Community-engaged And Transformational Scholarship Initiative

Logo CATS Community-engaged and Transformational Scholarship

CATS is an initiative to facilitate large-scale meaningful and impactful partnerships between Montana State University and surrounding communities through course-based project collaborations.

Graphic depicting iconic buildings for Bozeman,MT and Montana state University. Hotel Baxter, Water Tower, Library, Romney Gym. BrickBreerden Fieldhouse, Montana Hall

The initiative delivers a simple model to:
• Match community identified needs and community driven projects to university capacity and expertise
• Magnify engagement of students and faculty across departments and disciplines
• Work within existing institutional structures using an “opt-in” framework for engagement
• Afford students with valuable opportunities to apply skills in real contexts while making positive impacts in their communities
• Provide access to new ideas, energy, and university capacity to local partners to solve pressing community-based needs

 

 

Example Community Needs/Goals:

  Identify effective public
    engagement tools 
Assure water quality and conservation 
Address climate change resiliency 
Support community health and wellness 
Develop safe routes to school 
Manage congestion/promote alternative
   transportation modes
Create community through arts,
   culture, and placemaking 
Assess and enhance accessibility 
Promote local producers/
   economic development 
Ensure affordable housing stock

Decorative Graphics depicting community needs and university expertise e.g. community engagement, Resisalence to weather, safe routes to schools, art, culture, increased manufacturing, affordable housing. Planning, education, economics, architecture

 

 

University Expertise

 Business  Environmental Science
Community Health Planning
Environmental Health Art
Economics Landscape Design
Education Architecture
Geography Sociology
Public Administration
Sustainable Food Systems
Health and Human Development
Engineering and Computer Science
Marketing and Communications

How it works:

A CATS coordinator works with interested cities, towns, counties, or other community entities and university faculty to match multidisciplinary project-based courses to a set of community-identified needs over an academic year. The partnerships require submission of proposed projects and commitments for coordination, project management assistance, and resources required to ensure successful project outcomes.   

Contact: 

Susan Gallagher,
Western Transportation Institute

• Ph: 406-994-6559       

• Email: sgallagher AT montana.edu

View a pdf of the
CATS Initiative overview,
or the
2018-2019 CATS Project Partnerships

Timeline:

 
 Spring Communities propose project list
 Spring/Summer CATS works with community partner to match proposed projects to courses: 
 Semester start Kick-off event
 Fall Fall semester course work
 Spring Spring semester coursework
 End of Spring term End of year event presentation & delivery of final deliverables                   

 

2018-2019 Course Project Partnerships

CATS initiated a 3-year partnership under a standing MOU with the City of Bozeman through Spring semester 2021.

To date the collaboration has engaged 37 students from 7 different academic disciplines
across 3 colleges in addressing local community needs and concerns.

Public Art Map Web Overlay

• Geography 358: GPS Mapping Service Learning
• City of Bozeman GIS Department
The City of Bozeman envisions a creative, learning culture through, among other things, support for public art. Working with City GIS staff, students in a senior level GIS course gathered the clean spatial data needed to add public art installations around town as a layer on the City’s public interactive mapping application, allowing members of the public to explore public art installation locations.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Design

• Architecture 451: Design for Community
• City of Bozeman Planning & Community
   Development Division
Bozeman’s rapid growth has led to a shortage in housing, and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) such as apartments over garages can provide expanded options. Working with Bozeman Community Development staff, Architecture students developed multiple ADU design options and models, construction documents and cost estimates, and information resources for community members interested in adding an ADU to their property to assist them in getting started.

Public Education on Street Design for Traffic Calming & Safety

• Education 588: Science Assessment Principles
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
Bozeman is encouraging neighborhood-based efforts to address traffic safety concerns by supporting the installation of low-cost temporary traffic calming projects. Secondary school teachers enrolled in an MSU graduate education course assisted the City in adding to its public outreach and awareness materials on traffic calming strategies by developing lesson plans that can be implemented in STEM classrooms at the middle school level. 

