Academic Policies

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.

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.

Graduate Course Loads

Minimum Course Load for Financial Aid Eligibility

To be eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA), a student must be enrolled at least half time. To be enrolled half time, a student must be taking at least half of the course load of a full-time student. The UWG Office of Financial Aid defines full-time enrollment for a graduate student as 9 credit hours, or the equivalent, each term. Half-time enrollment is defined as 5 credit hours, or the equivalent, each term. Students must register for and attend 5 credit hours, or the equivalent, to be eligible for Financial Aid each term.

 

           Fall                 Spring                  Summer         
    Full Time     

  9

 9

 9

    Half Time    

  5

 5

 5

 

Minimum Course Load for Graduate Assistantship Eligibility

Graduate Assistantships are classified by function or purpose and include Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs), and Graduate Assistantships (GAs). GTAs, GRAs, and GAs must register for and earn 9 credit hours, or the equivalent, to be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship each term.

Maximum Course Load for All Graduate Students

Graduate students who do not hold one of the three types of assistantships may register for 12 credit hours without permission. Graduate students who want to take an overload, defined as more than 12 credit hours, must obtain permission from the Director of their graduate program and from the Director of Graduate Studies (or Dean) for their college or school. Some programs may require additional levels of approval.

Expectations for the maximum course load apply to graduate students who take a mix of graduate and undergraduate courses in one semester, as well.  Although some graduate degree and non-degree programs require graduate students to take undergraduate courses, students are considered graduate students.

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 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.

Time Limits to Complete a Graduate Degree

Degree programs in the College of Education must be completed within seven years.

The Ph.D. in Psychology: Consciousness and Society program must be completed within eight years.

All other graduate degree programs must be completed within six years.

It is expected that a student will complete the degree program with reasonable continuity. A student called into military service or a student with extraordinary circumstances may apply for an extension of time.  The student should submit the Degree Time Limit Extension Form and a letter of appeal to the director of his/her graduate degree program.  The time limit exception must be approved by both the Program Director and Director of Graduate Studies in the college or school.

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.

Annual Notice of Directory Information Contents

"Directory Information" is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  It will be available for release unless a student specifically requests that the information not be released. This request must be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office by September 15 annually.

The University of West Georgia considers the following information to be directory information:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Telephone Number
  4. Major Field of Study
  5. Dates of Attendance
  6. Previous Institutions Attended
  7. Degrees and Awards Received
  8. Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
  9. Height and Weight of Members of Athletic Teams
  10. Photograph
  11. Full- or Part-Time Status

Grade Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a course grade. Grade appeals must be submitted in writing, using the UWG Student Grade Appeal Form found on the Provost’s website and following the procedures outlined below. All grade appeals, regardless of their nature, shall be initiated no later than the following semester after cause for the appeal occurred. There are two types of grade appeals:

  1. Dishonesty Grade Appeal - If the faculty member assigned the grade due to an allegation of cheating, plagiarism, or some other act of academic dishonesty and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, his or her case should be considered a Dishonesty Grade Appeal. Appeals of grades assigned due to an allegation of Academic Dishonesty may be made as soon as a grade penalty on the grounds of academic dishonesty has been levied against a student.
  2. Grade Determination Appeal - If the reasons underlying the appeal are based on policy disagreements or alleged charges of arbitrary or unfair treatment by the involved faculty member, the appeal should be considered a Grade Determination Appeal. Grade determination appeals must be initiated during the semester immediately following the semester in which the course grade is assigned.

