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    Southern Wesleyan University
   
 
  Sep 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-18 Undergraduate Bulletin

Academics


  

 

Undergraduate Academic Information

Degrees Offered

Southern Wesleyan University offers undergraduate courses of study leading to the Associate of Arts (AA), the Bachelor of Arts (BA), the Bachelor of Music (BM), and the Bachelor of Science (BS). SWU offers the Associate of Arts in General Studies, the  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Science in Human Services to students enrolled in the Online and Graduate Programs. In general, those degree programs with the “Science” designation refer to degrees with majors in the natural, social, and applied sciences (except history), mathematics, or pre-professional in nature. The “Arts” designation refers to all other programs. In the case of students who double major in majors with different designations, the “Science” designation takes precedence. Those students seeking a BS degree are limited to no more than two majors so as to allow for the possibility of electives.

A second baccalaureate degree may be earned by completing an additional 30 hours in residence and by fulfilling all requirements for the second degree.

Specialized Major

A baccalaureate degree at Southern Wesleyan University implies both breadth and depth. The breadth is ensured through the prescribed general core and augmented by elective credit. Depth in a particular academic area is required within the context of the student’s major. Southern Wesleyan University offers the following majors:

The specialized major is intended to encourage studies with flexible and unique academic interests, not met by existing majors, to develop an individualized or multi-disciplinary course of study. This option is only available through the residential campus program.

Guidelines for students who wish to pursue a degree with a specialized major:

  • Must have completed a minimum of 15-credit hours at Southern Wesleyan University with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • By the end of the sophomore year, identify a faculty advisor who has expertise in the student’s area(s) of interest and is willing to work with the student.
  • In consultation with the faculty advisor and appropriate division chair(s), design a plan of study no later than the end of the sophomore year and obtain approval of the Academic Council at least three semesters before the anticipated date of graduation. (The design plan should include a suggested title for the major.
  • Assure that the program of study includes the following:
  • A minimum of 120-semester credit hours leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree
  • All general education requirements
    • A statement of goals and expected outcomes for the course of study
    • At least 30 hours of coursework at the 300-400 level in the areas of concentration
  • Meet the following academic criteria in the program of study:
    • A grade of 1.7 or higher in all courses taken in designated areas of concentration
    • A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher

Minor

In addition to completing the requirements necessary to constitute a major, a student at Southern Wesleyan University may complete one or more minors in certain disciplines.

A minor consists of 18 to 24-semester hours of specified courses in the discipline. At least six hours of courses to be included in the minor must be taken under Southern Wesleyan University faculty.

Minors are available in accounting, athletic coaching, Bible, biology, business administration, chemistry, Christian worship, composition and rhetoric, criminal justice, English, history, human services, intercultural studies, literature, management, mathematics, media communications, missions, music, psychology, recreation, religious studies, social science, spiritual formation and discipleship, sport management, TESOL, and youth ministry.

Cognate

A cognate is a set of courses that provide a particular focus when added to an existing academic major. Unlike a minor, these courses supplement a major and do not provide the “stand-alone” emphasis that characterizes a minor. Therefore, the cognate will not appear on a student’s transcript unless the related major is completed.

Concentration

The term concentration designates an area of emphasis within a major. In some majors (religion, for example), a student must choose at least one area of concentration. In other majors (for example, English), a student may choose either to remain a generalist or to select courses that concentrate on an area of special interest.

Credit Hour

In accordance with federal government guidelines, Southern Wesleyan University defines a credit hour as the amount of student time investment that reasonably approximates one hour of classroom (or direct faculty instruction) and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of that work as established by Southern Wesleyan, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

In accordance with commonly accepted practices in higher education, SWU operates on a 50-minute hour for this definition.  Fifty clock minutes per week per credit hour for approximately 15 weeks provides approximately 750 minutes of direct faculty instruction time per credit hour based on the Carnegie Unit.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is generally accepted from regionally accredited colleges and universities and from postsecondary higher education institutions that are recognized by the US Department of Education, provided such transfer courses meet the degree requirements at Southern Wesleyan University as well as transfer-quality accreditation standards.  Courses that are identified by the institution as intended for transfer must demonstrate comparable course content, comparable learning outcomes, and the nature, content, and level of the course learning experience and its appropriateness must be applicable to the programs offered by SWU.  Southern Wesleyan University reserves the right to deny credit from institutions that are not regionally accredited.

