The university offers the following graduate programs: Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Classroom Leadership, Master of Education in Administration and Supervision, and Master of Science in Management. All graduate programs are offered at selected approved sites in South Carolina. They are all designed with the working adult in mind.
For all programs, with the exception of the MEDAS, a maximum of two three-semester hour graduate-level courses for a total of six semester hours may be transferred from other regionally accredited institutions provided that
- The grade for the transferred course is 3.0 (B) or greater.
- The course was completed within the previous five years.
- The program director judges the course to satisfy specified requirements in the graduate curriculum.
Candidacy for the master’s degree is achieved upon regular admission to the respective program.
A single unit of credit or “semester credit hour” represents for the average Southern Wesleyan University student approximately 40 hours (2250 minutes) of academic work supervised by a member of the university faculty toward mastery of appropriate learning outcomes. The academic work can be either inside or outside a classroom setting and may take the form of engagement in lectures, laboratories, recitations, discussion groups, field work, reading, individual study, simulations, academic writing, etc.
When a student enrolls in a cohort, registration for each subsequent course in the sequence is automatic as long as the student is classified as a member of that group.
To receive credit for a course, a student must be present for at least 75% of the class meetings in the course. No credit will be awarded in any course in which the total number of absences exceeds 25% of the class meetings. This number includes any authorized travel that causes a student to miss classes (for example; field trips, athletic competitions, or musical performances).
Once students have missed 25% of the class meetings in a course, they are no longer permitted to participate in activities outside of the classroom that would result in an additional absence.
A student who must miss the first class session of any course must contact the instructor before the course is scheduled to start. If no prior arrangement is made between the student and the instructor, a student who misses the first class session will be administratively dropped from the course. The student may seek re-entry according to the schedule adjustment procedure outlined above, but reinstatement in the course is not guaranteed.
Attendance in online courses is based on the completion of at least one designated assignment by the due date/time posted within the course site for each week of the course. Online activities may include lecture, assignments, readings, forums, and assessments (for example; quizzes or tests).
Hybrid courses are a combination of online and classroom activities. Students are expected to attend all campus class meetings as well as to adhere to posted online deadlines for assignments. Classroom attendance will be taken in class by the instructor. Online attendance is based on completion of at least one designated assignment by the due date/time posted within the course site for each session.
A tardy is defined as missing more than 30 minutes of class without a valid excuse. Each tardy counts as ½ of an absence. Two tardies will count as one absence. The class participation grade for a course may also be affected by a tardy.
Southern Wesleyan University uses letter grades as an indicator of the level to which a student has mastered the objectives of a given course. While efforts are made to eliminate subjectivity and bias, grades should be looked on as approximations. They are not an end in themselves but merely provide some evidence of how well the institutionally set goals have been met by a given individual. Students are encouraged to set their own learning goals and to use grades as only one measurement among many.
Grades serve the school in many ways, including:
- Giving feedback to students
- Determining whether credit is given for a course
- Determining how well material has been mastered overall
- Helping to improve instruction
- Sharing with stakeholders such as advisors, parents, employers, funding agencies, accreditors and graduate schools
Primarily, grades are directly related to the achievement of specified learning outcomes stipulated in a course syllabus or other official course materials. In some cases a portion of the grade may involve other learning related to the broader topic of the course or the overall Southern Wesleyan University learning outcomes. Grades may also indicate the level of student engagement with the learning experience measured through such things as class participation, attendance, timeliness, and optional activity or research.
The following meanings are represented by the letter grades:
||Advanced: The student has gone beyond the simple mastery of the course objectives. He or she can integrate the concepts presented with previously learned material as appropriate to the course. In addition, key ideas can be applied in new and complex settings bringing fresh insights and creativity. Work is of consistently high quality.
||Proficient: The student has gained competence with respect to the course objectives and is able to satisfactorily apply concepts most of the time. Work is of moderate to high quality.
||Basic: The student performs adequately in relation to most of the course objectives. There may be some areas of weakness and he or she sometimes applies ideas incorrectly or incompletely. Work is of moderate quality with some inconsistency.
||Below Basic: The student has minimal grasp of the course objectives. Many important concepts are only partially mastered and he or she struggles to make adequate application. The quality of work is inconsistent and/or marginal.
||Failure: The student has not demonstrated mastery of many or most of the course objectives. The quality of work is not sufficient to warrant gaining credit for the course.
