exam required for the practice of professional nursing in the United States.

·        Communication skills. Both general communication skills, as well as those specific to professional nursing such as charting and reporting client data, conducting clinical conferences, and presenting and critiquing case studies, are assessed in all of the upper division clinical courses.

·        Other assessment activities:

·        Internal feedback. CON faculty by-laws specify that all CON committees include student representation with the exception of those which deal with personnel issues. Students are provided extensive opportunities to give input on CON policies, procedures, and proposed changes. In addition, students complete required course evaluations for each course every term.

·        External feedback. CON solicits feedback from external stakeholders on a systematic basis. Bi-annually the CON surveys baccalaureate graduates; the survey provides both quantitative and qualitative data on how well the program prepared graduates for careers in professional nursing. Also, bi-annually the CON surveys employers of CON graduates in order to assess employer satisfaction with work performance of graduates. Every eight (8) years, the CON has been reviewed by its accrediting body (NLN). In September 1998, the new accrediting body site-visited the CON. Every four (4) years, the CON is reviewed by the State Board of Nursing.

Summary of College of Nursing Strengths

The strengths of the CON evolve from its commitment to its mission of preparing students for careers in professional nursing. 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

·        Accreditation. The CON has been fully accredited by the NLN and approved by the State Board of Nursing. As such, it is subject to rigorous standards and periodic review.

·        Program assessment cycle and student outcomes assessment. The CON has clearly defined degree objectives as well as standards for satisfactory progress in the curriculum. Student performance is assessed both formatively at identified stages, as well as summatively, at the completion of degree requirements.

·        Student success indicators.

·        Employment rates and employer satisfaction. Graduates of the CON have consistently enjoyed high placement rates in the profession. According to a recent survey from Career Services, 96% of the graduates were working in the nursing profession; 68% of them were employed in Montana. Employers surveyed in recent years have also given CON graduates high marks. On measures of professional competencies, employers evaluated CON graduates on a Likert 4.00 scale as follows: Professional Competency - 3.50, Oral/Written Skills - 3.36, and Problem-Solving Skills - 3.54. Over time, this data has consistently demonstrated above average employer satisfaction with the preparedness of graduates.

·        Summative assessment measures. CON graduates have consistently scored above average on the NLN Comprehensive Nursing Achievement Test for Baccalaureate Nursing Students. On the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, CON nursing candidates had a pass rate of 90.6% (1997). For the past decade, the mean pass rate on the exam has been consistently above 90%.

·        Facilities. The CON is situated in its own well-equipped building, Sherrick Hall. Off campus clinical sites are adequate for delivery of the clinical portion on the degree.

·        Faculty. Faculty members are qualified and sufficient in number to accomplish the mission, philosophy, goals/objectives, and expected outcomes of the program. Strengths include, but are not limited to the following:

·        The diversity of faculty interests, clinical backgrounds, and expertise allows for creativity and provides students with diverse role models.

·        Faculty as a whole have a commitment to and respect for the CON as evidenced by the longevity of many of the CON’s faculty members.

·        The CON has successfully implemented faculty practice contracts that not only support faculty in maintaining clinical currency through practice, but also provide innovative models of health care delivery to under-served populations in the state.

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

The CON has identified the following strategies addressing problematic areas of concern and program improvement:

·        The CON faculty are involved in curricular review processes which focus primarily on the currency of professional knowledge and practices. They are designing clinical learning opportunities which are appropriate for the professional nursing needs of the 21st century. These include community-based clinical experiences which broaden students’ understanding of the complex interactions among community, health, and client. The role of the professional nurse in promoting health, preventing disease, and providing primary care for diverse populations is being emphasized.

·        During AY 95/96, the CON faculty and administration engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning process to better position the college to meet the dynamic climate of health care in the next century. Twelve (12) key strategic directions focusing on issues relating to faculty, student health care consumers, and health care needs of the citizens of Montana were identified and subsequently served to define the working priorities of the CON over the next five (5) years [Exhibit 2.119, CON Strategic Plan]. Areas targeted for improvement include increasing the number of doctorally-prepared faculty and changing the faculty mix in terms of multicultural and gender balance.

GENERAL STUDIES

Overview and Mission

Since its creation in 1958, the GENS program has served in an essential non-degree, academic support capacity for a variety of MSU students, including undeclared freshmen and sophomores, students seeking admission to professional health programs, visiting students on the National Student Exchange (NSE) and International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), and non-degree seeking undergraduates. The mission of GENS is as follows:

·        To encourage and assist students to engage in the exploration of their interests, the pursuit of their goals, and the development of their intellectual knowledge and skills in the belief that every student can reach her/his full potential. GENS represents and advocates for these students in all administrative, curricular, and student service areas of the university.

GENS is staffed by a director who reports to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and a dedicated team of five (5) professionals. The staff is committed to the goal of providing students with guidance, strategies, and
opportunities for intellectual, professional, and personal growth. Each of the team members also brings unique skills and expertise to the program in her/his respective areas of specialization: academic advising, intervention with at-risk students, delivery of GENS 101V - Freshman Core Seminar, health professions advising, administration of the NSE, and delivery of university advising support services. GENS also provides supervised internship opportunities for graduate students primarily from education disciplines such as curriculum and instruction, counseling, and adult and higher education.

GENS directly contributes to the overall instructional mission of MSU in five (5) distinct capacities. Each will be discussed in light of the program’s mission. Discussion of the individual areas is followed by a general discussion of the strengths of the program, problematic areas of concern, and strategies for improvement.

Undergraduate Academic Advising

The first and central goal of GENS is to provide undergraduate students who have not yet chosen a major with competent advice on their academic opportunities. The primary goal of advisors in the program is to provide students with the opportunity to reach their intellectual potential, to engage in self-assessment of personal and professional strengths and interests, and to formulate satisfying degree objectives. Special attention is paid to balancing students’ needs for career development and curriculum exploration, with reasonable progress toward a degree objective. Students are particularly well advised in fulfillment of the general education requirements.

In the past decade, GENS has provided general academic advising to over one-third of all new incoming freshmen. Fall snapshots illustrating enrollment trends in the program are shown in Table 2-51.

Table 2-51

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

Program

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

General Studies

965

953

1016

1062

1131

1133

1153

1212

1153


In addition to the general advising, the GENS staff also provides specialized areas of academic advising for students. The staff is actively involved in student recruitment activities, freshmen and transfer orientation, regular semester advising, career development, scholastic probation interventions, and specialized advising and referrals.

General Studies Freshman Core Seminar

Piloted nine (9) years ago as an innovative approach to connecting GENS students to the institution, the Freshman Core Seminar has evolved and expanded into the largest course of its kind at MSU. The primary goal of this course is to provide undeclared students with an opportunity to reach their academic and intellectual potential. Taught in a small seminar format, the course provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of and appreciation for higher education, to formulate their personal and professional goals, to engage in career development, to fulfill the verbal requirement of the university core, and to become contributing members of the academic and intellectual community of MSU.

Since delivery of the Freshman Seminar requires extensive coordination, one (1) staff member dedicates a majority of time to the Freshman Seminar program. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

·        Coordination and delivery of GENS 101V. The course was piloted in 1990 as ICS 280 with a total course enrollment of thirty-three (33) students. In fall 1998, the course had grown to thirty (30) sections each with a capacity of eighteen (18) students, and a total course enrollment of 544.

·        Delivery of General Studies Seminar Tutorial (GENS 460). In fall 1998, thirty (30) upper-division peer leaders were selected to co-teach the seminar sections with faculty and staff. Students develop leadership and mentoring skills while greatly enhancing first year students’ academic, cultural, and social experiences. Peer leaders enroll in this course.

·        Faculty/professional development. Faculty and staff seminar facilitators participate in an intensive one (1) and a half day training which includes modeling of discussion and innovative instructional techniques, course overview, and grade norming. Facilitators also attend weekly teaching and learning sessions during the semester.

·        Peer leader training. Students selected as peer leaders attend a separate, intensive one (1) and a half day training session in which they are introduced to the goals and receive an overview of the course, curriculum requirements, and principles of student development theory. Peer leaders participate in the weekly teaching and learning sessions as well.

·        Research/assessment. The Freshman Core Seminar serves as a vehicle for research in the areas of student development, as well as for gathering baseline data on student performance in speaking, writing, and effective team skills.

The effectiveness of the Freshman Core Seminar program is demonstrated most significantly in the positive effects it has had on student retention. In the last three (3) years in which data has been gathered, GENS students who participated in the Freshman Core Seminar fall term of their freshman year returned the subsequent fall term at rates at or above the MSU average retention rate. This is particularly significant since national data indicates that undeclared students have much higher attrition rates than declared students.

Health Professions Office and Advising

In 1989, the functions of health profession advising were moved to GENS. The decision was based on the rationale that students pursuing careers in the health professions came from a variety of curricula and needed broad, interdisciplinary advising. The Health Professions advisor serves as a resource for students and faculty in the following areas: curriculum planning, individualized career planning, preparation of professional school applications, maintenance of a health professions library which includes pertinent literature/resources about individual schools and programs, and coordination of student interaction with faculty and area health care providers. The advisor also serves as faculty advisor for the pre-health honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED).

National Student Exchange

The Assistant Director of GENS coordinates and administers the NSE program. Details of the program goals and accomplishments are included in the Special Instructional Support Programs Section (pp. 125).

University Academic Support Services

The fifth goal of GENS is to promote the improvement of academic advising throughout the campus community. This goal is accomplished through a number of activities which include, but are not limited to the following:

·        University advising plan. In its efforts to improve academic advising on campus, the Provost appointed a task force, chaired by the director of GENS, to draw up a university-wide advising plan. Details of the plan are discussed in the Academic Advising section (pp. 40-41).

·        New faculty orientation. With the support of the Offices of the President and Provost, GENS has coordinated a day- long orientation program for all new faculty at the beginning of each fall term. The program includes a session on academic advising, university, and college resources for faculty improvement of advising and student mentoring.

·        Advising update. In its role as clearinghouse for information and activities related to advising, GENS publishes an Advising Update newsletter which includes information on registration procedures, new course offerings, and tips on good advising.