Grades lower than C- will not be accepted in transfer.

Except with special permission, transfer credits may not be among the last thirty-two hours of the degree. (Cooperative program hours count as Southern Wesleyan University hours.)

Substitutes for required courses must be approved by the division chair or the school dean.

Class Attendance

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.

Class Attendance in the Online and Graduate Programs

  • Attendance is mandatory. There is no provision for a student to miss more than 25% of the sessions in any one course. In most cases, missing more than one session exceeds the 25% limit. Any student who misses more than 25% of the sessions for any course shall receive a grade of “F” for that course and may be required to repeat the course at his or her expense.
  • Hybrid courses are a combination of online and classroom activities. Students are expected to attend all learning center class meetings as well as adhere to posted online deadlines for assignments.
  • 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 session. Distance learning activities may include lectures, assignments, readings, forums, and assessments.
  • A tardy is defined as missing more than 30 minutes of class without a valid excuse. Each tardy counts as half of an absence. Two tardies will count as one absence.
  • Any absence or tardy must be reflected in the class participation portion of the student’s final grade.
  • If students must miss more than 25% of a given course, they must contact their Academic Coordinator immediately to file Temporary Withdrawal paperwork. If students fail to submit appropriate paperwork, they will continue to be charged for courses and receive failing grades until they are administratively withdrawn.

Advisement and Registration

Each student is assigned an advisor at the time of admission. Students enrolled in the Traditional Program are assigned a Faculty Advisor, and students enrolled in the Online and Graduate Programs are assigned an Academic Coordinator.  It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the Faculty Advisor or Academic Coordinator each semester before the student’s designated window for course registration begins.

For students in the Online and Graduate Programs, their Academic Coordinator serves as the first point of contact. Academic Coordinators may assist with degree planning and answer questions regarding degree requirements, course registration, re-entry to SWU, withdrawing, or other academic policies.  Mandatory advisement sessions are scheduled for Online and Graduate Programs students, including a session prior to the start of the Online and Graduate Programs and throughout the duration of the student’s program.

Students may arrange advisement sessions by contacting either their Faculty Advisor or Academic Coordinator.

All students enrolled in the Traditional Program must register by “enrollment day” as indicated on the college calendar. Failure to do so will result in assessment of a late registration fee.

A student should not register for a course that conflicts with a required basic course. If two required courses conflict, registration should be for the lower-level course.

Schedule adjustments (course add/course drop/course withdrawal) may occur after the published registration time period according to the following procedure:

  • The last day to add a class as published on the University calendar has not passed.
  • The student’s Faculty Advisor or Academic Coordinator and the Financial Aid Office have reviewed and approved the drop/add request.
  • The drop/add form is submitted to the Office of Academic Records for processing prior to the last day to add a class.

Courses dropped between the last day to drop without record and the last day to drop a course without penalty as published on the University Calendar will be dropped with a grade of “W.”  A grade of “W” is not calculated into the GPA.

Courses dropped after the last day to drop a course without penalty as published on the University Calendar will be dropped with an NC or F, except in the case of withdrawal from the University when a grade of W may be assigned.

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.

Course Load

A normal course load is 15 hours per semester. Those registering for 12 or more hours will be considered full-time students; those for fewer than 12, part-time.

No student may exceed 18 hours without permission of the faculty advisor and the appropriate academic dean.

Students who are enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours on SWU’s residential campus program may take up to two courses/semester in the Online and Graduate Programs, as space is available. Online and Graduate Programs summer enrollment is not limited for traditional students but is offered on a space-available basis.

May and Summer Terms

Courses offered during the May term and summer sessions are arranged to help students make up deficiencies or to accelerate their programs. The same academic standards are maintained as in the fall and spring semesters. Because of the accelerated nature of these programs, no unexcused absences are allowed.

