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Grant Will Support Project Evaluating Career Outcomes for Doctoral Program Graduates

Fri, 07/17/2020 - 09:12am | By: David Tisdale

A cross-disciplinary study of career outcomes for graduates of select doctoral programs at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is the focus of a grant awarded to the university’s Graduate School by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) titled “PhD Career Pathways.”

USM is one of five institutions across the U.S. selected to receive a sub-award to participate in a broader, ongoing initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will survey humanities doctoral alumni about their career choices and trajectories for the purpose of collecting data that institutions can use for self-evaluation and improvement of graduate programs.

The USM Graduate School will partner with the USM Schools of Humanities, Communication and Psychology in the collection of data over a two-year period. Dr. Alan Thompson, associate dean of the USM Graduate School, wrote and submitted the proposal for the CGS grant and will lead the project.

Receipt of the grant acknowledges the USM Graduate School’s commitment to continuous improvement in the quality of education offered by the institution, Dr. Thompson said.

“This competitive award will support efforts to better understand the career trajectories and professional successes of our Ph.D. graduates across several disciplines,” Dr. Thompson continued. “This, in turn, will enable the institution to craft academic programs that best suit both student and employer needs.”

The Graduate School intends to apply the methods learned from the project in examining all of its graduate programs, said Dr. Karen Coats, dean of the USM Graduate School, with the long-term goal of ensuring that “our students have adequate opportunities for professional development, and our alumni are ready to make their mark in an increasingly competitive job market.”

For information about the USM Graduate School, visit