- REGISTRATION AND ACADEMIC INFORMATION NETWORK (RAIN)
- REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES
- STUDENT ACADEMIC LOAD
- PART-TIME STUDENTS
- CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
- PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT
- MILITARY CREDIT
- ADDING OR DROPPING COURSES
- WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE
- WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY
- ACADEMIC RENEWAL
- ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLA
- GRADING SYSTEM AND QUALITY POINTS
- GRADE POINT AVERAGE
- POLICY ON REPEATING COURSES
- CLASS RANK
- ACADEMIC HONORS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
- ACADEMIC STATUS: GOOD STANDING, WARNING, PROBATION, SUSPENSION
- GRADUATE ACADEMIC STATUS
- GRADUATION WITH HONORS FOR UNDERGRADUATES
- FINAL EXAMINATIONS
- CATALOG FOR GRADUATION EVALUATION
- APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION
- TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS
- TRANSIENT STUDENTS
- ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY
- STUDENT MEDICAL/MENTAL HEALTH WITHDRAWALS
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 view grades for their courses each semester.
Registration for classes is the process of seeing the faculty advisor, selecting the
courses appropriate for the degree program, arranging these into a schedule to fit available time slots, signing up for these classes with the advisor or online through RAIN and paying fees. The Schedule of Classes available online through RAIN each term lists all courses being offered. Students may change their class schedule or register late during the first three days of class each semester.
A student is considered to be carrying a full load if enrolled for twelve or more semester hours of academic credit. A student is considered to be registered for an overload if enrolled in more than eighteen course credit hours.
The full-time load for a graduate student is nine semester hours credit in academic subjects. A graduate student is considered to be registered for an overload if enrolled in more than fifteen course credit hours.
A student must have the approval of his or her advisor, complete the appropriate form, and then send it to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for final approval in order to register for an overload. The following cases usually qualify:
- Undergraduate students on the Dean’s List or President’s List for the preceding term may register for as much as twenty-one hours credit.
- A student enrolled in certain curricula which require an overload for a given semester may register for the specified hours of credit.
Students who are enrolled for less than a full load are classified as part-time students. These students may be working toward college degrees or they may be taking courses for self-improvement. Part-time students are required to satisfy the minimum academic standards.
A student who is auditing a course is expected to attend classes, but they are not required to take examinations or meet course requirements. No credit is given for audits. In the event of overloaded classes, students enrolled for credit will be given preference. Fees for attending class on an audit basis are calculated at the same rate as regular academic fees. A student must have permission from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to audit a course.
Credit by examination is offered for a number of courses at the University, e.g. CLEP, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Prior Learning Assessment. Credit by examination is listed as such on the transcript along with the course number, title, and hours of credit; however, no grade is assigned and the credit is not included in computing the grade point average. Credit by examination is limited to ten hours in a discipline and thirty hours in the University. Credit by examination is usually earned at the time the student enters the University. See the Registrar for more information.
Credit for prior learning, sometimes called experiential learning, is assessed and awarded in selected undergraduate degree programs. The decision to assess and award prior learning for credit rests with the academic unit that houses the program who must notify the Office of Academic Affairs and the Director of Prior Learning Assessment in writing if prior learning assessment is requested. No program will assess and award prior learning credit unless no CLEP test, departmental challenge exam, or other approved testing option is available. Students may not apply for prior learning assessment in a course in which they have been previously enrolled, taken a departmental examination for credit, or taken a CLEP test for credit.
Students wishing to explore credit for prior learning should contact the Director of Prior Learning Assessment, who will advise them of whether credit is possible in their student programs of study. Before students may apply for prior learning credit, they must register for PLA 2000 and receive a grade of S in the course. A fee will be charged for each assessment of evidence of prior learning. Appeals must be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs within 30 days of the student being notified of the results of their prior learning assessment. The total number of credit hours awarded for advanced placement (AP), CLEP, departmental examination, International Baccalaureate (IB), and prior learning assessment (PLA) cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours.
Georgia Southwestern State University provides service members with an option to petition for credit for military education/training when deemed applicable to a degree program. Credit for prior military experience and training is determined on an individual basis, following the guidelines published by the American Council on Education for the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students should submit official documentation of military education/training (AARTS, SMART, or Community College of the Air Force transcript) to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation of degree-related training. Students should see the Office of the Registrar for additional information.
