Programs of Study



Georgia Southwestern State University encourages the development of character through intellectual inquiry and examination of personal and professional values. Central to Georgia Southwestern's curricula is a general education experience which aims toward acquainting students with the intellectual heritage of humankind.

Georgia Southwestern State University faculty have affirmed that every student of this institution shall participate in learning experiences which will enable the graduate to

  • think abstractly, analytically, and creatively;
  • understand the nature of the scientific world and the impact of science and technology on the world;
  • demonstrate competencies in reading, writing, speaking, and listening;
  • understand people as social beings from both an historical and international perspective;
  • demonstrate the ability to clarify his or her own values and understand those of other individuals and societies;
  • appreciate the fine arts;
  • demonstrate competencies in the use of information technology;
  • understand the importance of sound physical and mental health habits;
  • demonstrate an understanding that learning is a life-long process.

A major portion of this common body of knowledge is addressed in the core curriculum, an array of courses intended for completion during the first two years of college studies. Academic work in the junior and senior years is directed toward the mastery of a particular field of study.

Selection of a major field obviously depends upon the student's interests and vocational plans. The purpose of a college education, however, is not solely to provide vocational instruction, even though it lays the best foundation for the student's future vocation, but to assist the student in fulfilling responsibilities as a citizen and to develop into a cultivated and versatile individual. Regardless of vocational plans or preferred curriculum, the collegiate experience at Georgia Southwestern State University includes general education which provides each graduate with the breadth of knowledge necessary to become a productive citizen.


To assess and improve academic programs, Georgia Southwestern State University conducts periodic studies of student achievement and satisfaction. Participation in assessment activities is expected of all students, although every student may not be selected for participation in every activity. The information obtained from these activities is used by the University to improve the quality of programs in order to better serve students.


The University offers programs leading toward the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees. Majors are available in the areas as follows:

Bachelor of Arts: Art, Dramatic Arts, English, History, Music, Psychology

Bachelor of Business Administration: Accounting, Management, Human Resources Management, Natural Resources Management, Professional Golf Management, Marketing

Bachelor of Fine Arts: Art.

Bachelor of Science: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Information Technology, Mathematics, Mathematics with Industrial Mathematics concentration, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Education: Early Childhood Education, Exercise Science/Wellness, Health and Physical Education, Special Education, Middle Grades Education, Recreation

Bachelor's Degree with Teaching Certification: English, History, Mathematics, Music, English

Most bachelor's degree programs consist of a major and additional study in at least one other field of special interest. Students should determine their major fields of study prior to the fourth semester of university enrollment. Transfer students with advanced standing should determine their majors before scheduling classes.

The selection of a major should be made in consultation with the faculty advisor and the dean of the academic school which offers the major. A change of the student's major field of study must be registered with the Office of the Registrar.


Georgia Southwestern State University and Georgia Institute of Technology offer a dual degree program in all disciplines of engineering offered at Georgia Tech. The dual degree student enrolls at Georgia Southwestern State University for approximately three years. Upon acceptance to Georgia Tech, the student then enrolls there for approximately two years. When all degree requirements have been met, the student earns a bachelor's degree in science or mathematics from Georgia Southwestern and a bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech.


Students who plan to seek admission to professional schools may elect to follow appropriate pre-professional curricula. Pre-professional programs frequently chosen by students include dentistry, law, pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine, and many of the allied health sciences.

It is desirable that the student follows the prescribed curriculum of the professional school in which he or she intends to enroll. Students electing the professional goals of medicine, dentistry, veterinary, or pharmacy will probably enroll in a baccalaureate program with a major in either biology or chemistry. Students who plan to follow a legal career should consult with the pre-law advisor in the Department of History and Political Science (see pre-law listing in index). Students in the above listed programs should consult with the appropriate advisor early in the freshman year.

Students electing to enter professional schools in various programs of the allied health sciences will generally complete two to four years on this campus and then transfer to a program offered at such schools as the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia State University, North Georgia College and State University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, or Columbus State University. Such allied health programs include medical technology, physical therapy, physician assistants, and occupational therapy. Students must make application to the professional program and be accepted by the school offering the program. It is important that the student be competitive and meets the admissions requirements. The student should contact the institution offering the professional program for information on admission requirements early in the freshman year.


Georgia Southwestern State University is a participant in several intern programs including the Georgia Intern Program and the Legislative Intern Program. Students may receive a maximum of twelve semester hours toward their degree for work as interns in public and non-profit agencies. Students from all academic areas are eligible for the program. Courses for which academic credit is to be awarded must be approved in advance by the dean of the school or chair of the department offering the courses and the Campus Coordinator of the program. Course numbers 4920-4930 in each discipline are reserved for Intern Program credit. Interested students should contact the Campus Coordinator of the GSW Intern Program in the Department of History and Political Science for additional information.