Grade Appeal Review and Decision Process

  1. Student Initiates the Grade Appeal: The student must complete and sign the Student Grade Appeal Form, attach a short memo or letter stating the exact nature of the appeal and reason, attach any supporting documentation, and submit the entire packet to the Department Chair of the department in which the course is taught.
  2. Department Level: The Chair consults with the student and with the faculty member and determines whether the appeal is a Dishonesty Grade Appeal or Grade Determination Appeal.
    a.       The Chair examines the available evidence and renders a decision: Either grant the appeal and change the grade, or deny the appeal. The Chair notifies the student of his/her decision.
    b.       If the appeal is granted, the Chair submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar and notifies the student that the appeal is granted.
    c.       If the appeal is denied, the student may accept the Chair’s decision and end the appeal process, or s/he may request that the appeal and all associated documentation be forwarded to the Dean’s office (dean or designee) for further review.
  3. College Dean Level:  The Chair forwards the appeal to the Dean/designee. The appeal packet should include the Student Grade Appeal Form (complete information, decision indicated, and signatures/initials from both the student and the Chair) and all associated documentation provided by the student and the faculty member, along with a brief statement from the Chair regarding her/his decision.
    a.       The Dean/designee reviews the appeal and all associated documentation and available evidence and renders a decision: Either grant the appeal and change the grade, or deny the appeal.
    b.      The Dean’s Office notifies the student of his/her decision.
    c.       If the appeal is granted, the Dean’s Office submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar. d.      If the appeal is denied, the student may accept the decision and end the appeal process, or s/he may request that the appeal and all associated documentation be forwarded to the Provost’s office for submission to the Grade Appeals Subcommittee.
  4. Grade Appeals Subcommittee Level:  An appeal forwarded to the Provost’s office for referral to the Grade Appeals Subcommittee should include the Student Grade Appeal Form (complete information, decisions indicated, and signatures/initials from the student, Chair, and Dean/designee), documentation, and decision statements from the previous levels.
    a.       The subcommittee’s review purpose is described here:                          
                                    i.       Dishonesty Grade Appeals: The purpose of the subcommittee in hearing this type of appeal is to (1) determine if academic improprieties did take place and (2) to review the appropriateness of the faculty member’s corrective action as it related to the final grade assignment. 
                                    ii.      Grade Determination Appeals: The purpose of the subcommittee in hearing this type of appeal is to review the totality of the student’s performance in relationship to his or her final grade.
    b.      The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.
                                    i.      If the appeal is granted, the Provost’s office submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar and notifies the student that the appeal is granted.
                                    ii.      If the decision of the subcommittee is to return the appeal to the department for further action, it is the responsibility of the Department Chair to follow through with the instructions of the subcommittee. The Provost/designee notifies the student that the appeal was returned to the department for further action. After re-examining the student’s performance, the Department Chair notifies the student of the final grade and notifies the Registrar of a grade change, if warranted.
                                    iii.      If the appeal is denied, the student is notified of the subcommittee’s decision. c.       In unusual circumstances, the Provost/designee may review the decision of the subcommittee for further action (e.g., judicial sanctions).

Fairness and Procedural Safeguards Governing Cases of Academic Dishonesty

In order to guarantee fairness and proper procedural safeguards for all concerned, the subcommittee shall be guided by the following procedures:

  1. The subcommittee will hear a case only if the student has exhausted all administrative remedies through the appropriate department chair and his or her college dean.
  2. The subcommittee chairperson will consult with both the faculty member and student concerning the hearing procedures, the time, date, and place of the hearing and will ensure relevant materials reach all parties in a timely fashion.
  3. The burden of demonstrating a preponderance of evidence shall rest upon the officials or faculty member who originated an action against a student or assigned for cause a particular grade.
  4. The student appearing before the committee shall have the right to be assisted by an advisor of his or her choice.
  5. During the hearing the student shall have the opportunity to testify and to present evidence and witnesses own his or her behalf. He or she shall have opportunity to hear and question adverse witnesses. In no case shall the subcommittee consider statements against a student unless the student has been given an opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences that might otherwise be drawn.
  6. All matters upon which a decision will be based must be introduced at the proceeding before the subcommittee. Any conclusions drawn by the subcommittee shall be based solely upon such evidence.
  7. In the absence of a transcript, an audio recording of the hearing shall be made.
  8. Appellants who fail to appear after proper notice will have their cases heard in absentia.
  9. The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.

