Programs of Study

 PROGRAMS OF STUDY

UNDERGRADUATE 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 in developing 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.

ASSESSMENT OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

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.

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

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, Management with an Option in 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

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.

DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM IN ENGINEERING

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.

Regents’ Engineering Transfer Program (RETP)

Georgia Southwestern State University offers qualified students the opportunity to transfer to an engineering program of their choice at Georgia Tech through the Regents’ Engineering Transfer Program (RETP). In the RETP, students enroll for their first two years of course work at Georgia Southwestern, where they are able to complete all of the mathematics and science courses, as well as some of the engineering courses, required in the first two years of the Georgia Tech curriculum. Students who successfully complete the RETP requirements at GSW are automatically accepted as transfer students to Georgia Tech and are able to continue their work toward completion of a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS

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 is competitive and meets the admission requirements. The student should contact the institution offering the professional program early in the freshman year for information on admission requirements.

GSW INTERN PROGRAMS

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/college or chair of the department offering the courses and the Campus Coordinator of the program. Course numbers 4920-4930 in each discipline are generally 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.

GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

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.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

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, Global Studies, Web Design, Information Technology and Women's Studies.

CAREGIVING ISSUES AND MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

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 (e.g. 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 Ccaregiving. After completion of this certificate, students will be able to

  • Analyze a caregiver’s circumstances, needs, strengths, goals and cognitive cultural and spiritual situation.
  • Translate information across healthcare system and healthcare providers.
  • Assist family caregivers in identifying and accessing community and regional services in healthcare settings.
  • Participate in an interdisciplinary team approach utilizing multiple health care and social service systems.
  • Integrate knowledge and values of caregiving in an individual’s career field, including, but not limited to business, health care, education, social work, social services, psychology, and public health.
  • Apply knowledge of evidenced-based caregiver programs to support diverse individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan.

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

CRIMINAL JUSTICE CERTIFICATE

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 and Political Science. Completing of the Criminal Justice Program certifies that individuals are familiar with the purpose, function, and operation of the criminal justice system.

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CERTIFICATE

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
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • Completed and signed application.
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  • Copy of passport, which must be current.
  • Foreign Student Financial Statement
  • Affidavit of Financial Support
  • Official English translations of high school and college/university transcripts.
  • Copy of most recent TOEFL or IELTS score, if it has been taken.
  • Completed health history and immunization form signed by a medical doctor.

For more information, please refer to the following link:  http://gsw.edu/Academics/International-Student-Programs/ELI/index

CURRICULUM SHEET (Standard Level) (Advanced Level)

EUROPEAN UNION STUDIES CERTIFICATE

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.

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 (ExComm) 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.

WOMEN'S STUDIES CERTIFICATE

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.

GLOBAL STUDIES CERTIFICATE

The Global Studies Certificate (GSC) allows students to develop a more global perspective on issues in their lives and vocations, as well as issues in our increasingly global society. The certificate requirements are met through classes that focus on skills, perspectives and knowledge about global issues and understanding of other cultures. The program is interdisciplinary. Classes that fulfill the certificate requirements are chosen by the director of the certificate program. A current list can be obtained from the director of the program or from the curriculum sheet. Courses with more than 50% content dealing with non-US perspectives, issues, or skills may be substituted for approved classes with the approval of the director. Study abroad courses may also be used to complete the certificate requirements. The certificate program is open to all students who are already enrolled at Georgia Southwestern State University.

The certificate requires a minimum of 18 course hours to complete. A grade of “C” or better is required for all courses. 9 hours must be at the 3000 level or above. 6 course hours must be completed in each of three areas:

  • Global Core – 6 hours
  • Area/Cultural Studies & Skills – 6 hours
  • Global Issues – 6 hours

A portfolio of samples of work from all approved classes must be maintained by the student and submitted to the director of the program before graduation.

Click HERE for Global Studies Certificate Curriculum Sheet

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATE (On-Campus and Online)

To meet 21st century challenges, military personnel need to update their knowledge and gain skills in high demanding computing fields.  Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) offers from Spring 2013, both an on-campus, traditional delivery Undergraduate Certificate in Information Technology and the equivalent certificate in a fully online format. Curriculum of this program consists of four required and two elective courses, and can be completed in two semesters. The primary goal of this program is to give military personnel and professionals who graduated from technical and two-year colleges an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in areas such as Internet Technologies, Information Systems Project Management, UNIX, Systems Analysis, Network Management, and some others. Although the program was created for military personnel, it is not limited only to them. This certificate program includes courses which reflect the current industry trend and will be useful to IT professionals as well. Completion of the program will be acknowledged by a special certificate. All credit hours from this certificate can be transferred to the Undergraduate Program in Information Technology at GSW.

Click HERE for Information Technology Certificate (On-Campus) Curriculum Sheet
Click HERE for Information Technology Certificate (Online) Curriculum Sheet

CONTINUING EDUCATION

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 theirhis or her career goals and education goals 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.

UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM

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 admission applies.

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. 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. CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Each semester, students must attend a lecture, exhibit, concert, play or a similar event not connected to the student’s course requirements.
  5. STUDY ABROAD: The UHP will encourage students and assist students in seeking financial aid for summer and regular terms abroad.
  6. SERVICE ENRICHMENT: Each semester, students must participate in one activity as a volunteer for a community or campus charity or outreach.
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.

LEARNING SUPPORT PROGRAM

Students seeking to enter programs leading to the baccalaureate degree must be able to demonstrate that they have met the University System of Georgia 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 meet the following requirements:

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 advanced 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

Students who do not meet all of the above requirements must take the Compass Placement Test in the area or areas of deficiency prior to official acceptance to Georgia Southwestern State University. 

The Compass Placement Examination (CPE) Scores

Traditional and non-traditional students who apply to GSW as beginning freshmen with at least one SAT or ACT score below the acceptable minimum or who have not met the Required High School Curriculum for English and mathematics or who did not score at or above the advanced proficiency level on the Georgia High School Graduation Test-English Language Arts (English and reading only) will take the Compass Placement Test before admission is granted.

 That is, students who present SAT-Math scores of less than 400 (ACT-Math scores of less than 17) or have not met the Required High School Curriculum for mathematics will test for possible initial placement into Learning Support mathematics.

Students with SAT-Critical Reading scores below 430 (ACT-English scores below 17) or have not met the Required High School Curriculum in English or did not score at or above the advanced proficiency level on the Georgia High School Graduation Test-English Language Arts will test for initial placement in Learning Support English and reading.
Non-traditional students who do not present minimum SAT or ACT scores will test in all three areas for possible placement.
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 all areas on the Compass Test.

Students who earn scores on the Compass Placement Test of 60 or above in English, 74 or above in reading, or 37 or above in mathematics will have met Learning Support requirements in that area and will be eligible to enroll in the appropriate Core Curriculum courses.

Students who earn scores on the Compass Placement Test of 32-59 in English, 62-73 in reading, or 20-36 in mathematics will have Learning Support requirements in the deficient area or areas and must enroll in the appropriate Learning Support course for at least one semester.

Students who earn scores on the Compass Placement Test below 32 in English, 62 in Reading, or 20 in mathematics cannot be admitted to Georgia Southwestern State University.  However, they may take one retest according to the policy below.

Note:  A student who has Learning Support requirements in all three areas (English, reading, and mathematics) as a result of scores on the Compass Placement Test is not eligible for admission to Georgia Southwestern State University.

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

GSW may accept a student’s Compass scores administered by a USG or non-USG institution or agency as long as GSW gave 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, and fax from a pre-approved fax number.

Retests: Students may take one retest on Compass for initial placement in Learning Support courses.  The retest must be taken prior to registration for classes.  A $30 testing fee is required. 

Students with Non-Traditional Status

Students who apply with the status of “Non-Traditional” are required to take the Compass Placement Test in English, reading, and mathematics before admission to Georgia Southwestern State University is granted, unless they provide adequate SAT or ACT scores. See the section above for admission and placement guidelines.

International Students

Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Compass Placement Test in mathematics only.  See the section above for admission and placement guidelines.

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.

Enrollment in Learning Support

  1. Courses and Credit

    Depending on the scores on the Compass Placement 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 or they reach the number of allowable attempts and are suspended.

    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 first year 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 of transferable credit.
  2. 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 Learning Support areas are required and a student is enrolled as a part-time student 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 Learning Support courses.
    2. In the event that a required Learning Support course is not available, a student may enroll in a course for degree credit if the student has met the prerequisite course requirements, subject to the written approval of the Coordinator of Learning Support.

      The students must demonstrate proficiency in the skill (course content) by fulfilling their Learning Support requirements 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 for 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, including BIOL 2107).

      However, students may enroll for regular university-level courses other than those requiring the Learning Support courses as prerequisites before Learning Support requirements are met.
  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, students enrolled in Learning Support English or Learning Support reading have a maximum of two attempts to fulfill their Learning Support requirements by exiting the course. Students enrolled in Learning Support mathematics have a maximum of three attempts to fulfill their Learning Support requirements by exiting the course.  When the maximum number of attempts is reached without exit, the students will be suspended from Georgia Southwestern for one calendar year.

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

The Exit Test

The testing policy is as follows:

  1. Students may attempt the exit 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 at the end of the semester. The students may attempt the exit Compass Test if they have met and passed course exit requirements. The Exit Retest Policy is as follows:
    • a) Students 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.
    • b) 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.
  3. Exit Scores
    • a) To exit Learning Support reading, a student must score a 74 or higher on the Compass Test.
    • b) To exit Learning Support English, a student must score a 60 or higher on the Compass Test.
    • c) To exit Learning Support mathematics, a student must score a 37 or higher on the Compass Test.

Failure to Pass the Exit Compass Test

If students fail to pass the exit Compass Test in English or reading at the end of the first 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 at the end of the first 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 exit Compass Test again.

Suspension from Learning Support

Learning Support English (ENGL 0099)

Students will be allowed a maximum of two semesters to exit Learning Support English (ENGL 0099).  Failure to exit after the second attempt results in suspension 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).  Failure to exit after the second attempt results in suspension 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).  Failure to exit after the third attempt results in suspension 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 Suspension

At the end of the calendar year of suspension, Learning Support students may return to GSW, but will be required to take the Compass Test in the area or areas of remaining deficiencies before readmission is granted.  Students who have demonstrated acceptable competency in the deficient area or areas at another institution of higher learning may not have to retest and be granted regular admission.  

Student Learning Objectives

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. The Student Learning Objectives for each Learning Support course are listed below.

English:

  1. Students will be able to use correct grammar.
  2. Students will be able to use correct and varied sentence structure.
  3. Students will be able to write coherent and varied paragraphs.
  4. Students will be able to write descriptive, comparative, causal, and argumentative essays.

Mathematics:

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the fundamental operations of arithmetic in the real numbers;
  2. Students will be proficient in the use of the laws of exponents, and the order of operations to simplify algebraic expressions, use formulas, and solve linear equations in one variable, with applications;
  3. Students will learn about the geometry of lines in the plane, and be able to use this to solve simple application problems;
  4. Students will learn how to extend their expertise in solving linear equations in one variable to solving one variable quadratic equations, along with simple applications;
  5. Students will be able to pass the Compass examination.

Reading:

  1. Students will be able to recognize and use context clues to derive meanings of new words in various texts;
  2. Students will be able to analyze both stated and implied main ideas in various texts;
  3. Students will be able to interpret authorial intent in a variety of texts;
  4. Students will be able to interpret inference and identify bias in a variety of texts.            

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 absences 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 enrolled 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 all university-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. 
  4. If students withdraw from Georgia Southwestern State University for any reason after mid-semester in any one semester, that semester will count as one of the two or three semesters allowed for completion of Learning Support requirements.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. Students enrolled in twelve (12) or more hours of courses are considered full-time students. Therefore, each semester of enrollment will count as one of the two or three semesters allowed for exit in all required Learning Support classes. The only exception to this policy for full-time students is a situation in which the required course is not offered a particular semester. In that case, the student needs to see the Coordinator of Learning Support.  Part-time students (fewer than twelve [12] hours per semester) will be allowed the maximum number of semesters per course.
  8. 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.
  9. Students with documented disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss these with their professor during the first week of class.
  10. 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, the Coordinator of Learning Support, or the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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 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 entire time 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 semester for Learning Support English, reading, and mathematics and the end of the second semester for Learning Support mathematics only to indicate that work in the course is satisfactory and needs to continue during the following semester. ALSO, it is used, along with the exit Compass Test score, to indicate that the students have passed the course but failed the exit Compass Test and, therefore, have not exited the course and not met Learning Support requirements in that area. Students need to continue working during the next semester.
  3. Grade of U - The U means unsatisfactory (failing) progress. It is used at the end of the first semester for Learning Support English, reading, and mathematics and the end of the second semester for Learning Support mathematics only 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 number of semesters (attempts). It is used at the end of second semester for Learning Support English and reading and the end of the third semester for Learning Support mathematics 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. 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 only.

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). The second semester enrollment in MATH 0099 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 only for each course.

READ 0099 - Learning Support Reading: A course required of those Learning Support students whose performance on the Compass 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 improv