Missouri State University
Bear Tracks
for Transfer Students

Transfer Student Perspective: Debra Donham

ADULT EDUCATION – Taking Classes as an Older Transfer Student


Who ever thought that going back to college, late in life, was a great idea?  For anyone contemplating this endeavor at MSU?   Here are a few helpful ideas:

First, JUST DO IT!  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I always say.   A good friend of mine reminded me, “So what if it takes a few years?!   How old will you be in a few years if you DO NOT take classes?”    Take the leap of faith!  There is a whole world of learning out there for you.

I was terrified at first—I didn’t know how to use Blackboard, which is the computer software that MSU instructors use to schedule assignments and communicate with students.   I didn’t know who to talk to about my course of study.  I didn’t know how to go online and schedule anything.  I didn’t want to be the old lady in the class who just wasn’t “hip” to new stuff, and I certainly did NOT want anyone to know that I am not the most computer-literate person on the planet.  Guess what?  That doesn’t matter at all…

As an adult transfer student, you will be in for quite the awakening, in the most satisfying of ways.   About Blackboard – I went to our library and sat down with a young student who had the patience of a saint.  She helped me log on, showed me how to navigate the site – was just going out of her way to be friendly and helpful.  She gave me the encouragement I needed to go home and tackle it.  I called back with questions which were always welcomed.

MSU has a terrific Outreach program for older adult students, and my advisor, John Hall, sat down with me and explained the process of signing on to classes, how to get transcripts from the college I attended way back in the 70’s, and helped me immeasurably.  He was always available by email and was encouraging and had an answer to all of my “what now” questions as they came up.  I was also assigned a mentor in the College of Business (that’s my field of interest)  in my course of study, who again sat down with me and went over my plan of study with a fine-toothed comb; she was more than helpful.  These folks don’t just advise and turn you out into the weeds – they check back with you, let you know they care about where you are going with this.  It’s invaluable.  It’s encouraging.  It’s uplifting.  It’s worth it.

Now, about the computer in general:  don’t freak out about it!  MSU provided state-of-the-art software for me to use on my journey, the new Office package, totally free of charge.  And use it I did—but NOT without the help of the all-knowing Computer Help Desk staff.  Believe me, when you can’t get your speech to transfer to Blackboard, you don’t have to pull your hair out – those Computer Help Desk people are kind, generous with their time, and they just “get it.”   Loved every one of them and I hope I’m there when they have all their children….it’s just the Grandma in me.

I was made to feel just as much a part of my classes as people much, much younger than me.  I participated in online discussion groups (all my classes are online so far) and got to see first-hand how bright and talented this young generation has become.   I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie between students from 18 to 80.   When the semester is over, I miss hearing their opinions, feeling their acceptance, learning from their wonderfully growing minds!  I would have lost so much without their sharing the lights that make them shine!

I know that being in class, in person and on campus, has its advantages; but don’t be afraid to sign up for online classes.   My instructors were always just an e-mail away, and they provide quick answers to questions.  Here’s the most important thing to remember:  No question is too stupid, no question is dumb, and they go out of their way to get you an answer and be helpful.  There is, my friends, NOTHING to lose in doing this.

Were there difficulties?  You bet.  Sometimes I would procrastinate and wait too long to study before tests.   It’s important to “keep up” with your syllabus, and not be lazy about it.   Online tests must be taken by a certain time on a certain day.  And the tests are timed, so that will make you nervous.  But your scores pop up right away, so you know your strengths and weaknesses in an instant.  If you are like me, and working a full-time and part-time job together, you have to MAKE yourself study on a Sunday afternoon when everyone else in your family is doing fun stuff.   The rewards are great, my friend.  (My daughter-in-law teaches high school biology, and lo and behold, we discussed the heart’s atrial valves and what have you….)  Share what you are learning with your friends, your family – they are encouraging in your quest to learn more and do more and be more.

The Bookstore on the few days before classes start is a sight to behold.  If you need books, don’t wait until the last minute – it’s like a minefield in there!  But the joy of getting back into the college swing of things again?  It’s only multiplied as the classes continue.

Please contact someone in Academic Outreach if you are considering taking classes—give yourself plenty of time to obtain all of your college transcripts.  Enjoy this time of learning when you didn’t have to.   There is a great deal of satisfaction at the end of it, and a desire to just keep going is overwhelming.  You can say, “Look what I did.  Way to go, me!”


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Service Spotlight: Green Dot

Green Dot is a bystander intervention and violence prevention program designed to reduce power-based personal violence (sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking) on our campus and in our community. The Green Dot program launched on our campus in August 2016 and is coordinated by Jenay Lamy, who works in the Title IX Office. The goal of this inclusive program is to create two new campus norms; (1) Violence is not tolerated on our campus or in our community, and (2) Everyone is expected to do their part in safety and prevention.

