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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Graduate Education

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The Task Force has met six times this year. We tried to address each of the objectives individually during the months since the task force was created, and we will continue that procedure next year.

Objectives One & Two

Objectives one and two deal with the creation of funding mechanisms which will enable us to grow selected graduate programs. So far we have had general discussions and done comparative research about differential tuition and additional fees; these are among the first items on the agenda for fall semester, and we realize that specific proposals will have to be broader based than just from this task force. Several program proposals have been or are being developed with the support of the task force/sub-meet, to wit:

  • MFA in Forensics has been approved and will be offered in Fall 2003 (new program)*
  • Certificate in Technical Communication is being developed (new program, on-line, 2004)*
  • An offshoot of the task force/sub-meet completely revised the Multi-disciplinary Studies Master's program. Redesign forms will be introduced at the first sub-meet in 2003, and the program should be available in 2004 (modify, improve, and expand existing program)*
  • MBA is being developed for offering in Fall 2004 (reinstate/create new programs; a business plan is being developed and it will be discussed in appropriate venues as the graduate sub-meet considers curriculum early Fall 2003)

Objective Three

Objective three concerns enrollment management, and the graduate office and sub-meet have had a voice in the enrollment management task force, and we expect that some of the initiatives we gathered data for will be in the May report, including increasing percentage of graduate students on campus to 15% of the total; support for growth in extended studies graduate programs; and support for strong programs and consolidation of small or weak programs. Criteria for determining enrollment targets for graduate programs will be developed fall semester.

Objective Four

Objective four concerns simplifying graduate school requirements and forms. We've made great strides here. By early fall, we expect all graduate office forms to be on-line, including an on-line application form. In consultation with the sub-meet, all of our forms are being revised and simplified.

Objective Five

Objective five concerns involving the university community in what we are doing. Soon after the last meeting of the year we will put on the web an annual report, minutes of all of our meetings, and agenda items/plans for next year.

Objective Six

Objective six involves making sure that graduate programs are cost effective. Initially the sub-meet is using this objective as a mechanism to be much more critical of the finances of new program/program and re-design proposals. More detailed business plans/market studies are now expected for new programs than have been expected in the past. Succeeding steps will be to advocate for differential tuition and/or appropriate fees so the actual cost of a graduate program is revealed in the tuition/fee structure. This is fairly complex because savings at the undergraduate level as the result of having a graduate program have to be accounted for.

*These three programs do not require new resources and meet the criteria set forward in the initial clause of objective two.