Missouri Southern Student, Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Dashboard

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COVID-19 Campus Announcements

Missouri Southern launches dashboard to track COVID-19 cases

We are living in unprecedented times and that means we all have to be part of the solution. With this in mind, and due to positive COVID-19 cases increasing in the community, Missouri Southern State University is taking preventive steps to keep our campus safe.

Students, employees and community members can now check for updates regarding COVID-19 on the Missouri Southern campus at https://emergency.mssu.edu/coronavirus-dashboard/.

The dashboard will be updated every Monday. Information is compiled from data provided by the university’s Willcoxon Health Center and Human Resources, but may not include results from campus-connected individuals who were tested at non-Missouri Southern sites.

Effective immediately, the following updates to operations are being made:

Beimdiek Recreation Center

  • Maximum 25% capacity in the Rec Center
  • Basketball/volleyball courts will be closed
  • Free weights area will be closed
  • Fitness classes will be cancelled
  • Intramurals will be cancelled

George A. Spiva Library

  • The first-floor entrance will be closed Friday, Aug. 28, through Monday, Aug. 31. (The library is closed on Saturdays.)
  • The entrance facing the Oval will remain open and access will be granted to current MSSU students and employees
  • Students and employees will be required to show MSSU identification at the library-staffed table as they enter
  • Community borrowers will not be permitted access regardless if they present valid government-issued identification
  • Signs will be posted that state access is only for current students and employees
  • The Circulation 2 phone number (625-9862) will be included on signage for current employees and students to call to request assistance to enter the library for handicap access.
  • Library hours are posted on their main page.

By working together, this semester can be a success for our entire Lion family. For more information on how Missouri Southern is working to protect our students, faculty and staff from exposure, visit https://emergency.mssu.edu. #LionsTogether

#CampusClear app now available

As part of MSSU’s comprehensive strategy for controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus, we are deploying #CampusClear, a daily self-screening app and campus “FastPass” developed by Ivy.ai and Creighton University. The #CampusClear roll-out will begin today, Thursday, August 6 (https://youtu.be/RpD6u_BL9T8).

The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. A web version for those without access to a smart phone is currently being developed and will be available soon. #CampusClear information will only be used by the MSSU Willcoxon Health Center staff to assist with monitoring, managing, and communicating the potential spread of COVID-19.

We highly encourage everyone in our learning community to use #CampusClear before coming to class on campus each day.

To get started:

Download the app from the:

Apple App Store, Google Play Store or via the web app, https://go.mssu.edu/campusclear

Once you have downloaded #CampusClear, log in by entering your MSSU email address. You will receive an email confirmation, and after clicking the confirmation link, you will have access to the app. Please make sure you enable notifications from the app. There will only be one notification each day to prompt you to take the self-screening survey. Visitors will need to enter a phone number to receive the confirmation link. It only takes a few seconds to self-screen, and your participation helps us to keep our campus safe for everyone. Once you submit the See Results button at the bottom of the survey, you will receive a “FastPass”, a confirmation on whether it is okay to come to campus.

Likewise, please be sure to self-screen daily, even if you have no symptoms.

Thank you for your cooperation and participation in doing all that we can to make sure we have a safe return to campus.

Face Mask/Covering Policy

Do you have questions?

Students or Health Related – Wilcoxon Health Center: covid19hc@mssu.edu
Faculty/Staff: hr@mssu.edu
General Questions: covidtaskforce@mssu.edu

Face Mask/Covering Policy

Effective July 13, 2020, all students, faculty, staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors are expected to wear
masks/face coverings while on the MSSU campus, including in classrooms.
Masks/face coverings are also expected to be worn in office spaces and outdoor spaces where physical
distancing is difficult to maintain.
There are some exceptions for face coverings that will be made under the following circumstances:
  • For those who fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for those who should not wear face coverings due to a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental disability, or are otherwise covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act; Those individuals seeking accommodations from wearing a mask/face covering, should contact the appropriate representative (Students should contact the Disability Services Coordinator at 417-659-3725, Faculty and staff should contact the Human Resources Office at 417-625-9527).
  • For dining facility patrons while they are dining; or
  • For individuals exercising or while walking with other people from the same household, if social distancing from others who are not your family or household members can be maintained; and engaging in organized group or team sports, or other physical activities where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a mask or socially distance; or
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or medical treatments.

Update from the MSSU COVID-19 Task Force

The spring semester was a challenging time and we are proud of how everyone worked hard to make the best of a difficult situation. There are continued questions about what is happening this fall and our plans going forward with the opening of campus. We are working to answer them as soon as we can.

A COVID-19 task force is meeting weekly to prepare these plans. A new COVID-19 exposure FAQ page has been added to the MSSU COVID-19 website to address some of the concerns.

The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority in this ever-changing landscape. Any guidance will be subject to modification in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines.

