USM Department Receives National Recognition

The University of Southern Mississippi continually receives accreditation for its programs in Education Administration.

The programs are headquartered in the university's College of Education and Psychology and are designed to prepare principals and superintendents for administrative leadership in school systems.

The accreditation comes through the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). 

Chair and Associate Professor of the Dept. of Educational Leadership and School Counseling Thelma Roberson said the national recognition means a lot to the university.

"What this does for us is it ensures that our programs are meeting national standards so that the public can be assured that the individuals who receive degrees in our department are prepared to do the jobs that they are developing themselves for," Roberson said.

She said with national recognition, graduates of Southern Miss in this department can get their licensure in not only Mississippi, but other states as well.

However, she said she is pleased that most of them choose to stay in the Magnolia State.

"You don't go very far in Mississippi without finding a graduate of our program," Roberson said.

She said the Educational Leadership and School Counseling Dept. has a long history at the university.

"As a matter of fact, the first doctoral degree that was granted by the University of Southern Mississippi came from our department," Roberson said.

She said she thinks the things that make USM's program stand out from others is that they are student-centered.

"We take into account that our students are usually full-time teachers that are working, so our schedule has always been designed to accommodate their needs," Roberson said. 

She said they do this by offering online classes and Saturday classes among other things, but the program does have high admission standards and rigorous criteria.

Roberson said the accreditation assures parents that their kids are being taken care of.

"What it does is it gives confidence to the public to know that the person who's leading their school got a degree at Southern Miss where the programs are accredited, and not only accredited, but nationally recognized," she said.

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