Board of Regents Policy Manual

Official Policies of the University System of Georgia

The Chancellor, the University System Office of Academic Affairs and the University System of Georgia (USG) presidents, their administrative officers and faculties shall develop, adapt, and administer the academic methods and procedures deemed by them to be most effective in promoting efficient operations and the advancement of learning.

Proper functions of the academic authorities include the following:

  1. Prescribing the teaching load to be carried by each member of the faculty;
  2. Determining the maximum and minimum number of students permitted in a class; and,
  3. Defining the nature and form of academic records to be kept concerning members of the faculties and administrative personnel.

Each USG institution president and his or her administrative officers, faculty, and staff shall promote effective higher education and efficient service having in view resources available to the institution. USG academic authorities shall choose the appropriate ways and means that are best adapted to achieve the ends desired. The Board of Regents will hold institutions accountable for their results.

Each institution must maintain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and ensure that all programs requiring accreditation by law, regulation, or Board of Regents’ Policy are appropriately accredited.

3.2.1 Faculty Membership

In all University System of Georgia (USG) institutions, the faculty will consist of the Corps of Instruction and the administrative officers.

3.2.1.1 Corps of Instruction

Full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, principal lecturers, and teaching personnel with such other titles as may be approved by the Board, shall be the Corps of Instruction. Full-time research and extension personnel and duly certified librarians will be included in the Corps of Instruction on the basis of comparable training. Persons holding part-time and adjunct appointments or other honorary titles shall not be considered to be members of the faculty.

3.2.1.2 Administrative Officers

Faculty status of full-time administrative officers will necessarily vary with the size and complexity of the institution. Administrative officers shall be appointed by the President of the institution and shall hold office at the pleasure of the President.

A faculty member who has academic rank and rights of tenure in the Corps of Instruction and who accepts an appointment to an administrative office, other than President, shall retain the responsibilities and privileges of faculty membership, his or her academic rank, and rights of tenure as an ex officio member of the Corps of Instruction, but shall have no rights of tenure in the administrative office to which he or she has been appointed.

The additional salary, if any, for the administrative position shall be stated in the employment contract and shall not be paid to the faculty member when he or she ceases to hold the administrative position.

3.2.1.3 Other Faculty Members

Research and Comprehensive Universities
In addition to the Corps of Instruction, the faculty will include the President, administrative and academic deans, registrar, librarian, and chief fiscal officer of the institution and other full-time administrative officers as the institution may designate as having ex officio faculty status.

State Universities and State Colleges
In addition to the Corps of Instruction, the faculty will consist of the President of the institution and other full-time administrative officers as the institution may designate as having ex officio faculty status.


3.2.2 Regents’ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Student Success

The Board of Regents rewards excellence in teaching and student success through a system-wide awards program.

Each institution is invited to annually nominate one teaching faculty member for each of the following awards: Felton Jenkins, Jr., Hall of Fame Faculty Award; Regents’ Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; and Regents’ Award for Excellence in Online Teaching. Additionally, each institution is invited to annually nominate one faculty or staff member for the Regents’ Excellence in Student Success Award and one academic department or program for each of the following awards: the Regents’ Excellence in Teaching Department/Program Award and the Regents’ Department/Program Excellence in Student Success Award. The USG Chief Academic Officer shall publish specific procedures, nomination guidelines, and award criteria.

In addition to the Regents’ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Student Success, institutions shall develop and implement systematic programs to recognize and reward faculty and staff for excellence in teaching and service to students and professional staff for outstanding job performance and innovation on the job.


3.2.3 Faculty Meetings, Rules, and Regulations

The faculty council, senate, assembly, or other comparable governance body at all USG institutions shall meet and shall appoint a secretary who shall keep a record of the proceedings. All meetings should comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Georgia Open Records Act and Georgia Open Meetings Act.

The faculty or the council, senate, assembly, or other comparable faculty governance body at an USG institution, shall, subject to the approval of the President of the institution:

  1. Make statutes, rules, and regulations for its governance;
  2. Provide committees as may be required;
  3. Make statutes, rules, and regulations for students regarding admission, suspension, expulsion, classes, courses of study, the learning environment, and requirements for graduation; and,
  4. Make regulations necessary or proper for the maintenance of high educational standards.