Following registration for the term, students may add or drop courses during the published add/drop period.
- Students should 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.
- Students may add or drop a Learning Support course only with the approval of the Coordinator of Learning Support Programs. Students enrolled in both Learning Support classes and degree credit courses cannot drop the Learning Support courses without dropping the degree credit courses as well.
- Students receiving financial aid should discuss dropping courses with a financial aid counselor, since dropping courses can negatively impact financial aid eligibility.
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.
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 and the GSW Homepage and in 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.
- 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 approximately 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).
- Students with Learning Support requirements who are enrolled in both Learning
Support courses and degree credit courses may not withdraw from the required Learning Support courses with a “W” unless they also withdraw from the degree credit courses.
- Students receiving financial aid should discuss withdrawing from courses with a financial aid counselor, because withdrawing from courses can negatively impact your financial aid eligibility.
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.
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 Resource Center/First Year Advocate or faxed to 229-931-2277 to initiate the official "Withdrawal from the University" process.
- 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 initiated by the student 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 Resources Center/First Year Advocate. Failure to withdraw from the University following the proper procedure will result in grades of F in all courses, and no refund will be given.
The Academic Renewal policy allows degree‐seeking students who have experienced academic difficulty at Georgia Southwestern State University to have one opportunity to make a fresh start after an absence of three calendar years. Students must first apply for readmission following the readmission application procedure. Once readmitted, a student will have one calendar year to apply for Academic Renewal. To apply for Academic Renewal, students should send a written request to the Registrar, who will then review the student’s academic record to determine if the student could benefit from academic renewal. If the student is granted Academic Renewal, a new grade point average is established according to the following guidelines:
- A Renewal GPA is begun when the student receives approval for Academic Renewal and includes all course work completed following the re‐enrollment.
- The Academic Renewal GPA will be used for determining academic standing and eligibility for graduation.
- All previously attempted course work continues to be recorded on the student's official transcript.
- Credit the student completed with a grade of C or higher prior to readmission, either at Georgia Southwestern or at another accredited institution can be counted toward degree requirements, but will not count toward the renewed GPA.
- To earn a degree, a student must meet the Georgia Southwestern State University residency requirements after acquiring Academic Renewal status.
- At least 50% of work toward a baccalaureate degree must be completed after the granting of Academic Renewal status for a student to be eligible for honors at graduation.
- Academic credit for previously completed course work including previous transfer course work will be retained only for courses in which an A, B, or C grade has been earned.
- Retained grades are not calculated in a Renewal GPA. Such credit is considered in the same context as transfer credit, credit by examination, and courses with grades of "S".
- Applicability of retained credit to degree requirements will be determined by the degree requirements currently in effect at the time Academic Renewal status is conferred on the student. Specific Georgia Southwestern State University program regulations must also be met.
- A student can be granted Academic Renewal status only one time.
- Any scholastic suspensions that occurred in the past shall remain recorded on the student's permanent record.
- The Renewal GPA begins with the semester following re-enrollment. If a student is denied Academic Renewal and subsequently does not re-enroll, he/she may resubmit an Academic Renewal application after no less than one year has passed since the initial petition.
- The granting of Academic Renewal does not supersede financial aid policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students should discuss how retaking courses affects financial aid with a financial aid counselor.
- The granting of Academic Renewal does not supersede the admissions requirements of certain programs, e.g., teacher education and nursing, which require a specific minimum grade point average based upon all course work.
Students should contact the Registrar’s office for more information about applying for Academic Renewal.
Former students who have not attended the University for one calendar year must complete a readmission form through the Registrar's Office and pay a $25 re-application fee. Students who were academically suspended at the end of their last term of enrollment must obtain the approval of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs to return. Students who have attended other colleges or universities must submit official transcripts from those institutions before the readmission can be processed. The Readmission form can be found in the Registrar’s office or online at Re-Admission Application
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 within the first week of class. 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.
Students who attend none of the class meetings of a course 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 and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. Students who do not login/participate in the online class by the instructor deadline will be withdrawn from the course and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. It is the responsibility for the faculty member to document such absences.
