Dear Parents,

Happy February!  Your student should be totally immersed in classes right now.  It is hard to believe, but midterms exams and assignments are right around the corner.  Encouragement to stay focused is much needed at this time. 

Here are a couple of important dates to note over the next few weeks:

February 17th - NEW last day to drop a course with a "W" grade (30th class day)

February 23rd - Mid-point of semester

It will not hurt to pay a little extra attention to your student over the next week.  I can remember a few lonely Valentine's days when a special call (or package!) from mom or dad really lifted my spirits.  If your student is headed home for the weekend, set aside a little quality time to celebrate your relationship.  If not, something as simple as a quick email or text can really perk up a day.

Please call or email me (662.325.3611/ with any questions or concerns.  Spring is right around the corner and most of us cannot wait!  The weather is calling for a little bit of snow and then a lot of sunshine! 

Catherine Walker, Office of Parent Services

Sixth Annual Spirit of State Awards

Have you heard of the Spirit of State award?  Over the past five years, Mississippi State University has recognized many outstanding contributions made by our students toward improving student life with a "Spirit of State" award.  These premier awards are open to all Mississippi State students and recognize excellence in campus involvement; service to the university community; actions that promote the Spirit of State; and overall impact on peers and the broader campus community. 

Does your student represent the ideals of this award?  If so, please encourage your student to complete a nomination form at by February 18, 2011.  Your student may also nominate another deserving student.  Individuals selected for this award will be recognized during a special awards program on April 8, 2011.   

Cooperative Education

Why is co-op education a good idea?

Cooperative Education is a unique academic program that allows students to gain practical real world work experience related to their field of study. It is designed to be an extension of the student’s education and enrich their academic experience.

How does this benefit the student?

 How could a student prepare for a co-op experience?

The Cooperative Education office provides a very detailed and structured approach to assisting students with obtaining a co-op position. Please contact the Cooperative Education Office with questions at 325-3823 or visit for additional information.

National Survey of Student Engagement

During the months of February and March, students who are classified as a freshman or a senior will be receiving an e-mail containing a web survey known as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).  As one of the 595 universities participating nationwide, Mississippi State University is interested in knowing how and where our students spend their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with faculty members and peers, and what they have gained from their classes and other characteristics of their undergraduate college experience.  Our university uses the aggregate responses to improve teaching and learning and other aspects of campus life.

The students will receive their first e-mail and web survey from President Dr. Mark Keenum on Monday, February 7th.  Reminder e-mails will be sent on February 17th, February 28th, March 8th, and March 24th. 

The marketing theme throughout the campus to encourage student participation is “Share Your MSU Experience with Others Nationwide - Get Engaged!" This is an excellent opportunity for students to provide anonymous feedback of their overall experience at MSU.  If your child is a freshmen or a senior, please encourage them to participate for their feedback is important to MSU.

If you should have questions about the survey on our campus, please contact MSU Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness via e-mail at or call 662-325-0831.

Fall 2011/Spring 2012 Housing Renewal Process

SHARP (Student Housing Application Renewal Process) allows your student the opportunity to indicate his/her request for housing for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Encourage your student to pay attention to his/her MSU Net Id e-mail account this week for SHARP information.  Online open enrollment for SHARP begins on Monday, February 14 at 8:00 a.m. and ends Tuesday, February 22 at 8:00 a.m.  Students must log onto their to submit their request to live on campus for the following academic year. 

Off-Campus Housing Fair

What if your student is not selected to participate in SHARP?  Not to worry!  We will have our first Off-Campus Housing Fair for students the week before spring break on Tuesday, March 8th.  We have also created a new off-campus housing guide This interactive website includes local rental listings that you can search by price point or location.  Most listings include photos, floor plans, amenities, and contact information; all listings are mapped through Google Map.  Please encourage your student to attend the Fair and learn about our many different housing opportunities in the Starkville community.

Q & A...