January 20-21, 2000

NOTICE OF INTENT Authorization to Offer a Non-teaching Undergraduate Minor in Japan Studies; Montana State University­Bozeman

THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University­Bozeman to award an undergraduate non-teaching minor in Japan Studies to students who complete the required curriculum which encompasses a core component of elementary Japanese language, in combination with Japanese history, literature, other Japan-related courses approved by the Director of Japan Studies, and a capstone seminar experience which functions in symphony with the students' major.

EXPLANATION: In requesting authorization to offer this minor, Montana State University­Bozeman recognizes that increased student interest in Japan, new tenure-track faculty hires in the field, and the necessity of keeping with the spirit of this land-grant institution by meeting the challenges of the changing economic and cultural outlook of the state, requires offering intensive academic study of Japanese language, Japan-related courses, and importantly, providing the institutional legitimacy and curricular cohesion in the form of a non-teaching minor to fashion this academic regimen into a rational field of study that will strengthen existing majors on campus and enrich the lives of graduates.

Montana State University­Bozeman has exchange programs with Kumamoto Gakuen University, Kumamoto Prefectural University, Kumamoto University, and Kansai Gaidai University. These meaningful exchange programs allow students to experience Japan and the Japanese first hand, and should be considered as resources in support of this program. These resources also include visiting faculty from Kumamoto Gakuen University.

The Japan Studies non-teaching minor requires students to complete eight credits of Elementary Japanese (or the equivalent), twelve credits of courses approved by the Director of Japan Studies (to date these courses are offered by the Department of History and Philosophy and Modern Languages), and a three credit "capstone" experience where students integrate and consolidate the Japan Studies minor with their major area of study. Establishing a Japan Studies non-teaching minor at Montana State University­Bozeman would prove a great asset for the people of Montana. There is a growing interest in Japan among Montanans, and as the regional economy becomes more tightly linked to the Pacific Rim, students are expressing a desire to explore their potential role in this emerging Pacific-dominated political and economic arena.