Strategic  Plan
Montana Tech campus and M
Future Students  |  Current Students  |  Academics  |  Alumni   |    Giving   |   Faculty & Staff   |   Visitors  |   Athletics

Strategic Plan

Academics »

Learn about the 60+ degrees and programs we offer. And discover the outstanding enrichment opportunities available to you.

Strategic Plan - A Philosophy of Excellence

Core Themes

Click each Core Theme below to view details.

Theme 1: Be a National Leader in Educating Undergraduate & Graduate Students

Be Excellent in Instruction & Student Learning


  • Use best practices to improve retention and learning in introductory math, science, and service courses
    • Strive to have the best instructors in our lower level service and general education courses
    • Evaluate and mentor regular and adjunct faculty members to ensure quality–especially in lower level courses
    • Evaluate staffing to determine if increasing the number of full-time faculty members and decreasing class size increases instructional quality
  • Use or develop methods to quantitatively measure student learning

Deliver Excellent & Responsive Advising, Retention Tools, & Placement Service


  • Develop an advising model based on a dedicated group of well-trained faculty and/or a professional advising office for first- and second-year students; have well-trained in-discipline faculty advise upper division students
  • Increase recruitment of students who do not require remedial coursework
  • Develop/implement placement tools for prerequisite science, communication, mathematics, etc. courses for all entering students; assess students’ ability to use technology, reason quantitatively, and think and read critically
  • Provide alternative courses or programs for students not meeting prerequisites for the first semester in their major
  • Consider not admitting students until they are qualified to enroll in all the courses of the first semester of their major
  • Create a more student-friendly campus environment with a commitment to customer service, more on-campus social events, and healthy traditions
  • Continue to place more than 90% of students prior to graduation

Use Assessment Proactively to Improve Teaching & Learning


  • Measure student achievement against national benchmarks when and as appropriate
  • Provide professional development opportunities for faculty in the development and use of both formative and summative assessments, including pre-assessment, in the classrooms
  • Assess whether instructional materials and methods are effective for student learning outcomes in courses and whether students are working effectively to achieve these outcomes \
  • Wherever possible, seek external accreditation or certification of degree programs
  • Establish formal periodic external reviews for programs that are not subject to external accreditation or certification
  • Use external reviews to determine program performance, leading to decisions on program continuation

Create a General Education Curriculum that is Unique & “Transforming”


  • Inspire students to read, think, and write critically
  • Assess general education curriculum regularly, reporting every 2 years to the general faculty

Develop National and International Exchange & Service Opportunities


  • Create a committee for international educational and research opportunities that focuses on:
    • Finding and advertising exchange opportunities for Montana Tech faculty and students
    • Encouraging and supporting faculty and students from other countries to come to Montana Tech
    • Developing visiting educator/research programs to bring national and international faculty to campus
    • Increasing support for local, national, and international service learning opportunities
Theme 2: Support & Grow Research, Scholarship, & Technology Transfer

Capitalize on Montana Tech’s role as Montana’s Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) University


  • Integrate research into undergraduate curricula, including increasing the number of students involved in interdisciplinary undergraduate research/scholarly activities that include all majors
    • Consider requiring undergraduate research for all students in all degree programs
  • Develop strong collaborations on undergraduate research activities that involve the humanities, communication sciences, and business with science and engineering majors
  • Actively solicit resources to support interdisciplinary student research activities:
    • Internal reallocation of funds, support for research projects from industry, research grants that include support for undergraduate teams, and grants in support of STEM pedagogy
  • Make Montana Tech a destination school in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, & health and energy
  • Engage Montana high school teachers and create friendships/partnerships that lead to students attending Montana Tech
  • Increase the number of students who complete the teacher certification (with Western) in STEM areas

Strengthen the Campus Faculty & Staff Expertise, Campus Space, & Research Equipment


  • Expand access to appropriate scholarly journals
  • Improve, expand, and maximize shared use of research resources and facilities with specialized equipment
  • Develop metrics and strategies for reducing faculty instructional workloads for research-active faculty in order to provide time for graduate student advising, research, and scholarly activities

Engage & Build upon the Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology’s (MBMG) Strengths as Montana’s Center for Geological & Hydrogeological Research


  • Align and integrate the MBMG strategic plan with the overall Montana Tech Strategic Plan
  • Increase the number of collaborative research projects between the MBMG and other campus departments
  • Increase and encourage opportunities for MBMG personnel to engage in undergraduate and graduate education, including having joint appointments and shared service on graduate student committees
  • Build/create an MBMG Regional Geologic/Mining/Mineral Institute that would house the Mineral Museum
  • Develop and annually host a Montana Geology Symposium, similar to the annual Tobacco Root Society meeting
  • Develop more visibility and support for the Mineral Museum including considering:
    • Charging an admission fee for the museum
    • Developing an active “Friends of the Museum” program
    • Providing K-12 and/or community education opportunities
    • Writing grants to support the collection and for community education

Grow the Graduate School & Graduate Programs


  • Increase the number of graduate courses available online for distance learning in niche areas
  • Create professional Master’s degrees in Professional Science and other high-demand areas
  • Create and implement doctoral programs in a small number of niche strategic areas
  • Provide outstanding academic and career advising to current and prospective graduate students

Create & Support Strategic Centers of Excellence (COE) Aligned & Integrated with Montana Tech’s Mission


  • Evaluate and establish a viable model and organizational structure for COEs by:
    • Developing metrics for reviewing and evaluating COEs on a yearly basis
    • Evaluating current COEs on effectiveness and relevance
    • Terminating inactive COEs or develop a strategy to re-start activity
    • Establish a level of base support and plan for both internal and external funding
  • Task research office with assisting COEs in achieving national excellence by:
    • Identifying, winning, and applying for funding that strategically promote the centers’ mission
    • Effectively use IDCs to invest in the mission of the COEs

