Missouri State University

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November E-Newsletter

This month in the E-Newsletter:

Student Spotlight

Student Services Spotlight

Keeping your Student Healthy

Tips for Parents

Important Dates and Deadlines

 Q and A with the Parents Association


Student Spotlight

Hello! My name is Brittany Jones, and I am senior here at Missouri State University. I will graduate in May 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Restaurant Administration and with a Minor in French. I am originally from Rolla, Missouri, which is about halfway between St. Louis and Springfield. I graduated high school in May 2005. The support and encouragement that I received from my parents during my senior year and my college decision-making process was what made the whole thing possible. Coming from a fairly small town in which I had lived my entire life, it certainly took the backing of their support to venture beyond the safety net that it had taken me 18 years to develop in Rolla.  

In deciding on a college during my senior year, I knew that I wanted to get far enough away from home that I could branch out on my own a bit; but, still wanted to be close enough that making the trip home to visit would not be a huge excursion. I immediately thought of Missouri State and made the trip to Springfield to interview for a scholarship and tour the campus in early 2005. I could not have imagined a better campus environment, a more easily-navigable campus, or a more supportive administrative base.

To be honest, I was not the “typical” high school senior when it came to my college decision. That visit to Missouri State was my first and only visit to any college. I was so impressed with Missouri State upon that first visit that I felt it would be a waste to look anywhere else. I was a Bear from the minute I stepped foot onto this campus. Luckily, I was able to secure the scholarship that made it a financial possibility for me to attend Missouri State and I haven’t looked back since! I’m so very glad that I made the decision to come to Missouri State!

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Student Services Spotlight - The Academic Advisement Center

by Kathy Davis, Director

 Each student at Missouri State University is assigned to work with an academic advisor who helps the student make well-informed and meaningful educational choices.  Because Missouri State believes that it is important for each student to consult with an advisor in choosing appropriate courses, all students are required to meet with their advisors prior to registration each semester until they have achieved junior status, which is at 60 hours.  Pre-registration for spring 2009 is going on now through November 24, so most students will be meeting with their advisors sometime in the next few weeks. 

 The advisor assignment is made based on a student's declared major and area of interest.  Students who have not yet chosen a major have advisors in the Academic Advisement Center in University Hall 109.  Students with majors in the College of Business Administration have advisors in the Business Advisement Center in Glass Hall 106 and students in Elementary, Early Childhood and Middle School Education have advisors in the Professional Education Advisement Center in Hill Hall 202.  All other students have advisors assigned in their departments, either faculty members or full-time professional advisors who are specialists in advising students in those areas.  If your student has a question about his or her advisor assignment, encourage the student to look under "Advisement Folder" in "My Information."  You might want to remind your student to make an advising appointment soon, as many advisors' calendars are getting booked with pre-registration advising appointments.

 Students need to prepare for advising appointments by:

1)      Calling the advisor's office to make an advising appointment well in advance of the registration date.

2)      Making a list of questions to ask the advisor or topics to discuss with the advisor.

3)      Making a list of courses the student is interested in considering for spring semester or developing a trial schedule at https://www.secure.missouristate.edu/ClassSchedule/crse1.asp.

4)      Reviewing academic records such as the "degree audit" available from "My Information."

 After the advising appointment is completed, students will register at their appointed time at an official registration center (such as the Office of the Registrar in Carrington 320) or by registering on-line from "My Information."  Students who pre-register will need to pay the $60 required minimum payment on or before December 15 in order to hold their classes.  For other information on dates and deadlines, see the Academic Calendar at http://calendar.missouristate.edu/academic.asp.

 Please encourage your student to see his or her advisor anytime there is an academic question or problem.  For example, a student should see an advisor if he is considering dropping a class, changing a major or minor, or is experiencing academic difficulty.

 The Academic Advisement Center specializes in working with students who are in the process of choosing a major.  If your student is in that situation, here are some guidelines for how you can help the student:

1)      Please be sensitive to the fact that students are often worried about being "undecided" and may need reassurances that it is okay to take a little time to make a good decision about a major.  About one third of all the students who enter Missouri State University are undecided about a major and a good portion of the students who have declared majors when they enter the University will change those majors at least once. 

2)      Students who are in the process of choosing a major will concentrate on fulfilling general education requirements while taking courses to "try out" potential majors.  It is difficult to choose a major without taking a course in that department, so please understand why your student may want to take that type of course.  Some examples are BMS 195—Introduction to Health Professions (1 credit hour), PSY 150—Introduction to the Psychology Major (1 credit hour) and FGB 135—Introduction to Business (3 credit hours.)

3)      While it's okay for your student to be undecided when beginning college, students should work toward a firm commitment to a major by early in the sophomore year.  Inspiration rarely strikes regarding a major, so students who are undecided should be encouraged to do significant research and exploration.  Advisors in the Academic Advisement Center are good resources for those conversations.  You may also want to encourage your student to consider enrolling in IDS 120—Approaches to Career Life Planning, a one credit hour course taught by a career counselor.  Individual appointments with career counselors can also be very helpful to students who are in the process of choosing a major and minor.  Students can make appointments for career counseling by calling 836-5636.

 If your student has other questions about academic advising, please encourage him or her to email or call the assigned academic advisor.  General questions or questions about choosing or declaring a major can be addressed to the Academic Advisement Center, 836-5258.  The mission of academic advising at Missouri State University is to assist students as they develop meaningful educational plans to help them achieve their life goals.  We take that mission seriously and we want to help your student succeed at Missouri State University.

