Standard 3.E.1 - Intercollegiate Athletics
MSU Billings subscribes to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA’s) important Principle of Institutional Control (Constitution, Article 2.1.1), which states, “It is the responsibility of each member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Association. The institution’s president or chancellor is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the athletics program, including approval of the budget and audit of all expenditures.” To facilitate the Chancellor’s oversight of the intercollegiate athletics program, the MSU Billings Director of Intercollegiate Athletics reports directly to the Chancellor. These two individuals meet regularly and often to review and discuss a wide variety of components of the intercollegiate athletics program, including but not limited to budgeting, staffing, academic achievement, gender equity, scholarships/financial aid, strategic planning, policy making, sponsorships, and NCAA compliance.
A portion of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program’s mission and vision statement reads as follows:
“The Yellowjacket Athletics program at MSU-Billings exists for the benefit of the student-athletes involved in the program. The program is built on strong, sound philosophical and educational principles. More specifically, the program is guided by a well-established operational taxonomy related to the physical domain, the psychomotor domain, the cognitive domain, and the affective domain of each student-athlete (Bloom’s Taxonomy).
Within the physical domain, the Yellowjacket Athletics program provides opportunities for student-athletes to enhance their strength, endurance, and other physical capacities through the medium of physical conditioning and fitness development. Within the psychomotor domain, the athletics program enables student-athletes to enhance their neuromuscular development through advanced skill acquisition and execution. Within the cognitive domain, our program provides opportunities for student-athletes to enhance their intellectual development with respect to athletics as well as academic achievement. Finally, within the affective domain, the Yellowjacket Athletics program enables student-athletes to develop personally, socially, and emotionally through a variety of experiences associated with teamwork, goal setting, overcoming adversity, honesty, ethics, sportsmanship, selfesteem, etc.”
As an active member of NCAA Division II since 1979, the intercollegiate athletics program conducts a comprehensive self-study as required by the NCAA every five years using the NCAA’s Institutional Self Study Guide to Enhance Integrity in Intercollegiate Athletics (ISSG) to conduct its review. The most recent reviews occurred in 1996 and 2001. Although the intercollegiate athletics program was scheduled to conduct its five-year review in spring, 2006, the NCAA reordered its rotation of member institutions, thereby re-scheduling the MSU Billings self study to June 2007.
Goals, objectives, employee expectations, policies, and procedures are clearly written and reviewed at least annually, and sometimes more frequently, by each member of the intercollegiate athletics program. Each employee in intercollegiate athletics receives a written copy of the department’s policies and procedures, and these are reviewed by the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics with each employee. As policies and procedures are revised and updated and as new policies and procedures are added, each employee receives a written copy of these new and/or updated polices and procedures. All policies and procedures are reviewed thoroughly at the department’s annual retreat each August.
Annual employee evaluations are based upon these written expectations as stated in each employee’s annual written letter of appointment. The employee evaluation process begins each year in March with each employee preparing and submitting a self-report/self-evaluation based upon his or her written position description. This process is similar to that used by faculty as each faculty member prepares and submits a narrative and supporting documentation related to his or her activity and productivity in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship, and service. The review materials follow their way up the reporting process all the way to the Chancellor with written narratives accompanying the review packets at each step.
For example, an assistant coach submits his or her written self-report top the respective head coach; then the materials and the head coach’s comments are forwarded to the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Then the Director prepares and narrative to be included with the evaluation packet as it goes to the Chancellor for his review.
The duties and authority of the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR position is required by the NCAA), and the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA position is required by the NCAA) are clearly articulated and implemented in the course of each person’s daily responsibilities and activities.
The fourth person in the NCAA’s overall plan for institutional control is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO); at MSU Billings, this is the Chancellor. The Chancellor is very closely involved in the oversight of virtually every aspect of the intercollegiate athletics program, including but not limited to budget management, hiring and evaluating employees, policy development and implementation, strategic planning, oversight of gender equity, etc.
