About the Program

Why become a University Staff Ambassador?

We all work at a large, complex, and exciting university. There is more happening at Missouri State every day than any of us can fathom. What if you were given an opportunity to learn more about what happens here? What if you were given an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people — people you probably see on the sidewalk now, but don’t know? Would you take advantage of that opportunity? If you are a full-time staff member at the university, the USA Program has been designed to provide you that opportunity. Just take a look at the curriculum and decide for yourself.

While the program has been designed and will be coordinated by the office of human resources, departments and individuals from throughout all three campuses are participating in the delivery of the curriculum to ensure participants receive a 360-degree view of the university.

We think that as you learn more about your university, your appreciation for what it does, how things happen, and how you contribute toward its mission will grow. Graduates will truly become "staff ambassadors" for the university.

What is the program curriculum?

The curriculum of the USA Program consists of two types of sessions that are intermingled throughout the program year.

  • The first type of sessions introduces the cohort members to areas of the university they may not get to see and learn about during their daily work routines. You will have an opportunity to tour parts of the university, hear about the various administrative divisions, and ask questions along the way.
  • The second type of sessions provides specific skills enhancement training to the cohort members. These sessions are taught by professional trainers who will provide an interactive and enjoyable learning experience. The training topics should allow the learned skills to be applied to any job type, and perhaps even in your personal life.

How do I apply to be considered?

Access the application instructions to download the application form. Applications must be received in the office of human resources  by the deadline to be considered for the next year's cohort. See application for deadline date. Hand delivery of completed applications is recommended.

How much of my time will it take to participate in the program if I'm selected?

The program will consist of 11 "program days" or sessions. These days will typically begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by 4:30 p.m., but some days may vary a bit. One session will be held each month, beginning in August of each year and ending in June of the following year.

Each cohort member will work with their "team" on a small project outside of the scheduled program days.

Staff considering the program are strongly encouraged to check their schedules against the scheduled program dates. Cohort members are allowed to miss no more than two days within the program to graduate from the USA Program.

How much will it cost me to participate if selected?

There is no cost to the employee. If selected, your department, dean, and/or vice president/provost will contribute funding toward the total cost of the program. Since each division coordinates payment differently, you may wish to check with your vice president/provost on the funding source for your participation (e.g. whether your departmental budget or a central division budget will fund). This does not include funding for temporary replacement staff. Thus, you should take participation seriously and attend as if you were funding this expense out of your own pocket.

What will be expected of the cohort after they graduate from the USA Program?

Graduates of the USA Program may be asked to assist in the coordination of future year's sessions. Individuals exhibiting leadership potential within the program may be asked to lead special projects within the University in the future. Graduates will also be encouraged to become a Bear Connection Mentor.

What have USA teams accomplished?

Each year, USA teams complete assigned projects to benefit the campus community. Here are some of the great projects from past years:

  • Development of a printable campus map for the website
  • Assisted with Tobacco-free campaign and video
  • Development of Telephone Etiquette Training
  • Development of the MyIdeas Employee Suggestion Program
  • Development of the Bear Connection Mentoring Program
  • Administration of a morale survey of all full-time faculty and staff at Missouri State University with nearly a 46 percent return rate — review the survey results (requires Adobe Reader)

What are the objectives for the program?

The program was designed with four primary objectives in mind:

  • Provide staff an opportunity to learn about all of the divisions and campuses within the university system
  • Provide interesting and fun professional development opportunities to staff
  • Promote a better understanding by staff as to the value of their role within the university and their contribution toward our mission of "developing educated persons"
  • Foster increased communication across departments, divisions and campuses by creating a bond among the members of each cohort

How many years will this program be offered?

If there is enough demand and if the program is deemed effective, we hope to offer this program every year. This determination will be made on a year-to-year basis.