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Released July 21, 2005

SOUTHERN MISS CENTER TO FOCUS ON ECONOMICS EDUCATION

HATTIESBURG – As Mississippi’s K-12 educators gear up to implement new economics curriculum requirements in the classroom, they’ll have more assistance in making sure that the state’s students are more economically literate through a new center at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Center for Economic Education (CEE), housed in the College of Business, plans to conduct economic education professional development programs for K-12 teachers and will act in a consulting capacity with public and private school systems in south Mississippi.

Susan Doty, lead educator for the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), will coordinate economic education programming for teachers through the center.

“Economics requirements for students are becoming reality as the incoming high school freshman class of 2008 will be required to take an economics class before graduation, and universities will require economics for college admission. Additionally, there are economic standards required by the Mississippi Department of Education that are to be integrated across the curriculum at the elementary and middle school levels,” said Doty. “In addition to our work with high school teachers, we want to help current K-8 teachers, who may not have had formal education in economics, feel prepared, confident and enthusiastic about meeting these requirements.”

The Southern Miss CEE is a unit of the university’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research directed by Dr. William Gunther, professor of economics. The CEE is affiliated with both the MCEE and the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) and is one of two university-based centers in Mississippi.

Having a new center in south Mississippi that will focus on expanding economic education workshop opportunities for the state’s public and private schools is good news for Dr. Ted Alexander, chairman of the MCEE and chief executive officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation of Picayune.

“It will be a great benefit to have the center at The University of Southern Mississippi as a focal point for economic education throughout all of south Mississippi. Its opening will be of great benefit in terms of our K-12 teachers having access to nationally developed curriculum,” said Alexander. During the past two years, the MCEE has taught 1,700 teachers and reached almost 200,000 Mississippi students.

“The Southern Miss center will make a real difference because we’ll be doubling our resources for teachers,” said Dr. Pamela P. Smith, president of the MCEE. “Our organization works with both of the state’s university-based centers on a strategic plan to deliver our programs.” Its goal is to see that Mississippi’s students are able to achieve economic literacy before they graduate from high school.

For more information about the CEE at Southern Miss, call (601) 266-4659.

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July 28, 2005 10:42 AM