Distance Learning

Contact Us:
Distance Learning & Instructional Design

Fall Hours: CST
M-Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Webster Hall Room 109

Testing Services

Telephone  (417) 625-9577
Telephone (877) 837-8527 Ext.2
Webster Hall Room 117

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FAQ's for Distance Students



Who is my advisor?

Email us at onlineadvising@mssu.edu and we will look it up for you.

Where can I view the catalog and course schedule?

The MSSU Catalog, Course Schedule and a dynamic list of Open Classes can be viewed here: http://www.mssu.edu/academics/classes/

How much are tuition and fees?

The Bursar’s Office maintains information on current tuition and fees here:  http://www.mssu.edu/offices/bursar/tuition-fees.php For more information on billing, charges, student accounts, payment due dates, accounts paid by financial aid, please view this page: http://www.mssu.edu/offices/bursar/frequently-asked-questions.php

Where do I find out about financial aid?

To read through Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid, please go here: http://www.mssu.edu/financial-aid/frequently-asked-questions.php

What is the Writing Placement Exam?

The Missouri Southern Writing Placement Exam (WPE) is a timed writing assignment. Students complete an essay in response to a writing prompt. The students’ essays are then evaluated by an MSSU English Department professor. The results of that evaluation are used to determine in which First-Year Writing course the students will be placed: ENG 080, ENG 0101, or ENG 0111. Students taking exclusively internet courses may take the writing test online. For information, contact:

Professor George Greenlee,
Director, Writing Program

If you would prefer to take the Writing Placement Exam on campus, the exam schedule can be viewed here: http://www.mssu.edu/academics/arts-sciences/english-philosophy/writing-placement-exam-schedule.php

What is the Math Placement Exam?

The math placement exam is a  series of qualification tests which must be passed at 80% or higher in order to qualify to take a proctored exam  which will allow you to skip Math 20 or Math 30. If you pass the proctored exam, you can skip the course and be placed into the next highest course. Your initial placement is based on your Math ACT score even if you do not have one. If your Math ACT score is less than 19 (or if you didn't take the ACT test) you will be placed into Math 20.  If your Math ACT score is 19, 20 or 21, you will be placed into Math 30. Any student that has an initial placement into Math 20 or Math 30 may appeal that placement.

To appeal your math placement:

Step 1: First you will need to purchase an access code from the bookstore or online with a credit card. The cost is roughly $12 for sixteen weeks access.  If it takes longer to complete all the programs, you will have to purchase additional licenses.

Step 2: Go to http://www.mymathtest.com and register. You may also purchase an Access Code during the registration process with a credit card

Step 3: You will need the following Program ID code during the registration process: XL0S-11QY-201Y-8EV2

Step 4: Next you will need to complete a series of qualification tests. If your Math ACT score is less than 19 (or if you didn't take the ACT test) you will need to complete the following qualification tests:

    • BNS Qualification Test
    • BAP Qualification Test Part 1
    • BAP Qualification Test Part 2.

If you can complete each of these three with a score of 80% or higher, then you can take the proctored exam that will allow you to skip Math 20. Once you have 80% or higher on all three, you may send an email to johnson-k@mssu.edu to schedule an appointment to take the proctored test. If your goal is to skip both Math 20 and Math 30, you will need to proceed to the IAP Qualification Tests.

If your Math ACT score is 19, 20, or 21 then you will need to complete the following qualification tests: IAP Qualification Test Parts 1-5. If you can complete each of these five with a score of 80% or higher, then you can take the proctored exam that will allow you to skip Math 30.  Once you have 80% or higher on all five, you may send an email to johnson-k@mssu.edu to schedule an appointment to take the proctored test.

Step 5: Once you have successfully passed the proctored exam, you will be placed in the next higher level course. For more information, please review this page: http://www.mssu.edu/academics/arts-sciences/mathematics/math-placement.php

When and how do I register for classes?

The Registrar’s Office maintains current information on when to register. Registration priority is given to students by the number of hours completed; students who have more hours are allowed to register ealier. To view the  registration schedule and for more information about registration procedures, please go  here: http://www.mssu.edu/registrar/registration.php

Email us at at onlineadivsing@mssu.edu and we will help you get started!

I am really struggling with a subject; is there tutoring available?

Distance Learning provides 24/7 online tutoring through Smarthinking. Students connect to live educators from any computer that has Internet access with no special software installation or equipment is required. The Smarthinking Online Writing Lab is available to assist secondary, post-secondary, and graduate students become stronger writers. Students receive a detailed, personalized critique of any written assignment, such as an essay, paragraph, report, personal statement, cover letter,resume, or creative work. When applicable, students can select specialists such as ESL, Technical Writing, or Creative Writing experts. Students can submit writing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information contact us by phone at 417-625-9384 or 877-837-8527 or by email at onlineadvising@mssu.edu

Be aware of the dates for withdrawing from a class. These dates can be viewed at the Registrar’s web site here: http://www.mssu.edu/registrar/dates.php

How do I withdraw from a course?