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College Parents of America is an organization that aids parents in coping with college students. There are a plethora of resources available on their website and the Parents Association will be using these from time to time to aid the parents of Missouri State University. If you would like to access these resources on your own you may do so at http://www.collegeparents.org/cpa/index.html


Helping Your College Student Stay Healthy


At College Parents of America, we are dedicated to finding and providing to you the very best medical information as it relates to preparing your teen for the college years.

In scouring the landscape on this topic, we became aware of some excellent work that was done by Dr. Lawrence Neinstein, a leading specialist in adolescent healthcare, under the auspices of the Society of Adolescent Medicine.Neinstein urges that, no matter the age of your child, you start talking about health issues and "don't ever stop."


The issues to talk about include:

·         Independence and confidentiality: the key points are to help facilitate your child's ability to function and make decision on his or her own, and to respect that, with adulthood, comes the right to confidentiality (from a legal perspective) over medical information.

·         The necessity of a pre-college health exam: this ensures that all relevant medical information is up-to-date.

·         Immunizations: an important, yet complicated, issue, this is an essential component of bringing information "up-to-date." Recommended vaccines pre-college include hepatitis A and B and meningococcal meningitis.

·         Medical records and prescriptions: it is an excellent idea to have your primary-care physician send the campus health center a summary of your child's care, particularly if he or she has any type of chronic medical problems.

·         First-aid supplies: Dr. Neinstein advises that one of the first questions your child will be asked if he or she calls a campus health center with an infection is: "Have you taken your temperature?" Don't let your child be embarrassed by the response: "I don't have a thermometer," or, even worse, "I don't know how to take my temperature." A basic health-care kit should take care of the above, as well as the inevitable scrapes and bruises.


Two more items that are important to have understandings with your children about - the details of your family's health insurance, and the times when it makes sense to visit a student health center versus a local hospital where, as you know, charges can sometimes rack up.


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Tips to remember for your College Students

Taken from University of Toledo (http://parents.utoledo.edu/tips.asp) Each month there will be five more tips included, but if you would like the whole list you can visit the above website.


Tip #14: The best cure for students’ homesickness is not to come home, but to get involved in college life, and use the phone and e-mail to stay connected. Encourage your student to be active in campus activities.

Tip #15: Don’t ask if your student is homesick. The power of suggestion can be a dangerous thing! Unless they are reminded of being away they will most likely be too caught up with activities, meeting new people and adjusting to college life to realize what they are missing back home.

Tip #16: Write, even if they don’t write back! Even though 99 percent won’t ever admit it, most students love news about home and family. A simple card or care-package with their favorite home-baked cookies will brighten their day. There’s nothing more depressing than a week of empty mailboxes.

Tip #17: Ask questions, but not too many! Your student will like the security of knowing that someone is interested in them, but will resent “I-have-a-right-to-know” questions with ulterior motives. “Between friends” communication is best to strengthen the parent-student relationship.

Tip #18: Expect change. It’s natural and inevitable that your student will change through their college career. You can’t stop it and you may not ever understand it, but you can accept it. Be patient.

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Important Dates and Deadlines for Missouri State Students

You and your student may want to be aware of the following dates and deadlines. For a complete list please visit the Office of the Registrar.

November 17

Final Deferred Payment Plan Installment Due; Failure to Pay Will Result in Cancellation of Spring 2009 Classes

November 18

Grading Options Deadlines for Second Block Classes: Last Date to Drop With Automatic N Grade, Pass/Not-Pass Declaration, and Change to or from Audit

November 25

Thursday evening (4:00 p.m. or later) classes will meet; Tuesday evening classes will not meet

November 26

Thanksgiving Holiday (No Classes/Offices Open)

November 27 – 30

Thanksgiving Holiday (No Classes/Offices Closed)

December 5

Last Day to Drop or Withdraw from Full Semester or Second Block Classes

December 9

Final Grade Rosters Available on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center; must be submitted by 12:00 noon on Saturday December 20

December 11

Last Day of Classes

December 12

Study Day (No Classes/Offices Open)

December 13 – 18

Final Exams Period

December 19

Commencement: JQH Arena

December 20 (Saturday)

Final Grade Rosters must be submitted on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center by 12:00 noon

December 22

Grade Reports Available on the Web My Information System

December 22 – 23

Deans Review Student Grades and Determine Students’ Academic Status

December 24

Transcripts with Fall 2008 Grades Available Beginning Today (may request via My Information)

December 24 – January 4

Holiday Break (No Classes/Offices Closed)

January 8

Transcripts with Fall 2008 Degrees Earned Available Beginning Today

January 9

Diplomas for Fall 2008 Graduates Mailed Beginning Today


Family Gift Baskets

Students often have hard weeks every once in a while and as parents I know you all want to help ease the stress. As a former student I know that finals week is not the only time when students feel stressed and need a pick me up. At Missouri State University you can send your student a gift basket to help brighten their day or a simple way to say, “Hey I care.” Sodexo Dining services on campus has many different options including goodies such as the “TLC (tender loving care) basket” for when your student may be sick and feeling awful or the “Does the Body good” basket to try and keep them healthy in their busy lives. There are even sweet treats like a mega cookie which is big enough to put a message on. These are just a couple of the options Sodexo can provide. There is an order form online at http://www.missouristate.edu/assets/dining/surprisesomeone08.pdf or you can call and place an order at 417-836-5660. The gift of food is always a good choice for a college student. 

Each month we will be taking questions that you have posed and answer them in the cleverly titled Q & A with the Parents Association. If you have questions that you would like to have answered over any area of campus please send them to ParentsAssociation@missouristate.edu.