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STANDARD THREE

 

   STANDARD THREE:

   STUDENTS

INTRODUCTION

The division of Student Affairs at Montana State University. Bozeman (MSU) is a significant and effective contributor to the intellectual growth and personal development of MSU's students. Through such programs and services as mental health, alcohol education and evaluation, recreation and intramurals, athletics, housing/food service, intra-hall education programming, academic support services, disability assistance, cultural awareness, and invasive freshmen retention efforts, to mention a few, the division provides a plethora of learning and growth experiences for students.

While the division is large by some standards, the proximity of services to one another, with a few exceptions, is very close. Located within the Strand Union complex (SUB) and attached to it are no fewer than fourteen (14) departments and programs, including the Bookstore which is discussed later in this Standard. Three (3) other departments are located directly across the Centennial Mall in Hamilton Hall. While this is not "one stop shopping" in its purest form, MSU students are very fortunate to have the majority of Student Affairs departments and programs within close proximity to one another, with most under the same roof. Only Athletics, Intramurals, and Residence Life/Family Graduate Housing are on the perimeters of the campus.

PURPOSE AND ORGANIZATION

MISSION

The Student Affairs Mission Statement, developed in 1996, was a healthy effort to broadly define the supportive role the Student Affairs departments play in making the educational atmosphere and the diverse learning goals of the campus community a more visible and viable endeavor. The mission statement is as follows:

        The mission of Student Affairs is to enhance the learning environment of the university; support students in the attainment of their educational objectives; foster in students a sense of responsibility, self-directedness, community, and a positive identity with Montana State University. Bozeman.

The programmatic goals and outcomes of the departments within the division of Student Affairs are closely aligned to its Mission Statement. Although Student Affairs does not operate under a clearly defined set of goals, but rather under principles and practices, individual departmental goals tend to relate well and support one another [Exhibit 3.01, Student Affairs Departmental Goals].

The mission of Student Affairs directly supports and relates to the University's Mission Statement. Student Affairs provides for the non-academic needs of the student which enrich the student's academic experience.

Student Affair's issues are currently addressed with a higher measure of importance within central administration than was the case before the 1990 accreditation review. This has assisted in integrating the mission of student services at the University.

PERSONNEL

The division of Student Affairs is headed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, who reports directly to the President and is a member of the President's Executive Council (PEC). The Vice President for Student Affairs is supported by an Assistant Vice President, seventeen (17) department heads, and seven (7) program directors [Exhibit 3.02, Student Affairs Organizational Chart; and Exhibit 3.03, Position Descriptions for Student Affairs Key Personnel].

The Student Affairs professional staff are some of the most qualified in student personnel work in the state of Montana. Most have state, regional, and national professional affiliations and several have held national leadership positions [Exhibit 3.04, Resumes of Student Affairs Professional Staff]. The directors of almost all departments are one (1) deep administratively and all see and respond to student concerns on a daily basis. Professional longevity of key staff is very high [Exhibit 3.05, Longevity of Student Affairs Professional Staff]. Additionally, levels of trust and respect for one another are also very high. Accessibility and communications among staff within the Division are strong. The recent annual salary increases for these professional positions over the past four (4) years have had

a sustaining effect on the morale and dedication.

The directors of each unit meet collectively with the Vice President of Student Affairs each week in a one-hour meeting. Agendas are established before the meetings and an opportunity for each unit director to bring forth any item that she/he considers important is set aside for a round table discussion at the end of the meeting. In a discussion of the effectiveness of these meetings, it was decided that the "large group," directors of all seventeen (17) departments and seven (7) programs, would meet twice a month, and the small group,. the ten (10) directors who represent the classic Student Affairs departments and report and work most closely with the Vice President, would meet with the Vice President and Assistant Vice President twice a month. This has allowed the directors in this smaller group to address issues that concern the whole division.

The Vice President evaluates all professional staff annually. He specifically reviews the current and one (1)-year projected goals and objectives prepared by the employee. He subsequently prepares a written evaluation for the employee and the employee's file. To assist professional staff in meeting the expectations for particular positions, Student Affairs has prepared job-specific training manuals for each position.

Table 3-01 illustrates the demographics and qualifications of Student Affairs staff.

 

Table 3-01

STUDENT AFFAIRS STAFF PROFILE

Professional

Support

Student

Other

Female

73

184

1188

Male

68

67

Degrees

       Ph.D., Ed.D.

7

0

       M.D., J.D., M.S.W.

7

0

       M.A., M.S.

50

7

       B.A., B.S.

60

51

       A.A., A.A.S., Certificate, Etc.

0

0

       Not reported

17

193

Years experience in field

       None

19

31

 

       Less than 5

45

100

 

       5 - 10

38

55

 

       11 - 15

11

30

 

       16 - 20

15

20

 

       More than 20

13

15

 

Full-time

       9/10 months

23

21

       12 months

86

208

Part-time

       9/10 months

19

4

       12 months

13

18

TOTALS

141

251

1188

FINANCIAL RESOURCES

The financial condition of Student Affairs is a constant concern. The University has undergone a number of budget adjustments over the past decade. Many of the departments and programs in Student Affairs are funded by state dollars, as indicated in Table 3-02, and Student Affairs has lost significant state-funded operational dollars which has resulted in staff reduction for some offices [Exhibit 3.06, Operating Budgets Since 1990]. While there are seemingly never enough resources to do the job in the manner the directors would like, the major concern with state-funded accounts is that funds taken out of base budgets in the last two (2) years are not replaced unless a crisis such as a federal mandate is placed upon the particular department. At this writing, any increases in 1999/2000 institutional operation dollars are being pledged toward the academic departments.


Table 3-02

MAJOR FUNDING SOURCES FOR DEPARTMENTS AND PROGRAMS

Department/Program

Major Funding Sources

Admissions and Registrar's Office

State

Advance by Choice

Grants

Career Services

State

Community Involvement

State

Conference Services

Non-state

Counseling Services

State

Dean of Students

State

Family Housing

Non-state

Financial Aid Services

State

Food Services

Non-state

Health/Dental Services

Non-state

Intercollegiate Athletics

Non-state

Intramurals/Recreation

Non-state

Multicultural Center

State

Native American Center

College of Letters and Science

New Student Services

State

Residence Life

Non-state

Resource Center

State

Strand Union

Non-state

Student Activities

Non-state

VOICE Center

Grants

Women's Center

Grants

Various departments within the division periodically identify the needs of students and respond accordingly. Consequently, since 1992 the division has increased in size and scope. Student Affairs now oversees the Office of the Registrar and Admissions and Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition, new centers have been added, including the Office of Community Involvement (OCI), the Multicultural Center, and the Victim Options in the Campus Environment (VOICE) Center. Additional recent institutional efforts include investments in student advising; assessment of student characteristics; student health; multicultural needs; and health and safety for women, Greeks, and students with disabilities. These new programs and centers represent examples of significant responses to student needs and demands which have required assessment and resultant action plans. Student Affairs believes that it now more adequately meets the non-academic needs of students through these new programs and centers; however, new programs and centers have associated costs, which have in many cases been supported by grant funds.

With continued pressure to maintain/increase enrollments to pay for decreasing state support, coupled with increasing unfunded federal mandates, programmatic service/support needs for students, and increased work loads, the major viable options for those departments which are primarily state-funded appear to be reducing staff and/or eliminating services. Simply stated, operating budgets have not grown proportionally with the University's increased enrollment over the past ten (10) years, and in many cases have proportionally declined. This phenomenon is a driving force behind the concern of Student Affair's employees that the value of the work done within Student Affairs is viewed by those outside the division with less importance than other functions on campus. The Vice President for Student Affairs has communicated this concern to the central administration. As a positive step, a member of the division was appointed to the newly formed Strategic Planning and Budget Committee (SPBC) which reviews all budgetary matters and makes recommendations to the PEC. This has improved the communication and understanding of the campus-wide budgetary issues within the division, and has given the directors a feeling of representation. Student Affairs department heads, however, will continue to closely monitor this review process and its recommendations in light of their staffing and funding needs.

An additional issue has been the lack of classified staff salary increases. While professional staff have received significant raises over the past four (4) years, the classified staff have received very little. Until 1997, the Board of Regents (BOR) followed the State Pay Plan, determined by the Montana Legislature, with respect to classified staff. Consequently the pay raises for these staff have been very low [Exhibit 3.07, Classified Staff Salary Increases Compared to Inflation Since AY 1990-91]. By contrast, the BOR granted professionals on Regent's Contracts significantly higher raises. This disparity, plus the lack of salary increases, is causing morale problems and exacerbating the problem with hiring and retaining classified staff. In addition, there is a discomfort for Student Affairs administration and directors who have received the higher raises but are powerless to effectively intercede on this point. Recently, legislative action has allowed for salary increases for these staff which has begun to address the issue of regularity in salary increases.

 

REVIEW OF GOALS AND PROCEDURES

The division's goals and procedures are periodically reviewed and updated by the changing demands of the education community. Many of the established ways of doing business come from close communication and a long traditional and experiential evaluation for what works and what does not. Policies that require review are done so on a regular basis, including Emergency Response, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Sexual Assault, Conduct Code, ADA, Campus Security Act, and Student Right to Know. These policies can be found on MSU's Web site, and in other appropriate manuals and publications.

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS

During the l998/99 academic year, the Office of Retention (OR) began the implementation of a comprehensive Retention Management System (RMS) designed by USA Group Noel-Levitz. The primary purpose of the program is to systematically identify the characteristics of the MSU freshmen student population and students. learning, developmental, and special needs. This is accomplished through the administration of the College Student Inventory (CSI) at Orientation to all new freshmen.

The program has crossovers and ties with the academic colleges and is, therefore, becoming a more comprehensive effort. High and low risk students are identified and assigned a faculty advisor and/or a retention program staff member for individualized work. The OR also provides referral and support services to students, faculty, parents and staff throughout the year. The underlying operational philosophy of the office is that if the motivational, developmental, and academic characteristics of incoming students can be identified, the emerging developmental and intellectual capabilities of each individual student can be effected in a responsible and comprehensive manner. This is an exciting venture and a long overdue, on-target program for an institution which is heavy on research and instruction, but has been short on advising and personal intervention.

In terms of outcomes to date, the OR, concomitant with the Office of Institutional Research (IR), tracks each entering cohort of first-time degree-seeking freshmen who have taken the CSI to determine retention and graduation rates. The OR utilizes national comparison data from the Department of Education (DOE), as well as from the American College Test (ACT), in conjunction with data from sixteen (16) peer institutions to track retention and graduation rates. Finally, a nationally-normed Student Satisfaction Inventory (USA Group Noel-Levitz) is used to determine the efficacy of the program from the student standpoint. This data is collected biannually. Student data is obtained at five (5) points throughout the academic year beginning with orientation and ending with pre-registration in the spring, as illustrated by Figure 3.01, CSI Administration Flow Chart - Fall Semester, and Figure 3.02, CSI Administration Flow Chart - Spring Semester. Longitudinal data is limited at this point in time because the program has only been operational since January l997. It is hoped that the OR will be able to continue to administer the CSI indefinitely.