·        Advising workshops. GENS staff have coordinated several advising workshops to assist faculty with specific curricular changes. Workshops have focused on such issues as General Education requirements and transition issues related to the conversion from quarter to semester. Each spring term, the GENS staff works closely with the Orientation staff of NSS in the selection of student orientation leaders and in the delivery of the leadership training course for these students: HDCO 460 - Student Leader Training. During two (2) days of the fall and spring registration period for continuing students, GENS advisors have provided advising services in the MSU Residence Halls for students in any major. The GENS staff has also worked closely with the Information Technology Center (ITC) staff in designing Web-based advising screens for both students and faculty.

Summary of General Studies Strengths

In the past decade, GENS has been very effective in delivering and supporting high quality advising services for the campus community. The following accomplishments highlight the program’s effectiveness:

·        Structured advising process. Every aspect of academic advising for GENS students is a conscious effort by the staff to provide maximum effectiveness congruent with student needs and resources available. Formal evaluations within and outside of the program provide assessment data while staff perceptions and anecdotal information form the basis for a dynamic, ever-improving system.

·        Freshman Seminar. The expansion and augmentation of GENS 101V has contributed substantively to the program’s effectiveness. For the past few years, nearly all GENS students have participated in the course during their first term; this experience has significantly impacted their preparedness and persistence in college. The addition of the peer leader component has promoted leadership development opportunities for upper division students from a variety of majors. The special section for non-traditional entering freshmen is also offered to better meet the needs of this group. GENS 102 - Career Connections, is offered each spring term to assist students in further exploring career opportunities and choices of appropriate majors. The Freshman Core Seminar also provides a vehicle for formative and summative assessment of student development which has been utilized for program improvement and resource allocation.

·        Internship opportunities. The inclusion of graduate student interns has not only enhanced the program, but provided these students with professional field experience in student development and student personnel.

·        Core course availability. The Assistant Director of GENS is a member of the SWAT team (pp. 37). The team has been instrumental in increasing and improving course availability for students, especially university core courses.

·        University Advising Plan. Drawing on their expertise as professional advisors, the GENS staff played an integral role in the development of the plan which serves as a blueprint for the improvement of advising in all disciplines.

·        Smart Cat.” During fall term 1998 registration, the GENS staff piloted a project designed to assist students with course selection and registration, especially during the last few weeks of the continuing student registration period. The project entailed connecting a portable computer at the registration booth in the SUB, staffed by GENS advisors, to assist those students who had to re-work their schedules because of time conflicts and closed courses. Prior to the project, students either delayed their registration so they could go back and work out a revised schedule with their advisors, or registered in whatever courses were open without substantive advising. The GENS staff was available to assist these students which not only helped the students make better, more informed choices, but also greatly increased the efficiency of the Registrars Office staff.

·        Contributions to the university core. GENS 101V - Freshman Core Seminar is one (1) of the courses approved in the verbal category of the university core. The course has been selected as one (1) of ten (10) courses which will be part of the ‘paired,’ integrated learning experiment in the Hewlett Core project.

·        Contributions to student organizations: Three (3) of the GENS staff serve as advisors to student organizations. The Assistant Director has advised the MSU student chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), a national freshman honorary, for the past ten (10) years. Recently, the MSU chapter of ALD received national recognition when it was awarded the national ALD “Order of the Torch” as one of the outstanding chapters in the nation. Three (3) chapter members have received graduate school fellowships from ALD. Another GENS staff member advises the MSU Horseman’s Club which participates in local and regional competitions. The Pre-Health advisor is the faculty advisor for the pre-health honorary AED. AED facilitates pre-health students' interaction with community health professionals and coordinates applications for the national AED fellowships for medical school. In the last ten (10) years, three (3) MSU students have been awarded this very competitive and prestigious scholarship. Two (2) went on to study at the Harvard School of Medicine and the third is attending the University of Washington School of Medicine.

·        Contributions to the university. GENS staff are active members of the university community. Their contributions include, but are not limited to the following: service on graduate committees, especially in the ED; representation on the University Professional Council and Governance Council; and representation on committees such as the UGSC, CCC, and the Hewlett Core project working group. Currently the GENS staff is participating in an assessment project with faculty in the ED to assess the correlations between students’ philosophy and perceptions of higher education and their persistence.

Summary of General Studies Problematic Areas of Concern and Strategies for Improvement

Despite its success, effectiveness, and overall sense of respect, GENS has several concerns. Most of these are part of the on-going scarcity of resources MSU has experienced. The two (2) major concerns of the program are as follows:

·        Staffing and space constraints. Over the last ten (10) years, student numbers have increased 33%. Current advisor/advisee ratio in the program is 1:400. However, while the program responsibilities and student numbers have more than doubled over the last twenty-five (25) years, the administrative support staff FTE has remained the same. Space presents another concern in that the availability for private counseling opportunities for students and their advisors is nearly non-existent. Confidential conversations between students and staff are difficult to achieve when offices are shared.

·        Base budget commitment for GENS 101V. A major concern for the program is the lack of base budget commitment for GENS 101V. Each year, the section money is allocated from the Provost's reserve fund. This allocation often does not occur until the end of the fiscal year which greatly constrains the director’s ability to make official commitments to faculty and peer leaders who plan to teach the course in the subsequent fall term. Fiscal data demonstrates that the seminars more than pay for themselves in retention, student fees, and student credit hours produced.

GENS is in the unique position to provide insight and expertise in university-wide strategies for improvement in curricular, administrative, and student-related processes. Its top priorities for improvement include the following:

·        GENS will provide the expertise to the Office of the Provost to implement the University Advising Plan

·        GENS will continue to advocate for base budget allocations for GENS 101V

·        GENS will continue to engage in strategic planning to improve all facets of the program

·        GENS will use its assessment data for program improvement

·        GENS will propose a reorganization of current and future programs in order to provide a coherent structure for the integration of curricular, academic retention, and advising efforts. The proposal includes strategies for synergistic and effective use of human and fiscal resources.

[See Exhibit 2.120, General Studies Notebook.]

 

GRADUATE PROGRAM

OVERVIEW AND MISSION

MSU and the CGS currently grant master's degrees in thirty-nine (39) fields, and doctorate degrees in thirteen (13) fields which are integral to MSU’s land-grant mission. Students pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees must be admitted to both the academic college offering the degree, as well as the CGS. While the academic colleges develop and review graduate curriculum and recommend admission of prospective students, the CGS oversees compliance with the various university policies and procedures associated with earning graduate degrees. Full text of university policies and procedures are well-defined and published both in the MSU Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin [Exhibit 1.05, Montana State University 1998-2000 Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin, pp. 143-197] and the CGS Policy and Procedures Manual [Exhibit 2.121, College of Graduate Studies Policy and Procedures Manual]. Organizationally, the CGS is comprised of the following:

·        Dean of Graduate Studies who serves as the chief academic administrator responsible for the development and administration of the graduate program of the university. The Dean reports directly to the Provost and works collaboratively with the Vice President for Research and Creativity.

·        Assistant to the Dean who monitors activities associated with graduate student recruitment, orientation, registration, drop/adds, university withdrawals, graduate academic appeals, and program compliance with various policies and procedures.

·        Administrative Assistant who is responsible for monitoring activities associated with formation of graduate committees, graduate programs, degree certification, and submission of theses.

·        Administrative support personnel who assist in activities associated with application and admission, orientation, registration, and general student questions.

·        Admissions Evaluator who is responsible for processing applications and monitoring compliance with graduate student admission, as well as assisting students with general questions.

The CGS is responsible for overseeing and monitoring all university and graduate school policies and procedures. In general, the CGS is responsible for the following:

·        Reviewing and taking final action on all applications for admission to graduate programs and monitoring compliance with graduate admission standards. Departments recommend students for admission, and final action is taken by the CGS. In order to be admitted to the CGS, a student must meet the following minimum criteria (additional criteria may be imposed by the college and/or department):

·        Earned four (4)-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and demonstrated potential for graduate study

·        Three (3) letters of recommendation

·        Minimum B average (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) for the last two (2) years of undergraduate or graduate work

·        Minimum GRE or equivalent exam scores as determined by the individual graduate departments

·        Minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 for international students

·        Minimum Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of 50 for international students

These general criteria represent the minimums required for admission into the CGS. Individual colleges and departments may require higher scores. Table 2-52 illustrates the admission criteria for each of MSU’s graduate programs.

TABLE 2-52

CGS GRADUATE PROGRAM ADMISSION CRITERIA

 

College and Department

Degree Offered

Minimum

GPA

Minimum GRE

Letters of

Recommendation

 

TOEFL

 

TSE

Agriculture

Agricultural Education

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Agronomy

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Animal and Range Science

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Applied Economics

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Entomology

M.S.

3.00

420V

1000 V+Q

3

550

50

Plant Sciences

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

1000 V+Q

3

550

50

Crop and Soils

Ph.D.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Veterinary Molecular Biology

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

1000 V+Q

3

580

50

Arts and Architecture

Architecture

M. Arch

3.00

420V

3

550

50

Art

MFA

3.00

420V

3

580

50

Business

Business Education

M.S.BE

3.00

GMAT

3

550

50

Accountancy

MPAC

3.00

GMAT

3

550

50

ED and HHD

Education

M.Ed,

Ed.E,

Ed.S

3.00

3.30

3.30

850 V+Q

1000 V+Q

1000 V+Q

3

550

50

Health and Human Development

M.S., M.Ed

3.00

900 V+Q

3

550

50

Engineering

Chemical Engineering

M.S.,

Ph.D.

3.00

3.00

420V

420V

3

3

570

580

50

50

Civil Engineering

M.S.,

Ph.D.

3.00

3.00

420V

420V

3

3

550

565RA

580TA

50

50

Computer Science

M.S.

3.00

1200 Q+V

3

600

50

Electrical Engineering

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

1700 V+Q+A

3

600

50

Industrial and Mechanical Engineering

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Mechanical Engineering

M.S.

3.00

420V

3

550

50

Construction Engineering

MCEM

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Letters and Science

History

M.A.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Biological Sciences

M.S.

