Missouri State University

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February E-Newsletter

This month in the E-Newsletter:

Parents Winter Weekend 2009

Tax Information: Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits

Tips for Parents and Families

Student Services Spotlight

Q and A with the Parents Association

Important Academic Dates and Deadlines

Parents Winter Weekend

At Missouri State we believe that a strong relationship between a parent and student, coupled with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the educational process and University programs, will lead to improved student performance, satisfaction and general success. We also believe that it is important for the University to provide "opportunities" to foster interaction and present a common experience that students and parents can share. While we have always sponsored a "Parents/Family" event in the fall, and many groups sponsor activities in April and May, we have recognized the absence of a structured event that brings you to the campus to share an activity with your son or daughter during the winter months. Given this realization and number of recent enhancements to the campus, please accept our invitation to participate in the First Annual Parents Winter Weekend on February 21, 2009. Our goal is to provide a program which creates a special day for our students and their parents and family members who attend. We hope you will clear your calendars and participate in this weekend program.

The event is scheduled for February 21, 2009. You can find a list of all the events at http://studentaffairs.missouristate.edu/winterweekend.htm.

If you are able to attend this event, please RSVP online or by calling (417) 836-3087. Please contact us by Tuesday, February 17th to help ensure we order enough food and reserve enough spaces at the Lady Bears game to accommodate everyone. If you need more information before finalizing your plans you may call (417) 836-3087.

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 Tax Information

The tax season is well underway. There are a couple of credits that the Parents Association would like to share with you as you prepare to file taxes. The Hope and Lifetime Learning credits are two that have slight changes this year for Missouri State qualified students. Greene county, where Missouri State University is located, has been designated as a disaster area. This is significant for students paying tuition who may qualify for more credit on their returns. Here is a little more information about these two credits. For further information please talk with your tax representative or visit www.irs.gov.

Hope Credit

For the tax year, you may be eligible to claim a Hope credit of up to $1,800 ($3,600 is a student in a Midwestern disaster area) for qualified education expenses paid for each eligible student. To claim the Hope credit, the student for whom you pay qualified education expenses must be an eligible student. This is a student who meets all of the following requirements:

  • The student did not have expenses that were used to figure a Hope credit in an two earlier tax years.
  • The student did not complete the first 2 years of postsecondary education (generally, the freshman and sophomore years of college) before 2008.
  • For at least on academic period beginning in 2008, the student enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credit.
  • The student was free of any federal or state felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance as of the end of 2008.

Lifetime Learning Credit

For the tax year, you may be able to claim a lifetime learning credit of up to $2,000 ($4,000 for students in a Midwestern disaster area) for qualified education expenses paid for all students enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years the lifetime learning credit can be claimed for each student.

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Tips for Parents

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 #19: Don’t panic when you receive depressing phone calls or letters. When troubles like a flunked test or ended relationship become too much for your student to handle, they will turn to the people they know they can count on, YOU!

Tip #20: Visit, but not too much. Although they might not admit it, student’s look forward to a visit from their parents - especially if it involves dinner or a shopping trip. However, don’t just drop in. Make it a planned event, so you both have something to look forward to. For example plan to attend the first annual Parents Winter Weekend on February 21st, 2009.

Tip #21: Trust them. Your student is trying to find themselves while away at college and the best thing you can do to help is believe in them to make the right decisions and learn from their mistakes.

Tip #22: Stay informed. Knowing what is happening on campus can help parents just as much as students. You can become a valuable resource for your student to turn to when they are looking for something to do or are cramming for their midterms. Research campus activities on the Web or check out the campus newspaper.

Tip #23: Encourage your student to become involved in campus activities and organizations – it will help improve their academic performance and provide them with skills valued by future employers!

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Student Services Spotlight

The Writing Center: Empowering Success through Improved Writing Skills

The Writing Center is a welcoming place for students to gain advice on any writing assignment regardless of the course or topic. Whether you are just beginning an assignment or are in the final stages of a project, we can help! Undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty use this free academic support service to workshop papers for their academic courses, creative writing, speeches, presentations, course syllabi, and articles intended for publication.

Writing consultants for the Center are hired from a variety of academic disciplines and must be an upperclassman, have a strong G.P.A., submit exemplary writing samples, and provide at least three academic references. They participate in ongoing training in writing-center theory and practice, composition, and academic citation methodologies. In addition to providing personalized assistance to writers, the writing consultants offer various customized workshops on writing for university classes, departments, and organizations.

