Academic Regulations

 ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Students pursuing a Master's degree must adhere to the following standards:

  1. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  2. Only two courses with grades of C can be applied to the degree
  3. No course with a grade below a C will be applied toward a degree
  4. In any graduate degree program, all requirements, including course work at Georgia Southwestern State University, transfer credit and transient credit course work, must be completed within seven (7) calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in course work, without regard to the initial admission status and without regard to credit hours earned.

Graduate students pursuing the Specialist degree must adhere to the following academic standards:

  1. Maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.25 must be maintained
  2. No course with a grade below a B will be applied toward the degree
  3. Only one course with a grade of C may be repeated one time
  4. Degree requirements must be completed within seven (7) calendar years from the time of first enrollment.

Please review other requirements for the School of Education. Specialist degree students under review or dismissed will follow the same procedures as for the Master's degree.

Each School/College of Department with a Graduate Program may have other academic requirements; please check the School web site or the appropriate section of the current Bulletin.

STUDENTS UNDER REVIEW

Graduate students who fail to maintain academic standards will be placed under academic review at the end of the semester in which their status falls below the required standards.

  1. Students who have been placed under review will have early registration cancelled for the following semester. These students will not be able to register on-line and must report to their graduate advisor.
  2. The Registrar will send the names of students under review to the Dean of each School/College, the Department Chairs with graduate programs or courses, and the graduate advisors.
  3. A student under review must meet with his or her graduate advisor to develop an Individual Remediation Plan (IRP) to demonstrate how the student can be returned to good standing. The plan will be forwarded to the Dean of the School/College or Department Chair to sign before being placed in the student's file. A copy of the form will also be sent to the Registrar's Office.
  4. At the end of the probationary semester, if the student is not successful in returning to good standing, the Dean of the School/College or Department Chair will send a certified letter of dismissal to the student with a copy to the student's graduate advisor and the Registrar's Office.
  5. Graduate students who are dismissed from the graduate program may write a letter of appeal within ten (10) class days from the receipt of the dismissal letter to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students re-admitted on appeal will have one additional semester to return to good academic standing.
  6. Re-admitted students who do not return to good standing after the initial probationary semester will be dismissed from the program and the University.
  7. Dismissed graduate students may re-apply for admission to the program after three calendar years. If the student is re-admitted, he or she must meet all requirements for the degree program at the time of re-enrollment. The years completed prior to dismissal will count towards the total seven (7) years to complete the degree. Re-admission is not automatic. Each application will be considered individually.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

All graduate programs offered at Georgia Southwestern State University require 50% of the course work be completed in residence.

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS

Graduate assistantships are available in the Department of Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs, and the School of Business Administration. Interested students should make direct application to those offices.

ADVISEMENT

Upon admission to the Program of Graduate Studies, each student is assigned a graduate advisor. Advisors in the Master of Education and the Education Specialist programs are assigned by the Dean of the School of Education.

Academic Advisors in the Master of Business Administration programs are assigned by the Dean of the School of Business.

Advisors to students in the Master of Science inComputer Science program are assigned by the Dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences.

Advisors to students in the Master of Science in Nursing program are assigned by the Dean of the School of Nursing.

Advisors to students in the Master of Arts in English program are assigned by the Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages.

Students in degree programs should enroll for courses only with the advice and approval of their graduate advisors.

Application for Graduation - Graduate Students

The Application for Graduation for graduate students must be completed one full semester prior to the academic term in which the degree is expected. The application form is available in the Registrar’s Office as well as under “Student Forms” on RAIN and the GSW Homepage. Students should contact their graduate advisors to initiate the application process.

Graduation TermApply no later than the date below of the prior semester
FallMay 1
SpringAugust 1
SummerJanuary 1

Transfer Credit

In any graduate program a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another accredited institution under the following conditions:

  1. No grade less than a B (3.0) may be transferred.
  2. Work must have been completed within the seven-year period allowed for the completion of degree requirements.
  3. Work accepted in transfer to teacher education programs must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Education.
  4. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Business Administration must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Business.
  5. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Science in Computer Science must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences.
  6. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Science in Nursing must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Nursing.
  7. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Arts in English must have the approval of the Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages.
  8. Work accepted in transfer to the Specialist in Education Degree programs must have been completed by the student while fully admitted as a regular student in a sixth year or doctoral degree program at an accredited college or university and must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Education.
  9. Grades in transfer credits will not be used in calculating the grade point average and do not reduce residence requirements.