Students who have not decided on a particular program of study will be assigned to a General Education advisor. It is recommended that students follow the General Core Curriculum outlined in this bulletin. Unless the student has determined the major field of study prior to the fourth semester of enrollment, it is likely that financial aid will be discontinued.


Georgia Southwestern State University offers certificate programs in the following areas: Caregiving Specialist, Criminal Justice, English as a Second Language, European Union Studies, Latin American Studies, Web Design, and Women's Studies.


Georgia Southwestern State University offers certificate programs in the following areas: Caregiving Issues and Management, Criminal Justice, English as a Second Language, European Union Studies, Latin American Studies, Web Design, and Women's Studies.


The Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate Program is an online interdisciplinary program designed to foster understanding of the caregiving field through the exploration of the journey of a caregiver, evidenced-based caregiver support programs, vulnerable populations needing caregivers, and culturally appropriate approaches to caregiving. Estimates have consistently projected that the need for caregiving will escalate significantly in the coming decades. This increase in demand can be attributed to several key trends, including an aging demographic, increased longevity, and the growing burden of chronic illnesses. This certificate program is designed to inform both professionals in caregiving (i.e. business, health care, education, social services, public health, and psychology) and family caregivers about available resources, support programs, and research findings for caregivers of individuals across the lifespan. This Certificate is the only one of its kind in the state and represents a unique commitment of Georgia Southwestern State University to prepare leaders in the field of Caregiving.

Click HERE for Caregiving Issues and Management Certificate Program Curriculum Sheet.


The purpose of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program (CJCP) is to provide students with knowledge about America's criminal justice system. The program is interdisciplinary and complementary to existing programs; specifically, students take courses from the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication. Completing of the Criminal Justice Program certifies that individuals are familiar with the purpose, function, and operation of the criminal justice system.


International students may earn a Certificate of Completion, depending on their levels of comprehension and fluency, in as little as one semester or as long as two years. The program at GSW's English Language Institute (ELI) is based on approximately twenty hours of class a week for four levels of language instructions: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Bridge. There is no minimum TOEFL requirement for admission. Students who place in higher levels can receive credit for lower level classes.

The Certificate of Completion can be expanded for special groups of students who are studying English for specific purposes by adding more classes in the special interest area e.g. nursing. These expansions can be custom designed for the group.

Requirements and Standards

  • Completed and signed application.
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  • Official English translations of high school and college/university transcripts.
  • TOEFL score, if it has been taken.
  • Bank statement from financial sponsor.
  • Completed financial forms
  • Completed health form signed by a medical doctor.

For more information, please refer to the following link:

CURRICULUM SHEET (Standard Level) (Advanced Level)


The certificate in European Union Studies is a collaborative effort of University System of Georgia institutions. The program is open to all institutions and students of the University System, including students of Georgia Southwestern State University, as well as to professionals with an undergraduate degree. The program's purpose is to promote knowledge of the European Union (EU) and certify individuals as competent in the subject area of EU studies. Since the EU is one of the most important economic and political partners of the United States, this certification demonstrates valuable professional expertise to potential employers. For students in the academic track, the interdisciplinary certificate can be earned as a supplement to any conventional undergraduate degree.

Admission requirements

A certificate in European Union Studies can be earned in two ways. Under the academic track, a certificate is taken as part of an undergraduate degree program. Students from all academic majors are eligible to participate so long as they possess a minimum 2.75 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Under the professional track, non-degree students - such as business executives - are eligible to enroll in the program upon proof of a valid undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The minimum GPA requirement is waived.

Under either track, an application to the program cannot be made until successful completion of the following:

  1. the introductory course on the European Union (POLS 3200) with a grade of C or better
  2. 30 semester hours of earned academic credit
  3. completion of HIST 1111 or 1112 (World or Western Civilization)

To earn the EU Studies certificate, students must complete the certificate curriculum (18 hours) and fulfill the practicum experience requirement. Students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in curriculum courses upon completion of the program. An official certificate is awarded upon graduation, and the certificate is noted on the student's permanent transcript. Students should refer to the European Union Studies curriculum sheet for individual course requirements.

Practicum experience

Since it is deemed crucial that students demonstrate more than an academic knowledge of the European Union to be certified as adequately prepared in the subject, a "real-life" practicum experience pertaining to the EU must be performed either in the form of an overseas visit or an internship. The overseas option is broadly defined and can be accommodated by a wide range of activities, including study or research abroad. The same flexibility applies to the internship, which can be served domestically or internationally. A student's specific practicum experience must be approved by the program's campus representative.