 



STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE

Students are given the opportunity to participate in institutional governance through membership on nearly all university committees with campus-wide focus. Table 3-03 illustrates student participation on planning, governance, research, policy, curriculum, appeals, and other miscellaneous committees. [See also Exhibit 1.09, University Committees.]

Table 3-03

STUDENT PARTICIPATION ON CAMPUS-WIDE COMMITTEES

 

Committee

Student Participation

Student Affairs Participation

Planning

       Long Range Planning Committee

X

 

       Strategic Planning and Budget Committee

X

X

       University Facilities Planning Board

X

 

Governance

       Assistant Deans' Council

X

       Classified Employees Personnel Advisory Committee

       Deans' Council

       Faculty Affairs Committee

       Faculty Council

       President's Executive Council

 

X

       Professional Council

 

X

       Provost's Council

 

X

       University Governance Council

X

X

       University Governance Council Nominating Committee

       University Governance Council Steering Committee

X

Research

       Animal Care and Use Committee

       Biosafety Committee

       Human Subjects Committee

X

       Intellectual Property Committee

       Radiation Safety Committee

Policy

       Affirmative Action Advisory Committee

       Athletics Committee

X

X

       Library Committee

X

 

       MSU Benefits Committee

 

X

       Salary Review Committee

 

 

       University Promotion and Tenure Committee

 

 

       Web Advisory Committee

X

X

       Wellness Advisory Committee

X

 

Curriculum

       Assessment and Outcomes Committee

X

       Core Curriculum Committee

X

       Graduate Council

 

       Teaching Learning Committee

X

       Undergraduate Studies Committee

X

       University Honors Program Advisory Committee

X

       University Teacher Education Committee

 

Appeals

       Admission and Graduation Requirements Board

       Committee on Conciliation

 

 

       Committee on Grievance Hearings

 

 

       Core Equivalency Review Board

 

X

       Graduate Student Academic Appeals Board

 

 

       Personnel Board

 

 

       Residency Appeals Board

 

X

       Scholastic Appeals Board

 

X

       Student Conduct Board

 

X

       Traffic Appeals and Regulations Committee

X

 

Miscellaneous

       Calendar Committee

X

X

       Commencement Committee

 

X

       Computer Fee Allocation Committee

X

 

       Enrollment Management Committee

X

X

       Equipment Fee Allocation Committee

X

X

      Financial Aid Committee

 

X

       High School Days Committee

 

X

      Honorary Degree Committee

 

 

       MSU Development Committee

 

X

       Orientation Committee

X

X

       University Marketing Committee

 

X

Faculty participate in the development of policies for student programs and services through the Assistant Dean's Council, committee participation, and Faculty Council.

STUDENT BEHAVIOR

Students, for the most part, understand their rights and responsibilities and are accountable for their actions. The Undergraduate Bulletin, the Student Academic and Grievance Procedures and Conduct Guidelines, and MSU Info on MSU's Web site describe acceptable levels of conduct, responses to misconduct, grievances, appeal options and the rights and responsibilities of dissent [Exhibit 3.08, Student Conduct Code, and Exhibit 3.09, University Regulations]. Faculty generally lack training in addressing critical issues associated with academic misconduct in their classrooms. The Dean of Student's office continues to market an educational/training program for each college, department, faculty, and TA. During fall term 1998, presentations were given to the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) graduate teaching assistants (GTA's), the College of Nursing, the Center of Native American Studies, the Business faculty, and the General Studies Freshman Experience instructors. All incoming freshmen hear a presentation on academic and behavioral expectations and their rights and responsibilities at Orientation. Judicial boards, conduct boards, and faculty continue to receive information and training relative to due process and fairness in addressing personal conduct issues. Students sign a statement of understanding at the conclusion of the presentation [Exhibit 3.10, Statement of Understanding].   The Dean of Student's office sees less than 1% of the student body population in a year for serious academic and behavioral misconduct. The residence halls and the Bozeman community address 10% of our student population in an academic year, primarily for violations of the Student Code of Conduct and misdemeanor crimes.

 

CAMPUS SAFETY AND SECURITY

MSU is blessed with a generally sociologically healthy and safe campus community. Personal safety and security is stressed to students and parents at all orientation programs and to all residence hall students in the fall. University safety and security information is referenced in the MSU Bulletin, in the Schedule of Classes (which all students must use to register each semester), and on MSU Info. Crime statistics are published annually [Exhibit 3.11, Annual Crime Statistics] and are made available at Admissions, AA/EO, Personnel, the residence halls, and are published in the 10,000 parking regulation brochures printed annually which together more than adequately meet federal guidelines.

MSU's gay and lesbian student population and campus women have expressed that they have not felt safe on campus. To remedy this situation, gay and lesbian students have now had several years of direct support from the Women's. Center and also find support from the VOICE Center (pp. 173), as well as the Multicultural Center (pp. 168). In addition, Student Activities (pp. 172-173), the Women's Center, and the Dean of Students office (pp. 165) spearheaded a Safe Space campaign last summer. It was very successful, but continued financial support, as well as expansion are needed. Also, the entire student population has benefitted from increased night lighting levels all over campus and increased close-in parking.

ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE ON CAMPUS

National research has long supported the fact that alcohol and drug use is a primary risk factor facing college students. Data collected at MSU since l991 confirms this risk for MSU students, particularly in terms of the consequences of high risk use, including personal, social, and academic problems [Exhibit 3.12, Alcohol and Drug Use Data Since AY 1990-91]. The MSU Health Promotion office has initiated numerous programs to deal with these issues. These includes a unique peer education program in conjunction with the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) Wellness office:

        A pre-fall term experiential orientation which takes students to the mountains and rivers, and begins a leadership identification process at the freshmen level

        The MSU Challenge Course for leadership training

        Sexual assault advocacy and prevention programming

        Social marketing campaigns

Health Promotion's Insight program, self-funded by students who are found in violation of the University's alcohol policy [Exhibit 3.13, Student Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy], was the cornerstone of the original Health Promotions structure and remains one of the most effective programs on campus in terms of educating problem drinkers and, when necessary, moving them to treatment. This past term the Dean of Students office, the Greek Coordinator, and the Director of Health Promotions utilizing Greek Wellness Fund monies donated by supportive Greek Alumni have joined ranks to initiate a series of activities to address wellness issues among Greek students and to formally assess all fraternities and sororities to more accurately determine health and wellness levels and programmatic needs.

INFORMATION RESOURCES

Information on all of the above is available to both prospective and enrolled students in the MSU Bulletin and electronically on MSU's Web site. Academic coverage includes the following:

        Undergraduate admissions

        Admission as an undergraduate including freshmen, transfers, and international students

        Early admission

        Non-degree students

        Former MSU students

        Appeal of admission decisions

        Expenses

        Estimated expenses

        Credit limit policy

        Fee schedule

        Special fees and charges

        Special exemptions

        Refund of fees

        Financial aid and student employment

        Academic information including graduation requirements

        Residency for fee purposes

        Academic advisers

        Student records

        Graduation guarantee

        Registration and curriculum procedures

        Courses, credits, and grades

        Examinations

        Probation and suspension

        Graduation requirements

        Student life

        Residence halls

        Student services and activities

        University regulations

        Special academic opportunities including General Studies and Honors

        Programs of instruction (all undergraduate degree programs with options)

        CGS, including admission, degrees offered, and programs of instruction

        Course descriptions for all MSU courses

        Faculty

In addition, information normally found in a student handbook has been incorporated into the MSU Bulletin. Much of this information has also been included in each Schedule of Classes and on the MSU Web site. Table 3-04 illustrates the multiple locations of this information.


Table 3-04

LOCATION OF STUDENT REGULATIONS, POLICIES, AND ACTIVITIES

 

Regulation/Policy/Activity

MSU Bulletin

Schedule of Classes

 

MSU Web Site

Right of Appeal and Grievances Regulation

pp. 49

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwcat/studentlife/s tud4.html#Appeal

Student Academic and Conduct Guidelines Regulation

pp. 48

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfachb/policy/acguid e.html

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwfachb/policy /conduct.html

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy

pp. iii

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwaffrm/eoaatx t.htm#22

Alcohol/Drug/Tobacco Policy

pp. 49

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwfachb/policy /alcohol.html

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy

pp. iii

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwaffrm/eoaatx t.htm#20

Security Report Policy

pp. 49

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfachb/report/securit y.html

Sexual Assault Policy

pp. 49

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfachb/report/securit y.html#SEXUAL

Sexually Explicit Materials in the Workplace Policy

pp. iii

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwaffrm/eoaatx t.htm#212

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Intimidation Policy

pp. iii

pp. 111

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwaffrm/eoaatx t.htm#211

Student Government

pp. 45

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwasmsu/senat e.html

Student Organizations and Services

p. 45

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwasmsu/index.html

http://www.montana.edu/wwwstuac/

Athletics

pp. 47

http://www.msubobcats.com/

http://www.montana.edu/wwwimrec/

 

PROGRAM EVALUATION

The Division of Student Affairs at MSU conducts periodic and systematic evaluations of student services and programs. Different evaluation and assessment methodologies are employed across the division and, in many cases, are highly dependent on the national accreditation standards of an individual department's certifying agency. For example, student health services, counseling and psychological services, and athletics evaluate the appropriateness, adequacy, and utilization of their services according to the criteria established by their national accrediting boards [Exhibit 3.14, Department and Program Assessment].

Other departments (career services, student union, etc.) have advisory boards which include a diverse mix of students, faculty, staff, and outside community members who regularly advise the department and assess program efficacy. In addition to those formalized assessment processes, various departments survey students, faculty, and staff, as well as conduct internal evaluations with staff members and program participants. These more informal evaluation and feedback processes may take the form of discussions, office retreats, and individual meetings. This has allowed for on-going and recursive assessment throughout the division.

As indicated by the Faculty Survey [Appendix 1-K, Faculty Survey], many faculty are unaware of the services offered by Student Affairs. As such, it is critical that the division improve its efforts at communicating with those outside of the Student Affairs realm. Greater efforts need to be initiated which enhance and improve communication with faculty, staff, and students regarding the services and program available to them through the division. Additionally, more emphasis needs to be placed on the value these services provide to the full campus community. Current and future use of the Web site, other information technologies, and assorted publications will augment the campus-community communication process and further facilitate convenient access regarding the services, programs, and opportunities provided throughout the division.


ACADEMIC CREDIT AND RECORDS

Courses for credit are carefully screened for academic rigor and quality by the Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) and the Graduate Council (GC). The Registrar's office maintains records of such approval of course offerings and ensures that all courses have received proper approval. Academic requirements and policies are clearly stated in the MSU Bulletin, and specific graduation requirements for each degree are detailed. In recent years, the graduate and undergraduate policies and requirements have been combined into the MSU Bulletin to provide consistency for all students in meeting similar policy requirements.

In the past seven (7) years, Admissions and the Registrar's Office have been combined under one (1) administrative department. This has provided a more efficient flow of student records, transfer evaluations, and monitoring of university policies. The marketing aspects of Admissions are handled by the office of New Student Services (NSS).

