Date of Award
Sociology and Anthropology
The purpose of this thesis is to provide an analysis of the educational opportunities provided by the tourism industry in Mississippi, and to highlight the University of Mississippi's efforts to institutionalize community engagement. I undertook this study as a result of my role as a Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) innovation scholar at the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. The McLean Institute was expanded as part of UM's 2020 strategic action plan, and its mission statement involves advancing transformative service and fighting poverty through education. I began my research as a participant observer serving as an intern at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center and the GRAMMY Museum MS, both located in the Mississippi Delta. Through two statewide surveys to school leaders (n=181) and museum staff members (n=51), data were gathered on the educational opportunities provided by the tourism industry. The findings demonstrated that most education leaders perceived the tourism industry as having positive impacts on students' educational opportunities. Although there were noted differences in principals versus others, the majority envisioned excellent opportunities for their teachers and students to learn through the tourism industry. Unlike other findings of negativity in the tourism industry (Cole and Morgan, 2010; King, 2011), the education and museum leaders in Mississippi see mostly positives.
Pitts, Holly Ruth, "Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Program: An Analysis of the Educational Opportunities in Mississippi's Tourism Industry" (2017). Honors Theses. 386.