Instructors must take roll during the first week of classes, until final rolls are available on RAIN. The faculty member will submit the verification of enrollment information. Students will be contacted by the Registrar through RADAR email and given a deadline to respond before they are administratively withdrawn from the class. No refunds will be issued for nonparticipation withdrawals unless it results in a complete withdrawal from the University.
|Grade Achievement||Quality Points|
|B Above Average||3|
|S Satisfactory Performance||0|
|U Unsatisfactory Performance||0|
|K Credit by Examination||0|
|WF Withdrawn Failing||0|
|WM Withdrawn for Military Purposes||0|
|NR No grade reported by instructor||0|
A grade of "I" indicates that the student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his/her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course during the term scheduled. The individual faculty member assigning the "I" has the responsibility for documenting the work to be completed. This documentation is to be filed with the academic dean or department chair at the time grades are submitted.
An incomplete grade must be removed before the end of the following term (including summer term); otherwise, the grade will be recorded as F. Requests for an extension of an additional term must be made by the instructor and approved by the Dean/Chair and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. 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.
The grade point average is the ratio of quality points earned to the number of credit hours for which the student is accountable. The grade point average will be calculated for each student at the end of each term and will be printed on the transcript as follows:
- The Semester Grade Point Average is the ratio of quality points earned to credit hours attempted that semester in courses numbered 1000 or above. Grades earned in courses taken at other institutions, including transient and transfer courses, are not included in the Semester Grade Point Average.
- The Cumulative/Institution Grade Point Average for undergraduate students is the ratio of quality points earned to credit hours attempted in courses numbered 1000 or above for which a final grade has been earned. Normally, a course is counted only once for credit hours. For this type of course, the latest grade earned replaces all previous grades and determines the quality points assigned. A grade of WF is treated as an F in calculating grade point averages.
- The Cumulative Grade Point Average for graduate students is the ratio of quality points earned in all courses to credit hours of all courses attempted.
Normally, a course is counted only one time for credit hours. If a student wants to repeat an undergraduate course that falls into this category, he/she may do so with the understanding that the latest grade earned replaces all previous grades and that all courses taken will be listed on the student’s academic transcript. The number of quality points awarded and credit hours earned is determined by this final grade. If a student wants to repeat a graduate 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). A student should discuss how repeating courses effects financial aid with a financial aid counselor.
Undergraduate students are classified once each year. Class rank is based on semester hours of credit earned. Minimum semester hours of academic credit for the different class ranks are as follows:
Freshmen - Less than 30 hours
Sophomore - 30 hours
Junior - 60 hours
Senior - 90 hours or more
During any semester, a student who completes a load of at least 12 semester hours of credit and earns an average grade of 4.00 will be named to the President’s List.
During any semester, a student who completes a load of at least 12 semester hours of credit and earns an average grade of 3.50 through 3.99 will be named to the Dean’s List.
Academic Achievement List
During any semester, a student is on the Academic Achievement List if he/she is in Academic Good Standing, has previously earned at least 12 hours of credit at Georgia Southwestern, is enrolled in 3 to 11 hours of credit, and earns a semester GPA of 3.5 or better.
A grade point average of 2.00 (C average) is required for graduation from Georgia Southwestern State University. (Some curricula may require a higher average.) Students whose performance is below this level exhibit academic deficiencies. To remain in Good Academic Standing students must maintain a 2.0 total institutional grade point average.
The grade point average and academic status are determined each term and appear on the academic transcript. The categories used by the University are Good Academic Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, Restricted Enrollment, and Learning Support.
Good Academic Standing
Students will be placed in Good Academic Standing if their total institutional GPAs are 2.0 or higher.
Students whose GPAs fall below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Warning and will have advising holds placed on their accounts, requiring them to meet with their academic advisers to register for classes or make changes to their schedules. They will have one semester to raise their GPAs to 2.0 and return to Good Academic Standing. They are also encouraged to take advantage of supplemental instruction, academic assistance, and other resources offered through the Academic Resource Center. Students who do not return to Good Academic Standing by the end of the term are placed on Academic Probation.
Freshmen who are placed on Academic Warning at the end of their first semester of enrollment must successfully complete UNIV 1001-Pathways to College Success during the following spring or fall semester, whichever comes first.
