Missouri State University - West Plains
Cory Neal

Cory Neal

  • Hometown: West Plains, Mo.
  • Academic programs: AA, general studies; AA, computer graphics and programming; AA, child and family development
  • Academic programs: BS, child and family development; MS, counseling

Maximizing opportunities at Missouri State-West Plains

He takes advantage of the degrees the Missouri State-West Plains campus offers. 

Cory Neal is a Bear, through and through.

Cory is the Director of Residence Life at Missouri State-West Plains. Not only is he a staff member, he also holds a combined four degrees from Missouri State (and he’s working on a fifth degree). 

Cory earned three associate degrees at Missouri State West Plains:

After completing his associate's degree, he continued his education. Through Missouri State Outreach's unique agreement with MSU in West Plains, he transferred to MSU-Springfield but continued to take his courses on the MSU-West Plains campus.

He takes a combination of online and seated courses on the West Plains campus. He completed his course work and earned his bachelor’s in child and family development. 

Becoming a counselor

Now he is working toward his graduate degree. He is in the counseling program through MSU Online. The program is 100% online. 

“I have always had passion to help those that are in need, to be a voice for those without, and I feel that both my undergrad and my master’s (degrees) were perfect for those passions.”

His previous work experience working in mental health helped him decide he wanted to study to become a counselor.

He works as a staff member at Missouri State-West Plains. Before that, he worked as a Community Support Specialist at Ozarks Medical Center–Behavioral Healthcare Center and before that he was the overnight manager at Martha Vance Samaritan Outreach Center. 

Missouri State’s West Plains campus and online programs allow Cory to pursue his passion while continuing to work on campus. 

Classes via Zoom

“I really appreciated my online classes or my classes that are offered through Zoom because they were able to better fit into my crazy schedule.”

Zoom classes allow him to schedule his classes around work obligations. Zoom courses are online courses, but with the added benefit of video conferencing. Zoom is an app that allows students and faculty to connect from anywhere in the world. It is like being in a virtual classroom. For students studying at a distance, it allows for better connection to students and faculty. 

“I chose Missouri State because it was closer to my family and friends and (because of) the affordability.”