Diversity Action Plan
October, 2007

State, county, and College proportions of American Indians:

Montana:  6.2% Cascade County:  4.2%  MSU-Great Falls:  5.13%

3-year Graduation rates at MSU-Great Falls in past 4 years:

Total College:  13-22%   American Indian:    5-13%

To enroll and graduate American Indians and other minorities in proportion to their representation in the state’s population.

The College recognizes that Montana’s American Indians are not in higher education in the proportion that they are present in the state’s population, and further that American Indian students do not graduate with degrees and certificates at the same rate as the general population in Montana does.  Because of this, and out of  a sincere desire to promote American Indian and other minority access and success in the College’s programs, MSU-Great Falls plans to increase its efforts to recruit and provide academic and cultural support systems that promote success.

  • Increase recruitment efforts in the region and state at high schools that primarily serve American Indian populations and ensure that students and families there understand and are informed about fee waivers, college preparation, and programs available at MSU-Great Falls. 
  • Establish relationships with the state’s tribal colleges to ensure that students wishing to transfer to MSU-Great Falls have a solid contact and good information for transitioning to the College. 
  • Host Gear UP and Upward Bound students for visits and programs.
  • Expand College in a Day program from current half-day of short “classes” high school students in the area can sign up for to sample the various programs offered at the College to a full day to expand the high schools that can participate.  Specifically invite high schools that primarily serve American Indian students.
  • Add a specific session to the new student orientation program for new American Indian students to get to know other American Indian students, the Native American Student Council (NASC), and faculty and staff advisors for the NASC.  American Indian students new to Great Falls will also be introduced to area cultural resources and programs that they may want to access in addition to College resources.
  • Academic support systems such as the tutoring program will recruit American Indian students as tutors both to provide visible mentors or role models at the College, and also to provide tutors American Indian students might be more inclined to work with. 
  • The College is partnering with the Little Shell tribe to send a faculty member and a student to the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program Tribal College Training in Bozeman.  Surgical Technology faculty member and NASC advisor Sandra Ondler will travel with the student and the Tobacco Use Prevention Coordinator from the Little Shell tribe as part of the Bacchus Initiative.  On-campus programs will hopefully follow. 
  • American Indian Heritage Day is celebrated in the fall each year with provision of a program on specific issues of interest to American Indians and the general public. 
  • A panel of American Indian professionals and graduates of the College will come together for a focus group this year to give the College feedback and ideas initiatives that would enhance American Indian student success in the College’s academic programs.  Ideas from that focus group will be evaluated and implemented where possible.

Students with Disabilities:

  • The College maintains ongoing relationships with area agencies that serve people with disabilities in the community and is evaluating the effectiveness of its services.  The evaluations will result in continuous improvements in services and enhanced success of students with disabilities in the College’s academic programs.

To plan for increasing the employment of American Indians and other underrepresented minorities in administrative, faculty and staff positions to achieve representation equal to that of the relevant labor force.

The College’s Human Resources Department creates individualized recruitment plans for faculty, staff and professional positions with careful consideration to targeting underrepresented populations including American Indians.  Recruitment plans are developed so that minority and women populations are targeted to ensure that equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts are as successful as possible. In striving to maintain a diverse workforce, the College reviews its efforts by conducting reviews of all hires by the Human Resources/EO-AA Director

The College will continue its targeted efforts of American Indians and other underrepresented minorities by conducting utilization analysis; reviewing job qualifications and recruitment plans; sending vacancy announcements to the targeted Affirmative Action list to include tribal colleges; and appointing diverse and representative search and screening committees; .  It is the goal of the College to eliminate any barriers to the hiring of qualified applicants regardless of protected status. 
To enhance the overall curriculum by infusion of content which enhances multicultural awareness and understanding.

MSU-Great Falls offers a variety of core courses focused on cultural sensitivity/diversity.  The College will continue to infuse the content of core offerings through the delivery of the following courses:

ANT 101 Introduction to Anthropology  3 credits
BUS 249 Global Marketing 3 credits
ENGL 210 World Literature I 3 credits
ENGL 211 World Literature II 3 credits
HUM 242 Gender & Equality 3 credits
HUM 244 American Cultural Values 3 credits
ML 121 Intro to American Sign Language 3 credits
ML 221 American Sign Language Intermediate 3 credits
MUS 214 World Music 3 credits
NAS 201 Montana's American Indians 3 credits
NAS 215 Native American Religious Traditions 3 credits