Standard 3.E.3 - Intercollegiate Athletics Admissions, Collaborations, Academic Success and Graduation
Student-athletes at MSU Billings must meet all of the regular published admissions criteria that must be met by all students entering the university. In addition, freshmen student-athletes must meet specific academic requirements in at least 14 core areas as set by the NCAA and evaluated by an independent agency administered by ACT in Iowa City, IA. Although it is possible for students at the university’s College of Technology to be eligible to compete in intercollegiate athletics at MSU-Billings, those students must still meet the regular admissions criteria as required on the senior campus.
All athletic aid offered by the intercollegiate athletics program is administered by and overseen by the university’s office of Financial Aid. The intercollegiate athletics program works closely with the Director of Financial Aid, who signs each written offer of athletic aid to prospective student-athletes as part of the written scholarship offer made by the intercollegiate athletics program. In addition, all athletic aid is given within strict compliance of NCAA rules and regulations.
Each student-athlete’s transcript is evaluated at the end of each semester by the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (AD), the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), and the NCAA Compliance Coordinator/Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) to ensure satisfactory progress toward degree completion and minimum NCAA academic standards are being met. In addition, studentathletes maintain close communication with their head coaches, who serve as key academic mentors, and the student-athlete’s academic advisor in the advising office or academic department. Collaboration
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics works closely with the Student Affairs staff. Regular communications exist between Athletics and the respective offices in housing, admissions, financial aid, etc. For example, many student-athletes live in the residence halls and eat regularly in the cafeteria so we communicate regularly with those offices on relevant items of business. Many student-athletes have athletic scholarships so frequent communication occurs with the financial aid office on offering those scholarships and processing those accounts.
Coaches work closely with the admissions staff when recruiting studentathletes. The admissions staff is a great help in sending application materials to these prospective students and helping with the registration process. Once enrolled, student-athletes and their coaches work closely with the advising staff so studentathletes register for the proper classes. Then coaches frequently monitor the academic progress of student-athletes as they work hard in the mentoring process.
From time to time, a student-athlete is involved in a student conduct issue in the residence halls or elsewhere on campus, and we communicate appropriately with the student affairs staff in that regard. Each student-athlete is a student first, and we encourage each one to take full advantage of each and every service and office on campus that will enhance the overall student experience while at MSU Billings.
The Yellowjacket Athletics program at MSU Billings sincerely values high academic achievement. In addition to providing athletic scholarships to academically qualified student-athletes, several endowed scholarships exist in the MSU Billings Foundation to reward high academic achievement to student-athletes on a competitive application basis. Many student-athletes at the University have gone on to graduate programs, both masters and doctoral, as well as medical schools.
The women’s cross country team led all NCAA Division II cross country
programs academically for the years 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999; and they continue
to score near the top nationally each year. Women’s basketball has been in the
national Top 25 academically at various times over the past several years, including
the recently completed academic year (2007-08). Women’s soccer (3.38), women’s
golf (3.36), women’s tennis (3.36) and women’s volleyball (3.33) annually achieve
outstanding grade point averages.
On the men’s side, men’s soccer (3.21), men’s tennis (3.21), and men’s cross
country (3.13) currently lead the way departmentally. Men’s baseball (2.72) and men’s golf (2.51) trail the very competitive race for team grade point averages above 3.0. MSU Billings coaches are expected to mentor their student-athletes so as to achieve excellent grade point averages; consequently they incorporate this expectation into their busy daily duties with student-athletes as they do their own expectations to achieve athletically.
Coaches monitor mandatory class attendance of their student-athletes, and they conduct academic progress reports across the course of each semester. Study periods are common among teams, both at home and on the road. Student-athletes communicate their travel dates to faculty early each semester and make plans to make up and work they will miss. NCAA Division II prides itself on both athletic and academic excellence and the balance between the two. The University makes a sincere attempt to do the same.
Each year, MSU Billings reports its official student-athlete graduation rates (commonly known as the federal rate since the definition and method of calculation are defined by the federal government) and, more recently, a new NCAA calculation known as the Academic Success Rate (ASR), a calculation that includes the 6-year graduation rate of all student-athletes, including transfer students and those who did not receive athletic aid, unlike the federal rate.
The two most recent graduation rates reports and academic success rates reports indicate the following:
- 2007 reports, which track the 2000-2001 cohort, indicate the MSU Billings overall, general student graduation rate, using the federal government definition, of 29% with a student-athlete graduation rate of 50% and an academic success rate of 65%.
