Graduate Catalog 2019-2020 
    
    Dec 12, 2019  
Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

General Academic Policies



Registration

Registration dates are available online in The Scoop on the Registrar’s website.

Academic Honor

At West Georgia, students are expected to achieve and maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and excellence. Not only does academic honesty preserve the integrity of both the student and the institution, but it is also essential in gaining a true education. The West Georgia student, therefore, pledges not to lie, cheat, plagiarize, or steal in the pursuit of his or her studies and is encouraged to report those who do. See the UWG Connection and Student Handbook, www.westga.edu/handbook, Appendix E, Procedure for Appeals of Grade Determination and Academic Dishonesty.

Academic Standards

General Academic Standards apply to all graduate programs, which include both degree and certification programs. Some colleges/school, departments, or programs have additional and/or different academic standards which govern a student’s progress toward program completion. Additional and/or different college/school, department, or program-specific academic standards are listed in this section.

General Academic Standards

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher to remain in Good Academic Standing. The cumulative GPA of 3.0 also applies to undergraduate courses which are sometimes taken during a student’s graduate program. Students must be in Good Academic Standing to be eligible for graduation and admission to Doctoral Candidacy.

Grading System

The quality of work for most courses in a graduate program is indicated by the grades of A, B, C, and F. The quality of work for a dissertation, thesis, practicum, and/or internship is indicated by the grades of S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory).

Other grades which may be used in graduate programs include I (Incomplete), W (Withdrew without Penalty), WF (Withdrew, Failing), WM (Withdrew for Military Service), and V (Audited).

Grades of F, U, I, W, WF, WM, and V will not be accepted toward the program of study in any graduate program. Some departments and programs will not accept C’s as part of a graduate plan of study. See the College, Department, or Program-Specific Academic Standards following the section on Academic Dismissal for additional information.

Academic Standing

Graduate students are expected to maintain Good Academic Standing as they progress toward completing their programs. Students will be evaluated each term on the basis of the cumulative GPA. The academic standing of graduate students is classified as follows:

  1. Good Academic Standing
  2. Academic Probation
  3. Academic Suspension
  4. Academic Dismissal

Good Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing is defined for graduate students as a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Academic Probation

A student whose cumulative GPA drops below 3.0 will begin the next term on Academic Probation. A student must earn a term GPA of 3.0 or higher each term while on Academic Probation. One of three possible actions will be implemented for a student on Academic Probation at the end of each term of enrollment:

  1. A student who earns a term GPA of 3.0 or higher and raises his or her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher will return to Good Academic Standing.
  2. If a student’s term GPA is 3.0 or higher, but the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0, he or she will remain on Academic Probation.
  3. If a student earns a term GPA below 3.0 while on Academic Probation, regardless of the cumulative GPA, he or she will be suspended for one term.

  M.A.T Students

A M.A.T. student in good standing who fails one or more courses, regardless of the term or cumulative GPA, will begin the next term on Academic Probation.  A student must earn a term GPA of 3.0 or higher each term while on Academic Probation.  One of three possible actions will be implemented for a student on Academic Probation at the end of each term enrollment:

  1. A student who earns a term GPA of 3.0 or higher and raises his or her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher will return to Good Academic Standing.
  2. If a student’s term GPA is 3.0 or higher, but the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0, he or she will remain on Academic Probation.
  3. If a student earns a second term GPA below 3.0 (which may or may not include a failing grade(s) while on Academic Probation or while in good standing, regardless of the cumulative GPA, he or she will be suspended for one term.
  4. If a reinstated student earns a term GPA below 3.0 or fails another course, regardless of the cumulative GPA, he or she will be academically dismissed from the University.

Academic Suspension

A student who fails a course, regardless of the term or cumulative GPA, will be suspended from the University for one term.  Also, a student on Academic Probation who earns a term GPA below 3.0 will be suspended from the University for one term. One term is defined as the Fall, Spring, or Summer term. The Summer term includes all sessions; thus, a suspended student is required to sit out all sessions that comprise the Summer term. An Academic Suspension Appeal may only be reviewed through a grade appeal or hardship withdrawal.

The student on Academic Suspension is not guaranteed the opportunity to return to the University. The suspended student must apply for reinstatement to return to the University and program after the one term absence. Reinstatement criteria are established by the college or school which houses the student’s graduate program and are listed in the Reinstatement Procedures section which follows the College, Department, or Program-Specific Standards section of this policy.  A student may only be suspended from a program once.  If a student is suspended a second time, he or she will be academically dismissed from the University.

If a student’s request for reinstatement is approved, the student returns to the University on Academic Probation. One of three possible actions will be implemented for a reinstated student on

Academic Probation at the end of each term of enrollment:

  1. A reinstated student who earns a term GPA of 3.0 or higher and raises his or her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher will return to Good Academic Standing.
  2. If a reinstated student’s term GPA is 3.0 or higher, but the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0, he or she will remain on Academic Probation.
  3. If a reinstated student earns a term GPA below 3.0 while on Academic Probation, regardless of the cumulative GPA, he or she will be academically dismissed from the University.