On-line courses and Transatlantic Joint Certificate

The EU Studies program has developed a curriculum of online courses in conjunction with European university partners. These are courses in different discipline areas that deal with various aspects of the EU and are taught jointly by University System institutions and European universities at specified times throughout the academic year. The program's campus representative maintains an updated list of these courses and a teaching schedule, as well as information about course registration.

The EU Studies program offers the option of acquiring a certificate that is jointly conferred with a European institution. This option requires students to complete - with a grade of B or better - a minimum of two online courses that are co-taught with European partner universities. Students completing this option have the EU Studies certificate awarded by both their home institution and one in Europe, thus giving them an academic credential from a respected European university.

Areas of Distinction

In addition to acknowledging competence in the EU generally, the certificate also highlights special achievements by providing a notation of "distinction" in two areas:

  • Foreign language proficiency (6 semester hours at or above the 2000 level)
  • Composition of a thesis

The foreign language distinction must be earned in a European language approved by the program's campus representative as appropriate to the certificate's objectives. A student with prior language skills can earn a distinction by successful completion of an examination demonstrating competence equivalent to the 2000 level. The exam is administered at the student's home institution.

The thesis can be written anytime during the final year of study. It is supervised by a committee composed of three faculty members representing at least two different academic disciplines. The program's campus representative maintains a more detailed description of thesis requirements.

Plan for Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes:

European Union Certificate Program

Broad Program Goals

The European Union Certificate Program fosters interdisciplinary learning about the EU and encourages students to become global citizens.

It contributes to the institutional and Board of Regents goal of increased internationalization of the curriculum by allowing students to take a much broader range of courses (through the online consortium) on the EU and EU topics than they would otherwise be able to take.

It enables students to globalize their educational experience and provides an additional credential that improves future employment and educational opportunities

Student Learning Outcomes: Basic Knowledge Goals

The introductory course is structured to accomplish five learning outcomes which are measured by students demonstrating, on assignments and assessments such as exams, knowledge of:

  • the historical origins and development of the EU;
  • the EU's governing institutions;
  • the EU's policymaking processes;
  • current EU policies and issues;
  • EU-USA relations

Student Learning Outcomes: In-depth Knowledge Goals

The multidisciplinary course menu allows students to choose four topical classes. For each of the four topics:

students will demonstrate, in class discussion and on assignments or exams, in depth knowledge of that particular aspect of the EU or European integration;

students will demonstrate, in class discussion and on assignments or exams, in depth knowledge of issues that deal substantially with the impact or consequences of the EU and/or European integration;

students will demonstrate, in class discussion and on assignments or exams, in depth knowledge of the EU in comparative scope.

Student Learning Outcomes: Skills Goals

The program has three skills objectives:

  • students will be able to find and process information about Europe and the European Union
  • students will be able to make connections between issues normally relegated to a single discipline and view the EU in a multidisciplinary way
  • students will be able to conduct intensive research on EU-related topics. 

Student Learning Outcomes: Practicum Goals

Students will demonstrate “real-world” experience of the European Union via completion of a practicum consisting either of study or research abroad experience or an appropriate internship (with a European company, consulate, etc.)

Assessment and Review

Courses taught in Summer and Fall are rotated from an already-approved catalog of eight courses. This catalog was approved at the time of program creation by a group of faculty representatives from each participating USG institution, as well as by the LMU in Munich and the Board of Regents.

Spring courses are occasionally different. These are what we might call “special topics” classes. At the time of course proposal, these are reviewed for academic content, learning outcomes, and academic rigor; the approval process is completed by the Executive Committee of the European Union Studies Program. The ExComm consists of 7 members from 7 schools and several disciplines. Faculty are vetted by the same ExComm for their qualifications as well.

Student learning outcomes are assessed on an on-going basis throughout the year. Each instructor is responsible for assessing students through class discussion, exams, quizzes, assignments, and term papers, among other assessment tools.

In addition, students evaluate each course via a standardized (for each course) online assessment tool. Faculty is assessed based in part on student evaluations.

Each course is assessed for content by the Director and the instructor(s) and updated each time it is taught.

The Steering Committee will meet twice yearly to discuss program evaluation, course evaluation, and participation. These meetings may be telephone conference calls or face to face meetings.

The Director and/or members of the Executive Committee meet with German partner LMU to review program courses and evaluate program outcomes to ensure that courses continue to enable students to meet the program goals. These meetings are both telephone conference calls and face to face meetings. The most recent review was held at LMU in July 2009 and resulted in the decision to increase collaborative course offerings in summer to better serve our students, especially the German students at LMU.