Students are placed on Academic Probation if they fail to return to Good Academic Standing after one semester of Academic Warning. Students on Academic Probation will have one term to return to Good Academic Standing and will have advising holds placed on their accounts, requiring them to meet with their academic advisors to register for classes or to make changes to their schedules. They are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of supplemental instruction, academic assistance, and other resources offered by the Academic Resource Center. Students who do not return to Good Academic Standing by the end of the term are placed on Academic Suspension.
Students are placed on Academic Suspension if they fail to return to Good Academic Standing after two semesters with GPAs below 2.0. Students on Academic Suspension have two options, stay out of school for one semester or choose to remain in school with Restricted Enrollment status, if eligible (see below).
Students who choose suspension will be suspended for one semester and may not register for courses at GSW. Courses taken at other institutions while a student is on Academic Suspension from Georgia Southwestern will not be accepted in transfer. Students suspended for academic reasons may appeal to return after one semester (see policy below).
The maximum number of suspensions allowed is two. At the third suspension, the student will be suspended from GSW for a minimum of one calendar year. Normally, students will not be reinstated after the third suspension. However, students may appeal their dismissal in writing to
the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Appeals relative to dismissal after the third suspension will be considered on a case by case basis with no guarantee of readmission.
Students who do not return to school after sitting out for one academic year must apply for readmission with the Registrar’s Office and must write a letter of appeal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Restricted Enrollment is the only alternative available to students on Academic Suspension. Suspended students may appeal to remain in school by writing to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. If granted Restricted Enrollment status, students will enroll primarily in repeat courses and ACSK 1100, Academic Skills. Not returning to Good Academic Standing by the end of the Restricted Enrollment term will result in an additional suspension for the student, and the student will remain out of school for a minimum of one semester.
Students accepted for Restricted Enrollment will sign an agreement indicating the conditions of their eligibility to return. The Associate Vice President will set the terms of the student’s return and the contract will be signed by the student, the student’s advisor and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students on Restricted Enrollment may not make changes to their schedules without the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs and the student’s advisor.
The Restricted Enrollment status is not available to Learning Support students or transient students.
Readmission after Suspension
Students on Academic Suspension who wish to return to school must write a letter of appeal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs requesting readmission. Each request for readmission will be considered individually, and nothing in this section should be interpreted to mean that readmission is automatic.
Readmitted students will have advising holds placed on their accounts and must see their advisors to register for classes or to make changes to their schedules until they return to Good Academic Standing. Students returning from the first suspension must take ACSK 1100, Academic Skills, during their first term of enrollment unless credit has been earned for this course already. Students who have been out of school more than a year must also complete a readmission application for the Registrar’s Office.
Learning Support Policies
A student who is taking one or two Learning Support courses will be given this status until the student exits all required Learning Support courses. The policies of the Board of Regents will have precedence over the policies of GSW concerning Academic Suspension. Learning Support Students are not eligible for Restricted Enrollment status.
Readmission of Students on Suspension
A student on Academic Suspension who wishes to be readmitted to the University must write a letter to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs requesting to be readmitted. The letter must include all factors which the student wishes to be considered. Each request for readmission will be considered individually and nothing in this section should be interpreted to mean that readmission is automatic. Students returning from the first suspension must take ACSK 1100, Academic Skills, during their first term of re-enrollment.
Readmission may be denied if, in the professional judgment of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student cannot perform satisfactory college level work.
Any student requesting readmission who has been out for one calendar year or longer must complete a readmission form available online through the Student Forms link found on the GSW Homepage.
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. See the current GSW Graduate Bulletin for additional information.
In order to be eligible to graduate with honors from Georgia Southwestern State University, the following two requirements must be met:
- A student must earn at least 30 semester hours of academic credit at Georgia Southwestern State University.
- The grade point for honors must be an average of the final grades earned on work completed at all accredited colleges and universities attended and must fall into one of the following categories:
Graduation cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.50
Graduation magna cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.70.
Graduation summa cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.90.
Only candidates for baccalaureate degrees are considered for academic honors at graduation.
A student who has three final examinations scheduled for the same day may request a change of date for one final through the Office of Academic Affairs. Times and dates for final examinations may not be changed to accommodate students' travel plans. The final examination schedule is available in the published schedule of classes available through RAIN.