Academic Dismissal

If a student’s application for reinstatement following a term suspension is denied by the college or school which houses the student’s graduate program, the student will be academically dismissed from the program of study.

A reinstated student on Academic Probation who earns a term GPA below 3.0 will be academically dismissed from the program of study.

A reinstated student on Academic Probation who fails a second course will be dismissed from the program of study.  In other words, graduate students are only able to earn one failing grade before being dismissed from the program of study.

A student who fails two courses, regardless of term or cumulative GPA, will be academically dismissed from the program of study.

An Academic Dismissal may only be reviewed through a grade appeal or hardship withdrawal.

College of Arts and Humanities

Good Academic Standing for a student enrolled in a Non-Degree Initial Certification Program for teacher certification (Art, Music) is defined as a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher.

The following programs do not accept letter grades of C as part of a program of study in the College of Arts and Humanities. A student will be dismissed from the program if he or she earns two C’s or one F.

  • M.A. in English
  • M.A. in History
  • Certificate in Museum Studies
  • Certificate in Public History

College of Education

Good Academic Standing for a student enrolled in a Non-Degree Initial Certification Program for teacher certification is defined as a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher.

Any graduate level student earning a grade of F or WF, regardless of his/her academic standing, will be suspended from the program.

Unsatisfactory Grades

Students Enrolled in Field Experience Courses (Internship/Externship/Practicum)

  1. Students who earn a grade of Unsatisfactory will be placed on Academic Probation, regardless of the cumulative GPA.
  2. Students who earn a second grade of Unsatisfactory, will be dismissed from the program, regardless of the cumulative GPA.
  3. A student who earns a Satisfactory grade the subsequent semester will return to Good Academic Standing.

Students Enrolled in Comprehensive Exam Courses

  1. Students who earn a grade of Unsatisfactory will be placed on Academic Probation, regardless of the cumulative GPA.
  2. A student who earns a Satisfactory grade the subsequent semester will return to Good Academic Standing.
  3. If a student earns a second Unsatisfactory grade while in Good Academic standing, he or she will be placed on Academic Probation.  If a student earns a second Unsatisfactory grade while on Academic Probation, he or she will remain on Academic Probation.
  4. Students required to pass a comprehensive, exit, or National exam to successfully complete their graduate program must pass the identified exam within three attempts.  Those who do not pass within the specified attempts will be dismissed from the program.

Doctoral Students

  1. Doctoral students who earn a grade of Unsatisfactory will be placed on Academic Probation, regardless of the cumulative GPA.
  2. Doctoral students who earn a second grade of Unsatisfactory, will be dismissed from the program of study, regardless of the cumulative GPA.
  3. A student who earns a Satisfactory grade the subsequent semester will return to Good Academic Standing.

College of Science and Mathematics

The following information applies to the M.S. in Applied Computer Science program.

  1. Students earning a second grade of C or one F or one WF or one U will be dismissed.
  2. Only one C in all courses can be applied toward the degree.
  3. Students must complete:
    1. CS 6910  (Project I) by earning a grade of “S”
    2. CS 6920  (Project II) by earning a grade of “S” and participate in an exit interview with computer science graduate faculty

College of Social Sciences

A student will be dismissed from the following programs if he or she earns two C’s or one F.

  • M.A. in Psychology
  • M.A. in Sociology
  • Ph.D. in Psychology: Consciousness and Society

Richards College of Business

Unless specifically stated by the individually listed program no requirements beyond the General Academic Standards are applicable to Richards College of Business graduate programs.

Tanner Health System School of Nursing

A minimum grade of B is required in all courses in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) & Doctorate in Nursing Education (Ed.D.) programs. Students who earn a grade of C, WF, or U in any two courses, or who earn an F in any one course, will be dismissed from the program. Students who earn a C, WF, or U may repeat that course one time only.

Reinstatement Procedures

If a student is suspended from a graduate program for academic reasons, he or she may apply for reinstatement after an absence of one term. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. Because each college or school follows slightly different reinstatement procedures, the student should follow the procedures for the college or school which houses his or her graduate program.

College of Arts and Humanities

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities indicating the justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Dean will solicit the advice and recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and will review the materials submitted.
  3. Upon positive recommendation from the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework, with any provisions established in conjunction with the department.