3.00

1100 V+Q

3

580

50

Chemistry and Biochemistry

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

420V

3

580

50

Earth Sciences

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Fish and Wildlife

M.S.

 

Ph.D.

3.00

 

3.00

420V

1000 V+Q

1100 V+Q

3

 

3

550

 

550

50

 

50

Mathematics

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

1150 V+Q

3

550

50

Microbiology

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

1150 V+Q

3

565

50

Physics

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

420V

3

570

50

Political Science

MPA

3.00

550V

1000 V+Q

3

550

50

Psychology (applied)

M.S.

3.00

1000 V+Q

3

550

50

Statistics

M.S., Ph.D.

3.00

420V

3

550

50

Nursing

Nursing

M.N

3.00

1000 V+Q

3

580

50

Interdisciplinary

Health Administration

MHA

3.00

1000 V+Q

3

580

50

Land Rehabilitation

M.S.

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Project and Engineering Management

MPEM

3.00

varies

3

550

50

Science Education

MSSE

3.00

1100 V+Q

3

550

50

In addition to monitoring compliance with admission criteria, the CGS works in concert with academic departments to review, grant, and monitor provisional admission to the CGS where warranted. Details of provisional admission are included in the CGS Policy and Procedures manual, as well as clearly defined in the MSU Bulletin.

·        Reviewing and taking final action on all individual graduate programs to ensure compliance with all graduate school policies and procedures. Graduate program faculty through the Graduate Council have established policies and procedures relative to general credit requirements, granting credit for transfer work, minimum number of graduate credits required in graduate program, minimum number of graded credits required, and program time limits. Table 2-53 illustrates the standard requirements for any graduate program offered at MSU.


Table 2-53

GRADUATE PROGRAM STANDARD REQUIREMENTS

Requirements

Minimum/

Maximum

Minimum total credits: Master (some degrees may require more)

30

Minimum non-thesis credit (some degrees may require more)

30

Minimum percent graduate course work

50%

Minimum percent major area course work: Plan A (in addition to thesis)

Minimum percent major area course work: Plan B

50%

50%

Minimum credits for minor field of study at the Master’s level

14

Minimum credit registration for students taking comprehensive exams

3

Minimum percent of credits taken in residency at MSU, excluding ten (10) thesis credits for master’s, thirty (30) thesis credits for Ph.D.

67% (2/3)

Minimum percent of seminar (500), independent study (570), and internship (576)

33% (1/3)

Minimum number of correspondence course credits

0

Minimum GPA for graduate admission, satisfactory progress, and graduation

3.00

Minimum number of credits granted for Prior Experiential Learning

0

Maximum number of non-graded (P/F) credits

3

Maximum number of transfer credits applied to degree

9

Maximum credits/term

15

Maximum time frame for degree completion: Master’s

6 years

Maximum time frame for degree completion: Ph.D./Ed.D

10 years

·        Auditing student academic performance to ensure graduate students maintain minimum academic requirements and meet procedural deadlines

·        Making final selection of graduate research assistants who receive fee waivers

·        Reviewing and approving appointments of GTA’s

·        Reviewing all theses and dissertations

·        Coordinating the curriculum review and approval process of new graduate programs, graduate courses, or changes in current graduate policies and/or procedures in conjunction with the Graduate Council. For details on the curriculum review process at the graduate level please refer to Figure 2-02 in this Standard (pp. 27).

·        Reviewing and taking final action on any graduate student appeal of university and/or graduate school policies and procedures

·        Coordinating graduate orientation for new students and GTA’s

·        Providing academic services for non-degree graduate students. The CGS provides administrative and advising services for approximately 300 non-degree graduate students. These students are pursuing post-baccalaureate education and fall into a number of categories which include, but are not limited to the following: those who do not meet requirements for graduate admission and wish to enhance their admissibility for acceptance by taking classes as non-degree students; those whose formal graduate applications are pending final action; those who are applying for teacher certification; those students in the WWAMI program; and those students who wish to take classes for personal or professional enrichment, but do not wish to pursue a degree.

In the last decade, the degree offerings at the graduate level have been competitive, as well as responsive, to students seeking preparation for both advanced research/creative activity and professional licensure. In keeping with Goal 2 of MSU’s LRP, new programs have also been approved which are instrumental to the achievement of MSU’s instructional mission. At the master’s level, degrees are offered in each of the following categories:

·        Traditional master’s degrees. Degree programs offered in this category provide students with two (2) paths to complete their degree objectives. Plan A is the classical research-oriented degree comprised of a minimum of twenty (20) credits of course work and ten (10) credits of thesis. Plan B is designed for students who may wish to defer their research activities to the doctoral program or for whom the traditional research thesis is not appropriate for the field of study. Plan B programs consist of a minimum of thirty (30) credits of course work. Each option requires both written comprehensive exams and oral defense of the thesis (Plan A) or professional paper/project (Plan B).

·        Professional master’s degrees. The demand for post-baccalaureate preparation for a number of professions has prompted departments to design and enhance professional master’s degrees which prepare students for employment in particular fields, as well as provide opportunities for practicing professionals to remain current and competitive in their respective fields. The degree is similar to the Plan B option of the traditional master’s degree with the following additions: the department offering the degree must demonstrate that the program meets the needs and requirements of the profession by supplying documentation from professional

organizations, and the program must include a summative capstone experience such as a final design project or final comprehensive examination which integrates the knowledge and competencies required for the professional field. Students are subject to the same admission and performance standards as traditional master’s students. Each of these degree programs will be discussed in the appropriate college section. Current professional degrees include the following: Master of Professional Accountancy, Master of Architecture, Master of Project Engineering Management, Master of Construction Engineering Management, Master of Science in Science Education, Master of Public Administration, and a number of Master of Education programs.

·        Seamless master’s degrees. The seamless master’s degree is a professional master’s degree with several unique features. Application and acceptance into the graduate program is initiated in the student’s junior year of her/his baccalaureate degree. During the senior year, the student may enroll concurrently in courses required

for completion of the undergraduate and graduate degree. Degrees are designed so a student may complete both undergraduate and graduate requirements by the end of the fifth year. Students are subject to the same admission and performance standards as traditional master’s students. Currently, the following professional degrees are seamless: Master of Architecture and Master of Construction Engineering Management.

·        Collaborative and interdisciplinary degrees. These degrees are the Master of Project Engineering and Management, Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Science Education, Master of Science in Land Rehabilitation, and a Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife Biology.

In addition to the degree offerings at the master’s level, MSU has sustained doctoral programs. MSU grants both Ph.D. and Ed.D degrees. Doctoral degrees are granted upon evidence that the candidates not only complete proscribed course work, but also demonstrate the following: ability to conduct independent scholarly investigation and/or creative activity, ability to draw logical conclusions from that research, and to present and defend those conclusions in a scholarly manner. Candidates must complete a set of proscribed course work, successfully defend a written thesis, and successfully pass final comprehensive examinations.

Each of the departments offering graduate degrees contributes to the instructional and research mission of MSU and will be discussed as follows: summary of degrees offered and ten (10)-year enrollment data, departmental mission, departmental admission requirements (if applicable), and a summary of current program assessment. Faculty qualifications are addressed in Standard Four.

[See Exhibit 2.122, College of Graduate Studies Notebook.]

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

The changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the COA over the past decade are shown in Table

2-54.

Table 2-54

CHANGES IN COA GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

M.S. Agricultural Engineering

Moved to the College of Engineering in 1993-94

Ph.D. Applied Economics

Admission suspended to program in 1987

M.S. Technology Education

Moved to College of Health and Human Development and phased out in 1996

M.S. and Ph.D. Veterinary Molecular Biology

Enhanced with molecular focus in 1996

M.S. in Science Education

Participation in interdisciplinary program began in 1996

M.S. in Land Rehabilitation

Approval of interdisciplinary program granted in 1996

Agricultural Economics and Economics

The primary purpose of the M.S. in Applied Economics is to provide students with the knowledge and competencies to engage in economic analysis to solve a broad spectrum of problems in agricultural economics and economics. In addition to the required course work, students typically work collaboratively with faculty on departmental research projects in the department, frequently supported by the Montana AES and several state and national agencies. Admission to the program is based on the minimum admission requirement standards set by the CGS. Students may complete either Plan A or Plan B. The Micro-economics Theory Core Exam serves as a student’s comprehensive written examination; an oral defense is required for either the thesis (Plan A) or the professional paper (Plan B).

Enrollment data for the M.S. in Applied Economics for the last decade is shown in Table 2-55.


Table 2-55

M.S. APPLIED ECONOMICS FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Applied Economics

14

14

13

13

11

12

10

14

13

M.S. Applied Economics Current Program Assessment

·        Program ranking. This program is ranked second in the nation, according to the article: “Ranking M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Programs in Agricultural Economics,” Review of Agricultural Economics, 16 (1994):333-340.

·        Awards. Recently, two (2) master’s theses received regional and national awards – one (1) from the American Agricultural Economics Association, and the other from the Western Agricultural Economics Association.

·        Advanced degrees. Over half of the M.S. graduates eventually pursue advanced degrees in top Ph.D. programs such as those at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Davis, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, and North Carolina State University. Other graduates in the last decade have become attorneys, private consultants, government employees, and business persons.

·        Student quality. The quality of students admitted to the program has increased in the last decade as demonstrated by the following: of the fourteen (14) students who were admitted from fall 1997 to fall 1998, seven (7) of them had composite GRE scores of 1000 or greater as compared with only six (6) of the thirty-six (36) students admitted from fall 1990 to spring 1997; the average composite GRE score for students who were admitted in AY 97/98 was almost 100 points higher than the average score from the previous seven (7) academic years.

·        Continual assessment. The degree program is being continually reviewed and strategies for maintaining and increasing the quality of students’ performance and the content of the program are being developed.

Admission into the Ph.D. program in Applied Economics was suspended in 1987 and the program formally discontinued in 1993.