Faculty members at Southern Wesleyan University are hired both to teach and to make expert judgments of how well students master course objectives. The judgments are arrived at in a wide variety of ways depending on the course content and the skill and preference of the instructor. Southern Wesleyan University does not endorse one particular methodology, but it does require that faculty adhere to the above grade definitions. Faculty are also asked not to include items in the final grade that have no relation to the course outcomes, program outcomes or student engagement with the topic.
All grades are reported in a system of eleven letter grades designated as “A” thru “F” with appropriate plus and minus additions reflecting the following scheme:
||No Credit (does not affect GPA)
||Satisfactory completion but no credit toward graduation
Under extenuating circumstances a student, with permission of the appropriate academic dean and the faculty member involved, may be allowed to carry an incomplete grade until all required course work is completed.
The faculty member and the student will mutually determine the amount of time needed to complete the work, within a maximum of five (5) calendar weeks from the last day of classes. An Incomplete (I) grade that is not made up within the time frame allowed will be administratively changed to the grade of Failure (F).
The faculty member will recommend an incomplete only after ascertaining that all daily work is passed and that the student lacks completing only a relatively small amount of the semester’s work.
Grade Point Average
A student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credits attempted (excluding P and S grades).
If a course is repeated at SWU, only the highest grade will be used to calculate the cumulative GPA.
For purposes specifically indicated in this catalog, the GPA is calculated on all work attempted.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on all work attempted) within a five-year period from initial enrollment in the program is required for graduation.
Good Standing and Academic Probation
For a graduate student to remain in good standing, he or she must maintain a cumulative (on all SWU graduate work attempted) GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 (B) will be placed on academic probation. To return to good standing, a graduate student placed on academic probation must earn a minimum SWU GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher at the end of the semester of academic probation. If the minimum cumulative SWU GPA of 3.0 (B) is not achieved following the semester of academic probation, the student will be academically suspended.
A graduate student admitted conditionally based on an undergraduate cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 (B) must achieve at least a 3.0 (B) SWU GPA for his or her first semester of enrollment. If the minimum cumulative SWU GPA of 3.0 (B) is not achieved at the end of the first semester, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the graduate program without being placed on academic probation.
In addition, any student who has earned two grades of Incomplete (I), two grades of F, or a combination of one Incomplete (I) and one grade of F in courses in the same semester on their academic record will be administratively withdrawn without first being placed on academic probation.
Academically suspended graduate students may petition for readmission after six months. A suspended student who wishes to apply for re-entry should submit
a Re-Entry Request, along with a written justification explaining why he or she should be granted re-entry, to the dean of the program. The decision of the dean is final.
No grade below B- (2.7) may be applied toward a graduate degree. Students may view grades as soon as they are posted to the student database by logging into the MySWU web portal. Students who earn a grade below B- (2.7) in any graduate course required for the degree must successfully repeat the course to earn a B- (2.7) or higher.
A student may petition for a grade appeal if the student disagrees with the final grade earned in a course and can provide substantiating evidence to support his or her position.
No later than four weeks after the grade is posted to the student’s academic record, the student should petition the instructor in writing and provide documentation to support the petition (i.e. written correspondence between the instructor and the student, graded assignments, record of attendance, etc.). If a grade miscalculation or other inaccuracy is determined, the instructor will process a grade-change request to the division chair or dean as is appropriate for review. If approved, the change in grade is processed by the Office of Academic Records, and the student’s academic record is updated.
If the instructor disapproves the petition, the student may appeal in writing to the instructor’s division chair (or to the dean when there is no division chair) within ten working days following the receipt of the instructor’s decision. Absent substantiating evidence of improper application of or disregard of a university policy or procedure by the instructor, the student’s grade appeal to the division chair or dean will not be considered. The student must provide evidence in support of the petition. A division chair’s disapproval is appealable to the instructor’s dean within ten business days of receipt of the division chair’s decision. If approved, the change in grade is processed by the Office of Academic Records, and the student’s academic record is updated.
A dean’s disapproval is appealable to the University Provost within ten business days of receipt of the dean’s decision. The student should petition the Provost in writing and provide documentation to support the petition. The Provost’s decision is final. If approved, the change in grade is processed by the Office of Academic Records, and the student’s academic record is updated.
A withdrawal, grade of W, is appropriate if a student requests a withdrawal from a course that is in progress. A withdrawal must be processed before the half-way point of the course to avoid a grade of F. If the student fails to contact the Academic Coordinator after the half-way point, the student will be awarded a grade of F.