- 2006 reports, which track the 1999-2000 cohort, indicate the MSU Billings overall, general student graduation rate, using the federal government definition, of 25% with a student-athlete graduation rate of 46% and an academic success rate of 63%.
At MSU Billings, women’s basketball led the way with an ASR of 100% in both 2006 and 2007, with women’s volleyball at 100% in 2006 and 86% in 2007, women’s soccer with 90% in 2007 and 67% in 2006, women’s cross country with 80% in 2007 and 67% in 2006, women’s tennis with 67% in 2007 and 50% in 2006, and men’s basketball with 70% in 2007 and 67% in 2006.
Each fiscal year, the various coaches and others in the intercollegiate athletics program submit their budget requests to the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Director coordinates all these requests department-wide and presents the overall, proposed budget to the Chancellor for his consideration. After several meetings, discussions, and revisions, the Chancellor approves the fiscal year budget for intercollegiate athletics.
The revenue for the intercollegiate athletics budget originates from a variety of sources, including but not limited to state appropriated funds, tuition waivers, a mandatory student athletic fee, corporate sponsorships, gate receipts, concessions, and donations. All intercollegiate athletics program expenditures are conducted through either a university account or an MSU Billings Foundation account. Campus audits, legislative audits, and NCAA audits occur on a regular basis to ensure a high level of fiscal integrity. The university’s budget director prepares a quarterly fiscal report for the Chancellor and the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. The intercollegiate athletics program’s accountant prepares monthly fiscal reports for head coaches and other functional units within the intercollegiate athletics program.
The MSU Billings intercollegiate athletics program subscribes to and supports the NCAA’s Principle of Gender Equity (Constitution, Article 2.3). More specifically, NCAA Bylaw 2.3.1 states, “It is the responsibility of each member institution to comply with federal and state laws regarding gender equity.” NCAA Bylaw 2.3.2 states, “The Association should not adopt legislation that would prevent member institutions from complying with applicable gender-equity laws, and should adopt legislation to enhance member institutions’ compliance with applicable gender-equity laws.” NCAA Bylaw 2.3.3 states, “The activities of the Association should be conducted in a manner free of gender bias.”
The intercollegiate athletics program submits its gender equity report each year as required by the NCAA and the federal government.
This report is public information and is readily available by anyone from the general public. As required by law, the intercollegiate athletics program reports annually its spending on all sports by gender, including scholarships, operational budgets, etc.
The MSU-Billings intercollegiate athletics program is proud to sponsor eight sports for women and seven sports for men, in rough approximation of the gender balance of undergraduate students on campus. The budget for each sport for women is typically equal to or greater than the corresponding sport for men. Similarly, athletic scholarships for each women’s sport are equal to or greater than the corresponding sport for men. The Yellowjacket Athletics program at MSU Billings is an NCAA Division II member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). The department sponsors 17 NCAA championship sports plus coeducational cheerleading. (See Chart 3.13)
Coaches in the MSU Billings intercollegiate athletics program schedule team practices at times when their student-athletes are least likely to have academic classes. If a student-athlete has a class during a regularly scheduled team practice, the student-athlete attends class and misses practice; student-athletes are not permitted to miss classes to attend practices. Although it is inevitable that studentathletes will miss some classes due to team travel away from Billings, coaches work hard to minimize the number of classes missed due to team travel. MSU-Billings intercollegiate athletics teams do not compete during the week of final examinations, and practices are shortened in time during finals week.
