3.3.1 Core Curriculum: Core IMPACTS
The USG core curriculum, Core IMPACTS, is designed to ensure that students acquire essential knowledge in foundational academic areas and develop career-ready competencies. There are seven Core IMPACTS areas. As presented in the table below, IMPACTS is a mnemonic for students to appreciate the impact of the overall core curriculum.
Students at all institutions must meet the Core IMPACTS requirements in all specified areas. However, institutions have considerable flexibility to tailor courses that meet these requirements to their institutional missions. Students must complete all Core IMPACTS requirements in order to earn associate of arts, associate of science, nexus, bachelor of arts, or bachelor of science degrees.
The Core IMPACTS framework establishes common system-wide Learning Outcomes and Career- Ready Competencies for each area, ensuring that courses completed in an area at one institution or through eCore are fully transferable to the same area at any other USG institution. Students do not have to complete all of the requirements for a Core IMPACTS area to transfer credit within that area. In some cases, a student may transfer from a sending institution that has a higher amount of credit in a core area than the receiving institution to which the student is transferring. In those cases, students should still get full credit for courses at the receiving institution, with the excess credit being applied to another core area.
System-wide Learning Outcomes and Career-Ready Competencies have been established for each Core IMPACTS area. To be included in a Core IMPACTS area, courses must address the approved Learning Outcomes and Career-Ready Competencies for that area. More details are available in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook.
Each institution’s Core IMPACTS requirements must add up to 42 semester credit hours, with minimum credit hours in each area as follows:
|Core IMPACTS||Area Shorthand||Credit Hours|
|Institutional Priority||Institution||At least 3 credit hours|
|Mathematics & Quantitative Skills||Mathematics||At least 3 credit hours|
|Political Science & U.S. History||Citizenship||At least 3 credit hours|
|Arts, Humanities & Ethics||Humanities||At least 6 credit hours|
|Communicating in Writing||Writing||At least 6 credit hours|
|Technology, Mathematics & Sciences*|
|At least 7 credit hours*|
|Social Sciences||Social Sciences||At least 3 credit hours|
*At least 4 of the STEM credit hours must be in a lab science course. Given the importance of the STEM disciplines, any institution that wishes to drop STEM below 10 hours must make a compelling intellectual case that its core proposal will not lead to students knowing less about STEM. [An example of such a compelling case might be if the institution proposed to put 3 or more hours of math in the Institution area and 7 hours of natural science in the STEM area.]
(BoR Minutes, October 2009, October 2014, October 2015; March 2016; October 2023)
3.3.2 Academic Approval for Off-Campus Instructional Sites
An “off-campus instructional site” is a site located geographically apart from the main campus at which an institution provides instruction and where students go to access support services. An off-campus instructional site is not independent of the institution’s main campus.
Institutions wishing to offer courses or degree programs externally must adhere to the guidelines, criteria, and nomenclature contained in guidelines issued by the Chancellor or his or her designee, which are maintained in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. The designation of an off-campus instructional location as a campus, center, or consortium requires approval by the Board of Regents through its Committee on Academic Affairs.
The procedures for approving facilities for off-campus instruction are outlined in the Board of Regents’ Policy on Off-Campus Institutional Sites. Institutions shall not initiate requests for new off-campus instructional facilities prior to the approval of related academic proposals unless authorized by the Chief Academic Officer to proceed concurrently during the academic review process.
It is desirable in most instances to have the closest qualified institution respond to off-campus credit course needs. In cases where requests for services exceed the qualifications or ability of the closest institution, attempts should be made to have such requests met by other qualified USG institutions. Prior to the offering of off-campus course work, the President of the institution proposing such work will notify the president of any other USG institution located in closer geographic proximity to the site proposed for the off-campus course work. In the event that the involved institutions are unable to arrive at a mutual agreement on the offering of off-campus credit courses, the matter will be referred to the Chancellor for final resolution.
3.3.3 Distance Education
“Distance education” is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction in a course occurs when the student and instructor are not in the same place and the instruction is delivered using technology. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. No institution may offer programs completely online prior to the Board of Regents’ approval of the academic program or programs to be offered completely online.
3.3.4 United States and Georgia History and Constitutions
All USG institutions shall give instruction in the history of the United States, in the history of Georgia, and in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia. No undergraduate student shall receive a certificate of graduation or a degree without successfully completing coursework or passing a satisfactory examination on the history of the United States, the history of Georgia, and the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia.
3.3.5 University System and Technical College System of Georgia Articulation Agreement
The articulation agreement is based on the principles of serving student needs, avoiding duplication of mission, using state resources efficiently, and expanding opportunities for post-secondary attainment in Georgia.
A Post-secondary Oversight Council comprised of appropriate System Office staff from the TCSG and USG will meet on a regular basis to assure compliance with this articulation agreement, address other articulation issues if they arise, and encourage the development of programs and policies to support Georgia’s college completion goals.
Associate of Applied Science Degrees
In order to minimize duplication of program offerings across TCSG and USG, the following procedures are required for all new Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. All new A.A.S. degrees proposed for implementation at USG institutions will be submitted through the following process:
- The USG institution submits the degree proposal to the USG System Office. If the degree duplicates an existing AAS degree at a TCSG institution near the proposing USG institution, the proposed degree must have a letter of support signed by the respective TCSG college president.
