Upon your arrival at Georgia College & State University, a faculty member of your particular school or department will be designated as your academic adviser. Your adviser will assist you in planning your program of studies so that you will maintain continual progress towards meeting the academic requirements of your degree program. Your academic adviser is also the person who signs registration forms to approve changes in registration such as dropping or adding a course. As stated in the university catalog, however, the responsibility of meeting all academic and graduation requirements rests ultimately with you, the student.
If you are not going to be seeking a degree at Georgia College as in the case of exchange students, you need to inform your adviser that you will only be taking personal enrichment courses and do not need to take the required classes for degree-seeking students.
Georgia College, like most universities in the U.S., requires students to complete a variety of courses in English, mathematics, the sciences, social sciences and the humanities known as the "Core Curriculum" during the first year or two of enrollment. All students seeking a bachelor's degree at Georgia College must satisfy the Core requirements. Transfer students who have previously earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree are exempt from taking the Core at GC.
You can find available course offerings for each semester online at PAWS. After clicking on "Click here to get to PAWS," select "Class Schedule." Then select the specific term and the course subjects for which you are searching (for example, economics or biology). Please note that some students are not able to access this site from abroad.
For your first semester of enrollment, you need to meet with your academic adviser before registering for courses. In subsequent semesters, you can go online and register yourself, unless you have an "adviser hold," requiring adviser consultation.
The first five days of a semester are known as "drop/add." During this period, students can drop a class on-line without having to get their adviser's or instructor's signature. During the first 3 days of this period, students can add classes as well.
TIP: If you are trying to register for a class during the pre-registration period but it is full, keep checking during the drop/add period because often spaces become available.
After the drop/add period, students wishing to add or drop classes must follow procedures outlined in the Registrar's Office. You can drop classes up until the mid-term of the semester without academic penalty (unless previously assigned an "F" by the professor for absences). However, remember that international students are required to be full-time throughout the semester in order to maintain their immigration status. Undergraduates cannot drop below 12 credit hours and graduates cannot drop below 9 credit hours. If you have special circumstances requiring that you drop below full-time, you must discuss your situation with the International Education Center before dropping.
Once you have registered for courses, you can visit the university bookstore on Wilkinson Street to purchase your textbooks. The bookstore will have a listing of all of the required textbooks for each course. Often you will have the choice of purchasing new or used textbooks. Textbooks in the U.S. are extremely expensive, and some students find it more economical to purchase books online through sites such as Amazon. However, students need to keep in mind that delivery might take several weeks, and you will need your textbooks by the start of classes.
It is important to check the academic calendar for semester dates, drop/add deadlines, holidays and exam schedules.
At the beginning of each term, your instructor will give you a syllabus for that course. The syllabus will contain all important information that you need to know for that course – assigned text(s), explanation of how the grade is determined, tests/assignments, class schedule, classroom policies, etc. You will need to refer to it throughout the semester.
Classroom procedures are generally informal, although a high level of academic performance is expected. Regular attendance and punctuality are advised and usually required. In addition, classroom participation is strongly encouraged. Professors want students to ask questions and contribute to class discussions. In fact, class participation is often a part of the student's grade.
All professors have scheduled office hours, when students can go talk to them to ask questions or discuss problems. Professors encourage students to visit them during their office hours. If you need additional time, you can also make an appointment to meet with your professor outside office hours.
Grades and Credit Hours
Georgia College uses a letter grading system and a semester unit system. In most cases, the number of semester hours represents the number of hours per week the class meets. Semester grade reports list the courses completed, the letter grade, and a point grade used to calculate the student's Grade Point Average (GPA). The grading system is as follows:
A Excellent 4.0
B Good 3.0
C Average 2.0
D Passing 1.0
F Failure 0.0
W Withdrew 0.0 (No penalty)
WF Withdrew Failing 0.0
Your GPA is computed by taking the grade you receive for a course and multiplying its numerical value by the number of credit hours for the course. Then total the points earned by all courses and divide by the total number of credit hours.
Class Calculation Result (points)
ENGL 1101 3 hours x B (3 pts) 9
CHEM 1151 3 hours x A (4 pts) 12
HIST 1131 2 hours x C (2 pts) 4
Total 8 hours 25 pts / 8hrs = 3.125 GPA
A typical full-time load for an undergraduate students is 15 credit hours per semester (12 hours is the minimum). A typical full-time load for graduate students is 9 credit hours per semester.
The class syllabus should list the main required assignments and examinations. Some classes may require weekly assignments to be handed in and/or a longer research paper/project due at the end of the semester. Most exams given will be written rather than oral. Several exams will usually be scheduled during the course, and a final exam is given at the end of the semester. Common types of tests are:
- Pop Quiz: unannounced, short test of a specific concept
- Announced Test: short exam on chapter or section of the course
- Mid-Term: a class-long exam halfway through the semester
- Final Exam: an exam lasting three hours at the end of the semester
- Take-Home Test: in-depth questions requiring research
- Objective Test: consists of factual questions requiring you to choose the correct answer (multiple choice, matching, true/false)
- Subjective Test: consists of essay questions requiring you to write well organized compositions
It is not permissible to take reference material into an examination unless the professor specifies that it is an "open-book" test. A student is not allowed to talk to or copy from his/her neighbor during an exam. Also, it is considered cheating to copy (plagiarize) materials without giving credit to the source. These are violations of the Academic Honor Code and may result in a punishment as severe as dismissal from the university.
Foreign Language Requirement
Students who submit educational documents showing their language of instruction in high school was in a language other than English are exempt from the foreign language requirement. Students who are granted an exemption from the language requirement will not receive credit toward the CORE or graduation requirements for introductory courses in their language of exemption. They may enroll in intermediate and advanced courses offered by Georgia College with the approval of the Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages.
Academic Support Services
If you encounter academic problems, the university provides additional support services, which include:
The Learning Center: Library, Room 252 (445-1179)
Writing Center: Library, Room 228 (445-3370)
Counseling Services: Wellness and Recreational Center, Suite 210(445-5331)
Do not wait until the end of the semester to seek help. Upon encountering academic problems, talk with your instructor, academic adviser, or international student adviser. Performing poorly even in one subject can negatively affect your grade-point average.
English as a Second Language
Short-term international exchange students whose TOEFL score is 500/61 or above but below 550/79 are required to take ESLG 1001 (Introduction to American Language and Culture) during their first semester. If international students receive a grade of D or F in ESLG 1001, they will be required to repeat the course in the following semester.
Other undergraduate international students who need additional English language or American cultural support are strongly encouraged to take ESLG 1001.ESLG 1001 is not a substitute for remedial classes that may be required by the Board of Regents.