This will be achieved through Green Dot presentations, Green Dot Bystander Intervention Trainings, social media engagement and action events. At the Missouri State University Green Dot website, (www.missouristate.edu/greendot), there is information about; registering for a training, requesting a Green Dot presentation for a student organization, group or residence hall floor, nominating someone (including student, faculty or staff) for a Green Dot presentation or training, telling your Green Dot story and learning about local and national resources. From the words of the Green Dot Etc. founder, Dr. Dorothy Edwards, “No one has to do everything. Everyone has to do something. What’s Your Green Dot?

If you would like to learn more about the Green Dot program, you can call Jenay at 417-836-8502 or email JenayLamy@MissouriState.edu. The Title IX and Green Dot offices are located in Carrington Hall

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Service Spotlight: CampusLINK

CampusLINK is Missouri State University’s online community for students to learn about events on campus, browse over 350+ student organizations at Missouri State, and track their involvement to build a Co-Curricular Transcript. If you want to check out student organizations or create your own, CampusLINK is the place to begin!

Every student can benefit from CampusLINK in the following ways:

  • Find out about upcoming events on campus
  • Browse 350+ student organizations and university departments to find ways to get involved
  • Find out about current news from campus departments and organizations in the news feed
  • Track involvement in organizations and/or service hours to create a Co-Curricular Transcript

If you have not used CampusLINK, you should definitely familiarize yourself with it. Not only is it useful for your time as a student, it can also benefit you in job applications.

Additionally, if you serve in a leadership role in a student organization, CampusLINK can be exceptionally helpful. It can help you:

  • Track attendance of member and students at campus events
  • Recruit new members through the “Recommendations” feature
  • Share news and information about organizations to campus community
  • Post event information and flyers to interactive flyer board with customized settings
  • Host organizational elections and votes electronically
  • Customize the organization’s page to fit the needs and interests of student members
  • Link the organization’s page to a Facebook, Twitter, or website
  • Communicate with members and university community with the various messaging features
  • Share important documents with members
  • Track organization and individual member service hours
  • Create organizational forms and collect electronically
  • Complete required paperwork for various university departments and submit online
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Need to Know: Financial Aid: Scholarships, FASFA and the in-betweens


Financial Aid can be very tricky to navigate – I hope that this post will answer some general questions for you. However, it is important to note that Financial Aid is incredibly individualized and you should check with a financial aid officer with any concerns.


Missouri State priority date to turn in the FAFSA is February 1, 2017. You can find out more about FAFSA here.

There are a number of different ways to fund your education!


Scholarships are awarded each year to students who demonstrate qualities such as, but not limited to, outstanding academic achievement, leadership involvement and financial need. The funds come from multiple sources and do not have to be repaid.

Scholarship Application Process

You can already begin your scholarship application process! You have until March 1, 2017. The system can be assessed through your My.MissouriState under the Profile Tab and Financial Aid. You’ll then click on the General and Departmental Scholarship link. You can see the different scholarship options on this page. Keep in mind the different deadlines.

Transfer Student Scholarships

Missouri State understands that transferring can be an expensive endeavor, and provides scholarships that are specific to transfer students! Check them out here!


Grants are similar to scholarships in that they provide funding to students without requiring any repayment. Organizations and agencies award grant money to students based on financial need, academic achievements and career goals.

Most grants require the completion of the FAFSA to determine your eligibility and level of funding.


Loans are a type of financial aid that requires repayment after graduation. Most loan programs offer low interest rates and long-term repayment plans.

There is a lot of information to digest regarding Financial Aid! Make sure to start early, so you don’t get overwhelmed.


Please contact Missouri State’s Financial Aid office if you have any additional questions!

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
Office closed Tuesdays from 8 to 9 am
Office closed on University Holidays

Email Address:

Phone Numbers:
417-836-5262, Financial Aid Office
800-283-4243, Toll Free
417-836-8392, Office Fax

FAFSA School Code:

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Notes from Devon


Can you believe this semester is almost over? I wanted to update you on some exciting new things coming to Missouri State next semester for Transfer Students.

  1. The Office of Student Engagement is hosting a Transfer Student Resource Fair on January 19th at 11AM in the PSU Ballroom. We have over 30 offices registered to come. This fair is open to all transfer students. We will have giveaways for attendance. This fair will provide a great opportunity for you to meet different people around campus and learn about what is provided for you here at Missouri State University!
  2. Missouri State University has a new honor society! Tau Sigma will accept its first class this spring. If you have a 3.5 or above keep an eye out for an email containing your information.
  3. The Office of Student Engagement will sponsor “Lunch-and-Learns” for Transfer Students in the spring semester. Join us during lunch to listen to a guest speaker.
  4. We will have a few Meet & Greets for new Transfer Bears to meet one another and forge connections.
  5. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @MoStateTransfer to stay up-to-date on new events happening on campus for you

Additionally, if you are interested in sharing your transfer story with other Missouri State Transfer Bears please reach out to me at DevonWright@missouristate.edu. I would love to feature you on our blog!

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Service Spotlight: The Living-Learning Communities and You!


The Living-Learning Communities and You!

The living-learning communities (LLCs) are often thought of as a program for first-year students, but there is a lot to offer within the LLCs for transfer students.

