The feasibility of a bachelor of science degree in secretarial technology at Northern Montana College
Bergren, Garnet Thackeray
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a bachelor's degree in secretarial technology at Northern Montana College. A secondary purpose was to examine the office needs of employers with implications for curriculum revision or development. A survey instrument was mailed to 150 employers throughout the State of Montana, from which 74 usable returns were received. A second survey instrument was mailed to 46 students enrolled in the Secretarial Technology Associate of Science Degree program at Northern Montana College, 39 usable returns were realized. The research findings led to the identification of the following trends in secretarial training or education at the post secondary level: (1) Post secondary education in office technology is essential to meet the office needs of Montana employers; (2) Montana employers regard education and experience similarly when selecting a secretary; (3) Montana employers would hire a secretary with a bachelor's degree. However, the secretary may need to consider working in one of Montana's larger communities to obtain a desirable wage; (4) while computer use continues to grow, many Montana offices use manual files and require a secretary to set up or maintain one; (5) the importance of written and oral communication skills in the secretarial curriculum is evident. The research findings of the student survey led to the development of a student profile, and to the following analysis of student opinion (1) many students enrolled in the secretarial program at Northern Montana College will seek higher degrees in business; (2) students believe that Northern Montana College should offer both an associate and a bachelor's degree in secretarial technology; (3) students would enroll in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Secretarial Technology if it were available at Northern Montana College, (4) the Northern Montana College secretarial student is typically an nontraditional student from Northern Montana. The writer recommended curriculum changes in the associate degree program at Northern Montana College emphasizing microcomputer word processing and reinstating a course in records (information) management. In addition, the writer recommended that Northern Montana College pursue the Bachelor of Science Degree in Office Administration.