Experiential Learning Credit

GSW grants no graduate level credit for experiential learning except under the supervision of the institution.

Correspondence Credit

Under no circumstances may credit earned through correspondence work be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.

Transient Credit

With approval, a student may take courses as a transient student at another accredited institution and receive credit towards the degree for these courses. Approval is not guaranteed. The "Transient Permission" form found at http://gsw.edu/Academics/Academic-Resources/Student-Forms/index must be completed with the appropriate signatures and turned in to the GSW Registrar's Office prior to course enrollment for credit to be awarded. Grades earned in courses taken at another institution will not be counted in the student's grade point average at GSW. 

Readmission of Former Students

Former students in academic good standing who have not been in attendance for one calendar year or more must reapply through the School, College or Department offering their graduate degree program. Students who have attended another college since last attending Georgia Southwestern must submit an official transcript from that institution.

Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

ACADEMIC LOAD LIMITATIONS

Graduate students taking nine or more semester credit hours will be considered full-time. Graduate students may take a maximum of fifteen hours per term. Students taking less than nine semester credit hours will be considered part-time.

GRADING SYSTEM

Grade Point Average for Graduate Students

The grade point average (GPA) for graduate students includes all attempts on all graduate courses. It is a true cumulative GPA.

Policy on Repeating Graduate Courses

Normally, a course is counted only one time for credit hours toward a degree. If a graduate student wants to repeat a course that falls into this category, the student may do so with the understanding that credit hours attempted and quality points earned in all attempts of the course will be counted in the student's grade point average (GPA).

The grading system for graduate courses is as follows:

GradeAchievementQuality Points
AAbove Average4
BAverage3
CUnsatisfactory2
DPoor1
FFailing0
IIncomplete0
WWithdrawn0
WFWithdrawn Failing (same as F)0
WMWithdrawn for Military Purpose0
SSatisfactory0
UUnsatisfactory0
NRNo grade reported by instructor0

A grade of I may be given in extenuating circumstances. If a grade of I is not removed before the end of the following term, it automatically becomes an F.

Students enrolled for thesis or directed study credit will receive an S for satisfactory performance or a U for unsatisfactory performance.

Students who for non-academic reasons stop attending class prior to midterm should withdraw from the course. A grade of "I" cannot be assigned in this situation.

RE-EXAMINATION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students will not be allowed a retest on any final examination. The GSW undergraduate policy for re-examinations for seniors does not apply to students enrolled in graduate programs.

ATTENDANCE

Students are expected to attend all classes. If an absence is necessary, the student is responsible for reporting the reason to the instructor; in such cases, each instructor will take whatever action he or she deems necessary. Faculty members will make their absence policies clear to the students enrolled in their classes in writing and within the first week of the semester.

Penalties for excessive absences in each course are set at the beginning of each semester by the faculty member teaching that course. Students with excessive absences in a class may receive a grade of F for the course.

SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS

Change in Program

Before a graduate student may transfer from one Teacher Education degree program to another, a request for transfer must be approved by the Dean of the School of Education and the Chair of the new program. Students wishing to transfer to or from the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Science in Computer Science, the Master of Science in Nursin, or the Master of Arts in English Programs must have their request approved by the appropriate dean.

Adding or Dropping Courses

Following registration for the term, students may add or drop courses during the published add/drop period.

  • Students must discuss adding or dropping courses with their advisors.
  • Students who enter courses after the first day of class are responsible for making up missed assignments.

After the published add/drop period, students may adjust their schedules only by "withdrawal." (See below.)

Students registered for courses that have the first class meeting after the designated add/drop period will be subject to the withdrawal from class policy or the withdrawal from the university policy below. Any orientation session for online or off-campus courses is considered the first class meeting for the course.

