Jul 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Affairs

The policies and statements contained in the Student Affairs and Academic Affairs sections were written for the undergraduate students at Missouri Southern State University and as such may not apply to our graduate students. Please check with the coordinator of the specific graduate program for more information.

Student Affairs

Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Mgmt
Darren Fullerton
Billingsly Student Center - 417.625.9392



The Division of Student Affairs at Missouri Southern State University is committed to creating a positive campus community which values student success and life-long learning in a global society. The division provides students with a variety of programs, services, and facilities that enhance and support their academic experience and prepares them to meet life-long intellectual, ethical, personal and career challenges.

Purpose and Objectives

The division includes Advising Counseling and Testing (ACTS), Admissions, Bursar, Career Services, Dean of Student Success & Support, Director of Student Life and Conduct, Financial Aid, First Year Experience, Food Service, International Admissions, Disability Services, Recreational Services and Wellness, Registrar, Residence Life, Student Activities, Student Health Services, Student Senate, Student Success Center, TRIO Programs (Project Stay, Upward Bound and Talent Search), and University Police.

With the goal of helping students to fully develop and achieve their educational goals, professional staff members are trained to support students by:

  1. providing a campus climate in student residence and campus affairs that is conductive to academic achievement;
  2. providing services which will assist in the self-development of all students and promote the understanding of their own purposes for being in college;
  3. providing, through student government, student organizations and student activities, both an opportunity to practice democratic living, with both rights and responsibilities and a chance to learn to work effectively and cooperatively with others;
  4. providing an opportunity for those individuals who are capable of profiting from higher education by providing financial assistance, when necessary, in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and employment;
  5. helping each student develop a sense of individual responsibility and self- discipline;
  6. interpreting college objectives, policies and rules to students and communicate student attitudes, opinions and activities to the faculty, administration and general public;
  7. providing student health services that meet the emergency and temporary medical needs of all students;
  8. providing an opportunity for students to gain information about the world of work and job opportunities; and
  9. providing assistance and direction in matching student qualifications with job requirements.

Advising, Counseling & Testing Services (ACTS)

Kelly E. Wilson
Hearnes Hall 314 • 417.625.9324

The primary goal of the Advising, Counseling and Testing Services (ACTS) department is to promote the student’s academic and personal development. Services are provided for individuals with educational, academic, personal and social concerns. Experienced professional staff and clinical counselors provide individual counseling for academic, career and short-term personal concerns as well as offer a variety of tests, inventories and referral services.

Advising Services

MSSU Academic Advising Mission

The Academic Advising mission at Missouri Southern is an educational process that, by intention and design, facilitates students’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education and fosters their intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning.


At Missouri Southern State University, academic advising provides students with the opportunity to build a relationship with their advisor for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning their educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success and in learning how to access the variety of resources and services available to them on the Missouri Southern campus.

Academic advising is an extension of teaching. Academic advising is a collaborative educational process whereby students and their advisors are partners in meeting the essential learning outcomes, facilitating student academic success and outlining the steps for achievement of the students’ personal, academic and career goals. This advisor/student partnership requires participation and involvement of both the advisor and the student as it is built over the student’s entire educational experience at Missouri Southern. Both the student and the advisor have clear responsibilities for ensuring the advising partnership is successful.

Missouri Southern State University adopts the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA, 2006) Core Values and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS, 2007).

Students with Declared Majors

Students, who have declared an academic major, will be assigned to a faculty member in the department of their major. Advisor assignments for new freshman will take place during the UE 0100 The University Experience . Advisor assignments are made at the departmental level.

Undecided Students

Students who have not declared an academic major area of study will be assigned an advisor from the ACTS staff. Approximately 60 percent of the entering freshmen are undecided. At the beginning of each semester, ACTS advisors invite their advisees to make individual appointments to discuss an to discuss an academic plan and preparation for enrollment into the next semester classes. Advisors work closely with students in exploring their educational and degree options. The responsibility for satisfying all requirements rests with the student. Advisors, faculty and administration assist in meeting this responsibility.

Career Exploring

Students who are uncertain of their major are encouraged to explore careers by:

  1. Enrolling in a Career and Life Planning course (UE 0105 )-This class is designed to assist students in clarifying values, assessing competencies and interests, making decisions, securing information on occupations, educational opportunities and selecting appropriate career development strategies; or
  2. Meet individually with an advisor in the ACTS office to identify, understand and explore academic/career related concerns.

Major Fair

The intent of this fall program is to provide a centralized opportunity for students to investigate various curricular and career options in one place at one time and allows academic departments to showcase their majors and minors.

Counseling Services

Confidential, personal counseling is available at no charge to students who may be struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, stress, depression, adjustment issues, grief, trauma or problems with eating disorders or drug or alcohol abuse. Contact the ACTS department in person or by phone to set up an appointment. Clinical Counselors are licensed professionals. Referrals to additional resources may be given as appropriate.

Consultation and Referral

Clinical Counselors are available, upon request, to provide consultation to the administration, faculty, staff and students. The staff also will facilitate referrals to outside agencies and to licensed professionals as needed.


Crisis Intervention is provided to deal with situations requiring immediate attention. Call the University Police Department at 417-626-2222. If that line is not answered for some reason, you may call 911 and the JPD Communications Center will dispatch a UPD officer directly. For more information about being safe on campus visit www.mssu.edu/student-affairs/university-police.

Other Services

Outreach: Special programs and workshops designed to define and/or to prevent problems and to improve the quality of college life are presented. These offerings provide information, techniques and skills relevant to specific topics of interest such as: stress management, test anxiety, self-esteem and building successful relationships.

Testing Services

Missouri Southern is a national testing center for the following examinations:

  1. ACT (Placement test for college entrance)
  2. Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment
  3. HiSET (Missouri High School Equivalency Exam)
  4. MAT (Miller’s Analogy Test for graduate school)
  5. CLEP (College Level Examinations Program)
  6. Pearson VUE (Select exams)
  7. LSAT (Placement test for law school)
  8. Praxis Series (National Teacher’s Exam)

The CLEP (College Level Examination Program)

Administered by appointment. The student must contact the ACTS department to register prior to the testing time/day. This program is designed to allow students to receive, upon attaining a passing grade, proficiency credit for General Education Requirements. In order to receive credit for a CLEP examination, a student must have the following qualifications:

  1. not have taken an examination over the course within the preceding three months;
  2. not have credit in a more advanced course in the same field;
  3. be working toward a degree at Missouri Southern State University;
  4. not use the examination to replace a previously earned grade.

Proctoring Tests

The ACTS department also provides proctors and a testing room for students taking correspondence courses from other accredited institutions. Appointments must be made prior to taking the test. A fee will be charged for each test administered.


All students whose native language is not English, who wish to transfer with 24 hours are required to have either the TOEFL or the Michigan College English Test. For more information on the TOEFL exam visit Educational Testing Services at www.ets.org. Minimum TOEFL scores are:

  • Score of 520 + for TOEFL paper based plus TOEFL writing 4.0 +
  • Score of 190 + for TOEFL computer-based plus TOEFL writing 4.0 +
  • Score of 68 + for TOEFL internet based plus TOELF writing 4.0 +


The ACTS department also provides the HiSET High School Equivalency Test as a service to Missouri residents who were unable to complete their high school education.The person making an acceptable score on the HiSET test will receive a high school equivalency certificate from the Missouri State Department of Education. Application process: visit hiset.ets.org for additional information and to schedule an exam.

Student Success Initiatives

Lion Alert

Lion Alert is part of our Student Success Initiatives to provide support and interventions for students who have been identified as academically at-risk. The focuses of the Lion Alert efforts are on actions taken by the student and on behalf of students early in their semester and early in their college studies. Early referral and early response allows for resources to be provided before any prolonged struggle. Referrals are made online through Missouri Southern’s Lionet portal.

Mid-Term Grades

Mid-term grades supports Missouri Southern State University’s commitment to student success. Midterm grades are indicators of a student’s progress. They are equally important to the potential Dean’s List student, the student on probation and the marginal student. In each case, the student’s efforts can be directed to achieve his or her goals. Midterm grades are not recorded on official student transcripts.

A student will be considered academically at-risk if his/her midterm grade point average (average based on that term’s midterm grades) falls below 2.0. A student at-risk (in this situation) will be encouraged, by letter, to meet with his/her faculty advisor to discuss options and implement a course of action to improve the student’s academic performance. Mid-term grades are reported to students through the University’s Lionet portal.

