January 15-16, 2004

International Studies Minor

I. Program Identification and Description:

The minor in International Studies integrates "a concern for the world in which we live and for improving human society" by exposing a student to global concerns, mores, cultures, and philosophies. Although on one level, this concern is philosophically shared by all academic pursuits and endeavors for we all breathe the same air, the international studies minor seeks to make the student metacognitively aware of the dynamics of international relations. A responsible US citizen can no longer remain culturally isolated amidst the tenor of increasing domestic and international political violence, and an interdependent world economy. Therefore, today, more than ever we live in a global village, which behooves us to understand our global neighbors. By drawing from various disciplines and classes, the international studies minor embodies the best of a liberal arts education, which encourages students to broaden their ways of thinking and seeing in order to better prepare them to live compassionately and responsibly in a multicultural world. The International Studies Minor is meant to complement a student's major. For example, a business major with an international studies minor will become a more globally aware person and thus more competitive in today's interdependent economy. This minor prepares the student for careers in fields such as Advertising; Architecture; Government Service; Public Relations; Law; Business; Teaching; and Research. The minor may lead to further intellectual curiosity and thus to graduate studies. The international studies minor seeks to expose the student to the diversity of different cultures and countries and to understand the religious, political, and social structures of various countries.

I.1. Exact Designation of Proposed Program: Minor in International Studies

I.2. Host Department: Department of Modern Languages and Literature

I.3 Host College College of Arts and Sciences

I.4. Program Descriptionsupra

Goals and Objectives: A student with an International Studies Minor will be:

1. more cognizant of the interdependencies economically, socially, and politically;

2. more conversant in seeing and articulating issues from different angles;

3. more empathetic to people's struggles; and

4. more competitive in a global economy.

Curriculum: The concept of the Minor in International Studies is to draw existing curricular resources together into a defined program that can provide a strong foundation in international studies, foreign languages, and intercultural communication.

Note: No class that is counted toward a General Education requirement can be counted toward the International Studies Minor.


II. Program Objectives

II.1. Expected Program Contributions: The Minor in International Studies will give students a global awareness of current world issues and their local implications. The Minor in International Studies is designed to complement and enhance students' academic majors. For example, a business major with an International Studies Minor will become a more globally aware person and thus more competitive in today's interdependent economy. By integrating existing curriculum and study abroad opportunities into a coherent program, the Minor in International Studies provides a cost-effective means for MSU-B to address its academic mission of training students for changing careers. The Minor in International Studies teaches students how to cooperate and communicate effectively in an international arena by making them cognizant of the diversity of cultures and countries.

II.2. Centrality to Mission of Institution: The Minor in International Studies aligns itself perfectly with MSU-B's stated mission to:

1) meet the demands of a changing job market and pursue the path of lifelong learning;

2) encourage experiential learning, which helps confirm students' career interests and develop cognitive and communicative skills;

3) produce the next generation of leaders for communities, businesses, professions, and government;

4) advance the boundaries of knowledge through creative thinking;

5) foster strong inter-institutional relationships and collaboration;

6) ensure that students develop problem-solving abilities, critical and creative thinking abilities, effective communication skills and global awareness;

7) promote opportunities for challenge and change;

8) foster ideals and values of cultural, social, educational, and economic diversity; and

9) ensure that all students are well prepared and competitive in regional, national, and global marketplaces.

The International Studies Minor meets all of these objectives by providing a structure for students to learn the fundamental international and intercultural skills they need to succeed in the borderless careers they will enter in virtually any career path they choose. MSU-B graduates need to understand how the global society of the 21st Century works. They also need to be able to work and to communicate effectively with people from other cultures and languages.

A recent report (January 1999) on "Changing Employment Demands and Requirements for College Graduates" by Texas A&M illustrates the importance of intercultural skills. After conducting a series of interviews with executives of major employers of Texas A&M graduates, the number one recommendation was that graduates need to be bilingual and multilingual to compete in today's global market economy. Additionally, it was recommended that graduates be able to live and to work successfully outside of the United States.

II.3. Relationship to Other Programs on Campus (See Charts A and B supra)

The International Studies Minor relates to other programs on campus by complementing a student's major. For example, a Public Relations major with an International Studies Minor will be able to bring more creativity and flexibility of ideas into their major by having an increased exposure to different ways of thinking and seeing.

II.4. Relationship to Other Institutions: MSU-Bozeman is currently developing a Global Studies Minor

III. Personnel and Services

III.1.-1.8.4. The proposed Minor in International Studies draws its curriculum from existing courses, it imposes minimal extra costs.

III.2. Students

2.1. Admission Standards. Students will need at least a C average to be accepted into the minor.

2.2. Profile of Target Population: There will be an active, collaborative recruitment effort by the History Department, the Department of Modern Languages, Admissions, and the Office of International Studies (OIS) to proactively entice students for the minor. The target population is students who enjoyed foreign languages in high school and would like to continue those studies. One marketing method, for example, is to target students who mark International Studies as a subject of interest on their SAT and Act forms. If a student also designates Montana State University-Billings (and marks International Studies,) they will be sent a brochure of information about MSU-B and the minor. Additionally, the OIS will make classroom visits and hold forums on campus to promote the minor. The minor will draw some of the best and the brightest, similar to the honors program, because it will encourage creative thinking, immersion, and practical application.