Agricultural Education

The mission of the M.S. in Agricultural Education is to provide advanced professional education for extension agents, teachers in agricultural education fields, and other professionals in agricultural service areas and agencies. Admission to the program is based on the minimum admission requirement standards set by the CGS. The program offers the traditional Plan A and Plan B options for students.

Enrollment data for the M.S. in Agricultural Education for the last decade is shown in Table 2-56.

 

Table 2-56

M.S. AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Ag Education

3

3

3

7

8

5

13

8

8

Animal and Range Science

The mission of the M.S. in Animal Science and the M.S. in Range Science is to prepare students for both advanced Ph.D. work in the field as well as for professions in the livestock industry. Students pursuing an emphasis in animal science focus on study and research in such areas as animal nutrition, breeding and genetics, animal physiology, and production systems. Students emphasizing range science focus on range ecology, grazing systems, livestock/wildlife interaction, riparian management, and habitat management. Course work and research in these areas are further enhanced by the following research facilities: Red Bluff Research Ranch, the Montana AES, U.S. Livestock and Range Research Station, and the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station. The department participates in the interdisciplinary M.S. in Land Rehabilitation (pp. 119). Admission to the program is based on the minimum admission requirements standards set by the CGS. The program offers the traditional Plan A and Plan B options for students with nearly 95% of the students enrolled in Plan A.

Enrollment data for the M.S. in Animal Science and M.S. Range Science for the last decade is shown in Table 2-57.

Table 2-57

M.S. ANIMAL SCIENCE AND M.S. RANGE SCIENCE FALL ENROLLMENTS

AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Animal Science

15

12

10

9

12

9

10

11

10

M.S. Range Science

4

6

7

9

10

11

4

5

6

M.S. Animal Science and M.S. Range Science Current Program Assessment. Currently, the quality of the program can be demonstrated in the following ways:

·        Research presentations. Graduate students are evaluated based on research presentations in graduate seminar courses, as well as at scientific meetings and professional conferences.

Entomology

The primary mission of the Department of Entomology (ENTO) is to conduct research and education programs on insects and related arthropods that interact with agriculture and natural resource systems in Montana. To this end, students pursuing the M.S. in Entomology prepare primarily for careers in academic research, entomological consulting, extension, production agriculture, agribusiness, and government. Graduate students participate in the departmental research mission of conducting both basic and applied research on biocontrol of weeds and insects on

cropland and rangeland, insect behavior, integrated pest management, biodiversity, chemical ecology, and systematics. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students must earn a minimum verbal GRE with a composite score of 1000.

The program offers the traditional Plan A and Plan B options for students. Graduate students in Plan A are required to conduct an independent research study which must be both challenging to the student and make a significant contribution to the existing knowledge in the field of entomology. The Plan B option is available; however, the majority of students are admitted into Plan A.

Enrollment data for the M.S. in Entomology for the last decade is shown in Table 2-58.

Table 2-58

M.S. ENTOMOLOGY FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Entomology

7

4

7

10

7

10

10

10

12

M.S. Entomology Current Program Assessment

·        Enrollment. Graduate student enrollment has steadily increased over the past ten (10) years and the average composite GRE score for recently admitted students is 1,150.

·        On-going review. ENTO has engaged in an on-going review of curriculum and pedagogical methods. The graduate curriculum was substantively revised in 1991 and several new courses were introduced.

Plant Sciences

MSU has the sole responsibility for graduate education in plant pathology and breeding of agronomic crops in the State of Montana. Students may pursue M.S. degrees in Agronomy, Plant Pathology and Soil Science, as well as Ph.D. degrees in Crop or Soils and Plant Pathology. The purpose of graduate education in the plant sciences is to provide students with the knowledge and opportunity to conduct research in the areas of agronomy, plant sciences, and soils; as well as the development and dissemination of management principles relating to the control of plant diseases, the production of food, fiber, and ornamental plants; and concepts involving improved sustainability of natural and agro-ecosystems. Students prepare for careers in agriculture, horticulture, biotechnology, and research. Their research experiences are further enhanced by departmental association with the Montana AES. Admission to the program is based on the minimum admission requirement standards set by the CGS. The program offers the traditional Plan A and Plan B options.

Enrollment data for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Plant Sciences is included in Table 2-59.

Table 2-59

M.S. AND PH.D. PLANT SCIENCES FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Agronomy

15

9

7

12

14

12

6

7

10

M.S. Plant Pathology

8

5

5

1

1

2

3

4

3

M.S. Soil Science

16

21

16

15

12

15

20

13

11

Ph.D. Crop and Soils

12

11

12

14

15

16

18

18

19

Ph.D. Plant Pathology

7

6

6

6

6

6

7

7

6

M.S. and Ph.D. Plant Sciences Current Program Assessment

·        Faculty. New faculty in molecular biology of disease resistance, plant virology, turf grass science, horticulture, plant population biology, and plant molecular genetics will greatly enhance graduate education.

·        Research opportunities for graduate students. Departmental faculty have generated about $3,000,000 in grant funds in FY99. Much of this money is used to support graduate students in their research.

·        Curricular revisions. Several graduate courses have been revised and added to the curriculum including courses in plant improvement, plant virology, and medical and agricultural biotechnology (distance delivery). Revisions in the curriculum have included increased opportunity for experiential learning.

·        Quality of newly admitted students. Composite GRE scores of current students are averaging 100 points higher than those enrolled in 1992. Students recently admitted to the program have GRE verbal scores which average 465 and GRE quantitative scores which average 632.

 

Veterinary Molecular Biology

The VTMB graduate program is unique to the northwest and is part of the WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program. The VTMB graduate program emphasizes extensive training in biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, parasitology, virology, and pathology. Independent research, critical thinking, and instructional skills are other areas of training in the program. Research programs are focused on the development of new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tools against parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections of livestock and humans.

In addition to the standards established by the CGS, admitted students must earn a composite (V+Q) GRE score of 1000. For international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 580 is required. At the master’s level, only Plan A is available which requires students to complete course work, a written thesis, an oral presentation of thesis work, and a final oral examination. The Ph.D. degree requires written and oral comprehensive examinations in the second year of study, a written thesis, an oral presentation on thesis work, and a final oral examination. It is also an expectation of the Ph.D. program that thesis work emphasize the theoretical pursuit of science and be subsequently published in one (1) or more peer-reviewed journals.

Enrollment data for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in the VTMB is included in Table 2-60.

Table 2-60

M.S. AND PH.D. VETERINARY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Veterinary Molecular Biology

3

2

1

0

1

2

4

3

2

Ph.D. Veterinary Molecular Biology

3

4

6

7

10

7

6

8

8

M.S. and Ph.D. Veterinary Molecular Biology Current Program Assessment

·        Increased quality of research programs available to graduate students. Based on Grants and Contracts (G&C) activity, research expenditures have increased from approximately $500,000 1994 to greater than $2,000,000 in 1998. The bulk of the increased funding has come from nationally competitive investigator-initiated grants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

·        Curricular revisions. New graduate courses in immunology and molecular biology have been developed.

·        Increased teaching opportunities for graduate students. VTMB graduate students currently have the opportunity to gain teaching experience as TA’s in a new undergraduate biotechnology degree program offered by the COA and VTMB. This additional experience has made recent graduates even more competitive in securing positions in academia and industry.

·        Post-graduate success. Two (2) Ph.D. graduates currently hold post-doctoral positions at Harvard University and one (1) holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Wisconsin. Two (2) are Assistant Professors, one (1) at the University of Minnesota and another at Viterbo College in Wisconsin. Another student has co-founded a local biotechnology company.

·        Published work. All graduate students publish their thesis work in one (1) or more peer-reviewed journals.

·        Research programs. A strength of the program is its involvement in interdepartmental graduate and research programs in the departments of Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Plant Sciences, and through a new program in the Structural and Functional Analysis of Complex Biological Systems.

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE

The changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the CAA over the past decade are shown in Table

2-61.


Table 2-61

CHANGES IN CAA GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

M. of Architecture

New professional master’s degree approved in 1997

M.A. Arts

Discontinued in 1996 in order to devote program resources to the MFA degree

Architecture

Prior to 1997, students preparing for a profession and registration in architecture completed a five (5)-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. In order to meet increasing demands and standards of the profession, however, ARCH reconfigured the professional preparation of students to include a B.A in Environmental Design and a seamless, professional Master of Architecture. As the only degree program in architecture in the State of Montana, the purpose of the M. Architecture is to prepare students for professions in architecture through a curriculum which meets the highest national accreditation standards of the NAAB providing students with theoretical, contextual, technical, environmental, and cultural courses which are integrated systematically into a coordinated and progressive design studio core. Graduates must demonstrate a high level of ability in aesthetic, intellectual, and humanistic aspects of architecture as well as proficiency in technical competencies. The course of study introduces and encourages ethical concepts appropriate to the profession and enables students to prepare for the ARE subsequent to a three (3)-year post-graduate internship.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, graduate students admitted into the program must submit a design portfolio for review by faculty. As a professional master’s program, students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) hours of course work, as well as one of the following: Capstone Design Project with an oral defense or a Research Project with professional paper and oral defense.

Enrollment data for the M. Architecture is shown in Table 2-62.

Table 2-62

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M. Architecture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

M. ARCH Current Program Assessment. This is a new program which began in the spring of 1998. It is expected that graduates of the M. ARCH will enjoy the same successes as former graduates of the five (5)-year undergraduate professional program. It is anticipated that because of the demands of the profession, students with the master’s degree will continue to be very competitive in the field.

Art

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is designed for the professional artist or craftsperson, including those who wish to pursue careers in art education at the college level. Areas of specialization include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and metalsmithing. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students who are admitted to the program must have a GRE verbal score of 420 (for teaching assistantships) and submit twenty (20) slides of current work for portfolio review by faculty.

Students may pursue only Plan A and must complete the following sixty (60) credits: fifteen (15) in the major studio area, fifteen (15) in other studio area, nine (9) in art history, and fifteen (15) in thesis. An oral defense of the thesis, as well as a gallery show, is required.

Enrollment data for the MFA is shown in Table 2-63.

