ITEM 112-2004-R0901   ATTACHMENT              September 27, 28, 2001

 

PROPOSED MINOR IN MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

OBJECTIVES AND NEEDS

 

1.       Program Centrality – Centrality to or enhancement of the institution’s approved mission and institutional objectives to be achieved by the addition of this program.

 

The establishment of a minor in management of information technology within the College of Business at Montana State University-Bozeman (MSU-Bozeman) is central to the land grant mission of the institution.  The land grant mission of MSU-Bozeman mandates the support of professional schools including the training and graduation of business professionals.  Specifically, the Morrill Act establishing the land grant universities stated that these institutions were created “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes on the several pursuits and professions in life.”  In today’s modern economy the corollary to the “industrial classes and professions” is the broad business economy.  Consequently, the land grant mission of MSU mandates establishing and supporting a professional school of business with up-to-date curricula and programs. (http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/www/ls_grant/morrill1.htm)

 

The proposed minor in management of information technology (MIT) is just such a curriculum improvement that will expand the skills and competencies of our graduates as required by the dynamic technology-based economy which exists today.  Specifically, the MIT minor is designed to provide added, distinct value to the accounting, finance, management and marketing business graduate.  Rather than competing as a plain-vanilla finance graduate who has expertise in banking, finance, investments and the management of financial institutions, the finance graduate who selects the MIT minor will possess the added capability to manage information technology within a financial setting.

 

The MIT minor will include the following course of study:

 

 

            * New Course to be created as part of the proposed minor.

 

The MIT minor will be delivered on campus at MSU-Bozeman, and will include substantial coursework taught in the modern College of Business Instructional

 

Computer laboratory.  Class sizes at the 300 level in the college typically are set at 35 students, while 400 level courses are targeted at 25 students.

 

2.       Need for Program – Justification should focus on documented need in the appropriate service area for the program – national, statewide, regional, or community: provide objective data, studies, the results of institutional needs assessments appropriate to the program’s nature and the expected outcomes and performance of its graduates.

 

The need for the MIT minor has been communicated to the College of Business by a number of important primary stakeholders including students, parents, other on-campus constituents, employers and members of the regional business community. 

 

Prospective students, current students and alumni have repeatedly asked why MSU-Bozeman does not have more course work and some type of degree designation in information technology (IT).  While prospective students are forced to select alternatives both in-state and in neighboring states for a major degree in information technology, many of the students who have made the decision to attend MSU Bozeman are also interested in courses in information and technology management.  Evidence of this level of interest is given through the enrollments in the two upper-division management (MGMT) electives currently offered in the college that cover IT topics.  The table below summarizes the enrollments for MGMT 412, Systems Analysis and Design, and MGMT 413, Managerial Support Systems, for the period 1991-1999.  These enrollments indicate a sustained interest by current business students.

 

Students Enrolled in MGMT 412 and MGMT 413

 

91-92

92-93

93-94

94-95

95-96

96-97

97-98

98-99

MGMT 412

37

20

19

10

25

41

52

67

MGMT 413

26

15

10

10

26

31

30

47


Since these courses qualify as electives towards the MGMT option degree requirements most of the students currently taking MGMT 412 and 413 come from the management option within the College of Business.  If the entire MIT minor were available additional students from all four of the business options: accounting, finance, management and marketing would be attracted.  Other students from across campus in computer science, electrical engineering, and other majors have expressed interest in a minor in business that relates to their selected course of study.

 

Repeatedly, campus recruiters have asked that the College of Business provide students who are technically skilled and computer literate.  In a recent survey of employers completed in 1998, respondents indicated that along with communication and interpersonal skills, computer skills were the most highly valued skills in new employees.  Employers commented that in terms of technology they wanted a curriculum that would “keep kids up to date.”

 

3.   New Courses the program will add to the curriculum.

 

The MIT minor includes a requirement for one new course, MGMT 4xx, Information Technology Strategy.  Dr. Harry Benham, a tenured member of the Management faculty, will teach this course.

 

ADEQUACY, ACCREDITATION AND ASSESSMENT ISSUES

 

1.       Adequacy of present faculty, facilities, equipment, and library holding in support of program, compared to known or anticipated minimum standards for accreditation.

 

The current accreditation of the College of Business through AACSB International, the leading professional accrediting body for colleges of business, will not be affected by the creation of this minor degree program.  The current full accreditation which was reaffirmed in 1998 will not be changed or altered by the creation of the minor.

 

2.       If special accreditation will be sought, timetable and costs associated with attaining and sustain full accreditation status as well as the level needed for each to fulfill anticipated minimum standards for accreditation.

 

No additional accreditation will be sought, and the addition of minor degree programs will not change the requirements or the accreditation status of the college.

 

3.       Assessment Plan: how the program will “fit” within the institution’s internal, approved assessment process and specifically address the major assessment components of academic performance and program relevancy to student-society needs; complementing the guideline provided to campuses by the OCHE and the intra-campus Committee on Outcomes Assessment (ICOA).

 

The institution uses a decentralized model for student outcome assessment.  MSU-Bozeman policies are described on the campus web site (http://www.montana.edu/aircj/assess/).  As part of the campus policy the College of Business has implemented an assessment plan as required.  Details of this policy include assessment of business content, communication skills and problem-solving skills.  Feedback is collected on a regular formal basis from students, alumni and employers.  Details of the college plan are available at the MSU-Bozeman web site.

