Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! Classes began yesterday and I hope your students are eager to dive back in.

Finish in 4

Here's some food for thought. According to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), only 48% of Mississippi students complete a bachelor's degree on time - 4 years. MSU encourages students to take at least 15 hours per semester. On average, if your student takes at least 15 credits each semester, they'll have a bachelor's in 4 years. Taking less hours can tack on unnecessary time and money.

To find out more information regarding the initiative Finish in 4 and read helpful tips for student success, visit riseupms.com/finishin4. Also, please encourage students to map out a plan to finish in four years with their advisors. With a little bit of planning, students (and families!) can save time and money.

Bulldog Family Weekend

If you haven't registered for Bulldog Family Weekend, REGISTER NOW. The last day to register is Sunday, February 5. Please register at http://www.parents.msstate.edu/familyweekend/.

We have tried to keep the cost at a minimum - $50 per person (with t-shirt) which will include the following: a Welcome Reception Friday night, pass to all the four scheduled baseball games (including a tailgate in Left Field Lounge), breakfast Sunday for parents and students, and a Bulldog Family Weekend t-shirt. Here is a link to LAST year's schedule of events for Family Weekend and this year's will be very similar! (If you would like to meet with your student's academic college, you can schedule that individually. All would be more than happy to have you stop by for a visit.) Hopefully this will help in your decision to come visit! http://www.parents.msstate.edu/pdf/GuidebookFamilyWeekend2016.pdf

Our main goal is to give parents a True Maroon experience. Please join us and find out why your student loves being part of the Bulldog family! Also, if you are interested in securing a place to stay (early recommended) check out http://www.parents.msstate.edu/familyweekend/accommodations/. The Hilton Garden Inn has a direct link for a special rate, too.

I have said this before and I will say it again - keep reminding your students to attend every single class. Research by the Pathfinders program shows that students who attend class have a significantly higher g.p.a. than those who do not attend class. Attending class regularly will also help your student develop important skills such as discipline and time management, while helping to reduce any stress or anxiety. Is your student a Freshman? Each freshman has an assigned Navigator to help "navigate" through the multitude of resources available. Encourage your student to contact his/her Navigator with questions.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you or your student are having difficulty locating any of our great resources. Let me help you help your student. Here are some important dates to note over the next few weeks:

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and made some memories! Call or email me 662.325.3611/parents@saffairs.msstate.edu) with any questions or concerns, as always. I would also appreciate hearing any ideas/suggestions on how our office can better serve you.

Cat Walker, Ph.D.


A Note for Student Counseling Services

Spring 2017 Groups and Workshops from Student Counseling Services (SCS)

SCS is excited about the start of the new year, and we are eager to serve students! Many know that SCS offers individual psychotherapy and crisis intervention services, but did you know we also have a robust and diverse group and workshop program?

Check out our offerings for Spring 2017 here! http://bit.ly/2iUUlu9


A Note from the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center

Ritz Chamber Players

The annual Lyceum Series offers exposure to the talents of national artists in a variety of performance areas, ranging from music to drama to dance. As part of the performing arts series, the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center will sponsor the Ritz Chamber Players. They are the nation’s first chamber music ensemble series comprised solely of accomplished musicians spanning the African diaspora, bringing a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. The Ritz Chamber Players include some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. The show begins on January, 24th at 7:00 pm in Bettersworth Auditorium. The cost is free for students with student ids.


A Note from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will host our 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service which will be held on Monday, January 16, 2017 at the Mill Conference Center, with breakfast beginning at 8:00 a.m. and the program beginning at 9:00 am. This annual event is held to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the conclusion of the program, students are encouraged to engage in an optional day of service in the community that will be hosted by the Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville. For more information concerning the event please contact the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at 662-325-2493.


A Note from the Center for Student Success

The Center for Student Success, at 126 Magruder Street (across the street from Rice Hall) is dedicated to helping MSU students succeed in school. Here we offer a few items that will interest parents.

Every freshman student has a Freshman Year Navigator – an MSU student who works to help that freshman navigate through their first year at MSU. Navigators work every week, contacting their freshmen, sending information, motivating and encouraging, and answering questions.

We have Supplemental Instruction (SI) in several challenging classes this spring, in select sections of Animal Biology (BIO 1123, Biology I (BIO 1134), Chemistry II (CH 1223), Biology II (BIO 1144), Early U.S. History (HI 1063), Modern U.S. History (HI 1073), College Algebra (MA 1313), Trigonometry (MA 1323), Business Calculus (MA 1613), Calculus I (MA 1713), Calculus II (MA 1723), General Physics I (PH 1113), American Government (PS 1113), and General Psychology (PSY 1013). Students who have attended SI at least four times (that's a total of four hours spread over six weeks) are scoring a letter grade higher than students who have not attended at all. Much like the Freshman Year Navigators, our student SI Leaders are working fervently to convince more students to utilize SI sessions.

Our first set of Progress Grades will be due February 20. This will give you a great opportunity to check your son or daughter's progress toward academic success. Be sure to use the Parent Portal to see those progress grades (and class attendance).

Links for success-oriented resources all over campus are available from our web site, at studentsuccess.msstate.edu.

Thank you for sending your child to Mississippi State. If there is anything that we can do to help you, please contact us.