Table 2-63

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M. Fine Arts

12

16

14

14

12

15

9

7

13

MFA Current Program Assessment. Graduates of the MFA program have been very successful. They have been recipients of Graduate Fullbright fellowships, Montana Arts Council (MAC) Individual Artist Fellowships, and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grants and Fellowships. Many have secured tenure-track faculty positions in academia, both in the U.S.and abroad.


COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

The changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the COB over the past decade are shown in Table

2-64.

Table 2-64

CHANGES IN COB GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

Master of Business Education (M.S. BE)

Admission suspended fall term, 1998; phase out schedule for summer term, 2000

Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc)

New professional master approved AY 1996

The phasing out of the M.S. BE degree took place as a strategic step to further position the College as a professional school. The degree programs of the College are designed to prepare students for careers in business and management. The realignment of the College as a professional school began in the early 1980's when the College filed for candidacy with the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Prior to this application for accreditation, a segment of the college's programs were designed to prepare business educators for careers in secondary education. As part of the preparation for accreditation, all of the undergraduate programs in business education were eliminated in 1986. Similarly, in conjunction with the application for reaffirmation of accreditation in 1996, the decision was made to phase out the M.S. BE degree.

M. S. Business Education

Enrollment data in the M.S. in Business Education is shown in Table 2-65.

Table 2-65

M.S. BE FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. BE

4

5

4

3

5

8

7

5

8

The M.S. BE is a summer-only professional master’s degree which provides educators and business professionals with the opportunity to update currency in their fields as well as meet ongoing certification requirements. The program is currently being phased out. Admission to the program was suspended in fall 1998 with the final phase-out of courses scheduled for summer 2000. The M.S. BE program coordinator has notified each of the thirteen (13) current students and developed ‘phase out’ plans for each.

M. Professional Accountancy

The development of the MPAc degree was motivated by changes in the professional objectives of the accounting profession. In response to a perceived need for broader professional qualifications for individuals entering the profession, the American Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) modified their recommendations regarding university-level course preparation for professionals working in public accounting. These recommendations required students to complete at least 150 hours of university-level credits in order to take the CPA exam. These standards were also adopted by the Montana Society of CPA’s and were implemented for candidates taking the CPA exam in 1998. In anticipation of these changes regarding expectations for accounting professionals, COB developed a master’s level accounting program to provide the needed professional training for any COB graduate.

The development of the MPAc degree started with a ‘blank slate’ approach to design of the master's degree program. The curriculum was designed with emphases given to a broad business preparation including exposure to all aspects of business and management, along with the technical focus on accounting principles and practices. In response to changes in both the professional requirements of the accounting profession and the licensure laws governing CPA’s, the COB reconfigured the accounting option of its undergraduate business degree to include a four (4)-year baccalaureate in business with an accounting option.

The objective of the MPAc is to prepare students for careers in professional accountancy and for success as CPA’s. The program is designed to build on the high-quality undergraduate program and to comply with the standards of the state licensure law for CPA’s, as well as the standards set by AACSB.

Admission to the program is based on the minimum admission requirement standards set by the CGS. Students must complete thirty (30) credits of course work in business, accounting, and supporting areas.

Enrollment data for the MPAc is included in Table 2-66.


Table 2-66

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

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

MPAc

 

 

 

 

 

6

13

16

35

MPAc Current Program Assessment. Although the MPAc is a relatively new program, it builds on the quality of the existing undergraduate program. Program quality has been demonstrated in the following ways:

·        Professional placement. For the past decade, nearly 95% of accounting option graduates have been placed in positions with major public accounting firms as well as in government and industry. It is anticipated this trend will not only continue, but that since students will be completing master degree preparation in the field, they will be even more competitive.

·        Professional preparation. In the last ten (10) years, accounting students have earned pass rates on the Uniform Certified Professional Accountancy (UCPA) examination which far exceeds national averages. MSU COB has ranked in the top ten (10) in the nation on the pass rate on the exam; and in 1995 and 1996, the program was ranked first in the nation. It is anticipated that this trend will continue.

·        Faculty. A new faculty member whose expertise is in financial and international accounting has been recently hired.

·        Wheeler fellows. Over the past two (2) years, a number of MPAc students have been selected to serve as fellows for the Wheeler Center.

 

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

The CEHHD is divided into three (3) instructional units: Education (ED), Family Studies and Consumer Sciences (FSCS), and Health Nutrition and Movement Sciences (HNMS). Changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the CEHHD over the past decade are shown in Table 2-67.

Table 2-67

CHANGES IN CEHHD GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

M. of Education

In 1996, options in the education unit were reviewed and consolidated

M.S. in Physical Education and

M.S. in Home Economics

In 1996, degrees under the units of physical education and home economics were reviewed and reconfigured as M.S. in Health and Human Development (HHD)

M.S. in Counseling

In 1996, the non-school option of counseling (M.Ed) was approved as a M.S. degree and moved to the HHD unit

Doctor of Education

In 1996, options in the education unit were reviewed and consolidated

As a result of an academic program review at the graduate level, the ED and HHD revised program goals, objectives, and admission standards. Academic options in the Master and Doctor of Education degrees were consolidated in the Adult and Higher Education Program. The M.S. in Physical Education and the M.S. in Home Economics degrees were reconfigured and renamed the M.S. of Health and Human Development to reflect national trends. The M. of Education in Counseling (non-school option) was approved as a M.S. in Counseling.

Education

The purpose of the graduate program in ED is to offer advanced degrees to professionals in such areas as K-12 teaching, school administration, and adult and higher education. Both master’s and doctoral degrees are offered in three (3) areas: curriculum and instruction, school administration, and adult/higher education. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree is designed for those professionals who require preparation at a level beyond the master’s degree, but whose responsibilities do not require the advanced scholarly research skills inherent in some doctoral programs. The Ed.S degree is offered in two (2) options, educational administration and curriculum and instruction, with specializations in each area. Currently, there are no students enrolled in this degree program. The adult and higher education programs are designed for persons interested in working with adult groups in a variety of settings or those interested in employment in two (2)- or four (4)-year post-secondary institutions.

The curriculum and instruction program is divided into three (3) areas: elementary education, secondary education and technology education. In the elementary and secondary education programs, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees are all available. The technology education program is only available at the master’s level. The elementary education program is designed to meet the needs of classroom teachers, subject matter specialists, and elementary supervisors. Areas of specialization include reading, language arts, art, music, math, science, social studies, health enhancement, library media, and instructional computing. The secondary education program is intended for students who desire to become better prepared teachers at the secondary (high school or middle school) level or for subject matter supervisors.

Individuals who desire to become curriculum directors or directors of instruction are encouraged to go beyond the master’s level and obtain a Doctor of Education degree. The technology education master’s is designed to develop technological literacy as part of all students’ fundamental education through the study of past, present, and future technological systems and their resources, processes, and impacts on society.

The educational administration program includes elementary school administration, secondary school administration, or superintendency. At the doctoral level, an emphasis in general school administration is available. All programs include courses required for Montana certification leading to a Class Three administrative certificate for elementary principles, secondary principals, or the superintendency. An internship is required of all students.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, admission to the doctoral programs requires a minimum 3.30 GPA, a minimum composite (V+Q) GRE score of 1000, and submission of a writing sample for review by faculty.

Students pursuing a master’s degree may choose either Plan A or Plan B. Plan A consists of a minimum of thirty-six (36) credits of course work which includes ten (10) credits of thesis. Course work must focus on the major area, foundations of education, and research/research design. Plan B consists of a minimum of thirty-six (36) credits of course work in the areas of a major, foundations of education, and research/research design. Students may choose to include a minor or supporting area. Both options include written comprehensive exams; Plan A requires an oral defense of the thesis.

Students pursuing a doctoral degree must complete a minimum of sixty (60) credits of course work which includes fourteen (14) credits of thesis. The course work must be in the major area, foundations of education, research/research design, and either a minor or supporting area. The doctoral degree in school administration requires students to complete an internship as part of the credit requirements. The doctoral degree in adult/higher education requires that the sixty (60) credits be beyond the master’s degree. All of the options require written comprehensive examinations and an oral defense of the thesis.

Enrollment data for the graduate degrees offered by ED is shown in Table 2-68.

Table 2-68

M.ED, M.S., TEACHER CERTIFICATION, AND ED.D. FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M. Education

94

93

76

75

84

77

61

39

50

M.S. Technolgy Education

1

2

4

3

4

2

2

2

0

Teacher Certification

(non-degree)

58

61

67

76

58

54

57

68

71

Ed.D. Education

48

58

53

59

81

76

124

106

80

M.Ed., M.S., Teacher Certification, and Ed.D. Current Program Assessment. The quality of the programs has been demonstrated in the following areas:

·        Faculty. Three (3) new faculty in the adult and higher education program have been instrumental in reviewing and updating the curricular requirements. New faculty in the school administration program are currently addressing revisions and changes in that program area. The expertise of several new faculty has strengthened the course work in educational foundations, especially in the areas of education psychology and tests and measurements.

·        Interdisciplinary degrees. The education unit of the college has also been actively involved the MSSE degree (pp. 119).

·        Integration of field experiences. Faculty in the area of curriculum and instruction are currently engaged in pedagogical discussions concerning ways to integrate more field-based learning into the curriculum as well as ways to be more responsive to the needs of practicing K-12 classroom teachers.

·        Teacher Certification. This non-degree course work is for post-baccalaureate students seeking a Montana teaching certificate.

Health and Human Development

In 1994, the graduate degrees of M.S. in Physical Education and the M.S. in Home Economics were merged into the

M.S. in HHD. The Master of Education in School Counseling remained the same. In 1996, the six (6) graduate options were reduced to four (4) options: counseling; family and consumer sciences; food and nutrition; and health, exercise, and wellness.

Accredited in 1993 by CACREP, the counseling option goal is to produce graduates who will understand and maintain professional standards of the counseling profession, who will be qualified for appropriate state licensure, who will maintain membership in professional organizations, and who will continue to update their professional training. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must have a minimum verbal GRE score of 350, a minimum GRE quantitative score of 350, and a minimum composite (V+Q) score of 900. Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B.