Click HERE for European Union Studies Certificate Curriculum Sheet.


The undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies (CLAS) recognizes a student's knowledge and understanding of a region of growing importance, both economically and culturally. The course of study is designed to be interdisciplinary and complementary to existing undergraduate programs. Those who satisfy the certificate requirements of their B.A. or B.S. will be awarded a Certificate in Latin American Studies. This will be noted in the student's placement materials.

The Certificate in Latin American Studies is designed to provide an interdisciplinary, coherent unit of study which "certifies" competency in a subject area outside the traditional major. The CLAS is not designed to compete with existing programs. It offers an opportunity for University System of Georgia students to pursue an area of specialization which may not be offered by departmental curricula or may be unmet in conventional majors.

Admission Requirements

  1. The certificate in Latin American Studies must be taken with a formal degree program. Course work may be undertaken at two-year institutions but must be completed at a four-year university.
  2. Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 on a scale of 4.0.
  3. Students must have earned 30 semesters hours of academic credit at a four-year institution OR
  4. 15 semester hours of academic credit at a two-year institution.
    One three-hour interdisciplinary course which focuses on contemporary Latin America OR
    A three-hour course on Latin American Culture and Civilization OR
    A CD-Module based course on Latin America OR
    A web-based or GSAMS course on Latin America with a grade of "C" or better.

Honors Option

A student may receive an Honors Certificate in Latin American Studies if he or she maintains an overall GPA of 2.8 and a GPA of 3.5 in his/her CLAS courses. The student must also submit a Senior Honors paper on a Latin American topic to a faculty member in that field. The paper must receive a minimum grade of B+.

Minor Option

Each institution of the University System of Georgia will determine if the CLAS may serve as a minor, with or without additional requirements.

Click HERE for Latin American Studies Certificate Curriculum Sheet.


The certificate in Web Design is an interdisciplinary program that provides the student with expertise in a high demand area. The student will be competent at designing Web sites and will have both artistic and technical skills.

Selected Educational Outcomes

  1. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the Web design requirements appropriate to its solution.
  2. An ability to demonstrate creative skills and artistic ability for Web application development.
  3. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary to design and build Web applications.
  4. An understanding of best practices and standards of Web design and their application.

Outcome Assessment:

Submission of a final/capstone website project as a required component of the last advanced course work, demonstrating technical and artistic skills appropriate for Web design professions. Faculty members in both departments will evaluate this project.

Click HERE for Web Design Certificate Curriculum Sheet.


Women's Studies is a multi-disciplinary approach to the understanding and analysis of women's history and culture. The program seeks to help students recognize and understand how their lives have been culturally constructed by notions of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and class. An added benefit of having the Women's Studies Certificate is that prospective employers and graduate schools will appreciate the added dimension of inter-disciplinary work that goes beyond the basic degree requirements. This certificate is complementary to existing undergraduate programs.

The Women's Studies program seeks to redress the neglect in many disciplines of the significant contributions of women. In doing so, we hope to challenge the status quo, giving students new ways to perceive themselves, thereby empowering them to be confident, political beings.

An eighteen-hour course of study, the Women's Studies Certificate combines course offerings, seminars, and internships.

Click HERE for Women's Studies Certificate Curriculum Sheet.


The primary goal of the Division of Continuing Education is to serve the educational and training needs of adults, children, and organizations through credit and non-credit programming and to meet the personal and professional needs of Southwest Georgia by extending college resources throughout our service area. Continuing Education provides the bridge between the academic environment and the community through outreach efforts and public service. Various types of non-credit courses are offered and designed to appeal to the professional, cultural, and recreational interests of residents in the community. In addition, conferences, workshops, institutes, short courses, teleconferences, media/computer-assisted learning, and independent study courses are tailored to specific clientele.

A person may achieve their career goals and education with information technology focused e-learning. On-line certification training is available.

Participants completing programs may receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Learning Units for Teachers (PLUs) which are a nationally recognized method for measuring the non-credit work which an individual has completed.


The University Honors Program (UHP) at GSW offers exceptionally talented and motivated students an enriched environment for learning. Among its objectives, the UHP aims to promote life-long learning, to assist and guide students interested in graduate studies, and to encourage a studies abroad experience. The UHP also attempts to enhance and challenge the education of regularly enrolled students - by contact with honors students - as well as by the experience of participating faculty.

Admission: First-year students are admitted to the UHP by invitation. The Honors Program Committee will extend invitations to students based upon their SAT scores, high school GPA and rank in class, and recommendations where available. Transfer students, international students and students already at GSW may seek admission with a 3.4 GPA and referral by a faculty member. Rolling admissions apply.