Path to Academic Success (PASS)

PASS is an early warning program designed to assist freshmen students who are academically at-risk. The program aims at enhancing academic success through a variety of academic success services including personalized academic success plans, individual academic coaching, strategic workshops and periodic progress checks. This program is not a class; it is an academic support system.


Derek Skaggs
Dean of Admissions
Hearnes Hall 106 • 417.781.6778

Admission decisions are based on current admission policies established by the Board of Governors and are made in accordance with the recommendations of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Students are encouraged to apply for admission early. Applications are available through the Admissions Office, online at http://mssu.edu/advancement/admissions/admissions-application.php and most high schools and community colleges. Admission requirements are subject to change without notice. Missouri Southern State University encourages students from private, home schooling and non-accredited high schools to contact the Admissions Office for details on how to be accepted into Missouri Southern.

Credentials Required for Freshman Admission
Regular Admission

  1. High School Transcript: An official transcript of high school credits must be filed showing that requirements for graduation have been met. A 6th, 7th or 8th semester rank in class must appear on the record. The University will accept a satisfactory score on the General Educational Development (GED) or HiSet test in lieu of a high school transcript.
  2. Placement Test: Missouri Southern participates in the American College Testing Program (ACT). Scores from the enhanced battery must be presented as an admission credential. These tests are administered at nationally approved test centers five times a year. Missouri Southern is a test center. Students over the age of 21 applying as first-time freshmen are not required to submit an ACT score; however, ACT or MSSU placement tests must be taken if no math or English class has been completed prior to enrolling in those classes. Either ACT or SAT scores are acceptable.
  3. Application: Missouri Southern admits students on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply early. The application for admission must be submitted to the Admissions Office one week before the first day of enrollment (see University calendar ). This includes all credentials required by the Admissions Office.
  4. Application Fee: A fee of $25 must be included with the application for admission. (This fee is non-refundable and non-applicable to other college fees.)
  5. Miscellaneous Requirements: Additional credentials may be required from students whose application credentials raise questions about their acceptability into the student body. While the University makes every effort to give each applicant an opportunity for a college education, it reserves the right to deny admission when the University’s ability to meet the need of the student and/or the welfare of the student body is in question. Students who do not attend Missouri Southern within one year after making application must submit new credentials when seeking admission.

Current Admission Requirements for First-Time Entering Freshmen:

An applicant must meet one of the following:

  • ACT Composite Score of 21 or higher
  • Top 50% rank in class
  • 2.25 cumulative GPA

Applicants who do not meet one of these requirements will be reviewed by the selection committee.

High School Core Curriculum Requirement

The University strongly encourages high school students to follow the Core Curriculum recommendations outlined by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The core includes:

English, 4 units. Two units emphasizing composition or writing skills are required. One unit may be speech or debate.

Mathematics, 4 units. The units must include Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and a fourth higher level mathematics course.

Social Studies, 3 units. Courses should include United States history and courses selected from world history, government, geography and economics.

Science, 3 units. General Science does not count. One unit must include a laboratory. Biology, physics and chemistry are strongly recommended.

Visual/Performing Arts, 1 unit. Fine arts courses include such areas as visual arts, music, dance or theatre.

Electives, 3 units. Electives may be selected from world geography, higher level mathematics, additional science, foreign languages (if a language is chosen as an elective, the University recommends 2 units of the same language), advanced placement courses or a combination of the core courses listed above.

Admission requirements are subject to change without notice.

Admissions Review Committee: Individuals who do not meet the University’s admission criteria will have their application forwarded to the review committee. The committee may make one of four decisions: grant regular admission, admit conditionally, deny admission or admit as a special non-degree seeking student.

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony are asked to report this information on the application for admission and provide an explanation to the nature of the felony conviction. Individuals indicating a prior felony conviction will be reviewed by the committee to determine acceptance. If the student is not accepted for admission, an appeal can be submitted in writing to the Executive Vice President.

Students With Previous College Experience / Former MSSU Students: Former Missouri Southern State University, Jasper County Junior College and Joplin Junior College students must inform the Admissions Office of their intention to return. Students will be required to update their credentials by using the re-admission application form. No application fee is required.

Transfer Students: Transfer Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following conditions:

  1. The student must be in good standing at the institution from which they are transferring.
  2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for all work attempted.

Any transfer student falling below a 2.0 GPA but above the University’s standards of progress may be considered for admission on probation. Individuals who do not meet the University’s admission criteria will have their application forwarded to the review committee. The committee may make one of four decisions: grant regular admission, admit conditionally, deny admission or admit as a special non-degree seeking student.

Transfer students who have completed the State of Missouri general education curriculum (42 semester hours) or have earned the Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a two-year or four-year regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent of an AA have met the MSSU general education curriculum requirements.

Transfer students who have not completed the above general education curriculum will have their courses evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Transfer courses will be assigned lower or upper division attributes based on how the courses were originally completed.

MSSU will accept unlimited lower division transfer hours from regionally accredited two-year colleges. These existing policies must be met:

  1. Students must earn 30 hours completed with MSSU.
  2. One-half of the major requirements must be earned at MSSU.
  3. Thirty-nine upper-division (300-400) hours are required for graduation.
  4. Writing requirements.

The following credentials must be submitted to the Admissions Office:

  1. Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
  2. Eligibility to return to last institution attended.
  3. Payment of the $25 non-refundable application fee.
  4. ACT or MSSU placement tests must be taken if no math or English class has been completed prior to enrolling in those classes.

Transfer students who have been awarded a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or an accepted foreign equivalent have fulfilled all lower division general education curriculum requirements.

Transfer students seeking admission to Missouri Southern State University from colleges or universities not accredited by a regional association may be given full recognition for their credits earned when the credit is appropriate to the student’s degree programs and after Missouri Southern State University has validated the courses. Applicants must meet the following conditions:

  1. The student must be in good standing at the institution from which they are transferring.
  2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for all work attempted.

Any transfer student falling below a 2.0 GPA but above the University’s standards of progress may be considered for admission on probation.

Transcripts submitted to Missouri Southern State University become the property of the university and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to other institutions.

Transfer Articulation Appeal Process: Transfer students have the right to appeal course articulation from transferring institutions. If you feel a course has not been given proper credit at MSSU, please contact the Office of the Registrar at MSSU regarding the appeal process. Issues that can be resolved by the Office of the Registrar require no further action by the student or institution.

Courses from non-regionally accredited schools may be challenged for credit by completing a General Academic Petition. The petition must be accompanied with a course syllabus and credentials of the course instructor. Petitions are routed to the department of the course for review and final determination of credit.

Courses from regionally accredited schools that have not been articulated for course credit may be challenged for academic credit toward a degree by completing the General Academic Petition. Appeals require approval from both the department of the course, the department of the major and the respective dean.
Disputes regarding how a course was articulated may be challenged through the appeal process also. The academic department has final determination on course articulation.

Transfer students may request the assistance of the articulation officer from the sending institution in reviewing the situation and giving advice on the merits of the appeal. For additional information from the Missouri Department of Higher Education regarding course articulation please visit: IV. Procedures for Review of Credit Transfer Policy and Compliance found at dhe.mo.gov/policies/credit-transfer.php#appeals process.

Transient Students: Students in good standing at other colleges and universities may wish to enroll at Missouri Southern for the purpose of transferring back to their institutions the credit earned. Admission requires completion of the non-degree application form and payment of the $25 non-refundable application fee. Students wishing to continue course work at Missouri Southern State University must complete the degree seeking admission application and meet admission criteria.

International Students: International students (not citizens of the United States) who wish to apply for admission should contact the Admissions Office or access the Admissions website (www.mssu.edu/admissions) for the proper application forms and instructions. In addition to the admission credentials  required of all students, international students must satisfy these concerns: (a) academic competency (b) ability to read and speak the English language adequately for college level study and (c) ability to finance the cost of education at Missouri Southern. All applicants whose first language is not English must prove English proficiency by showing one of the following: a score of at least 68 on the TOEFL Internet-based test (IBT) with a writing score of 25 or higher, or an IELTS score of at least 6.0 with a writing score of 5.5 or higher and no subject subscore below 5.0, or a Michigan English Placement Test (MEPT) score of at least 85. The Admissions Office must receive all application and accompanied credentials by the following dates:

Fall Semester July 1
Spring Semester December 1

The English-proficiency requirement also applies to students who are citizens of the United States and who use English as a second language.

International English Program: Students who do not meet the English competency standards on the TOEFL or the Michigan Test are required to take courses in the International English Program (IEP) before they can enroll in college level courses. As prerequisite courses the IEP courses are graded and count as hours enrolled/earned in determining student status.

Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment: Dual credit enables qualified high school students to take University-level courses taught by qualified high school instructors. Students simultaneously receive academic credit for the course from both the high school and MSSU. Dual enrollment enables qualified high school students to take University-level courses taught by an MSSU faculty member while simultaneously enrolled in the high school and MSSU. Credit is typically only awarded at the university level; however, students may be eligible to earn high school credit for such courses with approval from the high school district. For more information about the program, students should contact the Office of Academic Outreach, Hearnes Hall room 315, phone 417-625-9785 or 417-625-9731.

Admission to Selective Programs

The Health Sciences: (Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Radiology, Respiratory Therapy): Admission to Missouri Southern does not automatically confer admission to the programs of Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Radiology, and Respiratory Therapy. In addition to meeting the admission requirements for the University, candidates who are interested in these health career programs are required to apply for admission to the department. Application forms may be obtained from the specific departments, all located in the Health Sciences Building. Applications should be submitted by January 31 preceding the fall semester in which the student wishes to enroll. Each application is reviewed by the Admissions Committee of the respective department. See Nursing Department , Dental Hygiene Department , Radiology Department  or Respiratory Therapy Department  for full information on admission and acceptance criteria.

Teacher Education: Admission to Missouri Southern does not automatically confer admission to the Teacher Education Program. In addition to meeting the admission requirements to the University, candidates interested in the Teacher Education Program are required to apply for admission to the Teacher Education Department. For more details, please see the Teacher Education  section of the catalog.

Social Work Program: In addition to meeting the admission requirements for the university, candidates interested in the Social Work degree are required to apply for admission to the program. For more details see the Social Work  section of the catalog.

Honors Program: This program is intended to encourage academic excellence by providing special opportunities and challenges for exceptional students. Entrance into the program is by invitation. Interested students should write the Director of Honors Program for an application form.

Special Admission: A student who wishes to enroll in college but does not meet regular admission requirements may be permitted to enroll in classes as a non-degree seeking student. College hours completed in this status cannot be counted toward a degree until the student meets regular college admission criteria. Special admission classification is not eligible for financial aid.

Students who possess a high school diploma or GED may request reclassification by achieving one of the following:

  1. Meeting all of the University’s admission criteria.
  2. Successfully completing 21 hours with a 2.0 GPA.

Students without a diploma or GED must complete 59 hours with a 2.0 GPA before a request for reclassification can be considered.

65-Plus Program: The 65-Plus Program is designed to serve interested individuals 65 years of age and over. Community residents may enroll in a course on a space-available basis without providing previous transcripts (unless a prerequisite must be met). Compliance with course prerequisites is necessary and is the student’s responsibility. Enrollment takes place at the same time as regular student enrollment (2 days prior to the start of the term). Information concerning enrollment times, reduced fees and tuition costs can be found in the University schedule.  Courses are for audit only. If a student desires to become a regular student, he or she must make application to Missouri Southern for future semesters.

Campus Card Service Center

Chris Owens
Billingsly Student Center 109 • 417.659.5463

Located in the lower level of Billingsly Student Center, the Campus Card Service Center is a convenient location to obtain Lion Card IDs, place value in Lion Bucks debit accounts and obtain parking permits.

Lion Card

The Lion Card is a single-card solution that serves as MSSU’s official MSSU identification and tracks meal plans, as well as providing debit account (Lion Bucks) capability, facility access control and access to campus venues such as the Beimdiek Recreation Center.

In order to take advantage of the debit account capability of the Lion Card, cardholders activate the Lion Bucks account by making their first deposit. Deposit options are:

  • Online - Login to LioNet and select the link “Manage My Lion Card”
  • By kiosk machine located in the Library. The kiosk only accepts cash and does not give change.
  • In person during office hours at the Campus Card Service Center located in Billingsly Student Center room 109 and the Bursar’s Office located in Hearnes Hall room 105.

Lion Bucks can be used to purchase goods and services at the following venues:

  • MSSU Bookstore
  • *Food Locations: Lion’s Den, University Java, Mays Dining Hall, Plaster Coffee
  • Willcoxon Health Center
  • Office Services printing and shipping
  • Printing at open campus computer labs including the Library.
  • Selected vending machines in academic buildings throughout campus.

*(Accountholders receive a 10% discount for using Lion Bucks at these locations)
Complete terms and conditions can be found online at mssu.edu/business-affairs/lion-card/terms-conditions.php

In addition to Lion Bucks purchases, the Lion Card system controls access to privileges such as: Beimdiek Recreation Center, Willcoxon Student Health Center services and Spiva Library resources.

Parking Permits

All vehicles must be registered in order to use campus parking facilities. Vehicles may be registered and parking permits obtained at the Campus Card Service Center or the Public Safety Office.


Lion Card holders can receive discounts at many local and online business. Please refer to  www.MSSU.edu/lioncard for an updated list of discounts.

Career Services

Alex Gandy
Spiva Library 207 • 417.625.9343

Personalized Assistance

The Career Services Office offers individual appointments to assist in the creation and customization of resumes and cover letters for the job market and assists in the completion of employment and graduate school applications. All services are offered free of charge to MSSU students and alumni. Visit mssu.edu/career to view a complete schedule of events or to access online resources. The Career Services Office assists students in:

  • Choosing a major or career path
  • Developing personal career goals
  • Preparing for and navigating the job market
  • Networking and navigating employment situations

Online Resources

Visit mssu.edu/career to access online resources:

  • Hire a Lion: Online job network designed to connect MSSU students and alumni with employers offering full-time, part-time, internship, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Optimal Resume: Web-based system designed to assist with the creation of high-quality resumes and cover letters. The mock interview module allows users to view sample interview questions and answers, then record responses for self-critique.
  • Job Shadowing: The Career Services Office connects students with community professionals to gain first-hand knowledge about career paths and work environments.
  • Mock Interviews: The Career Services Office offers online and in-person mock interviews to assist students in preparing for a variety of interview scenarios.
  • Career Events: The Career Services Office hosts a variety of career events throughout the year. Event details can be found online at mssu.edu/career.
  • Super Leaders: The Super Leader Program introduces participants to the community and career opportunities. Anyone who has a genuine interest in community leadership and wants to broaden their scope of knowledge beyond their current level is encouraged to apply for the Super Leaders Program. Students interested in applying must be enrolled in a minimum of six hours at Missouri Southern State University and complete the application process.

For more information on Career Services, check out: mssu.edu/student-affairs/career-services

Student Disability Services

Lori Musser
Coordinator For Student Disability Services
Hearnes Hall • 417.659.3725

Missouri Southern State University strives to assure that no qualified person with a disability shall, solely by reason of the disability, be denied access to, participation in or the benefits of any program or activity operated by Missouri Southern. Reasonable accommodations are provided to ensure equally effective access to the University. Access can mean many different things. On one level, we are a “young” campus, our buildings are all accessible. Each building is equipped with automatic door openers, elevators and accessible facilities. Access also applies to what happens in the classroom. Our instructors are committed to a meaningful learning environment for all students. Qualified students with documentation may access services such as note takers, electronic textbooks, testing outside the classroom, sign language interpreters, enlarged materials, assistive technology and equipment, etc.

A student seeking accommodation must make his/her request to the Coordinator for Student Disability Services. Preferably, the student will make this request in person. If it is not feasible for the student to meet in person, the request for accommodation can be made in writing or via electronic mail with appropriate identification. Requests for accommodation made to University personnel other than the Coordinator will not be supported by the Student Disability Services Office.

The request for accommodations should be made far enough in advance to allow for adequate time to respond to the request. The time required to put accommodations into place will vary with the type of accommodation. For example, arranging to take a test in the Student Success Center requires 48 hours notice. Requesting a sign language interpreter should be done at least three months prior to the start of classes to insure the availability of an interpreter. The specific time allowances and how to request different accommodations can be found in the Student Disability Services Policies and Procedures, Procedure 6.00, available from the Coordinator for Disability Services or on the website: mssu.edu/student-affairs/disability-services/.

All students are asked to provide documentation when requesting accommodations for two reasons (1) To establish that the individual is a person with a disability (2) To determine appropriate accommodations. The documentation must establish that the person has a substantial limitation in a major life activity and is therefore an individual with a disability. Documentation may be required from more than one professional source in order to clearly identify the need for accommodations for individuals with multiple disabilities.

