Missouri State University - West Plains
Lara Stevens

Lara Stevens

  • Hometown: Salem, MO
  • Academic Program: Associate of Arts in General Studies

Lara Stevens

"Missouri State-West Plains was the ideal choice to kickstart my college journey." 

Why did you choose to attend Missouri State-West Plains?

I decided to enroll at Missouri State-West Plains primarily due to the A+ program. I had heard many positive remarks about the university’s commitment to supporting students facing financial challenges; therefore, I determined that Missouri State-West Plains was the ideal choice to kickstart my college journey.

How would you describe your experience here?

Up until now, my experience has been fantastic. I’ve excelled in all my classes and haven’t encountered any issues with my professors or advisors. I particularly appreciate the small campus and close-knit student community, as it provides me with ample one-on-one opportunities to discuss any challenges I may face with my professors.

What has been your favorite thing about Missouri State-West Plains?

As I mentioned earlier, the individualized attention I receive from professors, thanks to our smaller student body, has greatly contributed to my academic success and the enhancement of my learning abilities.

What has been your favorite course? And why?

My favorite course thus far has been philosophy. I’m currently enrolled in the class, and even though it’s only the fourth week, I find it thoroughly enjoyable. Assistant Professor Alex Pinnon excels at keeping the course both entertaining and engaging. I’ve gained valuable insights from him that I’ve been able to apply to my own life. I’ve never found any of his lectures or assignments boring, and I eagerly anticipate learning more in this course.

How have faculty and staff helped you during your time at Missouri State-West Plains? 

Throughout my time on campus, I’ve received assistance with various matters, including financial aid concerns, course selection, and more. The support I’ve received from the staff has consistently been exceptional, and I’ve never walked away feeling disappointed or anxious.

How did you choose your major?

I opted for a general studies program because, at the start of my college journey, I lacked a clear direction regarding my future career path. Rather than committing to a major I might later regret, I made the choice to begin with a general studies approach. My intention was to explore various subjects and discover my interests before making a more informed decision about my academic and career pursuits. This flexibility has allowed me to keep my options open and embark on a journey of self-discovery as I navigate my educational path.

What have you learned at Missouri State-West Plains that will help you succeed in your education, career or life?

Up to this point, my experience in the general studies program has been incredibly enriching. The courses I’ve taken have significantly enhanced my academic and professional writing skills. Moreover, my studies in philosophy and psychology have exposed me to a wealth of new knowledge. I firmly believe that these two courses, in particular, have had a profound impact on my personal growth and have equipped me with valuable insights that I’ve been able to apply to my own life.

What are your plans after graduation? 

While I’m currently enrolled as a general studies student, I’ve recently determined the career path I wish to pursue. I’m currently working full time at a local dentist’s office, gaining hands-on experience every day. My boss has taken the initiative to enroll me in training programs aimed at preparing me for certification exams, which will open up new opportunities in the dental industry. I’m genuinely happy and enthusiastic about the direction this path is leading me. Although I’ve contemplated enrolling in Springfield’s dental program after graduation to further enhance my knowledge, that decision remains undecided for now.