Fairness and Procedural Safeguards Governing Grade Determination Appeals

In order to guarantee fairness and proper procedural safeguards for all concerned, the subcommittee shall be guided by the following procedures:

  1. The subcommittee will hear the case only if the student has exhausted all administrative remedies through the appropriate department chair and his or her college dean.
  2. The subcommittee chairperson will consult with both the faculty member and student concerning the hearing procedures, the time, date, and place of the hearing and will ensure relevant materials reach all parties in a timely fashion.
  3. The burden of demonstrating a preponderance of evidence of arbitrary or unfair grading rests on the student. The student should realize such a charge is a serious one and refrain from taking capricious action.
  4. Both the student and faculty member shall be given an opportunity to present his or her case and to refute the case presented by the other.
  5. All matters upon which a recommendation will be based must be introduced during the hearing before the Subcommittee. Recommendations shall be based solely upon such evidence.
  6. Appellants who fail to appear after proper notice will have their cases heard in absentia.
  7. The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.

Grading System For Graduate Students

Student proficiency in graduate coursework is recorded by the following letter grades. The quality of work for most courses in a graduate program is indicated by the grades of A, B, C, and F.   A – Superior Scholarship (4.00) B – Average Performance (3.00) C – Below Average Performance (2.00) F – Failure (0.00)   Thesis/Dissertation Grading: Thesis and dissertation hours are graded with an S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). Some programs award a letter grade during the last semester when the thesis or dissertation is successfully defended.   Grades of F, I, U, V, W, WF, and WM will not be accepted toward the program of study in any graduate program, whereas grades of C may be accepted in some programs. See the college, department, or program-specific academic standards in the Graduate Academic Standards policy for additional information.   Students who withdraw from a course after the W deadline receive a WF for the course. The WF counts as an F in the calculation of the grade point average. The institution grade point average is calculated by dividing the number of hours scheduled in courses attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, F, or WF was received into the number of grade points earned on those hours scheduled. The following symbols are approved by the Georgia Board of Regents for use in the cases indicated, but will not be included in the determination of the grade point average.

 Grade Purpose 
 I This symbol indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his or her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course.  An “I” must be removed by the completion of work within one calendar year or the “I” will be changed to the grade “F”. The F grade will be calculated into the grade point average.
 IP The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation hours, thesis hours, and project courses. This symbol indicates that credit has not been given in courses that require a continuation of work beyond the term for which the student signed up for the course. This symbol cannot be substituted for an “I”.
 K This symbol indicates that a student was given credit for the course via a credit by examination program approved by the respective institution’s faculty (CLEP, AP, Proficiency, etc.). “K” credit may be provided for a course the student has previously audited if the institutional procedures for credit by examination are followed.
 S This symbol indicates that credit has been given for completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation hours, thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
 U This symbol indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation hours, thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
 V This symbol indicates that a student was given permission to audit this course. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa. Students may register, however, on a credit basis for a course that has previously been audited.
 W This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the mid-point of the total grading period, including final examinations, except in cases of hardship as determined by the appropriate official of the respective institution.
 WM This symbol indicates a student was permitted to withdraw under the Board of Regents policy for military service refunds, as noted in Section 7.3.5.3 of this Policy Manual. The use of this symbol indicates that this student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term

 

Graduate Academic Standards

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

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). The grade of IP (In Progress) is reserved for courses that require a continuation of work beyond the term for which the student enrolled in the course.  IP is approved for dissertation and thesis hours and project courses.

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.

Academic Suspension

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.

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.   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 University.

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

College, Department, or Program-Specific 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.

College of Arts and Humanities

Good Academic Standing for a student enrolled in a Non-Degree Initial Certification Program for teacher certification (Art, Foreign Languages, 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 referred to his/her program and, at the discretion of the program, may be suspended from the program.

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

  • Ed.D. in School Improvement
  • Ed.D. in Professional Counseling and Supervision

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 will be reviewed for dismissal.
  2. Only one C in all courses can be applied toward the degree.
  3. Students must complete:
    a.      CS 6910 (Project I) by earning a grade of "S"
    b.      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 Criminology
  • M.A. in Psychology
  • M.A. in Sociology
  • Ph.D. in Psychology: Consciousness and Society

Richards College of Business

No requirements beyond the General Academic Standards are applicable to RCOB graduate programs.

School of Nursing

A minimum grade of B is required in all courses in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. 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 should submit a letter to the Director of Graduate Programs indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Director of Graduate Programs then consults with the Department Chair or Appeals Committee.
  3. With a positive recommendation from the Director of Graduate Programs, the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue coursework, with provisions established by the department.

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

M.S. in Mathematics

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Director of Graduate Studies 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.

College of Social Sciences

  1. The student should submit a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Director of Graduate Studies 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 Associate Dean of Graduate Studies indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies 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 Associate Dean of Graduate Studies the student will be reinstated and allowed to continue his or her coursework with potential additional provisions.

School of Nursing

  1. The student should submit a letter to the SON Associate Dean of Graduate Studies indicating justification for reinstatement.
  2. The 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 SON provisions.

Graduate Faculty Appointment

The Graduate Faculty shall consist of tenure-track and tenured members of the General Faculty with the rank of assistant professor, associate professor and/or professor, who have been recommended for appointment by their department/program heads or academic deans and approved by the Dean of the respective college/school.

Requisites for appointment shall normally be as follows:

Regular Graduate Faculty Appointment

  • Full-time tenured/tenure track faculty status with a rank of at least assistant professor
  • Current/Up-to-Date curriculum vitae
  • Earned doctorate or equivalent
  • Published works and/or recognized accomplishments in research and/or teaching
  • Recommendation for appointment by the appropriate department/program head or academic dean
  • Approval of Regular Graduate Faculty appointment is given by the Dean of the respective college/school

Limited-Term Graduate Faculty Appointment

  • Part-time, one-year, emeritus, Web MBA, or visiting with a rank of at least assistant professor
  • Current/Up-to-Date curriculum vitae
  • Earned doctorate or equivalent
  • Published works and/or recognized accomplishments in research and/or teaching
  • Statement describing the special expertise that the faculty member brings to the graduate program and  the faculty members qualifications that contribute to the work and progress of graduate students
  • Recommendation for Limited-Term Graduate Faculty appointment by the appropriate department/program  head or academic dean
  • Approval of Limited-Term Graduate Faculty appointment is given by the Dean of the respective college/school
  • Faculty in this category may serve as a member or as a co-chair, but not as chair, on graduate student committees (dissertation, thesis, or similar) and teach graduate courses

Permission to Teach (Does not constitute Graduate Faculty Appointment)

  • Non-tenure track full-time faculty (ranked, lecturer, senior lecturer), part-time faculty, and adjunct faculty may be reviewed for permission to teach a graduate class(es)
  • Current/Up-to-Date curriculum vitae
  • No earned terminal degree
  • In-lieu-of a terminal degree the candidate must demonstrate 1) exceptional scholarly activity or professional experience, 2) experience teaching graduate level classes, or 3) high potential for effective teaching at the graduate level as evidenced by undergraduate teaching record, scholarly activity or professional experience in a particular area related to the course or other assignment
  • In accordance with SACS 3.7.1.e., justification must be given for any faculty member who does not meet eligibility criteria for Regular Appointment. The justification must address the following:
    o   Department/program  need
    o   Special expertise that the faculty member brings to the graduate program
    o   Qualifications that contribute to the work and progress of graduate students
    o   Expected duties of the candidate
  • Recommendation for Permission to Teach by the appropriate department/program  head or academic dean
  • Approval for Permission to Teach is given by the Dean of the respective college/school

Process

  1. Timeline
    a.      A request for Regular Graduate Faculty Appointment  is submitted with appointment; renewal is automatic upon award of tenure or completion of post-tenure review
    b.      A request for Limited-Term Graduate Faculty Appointment is submitted with appointment and renewed annually
    c.      Upon recommendation from  the department/program head or academic dean, the Dean of the college/school holds authority to rescind graduate faculty status as appropriate
    d.      Requests for Permission to Teach are to be submitted annually and/or prior to the semester in which the faculty member will be teaching a graduate course
  2. Department/program head recommends faculty members for Regular Graduate Faculty Appointment, Limited-Term Graduate Faculty Appointment, or Permission to Teach by completing the standardized “Request for Appointment in the Graduate Faculty” form and supplying appropriate supportive documents, including:
    • Current/Up-to-Date curriculum vitae
    • Justification of special expertise or qualifications as indicated
    • Other information as requested above

