Dear Bobcat Parent and Family Members,

September is Suicide Prevention month and President Cruzado's words to the MSU Community at the beginning of the month are an important reminder that, "We all have a role in promoting our students' well-being and mental health, as well as working to address the issue of suicide in our state." To raise awareness, MSU is hosting a number of events and training opportunities on campus this month. Last year over 1,100 students, faculty and staff were trained in QPR, Kognito and Mental Health First Aid, all of which will be available again this year.

Our Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) office is MSU's number one resource for students who are struggling with anxiety, depression or any other type of mental health concern. The stigmas around seeking mental health care support are decreasing on campus: CPS counseled over 1,900 students last year. If you are ever concerned about your student or anyone else at MSU, do not hesitate to submit a CARE Alert through the Dean of Students' office.  

MSU's response to the mental-health needs of students is just one part of our approach to the shifting nature of in loco parentis, i.e., taking on some functions in the place of a parent. I could talk about how the university's legal relationship with students has changed drastically over the last 60 years, and I plan to share more about it next week with a historical perspective on the topic. For now, though, I want you to know that MSU's approach reaches beyond health and well-being to the development of students as life-long learners.

With this in mind, I want to bring your attention to one of MSU's best resources for student academic success--the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success (AYCSS).  

Dr. Carina Beck and her staff in AYCSS believe that life-long learning is manifested through curated habits of mind. To them, a habit of mind isn't a cliche' but rather a practice where the learner is engaged to find their FLOW or sense of purpose and comfort within the university community (both inside and outside of the classroom). Learning formation at MSU is often different than in high school and can be more complex by having to navigate new cultures, systems, and expectations while also simultaneously learning college-level material in the classroom. The AYCSS calls this role-phenomena "being a student while learning how to be a university student."

According to Dr. Beck, when FLOW emerges from within a student, so too does purpose as they begin to establish a sense of academic and career identity. The AYCSS also provides professional career coaching. Ultimately, the goal of AYCSS is to excite learning within students through the courses, workshops, group and individual sessions their programs offer.

In student safety and success,

Matthew R. Caires

Dean of Students

P.S. Many of you have emailed asking how to reserve your football tickets for Saturday afternoon during Parent & Family Weekend. The Bobcats will face Northern Arizona at 1:00 p.m. Reserve your tickets using the promo code Parent on TicketsWest.  

Bobcat Parent & Family Program
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359