All documentation, regardless of source, should contain the following six essential features:

  1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the current diagnostic evaluation and the date of the original diagnosis.
  2. A description of the diagnostic criteria or diagnostic tests used.
  3. A description of how the disability affects one of the major life activities and the current functional impact of the disability.
  4. Treatments, medications, assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.
  5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time should be included.
  6. Information describing the certification, licensure and or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation.

The age of the documentation will vary dependent on the type and nature of the disability. This variance occurs because some disability-related needs are static while others change rapidly. Detailed guidelines for documentation for each area of disability are available from the Coordinator.

The Coordinator shall make determination of reasonable accommodations for students based on appropriate documentation provided by the student. The authority to make such decisions on behalf of the institution has been assigned by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Once appropriate documentation has been supplied to the Coordinator and the determination has been made that the documentation supports the need for accommodation, the student and Coordinator will draw up an Accommodation Plan. The Accommodation Plan will remain in effect until either (1) the plan’s date of expiration passes or (2) the student requests an accommodation not previously listed on the plan. In the event of the second, the Accommodation Plan will be adjusted in accordance with the student’s documentation supporting the request.

The student is responsible for notifying faculty of any accommodations that he or she may be accessing in relationship to the faculty member’s class. The student will be given a memo from the Coordinator detailing the authorized accommodations.

If the accommodations listed in the Accommodation Plan are not provided or are not effective in providing equal access, the student or faculty member should follow the procedures for filing a grievance listed in Policy and Procedure 9.00. All other issues (i.e. housing, sporting events, facility access, etc.) should follow the grievance procedures outlined in Procedure 9.02. The Grievance Procedures are available from the Coordinator, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Affairs or our website: mssu.edu/student-affairs/disability-services/.

Financial Aid

Becca Diskin
Director Of Financial Aid
Hearnes Hall 109 • 417.625.9325


The mission of the Financial Aid Office at Missouri Southern State University is to make education possible for students who would normally be deprived of a University education because of inadequate funds. Based on the belief that higher education should not be a privilege reserved only for those who can afford to purchase it and that educational opportunities should not be limited by the financial resources of the student and their family, the University will seek out funds making them available to current and prospective students so as to meet their demonstrated academic ability and financial need without regard to race, creed, national origin, age, sex or disability.

Missouri Southern participates in a variety of aid programs to assist qualified students who would otherwise not be able to attend the University. These funds - from private, institutional, state and federal sources - are coordinated to meet the individual student’s need. There are programs based on various criteria such as financial need, performing ability and academic excellence. Each program has requirements for maintaining the award and students must meet satisfactory academic progress guidelines for continued assistance. It should be noted that institution standard requirements must be equal to or greater than federal aid. Foreign students are required to present a financial statement certifying they have sufficient funds to pay for all educational expenses. Information in this catalog regarding financial aid is subject to change without notice. Missouri Southern reserves the right to adjust a student’s financial aid package to reflect a true change in the student’s financial situation. Financial aid awards are subject to changes in institutional policy and State and Federal regulations.

For applications and detailed information concerning financial aid, view our website at mssu.edu/student-affairs/financial-aid/. There is a wealth of financial aid available in many forms from a variety of sources.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  1. All applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and request an electronic Personal Identification Number (PIN) which will be used in processing federal documents. MSSU prefers the electronic application on the Web at www.fafsa.gov, where you may request a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Likewise, all applicants must have a current e-mail address where financial aid information will be sent. Application deadline for priority processing is April 1; however, all applications will be processed. The FAFSA will generate a Pell Grant, if applicant is eligible and will be used to determine eligibility for student loans, federal work-study and the Access Missouri Program. Students who have not submitted all necessary financial aid documentation by May 1 for the Fall term, November 1 for the Spring term and March 1 for the Summer term are expected to pay their fees in full by the published due date.
  2. Applicants selected for verification must provide additional documents requested (such as Federal Income Tax Transcript) to the Financial Aid office. Requested documents must be on file before any aid will be processed.
  3. Applicants for PLUS loans must contact the Financial Aid Office for special instructions.
  4. Applicants for Foundation Scholarships must complete a scholarship application online by March 1 for the upcoming fall term.
  5. Transfer students must request an academic transcript for each college or university previously attended and have it evaluated by the Office of the Registrar so aid can be processed accurately. If a student transfers in the middle of an Aid year, they must request that all remaining financial aid disbursements be cancelled so their aid can be processed at MSSU.
  6. Applicants for performance awards should contact the director of the program in which they wish to participate.
  7. Applicants for special programs should contact the Financial Aid Office for instructions.
  8. All students receiving any type of institutional scholarships or other types of aid processed through the Financial Aid Office must complete the FAFSA each academic year to continue to be eligible for aid.
  9. See mssu.edu/student-affairs/financial-aid/ for more information on MSSU scholarships.

Repayment Notice for Federal Financial Aid

Students who withdraw prior to the 60% completion of the semester will be subject to repayment of part or all of their aid, as determined by federal regulations. This includes official and unofficial withdrawals stemming from student’s last date of attendance prior to the 60% of semester earned.
Students will be notified in writing of any amount due as a result of withdrawal. A hold will be placed on the student’s account until repayment is made in full.

Students must make repayment of their portion of financial aid within 45 days. Failure to make repayment within 45 days will result in:

  1. Referral to the federal government for collection.
  2. Ineligibility for federal financial aid from all colleges and universities until the overpayment of aid and interest due is paid to the U.S. Department of Education.

Policies and Regulations

Academic Standards: Federal Aid

In order to remain eligible to receive Title IV Funding*, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress. Grade-point average, pass rate, and the time frame that a student takes to complete a normal educational degree program are factors which must be evaluated when measuring satisfactory academic progress.

*Title IV funds consists of Federal Pell Grant, Federal College Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal SEOG, Federal TEACH Grant, and Federal PLUS Loans. Most State Aid Programs also require satisfactory academic progress.

Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA (3.0 if pursuing a Master’s degree) and successfully complete 70% of the courses they have attempted to remain eligible for federal financial assistance. Attempted hours include hours earned, hours transferred in from other schools, hours which are attempted at another institution which are not transferable, hours withdrawn, hours audited, repeated courses, failed courses and pass/fail credit courses. Successful completion is defined as the absence of failing grades and voluntary or involuntary withdrawals. Satisfactory academic progress is monitored on a semester basis. Students who fall below the required 2.0 cumulative GPA at 60 attempted hours and/or the 70% completion rate lose eligibility for federal financial assistance the following term. Students may be granted a one semester warning period. At the end of the warning semester, the student must meet the cumulative grade point and credit hour completion requirements based upon hours attempted and earned, in order to avoid being placed on financial aid suspension.

Students who fail to make progress during the warning period will be ineligible to receive federal financial assistance until the student obtains the required 2.0 GPA and 70% course completion rate. Students who successfully complete a plan of study will remain eligible for financial assistance as long as they do not withdraw from classes and continue to pass all coursework with a grade of ‘C’ or higher (or maintain required GPA), and improve completion ratio. Should a student’s instructor report that a student has never attended or has stopped attending a course while the student is on warning, the student is no longer eligible to receive federal financial assistance.

Although students will be notified in writing should they fall below satisfactory academic progress standards, it is the student’s responsibility to know their academic standing in regards to this policy. Failure to receive notification does not dispute or reverse the termination of a student’s eligibility to receive financial assistance.

In addition, the federal government requires an institution to establish a time frame in which a student must complete their degree program. Undergraduate students seeking an associate’s degree must complete their program within 93 attempted hours. Students seeking a baccalaureate degree must complete their degree program within 186 attempted hours. Students seeking a certificate must complete their program within 150% of the required credit hours needed. Students pursuing a master’s degree must complete their program within 54 attempted hours. Students are no longer eligible for aid when they reach the hour limit.

Once an institution is aware that a student cannot complete their degree program within the established time frame, the student is no longer eligible to receive federal financial assistance. Students approaching the maximum time frame (160 attempted hours for baccalaureate students) are required to submit a Plan of Study Form to the Financial Aid Office. Financial assistance will be delayed until this form is reviewed and it is determined that the student can complete their program of study before exceeding the maximum limit.

Students may submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office if there are documentable extenuating circumstances that caused the student to not meet the required satisfactory academic progress standards. Appeals may be submitted online or in writing with documentation to explain the validity of the appeal and circumstances which caused the student to not meet the required standards.