     3.  The department/program head or academic dean forwards the request form and supporting documentation to the Dean of the appropriate college/school
     4.  Upon recommendation of the department/program head or academic dean, the Dean of the College/School considers each faculty member’s materials and renders a decision for approval or disapproval for Regular Graduate Faculty Appointment, Limited-Term Graduate Faculty Appointment, or Permission to Teach

  • Should there be a question concerning the applicant’s recommendation, the Dean will forward the request form and supporting materials to the Graduate Programs Committee for review and recommendation
  • Each College/School will send approved request forms and supporting documentation to Faculty Records in the Provost’s Office for archiving

Graduation

A student with a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average and who has met all requirements of the Program of Study must submit an application for the degree with the Registrar’s Office the semester prior to the semester of graduation. No student will be issued a diploma or academic transcript if in default of payment due to the University.

Hardship Withdrawal

A Hardship Withdrawal is an exception that permits a student to withdraw from all courses after the published “W” date during the semester. It is intended for the student who has experienced an acute, traumatic event that prevents him/her from completing the semester. That same event also makes it impossible for the student to take an Incomplete and finish the work the next semester. Thus, the Hardship Withdrawal is based on unusual or emergency circumstances beyond the student’s control. Such circumstances are categorized as follows:

  • Physical- Examples include bodily injury or invasive surgery resulting in prolonged absences from class, or unexpected physical disability preventing completion of course work. Necessary documentation to support such claims would include a physician's report, including name, address, phone, nature of illness or accidents, dates of treatment, prognosis, and recommendation.
  • Psychological- Examples include extreme mental duress suffered from traumatic experiences, of the severity and frequency to prevent completion of course work. Necessary documentation to support such claims would include a memo from a Counseling and Career Development Center counselor that includes dates of treatment and a clear recommendation of whether a Hardship Withdrawal be given.
  • Personal – Examples include significant change in financial status or personal tragedy such as the death of a loved one or domestic disruptions, to the degree to prevent completion of coursework. Necessary documentation to support such claims might include copies of divorce papers, financial statements, police reports, obituaries, or other pertinent documents.

The following list is illustrative of invalid reasons for a hardship withdrawal. A request using reasons like these will not be approved.

  • Poor performance in one or more courses
  • Registration for the wrong course
  • Preference for a different professor or class section
  • Failure to drop course during the drop/add period
  • Failure to withdraw by the published deadline using normal procedures

Under what conditions may a Request for Hardship Withdrawal be approved?

A Hardship Withdrawal is intended as relief for extreme circumstances and is granted only in special instances. The following conditions apply:

  • Students may request a hardship withdrawal after the official withdrawal (“W” date) deadline published in the semester term calendar until the Friday immediately prior to the final week of the term.  Hardship Withdrawals requested after the Friday immediately prior to the final week of the term will be treated as a Retroactive Hardship Withdrawal.
    o   Retroactive Hardship Withdrawals will not be approved if the student has completed all course requirements such as a final examination and/or a final project.
    o   Retroactive Hardship Withdrawals will not be approved for terms occurring more than six months prior to the time the request is made.
  • The student must withdraw from all classes during the current term, and may not select only certain classes from which to withdraw.
    o   Under unusual circumstances, a student may be granted a hardship withdrawal from only one class, while being allowed to remain in others.
    o   An example of unusual circumstances would be a student who is passing an applied piano course and injures a finger, thus being unable to play the piano the rest of the semester. A student would be allowed to complete other courses being taken concurrently.
  • The student should follow Steps 1-6 below, with emphasis on providing documented evidence in support of the claims warranting the request.

Steps for Requesting a Hardship Withdrawal

In steps 1-6 below, the Dean may designate an Associate Dean to act on his/her authority. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may designate the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs to act on his/her authority.

