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USM, ICC Sign Agreement for Honors College Students

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 08:40am | By: Jenny Tate

Rodney D. Bennett, Dr. Jay Allen, Dr. Ellen Weinauer, Robin LoweUniversity of Southern Mississippi (USM) President Rodney D. Bennett and Itawamba Community College (ICC) President Jay Allen signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Honors Colleges of both institutions on Sept. 23 at USM’s Honor House in Hattiesburg. The agreement will provide honors students at ICC a seamless pathway to the Honors College at USM when they transfer.

“I am excited about The University of Southern Mississippi’s new academic partnership with Itawamba Community College,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “We look forward to welcoming their high-achieving honors students to our University community, and I am confident they will excel here as part of our Honors Keystone program.”

For students graduating in good standing from the ICC Honors College, this agreement allows a smooth transition into the USM Honors College.

"Itawamba Community College appreciates this significant partnership with The University of Southern Mississippi. This agreement allows our students to see the true alignment between their time at ICC in our Honors College to their time at USM while staying on track and realizing the value of both institutions," said Dr. Jay Allen, ICC President.

Students must graduate in good standing from ICC’s Honors College, carry a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, and submit a letter certifying they are an ICC Honors College graduate. When seeking admission to USM, students must follow the standard admissions procedure and submit a completed USM Honors College Keystone Application for transfer students.

USM Honors College students, who complete all honors requirements and maintain at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA or higher, can graduate from the University with Latin designation: cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude.

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to partner with Itawamba Community College. With the smooth path to Honors admission that this agreement ensures, ICC Honors students can get straight to the business of engaging in undergraduate research and developing as scholars, innovators and university citizens. We look forward to welcoming more ICC students to the Honors Keystone program at Southern Miss in the future,” said Dr. Ellen Weinauer, Dean of USM’s Honors College.

The ICC Honors College provides qualifying ICC students with leadership skills development, closer interactions with faculty, small class sizes and connections to scholarships and internship opportunities. The USM Honors College fosters a deep, communal engagement with ideas and an atmosphere of personal connection and achievement by providing students with small classes, opportunities for active learning and research experiences.

“The ICC Honors College is excited to partner with USM with the Honors articulation agreement. Now, our students can transfer their Honors coursework and community service hours into USM's Honors College to continue their educational goals,” said Robin Lowe, ICC Honors College director and Phi Theta Kappa contact adviser.

Founded in 1976, the Honors College at The University of Southern Mississippi is the oldest of its kind among Mississippi’s universities, with the first Honors classes taught at the University in 1965. To learn more about USM’s Honors College, visit

Rodney D. Bennett signs the agreement with Dr. Jay Allen, Dr. Ellen Weinauer