Our Principles

Our vision for Missouri State University is that every student at our institution will be active citizens. We believe this can be achieved by engaging in positive social change in local, national, and global communities. Bear Breaks participants are making that vision a reality through the work and dedication they bring to immersion trips. These trips, and the lessons learned from them, are connecting Citizen Bears with their unique visions for change.


mortarboard to reflect our mission of educate

Develop a strong focus on education through direct and indirect service.


Talk bubbles to reflect our mission of engage

Engage students, staff and faculty in meaningful conversations on many social issues.


lightbulb to reflect our mission of empower

Empower students, faculty and staff to develop into active citizens and continue to share and learn about their experiences.

Our Core Values

As part of the BreakAway movement, each trip also takes into account these 8 components:

  • Strong Direct Service - We promote “hands on” projects and activities that address unmet social needs, as determined by the community.
  • Full Engagement - Participants are encouraged to align their values and actions with regard to choices about their alternative break experience. One example is the alcohol and drug free component to alternative breaks.
  • Diversity and Social Justice - We recruit and include participants representing the range of students present in the campus community.
  • Education - Provides facts and opinions from all perspectives on the issue, including ways that participants’ personal life choices are connected to the social issue.
  • Orientation - Prior to departure, participants are oriented to the mission and vision of the community, community partner, or organization(s) with which they will be working.
  • Training - Participants are provided with adequate training in skills necessary to carry out tasks and projects during the trip.
  • Reflection - During the trip, participants are encouraged to reflect upon the experience they are having, synthesizing the direct service, education, and community interaction components. Time is set aside for this to take place both individually and as a group.
  • Reorientation - Upon return to campus, participants transfer the lessons learned on break by identifying local organizations for continued education or service, sharing their experience to raise awareness of social issues, and by organizing or joining other small groups to take action on local issues through direct service, advocacy, and/or philanthropy.

Active Citizen Continuum

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