A copy of each institution’s statutes, rules, and regulations made by the faculty shall be filed with the Chancellor and shall be published, implemented, and disseminated in accordance with SACSCOC regulations. The faculty shall have primary responsibility for those aspects of student life that relate to the educational process, subject to the approval of the President of the institution.

3.2.3.1 University System of Georgia Faculty Council

The University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC) shall provide a faculty voice on academic and educational matters and Board of Regents’ policies related to the profession, including but not limited to tenure and promotion, academic freedom, and post-tenure review. The USGFC shall be mindful and respectful of matters that are more appropriately handled at the institutional level but may make recommendations that have University System level impact or implications.

Membership of the USGFC shall be comprised of one voting representative from each USG institution who is a member of that institution’s faculty and selected by a process determined by the faculty or faculty body of that institution. A copy of each institution’s process to determine its USGFC representative shall be maintained at the institution level and provided to the University System Office upon demand. The organization and governance of the USGFC shall be implemented according to policies and procedures established by the membership of the USGFC in the USGFC by-laws in consultation with and approved by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.

Nothing in this policy or the USGFC by-laws shall supersede the authority and responsibilities of institutional presidents provided by Board of Regents’ Policy. With respect to matters specific to their institutions, institution presidents remain the official medium of communication between their institutional faculties and the Chancellor.


3.2.4 [Reserved]


3.3.1 Core Curriculum

The USG core curriculum was developed with the goals of assuring institutional accountability for learning, incorporating learning requirements in global perspectives and critical thinking, allowing institutions some flexibility in tailoring courses to their institutional mission, while ensuring that core curriculum courses completed at one USG institution or through eCore, the USG’s designated online core curriculum, are fully transferable to another USG institution. All core curriculum requirements must be completed as part of the associate of arts, associate of science, bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree programs.

Each institution’s core curriculum shall consist of 42 semester credit hours, with minimum credit hours in each area of the core as follows:

Area Name Hours
Area A1 Communication Skills At least 6 semester hours
Area A2 Quantitative Skills At least 3 semester hours
Area B Institutional Options At least 3 semester hours
Area C Humanities/Fine Arts, and Ethics At least 6 semester hours
Area D

Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology
At least 4 of these hours must be in a lab science course.

*Given the importance of the STEM disciplines, any institution that wishes to drop Area D below 10 hours must make a compelling intellectual case that its core proposal will not lead to students knowing less about the natural sciences, math, and technology. [An example of such a compelling case might be if the institution proposed to put 3 or more hours of math in Area B and 7 hours of natural science in Area D.]

At least 7 semester hours*
Area E Social Sciences At least 6 semester hours

The specific learning outcomes for areas A through E of an institution’s core curriculum are approved by the Council on General Education.

Students completing any core curriculum course at one USG institution or through eCore will receive full credit for that course upon transfer to another USG institution within the same major, even if a core area is not completed and even if it means giving transfer credit across areas (e.g., credit of a math course in Area C).

Assessment of the core curriculum by each institution is required as part of their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the USG Comprehensive Program Review process.

(BoR Minutes, October 2009, October 2014, October 2015; March 2016)


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.

3.3.5.1 Associate Degrees

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

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.

3.3.5.2 General Education Course 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.


3.4.1 Semester System

All University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall operate on the semester system.


3.4.2 Uniform Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for each USG institution shall consist of two semesters, each with at least 15 weeks of instructional time, as defined by federal regulations issued by the United States Department of Education. The 15 weeks of instructional time shall not include registration or final examinations.

All USG institutions, with the exception of Medical School and Dental School at Augusta University and the College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Law at the University of Georgia, shall begin and end classes for fall semester and spring semester within the prescribed periods set forth in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook. Each institution will determine all other necessary dates for the semester, including the possibility of flexible scheduling within and between semesters. Each term must be separated by a minimum of one day.