Dr. Rodney Pearson, Executive Director
rodney.pearson@msstate.edu
662-325-7236

Ms. Laura Dunn, Assistant Director
ldunn@provost.msstate.edu
662-325-3181

Mr. Nick Hyer, Coordinator
nh239@msstate.edu
662-325-7221


A Note from Account Services

REMINDER - STUDENT ACCOUNT PAYMENT CHANGES

Dear Parents,

Effective January 1, 2017, all credit/debit card payments must be processed online. Credit/debit card payments will no longer be accepted in person or over the telephone. This applies to payments made at Account Services in Garner Hall on the Starkville campus as well as payments made at the Business Office on the Meridian campus. This change is necessary in order to adhere to evolving industry regulations concerning the handling of cardholder data and to ensure your cardholder data continues to be processed in a safe, secure manner.

Student Online Payments

Students who wish to make a credit/debit card payment may follow the instructions found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/.

Parent Online Payments

Parents may process online payments using the QuikPAY® system. In order to access the QuikPAY® system, parents must be set up as an Authorized Payer. Steps for becoming an Authorized Payer may be found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/setup/.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change in procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us by email, studentaccounts@msstate.edu, or by phone, 662.325.2071.

Sincerely,
Account Services Staff
Mississippi State University


A Note from Housing & Residence Life

RSVP - On Campus Housing Information for Fall 2017-2018

Renewal Selection Verification Process (RSVP) allows your student to apply for on-campus housing for the 2017-2018 academic term. Encourage your student to be on the lookout for an email in his/her MSU email account which will have information regarding the renewal process.

Students must log on to my.housing.msstate.edu to submit their request to live on campus for the following academic year.

Resident Advisor (RA) Interest Sessions and Application

In each of our residence halls at Mississippi State we hire students who serve as resident advisers. These students have an assortment of responsibilities, including, but not limited to, building a community through programming, assisting residents in their transition to college, and enforcing housing and university policies. Students who are selected as RAs go through a rigorous training process. RA's not only receive valuable training and leadership skills, but compensation through a stipend, an on-campus housing waiver, and a meal plan. There are several interest meetings planned for students who are interested in applying. Those dates, times and locations are below. Students can apply via housing.msstate.edu

As always, we encourage you to visit our website (housing.msstate.edu) for news and updates.


A Note from MSU Dining

Happy New Year Bulldog Family!

If your student does not currently have a Meal Plan or wants to upgrade their Fall Meal Plan, right now is a great time to do so! When they sign up for, or upgrade, their Meal Plans, students will receive a Discount Punch Card for 30% OFF to 5 different dining locations! Offer ends January 23.

Students who had Fall Meal Plans are automatically enrolled in the same Meal Plan for the Spring Semester, since Meal Plans are a two semester commitment. If they would like to change to a different Meal Plan than the one they had in the fall semester, students have the first two weeks of the semester to do so. Changes can be made by filling out the Meal Plan Change Form online at www.msstatedining.com or in the MSU Dining Office which is located between Subway & Moe’s Southwest Grill. The last day to change a Meal Plan for the Spring Semester is Monday, January 23.

Don’t Forget: Any unused Flex Dollars from the Fall Semester will automatically roll over to the Spring Semester. (Block Meals do not roll over from Fall to Spring.) Both Block Meals and all Flex Dollars will expire on the last day of the Spring Semester, May 4, 2017. You can check your student’s Block Meal and Flex Dollar balances in Banner under the “View Meal Plan” link.

Visit us on the web at www.msstatedining.com, and check us out on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter for constant updates on what’s going on around campus!

Any questions? Feel free to contact us at 662-325-7120.


A Note from the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness

The Department of Health Promotion and Wellness offers a variety of free services to help students develop healthy habits, which can maximize their academic life and develop a foundation for positive health and well-being for many years to come. Nutrition is an important aspect of health that we focus on. Individualized nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian nutrition (RDN) is available to all students, free of charge, at the Longest Student Health Center. To make an appointment with RDN, Mandy Conrad, individuals can call the appointment desk at 662-325-7539. Also, as part of the MSU on the Move initiative funded by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, students can take part in the Healthy Dawgs program, a weight-loss and health program starting the end of January. For more information on the program, visit www.msuonthemove.msstate.edu or contact Mandy Conrad at mconrad@saffairs.msstate.edu


A Note from The Learning Center

Happy 2017! We are excited about the upcoming semester and all the great things it will bring. The Learning Center is here to help all students with any class that may prove to be difficult. We offer tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, workshops, and seminars to help all students be successful. Please contact us at 662-325-2957 or tlc@colled.msstate.edu with any questions. We will be glad to help in any way that we can.


Special Parking & Transit Services Message

Parking Services

The Department of Parking Services is committed to providing safe and reliable parking. We offer our students options of either buying their parking permits online while using their myState account or utilizing the kiosk in our lobby. Helpful information like zone maps are readily available for download at www.parkingservices.msstate.edu.

Services offered:

Transit Services

The Department of Transit Services provides a broad range of transit services for campus, Starkville, and the Golden Triangle Region. The SMART system is a free public transit system with daily routes and services covering the MSU campus, Starkville and free connections to the GTR Airport. SMART is committed to providing exceptional service and welcomes all passengers. Our shuttles are equipped with wheelchair lifts and we gladly welcome service animals.

Services offered:

Helpful information for tracking the shuttles, maps of routes, and announcements can be found online at www.smart.msstate.edu.



Q & A...