The University of West Georgia is a coeducational, residential, liberal arts institution located in Carrollton. A state university in the University System of Georgia, it enrolls students from most counties in Georgia as well as from other states and many foreign countries. Enrollment at West Georgia reached an all-time high with 13,733 students in the 2018 fall semester.
The University is situated on the western side of Carrollton, the county seat of Carroll County and one of Georgia’s fastest growing industrial areas. Carrollton, an hour’s drive from Atlanta, serves a regional population of more than 114,500 as a center for retail shopping, medical and educational services, entertainment and recreational activities, and financial services.
The University of West Georgia originated in 1906, the date of the founding of the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School, one of twelve such institutions established by the State of Georgia between 1906 and 1917. Twenty-five years later, Carrollton’s A&M School became West Georgia College, a junior college established by an act of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Dr. Irvine S. Ingram, who had been principal of the A&M School, was named the institution’s first president.
In 1939, the College was authorized by the Board of Regents to add a three-year program in elementary education. In 1957, the institution was authorized to confer the B.S. degree in education, making it a four-year senior college unit of the University System of Georgia. Two years later, West Georgia College added the Bachelor of Arts degree in the fields of English, history, and mathematics.
During the following years, West Georgia College became one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the South. From an enrollment of 576 in 1957, the institution’s student body now numbers 13,733.
In 1967, the Board of Regents authorized the initiation of a graduate program at the master’s level.
In 1983, the Board of Regents approved the External Degree Program as a cooperative effort between Dalton College and West Georgia. Since its inception, close to 400 degrees have been conferred through the center.
The Board of Regents in 1988 approved opening UWG Newnan, a joint effort involving the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and other business, civic, and educational leaders in the area. In 2013, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to approve the acquisition of the real property at 80 W. Jackson Street, the site of the historic Newnan Hospital facility. UWG began serving students from this new site in summer 2015. With an enrollment of just under 1,000 students, the UWG Newnan provides a core curriculum, as well as full bachelor and master’s programs, and dual enrollment for high school students.
In June 1996, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia awarded the institution university status and officially changed the name of West Georgia College to the State University of West Georgia, and in 2005 it became the University of West Georgia.
The University has seen significant growth in recent years. Two phases of residential housing provide variety to on-campus students including the apartment-style Center Pointe Suites, the Oaks and the East Village Dining Hall, and Bowdon Hall. The Campus Center (student recreational facility), University Bookstore, and the Visual Arts Building provide more access to students, while the Coliseum and the Athletic Operations Building offer space for UWG’s expanding Athletics program. The gross asset value of the University’s facilities is proximately $300 million. The University has grown to nearly 645 acres.
Accreditations and Affiliations
The University of West Georgia is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, education specialists, and doctorate 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 the University of West Georgia.
The purpose of publishing the Commission’s address and contact numbers is to enable interested constituents (1) to learn about the accreditation status of the institution, (2) to file a third-party comment at the time of the institution’s decennial review, or (3) to file a complaint against the institution for alleged non-compliance with a standard or requirement). However, normal inquiries about the institution, such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc., should be addressed directly to the institution and not to the Commission’s office.
Accreditations also include the following:
AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Georgia Board of Nursing
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Music
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
National Association of Schools of Theatre
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Organizations in which the University holds institutional membership include the American Council on Education, the American Chemical Society, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning, the Council for Undergraduate Research, the National Association for Business Teacher Education, the National Association of Fellowships Advisors and the National Collegiate Honors Council.
The University of West Georgia’s award winning campus is a unique blend of old and new. Boasting abundant trees, shrubs, and flowers, the campus is dotted with structures of the early 1900s as well as buildings exemplifying the most contemporary modes of architecture.
Front Campus Drive, a three-block-long expanse of rolling hills shaded by scores of towering oak, elm, and maple trees, features historic structures such as Kennedy Interfaith Chapel and Bonner House, two of the oldest buildings on campus. In 1964, after the Chapel was moved to the campus, the late Robert F. Kennedy dedicated it to the memory of his brother, the late President John F. Kennedy. The Bonner House, constructed in 1843 as a plantation home, is the oldest building on campus. The frame colonial structure has served various purposes through the years.
A modern academic complex composed of a renovated library, the Technology-enhanced Learning Center, as well as social science, humanities and math-physics buildings lies beyond Front Campus Drive. Other buildings in the area include the Richards College of Business; the three-story University Community Center; the Campus Center, which boasts a full gym, indoor track, and rock-climbing wall; the Townsend Center for Performing Arts; The Tanner Health System School of Nursing; The Biology Building; and the Visual Arts Building.
UWG also features some of the region’s most impressive athletic facilities. The Coliseum, with a capacity of 6,500 for athletic events, has hosted concerts, graduations and community events.
University Stadium, a 9,500-seat home to UWG football, anchors the university’s Athletic Complex. There are also football and soccer practice fields, as well as the Women’s Complex, which features competition soccer and softball fields.
