Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of the Missouri Public Affairs Academy?

The MPAA brings together talented and aspiring high school students from throughout the state to develop their understanding of public affairs. It is a great opportunity to benefit from a talented and accomplished group of community leaders in the state. The Academy combines presentations by guest speakers with hands-on projects, field trips and service projects. The MPAA has three main goals:

  • To help students understand their role as citizens working “for the greater good”
  • To provide a forum for discussion with distinguished speakers including community leaders, government officials, the media, and university faculty
  • To provide students with the leadership skills necessary to become actively involved in their communities

When and where does the Academy convene?

The dates for the 2023 Academy are Monday, July 10 - Thursday, July 13. The 2022 Academy sessions will take place on Missouri State University's Springfield campus and virtually.

How are students selected?

The Academy is open to Missouri residents who are current high schoolers during the 2022-23 academic year and who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be able to attend all Academy sessions. A parking pass for each day will be provided.
  • Applicant must be interested in community engagement, leadership, and working for the greater good.
  • Applicant must be available to attend the entire Academy, July 10-33, 2023 at Missouri State University.

Students who meet these requirements are invited to submit the 2023 Application. With the application, students are required to submit the following:

  • Two letters of recommendation from a school counselor, teacher or administrator
  • Two personal essays (500 words or fewer each). One essay explaining their interest in public affairs and why they would like to attend, and the second regarding their collaborative experience(s) in working with others. See Application for full essay details.

The application deadline is May 30, 2023. Applications may be submitted earlier than the deadline. Students will be notified no later than June 1, 2023 regarding their acceptance to the Academy.

What is the curriculum for the Academy?

The MPAA is designed to provide students with intensive instruction on public affairs. To this end, Academy topics include:

  • The social contract
  • Social issues in American society (Focus issue: Poverty)
  • Environmental issues
  • Global issues (Focus issue: Humanitarian Relief and Social Entrepreneurship)
  • Leadership skills
  • Community partnerships
  • Developing a personal commitment to civic engagement

The Academy curriculum is taught through a variety of highly interactive methods. Guest speakers from Missouri government, the media, and political parties will meet with participants to engage in dialogue. The Academy theme of personal community involvement will be carried out as students plan, publicize, and implement a service project.

What is the cost to students?

The Missouri Public Affairs Academy registraion cost is $100!  This includes meals, speakers, materials, course fees, and activities. NOTE: Requests for a fee waiver based on student need may be submitted to by July 1, 2023.

What supervision is offered for participants?

The MPAA staff consists of the Director, Assistant Director, and Academy Counselors.

Do students have unscheduled time?

Students have limited unscheduled time. The 4-day Academy boasts a full schedule of curricular and extracurricular activities.

What health services are available during the Academy?

Missouri State University health services are available to Academy students, if needed. The Magers Health and Wellness Center, located on the Missouri State campus, will bill the student’s family for such services. Any charges from physicians, hospitals or pharmacies are the family’s responsibility. Contact information for university health providers is detailed in mailings to families of students who are admitted to the Academy. A medical release form is required for all participants. If a student has special health or dietary needs and/or medication requirements, Academy staff must be notified prior to the start of the Academy.


What is appropriate dress for the Academy?

The Missouri Public Affairs Academy offers a quality learning environment. Student appearance is an important aspect of this environment. Casual dress is appropriate for most Academy activities, however, students are expected to dress tastefully. Students wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to change. 

What unacceptable behaviors will result in immediate expulsion?

  • Possession or use of illegal drug, alcoholic beverages, or tobacco products
  • Possession or use of firearms, other weapons, or fireworks
  • Destruction or theft of property
  • Breaking any state or federal law
  • Use of motor vehicles
  • Leaving residence hall after lights out
  • Breaking Academy rules and regulation
  • Refusal to comply with Academy staff
  • Behavior that might place students at risk

A complete list of rules and expectations is provided in the MPAA Student Handbook.