Effectively Transfer Technology into Products


  • Launch a Montana Tech colloquium series on technology transfer
  • Provide grants to pursue entrepreneurial ideas that lead to intellectual property (IP) or funded grants or contracts
  • Revise and maintain IP policies that include incentives for IP creation or funded research
  • Evaluate Montana Tech’s ability to convert IP into products
    • Consider partnering with the private sector in order to transfer IP into profitable products
Theme 3: Respond to Industry, Community & State Needs

Support Regional Economic Development


  • Widely communicate the synergy of education, research and economic development
  • Increase interaction with local/regional/state industry by
    • Strengthening relationships between faculty and staff with industry
    • Establishing Industrial Advisory Boards (IABs) in all departments

Provide Service to Community and State


  • Build strong relationships with high schools, and in particular with schools in the surrounding five-county area
  • Integrate into curricula student engagement with and public service for the community

Develop Continuing and Professional Education


  • Establish a Technology Committee for advancing technology use for continuing and professional education by:
    • Expanding distance learning courses especially at the graduate level while providing proper service
    • Utilize expertise on campus to develop continuing education coursework
    • Meet the needs of industry through certifications & training seminars
    • Recognize and market the current efforts in providing continuing education
Theme 4: Improve our Recognition & Reputation in the State, Nation, & World

Build a Sense of Pride in which Faculty/Staff Members Naturally Market Montana Tech


  • Improve communication between faculty/staff and marketing
  • Creatively encourage faculty/staff to be more involved with events, outreach and marketing
  • Work with faculty/staff on developing and maintaining faculty website templates

Expand Marketing and Development to Expand and Better Serve our Communities


  • Coordinate and improve marketing/public relations/alumni/recruiting campaigns and programs, including athletics, the Foundation, departments, and all units within Montana Tech
  • Create and maintain a high-quality website
    • Hire and retain a skilled webmaster
    • Use staff or freelance creative designers/photographers effectively
    • Soliciting feedback from website users

Pursue “First Choice” in Athletics


  • Recruit and retain quality student-athletes, athletic staff, and coaches
  • Expand the positive impact of Montana Tech athletics across the campus, local community, State and Nation
  • Strive to be competitive and to frequently compete for Frontier Conference championships in all sponsored sports
  • Expand the athletic and wellness opportunities available to the Montana Tech community
Theme 5: Secure Resources that Support Excellence

Engage Alumni/Constituents and Create Friendships


  • Engage key constituencies—alumni, industry, friends, and community—through the Foundation and Alumni Association
    • Effectively use faculty and staff to build/strengthen relationships with these key constituencies

Increase Enrollment and Retention Rates


  • Strategically recruit students who fit Montana Tech programs
    • Use social media to recruit students including hiring outside help for best-practices in student recruitment
    • Optimize recruiter travel to focus on high yield demographic areas
    • Identify targeted groups for increasing success and diversity of students
  • Utilize Highlands College as a feeder system for placing remedial students into Montana Tech’s 4-year programs
  • Consider developing strategic online offerings and/or use existing online courses to prepare remedial students
  • Develop scholarship award strategies that increase retention, meet student needs, and increase enrollment
  • Offer courses with a wider array of time and date options

Recruit and Retain World-Class Faculty and Staff


  • Benchmark, assess, and create profiles of reasons faculty and staff had for coming to and/or staying at Montana Tech
  • Create opportunities for growth for current faculty and staff (career ladders, development opportunities)
  • Establish individual and departmental goals and standards and then reward high-performing faculty members
  • Develop internal programs that encourage scholarly activities for new recruits and to retain current faculty
  • Develop an equitable salary structure that funds the highest performing faculty members at 100% of CUPA or higher
  • Establish endowed professorships to grow faculty
  • Plan for cross-training continuity and replacement of key positions as we diversify our faculty and staff

Develop and Maintain Quality Campus Facilities and Programs


  • Update the Campus Master Plan to include:
    • A plan for buildings and projects including shovel-ready projects that feed into the LRBP including landscaping, architectural, and conceptual plans
    • Develop an acquisition plan for the North Campus
    • Implement/update a deferred maintenance plan and make the plan transparent to the campus
    • Build quality and affordable housing for students and possibly visiting faculty or visitors
  • Have the Foundation seek naming opportunities for endowing campus buildings
  • Evaluate the feasibility of renovating the swimming pool, including supporting programming to ensure use
  • Develop a plan for providing daycare for the children of Montana Tech employees
  • Explore the use and feasibility of providing intra-campus and intra-city transport beyond existing bus service
  • Build an all-in-one “SUB” that could include an Auxiliary Gym, Climbing Wall, Ballroom, Student Services, and Food Court
  • Have high-quality intramural and recreational programs for students, faculty, and staff
Theme 6: Create a Culture & Workplace Environment that Fosters Engaged
Citizenship Across Local, National, & Global Communities

Embrace and Support Diversity of Opinion, Ethnicity, and Culture


  • Establish a Diversity Committee that will help guide the University in issues that could include:
    • Offering, maintaining, and expanding extra-curricular activities related to issues within diversity
    • Offering academic study and research-related to issues within diversity
  • Foster a Culture of Collegiality and Respect
    • Formally assess employee morale with the goal of improving or addressing troubling issues
    • Develop a “Digger Central” for faculty and staff where comprehensive communication takes place
    • Provide training and encouragement to promote both the continual, professional growth of employees and effective interaction within the Montana Tech community