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3.6 Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Professional Programs

Comprehensive Standard:

3.6.3 At least one third of credits toward a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. (See Commission policy "Collaborative Academic Arrangements.") (Institutional credits for a graduate degree)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The policy that reflects the University of West Georgia compliance with Comprehensive Standard 3.6.3 is published in the Graduate Catalog. The policy stipulates:

"A maximum of 9 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" [1].

The policy limiting transfer credit is disseminated through the Graduate Catalog and the UWG Graduate Studies website [2]. Moreover, the Graduate Studies Associates at different colleges and schools can provide the information on policies and more to the students who need assistance [3].

Table 3.6.3a shows the minimum number of hours required for each graduate degree offered at the University of West Georgia, the maximum number of hours that can be taken at another institution (as stipulated above), and the proportion of total hours that must be taken at the University of West Georgia.  As can be seen, for all degrees the maximum number of transfer credits allowed is six except for the School Improvement Doctorate which allows nine transfer credit hours.

Table 3.6.3a

 

Program

Minimum

Hours Required

Transfer Hours Allowed

Percent UWG Hours

Accounting: Master’s

30

6

80%

Art Teacher Education: Master’s

33

6

90%

Biology: Master’s

36

6

83%

Business Administration: Master’s

30

6

80%

Business Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Computer Science: Master’s

36

6

83%

Criminology: Master’s

36

6

83%

Early Childhood Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Early Childhood Education: Specialist

27

6

78%

Educational Leadership: Master’s

36

6

83%

Educational Leadership: Specialist

27

6

78%

European Union Studies: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

17

6

65%

English: Master’s

30

6

80%

French Language Teacher Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Geographic Information Systems: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

15

6

60%

Health Systems Leadership: Post-Masters Certificate

10

6

40%

History, General: Master’s

36

6

83%

Integrative Health Studies: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

21

6

71%

Mathematics: Master’s

36

6

83%

Media: Master’s

36

6

83%

Media: Specialist

27

6

78%

Middle Grades Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Museum Studies: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

15

6

60%

Music Performance: Master’s

36

6

83%

Music Teacher Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Nursing: Master’s

36

6

83%

Nursing Education: Post-Masters Certificate

10

6

40%

Nursing Education: Doctorate

60

6

90%

Professional Counseling: Master’s

42

6

86%

Professional Counseling: Specialist

27

6

78%

Professional Counseling: Doctorate

36

6

83%

Psychology: Master’s

33

6

90%

Psychology:  Doctorate

60

6

90%

Public  Administration: Master’s

36

6

83%

Public History: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

15

6

60%

Public Management: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

12

6

50%

Reading Instruction: Master’s

36

6

83%

School Improvement: Doctorate

60

9

85%

Secondary Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Secondary Education: Specialist

27

6

78%

Sociology: Master’s

36

6

83%

Spanish Language Teacher Education: Master’s

36

6

83%

Special Education and Teaching, General: Master’s

36

6

83%

Special Education and Teaching, General: Specialist

27

6

78%

Speech-Language Pathology: Master’s

52

6

88%

Teaching: Master’s

33

6

90%

Urban & Regional Planning, Master’s

33

6

90%

 

The Table 3.6.3a demonstrates that each graduate program requires substantially more than one-third of all credit hours are completed at the University of West Georgia.  The minimum proportion of credit hours which must be completed at the University of West Georgia is 78% of total hours (at least 21 of the required 27) for the Education Specialist degrees in Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Media, Professional Counseling, Secondary Education, and Secondary Education and Teaching. Master’s degree programs require that at least 80% of the total required coursework is completed at the University of West Georgia. The maximum percent required for a Master’s degree is 90%. Various Doctoral programs require that at least 83% to a maximum of 90% of the total required coursework is completed at UWG.

Primary responsibility for approving transfer credit and for monitoring compliance with the university policy lies with Graduate Program Associates [3] and with each UWG college or school Graduate Studies office.  As students work with their program coordinator or advisor, determinations are made that include the examination of coursework from other institutions that might be applied to the student’s program.  It is at this time that initial decisions are made to ensure that the student will not be allowed to apply more than six credit hours (nine for students in the School Improvement Doctoral Program as previously noted) earned from another institution to their graduate program at the University of West Georgia.   

The final transfer credit review occurs when students apply for graduation. Upon application for graduation, the Graduate Studies office of the relevant UWG college or school prepares a program audit report [4]. This audit summarizes the student’s coursework (completed, currently taken, and planned) and specifically indicates the number of program hours completed at the University of West Georgia and the total credit hours the student will have completed in the program.  The form is signed by the student’s graduate advisor, and by the appropriate department chair. The audit is then checked by the respective college or school Graduate Studies Associate before being forwarded to the Registrar’s Office which completes a final review before approving any graduation request. 

The transcript of any student who has been approved to transfer coursework from another institution includes a section entitled, "Transfer Credits Accepted by the Institution."  This section lists the name of the institution from which the credits were transferred, the term and year of attendance, and all courses approved for transfer with the respective grade earned.  The sample transcripts reflect this process [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], and [15].

While UWG has a number of collaborative programs with other institutions, the WebMBA program is the only collaborative graduate program. Details of the WebMBA program operation can be found in the narrative associated with Comprehensive Standard 3.4.7. Currently, six members of the University System of Georgia currently participate in this collaborative program (Columbus State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia College and State University, Kennesaw State University, the University of West Georgia, and Valdosta State University).  Each participating institution is SACS accredited.  Further, within each collaborating institution, each College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, has had resident MBA programs in place for at least ten years prior to joining the collaborative, and possesses faculty for the collaborative program who meet the minimum standards for faculty credentials of each member institution [16].  In this program, students are admitted by any one of the participating institutions. Afterwards, the admitting institution is considered the student’s home institution for the purposes of degree attainment.  However, enrolled students take courses in the WebMBA program which can be offered by faculty from any of the collaborating institutions. Only those faculty who hold dual or joint appointments in all the collaborating institutions are allowed to teachcourses in the WebMBA program.

Upon completion of the WebMBA program, the student’s transcript indicates that all courses were taken at the home institution, and the degree is awarded by that institution.  As a result, while unique, the Web MBA program conforms to SACS policy and complies with Comprehensive Standard 3.6.3 as acknowledged in correspondence dated December 8, 2000 [17].

Supporting Documentation: