Handbook at The University of West Georgia

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Academics

Topics on this page:
Departments and Professors
Semesters and Credit Hours
The Catalog
Attending Class
Academic Advising
Registration for Classes
Add/Drop
Banweb
Withdrawals from Class
Limited Course Withdrawals
Withdrawals from the University/Deciding not to Attend
Staying in School
The Academic Record or Transcript
Grade Appeals
Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
Credit by Exam

Departments and Professors

Most students quickly become familiar with the classroom buildings as they find their way to classes and labs, but they may be less aware of how to find faculty and departmental offices. Printed in the directory section of this handbook are the building and room number, telephone number, and chair's name for each academic department on campus.

Usually, other faculty offices within the department will be located in the same building and general vicinity as the departmental office, but there are some exceptions. Inquire in the departmental office about the location of a specific faculty member's office if you have difficulty finding it.

Normally, faculty members post on their office doors regular hours when they are available to see students, and most are willing to schedule additional times if the student is unable to come during the posted hours. You should feel free to contact faculty members in their offices to discuss progress, any particular problems you're having in one of their classes, your concerns about career and professional plans, or any matters of mutual concern.

Semesters and Credit Hours

An undergraduate student is considered full-time if they are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per semester.  However, most students need to enroll in 15 or more credit hours per semester to graduate within four years. 

The University of West Georgia grants academic credit based on the following Credit Hour definition:

  • UWG grants one semester hour for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks.

When registering, students should plan to student two hours for each one credit hour earned.  To earn a degree in four years, students should schedule a full course load of 15 credit hours each term.  The 15 hours, plus the 30 hours of student time, is equivalent to a 45-hour work week..

The Catalog

The West Georgia Undergraduate Catalog contains a complete statement of academic policies and procedures, courses required for each program of study, retention and graduation requirements, and many more essential items of information for the successful student. It is a very important book to have, study and follow.

New students should keep a copy of this year's catalog for reference during their entire stay at West Georgia. Students are evaluated for graduation based on the requirements in the Catalog of the year they begin their studies (provided it is not more than six years ago) or any year thereafter if they so choose.

Attending Class

Best advice: Attend class every time it meets, and be sure to attend the first class day each semester. If students don't attend the first day and haven't been in touch with the professor to explain why, they may be dropped to make room for others who need it. Since classes and professors differ greatly, you should be certain you understand the attendance requirements for each course you're taking. Some professors lower grades for excessive absences, and they may even drop a student who cuts frequently.

Academic Advising

Students who have declared majors are advised by faculty in that department. Contact your academic department to determine specific advisement procedures in your area. All academic departments are listed in the directory section of this handbook.

Those who have not declared a major are advised by faculty volunteers and professional staff in the EXCEL Center. Students with Learning Support requirements or College Preparatory Curriculum deficiencies are advised by members of the Learning Support Department. Advanced Academy students and joint-enrolled high school students are advised by the Coordinator of the Advanced Academy. Honors students may be advised by a member of the Honors Program Committee. eCore students (those students taking online core courses that are part of the eCore program) may seek advisement from the eCore Advisor.

Students should see their advisors prior to registration each semester. In fact, most undergraduates are required to see their advisors each registration period in order to remove advising holds and allow them to register.

Registration for Classes

Registration for classes is the process of selecting the courses you wish to take, arranging these into a schedule to fit available time slots, signing up for these classes according to the prescribed procedure and paying fees. You should see your advisor several weeks before registration begins. The Class Bulletin, under public access on Banweb, lists all courses being offered. The Scoop, the student guide to each semester, gives step-by-step instructions for completing all registration procedures.

Continuing students may advance register for classes before a semester begins. For students who advance register, there is an advance fee payment deadline each semester, approximately ten days before the beginning of the next semester. Those who have financial aid, athletic grants, and scholarships normally have to pay only what is owed after these awards are credited to their accounts. Advance registration schedules are canceled if the advance payment deadline isn't met, and those affected must register during late registration when a late registration fee of $75 is charged.

See The Scoop for complete details on how to advance register, and pay fees, or contact the Enrollment Services Center (678-839-6438), for answers to particular questions.

Drop/Add

Students who want to drop or add courses must do so during the scheduled Drop and Add periods as noted in the Registrar's Calendar in The Scoop. Dropping a course during the Drop period may result in a tuition refund, whereas adding a course almost always results in tuition owed.  Before dropping a course, check with your academic advisor, Financial Aid, the Bursar, and International Services and Programs (if applicable) to make sure that the change you want to make will not affect such things as your financial aid, athletic eligibility, and international visa status.

Banweb

Students can use Banweb rather than going to the Enrollment Service Center (ESC) for many services. Students can register for courses, adjust their schedules, change their addresses, print copies of their class schedules and transcripts, and view their grades. See The Scoop for information on accessing Banweb.

