The University of Southern Mississippi, since its founding in 1910, has been committed to the exemplary preparation of teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school personnel. In accordance with this history and the present vision and mission of the University, the Professional Education Unit is committed to improving the educational attainment of the citizens of Mississippi, and in turn, the economic development of our state. Therefore, the mission of the Unit is fivefold: a) prepare high quality teachers and education leaders for our state; b) conduct innovative, relevant research that informs decision-making in education; c) establish strong relationships with local school districts and the Mississippi Department of Education to improve education in our state, d) promote a healthier populace; and e) enhance cultural understanding among our citizens.