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Project Stay


How can we help you?

Project Stay is a federally-funded TRIO program and our mission is to provide comprehensive resources for students as they complete their bachelor's degrees and transition to graduate school and professional life. Project Stay is funded by the United States Department of Education.

Because our students' needs are different, our experienced Project Stay staff work with each student individually to create an educational plan. We look forward to being partners in YOUR success! Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions.



  • Academic Advising: We serve as academic advisor to Project Stay students with undeclared majors. We can also assist Project Stay students with discussing academic difficulty, developing a course plan, etc.


  • Career Counseling: We will work with students in helping them to gather information on a particular career they might be interested in; they will do a career assessment that will give them some idea of what areas might be of interest to them. If they ever have questions about a particular career field, they are welcome to come in and we will discuss options with them.


  • Priority Enrollment: All Project Stay students have the opportunity to enroll early for classes on the first day of enrollment.
  • Assistance with Graduate School Admissions:  Project Stay students have the opportunity to visit a graduate school with our advisors once a year.  We also have workshops regarding graduate schools along with helping to research schools and programs if students are interested in graduate school, as well as help with the application process.


  • Cultural Events: Project Stay provides opportunities to go on trips at no cost to the students.  Past trips include Silver Dollar City, New Theater in Kansas City, The Castle at Muskogee,  and Wildcat Glades.  These trips vary depending on availability and budget.

Financial Aid:

  • Financial Literacy Development: Mostly done through workshops; we do offer opportunities to learn about financial management issues – budgeting, planning for the financial future, managing student loans, etc.
  • Assistance with Financial Aid/Scholarships: Project Stay advisors can help students explore scholarships and can assist with their FAFSA.
  • Grant Aid: This is available to students under 60 hours. The requirements include a 2.5 GPA, Pell eligibility, earned 4 Project Stay points, and must have completed the two required meetings within the set time frame. Grant aid is awarded only in the spring and summer semesters. The amount varies depending on the current Pell Grant amount.


  • Tutoring: Our students have the benefit of obtaining one-on-one tutoring instead of drop-in tutoring. One of our Project Stay advisors coordinates a tutoring schedule with the Student Success Center and pairs the student with a tutor on regularly scheduled days and times.
  • Study Skills Development: We offer workshops throughout the semester and will often present on a topic related to study skills (note-taking, test anxiety, etc.). Tutors can also help student with their general study skills if needed.
  • Leadership & Professional Development Class: This class is offered to Project Stay students only (must be a sophomore and have declared a major). It is an eight-week course taught in the Spring semester. It is free and worth two elective credits. The purpose of the class is to develop leadership skills and prepare students for the professional world.
  • Job Shadowing: We set this up as a half-day or one-day experience in a career field the student is interested in.

Many different kinds of students are part of the Project Stay family

  • Students who are coming to college directly from high school.
  • Students who are returning to college years after high school.
  • Students with children.
  • Athletes.
  • Students living in the residence halls.
  • Commuter students.

Contact the Department

Debbie Fort, Director

Location: Hearnes Hall, Room 301
Temporary Relocation: Spiva Library 420
Phone: 417-625-9828

Fax:   417-625-9831


Fall and Spring Semesters: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Mon. through Fri.
Summer Semester: 7:00 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m., Mon. through Thurs.
Holiday: Hours vary