Student Handbook

This particular handbook is prepared for the convenience of students and does not constitute an official publication of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In case of any divergence from or conflict with the bylaws or policies of the Board of Regents, the official Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Regents shall prevail.

The statements set forth in the handbook are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and this institution. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the material stated herein, Georgia College & State University reserves the right to change, without actual notice to individual students, any provision listed in this handbook including but not limited to academic requirements for graduation. Every effort will be made to keep students advised of such changes.

Information regarding academic requirements for graduation is available in the offices of the director of admissions and records and the deans of major schools/colleges. It is the responsibility of each student to keep himself apprised of current graduation requirements for a degree program in which he is enrolled.

The responsibility for knowing the information presented in this handbook rests ultimately with the student.

[Note: The use of the male terminology is meant to reflect both male and female student, faculty, and staff at GCSU]

Student Academic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

(For all students enrolled at GCSU)

Section I. Student Academic Bill of Rights

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Student Government Association of Georgia College, that university policies and procedures shall be interpreted so as to afford students enrolled at Georgia College the following academic rights:

  • The right to receive a syllabus for each course at the beginning of every semester that documents the expected learning outcomes, grading criteria, and course rules; being informed by the professor of any changes or modifications made to the syllabus with ample time to adjust to new modifications.
  • The right to attend classes during regularly scheduled times without penalty if the student is absent from instructional, lab, or examination times scheduled outside of the originally agreed upon times, unless cited in the original syllabi.
  • The right to consult with an assigned and qualified advisor for a reasonable amount of time each term.
  • The right to consult with faculty outside usual classroom times such as regularly scheduled office hours, by appointment, or online. 
  • The right to receive a realistic evaluation of academic standing and performance in a class prior to the point at which one may withdraw from the course without penalty. 
  • The right to have graded work returned in a fashion deemed appropriate by the syllabi.
  • The right to have time, as allocated by the syllabus, to complete a course requirement.
  • The right of each student to receive access to any of his/her records kept by the institution.
  • The right of each student to have access to his/her graded course materials.
  • The right to be informed of the grade appeals process.
  • The right to be informed of the university-approved definition of academic dishonesty.
  • The right to an intellectually diverse learning environment that exposes students to and provides the free exchange of ideas regarding a variety of political, ideological, and other perspectives.

Section II. Student Academic Responsibilities

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Student Government Association of Georgia College, that, in consonance with the Student Academic Bill of Rights, students bear the following academic responsibilities:

  • The responsibility to read and be familiar with all syllabi. 
  • The responsibility to come to class having all needed materials and assignments completed for that class period. 
  • The responsibility to consult a designated advisor when appropriate. 
  • The responsibility to approach faculty with questions or concerns.  
  • The responsibility to complete assignments on time.           
  • The responsibility to share your thoughts and input in-class discussion. 
  • The responsibility to be attentive in class and to participate where needed/appropriate. 
  • The responsibility to show respect to faculty and fellow students inside and outside of the classroom. 
  • The responsibility to network with your classmates in the event of an absence. 
  • The responsibility to utilize campus facilities to enhance the learning experience. 
  • The responsibility to know and follow the Georgia College Honor Code and Code of Conduct.

Approved by the Georgia College University Senate, April 5, 2006

Student Roadmap

GCSU students are expected to set their own personal development goals, take responsibility for their learning, take advantage of the opportunities available to help them develop and implement their career plans, and to be meaningfully engaged and involved in the campus community.  This link to the student road map checklist should serve as a useful guide to students in meeting these expectations.

Road Map

Academic Information and Policies

If the information listed below does not address a particular concern, please contact the Dean of a College or the Provost.  The paragraphs below contain brief explanations of the content of the various topics.  The official information is found in the current catalog and links have been provided to that source.

