In February 2020, the University was affected by COVID-19. We were forced to adapt
in order to offer services during the pandemic. We established protocols and guidance specific to The University of Southern Mississippi that would allow departments to
manage operations in a safe and more effective manner throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective was not to eliminate all potential risks but to provide a systematic
and feasible path for operation within the pandemic environment.
Expanded Mental Health Services
The impact of COVID-19 led to widespread concerns about its unique effects on college
students' mental health. Surveys of college students conducted after March 2020 have
repeatedly suggested that psychological distress among college students has increased.
We knew that mental health needs were critical, and we were able to expand our student counseling professional team to include two new full-time clinicians and an outreach coordinator.
Accredited Health Services
Moffitt Health Center is a multi-service health care facility where all currently enrolled students and
employees are eligible to receive the services. We are accredited by the Accreditation
Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC) and have served the university
community for more than 40 years. Our staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners,
physician assistants, and registered nurses with a student-focused mission to provide
quality, cost-effective comprehensive health care and educational services to the
Accredited Police Services
Through their continuing commitment to professional excellency in policy and practice,
the University of Southern Mississippi's Police Department has earned national re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The CALEA accreditation is the gold standard for public safety organizations, is
critical in the delivery of high-quality public safety services, and promotes accountability.
Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement
The Division created a space for our Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement team. The space allowed for staff expansion and inclusive spaces for our historically
underserved students as they transition through their university career. The office
provides transformative experiences to foster the growth and development of historically
Fraternity and Sorority Life
Fraternity and sorority membership provides opportunities for personal growth, intellectual
development, and connections that last throughout college and beyond. As we strive
to grow these organizations, the Division made a commitment to expand the staffing
and to enhance the space. We know that students who choose to become part of a fraternity or sorority will be exposed to a well-rounded, co-curricular experience.
Orientation and Transition Programs
Over the past year, the Division welcomed the Office of Orientation and Transition Programs. Orientation, Golden Eagle Welcome Week (GEWW) and UNV 100 work together to introduce
students to the people, offices and resources that will make them successful at the
University and beyond. The traditions of The University of Southern Mississippi are
deeply treasured, and this office plays a vital role in providing and promoting these.
Since Spring 2020, the Division has worked to establish a culture of learning whereby
our supervisors and advisors of students identify as educators.
We created a semesterly Educators’ Retreat to provide focused training and support. More than 100 educators across campus attended
Each semester, staff educators host and record short learning-focused conversations
with as many of their student team members as possible. Assessments show that the
Cultivation Process is highly impactful. This strategic effort is on pace to scale considerably in the
In lockstep with partners in Academic Affairs, we’ve been transitioning to a curricular
approach, known to Southern Miss as the University Pillars, designed to enhance the value of the collegiate student experience. The Pillars,
our beyond-the-classroom curriculum, will launch in dozens of departments and impact
thousands of students.