Connection to Learning

Community-Engaged Learning programs stress the importance of structured reflection and connection to academic knowledge in the context of reciprocal, asset-based community partnerships.  The Learning Outcomes associated with each program connect to MSU General Education Learning Outcomes, the Public Affairs Pillars, and NACE Career Readiness Competencies.


Bear Breaks

The Bear Breaks Immersion Program offers many levels of leadership and engagement for students and faculty to engage in learning.  These include Faculty Advisors, a Student Executive Board, Trip Leaders, and Participants.  Each of these specific roles includes curriculum and tools for success:  Faculty Handbook, Trip Leader Handbook, Participant Guides specific to each trip.  Bear Breaks also includes structured learning through daily reflection and blogs.

  • 100% of participants said they can connect their experience to their major and future career. (Bear Breaks post-trip survey, 2018)
  • 100% of participants said they understand how their service supports the Public Affairs Mission. (Bear Breaks post-trip survey, 2018)
  • 92% of participants said they understand how they can help address their trips social issue or focus upon their return to Springfield. (Bear Breaks post-trip survey, 2018)
Bear Service 

The Bear Service Team meets weekly to connect their service experiences to their academic knowledge through reflection.  Student leaders are trained to facilitate reflection after serving, and use tools from the Structured Reflection guides in the CCE, information from the Community Focus Report, etc.  Students in the Bear Service Team come from various academic areas at Missouri State.

Bear Service Days are large-scale service projects open to the MSU community.  These experiences are structured to ensure 1) education about specific community-identified needs, 2) direct engagement whereby students can utilize their specific leadership skills and academic knowledge, and 3) structured reflection that allows student meet learning outcomes and connect to the importance of asset-based community partnership.