Community Engagement and Impact

Mobile Skyline


The University of South Alabama’s strategic institutional priorities are focused on five principal areas — Student Access and Success, Enhancement of Research and Graduate Education, Global Engagement, Excellence in Healthcare, and University-Community Engagement. Each of these priorities encompasses many University of South Alabama programs, services, partnerships and projects that provide significant value to the City of Mobile and the greater region.

In addition to educating nearly 15,000 current students and more than 85,000 alumni, the vast majority of whom reside in the local region, the University has over the course of its history been dedicated to service, outreach and engagement with the local community. This website lists some examples of the many significant impacts and advantages that the University provides to the Mobile community and the Gulf Coast region. For a comprehensive list, please download the PDF or contact USA’s Office of Community Engagement.

Campus Street Sign
With an annual budget of $974 million and nearly 6,000 employees, USA is one of the largest employers in the region, and has a economic impact of more than $3 billion.
Female student taking notes in class
In the past five years, USA has awarded more than $43 million in scholarships to Mobile and Baldwin County residents, and nearly $79 million in scholarships to students from Alabama.
Empowering Change staff at a football game
The USA Office of Community Engagement was founded in 2018 to foster collaborations in the community by increasing the capacity to develop and strengthen partnerships.


United Way group standing in front of Waterman Globe
USA employees and retirees have contributed almost $5 million to United Way of Southwest Alabama campaigns, including almost $1.3 million in the last five years.
Dr. Fisher speaking at speakers bureau
The USA Speakers Bureau, a free educational service, provides businesses, civic groups, clubs and other organizations with experts who can speak on a wide variety of topics.
Medical students standing out side the building
The College of Medicine Early Acceptance Program
 offers highly qualified high school seniors a conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine.


▼   Community Service

USA’s Volunteer Management System, South Serves, allows students, faculty and staff to respond to needs in the community by volunteering for agencies and organizations throughout the region.

Each year, faculty and students volunteer thousands of hours in Mobile organizations, including Mobile International Festival, Mobile Jaycees, Mobile Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Mobile Jewish Film Festival, Coastal Cleanup, Boy Scouts of America, Distinguished Young Women, Salvation Army, Mobile Azalea Trail Maids, Indian Association of Greater Mobile, United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, Society Mobile-La Habana, L’Arche of Mobile, Junior League of Mobile, United Way of Southwest Alabama, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Alabama, Playhouse in the Park, and Mobile Baykeeper.

Mobile and Baldwin County homeless residents receive multiple services at the Project Homeless Connect event, held at The Grounds in west Mobile. Nearly 500 volunteers from USA collaborate with numerous non-profit and local agencies on this annual event, which provides interprofessional care to members of the community who are homeless.

The University’s Emergency Medical Services department has provided CPR/First Aid training for high school and middle school teachers and students, as well as training for Mobile Fire and Rescue Department staff who need advanced emergency care updates and remediation.

The College of Medicine’s Student-Run Free Clinic offers free medical treatment and advice to people in underserved and vulnerable populations.

Accounting students participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program of the Internal Revenue Service. From 2013 through 2017, 224 students completed almost 2,000 tax returns, yielding families over $3,250,000 in refunds and saving them over $600,000 in preparation fees.

The Occupational Therapy program offers Home Fit, a workshop for senior citizens on how to incorporate adaptable, safe, and easy-to-use design principles to make their home more livable. Nearly 60 workshops were conducted at area churches and senior centers within Baldwin and Mobile counties.

The USA Speech and Hearing Center provides specialized services to the citizens of Mobile and the surrounding communities that are not otherwise available in the immediate service area, including advanced diagnostic procedures, interventions and support for patients across the lifespan. The USA Speech and Hearing Center is the only clinic between New Orleans and Pensacola offering services to patients with cochlear implants.

Faculty and students in the Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice work with a variety of local organizations, including the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, the Strickland Youth Center, Mobile County Drug Court, and the City of Mobile Planning Department.

The Psychological Clinic in the Department of Psychology sees hundreds of patients each year, with more than 5,000 scheduled appointments. Faculty in the department also work with the Mobile Police Department to create therapy groups for youth at risk of involvement with the justice system.

The Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center facilitates wellness and integrated healthcare for local residents. The Center provides training and educational programs, and enables mental/behavioral health services for adults, children and families located in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

Faculty in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work coordinate the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative, in which USA students work with organizations that serve youthful offenders and at-risk youth, including Strickland Youth Center, DHR, St. Mary’s Home and The Nest.

Faculty at USA’s Archaeology Museum and the Center for Archaeological Studies are conducting Cultural Resource Investigations for the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project and hold a Public Volunteer Archaeological Lab Day each Tuesday.

▼   Academics

The College of Education and Professional Studies is one of the largest teacher preparation programs on the Gulf Coast, with more than 85% of educators in the greater Mobile area having at least one degree or teaching credential from the College.

The School of Computing’s K-12 Math, Science, and Computing Initiative Project is intended to increase the pool of qualified high school graduates in the area from which to recruit undergraduate students. The School also offers hands-on Learning Lab activities” during student field trips from local schools to the USA campus.

