Spotlight on Mobile County: Higher Education

University of Mobile

University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama is a comprehensive, global research and teaching university. Enrollment is more than 13,136 and there are more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

The USA System also includes the colleges of medicine, nursing and allied health professions and the USA Physicians Group, University Hospital, USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, as well as the USA Technology & Research Park, which has created more than 600 local private sector jobs.

New on campus is Hancock Whitney Stadium, a 25,450-seat facility that opened in 2020 and will be home to the school’s football program.

Also new is the School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, which will offer undergraduate and graduate programs complementing the existing programs of the Department of Marine Sciences.

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The Alabama Commission on Higher Education also recently approved an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

New this year, high school students can participate in Start South, allowing them to earn college credits during high school. More than 150 high school students participated in the first semester.

Recent research programs include:

  • A $250,000 National Science Foundation Partners for Innovation grant to make next generation, high-performance carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites for broad commercialization.
  • Participation in a project to produce potable water from the atmosphere. General Electric Research is lead on the project that also includes researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago.
  • A $4.85 million federal grant to implement innovative wastewater treatment solutions for Alabama’s Black Belt region.

Two other campus additions are the MacQueen Alumni Center and the Alabama Power USA Coastal Weather Research Center. The alumni center has a new 15,000-square-foot building to host alumni events. The weather research center has moved into a new space in the Science Laboratory Building, a space that will allow staff to develop an emergency alert center and much more.

University of South Alabama

Bishop State Community College

Bishop State has four campuses and two remote sites, with its main campus in Mobile. It has about 2,846 students — with another 1,000 students served through adult education and workforce development programs. In fact, it has a reputation as one of the best adult education operations in the state. It employs 295 full-time and part-time employees and serves 60 square miles along the Gulf Coast, including parts of Mississippi and Florida.

Bishop State offers more than 12 career technical programs, including several health science programs. It was awarded top ranking status for Best Colleges in Alabama by with the distinction of Best for Career Technical Education. It offers dual enrollment with several high schools, with scholarships and other assistance.

New on campus is a $17 million Advanced Manufacturing Center, set to house classes by 2022. The center, located on the college’s main campus, will serve as the Gulf Coast Region’s Workforce Training facility, housing certificate programs and associate in applied science degrees in several advanced applied engineering technologies. The Mobile County Commission recently approved $250,000 for the lecture hall, with naming rights.

Expansions include a $4 million health sciences facility for the nursing and PTA programs, with simulation labs and more, and a home for Respiratory Care Therapist and Medical Laboratory Technician programs.

The Lineworker Training Program, a partnership with Alabama Power, just graduated its second class, while new programs in heavy highway construction, shipbuilding, pipefitter and marine electrician are underway.

The North America Building Trades Union Apprentice Readiness Program begins in mid-summer 2021, preparing pre-apprenticeship students for careers that will build infrastructure projects. In addition, Bishop State offers several other apprenticeship programs in several industries, including electromechanical technician.

Moreover, youth ages 17-24 who are out of school can receive training and credentials in carpentry, electrical and collision repair and are trained for entry-level positions. Tuition is covered.

Bishop State Softball

Alabama Aviation Center at Mobile

This center, established in 2002, is a part of Coastal Alabama Community College and offers programs in airframe technology, powerplant technology and avionics. Several aviation industry leaders call the Gulf Coast home, and these programs help prepare students for career opportunities there.

University of Mobile

The university is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2021. The Baptist-affiliated college enrolled its first freshman class in fall 1963 and became a university in 1993.

The 880-acre campus has 1,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, with 185 full-time and 70 part-time faculty and staff.

The university named Lonnie Burnett president in November 2019.

New on campus is the state’s first Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program. This 36-month degree program is designed for students on a path to becoming Certified Registered Nursing Anesthetists.

The school recently opened the J.L. Bedsole Sports Performance Center, a $600,000, 4,000-square-foot strength and conditioning complex that will provide a weight room and training facility for UM’s athletic programs.

The university took over and converted the old bookstore, which had been managed by a vendor, and opened “The U” in summer 2020. Since students buy textbooks online, the store carries an expanded inventory of new UM-branded items.

Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College, in Mobile, is a private Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts college. Its mission is to prepare leaders for success in the real world through four key tenets: learning, faith, justice and service for life.

Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third-oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirit – with innovative educational experiences.

Ninety-five percent of the 2019 graduating class secured placement in a professional position, graduate school or a service/nonprofit opportunity within six months of graduation. Spring Hill also has garnered national recognition from Forbes as among the top ten colleges in the country for the return on a Spring Hill College degree investment. The college has earned Colleges of Distinction awards for its business, nursing and career placement.

Spring Hill College’s Real World Ready approach offers students an expanded array of online courses, including classes in business, philosophy and nursing at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Faulkner University

Faulkner University

Faulkner’s Mobile campus, in operation for more than 30 years, offers day, evening, weekend and online classes and programs. Headquartered in Montgomery, Faulkner also has campuses in Birmingham and Huntsville.

Faulkner offers associate degrees in liberal arts, computer and legal studies and bachelor’s degrees including business with an emphasis on logistics, psychology, criminal justice, human resources and other fields.

Programs in legal studies, human resources and criminal justice have been highly ranked by Plexuss Ranking. Its business courses earned high marks from and its psychology courses from

All students who graduated with the health and rehabilitation psychology occupational therapy option who applied for graduate school were accepted into an occupational therapy program; 97% of all graduating students who applied for graduate school were accepted.

The Mobile campus has 13 full-time employees, including seven faculty members and six staff.

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