“Choosing Promise”

Reviewed and approved by Honors College Advisory Council

September 27, 2019



Intentional Focus 1

Drive Transformational Learning Experiences Creating Outstanding Educational Outcomes for All Students. Montana State University students are challenged and changed by their active participation in high quality, innovative experiences at both the undergraduate and graduate level, becoming learned professionals and global citizens.


Goal 1.1

Broaden access for underrepresented populations and increase academic success for all students through excellence in undergraduate education. As the state’s land-grant university, Montana State invites participation in exceptional higher education, widens participation of under-represented student populations, and improves student success outcomes overall.


Unit Goal 1

  1. Actively recruit and cultivate underrepresented populations to the Honors College with a special focus on veterans, first-generation and Native American students.
  2. Expand efforts to encourage, inspire and enable highly motivated high school students to enroll in the Honors College
  3. Increase number of Presidential and establish new transfer scholarships available to students
  4. Increase the number of students who apply for and receive national and international awards


Unit Strategy

  1. Collaborate with the Office of Admissions, EMPower, Native American Studies, Office of Veterans Services, Tribal and two-year colleges, Horatio Algier, McNair and Hilleman Scholarship Programs.


  1. Reinvigorate CAT course (Cat Academic Tracks) course for high school students throughout Montana.

2.1 Expand dual enrollment courses in Honors

2.2 Mobilize network of Honors Alumni to host Honors recruitment events


3.1  Work with MSUAF to increase number of Presidential Scholarships from 23 to 30.

3.2  Work with MSUAF to increase number of designated Presidential Scholarships from 1 to 20. 3.3. Offer scholarships for students transferring from two-year and tribal colleges.


  1. Establish an Office of Prestigious Scholarships and Awards at MSU, to increase the number of applicants for such awards, especially for awards with no limit in number of institutional nominations such as the Fulbright, Gates-Cambridge, Boren and Gilman Awards.


5.1 Improve the ratio of Honors students to Honors Advisors

5.2 Offer Texts and Critics sections specifically for transfer students and veterans.

5.3 Expand curricular offerings in Honors LLCs


Goal 1.2

Expand high-quality graduate education.  Montana State University will enroll and graduate more degree-seeking students at the graduate level and enhance the quality of graduate degree programs.


Unit Goal

Offer opportunities for graduate students in the Honors College.


Unit Strategy

  1. Offer graduate teaching fellowships in the Honors College for seminar courses
  2. Develop residency programs in Honors Residence Halls for graduate students and post-docs (scholar-in-residence)


Goal 1.3

Implement evidence-based high quality, high impact teaching and learning practices for every student. Montana State University improves the curricular and co-curricular experience with demonstrated educational practices integrated with discovery and engagement that enhance learning and develop engaged global citizens and informed professionals.


Unit Goal

1.Develop Honors courses/seminars that will fulfill Core requirements in each Core area.

  1. Expand Honors Presents Lecture Series to provide a minimum of 10 opportunities per semester.
  2. Expand learning opportunities for Honors students in leadership, public service and character development.
  3. Continue to develop international experiences for Honors students.


Unit Strategy

  1. Encourage and incentivize departments across campus to offer Core Courses for Honors students
  2. Increase number of speakers/panels/masterclasses each semester


3.1 Offer weekend (1 credit) seminars centered on leadership, public service, entrepreneurship and character development.

3.2 Develop internships in public service, research and in the public sector through partnerships.


  1. Expand Great Expeditions courses and international partnerships in Stuttgart, Swansea and more.


Intentional Focus 2

Improve Lives and Society through Research, Creativity, and Scholarship. Montana State University faculty, staff, and students are known nationally and internationally for discovering, applying, testing, and sharing knowledge and creative works that expand understanding and positively impact lives and society.


Goal 2.1

Enhance the significance and impact of scholarship. Montana State University research and creative activity demonstrates impact on the state’s and the world’s pressing challenges through application of our discoveries in communities, industry, and organizations, as well as through academic indicators of the expansion of knowledge.


Unit Goal

  1. Expand courses designed to improve/impact communities
  2. Expand opportunities for students and faculty to travel throughout Montana to learn about our state's most pressing challenges
  3. Expand opportunities for students and faculty to travel internationally to learn about the world's most pressing challenges
  4. Expand opportunities for students and faculty to travel to conferences/meetings to share their scholarship


Unit Strategy

  1. Expand upon the number of sections of "Design Thinking for our Community".
  2. Expand Honors Academy to more students, especially courses dedicated to great challenges in Montana.
  3. Expand opportunities and increase access and funding for travel experiences
  4. Increase funding and opportunities to undergraduate research, creative and entrepreneurial activities.
  5. Offer workshops in research methods, grant writing, resume creation and interview strategies.