The types of honors courses include 1) honors enrichment of a regular course with non-honors students enrolled; 2) special honors seminars; and 3) honors assistantships.

Participation Requirements: The UHP requires honors students to take at least two honors courses each year and maintain a minimum 3.2 overall GPA. Honors students who maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA in honors courses and a 3.5 or higher GPA over their last 60 hours and complete an honors senior thesis project will receive the distinction of "University Honors Scholar" at commencement. Other requirements include:

  1. ENRICHED CORE COURSES: Students must take at least one enriched core course from each of the following areas:
    • Humanities (English or Fine Arts)
    • Social Sciences (History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology)
    • Math/Science (Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics)
  2. ENRICHED MAJOR AREA COURSES: Students must take at least two enriched courses in their major for honors credit. (The same course cannot be counted in the enriched core courses section.)
  3. HONORS SEMINARS: Students must take at least four one-hour seminars; two seminars per year will be offered.
  4. SENIOR PROJECT/THESIS: The product of a senior honors seminar, this will include a written abstract of the work and an oral presentation.
  5. STUDY ABROAD: The UHP will encourage students and assist students in seeking financial aid for summer and regular terms abroad.
  6. SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT: Students must participate in a service activity a minimum of six hours per semester for six semesters.


Placement in Learning Support

Students seeking to enter programs leading to the baccalaureate degree must be able to demonstrate that they have met the University System established minimum requirements in English, reading, and mathematics in order to be allowed to enroll in Core Curriculum and degree level courses. 
To exempt placement screening a student must:
For English (Writing) and Reading

  • score 430 SAT Critical Reading or higher; or
  • score 17 ACT English or higher; or
  • score at or above the advance proficiency level on the Georgia High School Graduation Test – English Language Arts  and
  • have met the Required High School Curriculum requirement in English

For Mathematics

  • score of 400 SAT-Mathematics or higher; or
  • score of 17 ACT- Mathematics or higher ; and
  • have met the Required High School Curriculum requirement in mathematics

Non-traditional students who do not present SAT or ACT scores will test in all three areas for admission and possible placement. In order to be accepted in the program, students must meet the minimum placement scores on the Compass test: Reading, 62; English, 32; and Math, 20. Additionally, students may only be admitted in up to two of the three subjects.

Admitted transfer students who do not present minimum SAT or ACT scores in at least one area and have less than 30 semester hours of transferable credit will be required to test according to the above policy. However, students in this category who transfer credit for core-level mathematics or English will not have to take the corresponding section of the COMPASS Placement Test even if the SAT or ACT scores in that area are deficient.
Students who test but do not enroll within a year of testing must retest in the same areas on the COMPASS Test.

New students may be retested with COMPASS for initial placement in Learning Support Courses prior to the first day of class. A $30.00 testing fee is required.

  1. Returning students may be retested under the following conditions:
    1. Students who have not taken any college work in the USG for one year may be retested with the COMPASS in any unsatisfied area and readmitted without an LS requirement if they meet the institutional criteria for exemption. Students who do not exempt on the retest may be considered for readmission.
  2. Students with Non-Traditional Status:
    Students who apply with the "Non-Traditional" status are required to take the COMPASS Test for admission and the possible placement in Learning Support courses unless they provide adequate SAT or ACT scores upon admission. If they score below the cut-off in any subject area (English, 32; Mathematics, 20; and Reading, 62), they cannot be admitted to GSW.
  3. International students:
    Students whose native language is not English are required to take the COMPASS Test in mathematics.
  4. Students who are determined by the institution to need academic assistance even though they are eligible to be admitted without Learning Support requirements under System Policy:
    Such students may be required to participate in Learning Support courses or other program components to enhance their chances for success in Core Curriculum courses. A student who is eligible to enroll in a Core Curriculum course but fails the course may also be required to take a Learning Support course before or while retaking the Core Curriculum course.

Students who fail to meet minimum collegiate-level placement test scores on the COMPASS Test will be required to enroll in Learning Support courses: Reading – 74; English – 60; Mathematics – 37.

Students who have taken COMPASS or ASSET placement tests at a COC-accredited TCSG college and transfer to a USG institution will not be required to take another placement test if the placement test was administered as part of the normal application process.

A USG institution may accept a student’s COMPASS scores administered by a USG or non-USG institution or agency as long as the receiving USG institution has given prior authorization to the USG or non-USG institution or agency to administer the test to the student. Receipt of COMPASS scores produced under this provision may be through official transcript, e-mail from a pre-approved e-mail address, fax from a pre-approved fax number.