USA’s Noyce Pathway to Science and Noyce Pathway to Math programs recruit and prepare middle and high school science teachers, fund the cost of obtaining the teaching credential, provide intense mentoring and support throughout the program, and offer opportunities for ongoing professional development.

Members of the “Odyssey USA: An Adventure in Learning” program design their own classes based on the interests and intellectual curiosity of the group. Classes are challenging and thought-provoking with mind- stretching activities on a wide variety of topics. Additional activities include lectures, film series and field trips.

The Department of English sponsors the Independent Music Collective, which brings American roots musicians to Mobile each year.

The Department of History hosts two major public lectures each year. The Jack Stallworth Lecture in History focuses on southern U.S. history, while the Howard Mahan Lecture in History is delivered annually by historians from top U.S. universities.

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics hosts the Mobile Math Circle, a weekly gathering of high school and middle school students designed for students who enjoy math and working on problems that are outside the regular school curriculum.

College of Engineering faculty and students, with capstone design projects, provide engineering analysis and design for many municipal projects. Recent examples include stormwater management and upgrade of Stotts Park, redevelopment of Stewart Road Park, stormwater management and erosion control at Azalea City Golf Course, and redevelopment of Helen Woods Park.

The USA College of Medicine has graduated over 2,600 physicians, and one-third of local physicians trained at the USA College of Medicine and/or USA Health.

College of Nursing faculty are involved in multiple projects that positively impact the health of the citizens of Mobile, including: the MCI GYN Cancer Survivorship, which provides care to gynecological cancer survivors;, a support group for new mothers at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital to positively influence breastfeeding adoption and continuation rates; infant CPR and prenatal education (labor and delivery preparation) for patients; concussion education through an innovative computer program and neurocognitive testing; and asthma education at Palmer Pillans Middle School.

The Department of Music hosts numerous public events throughout Mobile, including the free annual holiday concert. The USA Concert Choir performs with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, while the Jaguar Marching Band marches in Mardi Gras parades. The department’s music business internships provide help to the Mobile Opera, Mobile Symphony, Mobile Arts Council, local recording and production studios, and local radio stations.

▼   Research

The USA Technology & Research Park is a major economic initiative that marries University resources with innovative enterprises in a single location to broaden educational experiences for students, generate new research opportunities for faculty and offer growth prospects for industry.

The Center for Transformative Research provides a programming bridge linking the academic world of research to the world of business and commercialized products. The CTR works in collaboration with the Office of Commercialization and Industry Collaboration  to nurture USA’s academic and research collaborations with manufacturing industries through programming and project-oriented solutions.

USA is part of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps, a national network that supports scientists in transitioning innovative technologies towards commercialization at a variety of levels.

The Office of Research Innovation promotes, facilitates and helps implement innovation in research among faculty, students and industry partners.

USA’s Real Advice Mentoring Program (RAMP) develops entrepreneurial capacity in the Mobile area by using a unique and proven model of mentorship to make expert, impartial advice available to local ventures.

USA’s McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds 1.2 million photographs of Mobile and the Gulf Coast region, making these available to researchers, families, individuals, historic preservation professionals, local businesses, as well as the national press and publishing companies.

The College of Arts & Sciences houses the following research centers:  The Center for Archaeological Studies; The Center for Generational Studies; The Coastal Weather Research Center; The Center for Hurricane Intensification and Landfall Investigation; The USA Polling Group; The USA Center for Public Policy; The Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center; The Coastal Resource and Resiliency Center; The Center for the Study of War and Memory; The Pheromone Center; and The Center for Environmental Resiliency.

USA’s Center for Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) provides a wide array of services to the Mobile community, including an economic impact analysis for Alabama Power of proposed pipeline and associated infrastructure investments and operations in Southwest Alabama, needs assessment and strategic planning for Boys and Girls Club of Mobile, a comprehensive review of BayFest’s economic impact for the City of Mobile; an economic impact analysis of Mobile Tennis Center; and many others.

▼   USA Health

USA Health is the most comprehensive healthcare organization on the Alabama Gulf Coast, employing 3,800 employees. As an academic health system, USA Health provides advanced and innovative patient care through its hospitals and clinics, as well as first-class training experiences for the next generation of healthcare providers and scientists.

USA Health has provided more than $1.1 billion in unreimbursed care since 1969. USA Health is the safety net provider for the City of Mobile, Mobile County and the region, providing more uncompensated healthcare than all other healthcare providers combined.

University Hospital is on the front line in delivering nationally recognized quality care to the area’s most critically ill patients, with the region’s only Level I trauma center and a burn center that provides care from injury to recovery.

University Hospital plays a key role in the education of tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, each year training hundreds of future professionals from the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital offers the region’s most advanced neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care units. The hospital delivers nearly 3,000 babies each year and specializes in high-risk OB/GYN patients.

Combining cutting-edge research with advanced care, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute fights cancer from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside. With more than 40 clinical trials and 50,000 annual patient visits, MCI is the only academic-based cancer research and treatment facility on the Gulf Coast.

USA Physicians Group includes nearly 200 physicians and provides more than 190,000 patient visits each year. It is the region’s largest multispecialty practice and the only academic physicians group on the Gulf Coast.