• Southwest Missouri State University

Southwest Missouri State University

Southwest Missouri State University is a public university that serves over 17,000 students. SMSU was selected as a College of Character because of its mission to promote involvement in public affairs and civic responsibility among its students, faculty, and staff.


SMSU has a statewide mission in public affairs. The institution’s goal is to produce citizens of enhanced character who are sensitive to the needs of the community and are committed to contribute to society.

Curricular Innovations

The theme of public affairs is the integrating principle for the curriculum. The college presumes that each discipline carries implications for the community. The goal of general education at SMSU is to develop people who are capable of responsible participation in society. A Capstone Course, taken in the junior or senior year, provides an integrated and interdisciplinary understanding of public issues. A required first-year orientation course promotes an exploration of citizenship and the values associated with active participation in the community. In addition, these courses promote the theme of public affairs.

Community Service and Civic Education

Many students use the Volunteer Center to become involved in community service. Citizenship and Service Learning (CASL) courses relate community service work to an academic course. These courses strive to help students integrate community learning into their academic coursework while teaching the skills of citizenship. The Student Community Action Team (SCAT) provides work-study opportunities for students to engage in civic education through community service.

Student Creeds, Compacts, Codes

Students at SMSU agree to uphold the University Community Principles. These principles include civility, respect for individual rights, personal and academic integrity, and responsibility toward other citizens of the community.

Public Affairs Residence Hall

The Public Affairs Residence Hall enhances leadership development and volunteerism in order to produce successful citizens who will have a positive impact on residence life, the university, and the Springfield community.

Springfield, MO

This information was submitted at time of nomination.