A new partnership between The University of Southern Mississippi and the Hattiesburg School District is helping to expedite the admissions process for prospective students.
Hattiesburg is the first school district in Mississippi and among the first in the nation to offer the ability to send transcripts electronically to Southern Miss and other institutions through Scrip-Safe International, a nationwide network of colleges and universities.
Southern Miss Registrar Greg Pierce expects more high schools to join in the process, and Hattiesburg High School will become a role model for others in the state to follow.
“It’s a win-win situation for us and them because it allows receipt of the transcript within minutes of it being sent, thus allowing us to expedite admission decisions,” said Pierce. “It also helps us move toward our charge of going green by reducing copies and resources needed to process paper transcripts.”
Southern Miss officials annually process thousands of transcripts from prospective students, says Amanda Belsom, director of admissions. “The ability to deliver transcripts electronically is a huge benefit for prospective students. It helps to simplify part of the admissions process, and we hope to bring more high schools on board in the future,” said Belsom.
Southern Miss started receiving transcripts via Scrip-Safe in March 2007 and has been sending transcripts since July 2007. The process allows for a reduction in paper usage common with traditional hard copy transcript processing, plus uses a more advanced technological approach.
“Transcripts are sent within minutes, and both the sender and receiver are able to track the document throughout the process,” said Debby Hill, associate registrar at Southern Miss. “This process has been extremely efficient and cost effective for post-secondary schools, and now we are beginning to venture into high schools and even private businesses and individual use.”
Last summer, Hill approached Wally Gregg, data manager with the Hattiesburg School District, with the idea of bringing Hattiesburg High into the process. After seeing a demonstration, Gregg sought and received approval, and Hattiesburg schools went live with the electronic process on Oct. 29.
“This process has advantages for everyone. It is quicker to send and receive. It also provides electronic tracking for the institutions and e-mail notification for students,” said Gregg.
As a part of the Scrip-Safe network, Southern Miss is able to transmit securely official documentation of student course work that is currently in the student information system. Within the state of Mississippi, there are currently 30 post-secondary institutions sending or receiving transcripts. Nationwide membership includes more than 300 post-secondary institutions and four state agencies including the National Collegiate Athletic Association Eligibility Center.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.