A student’s financial aid award will likely be affected by withdrawal from a course. Consequently, the student should contact his or her Financial Aid Counselor to discuss the financial implications of withdrawal.
A withdrawal may affect a student’s anticipated graduation date, and the student may be administratively withdrawn from additional courses if the course in question is a pre-requisite.
No student may earn more than two grades of W. A grade of W will not be included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Withdrawal from the University
Withdrawal from the University is appropriate when a student wishes to discontinue his or her AGS program. The Academic Coordinator for the student’s site must be contacted to initiate the appropriate withdrawal process. The student should contact his or her Financial Aid Counselor to discuss the financial implications of withdrawal from the University.
If withdrawn or administratively withdrawn students wish to re-enroll, they must submit a Re-Entry Request available either on the SWU website or from their Academic Coordinator. To re-enroll, the students must meet the minimum GPA requirement, and all previous account balances must be resolved. The decision to approve or deny the Re-Entry Request will be sent to students with additional instructions.
Students whose Re-Entry Request is approved must schedule an academic advisement appointment with their Academic Coordinator to develop a class schedule.
Students re-entering after withdrawal will be subject to the current catalog policies and degree completion requirements at the time of their re-entry. Students must complete degree requirements within a five-year period from initial enrollment in the program.
A graduate student may transfer a maximum of 25 percent of the total number of credit hours required for the degree program. All remaining required credit hours must be completed with Southern Wesleyan University. (See transfer policy, above.)
General Graduation Requirements for All Graduate Degree Programs
- Complete the specified degree requirements with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 within a five-year period from initial enrollment in the program.
- Complete each course required for the degree with a grade of B- or higher.
- Meet all specific program requirements.
- Pay all tuition, fees, and other charges.
- Apply for graduation.
Conferral of Degrees
Degrees are conferred two times per year: at the May and December commencement ceremonies. Final degree requirements must be completed or in progress at Southern Wesleyan University by the scheduled ceremony date to qualify for a given ceremony.
Graduation information and application forms are e-mailed in February and September to potential graduates who must apply by the deadline stated in that material.
Honesty in all matters-including honesty in academic endeavors-is a valued principle at Southern Wesleyan University. It is the expectation of the university that all those joining the academic program will act with integrity in all matters. Because of this principle, members of this community of learners (students, faculty, facilitators, staff, and administrators) are also expected to honor one another.
Honesty is particularly important when it comes to academic work. Because the university awards academic credit based on the assessment of each student’s work, and because that academic credit represents the university’s validation of learning, dishonesty by a student strikes at the heart of the value of the degree for all students and alumni. For this reason any form of academic dishonesty (including cheating, plagiarism, and falsification of documents) constitutes a serious breach of trust.
No form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated. Students are encouraged to help each other maintain these high standards. All academic dishonesty observed should be reported to the faculty directly. Faculty members are in charge of their classrooms and are encouraged to be present during exams. In the case of exams given outside of a classroom setting (such as online), efforts should be made to safeguard the integrity of the evaluation.
All community members are encouraged to avoid increasing temptations for dishonesty. At the beginning of the course, faculty members are encouraged to convey and to interpret their policy on plagiarism (academic dishonesty involving the use of another’s material, methods, or ideas without properly acknowledging the originator).
Upon evidence of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, or misuse of another’s intellectual property), either by voluntary confession, report of another student, or on the basis of work submitted, the faculty member should follow this procedure:
- Talk with the student in the presence of another faculty member or an appropriate administrator. If the student is taking classes online only, then the faculty member should email the student and copy the dean or designated representative.
- Inform the student of the resulting discipline, based upon the situation:
- student’s unprompted confession - NC or 0 for work involved
- admission after confrontation by faculty member - NC or 0 on work and 10% course grade reduction
- denial of guilt and faculty member believes innocence - no penalty
- denial of guilt but faculty member believes guilt - F for the course
- In the event that there is evidence the student either encouraged others to be involved in the academic dishonesty, or conspired with others in the process by giving, receiving or using unauthorized aid, the faculty member should consult with his or her academic dean and recommend to the provost a response that may include academic dismissal from the university.
- Explain the appeal process to the student, which is thus detailed below in the catalog.
- Submit a written report to the provost, including the discipline implemented. Upon receipt of the report, the provost will take the following action:
- For a first offense, the provost will send a letter to the student indicating that evidence of the incident will be kept on file and warning of possible dismissal should the student be implicated in academic dishonesty again.