The appropriate number of contact hours is carefully reviewed to ensure that the proper number of credits is granted for every course. Credits are granted in accordance with the 1999 NASC Accreditation Handbook glossary definition of units of credit. Courses are classified as lecture, laboratory, studio, recitation/discussion, seminar, independent study, or tutorial [Exhibit 3.15, Classification of Courses], and are credited accordingly.

An MSU transcript is an unabridged record of the student's academic history while attending MSU. Previous records that are on hard copy are all microfilmed and copies are placed in the library archives. Since 1988, student records have been maintained on-line with the Student Information System (SIS). Protection of student records in paper format is ensured by storing these files in one (1) of two (2) fireproof walk-in vaults located within the Registrar's Office. Transcripts are microfilmed in duplicate; one (1) copy is stored in a locked metal file within the Registrar's Office, and the other copy is stored at the Records Management Office in Helena.

The Registrar's Office manages the credit courses that are taught both through extension and regular resident credit. Separate transcripts are produced for extension courses, as well as graduate programs. Non-credit courses and Continuing Education Units (CEU) are also monitored through the departments, and records are kept in the Registrar's Office [Exhibit 3.16, Sample Transcripts Showing Designation of Extended Studies and Portfolio Course Work]. The Registrar's Office also keeps grade distributions for all courses offered [Exhibit 3.17, Example Grade Distributions].

Transfer credit is initially evaluated through the Admissions and Registrar's Office. A course-by-course evaluation is performed for each transfer transcript received. The student information system keeps a permanent record of each course evaluation which provides consistency in the transfer credit evaluation. All courses from all accredited colleges and universities are articulated in the MSU student information system. When an elective is given for a course, the department still has the prerogative to either reevaluate the course or substitute it for a degree requirement. Any appeals for transfer credit or any other academic policy are presented to the Admission and Graduation Requirements Board (GARC) which consists of the Registrar, the assistant dean of the student's college, and a representative from the Provost's Office.

The BOR approved a policy in 1996 [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy 301.10] which articulated the transferability of general education within Montana University System (MUS). Detail on this agreement can be found in Standard Two, pp. 22-24.

Presently, the University is going through a major change to a new information system, SCT Banner 2000 [Exhibit 3.18, Banner 2000 Implementation Project]. The decision to change to a new software system was driven by the need to have a common database within the MSU campuses, as well as to upgrade in preparation for the anticipated Y2K programming problem. The Banner software was selected because it is the system the University of Montana (UM) campuses were using, therefore it was logical to have the same software so a common database could be integrated.

For the past ten (10) years student records and information were maintained on the Information Associate (IA) system. The decentralization of information through the computer network allowed all departments to have easy access to student information, and also allowed departments to register their own students. The new Banner system will allow this process to continue, and make it easier for departments to write reports and disperse communication to students as well. Students will also have greater access to their own information through the development of Web access to grades, financial aid, and other relevant data.

Table 3-05 illustrates backup procedures used by the Information Technology Center (ITC) for students in electronic format. The ITC Disaster Plan suggests that those records are backed up in tape format and stored outside of a three (3)-mile radius of the University. At this time backup tapes are stored in the SUB; ITC is currently looking for an appropriate firm or agency with whom a reciprocal storage agreement can be made.

Table 3-05

PROTECTION OF STUDENT DATA IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT

Frequency

Duration

Backup

Daily

Every day for five (5) days

Incremental backup of all systems (any file changes made in previous 24-hour period)

Weekly

Every week for eight (8) weeks

Full save of entire file system

Monthly

Every two (2) months

Tape backup of entire file system (tapes are rotated on an eight (8)-week rotation schedule)

 

The CATLINE phone registration and grade access system has also been developed in the last six (6) years. This allows students to register via phone and adjust their schedules at their convenience. It has also eliminated the long lines and frustration of registering. A student accounts system also recently implemented gives students the convenience of receiving their fee statements through the mail with their financial aid package applied to their statement. The degree audit system is another example of a technological improvement. It gives students access to their own academic records, and therefore, the ability to determine any course deficiencies in their major area of study and in University requirements.

 

STUDENT SERVICES

The following student-oriented programs and services are overseen by Student Affairs. These programs and services support the land-grant mission of the University by addressing the varying intellectual, emotional, and cultural needs of students, and by providing a learning environment that is supportive of student educational achievements.

ADMISSIONS

MSU is a land-grant university which follows admission criteria set by the BOR of the Montana University System (MUS). These criteria are consistent with the University's mission of providing access to a wide variety of students both within the state of Montana and beyond. The admission criteria are listed in all recruitment publications, on the MSU Web site at MSU Info, and in the MSU catalog [Exhibit 3.19, Applying for Admission]. The policies are adhered to in evaluating applicants for admission and in making admission decisions.

The institution's admissions criteria are liberal enough that they do not exclude large numbers of prospective applicants. Adhering to the admissions criteria does not jeopardize ethnic, socio-economic, or religious diversity. Despite a lack of funding for concerted efforts to impact the campus culture, MSU does give attention to the needs of special populations [Exhibit 3.20, Special Population Enrollments Since AY 1990-91]. This attention is reflected both in policy and programming which address the needs of many special populations including the disabled, non-traditional age students, women, international students, Native Americans, and African Americans.

Table 3-06 illustrates applications received, students admitted, students denied, and students enrolled.

Table 3-06

ADMISSIONS REPORT

Fall 1998

1997-98

1996-97

1995-96

First time freshmen

applications received

 

3859

 

4106

 

4120

 

4197

       Admitted

 

 

 

 

       Denied

 

 

 

 

       Enrolled

2010

2140

2060

2055

Transfer applications

received

 

1509

 

2085

 

2254

 

2501

       Admitted

 

 

 

 

       Denied

 

 

 

 

       Enrolled

891

1210

1273

1405

Re-admission applications received

 

 

 

 

       Admitted

840

836

821

804

       Denied

 

 

 

 

       Enrolled

640

631

612

596


Graduate applications received

 

 

 

       Admitted

380

371

375

362

       Denied

87

81

83

84

       Enrolled

320

315

310

306

Non-degree applications received

 

 

 

 

       Admitted

93

91

91

87

       Denied

 

 

 

 

       Enrolled

81

81

74

72

The Student Right-to-Know Act of 1990 requires an institution participating in any student financial assistance program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to disclose graduation rates to current and prospective students. Rates have been calculated for each fall's entering class of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen, in accordance with the definitions established by the Student Right-to-Know Act. Retention rates are calculated from fall to fall. Graduation rates are cumulative; for any year, they include students who graduated fall, spring, or the following summer term.

Students who did not return to MSU did not necessarily drop out of school. Some of the non-returning students transferred to other colleges and universities. Others may have interrupted their college education by joining the military, the Peace Corps, or a church mission. MSU is not able to track non-returning students in a systematic way.

Retention and graduation rates are available for subsets of the entering freshman class. Rates by gender are available since fall 1990, and rates by residency status (residents, nonresidents, and Western Undergraduate Exchanges (WUE) are available since fall 1991 [Exhibit 3.21, Graduation and Retention Rates].

ORIENTATION

MSU has experienced an increase in fall freshmen enrollments by approximately 25% since the early l990's. This has, of course, placed increased demands upon university resources, course availability, facilities, and, in many instances, faculty and staff. Transfer enrollments have remained relatively stable throughout the l990's. Freshmen, transfer, and graduate orientation programs have been modified over the last five (5) years and now reflect programs that are much more substantive and timely.

Academic information and presentations on navigating the system, retention, rights and responsibilities, safety and security, and student extracurricular involvement are offered to new freshmen and parents during three (3) two (2)-and-a-half day summer orientation sessions. These programs are mandatory. Students receive notification and registration forms for Orientation in the mail once they have been admitted to MSU [Exhibit 3.22, Pre-Orientation Packet for Students].

Orientation is designed to inform the new freshman about all of the elements important to finding success as a college student. Opportunities are provided for students to discuss their academic future at MSU with faculty, staff, and student leaders. Sessions are conducted by orientation leaders who take a two (2)-credit, semester-long, graded course, HDCO 460 - Student Leader Training. Orientation leaders also participate in a half-day summer training session under the direction of the NSS Orientation Coordinator. At Orientation new freshmen receive a packet of information which includes:

        MSU Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin

        Current Schedule of Classes

        Campus map

        Personal Data Form (includes ACT/SAT scores if available, as well as Personal Identification Number (PIN) for registering)

        Core course worksheet

        Math flow chart for math placement (when using ACT/SAT scores)

        Section status report sample

        Fee payment information sheet

[See Exhibit 3.23, Orientation Packet for Students.]

Both writing and math placements take place during 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. Students place in math by either their ACT/SAT quantative scores or their scores on the ACT-Compass Exam. Further detail about both of these placement tests can be found in Standard Two, pp.82.

Parent orientation sessions are held concurrently with student orientation sessions in an effort to help parents "release" their students into college life. Parents also receive a unique packet of information which includes:

        List of all Student Affairs departments, purposes, and telephone numbers

        List of common questions and concerns

        Parent newsletter, "Parent Outlook"

        Confidentiality release form

[See Exhibit 3.24, Orientation Packet for Parents.]

The most outstanding institutional contribution and support of freshmen during orientation probably comes in the form of assurances of registration for desired courses for fall term, particularly for courses that fulfill the University's thirty-two (32) credit core curriculum requirement. A SWAT team consisting of the Registrar, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, an academic assistant dean, and a major advisor from General Studies (GENS) meet regularly during the summer and just prior to the final registration session fall term to ensure that a sufficient number and variety of core courses are available. This group has the power to increase departmental offerings.

Graduate Orientation is held each fall for all graduate students. The sessions have recently been redesigned to address a major problem identified by staff - graduate students have had difficulty understanding the importance of meeting deadlines even though this information is readily available in the MSU Bulletin and other materials they receive. The two (2)-day session now concentrates on getting registered, meeting deadlines, and where to go to get needed information. GTA's are required to attend the session because a special presentation is made by the Director of Affirmative Action on sexual harassment policies. The CGS is considering making Graduate Orientation mandatory for all graduate students.

The packet given to graduate students at orientation includes the following:

        MSU Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletin

        Current Schedule of Classes

        Campus map

        Recruitment brochure

[See Exhibit 3.25, Graduate Student Orientation Packet.]

A new graduate student orientation is currently being developed by the CGS for teachers attending MSU in the summer to either take CEUs or work towards their Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree. This orientation is in response to feedback from these teachers concerning their perceived lack of consideration as legitimate graduate students. This orientation was piloted in 1999 and was very successful based on comments from participants.

Transfer orientation is now structured so transfer transcripts can be evaluated, registration can be accomplished, and critical institutional information and processes can be inculcated during a one (1)-day pre-arranged student visit to the campus. This summer visit is scheduled at the student's convenience. In addition, a fall series of follow-up programs are presented which augment the one (1)-day visits.

