Missouri State University
The Family Connection

Spotlight on Family Weekend 2014 – The Duane G. Meyer Library presents “The Library – Past, Present and Future” Family Event

We are counting down the days until Family Weekend, September 12-14, 2014. There are many activities for you and your family to participate in while you are on campus. One such event, “The Library – Past, Present and Future” Family Event presented by Family Weekend partner Duane G. Meyer Library is today’s spotlight event.  photo(1)

The Meyer Library and Flat Boomer are excited to welcome you and your family to Family Weekend and to the library. The staff has planned many activities that will entertain, engage and educate you on all the library has to offer to you and your student. The activities are as follows:

Library & TRiO

  • Self-guided tour of the Library with a specially designed map of the building
  • Special Collections, 3rd Level – Library history display with pictures and Ozarko year books
  • CRC, 2nd Level – Storytellers
  • Maps, Lower Level – Pinpoint where you’re from
  • Music and Media, Lower Level – Music
  • Carillon Bell Tower 2nd and 3rd Level entry – tours of the Jane A. Meyer Carillon, the tallest carillon in the Midwest. Lear more about the Carillon Bell Tower here.
  • Administration Display, 1st Level – Long range plan for the library
  • Activities, Lobby area – Big Jenga; Paint your library with paint markers and chalk; make your own button
  • Refreshments, Lobby area – Fresh popcorn; organic lemonade
  • Ask Us Any Question, 2nd Level – Reference Librarian will be available to answer any question in a booth hosted by Computer Services
  • Drawings for gift certificates and coupons: Andy’s Frozen Custard, Gillardi’s restaurant, Grad School, Aviary Café & Creperie, Bistro grocery store, Mexican Villa, Trolley’s, Regal Movie Theatre, limited edition “Flat Boomer at the Library” jigsaw puzzles (pictured above).

Bear Claw

  • 1st Level – Front desk person to answer questions and hand out item

Access Technology

  • 2nd Level – Sandwich boards, display table with pamphlets

Computer Services

  • 2nd Level – digital art coloring pages; message to Boomer shared on social media

Visit the Family Weekend 2014 page to find out more information and register. If you have questions, please contact Priscilla Childress at pchildress@missouristate.edu or at (417) 836-3060. We look forward to seeing you on September 12th.



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Ask Priscilla – Does my student need a car on campus?

Ah, the question that haunts parents and students think is a no-brainer. This is a question that has been asked through the decades.  The decision comes down to personal preference, feasibility and taking a good look at Missouri State’s transportation plan.   Ask Priscilla_Avatar_MO

Missouri State has the Bear Line for your student to utilize.  The Bear Line offers a convenient way to get around campus and downtown Springfield. Jump on from any of the well-lit, covered shuttle stops conveniently located across campus. Shuttles are climate controlled and offer a comfortable ride. No individual fares will be charged to any passenger. Buses are specially equipped for persons with disabilities.

Commuter students can leave the driving to the Bear Line.  Bear Line can help take the pressure off finding a parking place in crowded lots. Simply park in one of the spacious, covered parking garages — Bear Park North, located off John Q. Hammons Parkway with entrances on Cherry and Elm Streets, and Bear Park South, located at the intersection of Holland and Grand — and catch the shuttle. Just be sure to arrive about 15 minutes early to allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

What is the cost of a parking permit? Is there a lot of parking on the campus? How far is the campus from home? Will they have an off-campus job? These are all questions for your student to be asking as he makes the decision about having a car on campus.  Visit the Safety and Transportation website to find out more about parking on campus.

And don’t forget bikes! Bicycles are a wonderful way to get around campus and get some great exercise at the same time. Bicycles are welcome at Missouri State, offering fantastic bike paths, maintenance stations and plenty of bike racks. Encourage your student to take responsibility for their bikes and register their bike with the Safety and Transportation Department and remind them to lock their bikes at all times.

Missouri State also has the Green Bike Program.  The Green Bike Program, developed by the Residence Hall Association and funded partially by Student Government Association’s Sustainability Commission, was officially launched at Missouri State University in the spring of 2011. The program allows students living on campus to rent bikes for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase a bike. The program encourages students to reduce their carbon footprint by offering an environmentally friendly way to travel to off-campus destinations, such as nearby groceries stores or downtown attractions.  Remind your student to stop by Rec Fest 2014 and take advantage of the Green Bike program. On August 22, at the Foster Recreation Center, students will be able to rent a bike from 3-6pm. Bikes are rented on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Suggest to your student that they check out all the campus has to offer for student transportation.

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Family Association Newsletter – July 2014 edition

Welcome to the Missouri State Family

We are thrilled that your student has selected MSU for their college experience. It is always exciting to welcome new students and their families to the BEAR community!

As family members, you will find that Missouri State University is a very special place filled with outstanding faculty and staff ready to encourage and support your student on this stage of their journey. In addition to challenging academic coursework, MSU offers a student-first approach that focuses on a positive, holistic learning environment. Our motto, Follow your Passion and Find Your Place, is at the very core of the work that we do.  Read more…

Get your Family Weekend Football Tickets Today!
Campus Recreation Spotlight Rec Fest 2014
Be a R.E.A.L. Bear!
The Bear Claw – A Partner for Student Success
Welcome Weekend – Time to Get Moving!
Taylor Heath & Wellness – Specialists in University Health Services
To Be or Not-to-Be in a Fraternity or Sorority…That is the question!
The Benefits of Student Employment
Living Learning Communities at MSU
Is College a God-free Zone?
Missouri State Bookstore – Tax Free Weekend
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The Benefits of Student Employment

There are multiple benefits of working as a student employee. Having some extra cash while attending school is always a plus for a student, however, there’s more to student jobs than making money. Other benefits include developing time management skills, gaining valuable work skills and employment experience that will enhance a resume’, and developing professional relationships that can lead to future letters of support and recommendation. During the last academic year, Missouri State University had in excess of 2,700 student employees who provided over 1,000,000 hours of services.

What is work-study? The Federal work-study program is based on financial need as determined by a student’s completed federal aid application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA. Work-study students are paid through federal funding that is allocated to the university. Work-study student employees are paid the same as any student employee; a direct deposit is set up through the new hire paperwork process and all pay earned is distributed accordingly. A student can use their earnings in any manner they see fit; they are not required to use the money to pay on their tuition account. However, they are welcome to do so if they choose!

Unfortunately, the number of students who qualify for work-study is much greater than the allotment that the university receives. If a student doesn’t qualify or is not awarded work-study, there are still many jobs both on and off campus for which they can apply. If their financial aid awards did not include work-study, a student can apply for any job postings that indicate “work-study optional” or “off-campus employers.”

There are a large variety of job opportunities for students. Most departments on campus have student employees and there are in excess of 500 off-campus employers that use our applicant portal to post off-campus positions. The automated application system at MSU makes viewing and applying for jobs an easy process.   To access the online applicant system, use the following web address: www.missouristate.edu/findajob

The first step in this process is to create an applicant profile. Once a profile is created an online application is completed that can be used to apply for multiple jobs. The completed application remains on the student’s profile and is available to upload to desired postings at any time. Once a job is obtained, it’s important that the student bring their driver’s license and social security card or passport to campus. These items will be required when completing new hire paperwork before starting a new job!

Contact the Office of Student Employment with any questions:
Phone – (417) 836-5627
Blair Shannon 113

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Ask Priscilla – What are the benefits of Fraternity & Sorority Life?

Ask Priscilla_Avatar_MOWhen your student goes to college, they are excited about the array of organizations they can participate in. Their world is wide open to any number of opportunities – and one of those opportunities may be joining a fraternity or sorority and becoming a part of Fraternity & Sorority Life.

If you were not in a fraternity or sorority, you might wonder why your student would want to join one – and if you’re familiar with fraternity & sorority stereotypes, you might not be sure this would be the best choice. Here are some questions to help you learn more about Fraternity & Sorority life.

1)      What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority? Fraternity & Sorority life offers much to its members that they wouldn’t necessarily receive outside the organization. Some examples are:

  1. Group Identity – Being a member of the Fraternity & Sorority community provides an identity and a feeling of belonging. Finding their place is important to first-year students and Greek life offers a feeling of home away from home.
  2. Strong Friendships –The organization offers a deeper level of friendship because members share the same values and honor the mission and goals of the national organization. The student also has a large base of friends in the chapter – friends who support and encourage them in their everyday life.
  3. Community Service Opportunities – The organizations are rooted in giving back to the community. Fraternities and sororities dedicate many hours helping others on a local and national level. Prevent Child Abuse America, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital are just a few of the many organizations supported by fraternity & sorority chapters.
  4. Leadership Opportunities – Fraternity & sorority men and women are leaders on college campuses – and fraternity & sorority life offers students many leadership opportunities within the chapter. From being on the council of a chapter to an appointed committee, members are afforded many opportunities to step up and take leadership roles, and to hone skills that will help them in their future careers. National organizations offer members opportunities to attend leadership training throughout the year.
  5. Networking Opportunities – Fraternity and sorority members are offered many opportunities to network with alumni of their local chapter and the national organization. Local alumni groups host presentations on resume building, provide connections to local companies and mentor chapter members.   After graduation, the student can connect with the national organization to find local alumni groups in the areas they will be working and living.

2)      Where should my student go to find out more information on Fraternity & Sorority life? Suggest your student visit the website of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. They can stop by the office, introduce themselves and talk to staff members who can answer almost any question about fraternity & sorority life. You can also encourage your student to attend informational sessions on campus and to meet members of the fraternity & sorority community – they’ll also be happy to answer questions.

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Ask Priscilla – Will my student stay in touch with me when he is at college?

Ask Priscilla_Avatar_MOThere’s one big concern that parents have when a child leaves for college: “Will they stay in touch with me?” Almost every parent worries their son or daughter will just decide not to call again because: 1)  he has gained independence or 2) he will simply forget to call amid the hustle and bustle of his freshman year. Thank goodness it doesn’t play out exactly like that. Yes, the amount of communication will probably change. Your student will not call you every hour on the hour – but with some planning, you can set up a great plan to keep in touch.

How will this work? Here are some tips on what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to staying connected.

1)      Write letters to your student (but don’t expect one in return) – Ge probably gets hundreds of emails each day, but an actual card or letter from home will really stand out – and it will be a great boost for your student. Letters and cards are a great way to keep students up-to-date on what’s going on “back home.” You can also send articles from the local newspaper, info about friends and photos. Encourage other family members to write letters also.

2)      Call – but don’t expect him to answer every time you call, or to return the call in a timely manner. Students are at college to get an education… which means they are often in class or studying with classmates… which means they can’t answer every call right away.  If your student is as involved as you want him to be, he could be at a meeting or hanging out with new friends when you call. College means a busy schedule, but you can be sure your student will call you back as soon as he gets a chance. And whatever you do, don’t be that parent that panics and calls the Dean of Students claiming your student is missing because you haven’t talked to them in an hour. (Yes, it really happens!)

3)      Text your student – Texting is the quickest way to get in touch with someone without being to intrusive. Again, understand your student is busy with classes, studying and other activities so he might not text back right away.

4)      Post on his Facebook page but NOT too much – The last thing you want is your student to feel like you’re “stalking” him on Facebook or keeping track of his every move – but quick, supportive messages will be appreciated.

5)      Plan a weekly phone call – Set up a specific time each week that you catch up, and even though you’re busy too, try your best to arrange this call around the student’s schedule.  If you set a time, don’t worry too much if your student is late calling or forgets. He’s busy – but he will call.

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Move-in and Welcome Weekend 2014 – Tips for Parents

Move -in Day is quickly approaching.  As you and your student are purchasing items for the room, having those conversations about the transition and enjoying the summer, take note of the resources and information available to you.  parentsillustrationwotext

Move-in at Missouri State begins at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15 for most students. If your student is in the Honors College or in a living-learning community, he or she can move in early on Thursday, Aug. 14.

Stop, drop and roll

Missouri State will be using the stop, drop and roll system during move-in this year:

  1. Stop your car at the designated location for each residence hall
  2. Drop your items at the curb with the person designated to stay with your items
  3. Send your student to check in at their building to get his or her room keys
  4. Roll your car to your parking lot

Members of Bear Crew will be stationed outside of each residence hall to assist you in moving your items into your room. A wheeled cart or dolly may be a good investment if you have larger items.

Bear in Mind – Move-in resources WhatToBring

The resources listed below will help make move-in a smooth process for both you and your student:

We also encourage you to try out one of our great dining centers. Parents eat free during move-in.   ParkingInfo

Welcome Weekend

The office of student engagement partners with other groups across campus to host a series of events Aug. 15-17 that welcome students and their families to campus. Parents and family members are invited to attend the following events:

  • Parent and Family Welcome, August 15 at 3 or 4 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union Theater
  • The Parent/Student Aloha Brunch Saturday, August 16 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in all dining centers
  • New Student Convocation, Sunday, August 17 at 2 p.m. featuring Provost Fellow Kurt Heinlein and alumnus Judith Rowland, global campaigns coordinator for the Global Poverty Project in JQH Arena or online via Livestream

Also, encourage your student to take advantage of all of the great student-specific Welcome Weekend events. These events are great opportunities to meet new people and to build connections on campus.



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Ask Priscilla – What does my student do if he/she gets sick?

Ask Priscilla_Avatar_MOWhat does my student do if he/she gets sick? Will someone take him/her chicken soup? Unfortunately, there’s not an emergency chicken soup service on our campus, but not to worry (too much, at least) – we are prepared to help your student manage their health care. Missouri State has Taylor Health Center located in a prime location for the students to easily access.

Taylor Health Center provides standard medical care, just like your doctor at home. They accept most insurance and the nurses and doctors are available to help your student in any way possible. The clinic has convenient office hours and usually offers flu shots, advice for healthy living, allergy shots, pharmacy options plus much more. Encourage your student to visit the Taylor Heath Center website to learn more.

Remember to pack your student a first-aid kit. Some schools even have first-aid kits you can purchase. It’s always a good idea to have Band-Aids around their room in the residence hall.

Do you have a question to Ask Priscilla? Email your question to Priscilla at pchildress@missouristate.edu or post your question on www.facebook.com/missouristatefamily and your question will be answered as soon as possible and posted for our family members to view.

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A Family’s Guide to FERPA

0105.jpg.JPGThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your student’s privacy and grants him or her exclusive right to view and share education records such as grades, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact information, and class schedules. Under this law, colleges and universities may not disclose education records to anyone other than the student—including parents and family members.

These restrictions are often frustrating to family members, particularly to those paying college bills. Rather than seeing these restrictions as obstacles to helping your student, we encourage you to view them as an opportunity to have important discussion with your student.

Relationships between families and students are strengthened when your student is provided independence to grow and support when he or she makes mistakes. When it comes to grades and academic work, talk to your student as an adult. Share your opinions, but respect his or her decisions, too. Help establish trust and communication in your relationship with your student through the following means:

  • Help your student set academic goals for studying and grades early in the semester; periodically check to see if your student is meeting these goals.
  • Ask questions about your student’s classes and what he or she is learning; show that you’re interested in more than just grades.
  • Show support during stressful times like finals week by sending encouraging emails and care packages.
  • After supporting your student through the whole semester, ask if he’ll share his grades with you. Respect his or her decision, whatever it might be. Continue to support your student academically.

We understand that working within the restrictions of FERPA can be challenging, but remember that this law is intended to take personal responsibility for his or her transcript and financial obligations. Encourage your student to take ownership over his education—and to discuss his or her education with you every once in a while.

Additional information about FERPA can be found at www.missouristate.edu/registrar/FERPA.html.


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Not For Everyone – Just the Leaders of Tomorrow

army 2 Being a U.S. Army Officer is one of the most highly respected and competitive careers in our country today. However, it is one that is achieved and accomplished by less than .01% of our population. Coach Lou Holtz, General Colin Powell, Sam Walton, Justice Samuel Alito and many others have jump-started their civilian careers by becoming an Army Officer through the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

Missouri State students who are second-semester sophomores or Masters students, who are physically fit and have no more than two academic years remaining, could qualify to attend the Army’s Leaders Training Course (LTC). This course is a four-week basic leadership course during the summer and taught at Fort Knox, Kentucky. All expenses (flight, meals, lodging) are paid by the Army, and the student receives nominal pay for his/her time there. What’s pretty cool too, is that students have no obligation after completion – they can walk away without any military obligation if it doesn’t suit them. Successful completion of LTC fulfills the MIL 101/102 and MIL 211/212 “Basic Courses” taught here on campus. The course is designed to give Juniors and Masters students the ability to enter the ROTC Advance Course and commission as an Army Officer in just two years. Not only that, students who attend and complete the Leaders Training Course can apply for full-tuition scholarships, or get Tuition Assistance through the National Guard or Reserves. The benefits are truly impressive.

What do you do at LTC? The course is divided into four phases of training, and although it is a four week training period of intense classroom and field training conducted in the summer at Fort Knox, KY, it puts students on the “fast-track” to having a great career opportunity after graduation.

Phase One: This is a basic “introduction to the Army” to teach cadets skills and knowledge necessary to successfully participate in the next three phases. Cadets have described this phase as “teaching them what right looks like.”  Specifically, cadets learn military customs and courtesies such as saluting, how to wear the uniform and how to march.

Phase Two: This part of their training covers adventure training, which builds both cadet self confidence and unit esprit de corps. Focus is on individual skills as a precursor to learning group dynamics. Cadets learn basic military skills in order to function as a small group member and leader.

Phase Three: This phase is the course’s “Capstone Exercise.” Cadets are exposed to squad level operations where ROTC cadre assess the student’s leadership ability in a field environment. The Field Training Exercise (FTX) is intentionally tough and introduces the element of stress. Throughout the exercise cadets encounter physical and mental obstacles that challenge them as a person and leader.

Phase Four: This portion of the cadet’s training introduces them to the social aspect of the Army. Final briefings are conducted as well as a Family Day in conjunction with a cadet-led graduation ceremony.

Make no mistake. Becoming and being an Army Officer is a challenging journey that requires dedication, commitment and a willingness to learn and improve mentally, physically and emotionally; but the rewards are great, and the profession is highly respected and honored.

To learn more about LTC, visit Missouri State Army ROTC, the Leaders Training Course, or contact the Bear Battalion Enrollment and Scholarships Officer, Mr. Doug Schenck, at (417) 836-5793.

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