Under the guidance of the academic advisor, a student may select to be evaluated for
graduation from any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during the time of enrollment provided the enrollment has been continuous. Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment. Students changing majors will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect at the time of the change or any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment. Each student is responsible for determining the appropriate catalog (curriculum sheet) to be used for academic advisement and for evaluation of graduation requirements. Catalog selection applies only to the course requirements of that catalog. All other academic procedures and graduation requirements must be satisfied according to regulations in effect at the time of graduation.
Students desiring further information on the selection of an appropriate catalog (curriculum sheet) may contact their major department head/academic dean or the Registrar.
The application for graduation for Fall Semester must be completed on or before December 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. The application for graduation for Spring Semester must be completed on or before May 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. Students who plan to graduate at completion of Summer Term must apply on or before September 1 prior to the year in which the degree is expected. Application forms for graduation are available in the Registrar's Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.
Apply no later than the date below of the prior year:
Each student admitted to a graduate program must file an application for graduation one semester prior to completing degree requirements. Application deadlines are as follows and application forms are available in the Registrar’s Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.
Apply no later than the date below of the prior semester:
Alumni and Former Students
Georgia Southwestern State University and Credentials eScrip-Safe have partnered together to provide former students and alumni with access to an online ordering system through a secure website. Please login to https://iwantmytranscript.com/gsw to order your transcript.
You can order your transcripts using Visa or Mastercard. Georgia Southwestern State University will process transcript orders during normal working hours Monday through Friday. When possible, requests should be made well in advance of the date when the transcript is needed. Normally, transcripts will be sent from Georgia Southwestern State University within 48 hours after a request is received; however, additional time is required during peak periods.
The secure website will include instructions for placing your transcript order. Georgia Southwestern State University charges $5.00 per transcript. eScrip-Safe charges a $2.25 processing fee for each recipient (transcript addressee.) Order updates will be emailed to you, and you can also check your order status and history online.
Note: If you attended GSW prior to Fall 1997 you may submit your request through Credentials eScrip-Safe’s Transcripts on Demand, however, GSW will not be able to submit your request electronically. Your transcript will need to be mailed to the recipient or picked up in the Registrar's Office, Sanford Hall, Room 210.
Current students can request a transcript to be sent electronically, mailed or for pick up by using RAIN.
- Access and login to RAIN
- Select “Student Services and Financial Aid” Tab
- Select “Student Records”
- Select “Order Official Transcript”
- Select “Place a Transcript Order”
A new window will open up taking you to Transcripts on Demand. There you will follow the instructions to complete your transcript order.
The secure website will include instructions for placing your transcript order. Georgia Southwestern State University charges $5.00 per transcript. eScrip-Safe charges a $2.25 processing fee for each recipient (transcript addressee.) Order updates will be emailed to you and you can also check your order status and history online. Normally, transcripts will be sent from Georgia Southwestern State University within 48 hours after a request is received; however, additional time is required during peak periods.
Ordering Transcripts Directly from GSW
GSW Alumni and current students may request an official transcript in person, through the mail or by fax. The request must be made in writing to the Registrar's Office at least 48 hours in advance. Requests must include:
- Student's full name (include maiden or previous names)
- GSW ID#
- An approximation of the dates attended
- A complete mailing address, fax number, or email address of recipient (if sent electronically)
- Student’s signature
- $5.00 processing fee
Transcript Request forms are available in the Registrar’s Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.
In order to avoid any delays, please be sure to include all names you may have used while attending GSW.
Students wishing to attend another institution as a transient student should complete the paperwork at least one month before the desired admission date. Transient permission forms are available online through the Student Forms available on the GSW Homepage and RAIN Students should complete the transient permission form with their advisor to be sure the classes will transfer into their curriculum program at GSW. A GSW student attending another institution as a transient student is responsible for requesting a final transcript to be sent directly to the Registrar's Office at the end of the semester. After receipt of an official transcript indicating a passing grade for the approved transient course(s), the information will be added to the record. Degree candidates may earn credit through correspondence or through transient credit, but not more than ten hours in the major discipline and not more than 30 total hours of credit earned in this manner will count toward degree requirements.
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
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 as 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 includes, but is not limited to, asking someone to write part or all of an assignment, copying someone else's work (published or unpublished), inadequately documenting research, downloading material from electronic sources without appropriate documentation, or representing others' works or ideas as one’s own.
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 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, on-line exams, etc.
Falsification includes, but is not limited to the fabrication of citations or sources, of experimental or survey results, and of computer or other data.
