SREB and Mississippi


SREB and Mississippi

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Mississippi participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding, or select a detailed state report.

College and Career Readiness

Readiness in  State Accountability Systems

SREB’staff distilled key elements of SREB states’ accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act into interactive profiles at

In October 2018, SREB published a set of reports on the redesign of state accountability systems. Profiles on each state describe how the state established expectations for increasing college and career readiness and also include the state’s long-term goals, school performance indicators, framework for differentiating school performance, and system of identification and support for struggling schools. 

Mississippi’s profile notes the state’s efforts to raise expectations for college and career readiness through its long-term goals and school performance indicators.


In October 2018 at SREB’s annual meeting of legislative and governors’ staff, SREB staff presented information on these reports. Two stakeholders from Mississippi attended.

Between April 2017 and January 2018, SREB hosted monthly conference call meetings of a state accountability network, for SREB member states to share ideas and discuss questions about redesigning and implementing state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Five state education agency leaders from Mississippi participated.

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Annual meeting for teams of legislators, policymakers, state board members, secondary and postsecondary education leaders, and workforce development agency representatives. Attendees explore policies and practices that help more young adults graduate prepare for postsecondary credentials and degrees and good jobs.

Mississippi attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum in December 2018: 5>

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals.

    Technical Assistance

    From 2015-2018, SREB supported the development and implementation of Mississippi’s educator effectiveness strategy by funding evaluator training, a validation study of evaluation instruments and the creation of a statewide educator evaluation data system.

    SREB staff met with state department staff in Jackson in October 2018 to advise them on the development of their teacher evaluation system. SREB conducted focus groups with district administrators, principals and teachers.

    SREB produced a report in December 2018 that shares site visit and focus group findings, as well as recommendations for improving the implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness strategy.


    The state department sent representatives to SREB’s Sixth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in May 2018. They participated in collaborative working sessions with peers from 12 SREB states. State department staff met to discuss shared problems of practice in four areas: equitable access to effective teaching, leadership development, professional learning, and teacher voice.

    reports and data

    SREB produced the following resources for Mississippi leaders over the past year:

    Improving Educator Feedback and Support: Lessons from Eight States, February 2019, which shares a summary of technical assistance provided to half of the SREB states from 2015-2018.

    School Is My Happy Place, May 2018, which showcases the innovative strategies used to develop a positive school culture at an elementary school in central Florida.

    Mentoring New Teachers: A Fresh Look, January 2018, which proposes three action areas for states, districts and schools to support the development of novice educators and their mentors. >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and published its final report and recommendations in late 2018.

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels.

    Mississippi’s College Affordability Profile 2018 reports that, on average, families needed 32 percent of family income in 2015-16 to cover educational costs at the state’s public four-year comprehensive or regional universities and 13 percent at public two-year colleges.

    In April 2018, SREB collaborated with the Association of Community College Trustees and its Governance Institute for Student Success, which convened trustees, community college presidents and senior staff, and state postsecondary agency staff from Mississippi and three other SREB states. Among the topics discussed were the boards’ role in state policy development, the changing world of work and learning, high-impact policies and practices, and engaging partnerships and collaborations.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Mississippi to meet with legislators and staff in 2019.

    Throughout 2018-19, legislators, legislative staff and governor’s staff from Mississippi requested assistance on topics including need-based student financial aid and grant funding.


    Mississippi staff were among those from 8 SREB states at the 2018 meeting of SREB state legislative and governors’ staff to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions.

    Mississippi legislators were among those in attendance at the 2018 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Advanced Career

    Nine pathways that combine college-ready academics with hands-on, project-based assignments that spark students’ learning and interest in STEM careers. Each four-course AC pathway prepares students for advanced industry credentials and two- and four-year postsecondary credentials and degrees.

    Mississippi schools delivering AC curricula during 2018-19:

    • Health Informatics: 1 school
    • Teachers trained to date: 4>

    Readiness Courses

    Ready for High School Courses

    Courses that help eighth- and ninth-graders master the literacy and math skills they need to complete a college-ready academic core and pursue challenging career pathway programs in high school. Ready for High School Literacy and Ready for High School Math can be offered in the eighth or ninth grades.

    Number of Mississippi teachers who attended Ready for High School trainings in 2018-19:
    Ready for High School Literacy: 25
    Ready for High School Math: 35

    Ready for College Courses

    Courses that help juniors and seniors master literacy and math skills before they transition from high school to postsecondary education and the workplace. In Literacy Ready, seniors develop and defend ideas from texts in diverse subject areas and write about those texts at a college level. Math Ready develops critical thinking and math reasoning skills and engages seniors in applying math to solve real-world problems.

    Number of Mississippi teachers who attended Ready for College trainings in 2018-19:
    Literacy Ready: 134
    Math Ready: 134>

    Making Schools Work

    A school improvement process developed by SREB that engages K-12 educators and school leaders in identifying and studying problems of practice, implementing research-based solutions to those problems, and learning within a collaborative network of schools. Schools adopt Making Schools Work through designs for middle grades schools, high schools and technology centers.

