Standard 2.E.1 - Graduate Faculty and Resources
With the exception of the Athletic Training program in the College of Allied Health Professions, graduate faculty members typically teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. It is rare to find a faculty member who teaches only graduate courses. Graduate faculty members have access to the same sources of support as faculty members who teach only undergraduate courses, including travel funding, RACE and Foundation grants, and other forms of institutional support.
Graduate faculty members also generate external grant funding that may provide resources to graduate programs as well as opportunities for graduate students.
- 2.23 RACE Funding;
- 4.13 College Travel Guidelines;
The University has supported improvements in the physical plant and technology over the past decade, resulting in significant benefits to graduate faculty and students. The University has been fortunate in attracting and retaining a graduate faculty who is actively engaged with graduate students (advising, mentoring, research opportunities). Graduate students are encouraged to develop new knowledge and skills through teaching, research, assistantships, and internships. Continued expansion of graduate offerings and program viability are a testament to the passion and commitment of MSU Billings graduate faculty.
A significant example of institutional support over the past eight years has been the University’s commitment to upgrading buildings and classrooms to support technology. During AY 1999-2000, faculty from Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Foundations (now combined in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice--ETP) moved from the building that had served as an educational lab school into the newly remodeled special education building, now the College of Education Building. The remodeled building included multipurpose classrooms with full technology capabilities , meeting and conference rooms, and a student lounge. In fall 2005, a student computer center was opened in the COE, providing computers plus multimedia capabilities and technical support for all students on campus. In the last four years, the College of Arts and Sciences renovation included creating 30 (of a total of 42) high-tech classrooms and the science auditorium. The new College of Allied Health Professions moved into a remodeled Absaruke Hall. More recently, an area of the COE was remodeled to provide facilities where graduate students in the College of Allied Health Professions Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program could offer no-cost, short-term problem solving counseling services to individuals who are unable to access services in the Billings community. Beginning with fall 2007, the new counseling clinic allows faculty members to observe and videotape counseling sessions through a one-way mirror and then use the videotapes to provide feedback and instruction for student counselors.
The University has committed significant funds to upgrading classrooms, the library, and general access to technology throughout the campus. The University is prepared to sustain a high level of support in this area.
Graduate programs have seen significant growth over the past decade, responding to student interest and community needs. At the time of the last Northwest accreditation visit, only the College of Education and Human Services offered graduate programs or endorsements. Master of Education degrees were offered in several areas, including certification for elementary and secondary education and school counseling. Master of Science degrees were offered in special education, community counseling, and rehabilitation counseling (now offered through the College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP)).
1998-2000. Introduction of a Master of Health Administration degree ultimately led to the emergence of the sixth college, the College of Allied Health Professions. In conjunction with Montana State University Bozeman, the College of Education and Human Services (now the College of Education) offered a special education minor/concentration option in Bozeman’s Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) programs.
2000-2002. During this time period, the College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP) was approved by the Montana BOR. Programs in Health and Human Performance, Human Services, and Rehabilitation Counseling transferred from the College of Education to the new college. The Health Administration program housed in the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning transferred to CAHP. The College of Education and Human Services name was changed to the College of Education, reflecting changes in program offerings. Transfer of several master-level programs to the newly formed college meant that the University now supported master programs in three colleges—COE, CAS, and CAHP. The CAS offered the Master of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Public Relations. The Master of Science in Sport Management was added to existing graduate programs in the CAHP.
2002-2004. In CAHP, the Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling was renamed the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling to reflect current program emphasis. The Master of Science in Athletic Training was added, bringing the total number of graduate programs in CAHP to four. The CAS and COE continued to offer their graduate programs.
2004-2006. The College of Arts and Sciences added a Master of Public Administration degree in collaboration with Montana State University Bozeman to its two other graduate programs. The CAHP maintained four graduate programs. The COE continued to offer two degrees—a Master of Education with options in Early Childhood, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology, Reading, School Counseling and Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Master of Science in Special Education with Advanced and Generalist options. The COE also continued providing post baccalaureate programs in elementary, secondary, and special education that lead to initial licensure or added teaching endorsements.
