Proposed Revision to 220.1 - Community College Education Centers




            Montana's community colleges and the units of the University System, in cooperation with the independent colleges of Montana, share the responsibility to maximize the availability of educational opportunities for the state's citizens in a manner that will enhance quality while minimizing unnecessary duplication of effort and potentially harmful competition.  This policy governs the offerings of instructional programs by community colleges in geographical areas outside of the community college district.


Board policy:


            1.         A CCEC (community college education center) may only be offered  pursuant to the provisions of this policy.  A community college may create and operate several CCECs, but each CCEC is subject to this policy.  A community college may not offer courses, as part of their regular instruction, at geographical locations outside of the community college district except through a CCEC established under this policy.  All courses for credit at geographical locations outside of the community college district that are not offered through a CCEC shall be subject to Section 304.1 of the Policy and Procedures the Montana University System.


            2.         The content of a CCEC may not be duplicative of existing courses of instruction offered in the same geographical area by another Montana institution of higher education unless the affected institution gives written consent to the offering.


            3.         A CCEC must be within the approved role and scope and the authorized programs of the community college.  A CCEC shall offer a structured, coherent educational program and may not be merely a vehicle for occasional course offerings.


            4.         Existing education centers established at Sidney and Baker are not subject to the provisions of this policy relating to the establishment of the center. These centers will be subject to an evaluation as prescribed by paragraph 11, under Operation, during the 1984-85 academic year.


Operation of CCEC:


            1.         Persons assigned to teach courses for a CCEC for which resident credit is to be granted must have credentials at least the equivalent of those required of faculty teaching the same or similar courses at the same institution.


            2.         Resources, in addition to faculty and including library and/or laboratory facilities and resources developed specifically for a specific course or program, must be sufficient to offer a quality program.


            3.         Students must meet the same admission and academic standards, including grade point averages, that are required of students taking the same or similar programs at the home institution.


            4.         A local coordinator shall be designated and be available in the geographic area served by the CCEC.  Such individual shall handle administrative arrangements and serve as a contact person.


            5.         Provision shall be made for student counseling and advisement.


            6.         Student credit hours generated in degree credit programs at community college education centers shall be subject to the same reporting requirements as regular instructional programs at the home institution; however, separate reports shall be prepared for each center.  The Montana University System Registrars' Manual for Reporting Enrollment Data shall be followed.  If a course would not be eligible for credit at the home institution, it shall not be granted credit at a CCEC.


            7.         The following provisions shall govern the fee schedules for CCEC coursework:


                        a.         Centers shall charge students enrolled in a CCEC the normal authorized on-campus fees including admission, tuition, building, etc.  Centers may waive the  student activity and student health fees for students enrolled in a CCEC.


                        b.         Upon approval of the Board of Trustees of the community college district, an additional educational services fee may be charged each student to provide the services required by the program.


                        c.         Fees for any non-credit or community service programs which may be offered through a community college education center shall be governed by the appropriate Regent and/or Trustee policies.


            8.         If concerns arise about potential competition or duplication of effort between a CCEC and the offerings of another institution of higher education, the Commissioner of Higher Education may establish measures for addressing the problems.


            9.         Any proposed changes in an established CCEC must be submitted to the Commissioner of Higher Education to determine if such changes are significant enough to require treating the proposed modified CCEC as a new CCEC subject to the procedural steps outlined below.  If the Commissioner determines that the changes require treatment as a new CCEC, the Commissioner shall inform the community college, which then has the responsibility of initiating the procedures below.  If the Commissioner determines the changes are not significant, the Commissioner may grant or deny the request and shall notify the Board of Regents of any such actions.


            10.        It is the responsibility of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the president of the community college to insure that the quality of programs at a CCEC meets the same criteria by which the quality of programs is assessed at the home institution.


            11.        The Commissioner, in conjunction with the community college president, shall provide for the evaluation of the CCEC after the third year of operation and periodically thereafter. If the CCEC is not meeting its original or modified objectives, the Commissioner may recommend to the Regents that the CCEC be terminated.


            12.        A CCEC shall be formally designated as the (name of the institution) Center at (location) (for) (geographical area served).




            1.         The formal procedure to establish a CCEC begins with the passage of a resolution by the Board of Trustees of the community college district requesting the Board of Regents to authorize the establishment of a CCEC.


            2.         Prior to the formal procedure, the Board of Trustees may meet with interested persons in the area to be served by the CCEC, hold public hearings to gather public opinion, establish preliminary proposals and engage in other planning activities of a preliminary nature.


            3.         The resolution referred to in paragraph (1) above may not be adopted until the Trustees have received in writing requests for establishment of a CCEC by residents of the area to be served.


            4.         After a resolution has been adopted, the Trustees shall transmit the resolution to the Commissioner of Higher Education.  The transmittal must be accompanied by copies of the written requests for establishment of the CCEC referred to in paragraph (2) and by a memorandum in support of the proposal and may be  accompanied by such other documents and exhibits that the Trustees believe to be of value.  The memorandum in support must contain the following information:


                        a.         a description of the proposed CCEC, including anticipated course offerings, the geographical area to be served and the population thereof, and the anticipated commitments of resources (staff and cash outlays),


                        b.         a narrative discussion, with supporting documentation if necessary, as to how the operation requirements above will be met, and


                        c.         such other information as the Commissioner may require.


          5.         After receipt of a resolution, the Commissioner shall transmit a copy of the resolution and memorandum of support to the other community colleges, the units of the University System, the vocational technical centers in the state, and the independent colleges of the state for their review and comments.  These institutions shall have 30 days from date of receipt to submit their comments to the Commissioner.  Their time period may be extended at the discretion of the Commissioner.


          6.         After the time period for comment referred to in paragraph (5) has passed and after the Commissioner has had sufficient time to examine and review the proposal, the Commissioner shall formulate a recommendation as to establishment of the CCEC and shall place the question of establishment on the Board of Regents agenda as soon as is practical, along with the Commissioner's recommendation.  In the course of reviewing the proposal, the Commissioner may hold public hearings in the area to be served by the CCEC.  The cost of such a hearing shall be borne by the community college district.


          7.         The Board of Regents shall either grant or deny the Trustees the authority to establish a CCEC, and a grant of authority may include conditions.


          8.         At any time during the review procedure, the Trustees may by resolution request that the proposal be withdrawn, and in such case all proceedings shall be terminated.


          9.         Once a proposal has been submitted by a community college and acted upon by the Board of Regents, no same or similar proposal may be submitted to the Commissioner until after 1 year has passed from the date of Board action, unless the Board otherwise permits.




          A community college education center is a program in instruction in one or more areas of academic interest by a community college in a geographical area outside of the community college district.




             Item 38-1000-R0183, Community College Education Centers, March 4, 1983.