Missouri State University - West Plains
Meagan Carlton

Meagan Carlton

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Plato, MO
  • AA General Studies; AAS in Business-Accounting
  • Hometown: Plato
  • Currently Resides: Plato

Meagan Carlton

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. If you work hard then you can achieve your dreams at MSU-West Plains.”  

Meagan chose to attend Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) for several reasons, including the opportunity to use her A+ Program benefits. This gave her two years of free tuition so she could focus on her studies and not be financially burdened. MSU-WP also provided the tight knit community atmosphere that Meagan was accustomed to.


“I just fell in love with the campus. It had a nice small-town feel, while still having the option to live on campus and be involved. It was also close to home and family so I could visit often,” Meagan said. 


Meagan became involved on campus through the tutoring lab and with the Student Ambassador Program. Through the tutoring lab, she learned how to break things down into steps and to adjust to different people’s learning styles to help them process concepts easier. 


“Working with a variety of different people allowed me to learn how to make adjustments to the way I tutored to fit the way they learned the best,” she said. “In my career, I frequently train new hires and have to teach them new skills, so my experience working in the tutoring lab is an experience that continues to help me today.”


Her time as a Student Ambassador also prepared her for the real world. As a shy girl coming into college, Meagan was not one to volunteer to speak to large crowds or to give tours; however, over time she became comfortable speaking in public and connecting with potential students through campus tours and Red Carpet Days where she could share her experience with students from small communities like hers. She also served as treasurer for the Student Government Association (SGA). 


“When I first started college at MSU-WP, I was just a young girl who hadn’t been out of her hometown much. Once I graduated, I felt prepared to take on adult life in the real world thanks to the positive educational environment I was in,” Meagan said.


She credits faculty and staff, specifically former Recruitment Specialist and current Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations Rachel Peterson, for the guidance they provided and giving her mentors to look up to. These people challenged her and provided opportunities for her to push herself and improve. 


When she arrived at MSU-WP, Meagan’s number one goal was to find a career she was passionate about that would give her the ability to create a stable financial situation for her family one day. 


“MSU-West Plains helped me discover my passion in accounting.”


Her greatest professional accomplishment was going through the rigorous process of obtaining her certified public accountant license, which she claims took “lots and lots of studying at home” and required self-motivation.


Meagan believes she could not have asked for a better career. At MSU-WP, she was able to explore different career paths to help her find the right one. The result is a stable job that is still flexible enough for her to put her family first and never miss out on special moments of watching her daughter grow up. 


With her career in accounting, Meagan has positively impacted her community through general tax advice and her service as the treasurer of the Roby Baptist Church


“It provides me another way to serve the church using my greatest skillset. Everyone knows I am a CPA and will always ask questions no matter if we’re at church or the local high school basketball game,” she said. 


“Think about what you want from life in the long term. MSU-WP has great resources on campus that will help guide you there if you put your trust in them.” 


MSU-WP gave Meagan the “best college experience I could ask for.” The campus offered the full college experience she sought, from living in a dorm to attending basketball and volleyball games, all while offering opportunities to learn and grow, both inside and outside the classroom, while staying close to home. 

If she had to give future students one piece of advice, it would be to put your trust in the people at MSU-WP. There are great resources on campus, she said, and the faculty and staff can help students make smart decisions to get to where they want to be.