The International Student Orientation program has been expanded in time, content, and acclimation experiences and, in addition, has recently integrated its program at key points with the regular fall orientation for freshmen/transfer students. This has been a simple solution to previous autonomous offerings. Athletes now have an expanded special orientation program and a full-time academic advisor along with increased emphasis on full attendance in the regular summer and/or fall two (2)-and-a-half day programs. The veterans are offered both a "live" orientation program or a video taped version which is mandatory prior to receiving benefits. The non-traditional student population over twenty-five (25), referred to as Students Over Traditional Age (SOTA), may attend a specialized two (2)-and-a-half day program (Return To Learn) prior to their first term at MSU. All of these programs are evaluated by the students, and changes in the programs are regularly incorporated as a result of these evaluations.

ADVISING

The University Bulletin, Schedule of Classes, individual department advising services, GENS, and the continually updated MSU Web site are the mediums used to inform students of course prerequisites, university policies, and degree requirements so they are aware of their academic degrees and registration requirements. There is also an emphasis on advising within the departments to assist students and keep them on the proper course toward their educational goals. In an institution of this size, with many faculty and staff involved in advising students, it becomes essential that information about academic matters is made clear to avoid confusion.

Academic departments are responsible for working with students and guiding them through the course and degree requirements. Each department has an advising plan which includes an advising policy, recent advising changes, and future advising plans [Exhibit 2.39, Advising for Undergraduate Majors].

The Registrar and Admissions office reviews and counsels students on University policies such as core requirements, maximum credit policies, and minimum GPA requirements. Course registration and drop/add procedures are coordinated from the Registrar's Office through the departments and the academic Assistant Deans within the colleges.

GENS advises all non-declared majors and any other student on campus who needs individual advising beyond the available departmental advising. GENS provides guidance to students concerning academic goals through counseling, teaching, and advising to encourage confident and independent action through the development of academic skills [Exhibit 3.26, General Studies].

The academic assistant deans, along with the Registrar and Admission staff, are continually evaluating the clarity of the communication process. When problems and exceptions detrimental to students are identified, there are sufficient student appeal processes in place to avoid penalization for lack of proper information and for misinformation about requirements.

Generally students move smoothly through the system. A review of the few exceptions to determine whether a problem is due to their error or the University's is given very careful and thoughtful analysis through the in-place appeal process.

SCHOLASTIC PROBATION AND SUSPENSION

When a student's GPA falls below 2.00, the record of the student is reviewed by the University's Scholastic Appeals Board [Exhibit 3.27, Scholastic Appeals Board]. The board meets between semesters and at other times as needed to act upon individual cases recommended for either suspension or transfer out of a curriculum. The board has the authority to:

        Suspend a student from the University for scholastic reasons

        Reinstate a student who has been suspended for scholastic reasons

        Require a student to transfer out of a curriculum with the consent of both colleges involved

There are six (6) levels of academic standing as shown in Table 3-07.

Table 3-07

LEVELS OF ACADEMIC STANDING

Good

A student has both a term GPA and cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 or better, or is a new student (transfer students may be admitted on university probation)

College Probation

A student in "good" standing has received the first term GPA between 1.00 and 1.99

Continuous College

Probation

A student previously on College Probation has raised the term GPA above 2.00, but the cumulative GPA is not above 2.00

University Probation

A student previously on University Probation has raised the term GPA above 2.00, but the cumulative GPA is not above 2.00 nor has the student received a term GPA between 0.00 and 0.99 after being in "good" standing

Suspended Warning

A student has received a term GPA less than 2.00 for the past two (2) terms; one (1) more term with a GPA less than 2.00 will result in suspension

Suspension

Students will be required to sit out one (1) term on their first suspension and one (1) year on their second suspension; third suspensions will be handled on an appeal basis only

A student who has been suspended may appeal the suspension if she/he believes there were extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control of which the Scholastic Appeals Board was unaware when it reached its decision.

A student who was suspended for the first time is automatically reinstated after one (1) semester has elapsed. In order to enroll again at MSU, a suspended student must submit an Intent to Register form to the Registrar's Office. After a second suspension, one (1) academic year must elapse before the student will be reinstated, again with submission of an Intent to Register form.

 

ASMSU

ASMSU exists to provide three (3) essential elements to a rewarding college experience: representation, education, and both entertainment and service programs. ASMSU's primary goal is to enable students to use their own skills and abilities to have a beneficial impact on MSU. ASMSU has twenty-five (25) committees and programs designed to provide students with the skills necessary to learn, grow, and ensure that all MSU students receive the full benefit of the student activity fee. The committees are administered by the ASMSU President, Vice-President, and Business Manager.

[See Exhibit 3.28, ASMSU.]

The governing body of ASMSU, the Senate, consists of twenty-one (21) students. The Senate's major responsibility is the allocation of almost $750,000 to the ASMSU committees. ASMSU has a Finance Board made up six (6) students and three (3) faculty who advise the senate in this process.

The Senate is supported by two (2) committees. The Constitutional Audit Committee is responsible for ensuring that all legislative actions taken by the Senate are not in violation of ASMSU's Constitution. The Stipend Review Committee is responsible for appropriating annual salaries of over $81,000 to over eighty (80) ASMSU committee personnel and executive members.

ASMSU is overseen by full-time legal counsel. Student representatives on most campus-wide committees are selected by the ASMSU president.

MSU BOOKSTORE

The MSU Bookstore, Inc., in operation since 1931, is incorporated and separate from the University. Even though it is financially and operationally independent from the University, it supports the University's goals and programs. The Bookstore is governed by an elected Board of Directors consisting of three (3) faculty and three (3) students and is chaired by the University's Vice-President of Administration and Finance. Faculty and students are shareholders in the non-profit corporation and any profits are rebated to the shareholders by giving discounts on textbooks and trade books. The Board sets policy and Bookstore employees implement it. The mission of the MSU Bookstore reads:

        The Montana State University Bookstore, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the goals of the University by satisfying customer needs with the best possible service, products and prices in a customer-friendly environment.

The MSU Bookstore provides a comprehensive and diverse offering of goods, services, information, and advice to the University community. These resources directly and indirectly support and enhance academic course work and life within the University community. The Bookstore serves as a public focal point, enhancing the image of the University by reflecting its commitment to learning.

[See Exhibit 3.29, MSU Bookstore.]

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS AND MEDIA

ASMSU owns and operates the student newspaper, the EXPONENT, and the student radio station, KGLT.

 

The EXPONENT provides up-to-date coverage of news, sports, arts, and a variety of other events happening on or near MSU. The EXPONENT seeks to provide a forum for students to exchange views on events that affect them. The student newspaper also employs forty (40) students as writers, editors, and production staff for an opportunity to learn advanced newspaper procedures, layouts, graphics, and management. The EXPONENT is published twice weekly during the academic year [Exhibit 3.30, EXPONENT].

KGLT is the campus alternative radio station. Anyone can work at KGLT, including students and community members. KGLT has volunteer DJ's and a professional and a student paid executive staff. The station has an apprentice class that begins every school year which prepares volunteers for on-air announcing. Operational funding comes from ASMSU, area businesses, and listeners. KGLT also organizes a Policy Board comprised of twelve (12) students and six (6) community members who set the direction for the future of the station [Exhibit 3.31, KGLT].

Both KGLT and the EXPONENT have always been treated by MSU as separate and autonomous entities; therefore, no formalized institutional policy regarding their relationship to the University exists.


ADVANCE BY CHOICE

Advance By Choice (ABC), a very successful Federal Title IV academic support program, has three (3) major goals:

        To increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible students

        To increase the transfer rate of eligible students from two (2)-year to four (4)-year institutions

        To foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income/first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities

As a federally funded program, ABC is required to document and report students served, student need for services, and the impact of services provided. ABC has developed a detailed application process that includes documentation of family income and certification for students with disabilities. Academic need for program services for all participants is also assessed and documented. This process consists of a personal interview, and a review of the students. academic history and various study skills and learning styles assessments. The program also administers a yearly student satisfaction survey and obtains student evaluations for workshops, tutoring, and course offerings. Students regularly rate program services above average. This program works closely with the Resource Center to provide additional support services for the disabled.

Since l990, ABC has incorporated thirteen (13) major programmatic processes related to measurement, assessment, and evaluation. These include:

        Modification of data collection

        Development of a student needs assessment instrument to determine need and follow up action plans

        Revision of writing assessment

        Researching and applying the results of the learning preference of students in the program to develop a new instrument for the exit assessment of basic reading class and basic writing class

[See Exhibit 3.32, Advance By Choice.]

CAREER SERVICES

Career Services offers a full range of career planning and placement services to students, alumni, the campus, and prospective students. Fundamental offerings of the service component of the office include:

        Individual and group career counseling

        Career workshops which range from instructing students on electronic/scannable resumes to job hunting, interviewing, and internships

        Assessment utilizing the Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs, Discover, and the Montana Career Information System, located in Renne Library on personal computers

Career Services has experienced continued and growing success with critical placement programs and services. Internships, career fairs, and on-campus recruiting services are highly sought by students, and reflect a highly organized and efficient, forward-thinking department office well utilized by students.

Career Services lists and schedules on-campus interviews for internships and summer jobs, and each spring semester the office helps coordinate a summer job fair. Related opportunities are advertised in appropriate academic departments and at the office. Student employment is processed at the Financial Aid office. During the l997/98 year, Career Services hosted 157 recruiters for a total of 2,746 interviews, an increase of 35% over the previous year. The number of companies recruiting was up 25% over the previous year. The engineering and business disciplines are by far the most highly recruited. For the last eleven (11) years, Career Services has organized a major campus Career Fair held in early fall just prior to the start of on-campus interviews. One hundred thirty-one (131) organizations (28% above l998) attended and met 2,632 students to discuss their opportunities for careers, internships, and summer employment. Job vacancy bulletins and listings were computerized during the l998/99 academic year.

Each year Career Services conducts a survey of the previous year's graduates, including all degree recipients at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. In l997, the report had a 48% response rate. Eighty-two percent (82%) of bachelor's graduates and 81% of master's and doctoral graduates reported full-time employment in work related to their degrees or in fields of their choice. Data on all respondents in each academic program, including job titles, employers, salaries, and job or graduate school locations are available on the Career Services site. This data is used often by Admissions representatives.

Career Services is a heavily utilized department with serious staffing and funding shortages. Only a professional staff of two (2) is available for contact with any day's percentage of the year's nearly 12,000 alumni, prospective students, and a large number of employers. Professional staff efforts are supported by three (3) full-time clerical staff, approximately ten (10) work study students, and two (2) graduate student interns. The facilities are crowded, but modern and pleasant.

The programs and services are well evaluated. Survey data of l997 registered students, services, and the Career Fair is available [Exhibit 3.33, Career Services Survey]. Data regarding student interviews and recruiter evaluations is also available.

In addition to the main office, the Career Services director has responsibility for the Office of Community Involvement which is staffed by one (1) professional, a part-time clerical staff, a graduate assistant, and student labor. These offices have a related mission of providing opportunities for students. personal and academic growth and career potential, and were aligned one (1) year ago.

[See Exhibit 3.34, Career Services.]

CENTER FOR NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES

The Center for Native American Studies and its student advisor, while not directly affiliated with the division of Student Affairs, works closely with the Student Affairs' offices and staff. This academic department has its own student support center which is critical to the segment of the University's student population which is vulnerable to attrition factors. The Center is, therefore, dedicated to its own specialized orientation program, freshmen experience course, and monitoring of students who are not succeeding academically and/or personally.