Goal 2.2

Expand interdisciplinary scholarship. Montana State University’s interdisciplinary expertise as the University of the Yellowstone™ carries unique possibilities for inference, translation, and impact.  Our research and creative activity throughout the university increasingly spans traditional disciplinary boundaries to solve the world’s pressing challenges.


Unit goal

Expand and build upon interdisciplinary scholarship in the Honors College.


Unit Strategy

  1. Continue to build and expand the number of majors in the Directed Interdisciplinary Studies major in the Honors College.
  2. Expand the number of HONR courses/seminars and number of students enrolled therein, i.e. interdisciplinary courses, seminars and Honors Contracts
  3. Expand the number of students completing interdisciplinary Honors Theses
  4. Utilize Activity Insight to cross-reference Honors students who contributed to faculty publications.
  5. Encourage interdisciplinary scholarship through public presentations and publications
  6. Utilize Honors Graduation Application to capture undergraduate research experience and graduate school information.


Goal 2.3

Strengthen institutional reputation in scholarship. Montana State University’s success in scholarship results in increased state, national, and international prominence.


Unit Goal

  1. Continue to build strength in undergraduate research at Montana State University
  2. Prepare students for admittance to top graduate and professional schools.


Unit Strategy

1.1 Continue to build and expand on undergraduate research opportunities both at the national and international levels, through NSF REUs and through national and international partnerships with universities.

1.2 Expand upon Freshman Research Symposium, with addition of a grant application workshop


  1. Provide workshops on graduate school applications


Goal 2.4

Elevate expectations for scholarship. Montana State University faculty, staff, and students hold themselves to the highest standards of research and creative outcomes.


Unit Goal

Increase understanding of scholarly research at MSU


Unit Strategy

  1. Continue Freshman Research Symposium with the addition of a grant proposal writing workshop
  2. Offer Honors courses in Research Methodology and Scholarly Writing
  3. Expand funding for student research grants and travel to academic conferences


Intentional Focus 3

Expand Mutually Beneficial and Responsive Engagement for the Advancement of Montana. Montana State University students, faculty and staff work together and with partners across the state and around the world to enhance the well-being of individuals, organizations, and communities.


Goal 3.1

Increase mutually beneficial collaborations with Tribal nations and partners. Montana State University works cooperatively with Tribal governments, colleges, community groups, and Indigenous students to develop and achieve beneficial outcomes.


Unit Goal

Increase partnership and collaboration with Tribal nations


Unit Strategy

  1. Facilitate and expand transfer opportunities for students from Tribal Colleges to the Honors College.
  2. Actively recruit high ability Native American Students to the Honors College.
  3. Invite Tribal Nations speakers, writers, community leaders to the Honors College
  4. Incorporate Native American texts into curriculum.
  5. Offer NAS courses in Honors/AIC LLC


Goal 3.2

Grow mutually beneficial partnerships across Montana. Montana State University and its partners attain collaboratively defined outcomes that improve the lives and livelihoods of Montanans.


Unit goal

Develop and nurture partnerships across Montana.


Unit Strategy

  1. Reinvigorate SCOPE (Student Community Outreach Project) and its database for community service opportunities throughout the State of Montana.
  2. Expand Honors Summer Academy faculty and student travel throughout Montana
  3. Foster relationship with Tippet Rise and Tippet Rise Honors Arts Expeditions as well as other Montana Arts Organizations
  4. Expand upon Mentoring Gifted Students to include schools outside Bozeman through video conferencing


Goal 3.3

Foster a culture of collaboration, continuous improvement, and individual growth. Montana State University and its students, faculty, and staff engage in a reciprocal relationship that values each member and improves the university environment.


Unit goal

Actively encourage Honors students to participate in student organizations, state and local organizations, service-learning opportunities, and to document such engagement in their e-portfolios. Continue to foster a culture of public service within the college.


Unit Strategy

Establish mentorship program in the Honors College, similar to the program in MSUAF, to connect students with professional leaders in various fields. Develop partnership with MSUAF mentorship program and also utilize the professional networks of members of the Honors College External Advisory Council.


Outside the Strategic Plan:

Essential Funtion1: Academic Excellence

Honors students are courageous and curious students, who excel in challenging courses while supporting and encouraging their peers


Essential Function 2: Leadership

Honors students are leaders on campus, the Bozeman community, in our state, nation and the world.


Essential Function 3: Public Service

Honors students are deeply committed to public service, working every day to make the world a better place


Essential Function 4: Servant Leaders

Honors students are selflessly committed to their communities, encouraging and helping their fellow human beings with all their might.