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) option focuses on the disciplines of child development and family science. The major degree objective is to promote development of skills necessary for professional achievement in
basic and applied research settings, in higher education, and in public and private organizations. In family and consumer sciences education/extension, the objective is to facilitate teaching FCS in public schools or working in FCS areas within the Extension Service, as well as preparing those with study interest such as textiles and clothing or consumer sciences. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must have a minimum verbal GRE score of 350, a minimum GRE quantitative score of 350, with a minimum composite (V+Q) score of 900. Students may pursue Plan A or Plan B.

The Food and Nutrition option prepares students to pursue doctoral degrees in nutrition science, to practice dietetics at an advanced level, to research biomedical questions, or to develop skills related to community nutrition. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must have a minimum verbal GRE score of 350, a minimum GRE quantitative score of 350, with a minimum composite (V+Q) score of 900. Undergraduate degrees in health, kinesiology (physical education), or nutrition are preferred. Students may pursue Plan A or
Plan B.

The option in Health, Exercise and Wellness provides students with basic and applied research skills in a health, exercise, or wellness-related areas that will enable the pursuit of advanced positions in the private and public sector. Specific master’s degree programs specialize in pedagogy (teaching/coaching), health promotion, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students must have a minimum 3.20 cumulative GPA, and a minimum GRE verbal score of 420 with a minimum composite (V+Q) score of 900. Preference for admission is given to students with undergraduate degrees in health, kinesiology, or nutrition.

Enrollment data for the M.S. degrees offered by HHD is shown in Table 2-69.

Table 2-69

M.S. HHD FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. HHD

33

38

33

28

24

47

50

46

49

M.S. HHD Current Program Assessment. Generally, each master’s program in this unit is assessed by faculty every two (2) years, corresponding with new catalog development. Specific indicators of program quality include, but are not limited to the following:

·        M.S. in Counseling. This is the only CACREP accredited program in the state of Montana and has been extremely successful in placing graduates.

·        M.S. HHD in Family and Consumer Science. This program also exhibits strong placement success in local and state agencies such as Head Start and numerous childcare facilities.

·        M.S. HHD in Health, Nutrition and Movement Science. Graduates from this program are currently involved in professional pursuits such as doctoral work in exercise physiology, directors of community exercise programs for older citizens, and directors of university wellness programs.

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

Changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the COE over the past decade are shown in Table 2-70.


Table 2-70

CHANGES IN COE GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

M.S. Agricultural Engineering

Discontinued AY 1994/95

Master of Construction Engineering and Management

New professional master’s approved AY 1996

Master of Project Engineering and Management

New professional master’s approved AY 1996

Ph.D. Engineering

Reconfigured separate Ph.D. programs in 1996 into one Ph.D. program with options in chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering

 

The M.S. degree in agricultural engineering was discontinued in 1994. The demand for this specific degree had diminished considerably in the 1970's and 1980's. There currently are only a very few number of land-grant institutions which still offer this degree. There are several ‘core’ areas of agricultural engineering, however, that are as relevant today as ever. These include bio-resources and environmental engineering. These significant areas of engineering have been included in the bio-resources option of civil engineering (undergraduate) and the M.S. in environmental engineering (graduate offering from civil and chemical engineering).

The Master of Construction Engineering and Management program was approved by the Montana BOR in 1996. This program is designed as a ‘seamless’ master’s for construction engineering technology to help meet the demand nationwide for technologists with advanced training in engineering management.

The Master of Project Engineering and Management was also approved for offering in 1996. This degree is jointly offered with Montana Tech and was developed to provide an opportunity for practicing engineers to receive advanced education in engineering project management.

Departmental-based Ph.D. programs in COE were reorganized in 1996. The reorganization was initially prompted by an examination which showed that individually, these programs were having difficulty in maintaining Regent-mandated minimum graduation rates for Ph.D. programs, average of one (1) graduate per two (2) year time period. It was determined that reorganization of the program into a single Ph.D. degree with options reflecting the COE’s faculty research and teaching strengths would be more appropriate. Thus, four (4) options of the Ph.D. in Engineering were created in applied mechanics, chemical and materials, electrical and computer, and environmental engineering.

Enrollment data for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees offered by COE is shown in Table 2-71 (programs in brackets have been discontinued or combined with other degree programs).

Table 2-71

COE M.S. AND PH.D. FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. CH E

10

8

8

16

17

15

20

24

21

M.S. CE

7

7

11

20

21

21

20

20

20

M.S. CS

25

30

47

51

38

29

37

40

39

M.S. EE

21

24

24

23

15

14

10

15

14

M.S. Engineering Mechanics

4

2

2

4

3

3

1

0

1

M.S. Environmental Engineering

7

8

13

19

15

17

9

6

4

M.S. I&ME

11

19

24

31

24

19

19

20

21

M.S. ME

7

10

11

10

6

6

10

6

12

M. Construction Engineering Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

8

8

Ph.D. Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

3

10

13

19

[Ph.D. CE]

7

5

6

5

9

7

3

3

2

[Ph.D. CH E]

5

7

9

8

7

9

9

9

7

[Ph.D. EE]

4

4

3

4

6

2

3

0

0

[Ph.D. ME]

2

2

2

2

3

2

1

1

0

Chemical Engineering (CH E)

The purpose of graduate education in CH E is to prepare students for professions in the following areas: materials, separations, and biochemical processes; to engage faculty and students in research and publication; and to prepare graduates who are nationally competitive in selected areas, such as materials, bioengineering, and separations. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, admission to the program requires a minimum verbal GRE score of 420 and, for international students with teaching assistantships, a minimum TOEFL score of 580. At the master’s level students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B.

M.S. and Ph.D. CH E Current Program Assessment

·        Program changes and enhancements. In the last decade, CH E has maintained quality programs at the master’s and doctoral level while expanding its involvement in the M.S. in EE and new professional Master of Project Engineering and Management. The Ph.D. in CH E has been replaced by the Ph.D. in Engineering.

·        Course work. In order to sustain the competitiveness of their graduates, the department has been responsive to demands in the profession for student preparation in areas such a materials and biofilm engineering. New courses focus on the following disciplines: advanced composites, fatigue of materials, numerical methods, surface engineering, and microbial processes.

·        Faculty. In the past decade, faculty in CH E have earned such awards as MSU Wiley Research Award, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and an NSF Career Award. Faculty hold positions in the profession which enhance their currency and ability to provide state-of-the-art graduate education. These positions include the following: one (1) faculty member serves as the Deputy Director of the NSF Center for Biofilm Engineering, established in April 1990, and another serves as the director of a multi-institution and an eight (8)-faculty effort on composites/wind energy sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Civil Engineering

Graduate education in the Department of Civil Engineering (CE) is focused on the preparation of students for professions in civil, environmental, and construction engineering with particular focus on needs within the State of Montana. A significant portion of department activities and functions relate to technical problems, professional affiliations, and projects within Montana. The goals of the department are to prepare students in both the application of technical principles and methodologies to problem solve in the field, as well as to maintain and enhance the recognized standards of excellence exhibited by previous graduates in the professional workforce. The following graduate programs are offered: M.S. degrees in CE and Environmental Engineering, a professional Master of Construction Engineering Management, and a Ph.D. in Engineering (applied mechanics and environmental engineering options).

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the master’s level programs must earn a minimum GRE verbal score of 420 with a minimum quantitative plus analytical score of 1000. For international students awarded laboratory assistantships, a minimum TOEFL score of 565 is required; a minimum TOEFL score of 580 is required for teaching assistantships. Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B options at the master’s level.

M.S. and Ph.D. CE Current Program Assessment

·        Program enhancement. In 1990, CE was the recipient of a major NSF grant which which sponsored the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE). CBE provided a variety of opportunities for faculty and students to conduct research in the area of biofilm engineering. Program enhancement has been demonstrated by significant faculty and student contributions to the body of knowledge on biofilms, as well as the significant enhancements to teaching pedagogy through opportunities for multi-disciplinary teaching and learning. In addition to CBE, CE has recently been awarded a $12,000,000 grant from the DOT to develop the WTI, a ‘super center’ designed to enhance the education of transportation professionals who will address the needs of the transportation infrastructure into the 21st century. It is anticipated that this center should promote growth in the graduate program in the next six (6) years.

·        Reconfiguration and currency of degree programs. Degree programs within the department have evolved over the last decade. The M.S. in Agricultural Engineering and Engineering Mechanics has been eliminated as has the Ph.D. in CE. This has produced a stronger, more focused program. The emphasis in mechanics has been shifted to a more interdisciplinary approach with the advent of the new Ph.D. in Engineering.

·        Master of Construction Engineering Management (MCEM). This new professional master’s degree was designed to fill a need within the construction industry, and increased enrollments attest to its competitiveness.

Computer Science

Graduate education in Computer Science (CS) has three (3) goals: preparing students for positions in the high technology industries, providing continued graduate education at the doctoral level, and preparing graduates for faculty positions in CS in academia.

In addition to the admission standards set by the CGS, CS requires a minimum total of 1200 on the quantitative and analytical components of the GRE test, and a minimum TOEFL score of 600 for foreign applicants. Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B at the master’s level.

CS has a large M.S. degree program which attracts students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. A major change over the last five (5) years has been an attempt to increase the percentages of both domestic and female students by attracting potential master's students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and providing the opportunity for highly accelerated introductory courses to address preparatory deficiencies. The Ph.D. program is part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Option of the combined Ph.D. in Engineering.

M.S. and Ph.D. CS Current Program Assessment

·        M.S. degree. The move towards attracting students with a wide variety of academic backgrounds has been very successful and has allowed the department to greatly strengthen the degree program while maintaining enrollment at approximately forty (40) graduate students. As a result of this effort, the percentage of women has increased from 9% in fall 1995 to 26% in fall 1998. Employment prospects for M.S. graduates have been better than for any other degree in the University with high salaries and many offers for all graduates. Starting salaries have typically been between $55,000 and $60,000. One concern expressed by CS is the low number of students opting to continue on in doctoral degree programs either at MSU or elsewhere. Typically only one (1) or two (2) students each year have done this. This is likely due to the very aggressive attempts by industry to hire these graduates.