(http://www.montana.edu/aircj/assess/majors/majors9899/plan/Business.html

 

The effectiveness of the proposed minor will be evaluated as a portion of the business content assessment.  Surveys of students, alumni and employers currently include

sections on technology and computers which will provide a valid measure of the effectiveness of the MIT minor.

 

IMPACT ON FACULTY, FACILITIES, COSTS, STUDENTS, AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND CAMPUSES

 

1.       Additional faculty requirement, including qualifications, salary, and recruitment.

 

No additional faculty will be needed to support the proposed MIT minor.  Except the Information Technology Strategy course, the minor is composed of existing courses in business and computer science.  Dr. Harry Benham will teach the one new course; consequently, no new faculty will be needed.

 

2.       Impact on facilities.

 

Capacity of the existing facilities is adequate to meet the requirements of the proposed MIT minor.  The library, computer laboratory and classroom resources that will be needed do not exceed the current needs of the College of Business.  Over time capital improvements that occur to meet the dynamic needs of the business curricula will be adequate to satisfy the marginal needs of the MIT minor.

 

3.       Cost, to be submitted in detail for the first year, for the biennium, with an estimate of continuing costs of the program over a five-year period.  These costs should reflect new faculty, increased library costs, space requirements, equipment, other facilities needs, and sources of funding.  Institutions will be expected to demonstrate how the needed resources will be drawn from existing budgets, and how and which programs will be suspended or terminated to generate the needed resources (if necessary).

 

No new sources of funding will be needed to support the proposed minor in MIT.  Increased student demand for the current courses, along with the staffing of the new course will be funded through increased SCH generation.  The central administration at MSU-Bozeman has committed to budgeting processes through which budget dollars can be reallocated at the margin to programs that are growing.  Additional sections, if needed, will be funded directly by ongoing college instructional budgets.  Even if the MIT minor attracts new SCH to business and computer science, the increases may simply make up decreases in overall enrollments across the university.

 

4.       Impact on enrollment, numbers of students (both graduate and undergraduate) with lower and upper division course breakdowns, and the number expected to graduate over a ten-year period.

 

It is hoped that new enrollments for the MIT minor will create student demand of approximately 25-35 students for each of the courses included in the minor.  This increase in demand will occur gradually over time, stabilizing after approximately four years.  However, these additional enrollments are not likely to strain current capacity since it has been predicted that overall business and campus enrollments will soften

and decline in the next decade.  An analysis of the high school populations in MT and in the primary feeder states to MSU-Bozeman suggests that growth in the number of graduating high school seniors will level off by 2003, and begin to decrease at that point in time. (Source: US Dept. of Education High Graduation Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs99/1999038.pdf).

 

In light of the regional softening of university enrollments the creation of new program offerings such as the MIT minor may be critical to maintaining stable enrollments.  At MSU-Bozeman the number of new entering students is expected to decline unless we recruit students successfully from competing schools, particularly in other parts of the nation.  College bound populations are expected to increase in other regions of the country so out-of-region recruitment will be increasingly important.  The addition of the MIT minor will help in recruiting out-of-state students and thus in stabilizing enrollments in the existing business and computer science courses.

 

The future viability of the minor in MIT is assured by the fact that the courses already have a primary market from current student demand.  The creation of the new minor will simply broaden the target market for the existing courses.  The target student population is junior level students from all majors across campus but primarily business, engineering, computer science and economics.

 

5.       Relationship to other programs on campus, including the inter-departmental implications of this program’s addition to the curriculum, and/or to the role other departments play in contributing courses to this program.

 

The proposed minor in MIT will support and enhance the enrollments in other campus programs and departments.  The minor is designed to be a valuable addition to a number of majors with a particular emphasis as a complement to the business options of accounting, finance, management and marketing.  Cooperative meetings were held with the department chair of computer science in designing the curricula of the MIT minor such that the anticipated enrollments in CS courses would help to stabilize enrollments in their introductory courses.  It is anticipated that the minor will make positive contributions to the capability of the business graduates who elect to complete the MIT program, and to the revenues of the university.

 

6.       Relationship to other institutions.

 

Virtually every business program in the nation has a minor, or in most instances a major, in the management of computer/information technology.  The minor proposed at MSU-Bozeman will not compete with IT major degree programs within the state of Montana since the target student population consists of students who have already selected MSU-Bozeman for the existing major programs.  The MIT minor will provide additional skills to current MSU-Bozeman students.

 

Regional schools that currently offer IT or related programs are summarized below.

 

Institution

Program Name

Minor/Major

University of Montana

Information Systems

Major

MSU-Billings

Information Systems

Major

MSU-Northern

Business Technology

Major

UM-Western

No program in IT

 

UM-Butte

Business Info Systems

Major

Boise State University

Computer Info Systems

Major

University of Idaho

Information Systems

Major

Idaho State University

Computer Info Systems

Major

University of Wyoming

Information Management

Minor

North Dakota State U

Management Info Systems

Major

U of North Dakota

Information Systems

Major