Enrollment in Learning Support

  1. Courses and Credit:
    Depending on the scores on the COMPASS test, students may be required to register for up to two Learning Support courses per semester. Further, they must enroll in the required courses initially and then each following semester until they meet the requirements of each course and exit.

    During each semester of enrollment, a student must first register for all required LS courses before being allowed to register for other courses. This policy also applies to part-time students. Two exceptions are possible:
    1. When two LS areas are required and a student is enrolled in at least one LS course, a freshman orientation course or physical education or other activity or performance course may be taken that semester instead of one of the required LS courses.
    2. In the event that a required LS course is not available, a student may enroll in a course for degree credit if the student has met the course requirements, subject to the written approval of the president or designee.
  2. The students must demonstrate proficiency in the skill (course content) before they will be allowed to register for courses giving academic credit in that area. Furthermore, students in one or more Learning Support courses are not eligible to register in courses having a Learning Support prerequisite:

    Students with required Learning Support placement must exit or exempt Learning Support Reading as a prerequisite for social, natural, and physical science courses and college-level mathematics.

    Students with required Learning Support placement must exit or exempt Learning Support English and Reading as prerequisites for university-level English and foreign languages.

    Students with required Learning Support placement must exit or exempt Learning Support mathematics as a prerequisite for physics, environmental science, mathematics and chemistry (any science course with a prerequisite of university-level mathematics, physics, chemistry, and any science with a prerequisite of university-level mathematics). 

    However, students may enroll for regular university-level courses other than those requiring the Learning Support courses as prerequisites. 

    Learning Support courses in English, reading, and mathematics carry four (4) hours of institutional credit. This credit is not applicable toward a degree; it is not academic credit. However, it is credit that classifies the students as full-time or part-time (depending on the number of courses taken) and makes the students eligible to receive financial aid and to participate in extra-curricular activities, including varsity sports. 

    In addition to courses in English, reading, and mathematics, students with Learning Support requirements must enroll in UNIV 1000, an orientation/introduction to the university, which is a course required of all incoming students. This is a one-semester course and carries one (1) hour of academic credit. The students must pass this course in order to meet the Learning Support exit requirements. The only exceptions include part-time students and transfer students with nine or more hours.

  3. Other enrollment requirements

    Once the students are assigned to Learning Support, they must register for the required course(s), and they must spend at least one semester working in the required course(s). The courses are offered in one or two semester sequences. The students progress through these courses at their own pace and may complete course requirements in one semester. However, they have three (3) semesters in which to complete requirements.

Exit from Learning Support

In order to exit a Learning Support course, the students must meet two criteria:

  1. They must first satisfactorily complete all course requirements, that is, all of the assigned work for the entire semester, not exceed the allowed number of absences, and receive a passing grade for the course.
  2. They must perform satisfactorily on the exit form of the COMPASS Test for the particular area(s).

NOTE: In order to be eligible to write the exit form of the COMPASS Test in English, the students must perform satisfactorily on a qualifying essay that is administered by the Coordinator of Testing, after the students have passed all of the required work in the course.

Students may attempt the exit COMPASS Test only after they have passed the course(s). If they fail the exam form of the COMPASS Test, they have not exited the course nor met their Learning Support requirements. But once the students have met the conditions of exit for each course in which they are required to enroll, they have exited Learning Support and will then be classified as regular freshmen students.

When the students exit a Learning Support course in a particular area, they are then eligible to register for university-level courses in that area.

All students exiting Learning Support Programs at Georgia Southwestern State University should be able to demonstrate the ability to read, write, and do mathematics at a college level.

Assessment of this outcome will be measured by students’ exit scores on the Compass Placement Test and their grades in ENLG 1101-Composition I, MATH 1101 or 1111, and POLS 1101. 

The Exit Test

The testing policy is as follows:

  1. Students may attempt the COMPASS Test only after satisfactorily completing the requirements for the course(s) to which they have been assigned. These requirements are clearly defined and outlined at the beginning of each course.
  2. The exit COMPASS Test is given only at the end of the semester. The students may attempt the COMPASS Test at the end of the first semester of enrollment if they have met and passed course exit requirements.
  3. The Retest Policy is as follows:
    1. Student may be permitted to retest on the exit COMPASS test if they have earned a grade of B or above in the  course in which exit testing is attempted.
    2. Students who are in their final attempt in any area may be permitted to retest for exit on the COMPASS Test provided that they have (1) earned grade of B or above in the area in which exit testing is attempted, or (2) a documented learning disability.
  4. Exit Scores
    1. To exit Learning Support reading, a student must score a 74 or higher on the COMPASS Test.
    2. To exit Learning Support English, a student must score a 60 or higher on the COMPASS Test.
    3. To exit Learning Support mathematics, a student must score a 37 or higher on the COMPASS Test.

Failure to Pass the Exit COMPASS

If students fail to pass the exit COMPASS Test in  English or reading at the end of the semester, they must register for the appropriate course again the following semester and continue working on the required assignments for the course.  If students fail to pass the exit COMPASS Test in mathematics e at the end of the semester, they must register for the second course in the sequence the following semester and continue working on the required assignments for the course. They must satisfactorily complete the required work before they will be eligible to attempt the COMPASS Test again.

Suspension from Learning Support

Effective Spring Semester 2012:

Learning Support English (ENGL 0099)

Students will be allowed a maximum of two semesters to exit Learning Support English (ENGL 0099).

If this semester is your second, third, fourth, or fifth attempt in Learning Support English, you must exit at the end of this semester by earning the score of 60 or higher on the Compass Test. If you do not exit, you will be suspended for one calendar year.

Learning Support Reading (READ 0099)

Students will be allowed a maximum of two semesters to exit Learning Support Reading (READ 0099).

If this semester is your second, third, fourth, or fifth attempt in Learning Support Reading, you must exit at the end of this semester by earning the score of 74 or higher on the Compass Test. If you do not exit, you will be suspended for one calendar year.

Learning Support Mathematics (MATH 0098 and MATH 0099)

Students will be allowed a maximum of three semesters to exit Learning Support Mathematics (MATH 0098 and MATH 0099).

If this semester is your third, fourth, or fifth attempt in Learning Support Mathematics, you must exit at the end of this semester by earning the score of 37 or higher on the Compass Test. If you do not exit, you will be suspended for one calendar year.

NOTE: Students who reach the limit in English or Reading without exiting will be suspended even if they have not reached the limit in Mathematics. Likewise, students who reach the limit in Mathematics without exiting will be suspended even if they have not reached the limit in English or Reading.

Return from the One Year Suspension

The Learning Support student who was suspended as a result of reaching the term limit without exiting all Learning Support requirements and has been out of GSW for at least one year will be required to test again in the unfulfilled Learning Support subject areas before he or she can be readmitted. The semester count will start over if the student places again.

Policy prior to Spring Semester 2012

The students have three (3) semesters (not necessarily consecutive) in which to complete Learning Support requirements in each required area. At the end of the third semester of enrollment, students who have not exited all Learning Support courses will be suspended from the university. If a student does not complete requirements for an area in twelve semester hours or three semesters, whichever comes first, the student will be suspended. The student may not be considered for readmission within one year of suspension.

Prior to suspending a student who has not exited a Learning Support area within the twelve semester hours or three-semester limit, Georgia Southwestern State University will allow the student to appeal for two additional courses. For each additional attempt, the student must:

  • Be individually evaluated and determined to have a reasonable chance of success
  • Have reached the limit in only one Learning Support area

During the semester of the first attempt, the student may enroll in courses other than Learning Support (subject to the 30-hour limit on the number of credit hours a student may earn before exiting Learning Support). If the student is granted the appeal for the second additional course, the student may enroll in only the Learning Support course.

University and Departmental Policies for Learning Support

  1. Change in Policy:
    Any Learning Support policy, including exit requirements, may be changed at the beginning of any semester. If and when policy changes are made, they will apply to all students enrolled in Learning Support at that time. Further, students will be notified of such changes at the beginning of the semester in which the changes will occur.
  2. Class Attendance:
    Students are expected to attend class and lab as scheduled. Students are allowed up to 6 in a three-day-a-week class and 4 in a two-day-a-week class. Absences may not be made up, but missed work and assignments can be with a documented excuse and approval of the instructor. Missed work and assignments must be completed within one week after the student returns to class.

    Students are expected to arrive for class on time and stay for the entire period. For every four times a student is late for class, the student will be charged with one absence toward the maximum allowed for the class. Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late will be counted absent. Students who leave class prior to the midpoint in the period will be counted absent.

    Students who exceed the number of allowed absences will not be allowed to take the COMPASS Test for exit at the end of the semester.
  3. Withdrawals:
    Learning Support courses are required and pre-requisites for certain university-level courses. Therefore, students are not allowed to withdraw from course(s) in Learning Support and remain at Georgia Southwestern State University. Students who withdraw from a Learning Support course must also withdraw from all non-Learning Support courses.

    Further, students who have a total of ten (10) or more absences or who have abandoned class may be administratively withdrawn from that class or those classes. Administrative withdrawal will result in the grade of WF for the Learning Support course(s). Further, administrative withdrawal from a Learning Support course will result in administrative withdrawal from alluniversity-level courses in which the students are enrolled. Students who are administratively withdrawn from two or more Learning Support courses in any one semester may be suspended from Georgia Southwestern State University for the following semester. 

