USM, MGCCC agree to honors partnership


USM and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College signed a partnership concerning their honors colleges.

According to WLOX, honors students from MGCCC will now be automatically admitted into The University of Southern Mississippi Honors College if they are in good standing with the community college and present a letter of recommendation from their honors instructors. Leaders from MGCCC and Southern Miss met in Perkinston to make it official. Mary Graham, president of MGCCC, commented on the agreement.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for them to spend two years with us getting quality instruction and then moving straight on into The University of Southern Mississippi (to) get the quality instruction that the university has to offer as well. It was a great agreement made possible with the help of several departments.” – Graham

According to Graham, there are currently around 150 students at MGCCC who qualify for transition. USM President Rodney Bennett showed his gratitude for the amount of effort many others put forth. “None of us really get to days like today without a whole team of people that are a part of the process,” Bennett said.

According to the Hattiesburg American, Bennett described the advantages of the agreement in a press release. “The opportunity to co-enroll will expand degree options available to Gulf Coast students who already have access to more than 50 academic programs offered through our Gulf Park campus,” Bennett said.

The honors program at USM is the sixth oldest admissions base public honors college in the nation and the oldest in the state of Mississippi. The honors college has an attendance of 600 students who perform at a high level academically.

Part of the team in the partnership includes the dean of USM’s Honors College Ellen Weinauer and Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Moser.

“It’s extraordinary for us to enhance our relationships with the community colleges and to really work toward getting their brightest students to USM,” Moser said. “We have a long standing tradition here with collaborative efforts with the community colleges.” Moser further discussed university’s relationship with MGCCC.

“Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has been one of our biggest partners,” Moser said. “At any given time, over half and sometimes more than half of our student population comes to us from a community college.”

According to Moser, the university is trying to achieve strong communication and partnership with community colleges. “MGCCC is one of our most important sister institutions in terms of transfers,” Weinauer said. “We want those transfer students to have the same opportunities as any student to complete the Honors curriculum.”

Weinauer explained that transfer students can enter into the second two year honors curriculum or ‘keystone’ curriculum. To enter, a student must complete over 40 hours and have a GPA of 3.25.