[See Exhibit 3.35, Center for Native American Studies.]

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

The OCI is involved in and supports a variety of programs and projects focused around community involvement. The OCI acts as a liaison between MSU and approximately sixty (60) local non-profit/service-oriented agencies and organizations.

The OCI provides the following services:

        Supports student-initiated community involvement by providing resource and coordination assistance

        Maintains a monthly-updated listing of local volunteer activities

        Acts as a liaison between faculty, students, and community agencies

        Provides service learning resources electronically to students and faculty; in addition to the comprehensive list of links provided on their Web page, the OCI maintains an extensive library of materials and information on-site

        Conducts faculty workshops on integrating community involvement into University courses

        Develops and/or implements a variety of programs which involve students and faculty in community involvement

        Collaborates with other departments, outreach services, and student organizations at MSU such as Career Services, Residence Life, and ASMSU

The OCI supports the following programs:

        AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is the nation-wide service organization which provides living stipends and educational awards for adults willing to volunteer their time to service. All volunteers within the OCI are AmeriCorps members.

        America Reads Challenge. America Reads is a nation-wide effort to utilize community volunteers to help children learn to read well and on their own by the end of the third grade.

        Breaks Away. The OCI sponsors winter and spring break community involvement trips to locations such as California, Arizona, and Mexico.

        Into the Streets. Twice a year (fall and spring semesters) the OCI sponsors a giant "involvement fair" which gives local non-profit agencies and organizations a platform to discuss their needs with MSU students/faculty and recruit them as volunteers.

        Project grants and faculty fellows. The OCI provides a variety of project funding for faculty and student contributions to community involvement, such as the Science, English, Architecture, Math, and Computer Science (SEAMS) programs.

        Montana Campus Corps. MSU is a member of the Montana Campus Compact, and in turn, an affiliate of Montana Campus Corps. Montana Campus Corps assists Campus Compact member institutions in developing service programs within their campus.

        Simple Meals. This MSU-based program allows students and faculty to feed the needy by voluntarily donating a few extra cents when they purchase a meal at a SUB eating establishment.

[See Exhibit 3.36, Community Involvement.]

COUNSELING SERVICES

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services addresses the psychological needs of students directly through growth-promoting and therapeutic services, and indirectly by impacting the student's various campus environments. The services provided are designed to respond to the mental health needs of students and to contribute integrally toward the achievement of the larger goals of the University.

Direct approaches which encourage student growth include a wide range of interpersonal programs including personal skill workshops, specific issue-oriented groups, and the training of para-professionals. The Center also responds to specific needs of student groups at their request. An equally vital part of the direct contact phase of the Center's mission deals with behavioral emergencies, provision of short-term counseling, and therapeutic intervention for students with the staff of other offices within Student Affairs.

The Center also serves the division by working to improve the various environments in which students function. It identifies and attempts to change situations which reinforce feelings of alienation or passivity on the part of the student. To this end, consultation services are available to staff members of any unit, whether teaching or service, who wish to develop programs which affect the general climate of the learning or social environment on campus. These services are readily available to all students, although limited resources, in conjunction with a high demand for services, have resulted in ongoing waiting lists for counseling.

Approximately two (2) years ago, Counseling and Psychological Services established a self-help sixty (60) page Web site which has proven very successful. Plans are in the offing to place self-assessment tools on the Web as well. The office is in need of expansion and upgrades in hardware and software to meet staff requirements and certification demands. It is moving to meet these requirements.

An exciting outreach service through the Center's Doctoral Internship program with several of Montana's Indian reservations has been developed. The rotations of the interns have been adjusted to include on-site, summer training opportunities on four (4) reservations. The interns are jointly supervised by a local psychologist and a staff member at the MSU Center. This program has provided meaningful cultural awareness and insights for the interns and contributes toward the improvement of institutional relationships with the reservations' professionals and their people.

[See Exhibit 3.37, The Counseling Center.]

DEAN OF STUDENTS

The Dean of Students works with the Vice President for Student Affairs in the development and articulation of issues and policies which have division, campus, and system-wide implications. The Dean exercises day-to-day supervision over programs such as Orientation, Financial Aid, and Career Services. Additionally, the Dean serves as the primary advocate for students and student needs in the development of programs and services which support the academic mission of the institution.

Specific student issues for which the Dean of Students has responsibility include:

        Extenuating personal circumstances beyond the student's control

        Student conduct [Exhibit 3.08, Student Conduct Code]

        Academic honesty and integrity, and disciplinary sanctions for violation

        University withdrawals, drops, and "incomplete" grades

 

[See Exhibit 3.38, Dean of Students.]

FAMILY HOUSING

Family and Graduate Housing offers affordable, convenient housing located within walking/biking distance from the main campus. Family Housing is primarily intended for MSU married students, students with dependent children or parents, or students with disabilities who require a live-in personal care attendant. Students with legal dependents are eligible to live in the two (2)- and three (3)-bedroom apartments and houses.

Regularly enrolled, single graduate students (with no legal dependents) are eligible to reside in designated graduate student housing. Graduate students may choose either to live alone in the one (1)-bedroom graduate towers, or with a same-gender roommate in a two (2)-bedroom apartment.


In order to be eligible to live in Family and Graduate Housing, the student tenant must enroll for a minimum of nine (9) undergraduate credits or five (5) graduate credits per semester. Temporary housing is also provided for post-doctorate fellows for one (1) year, and for new and visiting faculty or staff for six (6) months. Residents are not required to enroll for credits during summer session, provided they enroll in the minimum required credits for the fall semester.

The Family and Graduate Housing Office is presently staffed by five (5) classified employees, a director, and twenty (20) part-time students.

[See Exhibit 3.39, Family Housing.]

FINANCIAL AID SERVICES

In order to provide a full range of financial aid resources for its students, MSU not only participates in all federal student aid programs as authorized by Congress, but in various state financial aid programs as well. In addition, the institution has established, through the University Foundation, comprehensive grant and scholarship programs, not only to assist students who need financial aid, but to recognize students with academic ability and special talents. By participation in these programs, the institution is able to encourage students to continue their education beyond high school or to return as adult learners. While every effort is made to provide a balance of financial aid including loans, grants, and work, limited grant and scholarship funds place a heavy reliance on loans for students who need financial assistance.

During the past ten (10) years, the number of financial aid applications received from students and parents has almost doubled, with the amount of financial aid increasing from approximately $19,000,000 to $50,000,000. Funding for operations which includes postage and publications has decreased approximately 13.5% during the same ten (10)-year period and the number of staff has decreased by one (1) FTE. If adequate funding cannot be provided, then the number and mix of federal, state, and institutional aid programs must be closely examined to possibly reduce the number of programs and amount of service now being provided. Such action would be designed to sustain requisite services and avoid potential fiscal liabilities.

Regarding institution-wide coordination of all financial aid awards, BOR policy for the institution states the financial aid director at the institution shall authorize disbursement [Exhibit 2.01, BOR Policy]. In addition, no notice or authorization of financial aid assistance, including institutional scholarships, is communicated to a student except by authorization of the Financial Aid Office.

In cooperation with NSS, financial aid and scholarship information including scholarship applications are included in the MSU Viewbook and Application [Exhibit 3.40, MSU Viewbook and Application]. This practical resource is made available to all prospective freshmen and transfer students who apply for admission and scholarships at the institutional, college, or departmental level. In addition, the scholarship information and institutional scholarship application forms can be accessed and submitted through the MSU Web site. Returning students are advised to apply for scholarships by completing a free federal application for financial aid and/or by completing the appropriate college or departmental scholarship form. By including a standard freshman/transfer scholarship application in the Viewbook and on the Web, a user-friendly process has been created for new freshmen and transfer applicants.

As a Direct Lending Institution and an Experimental Site Institution, MSU's Financial Aid office takes considerable care in monitoring the student loan program and the institutional default rate. In order to achieve and maintain the lowest possible default rate, innovative procedures have been developed for both new borrowers and for borrowers entering repayment status.

Loan borrowers are given several options with regard to loan counseling. They can attend information sessions presented by staff or they can choose to receive counseling materials through the mail should they be unable to attend a regularly scheduled information session. In addition, entrance and exit counseling and required documentation are provided on the Web through the Financial Aid Office home page. Providing loan counseling on the Web allows students to absorb information at their own pace and provides required documentation electronically. It also allows parents to become involved in loan entrance counseling sessions to improve their understanding of loan programs and the implications of loan indebtedness. Regardless of which loan counseling alternative a student chooses, the Financial Aid Office staff is available to answer questions over the phone, in the office, or via e-mail. Inquiries resulting from the various loan counseling methods are responded to promptly within twenty-four (24) hours.

Having alternative loan counseling procedures in place to accommodate students' varied schedules appears to be working well. The most recent default rate for the Federal Direct Student Loan Program is 5.3% and the Federal Perkins Loan Program is 6.2%.

[See Exhibit 3.41, Financial Aid Services.]

FOOD SERVICES

MSU manages and operates its own food services and offers a variety of food service options to residence hall students, off-campus students, faculty, and staff. In addition to daily operations, University Food Service (UFS) provides dining to residence hall students in three (3) modern cafeterias and six (6) retail outlets in the SUB, and also operates concessions, catering, and The Habit Restaurant. UFS provides an extensive summer conference food service. University Catering offers catering from coffee breaks to high-end private dining for dignitaries, and is considered to be the best catering operation in the area.

Meals are prepared under the supervision of professionally trained food service managers. A registered dietician is on staff to meet with students concerning dietary needs. Additionally, UFS works closely with the Student Health Services (SHS) dietician and the Institutional Food Management faculty in Family and Consumer Sciences.

UFS has established a very positive reputation. Results of surveys, student comments, and solicited feedback continue to show strong acceptance of the campus food service. In a student survey conducted November 1997, 63% of the students responded and rated the residence hall dining operation as above average [Exhibit 3.42, Food Service Survey]. The new Bobcat Court in the SUB was awarded the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) grand prize as the best new cash operation in the United States for 1997.
In the residence hall dining areas, students are offered a wide variety of entrees at every meal, along with the standard hamburger, taco, and salad bars. Students learn to assess their individual needs in terms of food quantity by the "all-you-can-eat" philosophy of the food service. Costs are kept to the minimum necessary to provide adequate staff and appropriate variety, quantity, and quality of food.

The three (3) major dining halls on campus (Hedges, Hannon, and Harrison) are all attractive, brightly lit, comfortable places to eat. Each is of adequate size to allow students to dine at a comfortable pace without having to spend long periods of time in line. Improvements to each of the facilities are made periodically in order to maintain modern, clean, and comfortable facilities. The Miller Food Service facility (in Hedges Hall) was renovated in 1992 and the Hannon Food Service facility was remodeled in 1996. The Harrison west dining room was given a face lift in 1998, and the east dining room will be given a similar face lift in 1999. The SUB dining areas have received renovations in the Bobcat Court, done in 1997; and the Union Market Grill and Sweet Shop, in 1998.