    If students withdraw from Georgia Southwestern State University for any reason after mid-semester in any one semester, that semester will count as one (1) of the three (3) semesters allowed for completion of Learning Support requirements.
  4. Discipline:
    Students who engage in disruptive classroom behavior or who become verbally or physically abusive to an instructor shall be automatically dismissed from that class and shall receive a failing grade for that course. A continuance of similar behavior in another course may lead to an automatic expulsion from the University. (See GSWeathervane.)
  5. Policy Regarding Accumulation of Thirty Academic Hours:
    Students who have accumulated a total of thirty (30) academic hours at the end of any one semester and have not completed all of the requirements for Learning Support will be required to register for only Learning Support courses until exiting.
  6. Students enrolled in twelve (12) or more hours of study are considered full-time students. Therefore, each semester of enrollment will count as one of the three (3) semesters allowed for exit in all required Learning Support classes. The only exception to this policy is a situation in which the required course is not offered a particular semester. In that case, the student needs to see the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. Part-time students (fewer than twelve [12] hours per semester) will be allowed three (3) semesters per course.
  7. No one (child or adult) who is not registered for a Learning Support course may attend a class without the expressed consent of the instructor. No child under seven years of age may sit in a Learning Support class at any time for any reason.
  8. Students with documented disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss these with their professor during the first week of class.
  9. Policies on Student Work:
    Plagiarism is prohibited. Essays, assigned papers, tests, and other similar requirements must be the work of the student submitting them. The selling, giving, lending, or otherwise sharing of required texts or examination questions and/or answers is prohibited.

For clarification and further information of the above-stated policies, students may discuss them with a Learning Support course instructor or with the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Explanation of Grades Used:

The grades assigned in Learning Support courses are A, B, C, D, F, S, U, and WF. The meaning of these grades and conditions under which they are assigned are as follows:

  1. Grades of A, B, C, D - These grades indicate passing work and exit from the course. They will be assigned at the end of the students' last semester in the particular course. The grades, therefore, mean exit from the course and also reflect the quality of work done for the entiretime in which the students are enrolled in the course.
  2. Grade of S - The S means satisfactory work in progress. It is used at the end of the first or second semester to indicate that work in the course is satisfactory and needs to continue during the following semester. ALSO, it is used, along with the COMPASS Test score, to indicate that the students have passed the course but failed the COMPASS Test and, therefore, have not exited the course and not met Learning Support requirements in that area. They need to continue working during their next semester.
  3. Grade of U - The U means unsatisfactory (failing) progress. It is used at the end of the first or second semester to indicate that course objectives have not been met and/or that the student has accumulated excessive absences.
  4. Grade of F - The F means failure to exit the course in the allotted time. It is used at the end of the third, fourth, and fifth semesters to indicate Learning Support suspension from Georgia Southwestern State University.
  5. Grade of WF - The WF is used to indicate administrative withdrawal from the course.

Courses Offered:

ENGL 0099 - Learning Support English:  A course required of those Learning Support students whose performance on the COMPASS Test Placement Test in English indicates the need for at least one semester of basic instruction. This course offers instruction in basic composition and grammar. Instruction and practice in writing personal narrative, descriptive, and expository essays comprise the content of the course. The emphasis is on prewriting and drafting, developing writing fluency, and basic sentence structure. Four hours Institutional credit.

MATH 0098, MATH 0099 - Learning Support Math I and II: A two-semester sequence of courses required of those Learning Support students whose performance on the COMPASS Placement Test in mathematics indicates the need for at least one semester of basic instruction. These courses offer a program of study in which a graphing calculator will be used extensively to facilitate the learning of basic algebra skills (operations with signed numbers, simplifying constant and variable expressions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities).. Four hours Institutional credit. The second semester enrollment is by placement, satisfactory completion of MATH 0098, or by volunteering for the course. Course content includes operation on polynomials (including factoring), solving systems of equations, and solving quadratic equations.. Four hours Institutional credit.

READ 0099 - Learning Support Reading: A course required of those Learning Support students whose performance on the COMPAS Placement Test in reading indicates the need for at least one semester of basic instruction. This course is an individualized diagnostic-prescriptive course designed to prepare students to read college-level materials successfully. Instruction is competency-based, and students meeting specific course objectives will be allowed to attempt exit testing for Learning Support Reading. Content consists of improving various levels of comprehension, developing vocabulary, developing critical reasoning skills, and becoming more proficient readers. Four hours Institutional credit.