DATE:������������ September 19, 2000
TO:����������������� Board of Regents
FROM:����������� Willard R. Weaver
����������������������� Dean, Montana State University � Great Falls College of Technology
RE:����������������� Campus Report for the September 2000 Board of Regents� Meeting
����������������������� RETENTION EFFORTS:� PROMOTION STUDENT SUCCESS
Montana State University�Great Falls College of Technology is committed to promoting students� persistence in their pursuit of educational goals.� This commitment is reflected in the following retention strategies in place at the College:
1. The Med Prep Collaboration.��Historically, academically unprepared students have difficulty persisting in the College�s allied health programs.� In a pro-active effort to address this problem, the College has collaborated with the Great Falls Public Schools and the Helena Public Schools to increase high school students� awareness of the desirability and demands of allied health careers and to develop an innovative curriculum preparing students for those demands.
2. Tech Prep.� In higher education, time really is money.� By identifying high school course work that meets the demands of equivalent technical course work at the College, the �Tech Prep� program offers students the opportunity to complete their postsecondary training in less time and for less money.� The College has tech prep articulation agreements with 36 high schools in north-central Montana, as well as the college of technology in Helena and MSU-Northern.
3. Encouraging Student Affiliation with the College.�Research indicates that students who are involved in just one �extracurricular� element of campus life are significantly more likely to persist.� The College encourages such involvement through its student government, honorary society, and community service programming.� However, because many of the College�s students have families and jobs in addition to their academic commitments, cultivating an active campus life is a challenge.� The faculty respond to this challenge by using teaching methods that encourage students to make connections with each other in the classroom setting.� These connections, too, contribute to student persistence.
4. Identification/Intervention Processes.�The College uses the following strategies for identifying and assisting students struggling to persist:
� Support services for special populations
� Pre-assessment and course placement tests
� Crisis intervention counseling
� Pre-requisite enforcement for certain courses
� Telephoning students who miss class
� Identifying high-risk courses and providing special help
� Referral for personal needs
� Emergency fiscal assistance
� Job placement/transfer assistance
� Contacting non-returning students
� Follow-up advising for students on academic probation
� Exit interviews
5. College-wide Emphasis on Academic Advising.� Faculty and staff from Student Services collaborate to ensure that academic advising is timely, individualized, and coordinated.� Faculty evaluation and professional development emphasize the importance of advising.
6. Academic Support Services.�� Academic support is a major focus at the College.� Developmental classes offer individualized instruction in academic skills.� Beginning this fall, our Learning Center provides walk-in assistance and tutoring in all subjects, resources for improving reading/writing/study skills, and computer access and assistance.� The Learning Center Coordinator provides a free six-week study skills program, a series of brown-bag sessions on academic success issues, and personal career growth workshops.��
7. Student Success Committee.� This fall semester the College established a committee charged with overseeing, guiding, and evaluating the College�s retention efforts.� The committee is comprised of faculty from each department, the Learning Center Coordinator, and the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.
LOOKING UP AND REACHING OUT:� FALL ENROLLMENTS
Enrollments for Fall Semester 2000 bring good news to MSU�Great Falls College of Technology.� One area of continuous growth is our distributed learning program.� This fall 342 students are enrolled in 20 courses offered over the Internet.� Over one-third (36%) of these students live outside Great Falls in communities such as Ekalaka, Silver Star, Twin Bridges, West Yellowstone, and Glasgow.� The College plans to offer courses from all general core categories by Spring 2001.� Another growth area is in our Outreach Department.�
This fall MSU�Great Falls College of Technology will provide customized training for a consortium of early childhood development agencies, Cendant of Montana, City of Great Falls, Green Thumb, Montana Job Services, and Malmstrom Air Force Base.�
COMING SOON:� SPECIAL EVENTS
Regents are cordially invited to these special events at the MSU�Great Falls Campus this fall:
Sept. 28��������� Gubernatorial candidates Judy Martz and Mark O�Keefe debate in Heritage Hall.
7:00 p.m.�������� Co-sponsored by MSU � Great Falls College of Technology, Great Falls Tribune, and Montana Economic Development Association
Oct. 5������������� The second annual Storefront University, a community event organized by the College
5:15 � ������������ and sponsored by a variety of Great Falls organizations and businesses.� Business owners will
8:30 p.m.�������� offer 75 fun-filled workshops, restaurants will give special discounts, and the Great Falls Trolley will give free rides throughout the evening.�
Oct. 12����������� Montana State University�Great Falls Campus Open House.�� Join us for the official
5 � 7 p.m.������� introduction of this unique Campus to the community.
Nov. 3-4��������� The first annual Tech Fair, co-sponsored by the College and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Great Falls, Great Falls Public Library, and SoFast.� The College will play host for high-tech exhibits, special events, and 35 technology sessions � all free to the general public.