We are taking steps to protect your health and safety and ask that you join us in keeping campus safe

  • More than 200 hand sanitizer stations have been installed on campus near building entrances.
  • Our custodial team is continuing to clean and disinfect areas as much as possible. Please be diligent in disinfecting your personal space or shared areas after meetings, etc.
  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus and do not come to campus if you feel ill.
  • Please continue to refer to COVID-19 Exposure FAQ and the CDC COVID-19 site on how to protect yourself and what do to if you are sick.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex, challenging and fluid situation which continues to evolve. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Stay up-to-date by checking the university’s COVID-19 website at https://emergency.mssu.edu/.

Stay well, Lions!

MSSU COVID-19 Task Force

Missouri Southern offers update on Fall 2020 semester

While backup plans are in place should the COVID-19 pandemic situation change, Missouri Southern State University is moving forward toward fully opening campus this fall.

“The Fall 2020 semester will be an exciting time – one of renewed energy and focus as Missouri Southern moves forward,” said Dr. Alan Marble, president of the university.

The university anticipates offering face-to-face classes and a full slate of campus activities, he said.

Admissions and enrollment are underway, with the Fall 2020 Schedule book available on the university’s website. The enrollment team is ready to answer any questions students may have. More information is available at https://www.mssu.edu/student.

Missouri Southern’s Financial Aid Office is working to ensure students have the resources to successfully complete their education, despite their financial background or current economic situation.

In a typical academic year, the university offers more than $6 million in academic and departmental scholarships, says Becca Diskin, director of financial aid. Federal and state aid – which includes grants, work study and loans – total more than $36 million.

For more information, visit https://www.mssu.edu/financial-aid.

Missouri Southern to re-open on Monday, May 11, 2020

Following the guidelines set by the City of Joplin and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, campus will open for business to staff, students, and visitors on Monday, May 11, 2020. This includes Admissions, Financial Aid, Campus Recreation, Spiva Library and the Lion Cub Academy.

  • Staff are to return to work as scheduled on Monday, May 11, 2020, utilizing summer hours – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • Student employees are eligible to return to work on Monday, May 11, 2020, pending approval of the appropriate vice president. The last date of pay for student workers who are not working will be May 8, 2020.
  • Staff who are hesitant to return to work because they believe they fall in to one of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) exemptions should contact both their supervisor and Evan Jewsbury, director of human resources, and submit a MSSU COVID-19 FMLA Request Formwith corresponding documentation to HR as soon as possible.
  • Following the Governor’s orders, staff and visitors should practice social distancing and are reminded to wash their hands frequently and utilize hand sanitizer stations.
  • Facemasks are not mandatory. Faculty and staff who wish to wear one should provide their own. If faculty and staff do not have access to a face mask, they should contact a Staff Senate representative for information on how to receive a complimentary face mask.
  • Custodial staff are present on campus this week to thoroughly clean buildings in preparation for staff’s return on Monday.

We continue to partner with regional and national health officials and emergency management organizations to respond to evolving circumstances as they become available. The City of Joplin’s response and recovery plan can be found here. For additional information, please visit Missouri Southern’s COVID-19 resource page – www.mssu.edu/COVID-19 and also refer to HR’s Return to Work FAQ’s here and see attached.

IDEA Course Evaluations Opening Soon

Dear Missouri Southern Students,

Good day to you all. I am sorry to add to what I know is an already overburdened inbox, but I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Most importantly, we thank you for your understanding and flexibility in adapting to the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves this semester. We very much respect and appreciate your commitment to continuing your education, and can’t wait until things return to normal.

Next week, course evaluations will be open on Blackboard. As I usually do, I am writing to encourage your completion of these evaluations. The feedback you provide is of great value to your instructors. And I thank you in advance for your efforts. This semester, however, I want to add one additional request. Might you please consider using this mechanism as a way to communicate what particularly worked for you and what maybe didn’t quite work as well in your courses as they migrated online. This semester did not turn out as any of us might have expected or anticipated. But to whatever extent we can, our campus would like to use this time as a learning experience to continue to make things better for all of us.

Thanks to all of you. We are so happy and proud that you are part of our Lion Pride.

Continued best wishes for your health and wellness.

Paula Carson, PhD
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs


Dear Colleagues,

As week three of the “big shift” comes to a close, I want to again express my admiration for the job each of you are doing under very difficult circumstances. But, despite the obstacles, you are continuing to find innovative ways to “educate and graduate knowledgeable, responsible, successful global citizens.” You are an amazing group!

The link below is provided courtesy of our terrific Music Department. My heartfelt thanks goes Keith Talley, David Sharlow, and the very talented Chamber Singers for the enormous effort they put into this project.  It is a music video to refresh the soul. Enjoy!



New Grade Option Policy for Spring 2020

Please read the entire policy before submitting the form.

Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory grading option for Spring 2020

Students may request a letter grade be changed to P/LP/U no later than May 4, 2020.

Due to changes made to course delivery as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, a university policy has been created for a Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory course grade option. The intent of this policy is to provide students flexibility, recognizing the challenging situation that we are all facing.

Spring 2020 undergraduate and graduate letter grade courses, excluding the first 5 & 8 week courses, will be eligible to be taken Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory. The P/LP/U grades will have no (null) impact on the grade point average GPA.