Other Duties and Responsibilities of Financial Aid Recipients

Missouri Southern operates on a financial aid database system which processes applications and awards electronically. It is to the applicant’s advantage to use forms and applications which are capable of processing data electronically. The electronic system requires student signatures or electronic use of Federal Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) so they can update application data, sign promissory notes, perform entrance counseling and exit counseling and make corrections. “S” IDs and Passwords to access LioNet are used to view billing, requested documentation, award acceptance and financial aid messages before funds can be processed. In addition, students must maintain a current email address and monitor it for requested documentation, award information, notices and correspondence from the Financial Aid Office.

Students must report the following changes to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. withdrawal from all classes during a semester,
  2. added or dropped classes during the semester,
  3. a name change,
  4. change of address or email address or change of parents’ address,
  5. transfer to another college.

Financial aid funds will be credited to the student account. Once all direct university costs have been satisfied, balance funds will be disbursed to the student starting with the end of the third week and every week thereafter throughout the semester.

MSSU offers two options for students interested in working on-campus: work-study student employment and regular student employment. Students seeking on-campus employment should contact the Student Employment office in Hearnes Hall, or visit MSSU.edu and search “Hire a Lion”.

Veterans must sign up for veterans’ benefits prior to or at the beginning of each semester in the Financial Aid Office.

First-Year Experience

Teresa Thompson
Hearnes Hall 315 • 417.625.9731


Philosophy Statement for the First-Year Experience

Missouri Southern State University is committed to making the first year of college a success for each student. This ideal is translated into action by fostering five integrated components:

  • a smooth transition into university life;
  • a sense of shared responsibility;
  • a challenging and stimulating learner-centered academic environment;
  • a sense of inclusive community;
  • a comprehensive support program of personnel and resources.

The University facilitates the transition to higher education from diverse life experiences and develops lifelong learners for intellectual, cultural and social exchanges. The responsibility for student learning is shared by all members of the campus community. The University’s liberal arts foundation prepares students to become knowledgeable, critical thinkers who can meet the challenges and responsibilities facing global citizens. Missouri Southern fosters a sense of community, campus spirit and support for its first-year students by promoting connections with faculty, administrators, support staff and peers. Continuous quality assessment of each of the components is conducted so that necessary changes are implemented to maximize the first-year experience.

Missouri Southern’s philosophy for the first-year experience is put into action in numerous ways. The faculty and staff members bring the philosophy to life by their friendly and helpful approach to students. First-year students have opportunities to participate in activities and events designed to introduce them to others and campus life.

The First-Year Experience Program has been established to help achieve the goal of beginning-student success through several avenues, including offering the UE 0100 The University Experience  course for all beginning students, Learning Communities, the Common Reading Program and the UE 0400 Leadership Training I  and UE 0401 Leadership Training II  courses for course assistants.

UE 0100 : The University Experience is a fundamentals course designed to assist first year students in successfully defining themselves both as active participants in the MSSU community and as citizens of a twenty-first century global community. The course offers information on university personnel, facilities, services, policies, study skills and MSSU’s international mission and international study opportunities. Student participation in co-curricular activities is required. The course is taught by an instructor with the assistance of a course assistant. The course assistant serves as an example and a resource for the first-year students.

Learning Communities

A Learning Community is a group of courses that students take together. Learning Communities are comprised of a University Experience 100 course (required for all first-year students) and one general education or major requirement course. In addition to attending classes, students enrolled in a Learning Community also participate in social activities together. Being a part of a Learning Community is a great way to make friends and form study-groups with like-minded students.

Course Assistant Program

Course Assistants (CAs) are upper-level students who share their insights and experiences with entering students in the University Experience class. Their recent experiences and success in the academic environment make them effective models. Upper-level students apply for the assistant role and receive training through UE 0400 Leadership Training I /UE 0401 Leadership Training II .

Intercollegiate Athletics

Jared Bruggeman
Athletics Director
North Endzone Facility 212 • 417.625.9317
Tonya Nickle - NCAA Compliance Officer

The purpose of the Missouri Southern Athletics Department is to empower student-athletes with the confidence and ability to succeed in life as well as on the playing field. The Athletics Department feels its most important responsibility is to assist its student-athletes in reaching their highest potential as they strive for excellence academically, athletically and socially within a diverse and challenging society.

We are proud to be NCAA Division II members. The Division II membership as a whole prides itself on finding balance in the world of collegiate athletics. Student- athletes in the Division II ranks can compete at very high levels athletically, but more importantly are encouraged to fully apply themselves toward getting a quality education and ultimately a college degree.

In addition to being an NCAA Division II member, Missouri Southern participates in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. We annually enroll nearly 470 student-athletes and our university teams compete on the intercollegiate level in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.

Collegiate athletics in general receives tremendous media coverage and public attention. We in the Missouri Southern Athletics Department intend to use this public stage to bring positive attention to Missouri Southern State University as a whole. We will accomplish this goal by being active in our community, by engaging our community and fans by competing with tremendous effort on our fields of play and by encouraging our student-athletes to conduct themselves with Lion Pride.

NCAA Student-Athlete Affairs

The mission of the NCAA is to maintain intercollegiate athletes as an integral part of the campus educational program and the athletes as an integral part of the student body.

The NCAA Student-Athlete Affairs unit provides life skills support in the areas of academics, athletics, personal development, career development and service through the distribution of accessible resources, strategic partnerships and customized programming. Student-Athlete Affairs programs, resources and events are designed to promote the well-being and development of student-athletes and to provide on-going education and training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs.

Missed Class Policy Due to Athletic Events

Whenever possible, athletic events should be scheduled to avoid missed class time by student-athletes. If a class must be missed due to an athletic event, the student-athlete is expected to inform the instructor(s) in advance and is responsible for all information, tests, materials and assignments missed. Student-athletes are expected to complete assigned work prior to departure for competition, unless the instructor has agreed to other arrangements. Student-athletes should make all efforts to avoid other absences.

Scheduling of Nonconference Competitions During Finals Week

No nonconference competitions, excluding postseason/championship competitions, shall be scheduled during Finals Week. Exemptions to this policy will be considered by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). The Athletic Director will present the case for proceeding with the exemption. The IAC will make the final decision on the exemption.

Student-Athlete Success Program
Hearnes Hall, 417.625.9324

Academic Excellence

The top priority of Missouri Southern is that all student-athletes obtain a well-rounded education and earn an undergraduate degree. The Student-Athlete Success Program academic counseling unit is located within the office of Advising, Counseling & Testing Services (ACTS).


Our goal is to maximize academic potential by providing an atmosphere that enhances: learning skills, career development and personnel counseling. Each student-athlete is held accountable for his/her academic performance. The ACTS staff will work hard to provide support needed for athletes to be successful students.

Ongoing process includes:

  • Monitoring and reporting on academic and eligibility progress hours
  • Assisting in the registration of freshman and sophomore athletes
  • Referring student-athletes for tutoring, counseling or other academic assistance
  • Helping student-athletes to maintain a balance between personal, scholastic and athletic lives.

These services are intended to help student-athletes reach their goals by providing the information and guidance that will enable them to use existing campus resources to enhance their academic performance.

Recreation Services

Steven Benfield
Director of Recreation Services
Billingsly Student Center 241 • 417.625.9760

Cindy Webb
Director of Fitness
Billingsly Student Center 241 • 417.625.9878


The Department of Recreational Services is comprised of six program areas under the Division of Student Affairs. The purpose of Recreational Services is to provide a wide variety of fitness, wellness, recreational, outdoor and sport related activities to the university community. The Campus Recreation Program offers activities for students, faculty, staff and their families. Recreational Services also offers activities on various days and times in an attempt to meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional students. Recreational Services conducts programming in the following areas: Intramural Sports, Wellness, Fitness, Aquatics, Outdoor Adventures, Open Recreation and Special Events.

Prevention Outreach

Missouri Southern actively participates in the statewide coalition Partners in Prevention (PIP). PIP’s mission is to create a campus, city and state environment that supports responsible decision making in regards to alcohol by the college students who attend the public higher education institutions in the state of Missouri. PIP’s focus is on decreasing at-risk drinking by students on Missouri’s college and university campuses. Nationally recognized Missouri Partners in Prevention has been selected as a recipient of CADCA’s 2009 Got Outcomes! For more information about these efforts visit http://pip.missouri.edu/

Prevention Programming

Includes Wellapalooza, Connect 2U (Mental Health Week), Healthy Relationship Week, Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Gambling Awareness, Safe Spring Break Week and Final Madness. During these events we educate students in a variety of ways and activities.