The Village and suite-and apartment-style residence halls offer comfortable and convenient living options for students on campus. The most recent additions include Center Pointe Suites and The Oaks residential community.
The UWG Bookstore, conveniently located across the street from both the TLC and the Village, offers textbooks, spirit wear, snacks, and more.
The Tanner Health System School of Nursing building features state-of-the-art equipment in 64,000 square feet of technology-equipped space.
UWG recently completed a $24-million renovation and expansion of its Biology Building and constructed a new student health center that is twice the size of the previous facility. The University is in the planning stages for a new building to house the Richards College of Business.
Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library
As the academic heart of the campus, Ingram Library provides both online and in-house collections and services to meet curricular needs. The four-story building provides seating space for 800, three electronic classrooms, small group study rooms, and computers and other equipment for accessing materials retained in print, online, recorded and micro for-mats. Wireless access to internet resources is available throughout the building as well as in the Starbucks cafe and adjacent patio overlooking Love Valley.
The library is named in honor of Irvine Sullivan Ingram, 1892-1981, the institution’s first president. The glass enclosed lobby overlooks a study garden designed in honor of Maurice Townsend, fifth president of the university. The lobby area provides study tables and casual seating and displays of new books, current newspapers and periodicals. Ingram Library houses a collection of student and faculty art, including “The Prophet,” a bronze by Gary Coulter, presented by the Class of 1968. A bowl by renowned artist Phillip Moulthrop, Class of 1969, which Mr. Moulthrop donated to the College of Arts & Humanities in 2012, is displayed on the main floor. The third floor features the 1980 ceramic mural “Sporangium Disseminating Spores” by Cameron Covert and Bruce Bobick of the Department of Art.
Library collections include some 450,000 cataloged volumes, some 1,000,000 microforms, and more than 20,000 maps and charts. The library provides access to over 70,000 print and electronic serials, including magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers. As a selective depository for federal documents, the library houses United States government publications and provides access to government information available in online and other electronic formats. Library users have access to Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO), an online library of databases, full text electronic journals, and reference resources available to all Georgians, as well as to an extensive range of electronic materials selected to support the university’s academic programs. All licensed electronic materials are available to university students, faculty and staff through any computer with internet access. By providing access to an extensive range of online materials, through its chat reference service, by developing an electronic reserve system and online request systems for obtaining materials from other libraries, the library ensures that students enrolled at the university’s remote class sites and in online courses are afforded the same level of library support as those who attend classes on the Carrollton campus; the Library’s Off-Campus Services unit provides materials to such students as needed, upon request through its interlibrary loan system.
The library participates in state and regional consortia, facilitating extensive access to the collective resources of university system and other libraries. The library catalog, provided through Georgia Interconnected Libraries (GIL), lists materials available in Ingram Library collections and provides links to catalogs of other libraries. West Georgia students, faculty, and staff may request books from any university system library through the online GIL Express service, a feature of the universal catalog, and they also have check out privileges when visiting system libraries. In addition, the University of West Georgia is a member of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE), which allows students, faculty and staff to utilize the resources of member libraries. Ingram Library provides interlibrary loan service through its website, facilitating the borrowing of books from libraries throughout the country. Articles requested through interlibrary loan are transmitted to patrons electronically.
The library pursues an active instruction program. LIBR 2100 - Information Literacy and Research , a for-credit course that is part of Area B of the Core, is taught face to face as well as online. The course is designed to orient students to doing research in academic libraries and to critically evaluating information and media resources. Library skills classes are also arranged at the request of faculty and tailored to specific assignments and class needs. Individuals seeking assistance with library resources and research needs can utilize reference services at the reference desks, via telephone, and through the 24/7 online chat reference service available through the library website. Students can make personal research appointments with librarians through the GoPRO service.
The Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections area on the ground floor of Ingram Library provides access to information about the history of the university and the geographic area it serves. Photographs, family histories, and other materials associated with the west Georgia region are included in Special Collections, as are materials on sacred harp music and American psalmody. The Humanistic Psychology and Parapsychology collections include the papers of Sidney Jourard, Carmi Harari, William Roll, Ingo Swann, and Edith Weisskopf-Joelson. A special effort is made to acquire the manuscript collections of individuals who have represented the region in state or national legislative bodies. One of the most notable collections is that associated with Georgia’s Political Heritage Program, begun by university faculty in 1985. The collection includes taped interviews with state and national leaders, among them most of Georgia’s post-World War II governors, U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Georgia House Speaker Tom Murphy. Senator Herman Talmadge was the first interview subject for the program. The Talmadge collection is particularly significant as it includes some 35 interviews recorded between 1985 and 1995 as well as interviews with his staff and some of his supporters. The Thomas B. Murphy Reading Room and State Capitol Office installation, dedicated in 2012, honors Georgia House Speaker Tom Murphy who left office in 2002 with the distinction of serving as the nation’s longest-serving House speaker. Murphy’s office was replicated as part of a library facility renovation completed in 2011 and funded with a special state legislative appropriation honoring his service to the state of Georgia. The university’s Center for Public History and Thomas B. Murphy Center for Public Service are located on the ground floor of the library.