- For a first offense involving multiple students or outside parties that results in a recommendation of dismissal, the provost will meet with the students.
- For a second offense, the student will meet with the provost to discuss the evidence and appropriate action. This meeting may result in the student’s dismissal from the institution.
- Should a student not enrolled in the course be implicated in an act of academic dishonesty, that student will meet with the provost, who will place a record of the event in the student’s file. A second offense would result in dismissal from the university.
While faculty and administrators must take academic dishonesty seriously in order to protect the value and integrity of university degrees, every effort will be made at each step of the process to work with students redemptively.
Appeals (Cases of Alleged Academic Dishonesty)
If a student is charged with academic dishonesty and the matter is not resolved with the faculty member, the student may appeal to the instructor’s division chair, in writing, within ten working days after being informed that the grade for the course will be F. If the division chair can mediate an agreement between the student and instructor, a grade-change request may be processed, if necessary.
If no agreement can be reached or if the instructor is also the division chair, or if there is no division chair as in the case of Business & Education, the student may appeal the decision to the appropriate academic dean, in writing, again within ten working days. The academic dean shall investigate and render a decision.
Within ten working days after being informed of the decision, either the instructor or the student may appeal the dean’s decision to the provost who will determine if the case should be considered by the Academic Council. The Academic Council or its designated Appeals Committee will review all appropriate material, consult the parties involved, and determine the final penalty. The decision of the Academic Council is final. Academic dishonesty discovered outside the context of a course or after a course is completed will be dealt with in a manner appropriate to the situation. The penalty may include such sanctions as rescinding of credit previously awarded, expulsion from the university, revocation of certificates, honors or diplomas, and, in case of fraud, appropriate legal action. Appeals in these cases will be heard by the Provost, with a final appeal to the Academic Council.
Other Academic Appeals
When a student feels an exception is warranted to any academic policy listed either in the university catalog or in the student handbook, the student may appeal for such a variance in the following manner:
- The student may appeal to the Academic Coordinator, who will forward the appeal to the appropriate administrator(s). All appeals must be in writing and contain a statement of what exception to the policy is desired, a thorough explanation of the rationale and supporting documentation order to be considered. The administrator(s) will then make a decision.
- If the request is deemed appropriate and it is determined that a change is in order, the administrator will notify the appropriate parties. If the administrator determines no change is warranted, he or she will contact the student with the decision. This will be the final step for almost all appeals.
- If the student feels there is compelling evidence that the decision of the administrator was biased or that all documentation was not appropriately considered, the student may appeal the decision in writing within 10 working days to the Provost who will investigate and render a decision. A decision by the Provost that the policy decision cannot be appealed is final. If, after consultation with the Provost the decision is to reconsider, the Provost shall, within 10 working days, assign the appeal to the Academic Council to review all appropriate material, consult parties involved, and make a determination. The decision of the Academic Council is final. A quorum of half of the council members is necessary for an appeal to be heard.
Textbooks can be purchased at the virtual bookstore: http://swu.ecampus.com/
Children in the Classroom
Southern Wesleyan University supports an academic environment that is conducive to learning for all students and is not equipped to offer child care accommodations or services. SWU cannot assume the responsibility for supervising children who accompany their parent or legal guardian into the classroom or into other instructional settings or leave children unattended at any campus site.
Upon admission to Southern Wesleyan University, students are provided with an email account, which is the official channel of communication between the University and its students. It is the responsibility of the student to periodically monitor his or her student email account and to be aware of the information sent by the University. Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University-related communications. Students are responsible for recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. Failure to manage email accounts is not an acceptable excuse for missing official University communications via email and will not excuse students from complying with University policies, procedures, and deadlines. There is no grounds for appeal for relief from those policies, procedures and deadlines communicated through email to students.
In the event of inclement weather, Southern Wesleyan University will determine whether or not the offices and academic programs for AGS will operate on schedule, delay opening, or be closed. This decision will be made by 3:00 p.m., after which, students and faculty may call the SWU Inclement Weather Information Hotline at 1-864-644-5998 or log on to the university’s website at www.swu.edu.
Canceled classes must be made up. The faculty member and students should reach a consensus on an alternate meeting time. The faculty member will contact site the Academic Coordinator to make arrangements for an alternate meeting time and location. The Academic Coordinator will communicate the available room and times to the faculty member. The faculty member will notify the students via telephone and/or email of the need for a new meeting time and will have a consensus amongst the students on the reassigned class date.
