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Current and Future Students

Need To Know

It is the student’s responsibility to self-identify to the Coordinator of Student Disability Services in order to obtain accommodations. To be eligible for services, you must submit appropriate documentation. This information should be submitted directly to the Coordinator of Student Disability Services where confidential files are kept. Do not submit this documentation with your Admissions application. Once your documentation has been received and reviewed, we will contact you for an appointment to discuss your documentation and a possible Accommodation Plan. Reasonable accommodations will be granted on a case-by-case basis pursuant to an interactive process between the student and the Coordinator of Student Disability Services. A student may seek services at any time while they are a MSSU student.


All students must meet the same admission criteria. Students coming from high school, who are transfer students or who are under the age of 21 must meet the current Admissions standards. For students who do not meet normal admissions criteria, there is a possible case-by-case consideration for exceptional admissions. Contact the Admissions Office for further information.

Financial Aid

There is no special financial aid for students with disabilities. They must apply for the same financial aid as all other students. For information about the financial aid process, please visit the Financial Aid website or contact a Financial Aid counselor directly 1-800-606-6772 or 417-625-9367.

Students are encouraged to contact the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see whether they qualify for services under their agency. The purpose of the Department is to provide training and assistance to persons with disabilities, which will enable them to achieve employment. Career assistance provided for either persons with severe disabilities who wish to be employed, or for persons who have acquired disabilities and can no longer do the work they had formerly done. For students with disabilities who do qualify and whose individual rehabilitation plan includes college education, there can be assistance with tuition, books, housing, transportation, etc.

The Joplin area is served by three offices of Vocational Rehabilitation:

This office serves all individuals who are disabled except those who have a vision or hearing impairment.

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation – Springfield
819 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65806
417- 895-5863

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation - Joplin
801 East 15th Street
Joplin, MO 64804

Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
149 Park Central Square
Springfield, MO 65806
417- 895-6391
800- 592-6004

Again, students should contact the Coordinator of Student Disability Services as early as possible, generally during the year before you intend to apply to Missouri Southern State University. We are pleased to hear from prospective students and their parents and will gladly provide information and referrals within the campus to make acceptance and enrollment for classes as smooth as possible.

Contact Information:

Lori Musser
Coordinator of Student Disability Services
The Student Success Center
Missouri Southern State University
3950 E. Newman Road
Hearnes Hall Room 301N
Joplin, MO 64801-1595

Voice: 417-659-3725
Fax: 417-659-4456

Rights and Responsibilities

Every student with a documented disability has the right to:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the University.
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information pertaining to his/her disability with the choice of whom to disclose their disability to except as required by law.
  • Information reasonably available in accessible formats.
Every student with a documented disability has the responsibility to:
  • Meet the University’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, and institutional standards.
  • Identify themselves in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation.
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
  • Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.

MO-AHEAD website

  • This site provides general information about making the transition from high school to post secondary school and for specific information about services offered at Missouri colleges and universities.

Myths, Assumptions and Requests that are NOT considered Reasonable and are NOT provided by post-secondary institutions:

  • I don't need to buy an alarm clock or learn to use one; the college will call and wake me up in the mornings.
  • Parents are required to be there with me when I register and enroll in college.
  • I don't need to ask for updated testing in high school since the college will test me for free.
  • Accommodations are available only in some universities.
  • Because of my disability admission and/or graduation requirements will not apply.
  • I qualified for Social Security. Therefore I will get disability services in college.
  • Colleges have to pay tuition for students with disabilities, and help with the cost of books.
  • Colleges will help me with my transportation needs from home or apartment to the campus.
  • The college will provide the course modifications that are authorized on the last high school IEP.
  • The university will look after me and guarantee that I will pass my classes.
  • Once I enroll all of my accommodations will be taken care of.
  • Whatever accommodations I say I need will be provided.
  • Any absences will automatically be excused if I am sick or if it is disability related.
  • If I have a problem then later notify the instructor/DSS office that I need accommodations, I can redo & retake assignments and test so the results can be adjusted.
  • Colleges will be violating the law if they don't give me one-on-one tutoring.
  • I see that the other student with disabilities in my classroom has been provided with a cushioned chair; if that's what handicapped students get, I should get one too.
  • The college will provide a nurse to monitor my needs, particularly to help me with my prescriptions.
  • The college will assign a roommate to me who will help me get organized.
  • My professors will give me nonverbal cues when I'm taking tests.
  • My professors will have to let me take the test ahead of time, grade it and then allow me to take it with all of the rest of the class. (Recycle Tests)
  • If I want them instructors will give me their notes, outlines study guides and a practice exam.
  • As a parent, I can arrange to have weekly progress reports like had been done all through school, from the 4th grade until graduating from high school.
  • The college will be breaking the law if they do not provide the extras that I have written on the copy of the IEP that I gave them.
  • Since my self-concept is low and sometimes very low, the college will arrange for me to succeed in whatever I want.
  • As long as I attend class and do the homework I will pass the class.
  • Since I provided the other college with documentation about my disability, all I need to do is bring the accommodation list to the college to which I am transferring.
  • The college will need to create an independent study program for me and I can design it myself.
  • The accommodations I need will be the same in all classes.
  • My doctor wrote the diagnosis on one of those pads like they write prescriptions on. It can be taken to any college and they will give me accommodations. They'll understand it.
  • I can take only half of the normal test. The tests will have to be shorter for me and all I need to do is ask the disability office for that modification.
  • I can have the ASL interpreter I want.
  • I can find a tutor and the college will pay for the tutoring.
  • I won't need to talk with the counselors and disability office staff because my parents will come along and they have always arranged things for me and made my class schedules.
  • If I need more testing to verify my disability, the college will provide the testing.
  • My tests will all be open book, since that was something they did for me in high school.
  • "Coaching" is one of the mandated services that colleges must provide all students who have disabilities.
  • "Coaching" is a service that colleges provide students who have ADD.