DATE:  May 20, 2001

TO: Board of Regents

FROM: Willard R. Weaver, Dean, Montana State University Great Falls College of Technology

RE: Campus Report for the March 22 - 23, 2001 Board of Regents' Meeting

COT Student Named National Winner: Joan Ferrin, a student enrolled in the Microcomputer Support and Web Development program at MSU-Great Falls College of Technology, has been recognized for her academic achievements by being named the 2001 Centennial Scholar from the state of Montana. The Centennial Scholars Program, administered by Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), commemorates the 100th anniversary of the two-year college system.

Ferrin will receive a $2,000 stipend from the Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation and will carry the Montana state flag in the Centennial Scholars Parade of State Flags at the AACC Convention in Chicago in April. She will be one of 50 USA Centennial Scholars recognized by USA Today in its April 5 issue.


Cisco Academies Affiliations Expanding: Since its inception in 1998, the College's partnerships with area high schools as local Cisco academies have increased steadily. In 1998, two schools partnered with the College as local academies; in 1999, four schools; and in 2000, eleven schools. Current expressions of interest indicate that in Fall 2001, seven new schools will offer the Cisco networking curriculum to its students. With its own local academies in Great Falls and Bozeman, that brings the total number of local academies served by the College of Technology's Cisco Regional Academy to twenty schools.

The COT's Regional Academy supports the local academies by visiting the schools each semester, encouraging "best practices," assisting in the exchange of lesson plans, teaching classes in the local academy at the instructor's request, engaging in the applied research sponsored by the Cisco Academies, and providing training and continuing education for approximately 40 instructors.

College Partners with City Fire Department:  The College has entered into a partnership with the City of Great Falls Fire Department to train the city's firefighters as paramedics. For the next three years, the Fire Department will release eight firefighters from their regular duties from January through June so that they can take courses in the College's Emergency Medical Services program. Upon completion of the course work, the firefighters will be certified through state testing.

To accommodate the firefighters' needs, the College has customized its curriculum delivery, added faculty, and provided space for the firefighters' classroom and practicum experiences.

Distance Learning Funds Awarded: MSU-Great Falls College of Technology was recently notified that, through a competitive grant process conducted within Montana State University, the College will be awarded funding for two distributive learning projects. Both projects will use the funds to provide workforce preparation online through the Medical Transcription certificate program and the Health Information Coding Specialist program.

Missouri River Roundup a Success:  March 12-17 marked the debut of the College's first Missouri River RoundUp, a week-long series of educational and entertaining workshops and social events at the College. Workshop topics ranged from managing stress and modern square dancing to running home-based businesses. The week included the Creative Arts Festival on March 13 and 14 in Heritage Hall, where regional vendors, entrepreneurs and retailers displayed their wares. On Thursday, March 15, luncheon guests were entertained byPaul Zarzyski, cowboy poet. The weekconcluded with round, line, and square dance lessons for registrants. There were over 375 registrations for the first-time event.