Cheryl Dobson
Hearnes Hall 101 • 417.625.9515


The mission of the Office of the Registrar of Missouri Southern State University shall be to provide quality and efficient support services to faculty and staff, prospective, current, and former students and members of the community in an ethical and honorable manner as directed by the University’s mission. Student learning and engagement is reinforced through the expectation of adherence to established university policies and established procedures in order to promote responsible citizenship. We vow to uphold the integrity of student records as required by university, state, and federal requirements on a fair and consistent basis using “best practices” recommended by the American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) 1974

Notice of Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law regarding the privacy of student educational records and the access provided to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements.

What Are Educational Records?

Under FERPA, educational records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an institution or by a party acting for the institution. Educational records can exist in any medium, including: typed, computer generated, videotape, microfilm and email, among others.

  • The law applies to all students in higher education, regardless of age, once they begin attending classes. The law continues to apply to students even after they have graduated, but ceases to apply upon the death of the student.
  • The University will not release information, other than directory information, from a student’s educational record without the student’s prior written consent, except to authorized persons and organizations. Even parents are not permitted access to their child’s educational records unless the student has provided written authorization permitting access.
  • Authorized persons and organizations are those who have a legitimate educational interest.
  1. A legitimate educational interest means that the person or organization is required to perform certain duties and these duties involve the use of student data.
  • Authorized persons include employees of Missouri Southern State University (including but not limited to: staff, instructors, advisors, and campus police), third parties with a legitimate educational interest, the U.S. Department of Education and other education authorities carrying out official duties, as well as financial aid lenders. Also included are organizations which MSSU has contracted as agents of the University. An example is the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • There are exceptions to the rule of non-disclosure, which involve health and safety. This means that to prevent sickness, injury or death, the University may disclose information usually held to be protected. Also, an agent of the court with a properly issued court order or subpoena may receive student data, though we will first attempt to notify the student before complying with the subpoena.

Directory Information

Directory Information at MSSU may be made available to the general public unless the student completes a Privacy Request form in the Office of the Registrar. In the case of a Privacy Request, the University will not release any information, even directory information. This restriction does not apply when providing information to those who have a legitimate educational interest.

The following is considered Directory Information:

Student’s name, student identification number, address, university email address, telephone listing, photograph, major field of study, year in school, grade level, dates of attendance, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), degrees, honors and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, appropriate athletic statistical data, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended and next of kin or spouse (emergency only).


  • The right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The institution may refuse to provide a copy of a student’s education record provided such refusal does not limit access.
  • The right to request the amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate. The student should write the University Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Limitations exist on students’ rights to inspect and review their education records. For example, the institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:

  • Records which do not contain educational information or do not fall into the category of educational records because of how they are maintained.
  • Financial records of parents.
  • Confidential records placed in education records prior to 1975 if they are used as intended.
  • Confidential recommendations or receipts of honors if the student has waived the right of access to such information.
  • Documents containing information on more than one student.

Please refer to the Academic Affairs  section for academic policies.

Residence Life

Josh Doak
Director of Residence Life
Mayes Student Life Center 102 • 417.659.4460
Residence Life Office • BSC 347 • 417.625.9522

The Missouri Southern on-campus residence requirement is as follows: “All freshmen under the age of 21 are required to live in the Missouri Southern residence halls to the extent space is available, unless they are married or live with their parents or legal guardian.”

The University provides air conditioned residence hall accommodations and meals for over 900 students. Concerned with the total needs of the students, the University maintains a safe and comfortable place to live and an adequate physical environment as well as opportunities for learning. The atmosphere in the residence halls contributes significantly to the students’ personal growth and maturity.

The residence halls are staffed by three full-time professional resident directors and 24 paraprofessional resident assistants. The programming body for resident students is the Residence Hall Association (RHA) which provides educational, social and athletic programs.

Residence hall rooms are fully furnished except for linens and personal items. Cable TV, and Internet access are available in every room. To apply for a room in a University residence hall, a prospective student may complete an Application Contract for Room and Board and pay the $150 deposit through LioNet on the MSSU website. The completed contract MUST be submitted with a $150 security deposit. The deposit is retained by the University as long as the student is in residence and refunded upon termination of the contract if all terms of the contract are fulfilled.

This contract, which is a combined contract for room and meals, is effective for the entire academic year (fall and spring semesters) or for the remaining portion of the academic year if entered into after the beginning of the fall semester. Detailed terms will be found on the contract form. Contracts for room only are not available.

The University is not responsible for the loss of or damage to any personal property of students.

Accessible residence hall rooms, the Dianne Mayes Student Life Center and the Mayes Dining Hall are available for students with disabilities. If you need accessible housing, please fill out the appropriate section on the application contract. If you have questions about accessible living, please contact the Director of Residence Life (417.659.4460) or the Coordinator for Disability Services (417.659.3725). For detailed rules and regulations governing residence hall living at Missouri Southern, contact the Residence Life Office.

Mayes Student Life Center

The Dianne Mayes Student Life Center is comprised of the Mayes Dining Hall on second floor and social and recreational amenities on first floor for Missouri Southern students, faculty and staff. Mayes Dining Hall operates on funds received from board payments from residence hall students and cash sales for individual meals. The 1st floor amenities, include a large television lounge/meeting room, an aerobics room, air hockey table, computer lab, table tennis, video game stations, billiards, game tables and a study area. A laundry facility is also located on first floor that’s exclusively for residence hall students to utilize.

For more information regarding the center’s hours of operation, programs and policies governing the use of the facility, contact the Mayes Student Life Center Office, Room 101, Mayes Student Life Center (417.659.4461).

Billingsly Student Center

Jack Berry
Coordinator Of BSC Events
For Reservations Call
417.625.9760 • 417.659.4126

The Billingsly Student Center (BSC) is centrally located to provide convenient access to student services and facilities. The Recreational Services Office oversees reservations of the buildings, meeting rooms, equipment, lounges, the Connor Ballroom, Phelps Theatre and the Lion’s Den. Reservations can be made for departmental use, student organizations and off-campus meetings for events held in the Student Center. BSC is home to the Beimdiek Recreation Center, a 60,000-square-foot fitness center that includes a 3-court gymnasium, an elevated jogging track, two fitness areas with free weights and cardio/weight machines, two studios for fitness classes, a fitness testing center, locker rooms and a 150 seat theatre. The Willcoxon Health Center provides acute care for students with an appointment. They see patients for minor illnesses, program & university requirements and assist students in learning how to navigate the healthcare system. The University Bookstore, the students’ source of rental and purchase textbooks, classroom materials, campus clothing and gift shop. The Campus Card Services Center and Ticket Office handles ticket sales for both on-campus and off-campus activities and entertainment. The Lion’s Den Food Court, serving breakfast and lunch, offers a variety of foods and beverages for every appetite. There is also a large lounge perfect for studying and watching TV.

Student Activities

Craig Gullett
Assistant Director Of Student Life
Billingsly Student Center 210

Student Activities Office Campus activities are scheduled in the Student Activities Office. The office also oversees the 70+ recognized student organizations, assists students in organizing or re-instituting student organizations and produces and promotes various special events. The Student Activities Office also approves all forms of advertising for on-campus bulletin boards. mssu.edu/student-affairs/student-life/student-activities

Campus Activities Board (CAB) The Campus Activities Board, a student organization supported by student activity fees, has the responsibility for programming social, educational and recreational activities for the entire college community. Students may volunteer to serve on CAB committees that assist in planning concerts, family events, novelty events, lectures, special events and public relations. Interested students are encouraged to attend the weekly meetings or stop by the Student Activities Office.         mssu.edu/student-affairs/student-life/student-activities/campus-activities-board.php

Greek Life Greek Life at Missouri Southern is an exciting philanthropic and social opportunity. MSSU has two sororities: Alpha Sigma Alpha and Zeta Tau Alpha and three fraternities: Kappa Alpha order, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Pi. Main recruitment for these groups are in the beginning of the fall semester but many do continue throughout the year. Go Greek! mssu.edu/student-affairs/student-life/student-activities/greek-life-welcome.php

Student Health Services

Julie Stamps, APRN-BC, FNP
Director of Willcoxon Health Center
Billingsly Student Center 242
417.625.9323          mssu.edu/student-affairs/willcoxon-health-center/

The Willcoxon Health Center is an acute care clinic that requires an appointment. Students must be enrolled in current semester to use services at the Health Center. Services offered include: care for acute illness, tuberculosis (TB) testing, women’s health, STI screening, physical (daycare, nursing & dental hygiene program), some vaccinations like flu shots, titers, travel consultations and more. Call the office or visit our website for more information on services, university medical requirements and to download forms for medical history and records release. www.mssu.edu/health

Appointments are included in student fees, but there is a charge associated with some services: vaccinations, blood tests, work/school physicals, women’s health, STI screening, etc. The Willcoxon Health Center is staffed with one full-time nurse practitioner and a registered nurse. The University physician is available for appointments on campus two times a month. Recommendation and referral to community or campus resources are also part of student health services. Students who have health insurance are advised to have a copy of their insurance card and know which hospital is in network. Joplin has 2 hospitals: Freeman and Mercy. Call the toll free customer service number on your insurance card and ask which hospital is in network for Joplin, Missouri.