The President of a USG institution or his or her designee has the authority to set the Academic Calendar for the institution within the parameters of this policy. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing by the President of the institution and approved in writing by the USG Chief Academic Officer.


3.4.3 Religious Holidays

Each USG institution shall establish a process for evaluating requests for leave to observe religious holidays.


3.4.4 Instructional Time

A minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour. A course offered in fewer than 15 instructional weeks shall contain the same total hours (contact hours, preparation time, content, and requirements) as the same course offered in the standard 15-week semester.


3.5.1 Grade Point Average

All University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall be on a 4.00 grade point average (GPA) system, calculated to and truncated at two significant digits.

3.5.1.1 Grades Approved in Determining the Grade Point Average

The following grades are approved for use in institutions in the determination of the Grade Point Average:

Grade Grade Point Average
A Excellent (4.00)
B Good (3.00)
C Satisfactory (2.00)
D Passing (1.00)
F Failure (0.00)
WF Withdrew failing (0.00)

The University of Georgia and Georgia State University shall be on the following grade point average system, calculated to and truncated at two significant digits, with the following numeric equivalents.

Grade Grade Point Average
A 4.00
A- 3.70
B+ 3.30
B 3.00
B- 2.70
C+ 2.30
C 2.00
C- 1.70
D 1.00
F 0.00

In addition, Georgia State University will be allowed to use an A+ designation, with the equivalent numerical value of a 4.30. The University of Georgia and Georgia State University shall not use plus/minus grades in the calculation of the HOPE Scholarship grade point average.

3.5.1.2 Cumulative Grade Point Average

The cumulative grade point average in each USG institution will be calculated by dividing the number of hours scheduled in all courses attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received into the number of grade points earned on those hours scheduled. The cumulative grade point average will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. Institutional credit shall in no way affect the cumulative grade point average.

Other averages may be computed by each institution for internal uses as may be required.


3.5.2 Symbols Not Included in Determining the Grade Point Average

The following symbols are approved for use by USG institutions in the cases indicated, but shall not be included in the determination of the GPA:

“I” indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his or her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. The requirements for removal of an “I” are left to the respective institutions. However, if an “I” is not satisfactorily removed after three academic terms of residence, the symbol “I” will be changed to the grade “F” by the appropriate official.

“IP” indicates that credit has not been given in courses that require a “CP” continuation of work beyond the term for which the student signed up for the course. This symbol cannot be substituted for an “I.”

“K” indicates that a student was given credit for the course via a credit by examination program approved by the respective institution’s faculty (e.g., CLEP, AP, Proficiency). “K” credit may be provided for a course the student has previously audited if the institutional procedures for credit by examination are followed.

“S” indicates that credit has been given for completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic course work must be submitted to the USG chief academic officer for approval.

“U” indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic course work must be submitted to the USG chief academic officer for approval.

“V” indicates that a student was given permission to audit this course. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa. Students may register, however, on a credit basis for a course that has previously been audited.

“W” indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the mid-point of the total grading period, including final examinations, except in cases of hardship as determined by the appropriate official of the respective institution.

“WM” indicates a student was permitted to withdraw under the Board of Regents policy for military service refunds as provided in Board Policy. The use of this symbol indicates that this student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term.


3.5.3 Grade Point Average Upon Academic Renewal

Undergraduate students who are either returning to a University System of Georgia (USG) institution or are transferring to a USG institution may be eligible for Academic Renewal, which signals the initiation of a new grade point average to be used for determining academic standing. This provision allows USG degree-seeking students who experienced earlier academic difficulty to make a fresh start and have one final opportunity to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.


3.6.1 Creation of Academic Programs

New degree programs to include nexus, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees shall not be added to curricula of a University System of Georgia (USG) institution unless recommended by the President of the institution and the Chancellor and approved by the Board of Regents.

USG institutions that offer programs that provide academic credit but award certificates, post-baccalaureate certificates, or post-graduate level certificates rather than degrees must notify the USG chief academic officer pursuant to guidelines set forth in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook.