Withdrawals from Class

A student is allowed to withdraw from a maximum of six courses throughout their entire enrollment at the University of West Georgia as an undergraduate. (See the section Limited Course Withdrawals for more information). After the add/drop period, if a student must withdraw from a class, this course will remain on the student's record for the semester, and a grade of W, indicating withdrawal without penalty, or a grade of WF, indicating the student was failing at the time of withdrawal, will be entered on the record. Up to the midpoint of each semester is a sort of grace period, and the student who withdraws during this time automatically receives a W for the course. After the midpoint of the semester, the grade of WF is automatically assigned unless the college dean approves an exception based on unusual or emergency circumstances beyond the student's control. At any rate, be certain to withdraw officially if you cannot complete a course because otherwise you may be given an F. A student can withdraw from a course on Banweb or in the Enrollment Services Center (ESC).  Online core courses that are part of the eCore program may have a different midpoint and withdrawal deadline than other UWG courses.  UWG eCore students must use the eCore withdrawal form found at http://ecore.usg.edu 

Limited Course Withdrawals

Undergraduate students may withdraw from courses with a grade of "W" (Withdraw Passing) a maximum of six times during their entire undergraduate enrollment at the University of West Georgia.  Students must withdraw from courses during the Withdrawal "W" Period, as noted on the Registrar's Calendar in The Scoop.  Retroactive withdrawals for prior terms are not permitted.  The Withdrawal "W" Period typically begins after Drop/Add and closes at mid-term.  Grades of "W" do no count toward the grade point average. 

It is recommended that students consult with the instructor, academic advisor, Financial AidBursar and International Services and Programs (if applicable) before making the decision to withdraw from a course, since undesirable consequences may follow.  For example:

Students who attempt to withdraw from a course after reaching their maximum of six withdrawals will continue to be enrolled and will receive a grade at the end of the term, unless the Dean (or Dean’s designee) approves the exception. See Petition for Exceptions below.

Automatic Exceptions

The following exceptions do not count toward the maximum of six course withdrawals:

Petition for Exceptions

After the limit of six withdrawals is reached, students are permitted to request exceptions only for circumstances beyond their control. Students appeal in writing to the Dean (or Dean’s designee) of the college or school that houses their major. Undeclared students should appeal in writing to the Dean of the Honors College (or Dean’s designee). The written request (typewritten) should include the following: (1) description of the exact nature of the appeal, (2) reason for the appeal, and (3) supporting documentation, if applicable. Appeals are not heard unless the student has reached the maximum number of withdrawals allowed.  

Withdrawals from the University/Deciding not to Attend

If you decide not to attend UWG for a semester for which you have registered and have paid your fees, you must fill out a Complete Withdrawal Form and take it to the EXCEL Center* to meet with an advisor.  The advisor will review the form with the student, sign, date and forward the information to the Registrar's Office.  The withdrawal date will be effective on the date of the advisor's signature. 

Distance (online) students should complete the form and then contact (phone, email) the EXCEL Center to speak with an advisor to complete the withdrawal process.

*Graduate students will take the form to their program director.

Types of Complete Withdrawals

Formal Withdrawal

Formal Withdrawal from the University of West Georgia includes the following rules:

1. The student will be awarded a withdrawal grade (W or WF) in each course based on the withdrawal period deadline (See Registrar’s Calendar). 

2. The student record will be marked inactive.

3. The student must apply for readmission if he/she wishes to return to the University of West Georgia.

Term Withdrawal

Term Withdrawal from the University of West Georgia includes the following rules: 

1. The student will be awarded a withdrawal grade (W or WF) in each course based on the withdrawal period deadline (See Registrar’s Calendar).

2. All W grades Will Count towards the student’s maximum withdrawal limit. (See Limited Withdrawal Policy).

3. The student’s account will remain active for one calendar year from the term of the withdrawal.

4. The student must meet with my Academic Advisor prior to the beginning of Open Registration for the term in which he/she decides to return.

5. The student will not be eligible to register until the Open Registration period begins (See Registrar’s Calendar).

Do not merely stop attending class. You must officially withdraw or you will receive a grade of F in all of your courses for the semester. You may be due a refund. Please contact the Bursar regarding a possible refund.

Staying in School

An undergraduate student must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to remain in Good Academic Standing.  See the Undergraduate Catalog (Undergraduate Academic Policies) for more information.  A graduate student must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher to remain in Good Academic Standing for most graduate programs. See the Graduate Catalog (General Academic Policies) for more information.  Appeals of academic suspension or academic dismissal from the university can only be reviewed through a Grade Appeal (See Student Handbook, Appendix E) or Hardship Withdrawal (See Student Handbook, Appendix J).

By all means, if you realize you are getting behind in your work or are having problems studying, ask for assistance.  The first person to turn to is your professor in a particular course, but you may also want to talk with your faculty advisor.  If you are a first year student, seek assistance from the EXCEL Center in the UCC. The Excel Center offers free tutoring, academic advising, peer mentoring, and referrals to other departments at the university, if needed.  If you are a student taking fully online courses, contact the UWG Online helpdesk to learn about free virtual tutoring and discuss available assistance.  You should also visit the Counseling and Career Development Center in Row Hall.  Here you will find computerized assistance in building study skills and professional counselor s who may be able to help you individually or in a small group to develop better study skills and habits.  The EXCEL Center staff can also help you get connected to other resources on campus.