If you go out of your network, you will often pay more. This will help you know where to seek treatment in case of emergency or for primary care/specialists. For chronic health conditions and certain prescriptions, it is recommended you establish care with a primary care physician in Joplin. If uninsured, contact the Willcoxon Health Center for a list of community resources.

Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-11:30am & 12:30pm-5pm. Summer hours vary and the campus is closed on Fridays.

Communicable Diseases and Requirements

Students must submit proof of immunization, including two doses of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine and a TB screening questionnaire and/or testing within the last year. A TB questionnaire is available on LioNet and must be completed each semester. If student has no proof of two MMR vaccines, a titer can be drawn at the student’s expense to test immunity or the student can bring proof from another source to present to the health center. These records are to be kept on file in the Willcoxon Health Center. The state of Missouri requires all university-owned housing students to also receive the meningococcal vaccine (for meningitis) The only exception is a medical or religious exemption. Please contact the health center about details for exceptions. In the instance of an outbreak of a communicable disease on the MSSU campus by a student, faculty or staff member, the University physician and the Director of the Health Center will assume responsibility for conducting a thorough review based upon the best medical and legal information available. Students who have not provided proof of immunity to the Willcoxon Health Center may be restricted from University property in the event of an outbreak on campus. Any actions taken will respect the confidentiality of the individual as well as the individual’s welfare and that of the University community.

Student Policies

Landon Adams
Director of Student Life and Conduct
Billingsly Student Center 347B

Student Conduct

In order to provide the best possible environment for personal and intellectual growth, the University has established regulations to guide student conduct. A summary of these rules and regulations is found in the Student Handbook which is available online.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program

Pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Missouri Southern State University has established a drug and alcohol prevention program for its students. The University’s program is as follows:

Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy: The Board of Governors of Missouri Southern State University prohibits smoking and tobacco use of any kind, including e-cigarettes. Tobacco products are not permitted in any campus buildings. Smoking and other tobacco usage is permitted only in designated areas outside of buildings.

Substance Abuse Policy: Students are prohibited from using alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs on University-owned or controlled property and at University-sponsored or supervised activities. Irresponsible alcohol or other drug use off campus resulting in disorderly conduct on campus also is not acceptable. Any student of Missouri Southern State University found to have manufactured, dispensed, possessed or used a controlled substance in violation of the Substance Abuse Policy of this University will be subject to discipline in accordance with University policy and reported to local, state or federal law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution for these acts could lead to a conviction and such a conviction could result in a sentence imposing a monetary fine, imprisonment in a state or federal penitentiary or both.

Health Risks: Specific serious health risks are associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. Some of the major risks:

Alcohol and other depressants (barbiturates, sedatives & tranquilizers): addiction, accidents as a result of impaired ability and judgment, overdose when used with other depressants, damage to a developing fetus, heart and liver damage.

Marijuana: addiction, panic reaction; impaired short-term memory; increased risk of lung cancer and emphysema, particularly in cigarette smokers; impairment of driving ability.

Cocaine: addiction, heart attack, seizures, lung damage, severe depression, paranoia, psychosis. Similar risks are associated with other stimulants, such as speed and uppers.

Hallucinogens (acid, LSD, PCP, MDMA, etc): unpredictable behavior, emotional instability, violent behavior organic brain damage in heavy users, convulsions, coma.

Narcotics (heroin, Demerol, morphine, Codeine, etc.): addiction, accidental overdose, risk of hepatitis and AIDS from contaminated needles.

Inhalants (gas, aerosols, glue, nitrites, etc.): loss of consciousness, suffocation, damage to brain and central nervous system, sudden death, nausea and vomiting, nosebleeds, impaired judgment.

Methamphetamines: addiction, irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness, sudden weight loss, pungent body odor, protrusion of eyes.

Resources: A variety of resources exist for drug or alcohol counseling, treatment or rehabilitation programs. A few are listed inside the front of the Student Handbook. For more detailed information concerning these resources and others available from the University and/or community agencies, students may contact the ACTS-Advising, Counseling and Testing Services (417.625.9595) or the Student Services Office (417.625.9392). Such referrals will respect individual confidentiality.

A main objective of the drug and alcohol prevention program is to encourage healthy attitudes and behaviors on the part of all students and responsible decisions about alcohol/drug use. Another objective is to provide students in certain high risk groups (freshmen, Greeks, athletes, residence hall students, etc.) with specific and up-to-date information regarding the long-and-short-term effects of alcohol/drug use. A final objective is to provide students with the necessary skills to help them carry out the decisions they have made in regard to their use or non-use of alcohol/drugs and how to effectively handle certain “high pressure” situations.

To meet the above objectives, information and assistance is provided to students in several ways. First, alcohol and drug films are shown and programs conducted in all orientation classes, which are required for all new students. Additional alcohol and drug information is presented in other academic classes, including KINE 0103 Lifetime Wellness . Pamphlets about alcohol and drug use are distributed each semester. Special alcohol and drug training is provided annually for residence hall staff and orientation leaders.

The athletic department provides a program for varsity athletes. Special alcohol and drug programs are presented throughout the year. Active drug testing is done. A committee of counselors, teachers and clergy are available to assist varsity athletes.

The Student Services Office, Advising, Counseling and Testing Services, Campus Activities Board and the Residence Hall Association provide alcohol and drug programs throughout the year for all students.

Equal Opportunity

In accordance with federal law and applicable Missouri statutes, it is the University’s policy not to discriminate in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff and the operation of any of its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, gender, color, race, religion, disability, veteran’s status, national origin, ancestry or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

Anti-Harassment Policy: Missouri Southern State University is committed to fostering a working and learning environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is and continues to be, University policy that harassment of employees, applicants or students in unacceptable conduct will not be tolerated.

Harassment is written, verbal or physical conduct that degrades or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, ancestry, religion, gender, age national origin or disability that (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or academic opportunities.

Harassment could also be sexual in nature. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any one of the following occurs: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.

Any employee, student or applicant for employment or admission who feels that he or she has experienced or observed harassment by an employee of the University should report such incidents to his or her supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources without fear of intimidation or reprisal. Harassment complaints against students should be reported to the Dean of Students.

The University will promptly investigate all allegations of harassment in as confidential a manner as possible. The University will also take appropriate action to ensure that neither inappropriate language, nor conduct, nor sexual harassment persists.

Student Senate

Billingsly Student Center 347
417.625.9392         mssu.edu/student-affairs/student-senate

The Student Senate serves as the governing body for students and acts as a liaison between faculty and the student body. The responsibility for student government rests not only with the student officers, boards and committees but also with each member of the student body. The Student Senate is made up of elected senators from each class and the executive officers. The Student Senate is funded from student activity fees. Students wishing to speak with a Senate representative may do so via the Student Affairs Office.

Student Success

Julie Wengert
Dean of Student Success & Support
Billingsly Student Center 347D

Our mission is to retain students through the completion of their baccalaureate degree by providing programs that assist them in their academic success. This is accomplished by coordinating retention activities; supporting and monitoring students’ academic progress; coordinating with academic advisement units; providing connections to campus resources and support services; and coordinating programs that foster the academic success of all MSSU students.

Student Success Center

Stephanie Hopkins
Hearnes Hall 301 • 417.659.3725


The Student Success Center strives to enhance the mission of Missouri Southern State University by further developing, expanding, and articulating its support services for students. We will foster the potential of each student by providing College Academic Skills, Student Disability Services, Tutoring and the Tutor Training course. Additionally, the Student Success Center endeavors to increase the visibility of its services through greater participation by students and the campus community as a whole.

College Academic Skills - A course designed to develop and strengthen an understanding of student responsibility, goals and attitudes necessary for the successful transition to college. Active learning through critical thinking, reading and writing to support academic success at the University level will be practiced. Students will identify learning styles and strengths and weaknesses associated with their learning processes.