·        Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. in Engineering with an Electrical and Computer Engineering option is relatively new. The current number of students in the program is low, and strategies to improve this are being developed.

·        Faculty. In order to meet the needs of business and industry, faculty would like for the size of the graduate program to be approximately forty (40) students. Based upon current tenure-track faculty size, however, this places an additional heavy load on the faculty. In fall 1998, the number of tenure-track faculty in CS increased from six (6) to seven (7). Even with an additional new faculty member, each faculty advised approximately six (6) graduate students. Solutions to such a challenge range from reducing the size of the graduate program (which is the least desirable), hiring more faculty, or continuing to put this additional load on the tenure-track faculty.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The purpose of the graduate programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is to prepare students for professions and research in a variety of fields such as analog and digital signal processing, electronics, information and communication theory, electromagnetic theory, computer engineering, and optics. At the master’s level, students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B. At the Ph.D. level, students may pursue a doctoral degree in Engineering with an option in electrical and computer engineering.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must have earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and earn a minimum composite GRE score of 1700. International students must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 600.

M.S. and Ph.D. ECE Current Program Assessment

·        Faculty. Two (2) new faculty in a new area (optics) have greatly enhanced graduate instruction in the department. Two (2) state-of-the-art optics research laboratories and a new state-of-the-art student teaching laboratory have been created. Currently, ECE is conducting a national search for two (2) computer engineering faculty and one (1) communications faculty who will also enhance the instructional program.

·        Spectral Information Technologies Laboratory. It is anticipated that this new center will add between six (6) to ten (10) graduate students to the graduate program, as well as between two (2) to five (5) post-doctoral research faculty.

·        Increased research opportunities. In the last year, G&C activity has increased by a factor of over five (5) (from about $250,000 to nearly $1,300,000) providing additional research opportunities for faculty and graduate students.

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

In 1996, the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Management Engineering merged into the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (M&IE) department. Currently, students may pursue an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, an M.S. degree in I&ME, or a Ph.D. in Engineering.

The goal of the master’s program is to prepare professionals in such fields as manufacturing, human factors/ergonomics, manufacturing automation, operations research/computer applications, quality management, and systems analysis and modeling. Flexible guidelines permit broadening or customizing the graduate program to meet career objectives.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, international students admitted to the M&IE programs must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 580. Preference is given to applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree in

engineering; however, degrees in the physical sciences, particularly when complimented with a strong mathematics background, may be accepted. Students admitted to the Mechanical Engineering (ME) program must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420; international students awarded teaching assistantships must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 580.

M.S. and Ph.D. I&ME and ME Current Program Assessment

·        Industrial and Management Engineering

·        Increased enrollments

·        New research focus areas in ergonomics and manufacturing

·        More interdisciplinary research programs

·        Mechanical Engineering

·        Maintained excellence in program as evidenced by placement of students in Ph.D. programs and industry/government

·        New research focus area in materials science

·        More interdisciplinary research programs in department.

·        More flexibility in designing program to fit career interests

COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE

Changes and enhancements made in graduate education in the CLS over the past decade are shown in Table 2-72.

Table 2-72

CHANGES IN CLS GRADUATE EDUCATION OVER LAST DECADE

Degree

Status

M.S. Applied Psychology

Program was put in moratorium in 1987; in 1993, the program was reconfigured and again began accepting applicants

M.S. Mathematics

To better serve the stakeholders, options were added in mathematics and mathematics education in AY 1996/97

M.A. English

Approved in 1998, this new program will accept applicants starting AY 1999/00

Ph.D. Fish and Wildlife Biology

Collaborative program with University of Montana (UM) approved in 1997

Rationale supporting these changes and improvements were based on an analysis of resources, as well as a needs assessment of a variety of internal and external stakeholders. These changes are summarized as follows:

·        M.S. Applied Psychology. The recommendation to put this program in moratorium in 1987 was made by the CGS Dean who cited low enrollments and insufficient resources as the primary reasons. In 1993, the Dean for Outreach offered to support the program’s reinstatement as a new ‘summer’ offering. Based on this support and the infusion of new resources associated with the merger of the Speech Communication Department, the program moratorium was lifted.

·        M.S. Mathematics. In AY 1996/97, the M.S. in Mathematics was split into two (2) options: Mathematics and Mathematics Education. The mathematics and mathematics education faculty recognized that the former title did not clearly distinguish between students focusing on graduate study of mathematics and those focusing on the pedagogical and methodological issues of mathematics education.

·        M.A. English. The Master of Arts in English, the result of a two (2)-year planning effort and needs assessment, focuses on the interconnectedness of writing, teaching, and textual studies. The 30-credit program provides integrated instruction in four (4) program areas: literary criticism, the teaching of writing and literature, rhetoric and composition, and literary history. It foregrounds issues such as the history of the discipline; the relationship between theory and the practices of writing, teaching, and textual studies; and the process by which knowledge in the field of English is made. Unlike traditional programs in which students are tracked into specific fields of study, this program is intentionally diversified in scope. Given the breadth of study and the intradisciplinary focus of the classes, this M.A. will appeal to English and language arts teachers in Montana; students planning to continue for a doctorate in the field; and students interested in a terminal master's degree, who may work in any number of related fields.

·        Ph.D. Fish and Wildlife Biology. In 1997, the BOR approved a Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife (F&WL) Biology to be administered in collaboration with UM. The objectives of the new degree are to provide graduates with the preparation necessary to enter the corps of professional biologists that will be required to sustain healthy vertebrate populations in Montana in the 21st century. Increased visibility of natural resource research capabilities of MSU will further enhance the institution’s land-grant mission. To date, nine (9) students have completed Ph.D. degrees in Biology under the direction of seven (7) faculty.

Enrollment data for the graduate programs offered by CLS is shown in Table 2-73.

Table 2-73

CLS M.A., M.P.A., M.S., AND PH.D. FALL ENROLLMENTS AY 1990-91 THROUGH AY 1998-99

Degree

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

M.S. Biochemistry

2

1

4

1

3

5

4

2

2

M.S. Biological Sciences

12

24

25

30

34

29

23

15

19

M.S. Chemistry

12

12

12

12

11

13

8

12

12

M.S. Earth Sciences

22

22

31

36

35

30

22

26

25

M.S. F&WL Management

22

23

23

30

31

24

25

27

24

M.A. History

19

21

23

16

18

23

26

21

27

M.S. Mathematics

23

18

21

23

14

17

28

23

18

M.S. Microbiology

9

7

7

6

8

8

5

11

8

M.S. Physics

19

25

28

18

13

11

11

5

6

M.S. Psychology

0

0

0

0

4

10

8

10

9

M. Public Administration

27

21

24

24

19

20

25

28

28

M.S. Statistics

5

7

13

14

8

8

12

13

10

Ph.D. Biochemistry

3

2

3

5

6

12

13

11

13

Ph.D. Biological Science

23

17

21

18

22

23

14

17

16

Ph.D. Chemistry

32

35

41

46

51

47

51

42

39

Ph.D. F&WL Biology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

5

Ph.D. Mathematics

12

13

13

17

21

18

14

17

15

Ph.D. Microbiology

7

10

14

16

18

19

20

18

19

Ph.D. Physics

45

36

32

36

43

44

33

31

37

Ph.D. Statistics

6

5

6

9

9

11

8

8

7

Biological Sciences

In keeping with the land-grant mission of MSU, the Biology Department (BIOL) offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biological Sciences, an M.S. degree in F&WL Management, and a collaborative Ph.D. with UM in F&WL BIOL. BIOL also participates in the interdisciplinary M.S. program in Land Rehabilitation.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students seeking admission to the master’s program in biology must earn a minimum composite (V+Q) GRE score of 1100. Admission to the M.S. in F&WL Management requires a minimum verbal GRE score of 420 with a minimum composite (V+Q) score of 1000. The Ph.D. program in F&WL BIOL requires a minimum composite (V+Q) GRE score of 1100.

M.S. and Ph.D. BIOL Current Program Assessment

·        Program enhancements. The new Center for Computational Biology has greatly enhanced both the graduate programs in biological sciences, as well as interdisciplinary studies by faculty and students from engineering, chemistry, and computer science.      

·        Collaborative Ph.D. in F&WL BIOL. Approved in 1997, the collaborative program offers students an opportunity to study and do research in areas particularly salient to Montana. Students doing research as part of the new Ph.D. will participate in partnerships between campus units and other organizations such as the Wild Trout Research Lab; the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department State Lab; the Fish Technology Center; the Interagency Grizzly Bear Team; and the Yellowstone Research Unity of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This discipline contributes substantively to Montana’s economic health. Consumptive uses of fish and wildlife generate more than $100,000,000 annually and non-consumptive uses play a major role in the $1 billion tourist industry.

Chemistry/Biochemistry

The CHEM/BCHM department offers graduate work at the master’s and doctoral level in chemistry and biochemistry. Students may pursue an M.S. in chemistry or biochemistry and/or a Ph.D. in chemistry or biochemistry. The goal of the M.S. Plan A program is to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, or administration in chemistry or biochemistry, as well as to lay the foundation for continuing professional development and education. The focus of this option is primarily research-oriented. The goal of the M.S. Plan B program is designed for students seeking advanced knowledge in chemistry or biochemistry, but pursuing a professional degree in another field such as journalism, law, or elementary/secondary education. The focus of this option is primarily on science and technology and its relation to other disciplines. The goal of the Ph.D. program is to prepare students to assume positions of leadership in research, education, or science administration. A high level of creativity and originality in research is expected of candidates for the Ph.D.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420. International students must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 580.

M.S. and Ph.D. CHEM/BCHM Current Program Assessment

·        Feedback from external stakeholders. CHEM/BCHM periodically meets with its external advisory board to discuss the field and strategies by which the department can improve its instruction to better prepare professionals. For example, the advisory board expressed a preference for a broader, multidisciplinary preparation of Ph.D. students; curriculum modifications were made to allow students to take more courses in other disciplines.

