About the Program

Why participate in the Grizzly Ambassadors Program?

Grizzly Ambassador Program LogoWe all work at a busy, complex, and exciting university nestled in a small tight knit community. There is more happening at Missouri State University-West Plains every day than any of us can fathom. As an employee, what if you were given an opportunity to learn more about our campus and community? What if you were given an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people — people you probably see in the community now, but do not know? Would you take advantage of that opportunity? If you are a full-time staff or faculty member at the university, the GAP (Grizzly Ambassadors Program) has been designed to provide you that opportunity. Just take a look at the curriculum and decide for yourself.

We think that as you learn more about your university, your appreciation for what it does, how things happen, and how you contribute toward its mission will grow. Graduates will truly become ambassadors for the university.

What will I learn by participating in the GAP Program?  (Learning Opportunities/Program Curriculum)

As a member of the GAP, you will attend eight total sessions with your cohort. Within these sessions, the cohort will experience learning opportunities that include:

  • Getting to know other GAP members and developing a professional relationship, as well as friendships across campus.
  • Learning about our three communities-taking tours and learning the rich history of West Plains, Mountain Grove and Springfield.
  • Leadership and team building activities that develop you as an employee leader within our system.
  • Networking with faculty and staff members across the Springfield, West Plains, and Mountain Grove campuses
  • Learning what resources our campus and community has available to you as a community member and employee.
  • Learn how your role has a distinct connection to our communities and campuses by discovering your “Way to fill the GAP!”
  • Growing in your Grizzly Pride of our campuses and becoming a part of something larger.

What are the objectives for the program?

The program was designed with four primary objectives in mind:

  • Provide staff and faculty an opportunity to learn about all of the divisions and campuses within the university system.
  • Provide interesting and fun professional development opportunities for staff and faculty.
  • Promote a better understanding by staff and faculty as to the value of their role within the university and their contribution toward our mission of "developing educated persons.”
  • Foster increased communication across departments, divisions and campuses by creating a bond among the members of each cohort.

How much of my time will it take to participate in the program if I'm selected?

The program will consist of eight "program days" or sessions. These days will typically begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by 4:30 p.m., but some days may vary a bit. One session will be held each month, beginning in August of each year and ending in May of the following year (there will be no sessions held during the months of December and January).

Each cohort member will work together on a small group project outside of the scheduled program days. The project can focus on a variety of topics including, but not limited to the following:

  • Recommendations and proposals for improving our campus operations
  • Assessment of institutional programs and offerings
  • Service based projects

**An employee will spend approximately 6-10 hours working on the small group project with the other cohort members. This time will be over and above the eight schedule sessions and will be included as part of the employees normal working day.

Employees considering the program are strongly encouraged to check their schedules against the scheduled program dates and time needed to work on the small group project. Cohort members are allowed to miss no more than two schedules activities within the program to graduate from the GAP.

How much will it cost me to participate if selected?

There is no cost to the employee. If selected, the employee must use their full $150 non-credit fee waiver towards the cost of the program. The University will contribute funding towards the remaining costs of the program.

**Please note: This does not include funding for temporary replacement employees. Thus, you should take participation seriously and attend as if you were funding this expense out of your own pocket.

What will be expected of the cohort after they graduate from the GAP?

Graduates of the GAP may be asked to assist in the coordination of future year's sessions. Individuals exhibiting leadership potential within the program may be asked to lead special projects within the University in the future. Graduates will also be encouraged to become a Grizzly Connection Mentor for future participants.