 

Visual Media to Promote Fire Safety Awareness & Education

• Film 301: Issues in Lens-Based Media
• City of Bozeman Fire Chief
MSU film students are developing visual media to improve fire and accident prevention awareness among Bozeman community members, working with the Bozeman Fire Department to capture local footage that is relevant and recognizable to our community. 

Environmental Health Issues for Students Living in Off-campus Housing

• BIOM 210: Principles of Environmental Health Science
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
The tight housing market in Bozeman and lack of adequate literacy about environmental health issues associated with independent living put students at potential risk. Students in this course are researching and documenting a variety of environmental health issues related to off-campus housing for compilation into information resources for student renters.

Urban Design Manual Inputs

• Geography 520: Land Use Planning
• City of Bozeman Planning Department
Students explored urban design theories and trends in conjunction with Bozeman’s Municipal Code to identify potential applications for inclusion in an Urban Design Manual. 

Complete Street Design

• Honors 494: Design Thinking for the Community
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
Students are engaging student and local business stakeholders to develop streetscape designs for College St. between 8th and 11th to improve biker and pedestrian safety. Students will explore the potential for a design prototype to be deployed and tested as a temporary pop-up traffic calming demonstration project. 

 

Public Art Map Web Overlay

• Geography 358: GPS Mapping Service Learning
• City of Bozeman GIS Department
The City of Bozeman envisions a creative, learning culture through, among other things, support for public art. Working with City GIS staff, students in a senior level GIS course gathered the clean spatial data needed to add public art installations around town as a layer on the City’s public interactive mapping application, allowing members of the public to explore public art installation locations.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Design

• Architecture 451: Design for Community
• City of Bozeman Planning & Community Development Division
Bozeman’s rapid growth has led to a shortage in housing, and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) such as apartments over garages can provide expanded options. Working with Bozeman Community Development staff, Architecture students developed multiple ADU design options and models, construction documents and cost estimates, and information resources for community members interested in adding an ADU to their property to assist them in getting started.

Public Education on Street Design for Traffic Calming & Safety

• Education 588: Science Assessment Principles
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
Bozeman is encouraging neighborhood-based efforts to address traffic safety concerns by supporting the installation of low-cost temporary traffic calming projects. Secondary school teachers enrolled in an MSU graduate education course assisted the City in adding to its public outreach and awareness materials on traffic calming strategies by developing lesson plans that can be implemented in STEM classrooms at the middle school level. 

Visual Media to Promote Fire Safety Awareness & Education

• Film 301: Issues in Lens-Based Media
• City of Bozeman Fire Chief
MSU film students are developing visual media to improve fire and accident prevention awareness among Bozeman community members, working with the Bozeman Fire Department to capture local footage that is relevant and recognizable to our community. 

Environmental Health Issues for Students Living in Off-campus Housing

• BIOM 210: Principles of Environmental Health Science
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
The tight housing market in Bozeman and lack of adequate literacy about environmental health issues associated with independent living put students at potential risk. Students in this course are researching and documenting a variety of environmental health issues related to off-campus housing for compilation into information resources for student renters.

Urban Design Manual Inputs

• Geography 520: Land Use Planning
• City of Bozeman Planning Department
Students explored urban design theories and trends in conjunction with Bozeman’s Municipal Code to identify potential applications for inclusion in an Urban Design Manual. 

Complete Street Design

• Honors 494: Design Thinking for the Community
• City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Office
Students are engaging student and local business stakeholders to develop streetscape designs for College St. between 8th and 11th to improve biker and pedestrian safety. Students will explore the potential for a design prototype to be deployed and tested as a temporary pop-up traffic calming demonstration project. 

 

Logo Montan State University (MSU) and Western Transportation Institute (WTI)
Logo City ob Bozeman, MT