Withdrawal from a Course

After the add/drop period, a student must officially withdraw from a course by completing the "Withdrawal from Class" form available under Student Forms on RAIN or the GSW Homepage and the Registrar's Office. This form must be returned to the Registrar's Office upon completion. The student is fully responsible for collecting the appropriate signatures and submitting the completed form to the Registrar's Office. The effective date of the withdrawal from class is entered as the received date by the Registrar's Office.

  • Withdrawal from class without penalty requires the student to complete the Withdrawal from Class form and return it to the Registrar's Office by the published no-penalty date of one week after midterm. A student following this procedure will receive a grade of W (Withdrawn).
  • Withdrawal from class without penalty will not be permitted after the published 'no penalty' date except for non-academic reasons. Documentation must be provided by the student to receive a W rather than a WF (Withdrawn Failing).

All withdrawals from class must be approved and completely processed before the last day of classes. A student who does not officially withdraw from a class will receive a grade of F in that course for the term.

Withdrawal from the University

Students withdrawing from all classes and exiting the University after the first day of classes must complete the “Withdrawal from the University” form available under Student Forms on RAIN and the GSW Homepage and in the Registrar’s Office. The completed form should be submitted to the Director of the Academic Skills Center/First Year Advocate or faxed to 229-931-2277. The Director of the Academic Skills Center/First Year Advocate is located in the Center for Academic Excellence, room 126. The effective date of the withdrawal from the University is entered as the date from the Student Withdrawal from the University form.

  • Withdrawal from the University prior to the no-penalty date of one week after midterm will result in grades of W (withdrawn) for all courses.
  • Withdrawal from the University after the no-penalty date will result in grades of WF (withdrawn failing) except for documented non-academic reasons.

All withdrawals from the University must be approved and completely processed before the last day of classes. The student is fully responsible for supplying all pertinent documentation to the Director of the Academic Skills Center/First Year Advocate.

ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES

Students registered for fall or spring or summer terms, who attend none of the class meetings during the first week of classes and do not inform the instructor of their intentions to remain in the course or do not drop the course within the published period, will be administratively withdrawn from the course. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to document such absences.

Students who do not login/participate in the online class by the instructor's deadline will be withdrawn from the course and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. No refunds will be issued for nonparticipation withdrawals unless it results in a complete withdrawal from the University.

Instructors must take roll during the first week of classes, until the drop/add period had ended. The faculty member will inform the Registrar of any student who has never attended or participated in the class by notation on the verification roll provided on RAIN after the add/drop period. This notification should take place during the first week of class.

Students will be contacted through campus email and informed of their withdrawal from the class. Errors are only corrected by emails from the instructor of the class. Students receiving financial aid should be aware that this could negative impact the amount of aid they receive for the term.

POLICY ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Introduction

Academic Integrity is a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action. International Center for Academic Integrity1

GSW’s Policy on Academic Integrity sets forth principles of behavior intended to enable its community members to act according to these fundamental values, thereby fostering a community of excellence in teaching and learning. This policy defines academic integrity, assigns responsibility of community members for upholding these principles, defines academic dishonesty, and delineates the procedure for handling violations of the community standard.

Principles of Academic Integrity

  1. Accurate Attribution of Ideas: While the free exchange of ideas does not demand that every idea a person expresses be her or his own original thought, it does demand that a person accurately represent the origin of the thoughts she or he expresses. The forms of attribution vary depending upon the formality of the setting in which ideas are exchanged. In conversation, attribution might be as simple referring to where you heard an idea while in a class presentation or a written assignment, a specific style of attribution or documentation will be required. The specific format for such is usually defined by the academic discipline.
  2. Collaboration on Assignments: Collaboration is a fundamental component of community building and a valued ability in the work force, as well as one of the most important practices of a democratic society, but it depends on community members exercising the values of fairness, respect, and responsibility. Respectfully listening to the perspectives of others, and shouldering the responsibility for contributing equitably to the success of the group demonstrate academic integrity. In the academic setting, collaboration has been shown to improve students’ learning, but it must be balanced with the need to assess a student’s individual mastery of a topic. Thus, faculty may actively discourage collaboration for some types of assignments, such as homework or papers, while encouraging it in others circumstances, like group projects or presentations.
  3. Collection of Data: The academic community is a culture of evidence in which decisions are made and opinions evaluated largely on the basis of the factual or logical support. Therefore, whenever a community member presents data he or she has collected firsthand through observing, interviewing, surveying, or experimenting, he or she must be careful to describe clearly how the data were collected to verify that the results are presented accurately and to maintain all confidentiality agreements with participants.
  4. Quizzes, Tests, and Examinations: The academic community often calls upon its members to demonstrate what they know, or what they can do individually, often under the pressure of time constraints, which can put a student’s honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility to the test. Academic integrity requires that a student abide by the rules established by the faculty member for assessing individual learning. 

