BearPOWER students, and sponsors, who are part of the 2nd cohort standing in front of the bear mural in Plaster Student Union.
Making higher education accessible to everyone

Live the Missouri State experience

Experience Missouri State University as part of Bear POWER, a two and a half year, five semester program geared specifically for Bears with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience

Earn a Bear POWER certificate of completion from Missouri State. After 5 semesters, graduate with your certificate in an area of emphasis that you choose based on your career interest. You will have a combination of college coursework, Bear POWER Academic Support Sessions, and internship experiences. Audit your courses as noncredit or take them for credit – this flexible program allows options for students and supports are individualized based on your specific needs.
Our mission statement is “To effectively utilize existing campus and community resources to create an inclusive academic college program that generates individual outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities in the areas of education and employment.”
As of August 2022, Bear POWER students have come from 7 states! 72% have come from Missouri.  

As part of this program, you may:

  • Complete an individualized program based on your particular interests.
  • Become part of a small group of individuals working toward the same goal.
  • Live on campus within the residence halls.
  • Access all campus resources, as well as those offered through Bear POWER.
  • Secure an internship while participating in the program.
  • Enjoy a sense of independence gaining skills that may allow you to work.
  • Walk in the graduation ceremony at program completion with your peers.

Autism Awareness Month - April 2024 - KSMU radio segment

Open house
Attend our open house, next one will be September 2024
Explore Bear POWER, meet the people involved in it and preview life at Missouri State.
Bear POWER student and her ambassador smiling for the photographer within the classroom.
Program overview
Find out the details about attending Missouri State as a Bear POWER student. You can also check out the website, to help you see the possibilities ahead!
Three smiling Missouri State Bears on the Missouri State campus.
Applying for admission
Discover what is required for admission into the program. Learn how to apply and get started with our checklist.
Bear POWER classroom on the Missouri State campus.
Projected program expenses
Determine your estimated cost with our outlined fees and associated costs.
Group portrait of Bear POWER students.
Financial assistance
View a list of available scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

Get involved

Bear POWER program participants and ambassadors smiling while enjoying a sunny day on campus.
Make a difference
Apply to become a mentor supporting Bear POWER students academically and within social settings.
Bear POWER graduates, in cap and gown, celebrating graduation day.
Show your support
Join the many generous donors who have offered their financial support for the development of this program.
A group photo of Bear POWER program participants.
Recognize our partners
Because of our partnership with community organizations we are able to provide internships and more to Bear POWER students.

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