- 3.13 Athletic Affairs Policies and Procedures Manual;
- 7.13 Current Operating Budget;
- 3.1 Student Handbook;
- 1.1 Mission Document
Policy 3.1 - Institutional Advertising, Student Recruitment, and Representation of Accredited Status
Policy 3.1.A - Advertising, Publications and Promotional Literature
Educational programs are the focus of all MSU Billings’ publications and promotional materials, including web resources. Several major student recruitment publications are printed annually or, in some cases, every other year. These publications include:
- Viewbook (printed every other year)
- Search piece (printed annually)
- Postcards, posters, program flyers and other collateral marketing materials
- University website
In addition, the University engages in various forms of advertising, including:
- Print advertising (newspapers and magazines)
- Outdoor advertising (bus signage)
- Movie theater advertising
- Web advertising and email postcards
- Radio advertising and broadcast media
Public relations efforts include:
- Press releases
- Web-based faculty experts’ guide
- Public access TV program
- Participation in community & regional events
Catalogs produced (available in print and online):
- Undergraduate Catalog, published every two years
- College of Technology, published annually
- Graduate Studies, published every two years
- All catalogs include information about University and program accreditations
Content of marketing materials
Marketing materials comply with all NWCCU publication standards, featuring successful student outcomes and presenting key messages concerning:
- Quality of educational programs and faculty
- Number of academic options, including degrees and certificates, majors, minors, teacher licensure options, and concentrations
- Access (course delivery modes)
- Services available to students
- Brochures also feature tuition and costs, and financial aid availability
The University website includes the broadest range of information from both catalog and promotional sources. The website adheres to accessibility standards under Federal regulations, Section 508.
Recent website revisions include career information for all West Campus programs, and as printed publications are updated, they will likewise include descriptions of career opportunities, eligibility for licensure, etc. See www.msubillings.edu/cot/Programs/ProgProcessPlant.htm.
Evidence: 2.11, 2.5, 2.8, 2.16, 2.20 Catalogs, Brochures, Announcements
Policy 3.1.B - Student Recruitment for Admissions
The recruitment of new, transfer, and re-admitting students is coordinated by the Office of New Student Services. Admissions Counselors are hired both for the East and West Campuses to implement recruitment activities; all recruiters report to the director of NSS.
To be hired, admissions counselors must meet the following criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree
- High level of professionalism
- Creativity and the ability to seek out opportunities and venues to recruit students
- Ability to relate well to people and work with diverse students
- Ability to work with a team and independently to achieve recruitment goals
- Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills, with the added ability to provide attention to detail
- Ability to interpret University programs, services, and opportunities to prospective students and parents
- Knowledge of recruiting and marketing principles
- Willingness to travel in the area
- Willingness to work some evenings, weekends, or other non-traditional work schedules as necessary
- Possess or be eligible to obtain a valid driver’s license
- Have working knowledge of computerized student record information
- system (SCT Banner) and Microsoft Office products
- Admissions and/or Student Services experience preferred
In addition to meeting the required qualifications, each Admissions Counselor completes the following training:
- Discuss job description
- Discuss Recruitment Plan
- Discuss office policies and dress code
- Discuss FERPA policies and procedures
- Meet with Human Resources to discuss benefits, leave, and insurance
- Tour New Student Services, the senior campus, and the College of Technology
- Read and become familiar with the undergraduate General Bulletin, the Graduate Catalog, New Student Guide, and Student Handbook
- Learn all Recruiting and Admissions literature and forms
- Learn all University literature and forms
- Learn the University website
- Observe and train to answer the telephone and complete information requests
- Observe and train to greet and assist guests and visitors
- Learn Banner (data entry, viewing records, and policies)
- Learn to conduct campus visits (meeting with students and their families)
- Meet with Student Services departments
- Observe and implement high school, community and tribal college presentations
- Observe and implement college fair procedures and policies
- Follow travel policies and procedures
Additional recruitment services come from the Jacket Student Ambassadors, a group of approximately 40 student volunteers who assist the Office of New Student Services. Ambassadors must complete a selection process and required training once per semester, along with ongoing training for each project/event. Training includes the following: representing MSU Billings in a professional and positive manner, knowledge of University resources, assisting with campus visits and events, office procedures, and other items as needed.
Currently MSU Billings is not using alumni volunteers; however, with the spring 2007 creation of the Alumni Relations position, work in Alumni Relations is evolving to engage alumni in recruiting new students. The Director of Alumni Relations has begun to identify partnerships with alumni who can help with the recruitment of students from their hometowns.
MSU Billings does not contract with outside agencies. New Student Services and its representatives do not use any of the recruitment practices listed in the NWCCU standards as those to be avoided.
- 1.1 Mission and Goals of each unit;
- 1.2 Evidence of Goal attainment
Policy 3.1.C - Representation of Accredited Status
MSU Billings complies with the NWCCU policy regarding representation of accredited status by NWCCU and other specialty area accrediting organizations.