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3.5 Undergraduate Educational Programs

Comprehensive Standard:

3.5.2 At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. (See Commission policy "Collaborative Academic Arrangements.") (Institutional credits for a degree)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

As a member institution of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the University of West Georgia relies on Board of Regents policies in the development of all University of West Georgia policies. To that end, the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ensures that the Board of Regents policies are reflected in the academic requirements for all program and degree offerings listed in the University of West Georgia Undergraduate Catalog. In particular, two Board of Regents policies directly guide the University of West Georgia rules that govern the allowances for transfer credit that can be applied to University of West Georgia degree programs and the review of transcripts from other institutions. Those policies are BOR Policy Manual, Section 4.2.1.3 (Undergraduate Admission Requirements for Transfer Students) [1] and BOR Policy Manual, Section 3.3.1 (Core Curriculum) [2].

Pursuant to the Board of Regents policies, the University of West Georgia limits the number of credit hours that can be transferred into the University. The Undergraduate Catalog states that:

"The maximum number of academic hours accepted is 90 from all institutions. Not more than a combined total of 30 hours of extension, correspondence work and military education/training will be accepted" [3].

This maximum of 90 academic hours serves to delimit the proportion of credit hours that must be earned at the University of West Georgia in each undergraduate academic program and degree. The table below offers some illustrative calculations. The specific requirements on which these calculations were based can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog [4]:

Undergraduate Degree

Min # of Credit Hours

25% of the Min # of Credit Hours

Total # of Credit Hours to be earned at UWG

% of the Total # of Credit Hours to be earned at UWG

SACS Requirement  met (Yes/No)

Bachelor of Arts

120

30

33

27.5%

Yes

Bachelor of Science

120

30

33

27.5%

Yes

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

120

30

33

27.5%

Yes

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

120

30

33

27.5%

Yes

Bachelor of Science in Recreation

120

30

30

25%

Yes

Bachelor of Science in Education

120-126 *

30

30

25%

Yes

Bachelor of Business Administration

120

30

30

25%

Yes

Bachelor of Music

120

30

30

25%

Yes

Bachelor of Fine Arts

120

30

33

27.5%

Yes

* A minimum number of 120-126 semester credit hours dependent upon on the program a student chooses.

All academic polices, including those associated with credit hour requirements, must be approved by the Faculty Senate [5].  As a result of this mandated approval process and the posting of academic policies on UWG website, the information regarding academic credit hour policies or policy changes is effectively disseminated. As noted previously, policies related to academic credit hour requirements are published in the Undergraduate Catalog [6] and through a variety of departmental policies. Additionally, the narrative for Section 3: Comprehensive Standard 3.4.5: (Academic policies) discusses in detail the processes for the establishment and the dissemination of University of West Georgia academic policies. 

The University of West Georgia systematically and continuously monitors the amount of credit earned at the institution through Wolf Watch (Degree Works, [7], a degree monitoring software that has been programmed using the policies in the Undergraduate Catalog (see samples: [8], [9]).  Moreover, the Registrar’s office Graduation Team verifies that these requirements are met before approving any student for graduation.

The application of these policies and practices is reflected in the transfer transcripts samples ([10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], and [17]). The transcripts provide evidence that students are required to take at least twenty-five percent of the required credit hours at UWG in order to earn a degree. For example, if a student was seeking a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and transferred 90 credit hours, he or she would be required to take at least thirty credit hours at the University of West Georgia (Transfer Transcript Sample 3: [12]). However, not all of the transferred 90 credit hours could be counted towards the degree pursued; thus, the student would need to take additional credit hours to meet the requirement of twenty-five percent of the credit hours earned through the institution.

As seen in the transfer transcript samples, each transfer transcript has a section titled "Transfer Credit Accepted by the Institution" where the name of the transfer institution is indicated, the terms/years of attendance are noted, and all courses and respective grades from the transferring institution(s) are recorded. As articulated in the SACS Policy on "The Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees" [18], all courses listed on the University of West Georgia transcript, regardless of where academic credit was earned, are formally evaluated to ensure that they meet University of West Georgia requirements and applicable accreditation standards. The evaluation process is conducted by the Registrar’s Office with input from the appropriate departmental faculty. The University of West Georgia transfer student criteria and information can found on the webpage of the Office of the Registrar [19].

The University of West Georgia transcripts do not identify whether or not an awarded degree is collaborative.  All degrees granted by the University of West Georgia, including those for approved collaborative degrees, are University of West Georgia diplomas.

Supporting Documentation: