September 25-26, 2003


ITEM 120-2802-R0903   Approval of Proposal to Offer the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Plumbing; Montana State University- Northern.


THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Northern to award the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Plumbing.


EXPLANATION: The proposed Associate of Applied Science Degree in Plumbing is designed to satisfy part of the training and instructional requirements of a traditional apprenticeship in plumbing. Apprentice plumbers in Montana are currently required to complete a five-year training program, and over 200 hours of "traditional coursework" each year before they can sit for the licensure examination in plumbing. The training obviously occurs on the job, and the coursework is provided by the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. The proposed A.A.S. degree in plumbing at Montana State University-Northern will provide some of the training and some of the coursework mandated by apprenticeship standards. Because the proposed plumbing degree was developed with the assistance of a master plumber in Montana, it is expected that students who complete the degree will satisfy two years of the five-year apprenticeship period required of licensed journeyman plumbers.

Although the plumbing degree will be a traditional on-site, face-to-face program, Montana State University-Northern also plans to develop distant courses for apprentice candidates who need additional classroom work following graduation as part of their training, as well as plumbing apprentices who cannot relocate to Havre for the plumbing degree.