[See Exhibit 3.43, Food Services.]

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

MSU provides health care, including prevention and health promotion services, through its SHS. The SHS is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), and works in partnership with MSU students and faculty/staff in other departments to build a healthy campus community. Clinical services include primary health care services, a clinical laboratory, radiology services, a nutritionist, and a pharmacy. The SHS also provides dental services related to preventive care and dental emergencies.

During the academic year, to accommodate students with urgent medical problems, the SHS stays open in the evenings until 7:00 p.m., and is open on Saturday and Sunday mornings. When the SHS is closed, students are directed to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital which has a twenty-four (24) hour emergency room.

The SHS has a well established Health Promotion department which is charged with addressing the common but serious health problems associated with student alcohol use, sexuality, eating disorders, and lifestyle. These health-choice issues are behavior-based and need to be dealt with as on-going challenges to the campus environment.

The SHS is funded by a pre-paid health fee which all students taking seven (7) or more credits are required to pay. In addition, there are some service fees for lab, x-ray, nutrition, dental, and pharmacy services. To ensure that students have access to health services that the SHS does not provide (i.e., specialists and inpatient services), MSU requires that all students taking seven (7) or more credits have some form of health insurance. Students who are not otherwise covered are automatically enrolled in an insurance plan sponsored by MSU. Approximately one-third of MSU students participate in the MSU plan.

Overall, the SHS is in a relatively strong position. The SHS meets national health care accreditation standards, has a stable, well qualified staff, and has strong student and administrative support. Challenges include:

        Relatively low salaries for health care providers/technicians which makes recruiting difficult when there is turnover

        Difficulty in increasing the health fee to keep up with rising costs

        Aging plant and equipment for which there is no ready source of capital for renovation and replacement

        An inefficiently designed health care facility

        Increasing need to find funds for information technology (i.e., software and hardware) which is needed to provide for more efficient administrative support in areas such as patient records, insurance, and accounting

The SHS will continue to work with university and state administrators for mechanisms to increase the pay rates for health care professionals and to fund capital expenses, as well as on-going operations. These are issues not only for MSU, but for college health services across the nation. The fact that the SHS is AAAHC accredited, that a recent survey indicated that over 95% of the students are pleased with its services [Exhibit 3.44, Student Health Services Survey], and that the University administration supports its campus presence, puts the SHS in a good position to address these challenges.

[See Exhibit 3.45, Student Health Services.]

 

INTRAMURALS/RECREATON

The MSU intramurals program, funded through student fees and faculty/staff user fees, is one of the most active and viable recreation programs in the region. Blessed with adequate-to-good facilities, an involved and industrious staff, cooperative management of space shared with athletics and the College of Education's department of Health and Human Development (HHD), and good equipment, the program touches the lives of at least three-quarters of MSU's student population yearly. Over sixty (60) organized sports and activities are offered each year with divisions in most sports, and activities for men, women, and co-ed participation. The portion of the program requiring sign-up for participation involved over 50% of the student body in l997/98. In a recent survey, 58% of students reported using recreational and intramural programs and services [Exhibit 3.46, Intramurals/Recreation Survey]. This compares with a national average for intramural participation of about 44%. Additionally, about l,000 students use the facilities each day for open recreation in basketball, weight lifting, swimming, etc. Also, over 500 students participate each semester in aerobics classes offered each day. The intramural program is staffed by two (2) master's level professionals, two (2) bachelor's level professionals, a full-time administrative assistant, and over 150 student employees who serve as equipment checkers, lifeguards, aerobic instructors, office assistants, referees, and gym and field monitors.

As a result of a self study review which the division was involved in four (4) years ago [Exhibit 3.47, Intramurals/Recreation Self-Study], a greater role has been established for students, through ASMSU, in the management and direction of the program. Through a memorandum of understanding among the Dean of Students Office, the Department of Intramurals and Recreation, and ASMSU, the students will have a greater role in all aspects of the program to include specific program direction, utilization of fees, and selection and evaluation of staff. The Intramural professional staff and student government leadership holds a great deal of mutual respect for one another which contributes, year after year, to a healthy, predictable, and productive program.

While team sport competition has declined over the last several years, individual sports, pick-up competition, wellness work, and a myriad of training opportunities have collectively placed a high demand on these facilities. Consequently the program is open seven (7) days a week and all weekends with the exception of major holidays. Among students who claim to have participated (58% of 871 students surveyed this past year) 92% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the programs and services. Less than 2% expressed dissatisfaction.

[See Exhibit 3.48, Intramurals/Recreation.]

MULTICULTURAL CENTER

In the past two (2) years special attention was turned toward African American students, athletes in particular, to determine their needs. A number of the students had been lobbying the institution for responses to certain inadequacies which they felt existed on campus and in our community. Student Activities, Health Promotions, International Education, and the Dean of Student's office took the lead and did a qualitative analysis of this cohort [Exhibit 3.49, Multicultural Needs Analysis]. The results indicated several high need areas, one of which was a center or space that felt special, safe, and open to them. The Multicultural Center was born in 1997 and received $7,500 from central administration to begin operations. This center is staffed by peers along with professional staff who volunteer hours.

The Multicultural Center has extended the welcoming hand to our Native American and gay/lesbian students as well. This fledgling center holds much promise for the students and for MSU; continued funding is imperative for its future success.

[See Exhibit 3.50, Multicultural Center.]

 

NEW STUDENT SERVICES

The NSS staff prepares an annual marketing plan which details the goals and activities associated with the MSU recruitment and orientation programs [Exhibit 3.51, New Student Services Marketing Plan]. The University is fortunate to attract large numbers of prospective students. Each year, the prospective student database grows to some 40,000 names. Approximately 2,300 freshmen and 1,000 transfers can be expected to enroll in an academic year. In keeping with MSU's goal to recruit students from diverse backgrounds, two (2) new positions have been created within NSS. First, a minority recruiter travels throughout Montana to Indian and white high schools (with large minority populations) and Tribal Colleges to provide information about MSU. The person in this position also interacts with MSU minority project directors to identify prospective minority students. The recruiter works to identify and maintain contact with minority students who are considering a college education. Phone calls, written correspondence, e-mail, and campus visitations are part of the communication plan established for prospective minority students.  

Second, NSS also employs a half-time international student recruiter. This person is responsible for extensive international travel, recruitment communications, campus/community acclimation, and follow up personal support work with international students throughout their tenure at MSU.

[See Exhibit 3.52, New Student Services.]

OFFICE OF RETENTION

The OR, established in fall 1998, seeks to support the tripartite mission of MSU through a wide range of activities designed to promote student persistence. The primary purpose of the OR is to facilitate the academic and social integration of students at MSU so that each student is afforded the opportunity to attain the intellectual and personal growth within her/his capacity.

Retention is not the founding goal of the program. Rather, the OR's goal is the facilitate the connections, intervention, and integration of students at MSU through the promotion of student success. The OR has a three-fold goal:

        To maintain a steadfast commitment to each student served

        To create and develop a supportive educational and social community which successfully integrates all students as viable members

        To educate all, not just some, of the students at MSU

Goal attainment is evidenced through an annual report distributed to a wide range of university constituents ranging from the Vice President for Student Affairs to the various college deans, as well as faculty and staff participating in the program. The report utilizes the retention and graduation rate information generated by the IR office and supplements this quantitative information with the results from a mid-year qualitative study conducted with program participants to ascertain their level of satisfaction with the CSI and other services provided by the OR. Program evaluation is recursive. Feedback is regularly solicited from faculty, staff, administrators, and students, and incorporated into the programs as fiscal and human resource constraints allow.

[See Exhibit 3.53, Office of Retention.]

RESIDENCE LIFE

The Residence Life program exists as an integral part of the educational program and academic support services of the institution. The departmental mission includes:

        Provision for reasonably priced living environments which are clean, attractive, well maintained, comfortable, and safe

        Insurance of orderly and effective administration of the program through efficient management

        Provision for a learning environment, along with related co-curricular programs, which promote maturity and are grounded in human and student developmental theories

MSU provides residence halls on campus for approximately 3,250 students. In the past four (4) years, two (2) new state-of-the-art residence halls have been constructed housing l70 students. Computer access to the network through "Res Net" along with long distance service and cable television have become luxury additions to the individual rooms.

The Residence Life operation encompasses a total of 809,505 square feet and l,850 individual student rooms. The custodial staff consists of twenty-nine (29) FTE and one (1) custodial supervisor. Full service is provided to public areas five (5) days a week with reduced weekend services. A call-out procedure is in place if additional personnel are required. The Residence Life staff conducts six (6) individual room inspections and public area inventories annually. All maintenance work is coordinated through the Residence Life maintenance supervisor to MSU Facilities Services.

Residence Life supervises application forms, lease forms, individual room assignments, and roommate assignments. Lease and application forms are reviewed and revised each year with attention to national trends, new state and federal laws, and individual student interest items.

In addition to the management of the infrastructure, the department expends resources to provide students with developmental programs and support services. Program efforts are centered on the student (and family) and are focused on a wellness model. All program efforts are designed to promote a balanced lifestyle in support of the University's mission and are concentrated on intellectual, social, physical, cultural, and emotional needs.

During the academic year, the desk operation provides twenty-four (24) hour service during the week, with reduced hours on the weekends. Approximately 120 student desk clerks are selected, trained, and supervised and, along with one (1) classified administrative aide per building, provide front desk services, including equipment checkouts. Additionally, the desk manages the U.S. Postal Service and UPS deliveries. The desk team maintains weekly room key inventories, collects sales and services revenue, and maintains the integrity of the 10:00 p.m. lock-down and guest check-in policy.

Table 3-08 illustrates Residence Life demographics for fall 1998.

 

Table 3-08

FALL 1998 RESIDENCE LIFE DEMOGRAPHICS

Students Housed

Female

Male

Freshmen

Sophomores

Juniors

Seniors

2,800

43%

57%

67%

19%

9%

5%

Residence Life is essentially a twenty-four (24) hour a day, seven (7) day per week teaching and learning lab that employs approximately 240 students, seventeen (17) classified employees, a director, and an assistant director. The educational and experiential requirements for employment are consistent with national trends for Resident Assistants (RA), Resident Directors (RD), directors, and assistant directors. Classified personnel are hired and evaluated within the framework managed through the MSU Employee Relations and Services Office. An extensive position description is on file for each position.

Residence Life conducts a lengthy selection process for the RA positions. During 1998 Spring semester, 257 students picked up applications for the approximately fifty (50) positions becoming available that fall. Once a student is hired, Residence Life provides comprehensive staff development and peer advisor training programs for the hall staff. This is accomplished by developing, presenting, and facilitating spring and fall RA camps; teaching three (3) sections of an RA class that receives academic credit; and conducting monthly in-service training opportunities. Depending upon employees. adjustment to and success on the job, evaluations are conducted one (1) to four (4) times annually. The evaluations are inclusive of feedback from students, self evaluations, and a performance appraisal from the immediate supervisor.