3.6.2 Termination of Academic Programs

The termination of academic programs, degrees, or majors shall be submitted to the Chancellor for review and recommendation for action by the Board of Regents. Institutions must notify the USG Executive Chief Academic Officer at least two years prior to a formal request to terminate programs, degrees, or majors as outlined in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook, including a teach-out plan in accordance with SACSCOC policies.

3.6.2.1 Temporary Suspension of Academic Programs

A temporary suspension of an academic program, degree, or major may be approved by a president for a period not to exceed two (2) academic years to allow for program review, to consider enrollment problems, to deal with faculty shortages, or for other similar reasons. The imposition and removal of a temporary suspension shall be reported to the USG Executive Chief Academic Officer.


3.6.3 Comprehensive Academic Program Review

Each USG institution shall conduct comprehensive academic program reviews for Career Associates, Associate degrees with a designated major, bachelor degrees and graduate degrees. Consistent with efforts in institutional effectiveness and strategic planning, each USG institution shall develop procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of its academic programs to address the quality, viability, and productivity of efforts in teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as appropriate to the institution’s mission. Institutional review of academic programs shall involve analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and institutions must demonstrate that they make judgments about the future of academic programs within a culture of evidence. Planning and conduct of academic program reviews shall be used for the progressive improvement and adjustment of programs in the context of the institution’s strategic plan and in response to findings and recommendations of the reviews. Adjustment may include program enhancement, maintenance at the current level, reduction in scope, or, if fully justified, consolidation or termination.


The Board of Regents shall continue efforts to provide adequate funds for increased research programs of the highest quality at University System of Georgia (USG) institutions through state appropriations and other outside sources.

In addition, the Board has approved the following special research centers:

  1. The Agricultural Experiment Stations of the University of Georgia.
  2. The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
  3. The Marine Resources Program of the University of Georgia with three units:
    • The Marine Institute on Sapelo Island;
    • The Marine Resources Extension Center on Skidaway Island; and,
    • The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography on Skidaway Island.

3.8.1 General

The faculty shall recommend to the president of the institution the candidates for degrees that the institution has been authorized by the Board to confer. A record of all degrees awarded shall be filed in the office of the Registrar of the institution conferring the degree.

Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no degree program shall exceed the following credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity/basic health or orientation course hours that the institution may require:

  1. Associate degrees shall consist of 60 credit hours
  2. Bachelor’s degrees shall consist of 120 credit hours
  3. nexus degrees shall consist of 18 credit hours
  4. Graduate degrees shall consist of 36 credit hours

3.8.2 Associate Degrees

3.8.2.1 Transfer Degrees

Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees are primarily intended to be transfer degrees leading to the baccalaureate degree, although some provide students with a recognized two-year degree credential and employment opportunities upon graduation. All A.A. and A.S. degrees shall consist of 60 semester credit hours; 42 hours of the required core curriculum coursework as outlined in Board Policy, 18 hours of lower division requirements related to a bachelor’s degree field of study (Area F), and do not include institutional requirements in physical education, activity, basic health, or orientation. Associate degrees beyond 60 credit hours require the approval of the USG chief academic officer.

Associate degrees with a major field of study are subject to USG policies on comprehensive program review and all relevant SACSCOC standards for a distinct program of study. Distinct transfer associate-level degree programs of study must have appropriate student learning outcomes, must be assessed, must demonstrate continuous improvement based on assessment results, and may be advertised as available programs of study at the institution.

3.8.2.2 Career Degrees

Career degrees include the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of Science in allied health areas (A.S. in designated health fields).

Career degrees are primarily designed to prepare students for employment upon graduation. A.A.S. degrees are generally awarded through successful completion of a planned program of study at Technical College System of Georgia institutions. USG institutions that have been approved by the Board of Regents to offer career associate degrees must designate specific disciplinary areas of study (e.g., A.A.S. in Criminal Justice or A.S. in Nursing) that are considered distinct programs of study. Career degrees are subject to Board of Regents and USG policies on comprehensive program review and all relevant SACSCOC standards for a distinct program of study. Career degree programs of study may be advertised as available programs of study at the institution.


