Missouri State University - West Plains
Korrie Vance

Korrie Vance

  • Hometown: West Plains, Mo.

Education in the face of obstacles

“After my first college experience at another school, I expected the professors to be all business and not show a lot of compassion or personality.”

The last few years have thrown a lot of tough situations Korrie Vance’s way. Personal tragedies and health setbacks changed her life. She’s experiences a lot of change, most of it unwelcomed.

Korrie is also a full-time student at Missouri State-West Plains. Her resilience is due in part to the compassionate MSU-West Plains professors.

“I have faced a lot of health issues, life changes and the loss of loved ones. My teachers have shown me so much love, compassion and understanding during those difficult times.

“That allowed me to grieve and adjust while still meeting course requirements without falling behind because I knew that they were there to talk and to help me with more than just the content we were learning about.”

Turning struggles into help for others

Korrie is in the early stages of recovery from an eating disorder. She is on the path to being a survivor.

Her experience led her to write and publish an eating disorder memoir/self-help book. She published her book, “Beauty Comes with a Beast: Overcoming an Eating Disorder” in 2019.

Writing a book is hard work. On top of writing, an author also needs to consider the time and money it takes to publish a book.

“My favorite thing about teaching is helping my students find their passion and making sure that they feel loved and safe in my classroom.

Korrie pursued publication because she saved time and money by attending MSU-West Plains. Writing the book was a terrifying experience for Korrie, but well worth it.

Focused on the future

Korrie is studying elementary education at Missouri State-West Plains. She wants to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher. As a West Plains native, she would welcome the opportunity to teach in the school district.

“I love the flexibility of online learning! Being able to work on my assignments whenever and wherever I can, and work ahead when I could, was such a huge blessing. I am not a procrastinator by any means, so that is the perfect way for me to learn and earn my degree.”

When Korrie was young, she wanted to be a teacher. When she first started college, she thought journalism might be the path for her.

Journalism wasn’t the right fit (neither was the school she was attending). She decided to leave college and try something else. She spent some time working in a school as a paraprofessional and a computer teacher. It helped her refocus her goals.

Since, she’s returned to her first love: education.

“Teaching is not an easy profession and it is definitely not a ‘get rich’ career but it is a profession where I can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of kids, many of whom do not have a positive or loving adult role model to look to.”

Taking classes on the West Plains campus saves Korrie time and money. Beyond that, she feels supported by the faculty and staff. The support of her instructors allowed her to navigate those rough waters. Now, she’s looking forward to finishing up her degree and moving onto the next phase of her career.

And, after many requests, she is working on her second book.