The department is responsible for the collection and evaluation of annual student satisfaction surveys. In l998, a sixty (60)-question random sample survey of 555 students was administered to assess the student satisfaction level with staff, programs, and services. Results from the survey were overwhelmingly positive. Between 84% and 96% agreed that:

        Residence halls were safe

        Desk personnel were competent, helpful, friendly, and receptive to student needs

        They knew their RD's and felt that all matters pertaining to the floor were attended to fairly

        RA's cared about the students and were positive role models

        There was an effective system in place to handle student discipline

[See Exhibit 3.54, Residence Life Survey.]

In addition to the annual student satisfaction survey, a performance appraisal is conducted twice per semester that includes feedback from students on the following areas: desk service, RA performance, maintenance, and custodial services. Residence Life utilizes the information from evaluations, student satisfaction surveys, and exit surveys, in conjunction with student and staff input, to modify policies, procedures, and living options for upcoming years.

One of the goals of Residence Life is to provide programs and activities that will benefit the students and supplement the out-of-classroom education. The staff focuses on a combination of topics and issues that are relevant

to students. personal, social, emotional, and academic development in which there is group interest. During the l997/98 academic year, there were 549 prepared educational programs with 6,880 students in attendance. In addition, during Alcohol Awareness Week (l998), seventy-five (75) programs were attended by 2,352 students.

Student conduct is a crucial component in student development and in maintaining a healthy living environment for the residents. During l997/98, a total of 789 hearings were conducted representing 1,274 documented incidents and involving l,976 students. The primary violations were related to alcohol, disruptive behavior, noise, and visitation policy transgressions.

Family and Graduate Housing with its 704 one (1)-, two (2)- and three (3)-bedroom homes is conveniently located on fifty (50) acres of real estate in the northwest corner of campus. It provides safe, desirable, and affordable living accommodations for students with legal dependents, post-doctoral fellows, new and visiting faculty and staff families, and single graduate students. In addition to housing, the complex provides services and amenities in support of the academic success of a diverse, non-traditional student population. The Family and Graduate Housing Office is presently staffed with five (5) classified employees, a director, and twenty-three (23) part time student staff.

In 1997/98, an exit survey was conducted for all departing Family and Graduate Housing occupants. A total of 479 residents reported the following positive results (between 86% and 98% satisfaction):

        Cleanliness of apartments

        Feeling safe and secure

        Found grounds to be appealing

        Found the staff to be friendly

The average length of stay was 2.04 years [Exhibit 3.55, Family and Graduate Housing Exit Survey].

Community development has recently become a primary goal of the Family and Graduate Housing complex. In a comprehensive l997 needs assessment study, more than half (53% out of 255 respondents) stated they could not rely on their neighbors in "time of emergency." Thirty-one (31) percent said they could not trust their neighbors, and 66% stated they did not believe there was a sense of community. Given this information, a program specialist was hired to coordinate the efforts of nine (9) Community Assistants (CA) who are trained volunteers. To date, several large scale community-wide programs have been held, such as welcome-backs, barbeques, holiday parties, and bike and in-line skating safety days. In addition, children's programs have been developed, including summer camps, weekend programs, and after school activities designed to combat the latch-key effect. All events are centered on the "wellness theme" model created by the University of Florida.

In addition to being program coordinators and good neighbor models, CA's are placed in each designated housing community to provide a sense of stability and presence and to ensure that the regulations of the Family and Graduate Housing contract are observed. In most cases, CA's are able to resolve neighborhood disputes by listening and working through the problem. More difficult cases are referred to professional mediators from the Dispute Resolution Center of Central Montana, which provides free service. Evaluations show, however, that 72% of neighborhood "peaceful enjoyment" contract violations are resolved by the CA, with the remainder forwarded to the director or to mediation.

The Family and Graduate Housing Office regularly evaluates its program through the use of exit surveys, needs assessments, budget expenditure comparisons, facility preventive maintenance programs, and by following national trends published by the Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I). Evidence of achieving these goals include, but are not limited to:

        Establishing smoking and non-smoking apartments/buildings

        Creating a community development program

        Developing a recycling program

        Developing up-to-date and accurate communication materials for current and potential residents

        Wiring for network access

The operating and repair/replacement (capital projects) budgets of Family and Graduate Housing Office are reviewed annually in preparation for the next fiscal year. At present, an appropriate balance has been struck to ensure human, physical, and financial resources can adequately support identified needs of maintaining the infrastructure and program mission while also providing low rental rates for the student.


Residence halls and related food service facilities are constructed from the sale of revenue bonds. As state- appropriated funds may not be used to retire such indebtedness or for operations, board and room rates are scaled to produce the earnings necessary to provide these services, maintain the facilities, and retire bonding obligations.

 

[See Exhibit 3.56, Residence Life.]

RESOURCE CENTER

The Resource Center offers direct service to approximately 400 veterans and 150 non-traditional re-entry students each year and plays an integral and critically supportive role in certifying students with learning disabilities and physical limitations. Keeping up with the changing needs of this population is a constant process, and many times the Center reacts to the special needs rather than anticipates them. The department. s personnel keep current on trends nationally through their respective associations, journals, and discussions during staffing meetings.

The Resource Center has invested over $17,000 in assistive technology over the past ten (10) years and now houses state-of-the-art voice recognition computing, remote real-time captioning services, personal listening devices for the hearing impaired, a color closed-circuit TV system, and computer screen magnification software. No student with a documented disability has, since the last accreditation study in l990, been refused an appropriate and reasonable accommodation. Over the past ten (10) years, five (5) complaints - four (4) filed through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and one (1) filed through the Montana Human Rights Division - have alleged violations by Disabled Student Services (DSS) of the rights of persons with disabilities. After exhaustive inquiry,

investigators found no violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of l973.

Although the individual needs of students with disabilities are carefully assessed and institutional responses are fully supported by full and current documentation, no additional operating or personnel funds for the Resource Center have followed. Exacerbating this problem is the dramatic increase in the number of disabled students, especially those with learning disabilities. The institution has responded efficiently and appropriately to the needs of all disabled students, and has not compromised accommodations for those who require special assistance technology in order to be successful.

[See Exhibit 3.57, Resource Center.]

STRAND UNION

The SUB continues to fulfill its role as the community center of the campus. It is a very well used student union with a wide range of services, programs, and facilities for the campus community. As an example, the meeting rooms were in use for over 35,000 hours during the 1997-98 year. During this time, there were over 5,000 meetings involving over 216,000 people. The building has foot traffic ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 people per day during the average academic week.

The SUB's primary constituency is the student population; however, it serves the needs of the entire campus community including faculty, staff, alumni, and other campus visitors. The popularity of the SUB is such that space has become a problem. Groups are finding they must get their space reservations in at least a semester in advance to ensure a meeting site for their organization.

The building offers a complete compliment of services. These include eating and meeting spaces, student activities office, student government offices, an information desk that also sells stamps and is a ticket office for both athletic and non-athletic events, an extremely busy copy/mailing/card shop, a recreation center, a full service bank, multiple ATM's, a large bookstore, student affairs departments, and the Theatre Arts department. Extensive food services are available including a cafeteria, a deli-sandwich shop, a fast food court with multiple choices, and a sweet shop with cookies, candy, yogurt, etc.

[See Exhibit 3.58, Strand Union.]

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

The Office of Student Activities provides each registered student organization with a handbook that includes University policies and procedures regarding, but not limited to, use of facilities, use of University vehicles, and use of alcohol which are the critical components of the students. responsibilities and the University's risk management efforts in the field of student development [Exhibit 3.59, Student Activities Handbook]. In addition, the office provides the oversight, expertise, and guidance to student standing committees which facilitate almost all of the major campus events from dances to comedians to big name concerts. The professional staff/student leadership relationship during the last six (6) years has been close, trusting, and therefore, productive.

Student Activities, staffed with 2.2 FTE, has adequate financial support, but extremely inadequate physical space. The office provides opportunities for students who to choose to be involved in extra-curricular activities which include student organizations, entertainment, and culturally-related events. The department provides information to students, faculty, staff, and the community regarding events on campus and in the community. It has diligently designed policies and procedures to enhance student development and student service.

There are approximately 120 registered student organizations. Interest in student leadership of some student organizations for non-traditional student groups, as is the case with many student groups, fluctuate with the times and the energy and charisma of revolving leadership. Student Activities has developed an excellent Advisor Handbook which describes the registered student organizations, and has put in place an advisory committee to address student organizational issues [Exhibit 3.60, Student Activities Advisor Handbook]. While accessibility to events, flexibility in timing, and variety in scheduling events is well executed by Student Activities, little effort is evident by advisors to develop, market, and support student groups. The University feels this is appropriate, as the impetus for such should come primarily from the students. Leadership training for organization leaders is scheduled each fall and is available upon request.

[See Exhibit 3.61, Student Activities.]

 

VOICE CENTER

During spring semester of l994 the Student Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services conducted a survey where freshmen females living on and off campus were surveyed [Exhibit 3.62, Survey of Freshmen Women]. Over 9% of the students reporting noted unwanted attempted sexual intercourse while at MSU. This information, coupled with national statistics, motivated key staff within the division of Student Affairs to champion the development of a center for victims of sexual assault. In two (2) years time a center was funded, primarily from Board of Crime Control dollars, and ably staffed with a professional director, a classified administrative aid, and trained student peers. Centrally located prime space was wrested from many competing entities by the Vice President for Student Affairs. In 1996, the VOICE Center became the latest and probably one of the most important offices and services to be added to Student Services.

[See Exhibit 3.63, VOICE Center.]

WOMEN'S CENTER

The Women's Center fosters the intellectual and personal development of students and offers a variety of education programs throughout the year. All of these programs are free and open to the public and are widely advertised. Program topics vary and include presentations and seminars on:

        Women's health issues

        Women's careers

        Sexuality

        Women's history

        Women in the arts

        Violence against women

        Gender relations

        Women in literature

        Gay and lesbian issues

        Multi-culturalism

        Travel and study abroad

        AIDS/HIV and STD information

        Body image and eating disorders

        Investing and money matters

        Services and volunteer opportunities available to students

There is a library within the Center, a bi-monthly newsletter is published, and child care brochures are disseminated. Support groups for over traditional age, gay/lesbian, and international students are also available through the Center.

Though the budget for this department is, without question, inadequate, the half-time director and volunteers have continued to provide visible, quality programming and services to the MSU campus. The Center is supported through donations, money raising events, a half-time funded director, a bevy of volunteers, and reduced office hours.

[See Exhibit 3.64, Women's Center.]


INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

The institution is a member of the NCAA which provides for a self-study and subsequent certification for the athletics program every five (5) years [Exhibit 3.65, NCAA Self-Study]. MSU was certified in 1996 in the areas of governance which include institutional control commitment to rules compliance, fiscal integrity, academic integrity, equity, and student athlete welfare. A student-athlete advisory committee has the opportunity to comment on athletics policies and procedures [Exhibit 3.66, Student Athlete Advisory Committee]. The faculty athletics committee meets monthly to evaluate the program and ensure that it is keeping within the educational mission of the institution [Exhibit 3.67, Faculty Athletics Committee].