If classes are already in progress and weather conditions worsen, site administration will notify the faculty who will announce the information to the class. Students should use their best judgment as to whether or not they need to leave class.
Pets in the Workplace
Unless a service animal is required, and the accommodation has been documented, dogs and other pets are not to be brought to work. It is important to maintain a professional workplace and pets can be a distraction to employees and their work, the work of others and university guests.
Photo and Video Policy
Southern Wesleyan University takes photographs and videos of students throughout the year. These images often include students in classrooms, residence halls, laboratories, at athletic events, and other University activities and venues. SWU reserves the right to use these photographs and videos in the promotion of the University. Students who enroll at SWU do so with the understanding that photographs/videos may be taken which would include them, and these photos/videos may be used in University publications, websites, social media, and other media for promotional purposes only. Names of students may be released to the press regarding student involvement in academic, athletic and other extracurricular activities.
Privacy of Student Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office in the U.S. Department of Education: 20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99. FERPA applies to educational institutions that receive any federal funding. Southern Wesleyan University is subject to FERPA.
The student’s education record is maintained by the Office of Academic Records. FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to the education records. An eligible student is a student who is at least 18 years of age or is enrolled at a postsecondary institution. Education records are records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. FERPA rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after SWU receives the student’s request. The University will make arrangements for access to the records and will notify the student of these arrangements. The student will be required to present proof of identification for access to the records.
- The right to challenge, in writing, the content of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. The student shall be granted a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory to the student. The student may submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record if the outcome of the hearing is deemed unsatisfactory by the student.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
- The right to prevent disclosure of the student’s education record except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without the student’s consent. A student’s education record may be released without the student’s written consent:
- to school officials with legitimate educational interests: a school official is an individual who has a legitimate need to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities;
- to third parties endorsed by SWU who perform an institutional service or function for the University;
- to officials of another postsecondary institution at which a student seeks or intends to enroll;
- in response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- to authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the University’s state-supported education programs;
- in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received;
- to parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code;
- to appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency;
- to parents of a student under 21 years of age who is found in violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of SWU, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance;
- when directory information is requested. Directory information at SWU includes student’s name, local and permanent address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards (including scholarships) received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of an athletic team.
Currently enrolled students may request non-disclosure of directory information by completing the Request for Non-disclosure form available in the Office of Academic Records. Written requests for non-disclosure will be honored for a maximum of one year. In the absence of a non-disclosure form, SWU may release directory information about a student accordingly.
Since 1906, Southern Wesleyan University has been committed to guiding students to reach their highest potential academically, physically, socially, and spiritually. In keeping with this commitment in terms of physical well-being, Southern Wesleyan has taken the positive step of declaring itself to be a smoke-free campus. Off-campus facilities are also smoke-free areas. This is done in light of the overwhelming evidence that smoking is harmful to the individual who smokes and also to those individuals around the smoker.
University policy for the AGS program is that no smoking takes place inside the classrooms and related space. When the facility in which a specific class meets has another smoking policy, AGS enforces the no-smoking rule in AGS classrooms, hallways and common areas. The current policy has worked well, and the faculty and staff hope that all of our students put forth an effort not to smoke at all, especially during the hours of class.
The Claude R. Rickman Library engages the Southern Wesleyan University community by supporting and cultivating scholarship and creativity through access to staff, services, and resources. The library collection contains books, eBooks, reference materials, audiovisual (DVDs, CDs, etc.) and curriculum materials. The library also has access to thousands of journals through online databases that provide access to millions of full text journal articles.
Access to many of the services and resources provided through the Rickman Library are available through the library homepage. Students can search the online catalog, SWUcat, for books and other materials that are housed in the library. You may request these items using the Interlibrary Loan Form. AGS students may be particularly interested in exploring and requesting holdings from other academic libraries across the state of South Carolina through the statewide catalog, Encore. If you locate materials that you need, you may choose the closest academic library to you and the items will be delivered there. You will then return the book to that same library.
Over 100 databases are available from the library, arranged by title or subject. These databases provide access to millions of full-text journal articles. When accessing databases from off-campus, you should use the same username and password you use to access your SWU email account, mySWU, and Canvas.
Please contact a librarian if you have any questions about accessing or using library resources. We are here to assist you with your research needs!