During a session, the writing consultant, using a facilitative approach, focuses on the academic quality of the paper, aiding the writer in achieving college-level technique. Instead of merely proofreading, the consultant enhances the author’s work by asking questions, making suggestions, and guiding the author to a greater understanding of the paper at hand and of writing in general. Writing consultants can aid in every part of the writing process, including brainstorming, researching, drafting, revising, and organizing a paper. Consultants also assist writers with grammar, punctuation, and the citation methods of the Modern Language Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the Associated Press, among others.

            The Writing Center asks students to bring in a project well before it is due and, if possible, to bring the class assignment sheet to the appointment, making it easier for the writing consultant to interpret the particular demands of the paper. Every paper is different, and a writer’s needs differ from paper to paper. The focus of the session is to empower the author in becoming a better writer; thus, the consultant offers advice on critical thinking and the writing process. It is the Writing Center’s philosophy that improved writing skills lead to educational and professional success in college and beyond.

            Temporarily located in Pummill Hall 401 during the fall 2008 and spring 2009, semesters, the Writing Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fridays. Hours for the summer 2009 semester have yet to be determined. Advance appointments, which are recommended, guarantee up to a 45-minute session. The Center opens during the second week of classes and closes on the last Thursday of classes before finals week and is closed whenever the university is closed.

For more information please call The Writing Center at (417) 836-6398 or visit their website at http://writingcenter.missouristate.edu.

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Q and A with the Parents Association

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.

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Important Dates and Deadlines for Spring 2009

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.

February 10

Office of the Registrar Semester Audit (No drops, withdrawals, change of schedules, grade changes, etc. processed today; however, forms/requests will be accepted and processed at a later time.)

February 11

Grading Options Deadlines for First Block Classes: Last Day to Drop With Automatic N Grade, Put a Class on Pass/Not-Pass, and Change to or from Audit

February 16

Presidents' Day Holiday (No Classes/Offices Closed)

February 17

Deferred Payment Plan Installment Due

February 18

Monday Evening (4:00 p.m. or later) Classes Meet; Wednesday Evening Classes Do Not Meet

February 26

Mid-Semester Grade Rosters Available on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center; Must be Submitted by 10:00 a.m. on March 9

March 3

Last Day to Drop or Withdraw from First Block classes

March 5

First Block Classes End

March 6

Mid-Semester/First Block Final Exams Period

March 9

Second Block Classes Begin

March 9

Mid-Semester Grade Rosters must be submitted on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center by 10:00 a.m.

March 10

Mid-Semester Grades Available on Web My Information System

March 10

Last Day to Register or Add Second Block Classes; Last day to Drop Second Block Classes at 100% (less $60 for Withdrawals)

March 16

Deferred Payment Plan Installment Due

March 17

Grading Options Deadlines for Full Semester Classes: Last Day to Drop With Automatic N Grade, Put a Class on Pass/Not-Pass, and Change to or from Audit

March 21 - 29

Spring Break (No Classes/Offices Open)

April 9 - 10

Spring Holiday (April 9 No Classes/Offices Open; April 10 No Classes/Offices Closed_

April 15

Final Deferred Payment Installment Due

April 16

Grading Options Deadlines for Second Block Classes: Last Day to Drop With Automatic N Grade, Put a Class on Pass/Not-Pass, and Change to or from Audit

May 1

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

May 5

Final Grade Rosters Available on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center; Must be Submitted by 10:00 a.m. on May 18

May 7

Spring Semester Classes End

May 8

Study Day (No Classes/Offices Open)

May 9 - 14

Final Exams Period

May 15

Commencement: JQH Arena

May 18

Final Grade Rosters must be submitted on the Faculty/Advisor Resource Center by 10:00 a.m.

May 19

Grade Reports Available on the Web My Information System

May 19 - 20

Deans Review Student Grades and Determine Students' Academic Status

May 21

Transcripts with Spring 2009 Grades Available Beginning Today

May 25

Memorial Day Holiday (No Classes, Offices Closed)

June 4

Transcripts with Spring 2009 Degrees Earned Available Beginning Today

June 5

Diplomas for Spring 2009 Graduates Mailed Beginning Today

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