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Academic Support and Learning Outside the Classroom

Academic Support Resources

Missouri State provides many resources to help students learn and achieve academic success; listed below are just a few of the many services we offer.  Visit the Services and Information page for a comprehensive list of support resources available to students.

BearCLAW (Center for Learning and Writing)

CenterforWritingLocated on the first floor of Meyer Library, the Bear CLAW assists students by providing subject-area tutoring services for nearly every academic subject offered at Missouri State.  Students can schedule an tutor appointment online and meet with an student tutor who has maintained at least a 3.0 GPA and earned a B or higher in the course they will tutor. 

Drop-in tutor tables for math and several other subjects are also available; this gives students an option to receive help for more immediate problems or concerns they are experiencing.  For a full list of drop-in tutor table offerings, please visit the BearCLAW website at the link above.

Writing Center

Located inside the BearCLAW, the Writing Center is dedicated to providing students advice and assistance with improving their writing assignments, regardless of the course or topic.  Trained peer writing consultants meet with students at all stages of the writing process, from pre-writing activities to the final draft.  The consultants can assist with a variety of writing projects, including research papers, essays, creative writing, speeches, presentations, course syllabi, and articles intended for publication.  Students should schedule appointments with writing consultants, but walk-ins are seen if consultants have space available.

In addition to work in the Center, Writing Center staff also provide presentations to classes and organizations on a variety of subjects, including citation systems, academic writing, and more. 

Supplemental Instruction

Coordinated through the BearCLAW, Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of review sessions for historically difficult courses that students can attend to improve their grades and their understanding of course material.  At each session, students are guided through discussions about course material by an SI leader, a competent student who has previously taken and earned a high grade in the course.  SI sessions provide students with an opportunity to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the subject, and test themselves on course material.  Attendance at sessions is voluntary.

TRiO Student Support Services

TRiO, a program funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, assists students by attempting to remove significant barriers to their education. It does so by fostering a supportive environment where students can feel comfortable asking for help. Services provided to qualifying students includes:

  • Referrals to free private tutoring or preferential assistance at campus tutoring centers
  • Reading and study skills assistance 
  • Connections to career exploration resources
  • Academic advising for undecided majors
  • Personal assistance with a variety of issues such as time and money management, stress reduction, roommate conflicts, personal issues, etc.
  • Assistance with searching for financial aid and completing financial aid paperwork 

To utilize these services, students must apply and be accepted to the program.  To qualify, students must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a first-generation student (i.e., neither parent has graduated from a four-year institution with a bachelor's degree) 
  • Be a low income student (low income status is determined by federal guidelines)
  • Possess a documented physical, mental or learning disability, which is registered with Missouri State's Disability Resource Center or Learning Diagnostic Clinic 

Disability Resource Center and the Learning Diagnostic Clinic

DisabilityServicesMissouri State has two excellent resources for our students with disabilities.  The Disability Resource Center (DRC) helps ensure an equitable college experience for students with disabilities at Missouri State University. Academic accommodations are available at no cost to students who can provide documentation of a disability and can demonstrate that the requested accommodations are necessary for participation in university programs within established guidelines.  DRC staff also work to raise awareness of disability issues in the Missouri State and Springfield community and consult with various departments to ensure programs, events, and facilities are universally designed to be as inclusive as possible.

The Learning Diagnostic Clinic (LDC) assist students who have learning or psychological disabilities. The LDC also offers evaluation services for learning and psychological disabilities.  To be considered for accommodation services, students should begin by submitting documentation of a disability to the Disability Resource Center; accommodation requests for those with learning and psychological disabilities will be forwarded to the LDC by this office.

First Year Programs (GEP 101)

GEP 101: First Year Foundations is a course designed to help new first-year students make a successful transition to university life by continuing the orientation process after Student Orientation, Advisement & Registration (SOAR). Using integrative and interdisciplinary experiences, it also addresses public affairs issues and individual choices promoting academic success. The four overarching course goals include:

  • Students view themselves as scholars and understand the role of scholarship in the University and larger society;
  • Students comprehend the importance of the Public Affairs Mission, which includes community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership;
  • Students establish campus connections and a supportive network of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Students develop knowledge of their abilities and skills related to the pursuit of their academic and personal goals. 

This course is required for all first-time students with less than 24 credit hours completed after their high school graduation and must be taken during the first semester at Missouri State.  Students in the Honors College take UHC 110: Freshman Honors Seminar in place of GEP 101. UHC 110 sections include information similar to GEP 101 sections, but they also focus on a particular topic that students will study and discuss throughout the semester.

Out-of-Classroom Educational Experiences

Missouri State has incredible opportunities for students to learn in areas outside 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!

Citizenship and Service-Learning

The Office of Citizenship and Service-Learning (CASL) helps strengthen students' education by coordinating service-learning opportunities.  Service-learning is a type of experiential education in which students apply what they learn in class to help meet the needs of the community around them. 

By enrolling in selected designate courses, service-learning students can be partnered with government or nonprofit agencies to provide them with experiences that directly relate to course content while also contributing to the community. Some courses, such as certain sections of GEP 101, incorporate service-learning throughout the course and all students in the class have a shared experience.  Other classes provide service-learning as an option for individual students. Through this program, students can:

  • Test career choices and areas of interest before graduating from college
  • Gain valuable “real world” experience which helps build résumés
  • Improve personal development skills (i.e., problem solving, time management, decision making, communication, etc.)
  • Increase learning of subject matter by applying theories and concepts learned in the classroom

To learn more about which academic courses offer service-learning, students should contact the CASL office at the link above.

Study Away Programs

Weston Bland in EgyptStudy Away provides a variety of services for students who wish to visit and study in other countries.  This immersive experience not only gives students an opportunity to study a particular subject, but to broaden their understanding of the world and build skills in relating to and appreciating those from different cultures (thereby fulfilling the cultural competence aspect of the public affairs mission). 

Students have the chance to explore extensive study away opportunities in which they can 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. Students who are unable to spend a regular term studying away from the university are encouraged to consider a variety of short-term, faculty-led programs that offer specific academic credit in specific departments.

Study Away holds several "Study Away 101" meetings early each semester to provide students some preliminary information on studying away and ask questions in an informal atmosphere. It also provides research assistance to help find appropriate and affordable study away programs and transfer services when the academic program ends. Studying away is more affordable than your student and you might think; federal financial aid and Missouri State scholarships can both be applied to programs approved by Study Away.  Encourage your student to check it out!