Welcome to Georgia Southwestern State University. We want all of our students to have an exciting, fun, rewarding and successful enrollment at GSW. This is YOUR campus!!!!! Our campus is also a community, and this community forms our GSW family. As a member of our GSW family, each of us has a role to play in making GSW successful. GSW is not successful if our students are not successful. GSW’s ultimate goals for each student include enhancing your learning skills, helping you to successfully complete your program of study, assisting you in obtaining employment, and helping you to become a responsible citizen. Our University has many faculty, staff members, administrators, and other students who will help you along the way. Please remember that your top priority should be your academic studies. We also have many student organizations, and we hope you will find one, or more, that you can become involved in. Although we already have many outstanding student leaders at GSW, there is always room for more. We want you to succeed and will pledge our commitment to make this happen; but you will also need to do your part. Together we can be a winning combination and your success can be guaranteed. Again, welcome to GSW. We look forward to working with you!!
Student Affairs at Georgia Southwestern State University believes that all students can accomplish success by having access to and inclusion in myriad academic, campus co-curricular, service learning and global community experiences. Student Affairs hope that these experiences will lead our students to become curious and critical thinkers, innovative and ethical leaders and responsible citizens within our global community.
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) was created to complement the mission, goals and priorities of Georgia Southwestern State University. Student Affairs, in collaboration with Academic Affairs and other campus’ offices, serve as equal partners in the educational process and learning experiences for students. The DSA's mission is aimed toward the creation of a campus environment which encourages students to develop autonomy, emotional maturity, values, and appreciation of cultural differences, tolerance, and interpersonal skills through meaningful programs and services as well as through interactions with students, faculty, staff and others. The staff of the Division is committed to working with students, faculty and staff from all areas of the University to build an open, inclusive, intellectual, and collaborative community. The Division is also engaged in developing and maintaining partnerships with external constituents. In carrying out our mission, we are guided by Student Development Theory. This theory views students in a holistic fashion and emphasizes seven primary areas; these seven areas provide a blueprint for the DSA to provide activities, programs, services, facilities and support for all students that:
- Compliment their developmental growth in an holistic perspective,
- Recognize diverse talents and backgrounds while providing unifying common experiences
- Cultivate civility in interactions to enhance intellectual freedom and scholarly debate
- Promote active participation in learning and discovery
- Enhance the preparation of responsible leaders and enlightened citizens for the university and global communities
- Develop respect for the notion of community and supports the desire for group affiliation
- Enhance students' involvement in community, service learning and volunteer opportunities.
The hallmarks of our work with and support of colleagues and students include:
- respect for each person's dignity
- fairness and honesty
- trust and due process
Moreover, the DSA strives for quality, continuous evaluation, improvement, and innovation in its work. In particular, the Division of Student Affairs' mission requires the staff and departments to focus upon:
- Advocacy on behalf of student needs and interests;
- Stewardship in meeting basic safety, health, and welfare needs of students;
- Campus environments in which all factions of our student body participate and become part of a community of learning;
- Educationally-oriented residence halls
- Advising student clubs and organizations, personal counseling, and career counseling
- Orientation programs that reach all entering, new undergraduate students
- Varying co-curricular activities and programs
- Programs that encourage student participation in voluntary, community and public service
- Student government and student leadership programs that are respected and well-supported, among others.
The broad goals of the Division of Student Affairs include the following:
- Supporting the goals and priorities of GSW
- Working with other units to assure that the general welfare of the student body remains a high priority and is safe and protected at all times
- Enhancing the living/learning environment at Georgia Southwestern State University
- Maintaining fiduciary responsibility to the University community
- Assisting students in translating university learning into future contributions to our global community
- Supporting and enhancing student leadership opportunities and programs
- Enhancing the University's ability to respond to students' needs
Philosophy & Expectations
In carrying out our mission, Georgia Southwestern State University's Division of Student Affairs is guided by Student Development Theory. This theory views students in a holistic fashion and employs it as a guiding principle in its delivery of services and programs to students. In doing so, it recognizes the need to understand and know the extent and levels of effectiveness and efficiency of its services and programs.
Of equivalent importance is the need to understand and know about students in general; this includes but is not limited to their: experiences, holistic development, impressions, successes, involvement in campus life, involvement in community and service learning efforts, and perceptions and beliefs about the overall campus environment. In order to determine our levels of success regarding these issues, ongoing and/or periodic evaluation and assessment efforts shall be employed by all departments/units/areas to enhance the Division's influence on students' experiences at Georgia Southwestern State University. Specifically, each department/unit/area will:
- Conduct assessment and evaluation of their services and/or programs on an ongoing basis
- Utilize the CAS [Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education] Standards as a guide and reference for employing assessment and evaluation strategies in their respective areas
- Utilize their assessment and evaluation results to modify programs and services in their respective areas
- Stay abreast of current dialogues, literature, and research about student development and assessment and evaluation in the Student Affairs profession
- Cultivate and monitor compliance with SACS and the Council for the Advance of Standards in Higher Education [CAS] criteria, relative to activities, programs, and services provided via the Division of Student Affairs.