·        Research opportunities. With a highly research-active faculty, CHEM/BCHM offers a number of research opportunities for faculty and students. Last year, CHEM/BCHM secured twenty-three (23) external grants ($4,500,000) and seven (7) internal grants ($90,000).

·        Faculty. In the past six (6) years, CHEM/BCHM has added eight (8) tenure-track faculty and two (2) research faculty to enhance its instruction and research programs.

·        Success of graduates. CHEM/BCHM systematically tracks its graduates from admission to first post-graduate position. Data indicates that a large majority of students secure competitive positions in industry or tenure-track positions in academia.

·        Enrollment trends. For the past five (5) years, the program has sustained its enrollment and has been the leading producer of Ph.D’s on campus.

Earth Sciences

The Department of Earth Sciences (ESCI) offers an M.S. degree with an emphasis in either geography or geology. The broad objectives of the ESCI master’s degree are for students to learn and understand the advanced facts and concepts central to their field of study and future career options; acquire a working knowledge of the skills and methods necessary of collect, analyze, and summarize data relevant to their profession; to develop the ability to work independently to solve research questions in geology, geohydrology, or geography; and to effectively communicate their summaries and findings to a professional audience.

Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the Geology emphasis must take the Geology GRE (no minimum score is required).

M.S. ESCI Current Program Assessment

·        Course work. The number of course offerings for graduates has significantly increased over the last ten (10) years. The number of three (3) credit 400- and 500-level courses has increased from twenty-three (23) to twenty- six (26). More notable, the number of one (1) credit options in weekly seminars, internships, readings, and guided research has increased from six (6) to twenty-four (24). These one (1) credit options provide far greater opportunities for graduate students to work in mentoring relationships with faculty and professionals in their field.

History

The M.A. in HIST is designed to allow students to take advantage of faculty expertise and university resources in the history of modern America, the history of the North American West, environmental history, the history of science, and the history of women in a multi-cultural context. The program is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study at least one of these areas in depth and to acquire professional skills in archives management, museum work, and historical preservation through internships with the Museum of the Rockies, Yellowstone National Park, the Bozeman Historic Preservation Office, and the Burlingame Special Collections, as well as other public history venues. The program is also designed to broaden students’ knowledge by introducing them to problems in early American and non-American history. The program is structured around intensive seminars which provide extended opportunities for discussion and contact with faculty.

Student may pursue either Plan A or Plan B; there are no departmental admission requirements beyond the general requirements of the CGS.

M.A. HIST Current Program Assessment

·        Enrollment. In the last ten (10) years, the program has grown considerably, both in the number of students enrolled and the number of students graduated. HIST is currently able to support seven (7) graduate teaching assistants, compared to less than two (2) in AY 1989-90.

·        Course work. HIST has also increased its graduate course offering both in number and in diversity of subject areas. Currently, there are seven (7) regularly offered graduate-level courses in history, compared to six (6) in AY 1989-90. Two (2) new courses, History 512 - Topics in World History, and History 513 - Topics in Social and Cultural History provide students with a broader range of subject matter and will serve to involve a larger number of faculty in graduate teaching.

Mathematical Sciences

To better serve its graduate student stakeholders, the Mathematical Sciences (MATH) department separated the M.S. in Mathematics into two (2) options: mathematics and mathematics education. The two (2) options better represented the programs of study pursued by students in the program. MATH also offers an M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics (STAT).

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420. International students must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 580. At the master’s level, students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B.

M.S. and Ph.D. MATH/STAT Current Program Assessment

·        Enrollment. In the past decade, the department has experienced steady growth.

·        Employment. The quality of students is measured by their employment history. Many have successfully pursued careers in mathematics education, private employment, and research and faculty positions at colleges and universities.

Microbiology

In keeping with the Microbiology (MB) department’s general mission, graduate education in microbiology focuses on expanding the frontiers of knowledge of microbiology, passing on a current molecular and classical understanding of microbiology, and preparing scientists, professionals, and educators who will apply their knowledge and continue these essential pursuits.

Both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered. The primary emphasis of these degrees is to prepare students for research careers. Because many students will obtain positions at institutions of higher learning, all students are required to complete two (2) semesters as TA’s and take an “instruction” seminar.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, admitted students must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420 with a composite (V+Q) score of 1150. For international students serving as laboratory assistants, a minimum TOEFL score of 565 is required; teaching assistants must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 580. Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B at the master’s level.

M.S. and Ph.D. MB Current Program Assessment

·        Enrollment. MB has experienced steady growth over the last ten (10) years. The number of graduate students in 1989 was eighteen (18) and has since increased to twenty-six (26).

·        Research Opportunities. Departmental research support, a primary indicator of the amount and quality of research within the department, has also increased from $870,000 in 1989 to $3,100.000 in the most recent fiscal year. This increase has provided more opportunities for students and faculty to conduct research.

·        Course work. To prepare students in all aspects of microbiology, the graduate curriculum was modified to include a ‘Graduate Reading Course,’ a four semester series of topical presentations by fellow students. The Medical Mycology Pre-doctoral Training Program was established and funded by a training grant from the NIH. This program seeks to train Ph.D. students in both research and clinical aspects of medical mycology, an emerging area of importance.

Physics

The Physics (PHYS) department’s goal of the master’s and doctoral programs in physics is to provide students with advanced education in both classical and modern physics while strengthening their skills in problem solving, communication, creativity, and collaboration through directed research and study.

Students may pursue either Plan A or Plan B at the master’s level, as well as a Ph.D. in Physics. In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students admitted to the program must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420. International students must earn a minimum TOEFL score of 570. The GRE advanced examination is required for domestic applicants and strongly advised for international applicants.

M.S. and Ph.D. PHYS Current Program Assessment

·        Research options. More options are available for research, including solar physics, active materials, and the Optical Technology Center

·        Cooperative research. Cooperative research is available with engineering, chemistry, and local industry

·        Student teaching opportunities. Opportunities are available for students to develop teaching skills

·        Faculty. New, high quality faculty have been hired in optics, solar physics, astrophysics, condensed matter and physics, astronomy education

·        Grants. Research grants have tripled in value to $3,600,000 in AY 1997-98

·        Research community. Increased number of research faculty and other non-tenure track doctoral physicists provide a much richer research community

·        New courses. New courses in astrophysics and mathematical/computational physics

Political Science

The Political Science (POLS) department’s graduate program in Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The program’s purpose is to prepare recent college graduates and returning students for professional public service employment and to enhance the professional competence of mid-career public administrators. The MPA degree is typically a requirement for entry level administrative positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. The MPA curriculum offers professional education in the areas of public policy analysis, program evaluation, organizational management, public budgeting and finance, personnel administration, administrative law, and public sector ethics.

The mission of the MPA program is to prepare students for administrative careers in public and nonprofit agencies by satisfying the knowledge and skill requirements of both pre-career and mid-career students. The curriculum is designed to provide a balance between conceptual knowledge of public administration and the acquisition of management and technical skills. Furthermore, in order to promote public sector performance that is not only effective, but also ethical, important public service values inherent in a democratic order are emphasized within the curriculum.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 500 with a composite (V+Q) score of 1000. As a professional master’s degree, the MPA curriculum requires students to complete at least eighteen (18) semester hours drawn from graduate public administration courses offered by POLS, at least six (6) semester hours of supporting course work, and a supervised six (6) credit internship with a public agency or nonprofit organization.

MPA POLS Current Program Assessment

·        Pedagogical changes. During AY 1991-92, POLS changed the MPA program from a committee system to a mentoring system. This was done because the faculty had experienced the faculty committee system to be cumbersome and a hindrance to students finishing their programs in a timely manner. Only half of the graduate students who had completed their course work and passed their comprehensive exams had completed the thesis requirements. Since moving to a mentoring model, fifty four (54) out of fifty eight (58) students who had completed their course work and comprehensive exams also completed their professional research paper and graduated. This is a 93% graduation rate. Not only has this system significantly increased the graduation rate, it has increased the quality of students’ professional papers which are now more closely linked to students’ current or future professional goals.

·        Graduate employment. Graduates hold responsible positions in state, local, and federal government agencies, as well as with nonprofit service providers. A number of MPA recipients have gone on to earn law degrees and Ph.D.’s. Over the years, more than a dozen have been placed in the prestigious Federal Presidential Management Program.

·        MPA – Helena. The MPA program is also delivered on site in Helena, as part of the Regent’s Inter-University program in cooperation with the UM. Average yearly enrollment has been approximately eight (8) to nine (9) students.

Psychology

The Psychology (PSY) department’s goal of the graduate program in psychology is to prepare students to conduct applied psychological research and/or perform various services in small and large organizations. The emphases of the program are in the following areas of psychology: cognitive, physiological, experimental, social, industrial/organizational, statistics, and research methods.

PSY offers a M.S. degree in Applied Psychology with two options: Plan A - psychology research (thesis) or Plan B - Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management (non-thesis/professional paper). Plan A is designed for the traditional full-time student who wishes to pursue an advanced degree, especially in a research discipline of psychology, e.g., social industrial/organizational, cognitive, physiological. Plan B is designed for professionals who wish to advance their careers as managers and leaders, such as human resource professionals in the public or private sectors, educational administrators, health care managers, and public safety and social service officers.

In addition to the standards set by the CGS, students must earn a minimum verbal GRE score of 420 with a composite (V+Q) score of 1000. The psychology subject test is required for non-psychology majors with a minimum score of 500. Students must also earn a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point in psychology and have previous research experience.

M.S. PSY Current Program Assessment

·        Faculty. Since the approval of the M.S. in Applied Psychology program in 1994, two (2) new applied psychology faculty have been hired.

·        Course work. In the past two (2) to three (3) years, newly developed courses have been included in areas such as social psychology, industrial psychology, organizational psychology, social cognition in organizations, and sexual harassment in organizations.

·        Student performance. Average GRE scores and GPA’s have increased for enrolled students.

·        Pedagogy. The psychology faculty use an individualized mentorship approach to graduate education. Students and their advisors work together to create a program of course work and research best suited for the students’ career goals. The opportunity to work side-by-side with a faculty member is a unique component of the graduate program which enhances student preparation for doctoral education or for positions in industry and organizations.

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