You’re going to be a new student at Missouri State University-West Plains and you have a lot of questions before classes begin. What’s the best way to get answers?
Attend STudent Advising and Registration (STAR) Orientation! In one day, you can gather all the need-to-know details you need to be well prepared for walking into that first class after the semester begins.
But what is STAR Orientation?
But why is STAR Orientation such a big deal? One of the perks of attending STAR Orientation is that it gives you the opportunity to meet with a faculty adviser who will discuss your academic goals with you and help you figure out what you want from your college experience. Furthermore, you’ll get to schedule your very first college classes, and have someone on-hand to talk you through the process. This will be very handy later on, when you start figuring out what electives you want to take, rather than just the classes you need to take.
In addition, you’ll be given your BearPass login and ID, both of which will be incredibly useful over the course of your tenure at Missouri State-West Plains. You can check out the Drago College Store and start purchasing textbooks, supplies and Grizzly gear. You can register for a parking permit, so be sure to bring information about the year, make and color of the vehicle you intend to drive, as well as the license plate number to complete the form. You also can visit with a financial aid representative to discuss your financial aid situation and maybe even discuss new opportunities.
No one likes to be lost at school, either literally or figuratively, so STAR also offers a tour of the ever-growing campus so you can familiarize yourself with the layout and what it has to offer. Don’t forget to visit the life-sized Grizzly Bear statue, a favorite gathering spot for students and visitors!
“The STAR Orientation program is designed to introduce new students to the university and help them make a successful transition to Missouri State- West Plains,” said Coordinator of Academic Advisement Cindy Bridges. “Our goal is to provide students with the tools they need to make their first semester as successful as possible and help them continue on the path to reaching their educational goals. We look forward to meeting each student at STAR Orientation and are eager to assist with any questions or concerns!”
Before attending a STAR Orientation session, you must be admitted to Missouri State-West Plains and have your ACT, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER test score on file for math and/or reading placement. Currently, the Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS) offers the ACCUPLACER and a residual ACT test. To arrange for testing, contact Testing Services at 417-255-7943.
What does someone who has been to many STAR Orientations have to say about it?
Tori Bates was a STAR group leader for two years while completing her associate’s degree, and now that she is back working on her bachelor’s degree, she is once again a STAR leader.
“When I went to STAR as an incoming freshman, I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. The STAR leaders were very helpful and willing to answer all my questions. They made me feel like I was already part of the Grizzly family and set my nerves at ease,” Bates said. “I knew I wanted to be able to do the same for others and assure them they belong.”
When asked why she does this, Bates replied, “I enjoy being a STAR leader because I get to meet the incoming freshmen. I love meeting new people! Also, I enjoy this job because I know I am helping people and able to be useful. The university continues to grow, and through being part of the STAR team, I am able to stay up to date on all the changes and new opportunities.
“As a Group Leader, I am assigned a group of students who are interested in pursuing a similar degree. We interact with the students and try to get to know them a little so we can give them helpful tips,” she continued. “This is always a nice time for me to go around and see if any of my group members have selected the same class. This gives them a familiar, friendly face to look forward to seeing in that class. It always helps to know someone when going into an unknown situation.
“My favorite thing about STAR is getting to know the incoming freshmen. I like being able to speak with them about what they are worried about and help them understand this brand-new experience,” Bates said about the daunting process of STAR Orientation. “This campus is very diverse, has a lot to offer, and there is a place for everyone here.”
There are only a few remaining STAR Orientation sessions on the calendar, and they’re filling up fast, so make sure you sign up soon to reserve your seat! University officials encourage registering at least 72 hours (three days) prior to the session you wish to attend. Below is the schedule of the remaining dates.
– July 27, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
– August 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
– August 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
– August 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.