- USG System Office staff will present the proposal to the TCSG System Office for review by System Office staff.
- If recommended by TCSG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the TCSG Board.
- The TCSG Board will return the proposal to USG with a recommendation for support or nonsupport.
- USG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the TCSG Board with the USG Board. The USG Board will take final action on the proposal.
Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees are primarily for students who intend to transfer to another institution for completion of a four-year degree program. These degrees are generally awarded through successful completion of a planned program of study at USG institutions.
Associate of Arts Degrees (A.A.)
TCSG institutions will not offer Associate of Arts degrees.
Associate of Science Degrees (A.S.)
All new Associate of Science degrees proposed for implementation at TCSG colleges, regardless of delivery system will be submitted through the following process:
- The TCSG institution submits the degree proposal to the TCSG System Office. The proposed degree must have an articulation agreement signed by the respective TCSG and USG institutions’ presidents.
- TCSG System Office staff will present the proposal to the USG System Office for review by System Office staff.
- If recommended by USG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the Board of Regents (BOR).
- The BOR will return the proposal to TCSG with a recommendation for support or non-support.
- TCSG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the BOR with the TCSG Board. The TCSG Board will take final action on the proposal.
Bachelor degrees are offered only through USG institutions. Technical certificates and diplomas are generally awarded for the successful completion of a planned program of study through the colleges of TCSG. These programs are typically not designed for transfer.
This policy ensures students who transfer between TCSG and USG institutions will not be required to repeat the course work approved for transfer that was successfully completed at another institution.
USG institutions and TCSG institutions will accept general education courses for transfer between their respective institutions articulated in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. Courses will only be accepted from institutions accredited by the SACSCOC. Both the USG and the TCSG are committed to and responsible for assuring that faculty teaching these courses meet the SACS comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.
New TCSG general education courses proposed for transfer to USG institutions in Core Curriculum Areas A-E will follow the same review procedure required for new Core Curriculum courses proposed by USG institutions:
- The TCSG System Office staff will present the proposed course(s) to the USG System Office.
- The USG System Office will convene a meeting of the appropriate disciplinary Regents Academic Advisory Committee. Non-voting faculty designated from the TCSG will be invited to participate.
- Course(s) approved by a Regents Academic Advisory Committee for transfer in Areas A-E will be recommended to the USG General Education Council for review.
- Course(s) approved by the USG General Education Council will be reviewed by System Office staff who will submit the courses to the USG Board for final action.
Upon receipt of USG Board approval for the designated course(s), TCSG colleges will clearly publicize the designated approval categories to TCSG students.
3.3.6 Academic Credit Earned Through Extra-Institutional and Prior Learning
University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall provide students with opportunities to be evaluated and earn academic credit for assessed extra-institutional and prior learning toward the completion of a degree program, including course credit earned from military experience.
Once transcribed to the student record, credits awarded for extra-institutional and prior learning at a USG institution shall be applied toward a degree program, regardless of how the credit was earned. Credits awarded for extra-institutional and prior learning by one USG institution shall transfer as the designated course to another USG institution if a student has passed a higher-level course in the course sequence offered at the previously attended USG institution.
Institutions shall maintain a review process for extra-institutional and prior learning that adheres to SACSCOC policies and guidelines, minimizes the number of credits that do not contribute to progress toward a degree program, and does not improperly affect student eligibility for financial aid. Additional guidance for awarding credit for extra-institutional or prior learning is provided in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook.
18.104.22.168 Course Credit Earned from Military Experience
Each USG institution shall maintain a policy and procedures that outline the awarding of academic credit for appropriate courses in the curriculum for military experience to students who are veterans or military service members based on the guidelines contained in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook. When awarding credit, USG institutions shall reference the Joint Service Transcript (JST), DD-214, or transcripts from the Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Coast Guard Institute (CGI), and other appropriate transcripts that summarize the skills and experiences obtained during military service. In evaluating military transcripts, institutions should consult the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to determine the course recommendation made by that organization.
22.214.171.124 Course Credits for Standardized Examinations
Each USG institution shall maintain a policy and procedures that outline the awarding of academic credit for appropriate courses in the curriculum for successful completion of college-level curricula and standardized examinations offered by nationally recognized organizations, such as Advanced Placement Program (AP), the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and DANTES Subject Standardized Test Program (DSST). The policy and procedures shall apply to both in-state and out-of-state students and comply with the guidelines set forth in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook.
A student may opt not to accept credits. If a student believes that the assessment of his or her work from standardized examination and subsequent awarding of credits is in error, the student may file an appeal with the appropriate academic department office and request a re-assessment. As with other academic matters, if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the department level, the student may then appeal to the dean of the respective school or college, with a final appeal to the vice president for academic affairs, whose decision in the matter will be final.
3.3.7 Learning Support Programs
Each USG institution that admits students required by Board of Regents or USG policy to enroll in Learning Support courses as they attempt core curriculum courses shall provide a program or programs to support the academic needs of students who enroll in Learning Support. Institutions may set higher standards for placement and the program may include other Learning Support components. The USG chief academic officer will issue administrative procedures regarding the operation of these programs.