Official Class Attendance Policy Although it is recognized that absences will sometimes be necessary, students are expected to attend classes regularly. It is the responsibility of students to be cognizant of their own record of absences and to consult the instructor regarding work missed. The decision to permit students to make up work rests with the instructor. At any time during the semester, an instructor has the right to drop a student from the course and assign a grade of F for excessive absences when a student exceeds the number of allowable absences specified in the instructor’s attendance policy distributed to the student in the instructor’s course syllabus. If a student is representing the university in an official capacity, as verified on a list released from the Office of the Provost, the instructor will not penalize the student for those absences. However, students should consult their instructor before anticipated absences.

Class attendance is required by most faculty. The student is always responsible for what happens in each class. Each class and professor differs, so students should be certain they understand the attendance requirements for each course taken. The student should communicate directly with the instructor concerning any absences to determine what is required to remain current with instruction.  Best advice: GO TO CLASS.

Course Catalog The GCSU Catalog is prepared for students, parents, and high school counselors and is available online at the above link. It is also used as the basic resource document for faculty advisement once a student has been admitted to GCSU. All the information in it should be considered very important to prospective and current students.

Drop-Add Students may change class schedules or late register during specified times, but this critical activity known as Drop-Add should be avoided whenever possible. To drop or add a class, follow the procedures outlined in the current catalog.   Students should be aware that courses dropped after the initial drop-add period are considered attempted hours for the purposes of figuring financial aid, including the HOPE scholarship.

New Student Orientation New students and their families have many questions when they first arrive at GCSU. The Orientation Program is designed to answer those questions and help the newest members of the GCSU community feel at home. Current upper-class students are selected and trained to help ease the transition of new students to the college.

Registration Information about selecting and signing up for classes each term.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Students have the right of assurance that their academic records, compiled and maintained by GCSU, will be recorded accurately, and retained in confidence.

Staying in School
Those students whose academic performance falls below the standards prescribed in the catalog will be placed on academic warning, probation, and may even receive notice of dismissal (see the catalog for details). If students realize they are getting behind in classes or having problems studying, they should ask for assistance. The first source of support is the professor in a particular course. A student may also want to talk with a faculty adviser, the learning center, or a counselor.

A student cannot officially withdraw during the course of a semester without going through the Office of the Registrar. At that time a student will be given further instructions for completing the withdrawal process. Withdrawing without going through the proper procedures will result in all "Fs" for the term.

Office of the Registrar | 107 Parks Hall
Office: 478-445-6286 |  Fax:  478-445-1914

International Services And Programs
The International Education Center is directed by the assistant vice president for international education. The office provides information and counseling to international students on immigration regulations and procedures, medical insurance, financial assistance, taxes, adjustment to life in the U.S., and academic concerns, advises the GCSU International Club, and organizes community and campus activities.

The assistant vice president for international education promotes the internationalization of the curriculum by directing the International Studies Minor and the core international studies course. The office also organizes the international lecture series, coordinates visits by foreign scholars and visits abroad by GCSU faculty, and advises students on study abroad opportunities.

Freedom of expression policy

GCSU holds the first amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably as an essential cornerstone to the advancement of knowledge and the right of a free people. GCSU remains firmly committed to affording every member of the university community the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly exercise of these rights. Such opportunities must be provided on an equal basis and support the principle that the university should remain neutral to the views of public expression. In order to achieve this objective, while at the same time ensuring that the university fulfills its educational mission, the university has the responsibility to maintain a peaceful, safe environment for its campus community as well as visitors to campus. This policy will help to ensure that individuals’ or groups’ rights are not abridged, while also supporting a means to maintain safety. Assuming responsibility for the use of university facilities includes ensuring that the university does not restrict the First Amendment rights of the public, students, staff, and faculty, including protecting the rights of speakers to be heard, the rights of the university community to hear speakers, and the reputation of the university as a center for free speech and scholarly inquiry.

The law permits reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to allow for reasonable regulation of use of campus facilities to support university missions for teaching, education, research, student success, providing residential communities and other forms of learning. This policy is intended to make it possible to support the university’s goals by implementing balanced procedures.

Students, faculty, staff, and their invited guests are supported in their right to assemble in unrestricted outdoor areas of the campus. They can publicly assemble on campus in any unrestricted outdoor areas of the campus.

Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted as preventing GCSU from prohibiting student-on-student harassment as defined by Georgia law; from complying with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment; or from prohibiting, limiting, or restricting expression that is not protected under the Georgia Constitution or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, including, but not limited to, true threats or expressive activity directed to provoke imminent lawless actions and likely to produce it.

Administrators, campus police officers, residence life officials, and professors shall be trained on this policy.

Student Organizations

GCSU recognizes that co-curricular activities are important in the educational development of the individual and therefore encourages students to participate in student organizations.

The President of GCSU is charged by the Board of Regents with the responsibility and authority for the registration and operation of all organizations on the GCSU campus. This responsibility has been delegated to the Department of Student Engagement through the Vice President for Student Life

See Student Organizations for specific details related to registering an organization, policies pertaining to Registered Student Organizations (RSO), list of RSOs at GCSU, etc.

History of Georgia College & State University

History of Georgia College

Presidents and their terms
1889-1905 – J. Harris Chappell
1905-1926 – Marvin McTyeire Parks
1926-1934 – J. Luther Beeson
1934-1953 – Guy Herbert Wells 
1953-1956 – Henry King Stanford
1956-1967 – Robert E. Lee
1967-1981 – J. Whitney Bunting
1981-1997 – Edwin G. Speir, Jr.
1997-2004 – Rosemary DePaolo
2004-2011 - Dorothy Leland
2012-2021 - Steve Dorman
2021 - present - Cathy Cox

Photo and Video Release

As a student at GCSU, from time to time you will be on campus, in class, or at a university-designated activity where our campus photographer and/or videographers are present and working to capture visual images. These videos and photos will be used across multiple platforms (i.e. social media, university websites, university print materials, etc.) to help tell the GCSU story. If you do not want to be a part of these photos or videos, let the videographer or photographer know, and they will exclude you from the shots. If you do not say that you wish to be excluded, you consent to be a part of the photos or video to be used by GCSU.

Services for Students

Find information about the Bobcat Card, meal plans, parking permits, career advising, public safety, and getting involved on campus.

Bobcat Card 

The Bobcat Card is an essential key to campus life and a handy tool for managing your money. As your official Georgia College identification card, the Bobcat Card gives you access to facilities, services, and fun.

You can also use your Bobcat Card for making purchases at participating locations. The Bobcat Card is truly an all-inclusive card, serving as your:

• Debit card to access available funds in a CatCash Account
• Meal plan card
• CatCash dining card (for purchases at retail dining facilities)
• Library card
• Access card to residence halls
• Access card to gated parking
• Ticket to Georgia College Athletic events
• Laundry card
• Snack and beverage vending card
• Copier card
• Bookstore debit card
• Computer lab pay-for-print card
• Debit card for use with off-campus merchants

Email questions or concerns to

Meal Plans

For a list of meal plans that are available visit the GCSU Dining Website.

Parking Permits

Each student is required to register and obtain a parking permit from the Parking and Transportation Office  (located at West Campus) for any vehicle which he operates on campus. This permit is required 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  For detailed information, visit Parking and Transportation.

In order to obtain a handicapped parking permit, you must go to the Office of Disability Services to complete the required paperwork. For more information contact Disability Services.

Career Advising

The University Career Center (located in Lanier Hall) provides placement assistance to students and graduates who are seeking employment through on-campus interviewing programs, current listings of job notices, and a variety of employment resources like the College Placement Council Annuals. While the office does not function as an employment agency, the staff seeks to assist students in identifying potential employers, developing resumes, and preparing for job interviews.

In addition, the University Career Center hosts a number of Career Days each academic year which enable students to meet with college recruiters from business, industry, and government agencies to gather information and develop job prospects.

The University Career Center also offers education majors an opportunity to develop and maintain a credentials file of reference letters, transcripts, and other career-related materials that would be sent at the student's request to prospective employers. All students participating in interviews scheduled during Teacher Placement Day must have a completed credentials file in The University Career Center. Additionally, a resume resource service exists for student use. Students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with placement resources and to establish their credentials files at the beginning of their senior year.

