In 2015, the first Ursa Experience – Maroon & White Overnight Program at Missouri State launched. 2020 threw us a curve ball but we’re back, stronger than ever, for the sixth Ursa Experience in 2021. Each year, Ursa is more exciting, more fun, and life changing. Yes, life changing for the new Bears that attend Ursa!
Abby Falgout, a 2018 Ursa Experience attendee and a 2019 Ursa Experience student facilitator says, “The URSA experience is a great way to make friends right off the bat! I learned a lot of information about MO State that was extremely helpful during my first semester. Ursa also encouraged me to step out of my box and made me more comfortable with being on my own in a new city. It might seem crazy that the URSA experience can do all of this in just a few short days, but it truly changes you.”
This is a testimony to the impact of the Ursa Experience on our incoming first year in college and transfer students admitted to the fall semester directly following the event. The Ursa Experience gives our Bears the confidence they need to start classes and make Missouri State their home.
More than 450 students have attended the Ursa Experience to date. The students have gone on to become involved on campus in numerous organizations and in the Springfield community. They are leaders on campus, taking what they learned at the Ursa Experience and making the campus even better!
The Ursa Experience, August 16-18th, is a three-day adventure that immerses our new students in life at Missouri State University. Students build friendships with other new students, learn about Missouri State history and traditions, explore their personal strengths, and discover ways to Make Their Missouri STATEment.
The Ursa Experience gives our Bears the confidence they need to start classes and make Missouri State their home.
1) Ursa helps you make new connections and friendships coming into Missouri State.
Lauren McDowell: There is nothing that has influenced my college experience so far as much as the Ursa Experience has. From making connections with upperclassmen that help you get involved on campus to making new friends, Ursa has had a long lasting impact on my life as a Bear. I met my two best friends at Ursa.
I know more about Missouri State than most people on campus because of the knowledge Ursa gave me of our school’s history and traditions, which helped me to get into the University Ambassadors program on campus. If you are considering going to Ursa for any reason, just go! I promise you will get so much more out of it than you think you will.
Kayley Clements: Incoming freshman should attend URSA because it gives you an extra opportunity to make friends. We are all new here at MSU and share a lot of the same fears. URSA allows you to move past those fears and prepare for your journey at Missouri State University!
2) Ursa eases the college transition.
Rachel Reed: Incoming students have a lot of questions, including: where will I make friends? When will I get familiar with my new campus and all it has to offer? What is my university really about? What opportunities do I have to get involved in my new community? And more. The answer to all of these questions is the Ursa Experience! All of these are the central purpose the Ursa Experience, and freshmen come out of the experience being more prepared to be a bear. Students should attend the Ursa Experience because it is an opportunity for them to make memories and connections they will never forget, preparing them to start their first year. These memories include fun, laughs, and learning; those connections include faculty, other students, yourself, the world around us, and the university as a whole.
3) Ursa immerses you into learning about Missouri State campus life.
Emma Drace: Incoming students should be a part of the 2021 URSA experience because it is a great way to meet fellow incoming bears. When I came to Missouri State, I hardly knew anyone, but after URSA I got to meet so many awesome people that I even had in some of my classes. The URSA experience helped me to grow as a leader, problem solve by working in a team, and to understand the 3 pillars of Missouri State before I even started class. I would encourage incoming students to be a part of this program because it helps grow them as a student and as a leader for Missouri State.
4) Ursa helps you grow and build confidence.
Sydney Lorenz: I attended Ursa in the fall of 2018 and I absolutely loved it. It is a great way to get oriented with the university and have the opportunity to meet a great group of people. I met one of my best friends because she was in my group for Ursa. Ursa pushes you to go outside your comfort zone and try new things. When people asked me about it when I got back I used the analogy of getting your toes wet when getting in the pool except Ursa was more like jumping in head first so you were challenged to open up and start your college experience. I would recommend the experience to all incoming students one hundred percent.
Manda Baranowski: I tend to be a little shy when making new friends and talking to new people, but URSA gave me the chance to make lifelong friends from around campus while also preparing me for my first year as a bear here at MSU. URSA also taught me, that even though I’m more of an introvert and tend to run on feelings, I can still be a strong leader within my community and my field of study.
5) Ursa builds pride in being a Bear.
Amy Miller: The Ursa Experience was like a welcome home before I even knew MSU to be my home. I had an early opportunity to meet so many amazing people who I still keep up with as the semester comes to a close. I also learned a lot about Missouri State’s Public Affairs Mission through the interactive activities which I still refer back to all the time. It was really a solid introduction to Missouri State that made me feel more comfortable in those first few weeks by making me feel like I was a part of the family. Also, thanks to Ursa, I know the fight song by heart now!
Registration for the Ursa Experience is open. Find out more here! We also have financial assistance available for students to attend the Ursa Experience. To apply for financial assistance, visit https://www.missouristate.edu/URSA/forms.htm
If you have questions, contact Priscilla Childress at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (417) 836-3060.