Athletic policies are reviewed at least annually in a department-wide staff meeting conducted by the Director of Athletics. Compliance with NCAA rules and regulations is emphasized and stated in each coach's contract for employment [Exhibit 3.68, Example of Coaching Contract]. Coaches are notified of rule changes in writing, and compliance meetings with different staff members are held on a regular basis.

All student-athletes are admitted under the same academic standards as used for all students. Degree requirements and financial aid awards are vested in the same agencies that handle these matters for all students. The Big Sky Conference policy requires MSU to make every effort to minimize conflicts between athletics and academic obligations [Exhibit 3.69, Big Sky Policy Regarding Conflicts Between Athletics and Academics].

The fiscal management of the athletics program is conducted through the MSU and State of Montana accounting systems. All transactions are made through the state process and all personnel travel is conducted in compliance with State of Montana regulations. The athletic budget is developed annually by the Director of Athletics and the athletics business manager [Exhibit 3.70, Intercollegiate Athletics Budgets Since 1990]. External audits are performed annually on the fiscal practices of the athletics department [Exhibit 3.71, Intercollegiate Athletics External Audits Since 1990]. External audits have consistently shown compliance with accepted institutional practices.

The MSU Athletics Scholarship Association (MSU-ASA) has an Executive Director who reports to the Director of Athletics. The athletics department receives a single annual payment for funds raised by MSU-ASA, and controls the dispersal of those funds.

The institution is committed to fair and equitable treatment of both female and male athletes [Exhibit 3.72, Title IX Compliance]. Participation, financial aid, equipment, and student-support service opportunities are provided equitably to all athletes. Recent facilities renovations ensure equitable quality and access.

[See Exhibit 3.73, Intercollegiate Athletics.]

INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING, STUDENT RECRUITMENT, AND REPRESENTATION OF ACCREDITED STATUS

Educational programs and services are the primary emphasis of all advertisements, publications, promotional literature, and recruitment activities. Statements made in these representations are clear, factual, accurate, and current. All publications, with the exception of the MSU Bulletin, are updated annually for use in the given academic year. The Bulletin is updated every other year. Information and statistics are provided by college deans, assistant deans, directors of various programs, and by IR. Information is readily available for review by accessing the MSU Web site. All required criteria are found within these publications.

Student recruitment is conducted by well-qualified admissions representatives, student volunteers, faculty, and staff members who have expertise and training in the areas in which they are asked to promote. NSS staff undergo detailed training upon employment and continual updates through weekly staff meetings, routed mail, and e-mail communications. Student volunteer recruitment staff undergo training by taking a two (2)-credit course once per year. MSU does not use independent contractors or agents for recruiting purposes. Employment or promises of jobs and/or careers are not given to prospective students in the recruitment process. Job Placement and employment opportunities, when discussed, are taken from data and reports prepared by the Office of Career Services. In the recent past, an after-graduation employment survey has been administered annually for each graduating class. Because of budget limitations, Career Services has not been able to administer this survey since 1997 [Exhibit 3.74, Success of Graduates]. It is hoped that this survey will once again be financially supported in the near future.

Program costs, listed in recruitment publications, are obtained from the Director of Financial Aid and are the same costs used in calculating budgets for financial aid purposes. These costs are based upon average credit loads, average living costs, book costs, and personal expenses. Recruitment staff does not intentionally misrepresent abilities

required to complete intended programs. Agencies or individuals are not offered money or inducements in exchange for student enrollment.

The accreditation status of MSU is published on the first page of the MSU Bulletin, as stated:

        Montana State University - Bozeman is a member of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and is accredited by that Association.

The next bulletin, to be published for the 2000-2002 academic year, will fully reflect NASC's preferred accreditation statement as found in Standard Three of the 1999 NASC Accreditation Handbook

CONCLUSIONS

        The accreditation report reviews twenty-four (24) departments and major programs immersed in the processes of providing a myriad of opportunities for the personal growth and intellectual development of students. The efforts of departmental leadership and prodigious staff in the form of programs, services, and assistance delivered daily to our students is outstanding. In spite of staff shortages, difficulties in hiring qualified applicants, increased work loads, and funding shortages, the spirit, dedication, and certainly the productivity within departments remains strong.

        The departments within Student Affairs are well-organized and have set appropriate goals. Mission statements and operational objectives are in place. Outcomes are being evaluated and, when possible, measured to determine efficiency and efficacy of the service or assistance. One is struck by the incredibly large number of programs and services and extracurricular opportunities offered students. Technology has certainly paved the way for the division to enlarge, improve, and generally enhance its services. Financial aid distribution, registration on-line, fee payment options, accessibility to the Internet, and an updated departmental delivery system, have all contributed to an improved division.

        A review of the faculty's responses on the MSU Faculty Survey regarding the effectiveness of various student services revealed that approximately half of faculty had a significant lack of knowledge of Student Affair's supporting programs and services. Those programs that were more commonly known, however, were considered very effective. While some of the key programs and services noted on the instrument could have been more accurately identified, the lack of faculty awareness has ramifications to Student Affairs and to the University as a whole. Not knowing a critical service exists until it is necessary is not an effective way to support students. Student Affairs must help faculty and staff become more aware of available services in terms of education, training, and, when necessary, intervention relative to student behavior, conduct, emotional health, and academic advising issues and techniques.


 

STANDARD THREE - LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 3-01

CSI Administration Flow Chart - Fall Semester

Figure 3-02

CSI Administration Flow Chart - Spring Semester

 

STANDARD THREE - LIST OF TABLES

Table 3-01

Student Affairs Staff Profile

Table 3-02

Major Funding Sources for Departments and Programs

Table 3-03

Student Participation on Campus-Wide Committees

Table 3-04

Location of Student Regulations, Policies, and Activities

Table 3-05

Protection of Student Data in Electronic Format

Table 3-06

Admissions Report

Table 3-07

Levels of Academic Standing

Table 3-08

Fall 1998 Residence Life Demographics

 

STANDARD THREE - LIST OF EXHIBITS

Exhibit 3.01

Student Affairs Departmental Goals

Exhibit 3.02

Student Affairs Organizational Chart

Exhibit 3.03

Position Descriptions for Student Affairs Key Personnel

Exhibit 3.04

Resumes of Student Affairs Professional Staff

Exhibit 3.05

Longevity of Student Affairs Professional Staff

Exhibit 3.06

Operating Budgets Since 1990

Exhibit 3.07

Classified Staff Salary Increases Compared to Inflation Since AY 1990-91

Exhibit 3.08

Student Conduct Code

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwfachb/policy/conduct.ht ml

Exhibit 3.09

University Regulations

Exhibit 3.10

Statement of Understanding

Exhibit 3.11

Annual Crime Statistics

Exhibit 3.12

Alcohol and Drug Use Data Since AY 1990-91

Exhibit 3.13

Student Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwfachb/policy/alcohol.htm l

Exhibit 3.14

Department and Program Assessment

Exhibit 3.15

Classification of Courses

Exhibit 3.16

Sample Transcripts Showing Designation of Extended Studies and Portfolio Course Work

Exhibit 3.17

Example Grade Distributions

Exhibit 3.18

Banner 2000 Implementation Project

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwitc/itcnews/vol2-2.html# Two

Exhibit 3.19

Applying for Admission

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwam/pages/applying.html

Exhibit 3.20

Special Population Enrollments Since AY 1990-91

Exhibit 3.21

Graduation and Retention Rates

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/facts/gradrate.html

Exhibit 3.22

Pre-Orientation Packet for Students

Exhibit 3.23

Orientation Packet for Students

Exhibit 3.24

Orientation Packet for Parents

Exhibit 3.25

Graduate Student Orientation Packet

Exhibit 3.26

General Studies

http://www.montana.edu/wwwgs/

Exhibit 3.27

Scholastic Appeals Board

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/scholast.html

Exhibit 3.28

ASMSU

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwasmsu/

Exhibit 3.29

MSU Bookstore

http://www.montana.edu:80/msubookstore/history.html

Exhibit 3.30

EXPONENT

Exhibit 3.31

KGLT

http://www.montana.edu/wwwkglt/

Exhibit 3.32

Advance By Choice

http://www.montana.edu/wwwabc/

Exhibit 3.33

Career Services Survey

Exhibit 3.34

Career Services

http://www.montana.edu/careers/

Exhibit 3.35

Center for Native American Studies

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwnas/welcome.html

Exhibit 3.36

Community Involvement

http://www.montana.edu/wwwoci/

Exhibit 3.37

The Counseling Center

http://www.montana.edu/wwwcc/

Exhibit 3.38

Dean of Students

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwds/

Exhibit 3.39

Family Housing

http://www.montana.edu/wwwocl/F&G_Housing/

Exhibit 3.40

MSU Viewbook and Application

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwam/view-home.html

Exhibit 3.41

Financial Aid Services

http://www.montana.edu/wwwfa/

Exhibit 3.42

Food Service Survey

Exhibit 3.43

Food Services

http://www.montana.edu/wwwufs/

Exhibit 3.44

Student Health Services Survey

Exhibit 3.45

Student Health Services

http://www.montana.edu/wwwhs/  

Exhibit 3.46

Intramurals/Recreation Survey

Exhibit 3.47

Intramurals/Recreation Self-Study

Exhibit 3.48

Intramurals/Recreation

http://www.montana.edu/wwwimrec/

Exhibit 3.49

Multicultural Needs Analysis

Exhibit 3.50

Multicultural Center

Exhibit 3.51

New Student Services Marketing Plan

Exhibit 3.52

New Student Services

http://www.montana.edu/wwwam/nss/

Exhibit 3.53

Office of Retention

Exhibit 3.54

Residence Life Survey

Exhibit 3.55

Family and Graduate Housing Exit Survey

Exhibit 3.56

Residence Life

http://www.montana.edu/wwwocl/Reslife/

Exhibit 3.57

Resource Center

http://www.montana.edu/wwwres/

Exhibit 3.58

Strand Union

http://www.montana.edu/wwwsub/

Exhibit 3.59

Student Activities Handbook

Exhibit 3.60

Student Activities Advisor Handbook

Exhibit 3.61

Student Activities

http://www.montana.edu/wwwstuac/

Exhibit 3.62

Survey of Freshmen Women

Exhibit 3.63

VOICE Center

http://www.montana.edu:80/wwwhs/voice/vo_intro.htm

Exhibit 3.64

Women's Center

http://www.montana.edu/wwwwomen/

Exhibit 3.65

NCAA Self-Study

Exhibit 3.66

Student Athlete Advisory Committee

Exhibit 3.67

Faculty Athletics Committee

http://www.montana.edu/aircj/coms/athletic.html

Exhibit 3.68

Example of Coaching Contract

Exhibit 3.69

Big Sky Policy Regarding Conflicts Between Athletics and Academics

Exhibit 3.70

Intercollegiate Athletics Budgets Since 1990

Exhibit 3.71

Intercollegiate Athletics External Audits Since 1990

Exhibit 3.72

Title IX Compliance

Exhibit 3.73

Intercollegiate Athletics

http://www.msubobcats.com/

Exhibit 3.74

Success of Graduates

http://www.montana.edu/~wwwam/pages/success.html

Return to Self Study Table of Contents.

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 09/29/1999
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