The Academic Record or Transcript

The Registrar's Office maintains permanently for every student who has ever been enrolled at West Georgia an academic record including personally identifying information about the student, every course the student has taken and the grade earned, semester and cumulative grade point averages, and a few special notations such as Learning Support requirements, degrees earned, etc.

A printed record is commonly known as a "transcript" and it is a copy of this academic record which is sent to other institutions, agencies, and employers when the student requests that a transcript of his/her record be sent.

You have the right to review your educational records maintained by West Georgia, except for certain types of confidential information which are defined by law and by institutional regulations. For a listing of what records are kept where and by whom and a full explanation of how to review these records, see Appendix H in this handbook. You'll also find in this section how to "challenge the content" of your records as well as safeguards built into the record-keeping system to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of your records.

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 in Appendix E in the Student Handbook. eCore students' grade appeal forms can be found on the eCore website in the area addressing student services.

There are two types of grade appeals:

1. Dishonesty Grade Appeal – This appeal is used if the faculty member tells the student that the grade reflects an allegation of cheating, plagiarism, or some other act of academic dishonesty. The student can file this type of appeal as soon as the instructor assigns the grade; therefore, the student does not have to wait until the semester ends to file a Dishonesty Grade Appeal.

2. Grade Determination Appeal – This appeal is used if the student believes that the final course grade is lower than it should be, due to an alleged claim that the instructor graded one or more assignments unfairly or inaccurately. This appeal is also used for policy disagreements (i.e., the student thinks that the instructor did not follow a policy in the course syllabus). The student must wait for the final course grade to be assigned at the end of the semester before filing a Grade Determination Appeal.

Regardless of the nature of the grade appeal, the student must begin the appeal process no later than the following semester after the reason for the appeal occurred. Further, the appeal process must finish no later than one year (12 calendar months) after the grade is assigned. In other words, a student should not delay the process if he or she believes that an appeal is warranted.

Example for a Dishonesty Grade Appeal: The instructor alleges that a student plagiarizes a paper in September, 2013. The student may appeal the grade immediately, but must appeal no later than the end of the following term (Spring 2014). The grade appeal must be finished by the end of the Fall 2014 term (12 calendar months after the end of the term when the grade was assigned).

Example for a Grade Determination Appeal: The instructor assigns a final course grade at the end of the Fall 2013 term. The student believes that one or more assignments were graded unfairly during the semester, which resulted in a lower grade for the course than the student thinks he or she earned. The student must wait until the final course grade is posted by the Registrar before appealing the course grade. The grade appeal process must begin no later than the end of the following term (Spring 2014) and it must be finished by the end of the Fall 2014 term (12 calendar months after the end of the term when the grade was assigned).

Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid

In addition to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, students must meet several major academic requirements to remain eligible for aid. For example, students must maintain a minimum GPA based on their attempted hours.

Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to maintain eligibility for both federal and state financial aid. See the UWG Financial Aid website for more details.

There is also a limit on the total number of hours for which students may receive financial aid. All programs of study have specified course requirements and total number of hours for completion.

See Appendix G for specific details of how all of these policies may apply. You may contact the Enrollment Services Center in Parker Hall or call 678-839-6421 (96421 campus extension) should you have questions.

Credit By Exam

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is available through many high schools and enables a high-school student to earn college credit in a variety of subjects. Usually these courses are equivalent to college freshmen/sophomore-level courses such as American Government, American History, Composition, and so forth. College credit will be awarded based on standardized exams administered at the high schools in mid to late May.

High school students who earn AP exam scores of 3 or higher (on a scale of 1-5) on most exams and who submit official score reports to West Georgia's Admissions Office will automatically receive credit for coursework. Scores of 4 or higher are required to receive credit for some courses.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is offered at West Georgia by appointment and allows persons to earn college credit by achieving appropriate cutoff scores on nationally standardized exams. Exams available cover a range of courses including math, history, government, literature, and sciences. Test registration information is available through the Testing Office (678-839-6435).

As with AP testing, CLEP is a great way to earn college credit. Not only will a person save time by not having to take a course containing material s/he already knows, but s/he will also save money by not having to pay for a college class. Thus, CLEP enables a student to move through his/her freshman and sophomore years at a faster pace.

Departmental Exams. A few of the academic departments at West Georgia also offer the opportunity for credit by examination. The English Department, for example, allows persons who feel confident about their writing skills to write an essay evaluated by a departmental committee. If a passing credential is earned, the person will be allowed to exempt English 1101 and/or 1102, depending on the score. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures also allows students to exempt certain introductory foreign language courses. To receive credit by examination, the student must pay a fee of $6/credit hour.

Test dates vary, so interested persons should contact the departments (English 678-839-6512; Foreign Language 678-839-6515) for details.