Responsibility of Community Partners for Upholding the Values of Academic Integrity

Responsibility of the Faculty Member:

Students do not always come to the GSW community knowing the principles of academic integrity and therefore teaching students to exercise these principles is the duty of the faculty. Given that the parameters of academic integrity are defined by the goal of an assignment or activity, the type of assessment being used, and the standards of the particular discipline, faculty members should be explicit about their expectations of students. To that end, faculty members should state in their syllabi the expectations for 1) attribution of ideas, 2) collaboration on assignments, 3) collection of data, and 4) quizzes, tests and examinations.

Responsibility of the Student

As partners in their own learning, students are responsible for making themselves aware of how the principles of academic integrity apply in each academic setting they enter. While the faculty member is responsible for setting expectations, it is the student’s responsibility to seek guidance from the faculty member, especially when unsure of how to apply the principles in a particular situation. When in doubt, seek guidance from the instructor.

Academic Dishonesty

Violations of academic integrity will be subject to sanction by the academic community. The examples given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic dishonesty may be judged.

Plagiarism

Violations of academic integrity will be subject to sanction by the academic community. The examples given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic dishonesty may be judged.

Cheating on Examinations

Cheating on an exam includes, but is not limited to, giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an in-class or out-of-class exam. Examples of unauthorized help include using unauthorized notes in either hard copy or electronic form, viewing another student's exam, taking pictures of exams with cell phones or other electronic devices, allowing another student to view one's exam, and discussing an exam or sharing information on an exam’s content with other students after the exam has occurred in one section but not in another.

Unauthorized Collaboration

Unauthorized collaboration includes giving or receiving unauthorized help for work that is required to be the effort of a single student, such as the receiving or giving of unauthorized assistance in the preparation of a laboratory or writing assignment, online exams, etc.

Falsification

Falsification includes, but is not limited to the fabrication of citations or sources, of experimental or survey results, and of computer or other data.

Multiple Submissions

A student may not submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty to whom the work is submitted for additional credit. If a work product is to be substantially revised or updated, the student must contact the faculty member in advance to discuss necessary revisions. In cases where multiple submissions are approved, faculty members will require copies of the original documents for comparison.

Process for Resolving Academic Dishonesty Issues

Instances of academic dishonesty are a serious violation of community standards for academic integrity and may result in suspension or expulsion from GSW. While faculty members have the primary responsibility for establishing the parameters of academic integrity in the academic situations they supervise, it is the responsibility of all members of the GSW academic community to report suspected instances of academic dishonesty. Therefore, any member of the GSW academic community can lodge an academic dishonesty complaint with GSW’s Student Conduct Officer.

Any member of the academic community who has evidence of academic dishonesty should report his or her suspicion and evidence to the faculty member of the student(s) believed to be in violation of the policy. The faculty member is then responsible for responding, and if she or he has adequate evidence, may file an Academic Dishonesty Violation Report with the Student Conduct Officer.

Faculty Reporting

If an instructor discovers a case of academic dishonesty, he or she may impose whatever penalty is deemed appropriate by the faculty member, given the standards and expectations shared with students in that course (including but not limited to rewriting assignments, failure on the assignment, or failure in the course). The faculty member has the final word for how the incident will be handled in his or her own classroom.

All incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Student Conduct Officer using the Academic Integrity Violation Report Form which asks for a description of the incident, a copy of the faculty member’s written policy on academic dishonesty, the penalty imposed by the faculty member, and the student’s signature indicating the faculty member met with the student about the incident and explained the consequences.