College of Education

  1. The student may apply for reinstatement by submitting a written letter of request to the COE Graduate Studies Office. The letter of request should clearly address the following two questions:
    1. What were the factors that contributed to your failure to maintain good academic standing?
    2. If reinstated, what is your plan to address those contributing circumstances and ensure academic success?
  2. The COE Graduate Studies Office will determine if the student will be able to graduate with a 3.0 using the courses that the student has remaining.  Once determined, the COE Graduate Studies Office will consult with the chair and/or the graduate faculty of the department and a final decision with regard to the reinstatement will be made.  Reinstatement must be approved three weeks before the first day of classes of the term of reinstatement.
  3. The COE Graduate Studies Office will inform the student of the decision in writing.

College of Science and Mathematics

M.S. in Applied Computer Science

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Chair of the Department of Computer Science indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Department Chair, in consultation with the graduate faculty of the department, will make the final decision in regard to the reinstatement.
  3. In the event the student is reinstated, the student will be allowed to continue his or her coursework, subject to the prevailing course schedule and all provisions established by the Department Chair

M.S. in Biology and M.S. in Mathematics

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Graduate Studies Program Director indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Graduate Studies Program Director will solicit the advice and recommendation of the department and will review the materials submitted.
  3. Upon positive recommendation from the Graduate Studies Program Director, the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework, with any provisions established in conjunction with the department.

College of Social Sciences

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Dean of the College indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Dean will solicit the advice and recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and will review the materials submitted.
  3. Upon positive recommendation from the Director of Graduate Studies, the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework, with any provisions established in conjunction with the department.

Richards College of Business

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Dean indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Dean may solicit the advice and recommendation of other appropriate academic unit(s) and will review the materials submitted.
  3. Upon a positive recommendation from the Dean or their designate the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework with potential additional provisions.

Tanner Health System School of Nursing

  1. The student should submit a letter to the THS SON Associate Dean of Graduate Studies indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The THS SON Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and the graduate faculty will review the submitted materials.
  3. Upon positive recommendation from the Associate Dean and Graduate Faculty Committee, the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework, with any established THS SON provisions.

Change of Program

A graduate student who wishes to transfer from one program to another must apply for admission to the new program and be accepted.

Class Absence

Instruction begins the first day of class. In face-to-face courses, if students fail to attend the first day and have not contacted the instructor to explain their absence, they may be dropped during the Drop/Add Period to make room for other students.

In fully online or hybrid courses each instructor has the authority to specify in the syllabus what qualifies as attendance at the first class meeting and during the Drop/Add Period to drop students who fail to meet that requirement. Instructors may require students to attend a face-to-face meeting, to log in to the online course-delivery system by a specified date, or to take other specified steps at the beginning of the session.

For those courses that meet for the first time after the end of the Drop/Add Period, see the Faculty Handbook.

Class attendance policies are determined by each instructor for his or her courses and may be found in the syllabus. Since course policies differ, students are responsible for understanding attendance requirements for each course. Failure to comply with those requirements may significantly affect grades.

Students are expected to attend each class meeting. Students absent from class while officially representing the University or observing religious holidays should generally not be penalized in the calculation of final grades, as long as they provide advance notice and expeditiously make arrangements to complete any missed work.

University-sponsored activities include but are not limited to the following: intercollegiate athletic competitions; musical/theatrical/art performances or exhibitions associated with a degree program; debate competitions; and research conferences. Activities not considered to be university-sponsored include participation in clubs, even if they are affiliated with UWG, or events associated with social organizations such as fraternities or sororities.

Regardless of the reason for the absence, each student is responsible for the material covered in class, for completing any assignments, and for making specific arrangements with the instructor for any work missed. The degree to which missed work can be made up will depend upon the nature of the work and its intended purpose. Make-up is at the discretion of the instructor.

Any student who must be absent for more than one week of class should notify the Patient Advocates in Health Services, telephone 678-839-6452. The student should also notify the instructor or department.

Course Repeat Policy

If a student is permitted to repeat a course, all grades will be calculated into the cumulative GPA.

In order for the course to be retaken, the student and advisor must:

1. Consult program policies and handbooks to determine if course repeats are permitted

2. Ensure course number and name are the same as the previous course.

Course Requirements for Program Completion

Although Academic Advisors provide guidance, it is the student’s responsibility to complete all requirements published in his or her published Program of Study. Any exception to the published Program of Study must be authorized in writing by the College/School Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Program Director.

Courses with 4000/5000 numbers can be used by undergraduates or graduates. Graduate students enrolled in these courses must register at the 5000 level.  Graduate students enrolled in 4000/5000 courses must complete assignments that place greater cognitive demands on them than what would be expected of undergraduates. At least half of the courses in a Program of Study for a master’s degree student must be chosen from 6000 level courses. Specialist and doctoral students may need the permission of their Graduate Program Director and Academic Advisor to take 6000 level courses.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Applicant Records

Notification of Student Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within forty-five days of the day that the University receives the request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person whether volunteering for or employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the Institute has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of West Georgia to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605

Applicant Records

Access to applicant records is strictly controlled and governed by University policy. These records are treated as confidential.

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