Success Agenda

In order to increase the overall educational attainment of Montanans and provide an efficient and effective system of higher education, the Board of Regents adopted a Success Agenda to augment the Strategic Plan and help guide the Montana University System.

1. Resident Student Access: Develop a unified approach to resident student recruitment, admissions, and financial aid, with the goal of increasing the percentage of MT high school graduates attending the MUS.

  • Ensure affordability through long-term, reliable, sustainable, and low-cost tuition rates
  • Increase financial aid access for low and middle-income students
  • Improve awareness and remove barriers through the development of a College & Career Access portal, a single admissions application, and an electronic transfer process

2. Dual Enrollment: Increase awareness, capacity, and opportunities for dual enrollment in Montana.

  • Continue the 1-2-Free program (first 6 credits for free)
  • Expand communication of dual enrollment opportunities through the new College & Career Access Portal
  • Work to centralize dual enrollment application and registration processes
  • Focus on maximizing dual enrollment course quality and conversion of dual enrollment students to full-time enrollment at MUS institutions

3. Retention: Improve retention and completion rates of students by promoting and employing systemwide strategies. 

  • Develop, pilot, and scale a student success intervention to improve retention, completion and time-to-degree among low income resident students (Montana 10 Initiative)
  • Increase clarity and impact of incentives for campuses to meet and exceed retention targets and to narrow equity gaps in retention
  • Work to build MUS capacity to address student mental health and wellness supports that are prerequisites for retention and completion

4. Career & Technical Education: Expand efforts to effectively deliver career and technical education (CTE) for MUS students.

  • Engage K-12 partners to more effectively promote CTE opportunities through school counseling and advising strategies
  • Explore MUS approaches to student recruitment for CTE programs
  • Continuously review the effectiveness of existing CTE programs and conduct gap analyses to identify new CTE programming needs

5. Research: Reinvigorate state-support for MT focused research and development.

  • Pursue funding for university research that:
    1. solves Montana problems with Montana solutions
    2. creates good Montana private-sector jobs, and/or
    3. grows emerging and important research sectors that contribute to the diversity of Montana’s economy.

6. Program Approval and Prioritization:  Align program development, expansion, and contraction with evolving workforce demands; focus programming to eliminate unnecessary/undesired duplication of programs.

  • Clarify academic “mission” and direction for each campus
  • Utilize distance learning, especially for collaborative approaches
  • Align business practices and integrating technology to improve systemwide collaboration and increase student access

7. Performance-Based Funding:  Continue utilizing a performance funding model that contributes to the allocation of state funds.

  • Establish systemwide targets for retention by institutional mission
  • Utilize metric weights to increase emphasis on Regents’ priorities

8. Shared Services:  Increase the number of services either facilitated, coordinated, or directed in a system-wide fashion that will improve efficiencies, effectiveness and cost savings at individual campuses and systemwide. 

  • Maintain an inventory of systemwide shared services
  • Continue to convene a taskforce to help identify potential services to share and set goals
  • Identify and prioritize “areas of focus” to target for shared services implementation

9. Communication & Advocacy:  Build on current communication and marketing efforts to increase support for higher education.

  • Effectively communicate the University System’s “product” to stakeholders 
  • Devise methods to succinctly articulate the “value proposition” of attaining post-secondary degrees and certificates

10.  Faculty and Staff Support:  Provide compensation and professional development adequate for recruiting