    Mississippi is a member of the Making Schools Work network.

    Advisory Council Member: Tom Wallace, bureau director, Career and Technical Education, Mississippi Department of Education

    State Coordinator: Wendy Clemons, executive director, Office of Secondary Education and Professional Development, Mississippi Department of Education

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB to implement Making Schools Work and receive targeted school improvement services such as professional development, instructional coaching and technical assistance.

    Two Mississippi districts contracted with SREB for direct services in 2018-19.

    SREB will deliver 162 days of on-site coaching and professional development in these districts.>


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    Making Schools Work Conference

    Annual conference, formerly known as the High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference, for K-12 teachers, counselors, principals, technology center directors and state and district education agency personnel.

    Mississippi attendees at the July 2018 conference: 36>

    College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

    Conference that focuses on literacy and mathematics tools and strategies. Teams of educators and school leaders explore disciplinary literacy strategies and formative assessment lessons that engage students in math.

    Mississippi attendees at the July 2018 conference: 35

    Literacy and Math Awards

    Outstanding Literacy Teacher Award
    Valerie Freeman, North Pike High School
    North Pike School District, Mississippi

    Valerie Freeman of North Pike High School in North Pike School District won the Outstanding Literacy Teacher Award in July 2018.>


    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During academic year 2019-20, 2,198 degree programs were available, 166 institutions participated, and 2,261 residents were certified for study through the Academic Common Market.

    For academic year 2019-20, 70 Mississippi residents were certified to attend degree programs at out-of-state institutions through the Academic Common Market.

    ACM State Representative: Sandra Kelly, Office of Academic & Student Affairs, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning >

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Participating Mississippi residents in 2019-20: 31

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Mississippi programs in 2019-20: 20

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. For the 2019-20 academic year, Mississippi State University received $670,000 from other SREB states.

    Mississippi RCP Coordinator: Jennifer Rogers, Director of Financial Aid, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to offer more high-quality distance education programs for students and ease the regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states.By participating, colleges and universities in the SREB region save almost $30 million annually.​  

    Mississippi is an approved member of SARA.

    Colleges and universities in Mississippi saved $3 million for initial authorization and save $862,000 annually on renewals, according to estimates in a return-on-investment study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

    Mississippi SARA representative: Menia Dykes, Director of Accreditation, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Fact Book

    The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is a compilation of comparative data on topics including demographics; college enrollment, retention, progression and graduation; tuition and fees; student financial aid; state support for postsecondary education; and faculty salaries. The Fact Book is published bi-annually, but the data are updated annually and made available on the SREB website.​

    Mississippi leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and Mississippi: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education.

    SREB-State Data Exchange

    An annual collection of postsecondary education data that are submitted by representatives (i.e., Data Exchange coordinators) of postsecondary education system offices. The data collected include degrees conferred, student retention and progression, time to degree, student credit hours taken by high school students and by college students in courses using distance education technology, state funding for postsecondary education, and tuition and fees.

    SREB-State Data Exchange tables are posted on the SREB website.

    Mississippi’s participating agencies and their SREB-State Data Exchange coordinators: Mitzi Gendron, Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning; Raul Fletes, Mississippi Community College Board >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of November 2018, eight Mississippi institutions are members, listed here with their representatives to the Council:

    Alcorn State University: Debra Spring, Dean
    Delta State University: Vicki Bingham, Dean
    Hinds Community College: Elizabeth Mahaffey, Dean
    Mississippi University for Women: Tammie McCoy, Dean
    Pearl River Community College: Arlene Jones, Director
    University of Mississippi Medical Center: Kim Hoover, Dean
    University of Southern Mississippi: Kathleen Masters, Dean
    William Carey University: Karen Sicard, Dean >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,100 attendees. The data below reflect Ph.D. Scholars who are funded by the state or by individual institutions.​​

    Mississippi scholars since 1993: 76
    Mississippi scholars funded in 2018-19: 8
    2018 Institute attendees from Mississippi: 18
    Graduates since 1993: 53
    Graduates currently employed: 48
    Percent employed in education: 83

    Mississippi Ph.D. students in the DSP have attended these institutions since 1993:

    Jackson State University
    Louisiana State University
    Mississippi State University
    University of Mississippi
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    University of Southern Mississippi
    University of Tennessee – Knoxville >


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues, and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in their education. 

    Mississippi representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Mississippi sent two attendees to the 2018 annual meeting on teaching and technology.

    Mississippi ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on the working groups for revisions. Eric Atchison of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning served as the team leader for the policy and compliance working group. Atchison also serves on the ETC executive committee, representing higher education.

    Mississippi ETC representatives and member agency: 

    Eric Atchison, Director of System Analysis, Research and Enrollment Management, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning

    Ray Smith, Assistant Executive Director of Technology, Mississippi Community College Board >

    Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $8.3 million on more than $83 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2017 — more than double the FY2017 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Mississippi saved $123,664 on $1,250,385 in technology purchases in fiscal year 2018. >