The Student Conduct Officer will keep on file all Academic Integrity Violation Report forms. When a new report is received, the Student Conduct Officer will review the record to determine if the student has any other academic integrity violations on file. A first offense will be filed, but no action will be taken by the University unless the student chooses to dispute the charge, at which time the Student Conduct Officer will call for a hearing of the Faculty-Student Conduct Board. If the student has two or more violations on file, the Student Conduct Officer will automatically call for a hearing of the Faculty-Student Conduct Board, and the faculty member may be asked to submit further documentation of the violation.

The Faculty-Student Conduct Board will hold a hearing to determine if the student should be found in violation of the academic integrity policy and recommend a course of action to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Only in cases where a student is exonerated of accusations of academic dishonesty can a grade be appealed through the grade appeal process. If the Faculty-Student Conduct Board determines the student to be in violation of the academic integrity policy, the Student Conduct Officer will then share with the Board any additional information concerning the number and types of prior violations, which the Board may consider when making sanction recommendations. The Faculty-Student Conduct Board will provide in writing its decision on the case and sanction recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sanctions may range from educational, such as assignments which require the student to research the topic of academic integrity or speaking to the UNIV 1000 classes about academic integrity, to more serious including probation, suspension, or expulsion.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the student and faculty member of the outcome of the case and of any University sanctions imposed. If sanctions include suspension or expulsion, the student’s Department Chair and/or Dean will also be notified. A student may not withdraw from the course in which an accusation has been made during the student conduct process. Students accused of academic dishonesty are entitled to the due process rights outlined in the Student Conduct Process of GSW.

1International Center for Academic Integrity. The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. Des Plaines, IL: Office of College Relations at Oakton Community College, 1999. 4. International Center for Academic Integrity. Web. 3 October 2012.

RAIN (Registration and Academic Information Network)

The Registration and Academic Information Network (RAIN) allows students to access their academic and financial records on-line. Students can view holds, midterm grades, final grades, academic transcripts, registration status, class schedules, curriculum sheets, as well as their Financial Aid status, Account Summaries and Fee Assessments. RAIN provides a convenient method for students and faculty to obtain information via the web. It is a secured site which is continually expanding to provide 24 hour access to all students. Information is routinely added to RAIN, including term-specific notices and deadlines. Students must access RAIN to receive grades for all courses since grade mailers are no longer produced. Instructions for access to RAIN can be found at http://gsw.edu or in the Registrar's Office.

THE SEMESTER SYSTEM

The academic year is divided into two semesters (terms) of 15 weeks each and a summer term. New courses are begun each semester; hence, it is possible for students to enter the University at the beginning of any term.

SEMESTER HOURS OF CREDIT

Credit in courses is expressed in semester hours. Georgia Southwestern normally grants one semester credit hour for 50 minutes of instruction per week for 15 weeks; therefore, a typical three credit hour lecture class meets for 150 minutes per week. In addition, it is expected that the typical student will need to prepare for approximately 100 minutes preparation per week.

Exceptions to this contact time expectation are made for classes in which the faculty has judged that more contact time is required to meet the learning outcomes of the class. For example, in task-oriented classes, such as studio classes, laboratories, clinical classes, classes with required field experience, and internships, the contact time may be closer to the combination of contact and preparation time expected for a lecture class.

Similarly, in distance education classes, each credit hour represents approximately 150 minutes of activity per week; therefore, a typical three credit hour distance education class will require approximately 450 minutes of activity per week.

The hour designation is X-Y-Z, found at the end of the course’s description in the GSW Bulletin. X is the lecture contact time per week; Y is the lab or studio contact per week; Z is the credit hours. A typical three semester hour lecture class will appear as 3-0-3, while a typical science lab will be 0-3-1, and a typical physical education activity course will appear as 0-2-1.

NUMBERING OF COURSES

Each academic course is designated by numerals. Courses are numbered according to the following plan:

Freshman and Sophomore1000-2999
Junior and Senior3000-4999
Graduate5000-8999
Courses numbered 0001 to 0999 are institutional credit courses.