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Institutional Effectiveness


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External accreditation responsibilities at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) are housed within the Office of the Provost. Dr. Douglas Masterson, Senior Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, and the Institution’s liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), supervises all external accreditation activities.

The University is responsible for accurately representing to the public its status and relationship with SACSCOC and maintaining openness in all accreditation-related activities. USM is proud of its tradition of academic excellence, as well as the outstanding professional relationships it has developed with external accreditors. In order to adhere to SACSCOC standards regarding external accreditation, programs are required to do the following when working on all accreditation tasks.

  • Maintain a copy of ALL documentation pertaining to accreditation with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE). Documents include, but are not limited to, the following: sent and received emails related to accreditation; all correspondence with an accrediting agency; all relevant reports; and any other record that an accreditor may request from the University.
  • Submit ALL reports to IE for review prior to submission. Coordinate with Dr. Masterson and IE staff to ensure that all accreditation-related reports are reviewed prior to submission to an accrediting agency. IE requires at least 10 business days to review draft reports and provide feedback.
  • Plan for your site visits. If you are working directly with an external accrediting agency to setup a site visit, please contact Dr. Masterson immediately. He and the IE staff can work with you to schedule any meetings requested with the University’s senior administrators. Plan ahead because these meeting can take time to schedule.
  • Contact IE if you have any questions. Remember, IE is here to assist you with your accreditation-related needs. Along with the Office of Institutional Research, IE can provide you with a range of support services. Contact IE at 601.266.5016 or via email at IEFREEMississippi.

IE can also help you with planning for accreditation. IHL requires that the University attempt to acquire accreditation for all of its eligible programs. If your program or emphasis area meets the necessary criteria for accreditation, IE is able to work with you on a timeline to accreditation. In fact, IE requires that programs submit a timeline to our office to keep in our archives.

A listing of external accrediting agencies can be found here.


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Institutional Effectiveness
517 International Center (IC)
118 College Drive #5026
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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