The Transitions Community was created specifically for transfer students. Located in Kentwood Hall, this is a great option for transfer students who want to live on campus. You’ve already got some experience with college and so does everyone living in Transitions – even the Resident Assistants are transfer students! Activities in Transitions are tailored to meet the needs of transfer students, and Kentwood is located close to downtown Springfield so you can get to know your new home by just taking a short walk. Kentwood is a beautiful building with its own dining center in the basement and a real sense of history and community.

If you’re looking for someone to help you make a smoother adjustment to Missouri State, as part of living in Transitions you could participate in the Peer Mentor program. Students who were new transfer students to Missouri State the previous year serve as mentors for new transfer students who opt into the program within Transitions.

Transitions is not the only community that you can be a part of as a transfer student – many of our LLCs have spaces available for transfer and returning students. Global Community, located in Sunvilla Tower is a community for students who want to make new friends, teach, and learn about global culture, and network for the future. Bears for Sustainability is a great option for students who have a passion for environmental, social, and economic change. Bears for a Just Community could be right for you if you want to explore issues of diversity, inclusion, human and civil rights, and have opportunities to explore and engage in conversations and activities with other social justice-minded individuals. Future Health Care Professionals is a perfect community for those who have a declared major in the College of Health and Human Services and want to be surrounded by others who are also interested in a health care or human services profession, gaining exposure to unique career options that exist for their respective major.

If you are interested in living in Transitions Community, please complete your housing contract indicating you would like to live in a living-learning community and select Transitions Community as your number one preference. Additionally, select Kentwood Hall as your number one building preference. If you are interested in Bears for Sustainability, Bears for a Just Community, or Future Health Care Professionals, include those in your ranked preferences. If you would like to live in Global Community, please complete your apartment contract indicating you would like to live in Global Community. If you have questions about the Transitions Community, or any of the other LLCs, please contact the Living-Learning Community Office at 417-836-3234 or LiveLearn@MissouriState.edu.

Welcome to Missouri State! We look forward to having you on campus and welcome the opportunity to provide housing and opportunities that fit your needs as a student who is new to this campus, but not college life.

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Need to Know


Study Tips!

This semester is nearly over; can you believe it? It will be Winter Break before we know it and that means it is time to hunker down and begin studying for finals. Make sure to schedule times to meet with faculty in classes you are confused by and set aside a few hours a week to review information you learned at the beginning of this semester.

  1. Space it out and prepare in advance. Your brain needs time and repetition to store things to memory. Even if you do well cramming for tests, you might not remember that information later. Take smaller amounts of time, over a longer period and you will keep it in your memory.
  2. Make up stories – you will have an easier time memorizing facts or formulas if you make it silly. Think of the Order of Operations from Math: PEMDAS – Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Try to come up with a crazy story and you will most likely remember!
  3. Move around – your brain will commit the information to memory, not just the location. Study at home, in a coffee shop, at the library…. the more the better!
  4. Manage your time – the only thing worse than having a deadline is missing a deadline. Stay organized, cut down on procrastination and your work load will feel much more manageable.
  5. If you cannot use a device connected to the internet without straying from your studies, don’t. You’ll thank yourself. Make sure your study time is quality, the quantity doesn’t matter if half of it is spent on Facebook!
  6. Take a Break! No, really, you’ve earned it! Take a ten-minute break every hour or so, and try to take a day or two off per week if you can. It’ll help you stay energized and at peak mental condition. Given how easy it is to become overwhelmed in college, this is probably the most important of our study tips for college students.
  7. If you have to do some reading for review, try this: Turn to the end of the chapter and read the chapter summaryfirst and then read all of the review questions.  Then go back and read the entire chapter. Additionally, try reading in a voice that you would use when reading out loud. It will help you pay attention!
  8. Find a study group. Cliché?  Maybe.  But when you find the right study group it can really help you with difficult topics and course material.  Remember the old saying “two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two…”.  Very true in this case.
  9. Drink water, eat healthy. What you put in is going to affect what you put out! We have plenty of healthy dining options around campus to take advantage of!
  10. Sleep! Your brain cannot commit information to memory if it is not well rested. Give yourself a break and get some solid ZzZzs in.

You’ve got this!

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Notes from Devon

I want to formally introduce myself to you all! My name is Devon Wright. I am a Missouri State alum and proud that I can continue to work for a school I love. I am the new Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Transfer Student Programs.

My position exists to assist and support transfer students as they transition to Missouri State, as well as continue to provide support throughout your time here. I hope that I can be a resource whom you can feel comfortable asking advice or questions, or reaching out to me as an advocate. I would also be happy to help you get involved on campus.

Finally, we will hold a number of social events on campus each semester that you can attend. I look forward to meeting you and hope you won’t hesitate to contact me if I can do anything to help you achieve your goals and enjoy your time at Missouri State.

Please stop in to see me in the Plaster Student Union 101. Additionally, I can be reached via phone at 417-836-4386 or email DevonWright@missouristate.edu


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