- Nowhere are the partnerships between The University of Southern
Mississippi, the community it calls home, and the world citizenry
it serves more evident than in the efforts of the Center for International
and Continuing Education (CICE), which today continues a history
of outreach that spans the better part of a century.
This year marks
the 90th anniversary of the continuing education efforts that have,
over nine decades, grown into today's CICE at Southern Miss, encompassing
five program areas - International Programs, Continuing Education
and Distributed Learning, the English Language Institute, the Institute
for Learning in Retirement, and International Student and Scholar
back at 90 years of education and outreach, and ahead to the future
that strong foundation has made possible, Southern Miss President
Dr. Shelby Thames said "These programs have grown into leading
models for other universities to emulate. Much of our success in
these areas has been thanks to the visionary and entrepreneurial
spirit of Dr. Tim Hudson, who served as dean of the former College
of International and Continuing Education."
of International and Continuing Education became the CICE on July
1. Of continuing education's role, Hudson said, "Early on I
believed in the value these programs could provide for students.
Our original vision has continued to grow and we will always be
looking for ways to improve our course offerings and services to
best meet the needs of our global economy."
education at Southern Miss began in 1913, three years after the
university's founding, with a set of correspondence courses offered
to teachers in the subject areas of English, beginning algebra and
basic education. By 1927, the General Extension Division had been
founded at the school as a way of further serving public school
offered these learning opportunities with an eye toward one of the
social and classroom realities of the time - many teachers then
did not hold degrees, and poor economic conditions, coupled with
the difficulty of travel, made earning one extremely difficult.
Thus the chance for teachers to further their educations by way
of correspondence and extension services, without having to travel
far from their homes, was just what the situation required.
This was just
the beginning of continuing education's focus on recognizing a need,
then filling it in a way that served both the individuals involved
and the community as a whole.
Susan Steen said that the center's mission is even more vital, given
the nature of the world we live in today.
than ever, education is a life-long journey; and now more than ever,
we're living in an increasingly global society," Steen said.
"Our CICE programs extend the university to the local and global
communities, offering terrific opportunities for life-long learning
and preparation for success in today's interdependent world.
proud to continue the tradition of outreach begun 90 years ago,
and grateful to the many outstanding faculty members who've provided
leadership and support over the years."
correspondence and extension efforts were administered by a committee
made up of faculty members. But in 1929, the correspondence and
extension services were merged and placed under the direction of
a single administrator. Aside from a brief period from 1939 to 1942,
when the two services again operated separately, the merger of correspondence
and extension that would eventually become continuing education
carried on as a unit.
In 1961, an
ever-increasing demand for services led to the reorganization of
the department, and with that reorganization came a new name - the
Division of Continuing Education. The newly reshaped division added
conference, short-course and workshop programs to its existing avenues
of outreach, and the expanded offerings continued to draw more and
more participants from the community. Students flocked to take advantage
of learning opportunities that were tailored to fit their educational
needs, and that also worked easily within the framework of their
As the Division
of Continuing Education became aware of the demand for additional
credit and noncredit offerings, it moved to meet that demand. It
created new services and offered them locally and throughout South
Mississippi by way of extension and resident centers.
the first signs of the university's growing commitment to international
education began to take shape. In 1947, the Latin American Institute
- which would one day become the English Language Institute (ELI)
- was established with the mission of teaching English as a second
ELI, a long-standing facet of international and continuing education
at Southern Miss, continues its commitment to quality teaching and
intellectual achievement, striving toward its goals of encouraging
language in all skills - reading, writing, listening and speaking
- while serving a diverse international student body.
In 1953, an
academic course in international trade was established within the
College of Business Administration. In that same year, the Department
of Business Education offered a program leading to certification
as a bilingual secretary.
In a foreshadowing
of future student body composition, 1955 saw the position of "foreign
student adviser" established. The position - which would one
day grow into the International Student and Scholar Services program
- was charged with assisting the admissions office with the university's
ever-growing population of international students.
Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) continues as a vital CICE component.
It coordinates all facets of admissions and services for international
students and scholars, said ISSS administrator Barbara Whitt Jackson.
has been around for more than 48 years," Jackson said. "It
has grown from just student services to include services to international
researchers, scholars, etc. Due to numerous requests from the public,
ISSS has become the community liaison connecting the students and
scholars to the community by supporting various functions and organizations
outside of USM.
if a local school is hosting an event and would like to have an
international student or scholar from a particular country, ISSS
serves as the contact that assists with requests of this nature.
Often ISSS is involved in the actual process by transporting students
to these events and providing the structure needed to facilitate
In 1976, the
seed from which Southern Miss' acclaimed British Studies Program
would grow was planted when a six-week residential course in comparative
criminal jurisprudence was established in London.
along the path that led to the international presence Southern Miss
enjoys today include the 1981 founding of the Center for International
Education for the purpose of bringing administration of study-abroad
programs under one roof; the continued growth of the British Studies
Program, and the establishment of study-abroad experiences in numerous
other countries, including Vietnam; and the eventual initiation
of an international studies degree program.
more than 8,000 students have participated in Southern Miss study-abroad
programs. In recent years, the university has ranked in the top
20 nationally among doctoral institutions in terms of the number
of students it has studying abroad.
All told, Southern
Miss operates study-abroad programs in 30 countries worldwide, and
has developed international exchange programs with 11 universities
in seven countries. More than 170 faculty members have led study-abroad
programs, research abroad or presented at international conferences
In 1991, the
Center for International Education was merged with the university's
Continuing Education programs, which had continued to grow and expand.
The result was the College of International and Continuing Education,
which brought a number of wide-ranging educational missions under
for Learning in Retirement (ILR), a vital CICE component, offered
its first classes in 1991 with 94 charter members. The ILR now boasts
an annual membership of more than 400, all of whom must meet two
criteria - members must be over 50, and they must have a love of
learning and adventure.
and university liaison Sue Pace said the institute "brings
senior community leaders together in one organization to learn together
and form social relationships and generate dialogue and ideas for
the betterment of the Hattiesburg area.
research indicates that when senior citizens keep their minds active
and form positive relationships with others, they live healthier
and more fulfilling lives."
and Continuing Education has continued to offer nationally recognized,
cutting-edge learning opportunities. Continuing education offered
its first compressed interactive video course in 1995, and its first
fully online course in 1998. On the international side, Southern
Miss' Vietnam Studies program recently received a national award
for excellence in study-abroad programming from the Institute for
In July, continuing
education's 90 years of growth and expansion culminated in a new
organizational structure with the formation of the CICE. Comprising
five program areas, the CICE continues the mission of outreach and
education that began in 1913, with those first correspondence courses,
and is always pushing the international component of learning abroad
in new and exciting directions.
(CICE) structure will allow us to serve our faculty partners and
other constituent groups efficiently and effectively," said
CICE Associate Director Lisa Carpenter.
looking forward to these opportunities for collaboration, and to
continuing the development of innovative, life-changing, award-winning
outreach programs that make Southern Miss a national leader in international
and continuing education programs."