Dr. Melanie Clay, Executive Director and Dean, USG eCampus
The Office of Extended Learning has responsibility for the administration of the Distance and Distributed Education (UWG Online), Continuing Education, and USG eCampus.
UWG Online/Distance Education
The University offers credit classes and degree programs to students at times and locations outside of the traditional classroom. The University of West Georgia was one of the first institutions in the University System of Georgia to offer partially, fully, or entirely at-a-distance credit courses that utilize the internet to deliver course materials and assignments and to facilitate discussion and other appropriate interactions. Distance Learning credit offerings are currently delivered partially, fully, or entirely at a distance through two-way live videoconferencing or through a combination of these technologies. They are primarily delivered online through CourseDen (http://westga.view.usg.edu). Online degree offerings, services and information for online students, and additional details are available at UWG Online (http://uwgonline.westga.edu).
By providing support for fully online and partially online courses and programs, UWG Online makes higher education a possibility for those who face obstacles to taking undergraduate or graduate courses in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting. UWG seeks to extend the ability to earn credit toward a degree or certification program to those whose life circumstances, such as work, family, or distance, make attending face-to-face traditional classes impractical. Through distance learning (online learning), students can attend class whenever and wherever is convenient to them, with just the use of a computer and an internet connection. UWG was one of the first public schools in the state to offer online classes in 1997. Today, our diverse student population is spread across the country and internationally.
Our online courses are web-based and allow students to interact with the instructor and other students through discussion boards, email, and other various online tools. Course notes, assignments, projects, and grades are delivered using an online course management tool referred to as CourseDen (Brightspace powered by Desire2Learn). Some courses incorporate live sessions through two-way live videoconferencing technologies or other synchronous technologies.
Many of our online courses are fully online and do not require students to travel to our campus or other instructional sites. However, some courses may be only partially online and may require you to travel to the main campus or other sites for an orientation, exams, or meetings. Be sure to check the ‘instructional method’ listed beside each course section in BanWeb (the public course bulletin). Some instructors may require students to take proctored exams that can be taken at any approved testing center worldwide. Additional proctored testing site fees may apply, and tuition rates may be different. Review the special instructions noted in the online course bulletin, and review your bill carefully.
Online learning generally provides considerable freedom, allowing students to often choose when and where they’ll participate in class activities. Nevertheless, online courses at UWG are not typically independent study or self-paced courses where students work by themselves or at their own pace. Each course has a syllabus and schedule to follow. Instructors specify the content to be covered in the course, dates for exams and quizzes, individual and group assignments, and other activities that students must complete by a particular date. Students who do not log in and participate by the initial participation deadline may be dropped for non-participation.
Online core courses
UWG offers options to meet all core course requirements completely online. Some of these online core courses are designed and taught exclusively by instructors at UWG while others may be part of a statewide initiative referred to as eCore (electronic core). eCore courses may include students from other University System of Georgia schools and may be taught by non-UWG instructors. Start dates, end dates, policies, and procedures may be different for eCore than for other UWG courses. See http://ecore.westga.edu or contact 678-839-5300.
Upper-division undergraduate courses
Some upper-division courses may be offered fully at a distance or 94-99% online, requiring one face-to-face meeting, while some are offered partially at a distance or 51-94% online. Others may be listed as entirely at a distance or 100% online. Always be sure to check the special instructions noted on the public course bulletin site: http://banweb.westga.edu.
Though many upper-level undergraduate and core courses are offered partially or entirely online, UWG offers fifteen full degree programs partially or entirely online, as well. These online programs cover degrees in Business, Computer Science, Nursing, Organizational Leadership, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Political Science and Sociology. In order to create the most convenient schedule possible, select undergraduate online programs are also taught on campus and allow students to enroll in both online and face-to-face courses. See https://uwgonline.westga.edu/academic_programs.php and filter by location.
UWG offers many other online degree programs and courses at the graduate and certificate levels. Online degree offerings, services and information for online students, and additional details are available at UWG Online (http://uwgonline.westga.edu).
A primary function of UWG Online/Distance and Distributed Education Center is to provide support services and training for faculty members and students participating in these courses. The Center also provides opportunities for collaboration and research for those who manage and administer Distance and Distributed Education programs throughout the nation through its online academic journal, its online non credit certificate program, and its annual conference. For more information about Distance or Distributed Education (UWG Online), telephone 678-839-6248 or visit http://uwgonline.westga.edu.
For a complete description of student services, see the UWG Online Student Guide at: http://uwgonline.westga.edu/online-student-guide.php.
Traditionally, public institutions of higher education state that they exist for the purpose of instruction, research, and public service. The public service mission has been paramount at West Georgia since its beginning. The faculty and staff have become well known for their efforts in extending the University into the communities of the West Georgia region. Furthermore, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has placed special emphasis upon the role of public service and continuing education to serve as a catalyst for economic development.
Continuing Education and Public Services have emerged as an extension of the traditional on-campus learning process, available to adults wherever sufficient interest has been found. The Continuing Education/Public Services Department is responsible for coordinating and providing support relating to cooperative vocational and professional programs, institutes, workshops, conferences, and other community educational programs. Short courses and other noncredit studies, such as in-service training and customized training to local business and industry, are responsibilities of the Department of Continuing Education. Courses are conducted on campus and off campus with some in-plant workshops held at various facilities throughout the area and regularly feature West Georgia faculty as instructors.
The Department of Continuing Education
The Department of Continuing Education is responsible for the assessment, development, and implementation of nondegree programs for those who wish to improve their job skills or otherwise enhance their personal development. This includes the coordination of community educational programs, institutes, workshops, conferences, and specialized training programs that serve as a catalyst for economic development.
Continuing Education Unit
The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as 10 contact hours of participation in a qualified continuing education program. The CEU is recognized as the national standard for measuring an individual’s participation in and an institution’s production of non degree programs. The CEU may be used within an institution in at least three ways. First, the CEU serves as a unit of measure to recognize an individual’s participation in nondegree activities that meet appropriate criteria. Second, the CEU may serve as the accounting unit of the institution’s total nondegree courses, programs, and activities. Third, the implementation of CEU criteria provides the basis for quality assurance in continuing education programming. The University of West Georgia follows the criteria and guidelines as set forth by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.