Deadline: Friday, April 30, 2021

Academic Technology and Outreach at Montana State University (MSU) invites proposals for the development of non-credit courses for April through October 2021. Engagement between MSU and individuals and communities across Montana continues to be a critical component of MSU’s Strategic Plan: Choosing Promise. The goal of this request for proposals is to leverage the knowledge and expertise of MSU faculty and staff to address the professional development needs of the people of the Gallatin Valley and beyond through non-credit course development.

Proposal Information and Requirements

Non-Credit Course Development proposals should include:

  • Identification of a professional development offering (broadly construed) that can connect the skills and knowledge of MSU faculty and staff to serve communities throughout Montana
  • A description of the course topic
  • A description of the target audience. This may be broad (e.g., individuals seeking to re-enter the workforce after several years out of it) or narrow (e.g., small business owners)
  • A tentative schedule, including the number of hours of instruction. Proposals may be for a short talk, a lecture series, a complete class or a series of classes

The Non-Credit Courses Described by the Grant Proposals may include:

  • Development of ‘soft’ skills, such as teamwork or critical thinking, that would apply to many occupations
  • Development of skills that apply mainly to specific occupations
  • Communicating innovative solutions and applications for specified measurable outcomes
  • Influencing professional practice
  • Instruction aimed at the ability of our community members to be competitive in the workforce or in their respective fields
  • Application of proven strategies or unique solutions to a well-defined problem
  • Reciprocal relationships with external constituents

 Preference will be given to courses that:

  • Are demonstrated to be suitable for digital badging (see for more on badges)
  • Can be taught in an online environment (either as a webinar or in D2L) but are also suited to be adapted to face-to-face learning
  • Have an identified instructor or facilitator
  • Are likely to be successful in recurring over a number of years
  • Have identified a specific target audience in coordination with a third-party organization. (e.g., a professional organization interested in providing the proposed training to its membership)

Award Information

Approximately $20,000 is available for this round of funding. The maximum award request for a single course is $2,500 and $5,000 for a series of courses. Funding for any given proposal is one-time only and awardees should not expect ongoing funding. Funding is for course development and funds requested should be relative to anticipated length of course instruction. Compensation for instruction will be funded through the collection of course registration fees.

Please note, funds must be spent in accordance with MSU policy and procedures.

There are many ways to do virtual outreach in our current COVID environment and we encourage people to think about creative options. A proposed course may make use of ATO’s non-credit instance of D2L, but it is not required. This is a great opportunity for enhanced creativity in outreach.

Who Can Apply

MSU faculty and staff members are eligible to submit proposals. University policies on additional compensation apply. If an awardee is not eligible for additional compensation, the funds will be transferred to their respective department.


Submission Deadline: Was February 26, 2021, but has been extended to Friday, April 30, 2021

Award Announcements: May 21, 2021

Initial course offering: Between April and October of 2021 or as negotiated

Proposal Preparation and Submission

Proposals should include a cover page, follow the proposal outline form and be no longer than three pages in length (using 12-point font and one-inch margins). The proposal must consist of a single PDF no longer than 3 pages and must be sent as an email attachment to Mark Chakoian (

Questions and preliminary discussions are also welcome and may be directed to Mark Chakoian.