Students have to have to request the withdrawal. Withdrawals CANNOT be obtained for you by someone else; not a parent, friend, faculty advisor or staff member, etc.  To understand the process for withdrawal please see the appropriate section below.

Do I want a partial or total withdrawal?

Partial withdrawal is withdrawal from a single course or a few courses, but not all of your courses. Withdrawal from ALL courses is a total withdrawal.  To understand the process for withdrawal please see the appropriate section below.

Partial Withdrawal  - Distance Students

Are you a distance student?  You are a distance student  ONLY if ALL of your classes are online. If you have one single traditional class then see the next section.

  1. Using your MSSU student email account, email your request to withdraw to onlineadvising@mssu.edu .
  2. We will send you instructions. Check your email account and follow the instructions.
  3. Return your textbooks (see below)
Partial Withdrawal - On Campus/Traditional Students

Are you a student with both online and on campus classes? You are a traditional on campus student with one or more online classes.

  1. If you have even one on campus course, you need to pick up the form for  a single course withdrawal from the Registrar in Hearnes Hall Suite 101.
  2. Complete the form and return it to the Registrar in Hearnes Hall Suite 101.
  3. Return your textbooks (see below)
Deadline for Partial Withdrawal for a full semester class: Fall 2013
  1. Your course withdrawal form must be received in our offices  on November 1, 2013 by 5:00 pm.
  2. Late requests will not be processed.
  3. Return your textbooks (see below)
Total Withdrawal
  1.  Whether you have financial aid or not, you must complete your total withdrawal with Julia Jensen in the Financial Aid Office.  Julia can be contacted by email at Jensen-j@mssu.edu or by phone at 417-659-5437
  2. For more information on the impact total withdrawal can have on your academic career, please view this page: http://www.mssu.edu/financial-aid/withdrawal-information.php#Total-Withdrawal-Procedures
  3. Once you’ve read and understand the consequences of doing a total withdrawal, you may complete the withdrawal form: http://www.mssu.edu/financial-aid/forms/Withdrawal%20Form.pdf
  4. Return your textbooks (see below)


Double Check!
  1. Always check in LioNet to be sure that dropped courses are showing as having been dropped. Be sure that your records accurately reflect your active registrations.
  2. If they are still showing in LioNet, you are still registered in the course. 
  3. Failure to participate in an online course does not mean you have withdrawn from the class. 
  4.  A student who completely withdraws from the University prior to the last week of classes in a regular or summer semester may receive a grade of 'W' in all courses in which the student is enrolled.
  5. Withdrawal from the University after the last week of classes in a regular or summer semester will result in a grade of 'F' being recorded for all courses.
  6. A student who leaves school without officially withdrawing will receive grades of 'F' in all courses.
  7. Return your textbooks (see below)

What do I do about my textbooks?

Textbook Rentals
  1. Textbooks are not automatically sent to distance students.
  2. You will need to go to the bookstore website.
  3. Read the "Textbook Ordering Terms and Information" You will have to click "agree" before you can continue.
  4. Find your term, find your classes and follow the instructions for ordering your textbooks.
Returning Textbooks
  1. Rental books must be returned upon withdrawing from a course or withdrawal from all classes and at the end of the semester.
  2. If you do not return your textbooks, your account will be charged for the cost of the book. You will not be able to enroll in the future until that bill is paid.
  3. Rental books can be returned through the mail.
    Mail to:
    MSSU Bookstore
    3950 Newman Road
    Joplin, MO 64801
  4. Rental books can also be returned in person. Rental books do not need to be returned by the student that rented the book.
  5. There is a book drop slot located in the wall behind Billingsly Student Center for after-hour and weekend drop off.

What is a degree evaluation?

A degree evaluation helps you and your advisor determine where you stand in meeting all degree requirements of your degree program. At Missouri Southern, these are called “CAPP”, which stands for “Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning”. You will need to login to LioNet to generate your CAPP. For more information on a CAPP report, please review this page: http://www.mssu.edu/registrar/capp-faq.php

What is a program?

A program is the degree you are aiming to complete. Under the 2006-2008 and 2008-2010 catalogs, programs are broken down into degree and school. Under the 2010-2012 catalog, programs are linked to each separate major code.

How do I declare a major?

Use this online form to declare or change your major or minor, change your catalog year or  add a second major or minor. (Web-form is currently under construction. Please use the printable form for the time being or contact the Registrar's office. (417)625-9389

I'm working toward a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree. Can I use CAPP?

Yes. You can run a CAPP evaluation for the BGS degree that will check General Education Requirements and degree requirements such as the Missouri Constitution, computer literacy, writing intensive, and upper-division hours. The BGS evaluation includes an area that lists all courses in which you have earned a grade of "D" or better.

For more information contact us at:

Academic Advising
Distance Learning
Missouri Southern State University
Webster Hall - Room 116
3950 E. Newman Rd
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
417- 625-9384