The library hosts numerous cultural programs, including nationally touring exhibits, concerts, lectures and readings. Ingram Library’s Penelope Melson Society, established in 2008 in recognition of the library’s centennial, serves as the library’s friends group. The Melson Society assists the library in securing and funding programs to draw the campus and surrounding community together. Information about library programs and services is distributed through publications available in the building and through the library website. An online announcements site outlines upcoming events, programs and classes.
Thomas B. Murphy Holocaust Teacher Education Training and Resource Center
The Thomas B. Murphy Holocaust Teacher Education Training and Resource Center, on the second floor of Ingram Library, is the only Holocaust center in the United States devoted to teacher training located in a state-supported institution. The Center is administered by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. With the study of the Holocaust as a catalyst, the Center encourages and supports human understanding and dignity by developing programs to open minds and hearts to the appreciation of all of humankind. The Center’s multimedia resource collection includes books, videotapes and archival and electronic materials, augmented by resources available within the collections of Ingram Library. Working collaboratively with academic departments and state and regional organizations, the Center provides curriculum development assistance, teacher conferences, staff development seminars, exhibits, and other programs.
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services’ (ITS) central office and Service Desk is located on the second floor of Cobb Hall. ITS provides technology leadership and support to all areas of the University of West Georgia community. ITS offers a wide variety of technical services - from support of your UWG ID to the planning and maintenance of the campus technology infrastructure including:
- Technology infrastructure providing both wired and wireless network access (SecureWEST),
- On campus computing lab facilities for general purpose/homework and specialized use,
- Support of all technology enhanced classrooms,
- The campus portal (myuwg.westga.edu),
- Email access powered by Google,
- Collaborative services powered by Google including Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Sites, and Google Calendar,
- TechWest, or Student Information Technology Services, located on the first floor of Ingram Library, providing no cost labor for current students who need help with their personal computers and mobile devices,
- Residential Network Services (ResNet) providing network support to students living on campus,
- Student information system access (Banweb),
- and telephone service.
Office of Education Abroad
UWG’s Office of Education Abroad provides advising and support for all students who are interested in learning more about making study abroad a part of their degree programs. Located on the first floor of Gunn Hall, the office helps students identify appropriate education abroad programs from those offered by UWG departments, by the University System of Georgia, and by our institutional exchange partners. It also provides counseling on preparation for travel, course selection, and ways to finance study abroad. In addition to help for students, the office assists academic units interested in developing partnerships with universities around the world. Services for faculty include guidance for those interested in developing study abroad programs relevant to their disciplines and support for those interested in sponsoring visiting scholars from abroad. The office sponsors activities and workshops for students and faculty related to education abroad and campus internationalization.
The Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory
The Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory is a unique facility within Georgia. As part of the University’s Anthropology Department, it holds a large collection of historic and prehistoric artifacts from archaeological sites all across Georgia. The collections curated here for governmental and private agencies provide essential research data for the West Georgia faculty, as well as for visiting scholars from across the country, and also offer undergraduate students at West Georgia special opportunities for academic training and research experience. Anthropology majors and other undergraduate students are encouraged to enrich their academic experience through laboratory and field research methods courses in which they participate directly in active research projects under the direction and supervision of archaeologists on the faculty at the University. Once they receive basic instruction, many students also elect to participate in sponsored archaeological projects as undergraduate research assistants.
The University of West Georgia Alumni Association
Graduates of the University of West Georgia constitute the largest single constituency and represent the most valuable resource for the University. Membership in the Alumni Association is open to all former students of the University of West Georgia, the State University of West Georgia, West Georgia College, or the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School. A volunteer-driven 36-member Board of Directors works closely with the professional staff to develop and support opportunities that steward the relationships between alumni and the University. The Association informs alumni of institutional plans, progress, opportunities, and needs.
Through the Alumni Relations and Annual giving department, communication with alumni is achieved through the Alumni Den, email and mailed communications, the Forever West printed edition and the Forever West digital quarterly newsletter. Major activities sponsored by the Alumni Association include Alumni Weekend, Homecoming, Local/Regional/National events, CDI Alumni Annual Roundtable, and many other reunions and special events that involve thousands of alumni each year.
The University of West Georgia Foundation
The University of West Georgia Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) is a Georgia charitable corporation. It receives and manages private contributions (gifts) made for the benefit of the University of West Georgia. The Foundation has been recognized as an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and gifts to the Foundation are deductible as provided for in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation encourages both restricted (specific purpose) and unrestricted (general use) gifts from donors.
The University of West Georgia Athletic Foundation
The University of West Georgia Athletic Foundation is an independent, non profit organization that strives to support a preeminent intercollegiate athletics program at the University of West Georgia by providing student athletes the opportunity to achieve excellence in academics, community service, and athletic competition.