3.8.3 Graduate Courses

USG institutions shall award only such graduate degrees that they have been authorized by the Board to confer. Other USG institutions shall not offer graduate level courses unless approved by the Board upon recommendation of the Chancellor.


3.8.4 Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. programs shall be limited to research universities. Comprehensive universities do not normally offer Ph.D. degrees. In exceptional cases, however, they may offer the Ph.D. when:

  1. The program supports the central mission of that university;
  2. There is demonstrated demand for the program;
  3. There is demonstrated need for graduates of the program; and,
  4. There is assurance of high academic quality.

All such program proposals will be subject to Board approval processes for graduate programs. The USG chief academic officer will seek counsel from appropriate USG leaders and other research universities, and then make recommendations to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents as to whether a comprehensive university has met these criteria.

In the case of applied doctorates, the Chancellor may recommend exceptions to the above policy under guidelines adopted by the USG chief academic officer.


Academic advising is an ongoing process across each University System of Georgia (USG) institution to ensure student success from admission to graduation. Each USG institution shall maintain an academic advising framework to develop cognitive and non-cognitive skills in each student that promote a productive academic mindset and result in a clear understanding of educational, professional, and personal goals and a plan to achieve those goals.

The USG Chief Academic Officer shall establish guidelines in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook related to academic advisement.

The University System of Georgia (USG) Chief Academic Officer shall establish guidelines in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook regarding the designation and sale of textbooks required for coursework at USG institutions, including provisions that:

  1. Promote increased communication between students, faculty, and college bookstores concerning the use of textbooks in the classroom, the designation of required versus recommended texts, textbook costs (including a designation of free and low-cost textbooks and textbook alternatives), textbook adoption schedules, alternative acquisition methods, and other factors affecting the designation and sale of textbooks in order to increase the options available to students in meeting their cost of education while maintaining academic rigor and quality of instruction;

  2. Ensure that bookstore operations, whether managed internally or outsourced to private vendors, offer the best value to students in acquiring textbooks and actively promote alternative options to help minimize student cost;

  3. Require a review process at the institution for determining if faculty may use self-authored texts in their classroom; and,

  4. Prohibit faculty from reselling sample texts provided by publishers or profiting from any financial incentives offered by publishers in the assignment of specific texts.

3.8.5 Diplomas Earned at Institutions Under a Previous Name

Upon request, a USG institution may issue a certificate to a graduate who received a diploma under a previous name of the institution in line with the requirements set forth in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook in order to memorialize the individual’s status as an alumnus or alumna of the institution.


3.8.6 Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are subject to approval by the Board of Regents. Honorary degrees may be conferred by USG research, comprehensive, state universities and state colleges to persons of notable achievement in an academic field, the arts and letters, the professions, or public service. An institutionally approved process for advancing candidates for consideration in a timely fashion shall include recommendations by a faculty committee and selection by the president of a candidate to be communicated to the Chancellor. Honorary degrees may be conferred upon candidates recommended by the Chancellor and approved by the Board of Regents.

Current elected or appointed national office holders or officials of the State of Georgia to whom the USG institutions are directly or indirectly answerable, as well as persons who are announced candidates for national or state elective offices are ineligible for honorary degrees. Current Regents and all current USG employees are also ineligible.


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.

3.3.6.1 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.

3.3.6.2 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.


3.9.1 Undergraduate Academic Advisement

Each USG institution shall maintain a collaborative framework for undergraduate academic advising that enables each undergraduate student to establish a clear purpose for the student’s college studies by choosing a degree program or one of a small number of affinity groups of disciplines (academic focus areas), and follow a clear course sequence organized into a degree pathway to graduation that is informed by design principles that are aligned with student success and completion.

The academic advising framework shall also include provisions for advising students throughout their undergraduate education, including provisions for monitoring and documenting student progress toward educational goals and providing outreach for students who are at risk of not meeting educational goals.


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