2.3. Student - Faculty Ratios: Since the Minor in International Studies is interdisciplinary, students will benefit from being exposed to various teaching methods and styles. The ratio will be whatever the courses normally allow as enrollment.

2.4. Diversity: The Minor in International Studies encourages diversity because one cannot begin to understand the world without an exposure to differences.

2.5. Size of the Program: The minor will start relatively small, with 5-10 graduates expected per year, but as word of mouth spreads and more campus connections are made, the minor is expected to grow each year. Since the minor is interdisciplinary, it can draw students from a number of disciplines, and strengthen students' respective majors. In today's world, we need students who have a global outlook so that they may remain competitive in the workplace.

2.6. Off- Campus Offerings: The Office of International Studies coordinates the Study Abroad Programs; currently we offer nine MSU-B Study Abroad Programs at accredited institutions, where we have university accords and thus the credits easily transfer back. The MSU-B Study Abroad programs are as follow:

1. Letra Hispanica, Salamanca, Spain

2. Ewha Woman's University, South Korea

3. The Finnish College for SME Business Administration, Finland

4. The Maastricht Center, the Netherlands

5. Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan

6. Intercultura, Heredia, Costa Rica*

7. Ludwigsburg Pedagogical University, Ludwigsburg, Germany

8. Mexico*

9. China*

(*Programs currently under development)

III.3.-6. Facilities Support Needed. No additional need.

IV. and VI. Program Quality: The minor poses no additional issues regarding program or institutional accreditation or additional assessment processes. The Department of Modern Languages, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of International Studies will conduct a systematic assessment of the International Studies Minor, including intermediate, end of instruction, and alumni assessments.

V. Finances: The program incorporates existing courses into a defined program; therefore no additional funds are needed except for the one credit capstone course which will be funded by the Office of International Study's part-time faculty budget.

Conclusion: The Minor in International Studies represents an important opportunity for MSU-B to respond proactively to the demands of a changing world market. This minor helps better prepare students for future success in any career, by providing students with a global perspective.

Minor in International Studies        22-23 credits

International Studies is a new program at MSU-Billings which seeks to increase awareness of international issues and to foster cultural understanding as we prepare ourselves for life in a world where ties between diverse parts of the globe daily become greater. This program seeks to provide the student with enhanced communicative skills and comparative understanding of some of the areas of the globe, which is critical in light of recent world events.

The International Studies minor offers a flexible structure. To begin with, the student may choose a Study Abroad option or an On Campus option. For both options there is a required core of 10-11 credits to be satisfied by taking HIST 109 Current World Problems (3credits), POLS 221 International Relations (3 credits), a course in Modern Languages (see below), and a Capstone Course (1credit). The courses in history and political science provide basic knowledge of international issues; the language course provides basic communication skills. The Capstone Course provides the necessary vehicle for showing what the student has achieved or learned.

Option A:  Study Abroad

After satisfying the three core classes, the student is encouraged to choose an area for overseas study through consultation with the Director of the Office of International Studies. Credits earned while studying abroad will constitute the remaining courses for the fulfillment of the minor. Upon returning to campus or upon completion of the minor, the student will register for the Capstone Course.

Option B: On Campus

In Option B, the student must first satisfy the core classes. Remaining courses will be selected so that they constitute a focus of interest such as Latin America, Asia, the Arts, and General Comparative. The student must then write a short essay which states the rationale for the choice of courses for the focus area. Upon completion of the focus area courses, the student will register for the Capstone Course.

Suggested focus areas and course options:

The following are suggested areas of focus based on courses offered regularly at MSU- Billings. They are not an exclusive listing of either area of focus or of possible course choices. The student must justify the choice of courses in an essay and have the approval of a faculty advisor.

Latin America focus: GEOG 320 Geography of Latin America

HIST 358 History of Latin America

HIST 359 History of Mexico

ENGL/SPAN 309 Mexican American Literature

SPAN 412 Latin American Literature


Asia focus: HIST 351 History of Islamic Civilization

PHIL 233 Philosophies of India

PHIL 234 Philosophies of China and Japan


Comparative Focus: POLS 333 Comparative Government

COMT 460 Multicultural Communication

PHIL 3 Global Mythology


Comparative Arts focus: ART 131/431 Global Visual Culture

COMT 155 Global Cinema

ENGL 260 World Foundations of Literature

MUS 150 Music of the World


Language courses:

Students are required to present a course in a modern language as part of the core for Options A and B. If the student has had one year or less of high school foreign language, this is satisfied by successful completion of the second half of the elementary language sequence, FREN, SPAN, GERM 102, for example. If the student has had more than one year of high school foreign language, that student must successfully complete the second half of the intermediate language sequence, normally XXX 202. Only one language course will be counted toward the IS Minor.

The Capstone Course:

The Capstone Course is a 1-credit course required of all IS minors as they complete their area of focus or return from study abroad. It is conceived in the nature of a senior show, paper or portfolio in which the student will demonstrate to the IS Advisor and selected invited faculty the knowledge gained as a result of having studied in this minor. The form of the presentation will be determined in consultation with the International Studies Minor Advisor.