May 25, 2019  

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Office of Student Ombudsman Services Committed to Academic Success, Retention

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The Office of Student Ombudsman Services (OSOS) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) provides a variety of services to help students maintain progress toward degree completion, and become aware of the resources available to them.

Housed in the USM Division of Student Affairs, the OSOS serves as a point of contact for parents, addresses issues related to students’ academic progress and personal wellness, and is a liaison between students, faculty members and academic units. Ombudsman Services can be found at the Hattiesburg campus and Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach.

Among services provided by OSOS:

*A safe and confidential environment for students to share their concerns

*Analysis of situations to identify and discuss options for resolutions to issues

*Assistance in gathering information on behalf of students for documentation purposes

*Advisement to students on appropriate communication with faculty members/instructors

*Informing faculty of student issues related to their academic obligations

*Outlines policies concerning absences or withdrawals due to medical or other reasons.

OSOS also advises students to embrace personal responsibility throughout their academic career by following these tips for success:

*Attend class unless an absence is out of your control (illness, death in the family, military obligation, etc.)

*Familiarize yourself with the expectations of each class by carefully and thoroughly reading the syllabus, and review the university’s academic calendar - be aware of deadlines that, if not met, could result in academic and/or financial penalties.

* Where and when possible, initiate contact with your instructor(s) if an issue arises that may conflict with their academic responsibilities

*Avoid procrastination

*Take care of your health

Alfreda Horton serves as coordinator for the Office of Student Ombudsman Services on the Hattiesburg campus; contact Horton at 601.266.4025 or alfreda.horton@usm.edu. At the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, contact Director of Advisement Richard Ladner at 228.214.3302 or email richard.ladner@usm.edu. For more information, email osos@usm.edu or visit https://www.usm.edu/student-affairs/office-student-ombudsman-services.