Tutor Training - Provides tutors with an educational foundation of the methods and techniques needed to tutor students in a higher education setting.

Tutoring in Content Areas - Trained peer tutors are available on a drop-in basis or by appointment. Both short- and long-term assistance is provided.

Writing Studio Services - Trained peer tutors instruct and coach students in all aspects of writing, such as writing process strategies, research paper documentation and correct mechanics.

Computer Lab - The Student Success Center offers a networked computer lab with Microsoft Office programs and Internet access.

Services for Students with Disabilities - The Student Success Center is the designated office on campus for the provision of academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students who wish to request accommodations should begin the process by contacting the Office of Student Disability Services, located in the Student Success Center. Students are responsible for providing documentation and initiating the request for accommodations.

Trio Programs

Talent Search • Project STAY • Upward Bound

Talent Search

Jim Kimbrough
Mills-Anderson Justice Center Room 20 • 417.659.5440


To encourage students in grades 6 through 12 and those who have never completed high school to graduate from a secondary program and enter a postsecondary program of study.

Talent Search is a federally funded program designed to identify qualified students with potential for success at the postsecondary level and encourages them to complete secondary school and enroll in a program of study after high school. Services provided through the program include: group and one-on-one tutoring, travel to area cultural events, visits to area college and university campuses, information on and assistance with college admissions applications and financial aid information, academic advising and assistance with choosing courses to prepare you for education after high school, information and assistance with college entrance exams including the ACT and SAT. The project serves 550 students. To qualify for services, students must be U.S. citizens, between the ages of 11 and 27 and completed the fifth grade. A veteran, regardless of age, may participate if otherwise eligible. Services provided by Talent Search are free to students and parents/guardians. For more information or an application, call the Talent Search office at 417-659-5440.

Project Stay

Debbie Fort
Hearnes Hall 308 • 417.625.9830


“To identify and provide comprehensive resources to ease student transitions into and through college and on to graduate education and professional life.”

Project Stay is a federally funded Student Support Services grant program designed to identify and support qualified students, specifically first-generation, low-income, and disabled students. Project Stay provides individualized services to students in the program to determine a student’s needs and goals and develop a plan of success. Services provided include: academic advising, priority enrollment (for freshmen and sophomores), career and personal counseling, one-on-one tutoring, job shadowing, financial aid and scholarship application assistance, peer mentoring, monthly educational workshops, assistance with applying to graduate school and travel to area cultural sites. All services are provided free of charge to students accepted into Project Stay. The Project serves 170 students. To qualify, students must be either first-generation college students (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree), meet an income guideline or be a student with a disability. To get more information or an application, call the Project Stay office at 417.625.9830.

Upward Bound

Robin Hicklin
Mills-Anderson Justice Center Room 19 • 417.625.9880

Upward Bound is a federally funded program designed to help students gain the skills necessary to persist through high school and on to post-secondary education. Some of the services provided by Upward Bound include a six-week summer College Simulation Experience, monthly Saturday “Focus On” meetings, academic tutoring for current classes, opportunities to shadow student and professional mentors and field trips to area college campuses and cultural sites. The services provided by Upward Bound are free to students and parents/guardians. For more information, please contact the Upward Bound office at 417.625.9880.

University Dining Services

Scott Murphy
Director of Dining Services
Billingsly Student Center 208 • 417.625.9546

Food service is bid by the University and handled by a professional food service company (Fresh Ideas). The dining hall operates on funds received from board payments and cash sales of individual meals.
All residence hall students must contract for board. Board contract includes a choice of three meal plans. Individual meals feature salad bar and unlimited servings, including entrées.

Commuter students interested in taking some or all of their meals at the University Dining Hall may purchase meal plans in the University Bursar’s Office. Also, Lion Bucks are available for purchase in the One Card Office in Billingsly Student Center.

The Lion’s Den food court, located on the 2nd floor of Billingsly Student Center, offers a variety of food options for students. University dining service also features a gourmet coffee shop, University Java, located on the lower level of the Spiva Library.

University Police Department

Ken Kennedy
Chief, University Police Department

Policies Concerning The Law Enforcement Authority of Campus Security Personnel

The University Police Department (UPD) is responsible for campus safety at the University. Its jurisdiction covers all campus property. Its personnel have arrest authority. The UPD has a close working relationship with local law enforcement agencies, including the Joplin Police Department and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, which assist the UPD when necessary. The UPD has mutual aid agreements with the Joplin Police Department, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and other small city agencies (Duquesne, Webb City, & Carterville). The UPD is a member of the Tri-State Major Case Squad and may call for investigators to assist with investigations of serious crimes.

All crimes occurring on campus should be reported immediately to the UPD. Officers are available on campus 24 hours of every day and are primarily dispatched by the JPD Communications Center. The emergency number to reach them is 911 or 417-623-3131 when a police officer is needed, but it’s not an emergency.  The number 417-626-2222 may still be called for service requests, such as unlocks, jump starts, etc.

Other Officials to Whom Crimes May Be Reported

MSSU also has designated other officials to serve as additional campus security authorities. Reports of criminal activity can also be made to these officials. They in turn will ensure that they are reported to the UPD for collection as part of the University’s annual report of crime statistics. These additional campus security authorities are: Vice President of Student Affairs (Darren Fullerton, 417-625-3135), Student Conduct (Landon Adams, 417-625-9531), Title IX Coordinator (Julie Wengert, 417-625-9532) and the Director of Residence Life (Josh Doak, 417-659-4460).

Policies on Reporting a Crime or Emergency

The University encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all criminal actions, accidents, injuries, or other emergencies occurring on campus to the UPD and appropriate police agencies even when the victim of a crime elects not to do so or is unable to make such a report. Such reports should be made as follows:

  • Situations that pose imminent danger or while a crime is in progress should be reported to the University Police Department (911 for emergency, 417-623-3131 for non-emergency) from any campus phone or cell phone. Although the UPD officers have primary jurisdiction, it does not preclude calling the Joplin Police Department (also 911) and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office (417-624-1600) in crisis situations. Keep in mind that the individual making the call from a cell phone will need to provide the address where the emergency has occurred. After making the call, also make a report to one of the campus security authorities identified above.
  • Students, staff, and visitors should report criminal actions, accidents, injuries, or other emergency incidents to one of the campus security authorities identified above. Once reported, the individual making the report will be encouraged to also report it to appropriate police agencies. If requested, a member of the University staff will assist a student in making the report to the police.
  • Anonymous incident reports can also be made.

UPD will protect the confidentiality of victims. Only those with a need to know the identity for purposes of investigating the crime, assisting the victim or disciplining the perpetrator will know the victim’s identity. Moreover, the University will withhold the identity of victims in publicly available records, to the extent permitted by law.

Any victim of a crime who does not want to pursue action within the University disciplinary system or the criminal justice system is nevertheless encouraged to make a confidential report to a campus security authority. With the victim’s permission, a report of the details of the incident can be filed without revealing the victim’s identity. Such a confidential report complies with the victim’s wishes, but still helps the University take appropriate steps to ensure the future safety of the victim and others. With such information, the University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where a pattern of crime may be developing and alert the community as to any potential danger. These confidential reports are counted and disclosed in the annual crime statistics for the University.

Counselors with the ACTS Office are encouraged, if they deem it appropriate, to inform the persons they are counseling of the procedures to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual report. Information will not be reported by counselors in the ACTS Office to the Dean of Students for a Title IX investigation without the consent of the person being counseled.

Additionally, upon written request, the University will disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence (as that term is defined in Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code), or a non-forcible sex offense, the report on the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by this institution against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such a crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such a crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim.

Bystander Intervention:

Often people don’t intervene because they may assume a situation isn’t a problem, or feel it is none of their business. They may assume that someone else will do something, or believe that other people weren’t bothered by the problem. In some cases, a person might feel their personal safety is at risk. When people do intervene in a situation, they often say that it was the right thing to do, and that they’d want someone to intervene if the roles were reversed. MSSU encourages students and faculty staff members to take action if they have an opportunity to prevent or intervene in an incident. They should also constantly be aware of events occurring around them and (if possible) create solutions.

Individuals on campus are even asked to intervene in situations as soon as it is possible to safely do so, at least speaking up so that others know what is going on. Of course, students and others should think about their response to ensure that their actions don’t actually escalate the situation. Generally, telling friends that behavior is not acceptable is appropriate. Notifying the UPD or others in authority is also always appropriate.

*For all policies relating to student safety, Clery and Title IX, please use this link: mssu.edu/student-affairs/university-police