Governor's Ocean Task Force

The University of Southern Mississippi is growing its academic program offerings in response to new talent requirements in unmanned maritime systems. This report addresses a workforce need, identified in the Governor’s Ocean Task Force Master Plan, of creating a pipeline for success and retention of Mississippi students. The information in the report identifies opportunities and gaps in current academic programs offered by community colleges to transition students into USM academic programs. In all fifteen Mississippi community colleges, pre-engineering curricula are articulated to the eight universities and offers ideal recruiting into unmanned maritime programs. In addition to pre-engineering, the research team identified unmanned systems training underway at Copiah-Lincoln, Hinds, and Pearl River Community Colleges. Co-Lin’s robotics competition team is multi-disciplinary focused and competes in underwater robotics competitions. It is not, however, an academic program but teaches team concepts most closely aligned with unmanned maritime systems.