Students who are unsure of their career direction may wish to visit the Counseling Services office for assistance with choosing a major or a career. A variety of career assessment instruments and literature are available with assistance from the counseling staff.

Public Safety

The Georgia College Department of Public Safety wants to get to know you as friends, and we encourage you to help us by learning and abiding by established university regulations, municipal, and state laws. The Department of Public Safety, in turn, pledges to perform law enforcement duties and various services consistently and effectively. By working together, we can enjoy a safe and successful year.

The Public Safety office is located in Miller Hall at 300 N. Wayne Street and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The department employs 16 trained officers who are certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council of Georgia. This is the same certification that any city police officer or county deputy sheriff receives before they can be certified as law enforcement officers in Georgia. The sworn officers and communications staff are proud to serve the Georgia College community.

As Georgia College officers, we enforce the state laws as well as local ordinances. We issue citations, make arrests, and work vehicle accidents. Some of our other duties include the locking and unlocking of campus buildings, assisting motorists, and patrolling the campus on foot, bicycle, or in marked patrol vehicles.

Please feel free to stop by Miller Hall to learn more about the Public Safety operations, or call the office and speak to an officer or one of the staff. Whether you are representing yourself or a group, we encourage you to let us know how the Georgia College Police Department can best serve you.

Getting Involved on Campus

There is Something for everyone.

The Department of Student Engagement supports the institutional mission by offering students the opportunity to participate in social, recreational, educational, and cultural activities. In addition, Student Engagement acts as an advocate for students by providing a variety of services that cater to individual and organizational needs of students.

Non-Academic Grievance or Appeal Process

Policy Statement

Georgia College recognizes the importance of providing a prompt and efficient procedure for fair and equitable resolutions of a nonacademic grievance or appeal. A non-academic grievance or appeal alleges discrimination by a university employee on the basis of race, color, sex (sexual orientation or gender identity), religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information, or involves personal behavior and/or university policy. Accordingly, students are encouraged to use the nonacademic grievance or appeal process without fear, prejudice, or reprisal for initiating the process or participating in its resolution.

A non-academic grievance or appeal is an allegation by a student concerning (1) a university employee, (2) administrative policies, procedures, regulations or requirements of the university, (3) actions impeding a campus climate of intellectual diversity, (4) student employment, or (5) a university program, service or activity. Students shall have the right to file a grievance or appeal according to established procedures.


The following are the proper procedures for resolving a nonacademic grievance or appeal:

  1. The student shall submit a complaint in writing to the appropriate university official responsible for the action which forms the basis of the grievance or appeal. If the student is uncomfortable addressing the complaint to the university official responsible for the action, the student may, as an alternative, address the complaint to the university's Director of Institutional Equity.  The complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the grievance or appeal, the remedies sought and a request for a meeting with the involved person or persons. The complaint must be submitted within five days of the event, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  2. The respondent shall schedule a meeting with the student within ten class days of receiving the written grievance or appeal, to discuss the matter. A written reply by the respondent to the student indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.
  3. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the discussion and/or the reply, and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the respondent's supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within ten class days after the conclusion of the discussion with the respondent. A written reply by the respondent's supervisor to the student indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.
  4. If the student is not satisfied after seeking consultation at the supervisor's level and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the secondary supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within ten class days after the supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the secondary supervisor to the student indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.
  5. If the student is not satisfied and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the next appropriate supervisor. This grievance or appeal must be filed within ten class days after the secondary supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the next appropriate supervisor to the student indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.
  6. The decision of the president will become the final campus decision on the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the president to the student indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal. The student and appropriate university officials shall be notified in writing of the decision within ten class days after the last consideration of the grievance or appeal.

Students should be aware that their faculty advisors, the Office of Counseling Services, the Student Government Association and the Office of Student Affairs may be resource areas where students may receive assistance on a grievance or appeal. The time limit may be extended upon approval of a written request submitted to the vice president and dean of students.

Traditions and Georgia College

Please see a complete, updated list of Georgia College Traditions at: