Overview

OVERVIEW

GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Georgia Southwestern State University is a senior unit of the University System of Georgia. The University was founded in 1906 as the Third District Agricultural and Mechanical School. In 1926, it was granted a charter authorizing the school to offer two years of college work and to change the name to Third District Agricultural and Normal College. The name was changed to Georgia Southwestern College in 1932, at which time it was placed under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In 1964, the College became a senior unit of the University System, conferring its first baccalaureate degrees in June of 1968. Graduate work was added to the curriculum in June of 1973. In July 1996, the Board of Regents authorized state university status, and the institution became Georgia Southwestern State University.

Georgia Southwestern State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and specialists degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Georgia Southwestern State University..

The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (2010 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036, telephone number 202-466-7496) and all initial teacher education programs are recognized and approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (http://www.gapsc.com).

Accreditation for the Master in Nursing has applied for with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); American Association of Colleges of Nursing; One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530; Washington, DC 20036; Phone: (202) 463-6930; Fax: (202) 785-8320.

The School of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education and has been earned by less than five percent of the world's business schools. AACSB International is located at 777 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730 USA, telephone number 813-769-6500 and fax number 813-769-6559 (www.aacsb.edu).

MISSION STATEMENT

Georgia Southwestern State University cultivates excellence in learning and teaching that encourages intellectual, personal, and social growth for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Georgia Southwestern State University is a comprehensive state university within the University System of Georgia that offers a full range of bachelor degree programs, along with selected master’s and specialist degree programs.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

Georgia Southwestern State University embraces diversity as an integral part of being a caring community of lifelong learners. We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse, accessible, civil and supportive campus. GSW provides an environment and curriculum which affirm pluralism of beliefs and opinions, including diversity of religion, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, age and socioeconomic class.

The University will implement and adhere to policies and procedures which discourage harassment and other behaviors that infringe upon the freedom and respect that every individual deserves.

Confidentiality of Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Georgia Southwestern State University is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, which is designed to protect students' rights in regard to education records maintained by the institution. Under the Act, students have the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review education records maintained by the institution that pertain to you;
  • The right to challenge the content of records (except grades which can only be challenged through the Grade Appeal Process) on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or violation of your privacy or other rights; and
  • The right to control disclosures from your education records with certain exceptions.

Any student who is or has been in attendance at Georgia Southwestern State University has the right to inspect and review his or her educational records within a reasonable period of time (not to exceed 45 days) after making a written request. However, the student shall not have access to:

Financial records of parents.

Confidential letters of recommendation placed in record prior to January 1, 1975.

Letters of recommendation concerning admission, application for employment or honors for which the student has voluntarily signed a waiver.

Directory information will be treated as public information and be generally available on all students and former students, at the discretion of the university. Directory information includes the student's name; telephone number; major field of study; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; level, and full or part time status. Participation in officially recognized sports; height, weight, age, hometown and general interest items of members of athletic teams is also included in Directory Information.

Requests for Education Records should be made in writing to the Registrar, Georgia Southwestern State University. "Education Records" means generally any record maintained by or for Georgia Southwestern State University and containing information directly related to the students' academic activities.

Students who challenge the correctness of student educational records shall file a written request for amendment with the Registrar. The student shall also present to the Registrar copies of all available evidence relating to the data or material being challenged. The Registrar shall forward the information to the custodian of the record who will consider the request and shall notify the student in writing within 15 business days whether the request will be granted or denied. During that time, any challenge may be settled informally between the student or the parents of a dependent student and the custodian of the records, in consultation with other appropriate University officials. If an agreement is reached it shall be in writing and signed by all parties involved. A copy of such agreement will be maintained in the student's record. If an agreement is not reached informally or, if the request for amendment is denied, the student shall have the right to challenge through the Grievance Procedure outlined in the Student Handbook.

Release of protected information in the student's educational record without consent will be allowed to:

  • Institutional personnel who have a legitimate educational interest.
  • Officials of other schools where the student seeks to enroll or transfer credit. Information for students in joint degree or dual degree programs will be released as requested by participating institutions. Efforts will be made to notify the student of the release of such information.
  • Representatives of Federal agencies authorized by law to have access to education records, and state education authorities.
  • Appropriate persons in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid.
  • State and local officials to whom information must be released pursuant to a state statue adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
  • Organizations conducting studies for the institution.
  • Accrediting organizations.
  • Parents of a dependent student, as determined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.
  • Persons necessary in emergency situations to protect health and safety.
  • Persons designated in subpoenas or court orders.

If a request for Education Records is not covered by the Annual Disclosure Statement provided by the Registrar, the written request for release of information should be submitted to the Registrar and contains the following information:

  • Specific records to be released
  • Reasons for such release
  • To whom records are to be released
  • Date
  • Signature of the student

Records will be released in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. However, reasonable efforts will be made to notify the student in advance of compliance.

Students have the right to obtain copies of official transcripts provided all financial obligations to the University have been met. Students will be charged at the prevailing rate for each certified transcript obtained. Copies of other information in the student's education record will be provided at a cost of $0.25 per page of copy.

Students who feel that their rights have been violated under the provisions of the Family Educational and Privacy Act should write to the following office: Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201.

Georgia has an Open Records Act. All records kept by Georgia Southwestern State University, except those protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, are subject to public open records requests. Requests for public open records should be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources, Georgia Southwestern State University.