  1. The student completes the “Request for Hardship Withdrawal” form found online at http://www.westga.edu/vpaa/index_5879.php. The student should be prepared to provide documented evidence to substantiate the hardship being claimed.
  2. The student submits the completed Request for Hardship Withdrawal form and documented evidence to Health Services (HS) or the Counseling and Career Development Center (CCDC).
  3. The HS or CCDC professional staff will interview the student, review the documented evidence, and recommend to support or not support the request for Hardship Withdrawal. HS or CCDC professional staff will send the request form and a letter, which explains the recommendation, as a confidential document to the appropriate unit within Academic Affairs. HS or CCDC professional staff will retain the documented evidence in their confidential files.
  • For students with a declared major, the form and letter will be sent to the Dean of the College where the major department is housed.
  • For undeclared students, the form and letter will be delivered to the Dean of the Honors College. 

     4. The Dean has the final authority to approve the Request for Hardship Withdrawal.

  • If the Dean approves the request, the student will receive a W for each course.
  • The Dean’s Office will notify the Registrar of the grade change/s to W.
  • The Dean’s Office will notify the student that the request was approved.

     5. If the Dean does not approve the request, the Dean’s Office will notify the student of the denial.

  • The student may appeal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • The Dean will forward the form and letter to the Provost upon receiving notification from the student that s/he intends to appeal. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Dean that s/he intends to appeal to the Provost.

     6. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs has the final authority to grant the appeal for
the Request for Hardship Withdrawal.

  • The Provost will grant or deny the appeal and notify the student of the decision.
  • If granted, the Provost’s Office will notify the Registrar of the grade change/s to W.

Registration for Thesis or Dissertation Hours

A graduate student who is working on a thesis or dissertation must register for Thesis or Dissertation Hours each semester. Graduate programs that offer variable hours of credit for Thesis or Dissertation Hours should guide Advisors and their students to register for the number of hours of research which is consistent with a realistic appraisal of the amount of work to be done on the thesis or dissertation, as well as the amount of faculty involvement and use of university resources required. A realistic accounting for graduate student credit hours helps support quality graduate programs.

Responsible Conduct of Research

It is the guiding principle of the University of West Georgia to maintain the highest standards of research and scholarship integrity regardless of the source of funding for that research or scholarship, or the type of research or scholarship being conducted. The University of West Georgia complies with guidance issued by the federal Office of Research Integrity by promoting ethical conduct in academic research and scholarship and all aspects of the research enterprise. Read the complete UWG policy at http://www.westga.edu/assetsDept/orsp/ResponsibleConductinResearchGuidelines.pdf

   All students engaged in research involving human participants must complete an educational program related to the responsible conduct of research prior to initiation of a research project. The University of West Georgia has selected the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) as the best and most efficient mechanism for delivering education to UWG researchers involved with human subject research.  CITI is an on-line educational training course that provides relevant, up-to-date information on the protection of human subjects in the format of instructional modules. For more information, see http://www.westga.edu/orsp/index_17322.php

 

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 6 semester credit hours of graduate credit, unless otherwise allowed, may be transferred from another accredited institution, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Work applied to a completed degree cannot be accepted (except when approved for the Ed.D. in School Improvement program).
  2. Work must have been completed within the six to eight year period allowed for the completion of degree requirements. Refer to the Time Limits to Complete a Graduate Degree policy for more information.
  3. Work must have been applicable toward a graduate degree at the institution where the credit was earned.
  4. Work offered for transfer must be approved by the College/School Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Program Director, and the Academic Advisor.

Withdrawal from the University

A student who wishes to withdraw from the University must submit a request in writing to the Registrar’s Office. When the Registrar approves the request, the student will be given instructions for completing the official withdrawal process. The student is not withdrawn until clearance has been obtained from the Registrar's Office. Failure to officially withdraw may result in grades of F for all courses that semester.

  1. A student may be administratively withdrawn from the University under certain conditions. This may occur when the Vice President for Student Affairs, in consultation, when appropriate, with the student's parents or spouse, the Director of the Counseling and Career Development Center, and/or the University Physician, determines that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological health condition which: poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others;
  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 a final decision concerning continued enrollment at the University.