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.
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’s syllabus policies will establish how the violation will be handled in his or her own classroom if the student does not contest that a violation has occurred. In addition, the faculty member’s syllabus policies will establish how the violation will be handled in his or her own classroom if the Academic Integrity Board confirms that a violation has occurred..
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, evidence that a violation has occurred, 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 violation will be filed, but no action will be taken by the University unless the student chooses to dispute that a violation has occurred. If a student disputes that a first violation of this policy has occurred or the student has more than one violation on file, the Student Conduct Officer will call for a hearing of the Academic Integrity Board, and the faculty member may be asked to submit further documentation of the violation. All hearings of the Academic Integrity Board will be held in accordance with the due process procedures as specified in GSW’s Conduct Code.
The Academic Integrity Board’s first responsibility in a hearing is to determine if a violation of the academic integrity policy has occurred. In cases where a student is exonerated of accusations of academic dishonesty by the Academic Integrity Board, the student may appeal the faculty member’s penalty through the regular grade appeal process. If the Academic Integrity Board determines the student to be in violation of the academic integrity policy and it is the student’s first violation, no further action will be taken by the Student Conduct Officer. If the Academic Integrity Board determines the student to be in violation of the academic integrity policy and the Student Conduct Officer informs the Board that the student has previously violated the academic integrity policy, then the Board may consider recommending further sanctions. Recommended sanctions may be 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, or may include probation, suspension, or expulsion. The Academic Integrity Board will provide in writing its recommendations on the case and sanction recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five business days of the hearing.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the faculty member, who referred the case, of the Academic Integrity Board’s recommendations, including any University sanctions imposed, within five business days, excepting any days when the Vice President of Academic Affairs is travelling on university business. After this communication with the faculty, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will issue the final outcome letter to the student, with a copy to the faculty, as well as any other appropriate academic records file, within five (5) days following the communication with the faculty. If sanctions include suspension or expulsion, the student’s Department Chair 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 Conduct Policy. A student has the right to appeal the Vice President of Academic Affairs’ decision to the President of the University.
For the provision of an academic learning environment and the protection of students and the total University community, the University has adopted a policy for the administrative medical/mental health withdrawals of students by the Vice President for Student Affairs. In making this decision, the Vice President for Student Affairs may consult with the Director of Counseling Services, the University physician, the Director of the University's Health Services, the Director of the University's Public Safety Office, Director of Human Resources, other appropriate university officials [such as Residence Life staff, Dean/Asst. Dean of Students, faculty, etc.], as well as with the student's parents/legal guardians [if under age 18-FERPA based], and the student's physician and appropriate health professionals [in the form of medical records documentation].
The Vice President for Student Affairs may administratively withdraw the student when it is determined that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional or psychological health condition which: (l) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others or (2) causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel or (3) causes the student to be unable to meet institutional requirements for admission and continued enrollment, as defined in the Student Conduct Code and other publications of the University.
Except in emergency situations, a student shall, upon request, be accorded an appropriate hearing prior to the final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the University. The request for this hearing should be made, in writing, to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Vice of President Student Affairs/Chairperson of GSW’s Student Health and Behavioral Issues Response Team (SHBIRT) will arrange a hearing with the SHBIRT within 5 class days of receiving the request for a hearing. The student will be notified of the decision within five class days following the hearing. If the student wishes to appeal the decision received, he/she must submit the appeal, in writing, to the President’s Office within five  days of receiving the notification. The President may reject or accept the appeal. If the appeal is accepted, the President may independently handle the review or appoint a committee to conduct the review. If the President independently handles the review, the review should be completed within five class days following receipt of the student's written appeal, and a final decision must be rendered in writing within five class days after the conclusion of the review. If the President appoints a committee to conduct the review, it shall occur within ten  class days upon receipt of the appeal. The committee should be composed of three members of the faculty of the institution, or the President may utilize the services of an appropriate existing committee. This committee shall review all facts and circumstances connected with the case and shall within five class days make its findings and report thereon to the President. After consideration of the committee's report, the President shall, within five days of receiving the committee’s recommendation, make a decision, and notify the student, in writing. The only exceptions to the noted time frames are when the President is travelling and/or away from campus at the time the appeal arrives in the President’s office. This decision from the appeal to the President’s office shall be final so far as the institution is concerned.