Grading Definitions:

    • A grade of Pass (P) shall be defined as the student scoring in the “A to C” range of the course. Credit will be awarded.
    • A grade of Low Pass (LP) shall be defined as the student scoring in the “D” range in the course. Credit will be awarded.
    • A grade of Unsatisfactory (U) shall be defined as the student not passing the course. No credit hours will be earned or course requirements fulfilled for grades of U.
  • Classes with a Pass (P) or Low Pass (LP) grade will be eligible to meet undergraduate general education requirements at MSSU.
  • Classes with a Pass (P) grade will be eligible to meet master’s requirements at MSSU.
  • Classes completed with a Pass (P) will meet prerequisite requirements for future classes at MSSU if the prerequisite requires a grade of C or higher.
  • All majors that require a course letter grade of “C” or higher will be considered as fulfilled with a Pass (P) grade at MSSU.

Please review and carefully consider this list before requesting to change a course to Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory. There may be additional considerations other than these listed below.

  • This option can be applied by the student on a course-by-course basis.
  •  Consult with your academic advisor before changing classes to Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory to make sure that it will not cause any unforeseen issues.
  • The decision to take a course on a Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory basis cannot be reversed.
  • MSSU cannot guarantee the transferability of a Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory course. If applicable, consult with your transferring institution before making the decision to request a grade of a Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory. This is especially important for students working toward advanced degrees.
  • These grades will not be used in the GPA calculation. These grades will not increase or decrease your GPA.
  • These courses will not be used to count toward the Dean’s List requirements.
  • Students must continue to attend classes, complete assignments and participate in order to receive a pass or passing grade in their course.
  • This grade option may have implications regarding athletic eligibility, SEVIS international status, Honors, Veteran’s benefits, TRIO, Financial Aid & Scholarships and other programs. Before making the decision, please consult with staff from these areas.

Questions about Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory grades should be directed to registrar@mssu.edu  .

While the points outlined in this email attempt to answer many issues, the list is not compressive.  Based on current conditions and expectations, we reserve the right to alter the policy or amend it should unanticipated circumstances arise.  


Things to Consider:

Reasons to stay with the letter grade option:

  • You are doing well in the course and expect to continue to do well.
  • Your expected course grade will raise your GPA or be consistent with your current GPA.
  • You need to raise your GPA above the 2.0 threshold for graduation.
  • I would rather use this option than receive an Incomplete grade.

Reasons you may wish to switch to the P/LP/U grade option:

  • The shift to online teaching and learning causes you to fear you would not perform as well as you would have in the original format.
  • The shift to online teaching and learning has resulted in you needing to focus on some classes more than others (elect the P/LP/U in the class for which you must have a diminished focus).
  • You feel you are underperforming and are concerned about lowering your GPA.
  • To help provide relief from a course load for an elective.
  • You have impediments to remote learning, such as inconsistent access to the internet.
  • An alternative to taking a Withdraw by April 27th.


  1. What action do I need to take if I do NOT want this new grading policy?  None
  2. What action do I need to take if I want to use this policy for only one of my classes?  Submit the form for the course you wish to have as P/LP/U grade.
  3. What action do I need to take if I wish to have the policy apply to all of my classes for the spring?  Submit the form for each course you wish to have as P/LP/U grade. If enrolled in more than seven courses, you will need to submit an additional form.
  4. How do I know which grade of P/LP/U I am currently earning?  Check with you instructor.
  5. What is the deadline to apply for this grade?  Students may submit the form no later than Monday, May 4th by 5:00PM.
  6. If I select his grade option, do I need to continue participating in the course?  Yes, continue to attend.  This is not a withdrawal from the course.
  7. What other option is there for me?  Students may withdraw from a single course (see link below) or their total schedule (sumler-r@mssu.eduno later than Monday, April 27th by 5:00PM.
  8. Does this grade qualify for the Repetition of Courses policy?  Yes, all grades except “A” qualify.    https://catalog.mssu.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=560
  9. What if I want to request an incomplete for my class?  Please speak with your instructor.  This process is an arrangement agreed upon between the instructor and the student and the sole discretion of the instructor. Review the policy in the catalog.
  10. Will my instructor know to give me the P/LP/U grade if I submit this form?  Yes, your instructor(s) will be sent an email notifying them you have asked for this grade.  This grade option will be their only choice to enter when they enter your final grade.
  11. May I change my decision once I submit the form?  No, the policy is not reversable.  Please review the entire policy carefully and consult your instructor before making this choice. 

The form is located here:  https://www.mssu.edu/student-affairs/registrar/online-forms.php

Office of the Registrar

Databytes Spring 2020 Edition – Collaborations and Findings Across AA and SA Units

Literacy.  Global Citizenship.  Personal and Professional Well-Being.  Helping our students meet these goals requires all hands on deck.  The Spring 2020 issue of Databytes highlights academic and student affairs faculty and staff working together to educate and graduate students equipped with these skills.  It is a privilege for us to report on these collaborative efforts. This issue reports on general education competencies, civic engagement, co-curricular assessment, tutoring, and graduation rates for the 2015 cohort.


All our best,
Josie Welsh, for Institutional Effectiveness