Dec 15, 2011 6:05 PM by Christina Lysacek

MSU hosts summit to discuss changes for Montana's two-year higher education

A group of more than 100 leaders in higher education met at MSU today. They worked to brainstorm new names for Montana's colleges of technology and ways they could re-brand all of Montana's two-year education institutions.

"What we are going to be working on over the next two days is really dealing with how we as educators and business and industry leaders can work together to change any misconceptions that may exist about two year educations in Montana," said John Cech, the deputy commissioner for two-year community college education in Montana.

The Board of Regents decided that the name College of Technology is out of date, and it fails to describe the broader mission of the colleges. "The naming convention that we've been working on over the last six months will be based around mission, place, and affiliation," said Cech.

A group of higher education leaders plan to meet with students and prospective students in the technology colleges throughout Montana in January and early February. During this time they hope to get student opinions on name changes. They will then take feedback from the summit and feedback they receive from students and present a recommendation of new names to the board of regents for action on March 1.

"Two-year education is a great option for a lot of students. It is the right place for a lot of people to start and to gain the skills that they need to enter the workforce, so we are going to try and reflect that in how we brand and how we re-name the institutions in the future," said Joe Thiel, the student regent at the Montana University System.

Their other plan is to re-vamp their mission for two-year education throughout Montana, focusing on transfer education, workforce development, basic adult education, lifelong learning, and community development.


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