2006-Present. The 2004 to 2006 graduate programs continue to be offered as MSU Billings prepares for the fall 2008 NWCCU accreditation review.
College of Education graduate programs that prepare elementary/secondary
school personnel were reaccredited by NCATE in 2002; the next NCATE
accreditation review is scheduled for spring 2010. The CAHP Master of Athletic
Training program received its initial accreditation in 2005. The Master’s degree
in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling successfully completed its
reaccreditation with CORE spring 2007.
- 2.5 Graduate Catalog;
- 2.10 External Review Reports
The MSU Billings graduate faculty comprises academically and/or professionally qualified individuals, holding either full-time and part-time status according to disciplinary knowledge and instructional needs Full-time academically-qualified faculty deliver the curriculum in several programs, such as College of Education graduate programs, with part-time professionally-qualified instructors as needed. For other programs such as Health Administration, a core of academically-prepared faculty oversees the curriculum and pedagogy delivered by professionally-qualified instructional staff.
In 2007, MSU Billings revised the policy on graduate faculty membership to assure that all faculty members involved in graduate instruction are academically and/or professionally qualified. The previous policy was outdated and vague. Because program needs vary extensively from program to program, a policy for graduate faculty membership was proposed to the graduate faculty that spelled out all of the various ways in which a faculty member might serve on the graduate faculty. The complexity of the process met with little support from graduate faculty. Based on suggestions garnered at an open meeting for campus graduate faculty, a new procedure was designed and brought back to the graduate faculty. This policy requires that qualifications for appointment to the Graduate Faculty be determined by departments and/or programs, based upon programmatic needs and standards and approved by the University Graduate Committee.
The new policy, approved by the graduate faculty and Academic Senate, calls for an initial determination regarding graduate faculty membership to be made at the time a tenure-track faculty member is hired, and identifying the role the new faculty member will play in graduate education. Each review through the tenure year will include a determination of continuing graduate faculty status based on the faculty member’s position description or duties. Continuing Graduate Faculty status for tenured faculty members will be made at the time of the post-tenure review.
Each department and/or program has established a process for appointing and reviewing the ongoing status of graduate-faculty members, including non-tenure track and part-time faculty members.
- 1.2 Annual Reports;
- 6.10 Graduate Committee Minutes;
- Graduate Faculty Membership policies
In order to meet the needs of place-bound working professionals, MSU Billings graduate programs consist of a mix of on-campus, distance, and hybrid delivery systems. Most programs offer a combination of campus-based and online courses. The CAS Master of Science in Psychology Program is the only program offering only campus-based courses. The CAHP Master of Health Administration offers all of its coursework online. The COE offers a Master of Education Interdisciplinary Studies Option in elementary education as an online cohort with minimal oncampus residency requirement. Hybrid programs (e.g., Rehabilitation and Human Services) consist of content delivered online and skills and reflection delivered via off-campus workshops. Programs offer many courses both online and on campus, allowing students to tailor programs to meet their needs and allowing many graduate students who do not live in the immediate area to successfully complete graduate programs. Faculty members teach both online and on campus with similar syllabi and expected student outcomes to assure that courses are comparable regardless of delivery format.
Faculty members who are new to distance learning have the opportunity to engage in periodic training provided by the MSU Billings eLearning office and the online platform vendor. Information Technology (IT) also provides support for online instructors. Faculty members engage in peer reviews not only of their campus classes but also of their online classes. Feedback provided from more experienced online instructors helps new online faculty members improve their courses and their ability to fully utilize online instruction.
For a discussion of challenges caused by the expansion of online courses and programs, please refer to 2.D.1 above.
- 2.24 Schedule of Courses;
- 4.4 CBA/VTEM Contracts http://mus.edu/hr/cba/collbarg.asp