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High Impact Learning Programs

Missouri State has incredible opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom.  We often refer to these opportunities as "high-impact learning experiences" because both national research and studies of our own students suggest that students involved in these experiences show a marked increase in learning.  Talk to your student about the opportunities below and encourage them to take part!

First Year Programs (GEP 101)

GEP 101: First Year Foundations is a semester-long course designed to help students make a successful transition to university life by continuing the orientation process after SOAR. Course goals include assisting students in: 

  • Understanding the role of scholarship in the University and larger society
  • Comprehending the importance of community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership
  • Establishing a supportive network of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Developing skills and abilities helpful in pursuing academic and personal goals. 

All first-time students attending SOAR will enroll in this course their first semester. Students in the Honors College take UHC 110: Freshman Honors Seminar in place of GEP 101.

Curricular Learning Communities (CLC)

CLCs are small groups of first-year students enrolled in two or more courses linked by a common topic and assignments and a collaborative team of faculty. These communities help students:

  • Establish relationships with other students
  • Work closely with faculty
  • Apply in-class learning to real-world problems and issues.

Students can enroll in a CLC during SOAR.

Living-Learning Communities (LLC)

These special living environments in our residence halls are designed to ease students' transition to college and promote active learning and critical thinking skills. Two faculty fellows, a residential programming assistant (RPA), and a resident assistant (RA) are assigned to each LLC floor to facilitate social and academic activities for and build community among the residents. 

Examples of LLC floor activities include: 

  • Study skills, time management and handling college freedom
  • Communication and dealing with conflict
  • Scholarships, budgeting and credit cards
  • Public affairs discussions and experiences
  • Major and career exploration

Service Learning

Service learning courses provide students the opportunity to use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. By working with Springfield community partners students not only learn the practical applications of their studies, they also become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.  Missouri State offers two types of service learning courses:

  • Integrated courses have a built-in requirement of 15 hours of service with a community partner.
  • Component courses are optional, one credit hour courses that can be attached to an existing course to provide a service learning component.  Students are required to complete 40 hours of service that is relevant to course content and benefits a community partner. Students register for SL designated courses and component courses simultaneously.

Benefits of service learning include:

  • Testing career choices and areas of interest before graduating
  • Building valuable “real world” experience
  • Improving personal development skills (i.e., problem solving, time management, decision making, communication, etc.)
  • Increasing the learning of subject matter by applying classroom information

Study Away Programs

These programs offer students the chance to spend an academic term (semester, summer, or academic year) studying in a foreign country or at another university in the United States or U.S. territories. A variety of short-term, faculty-led programs that offer specific academic credit are also available to students unable to spend a regular term studying away.  

Immersive experiences like studying abroad provide students opportunities to: 

  • Broaden their understanding of the world
  • Build cross-cultural communication skills
  • Appreciate different cultures

Study Away holds Study Away 101 meetings to discuss and prepare students for studying away. Studying away can be quite affordable, as well; federal financial aid and Missouri State scholarships can be applied to Study Away-approved programs. 

Honors College

The Honors College provides programs of enhanced, advanced study and recognition for academically talented students. Honors students have a wide range of benefits and opportunities not found in traditional programs: 

  • Smaller, enriched classes with direct contact with outstanding faculty members
  • Priority registration and longer library lending periods
  • Options to pursue intellectual, research and creative interests


Missouri State's Career Center provides a variety of resources for locating and securing internships, or on-the-job training (particularly for academic credit). Internships provide students with professional experience that employers highly value. They also allow students to apply classroom knowledge in practical settings. 






I Love FYE

An instructor and student show their love for GEP 101.









Students use a mannequin

Students in the Future Health Care Professionals LLC practice patient care on a mannequin. 















Weston Bland in Egypt

A student takes a break from his studies in Egypt to pose for a picture near pyramids.