This year The University of Southern Mississippi established the Center for Pathway Experiences to enhance and promote significant quality experiences connected to a student’s post-graduation goals such as internships, research and other forms of fieldwork,” according to the center’s web page.
The Center of Pathway Experiences was proposed two years ago as part of the Quality Enhancement Plan. Currently, the office operates under Assistant Provost of Accreditation William Powell.
The center further establishes The University of Southern Mississippi’s accreditation, according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools of Commissions on Colleges. The mission of the commission is to create a definite requirement for strong educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.
Pathway Experiences provides scholarships to students who pursue internships. The center’s goal is to enhance the pathway experiences for undergraduate students and to promote academic initiatives with faculty.
“Most of our scholarships benefit summer internships,” said Pathway Experiences Director Gonzalez said. “So our deadline is March 1.”
The scholarships reach upward of $3,000 depending on the nature of the internship and the amount paid from the providing company.
“We help in any part of the application process,” Gonzalez said.
Pathway Experiences also assists students by providing them with application experience and helping students improve their resume. They also work with the Hattiesburg and Goldpark Communities. Pathway is also located in the Goldpark Community.
The center is currently looking into graduation cords recognition so that those who have participated in Pathway Experiences learning can earn a graduation cord.
Erica Adams, a junior special education major, said this is a good thing.
“If [the students] have internships, they are taking their future seriously,” she said. “They deserve the scholarships and the incentive to pursue Pathway.”
“The addition of the Pathways Experiences program on our campus will allow a much-needed concentration on developing learning opportunities for our students,” Director of Career Services Rusty Anderson said. “Employers and graduate school admissions officers often cite a preference for students with career-related experiences or research backgrounds. The Pathways Experience opportunities will give Southern Miss students a competitive edge in career progression.”