No course may be entered after the second day of the session.

Refer to Fees and Expenses for information regarding refund policies.

Withdrawal from Courses

For students enrolled in the Traditional Program course withdrawal may occur after the published registration time period according to the following procedure:

  • The last day to add a class as published on the University calendar has not passed.
  • The student’s Faculty Advisor or Academic Coordinator and the Financial Aid Office have reviewed and approved the withdrawal request.
  • The withdrawal form is submitted to the Office of Academic Records for processing prior to the last day to add a class.

Courses dropped between the last day to drop without record and the last day to drop a course without penalty as published on the University Calendar will be dropped with a grade of “W.”  A grade of “W” is not calculated into the GPA.

Courses dropped after the last day to drop a course without penalty as published on the University Calendar will be dropped with an NC or F, except in the case of withdrawal from the University when a grade of W may be assigned.

Traditional students who are withdrawing as student from SWU should contact the Counseling Center prior to submitting a withdrawal form.

For students enrolled in Online and Graduate Programs, a temporary withdrawal is recorded when a student requests to withdraw from a course that is in progress, whether or not the student attended. A temporary withdrawal must be submitted prior to the midpoint of the course to avoid a final grade of F. If the student fails to submit a temporary withdrawal through his or her Academic Coordinator  prior to the midpoint of the course, a final grade of F will be recorded for the course. A temporary withdrawal may affect a student’s anticipated graduation date, and the student will be dropped from future courses for which the withdrawn course is a prerequisite.

For Online and Graduate Programs students, a permanent withdrawal is recorded when a student wishes to withdraw from his or her entire schedule and discontinue enrollment in the Online and Graduate Programs. To avoid final course grades of F, students must contact their Academic Coordinator to request a permanent withdrawal prior to the midpoint for each of their current courses.  If the student fails to submit a permanent withdrawal through his or her Academic Coordinator  prior to the midpoint of each of his or her current courses, a final grade of F will be recorded for the courses. 

A temporary or permanent withdrawal during an academic award period may reduce or eliminate financial aid or VA assistance and/or eligibility and require that all or part of the assistance received be refunded to the lender.  A student who wishes to withdraw should contact his or her Academic Coordinator and the Office of Financial Aid before initiating any schedule changes or withdrawals.

Exceptions to the withdrawal policy must be approved by the student’s academic dean.

Military Withdrawal

Enrolled active duty military personnel or military reservists who receive emergency orders to active duty during the semester may be administratively withdrawn from SWU and receive a full refund of tuition and fees.*  The refunding of other charges may be prorated based on the date of the withdrawal.  The grade of ‘WM’ (Military Withdrawal) will be given in each course from which the student is withdrawn.  Service members who request a military withdrawal must submit a copy of their official orders to the Office of Academic Records prior to departure or before grades are posted for the semester for the withdrawal to be processed on the student’s academic record.  Military withdrawals may not be granted for TDY (temporary duty), short-term assignments, or for semesters that are complete.

* Students who enlist in the military or in the reserves once classes in the semester have begun are not eligible for a military withdrawal during that semester.

Grades

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:

  A 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.
  B 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.
  C 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.
  D 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.
  F 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. SWU 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” through “F” with appropriate plus and minus additions reflecting the following scheme:

  A 4.0
  A- 3.7
  B+ 3.4
  B 3.0
  B- 2.7
  C+ 2.4
  C 2.0
  C- 1.7
  D+ 1.4
  D 1.0
  F 0.0
  NC No Credit (does not affect GPA)
  P Pass
  S Satisfactory completion but no credit toward graduation
  I Incomplete
  W Withdrew

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).

In calculating undergraduate cumulative GPA, up to twelve credits with a grade of 0.0 earned before July 1, 1998, will not be included in the calculation. If a course is repeated, only the highest grade will be used to calculate the cumulative GPA.

For certain purposes specifically indicated in this catalog, the GPA is calculated on all work attempted.

Courses receiving grades of less than C- will not be applied toward major, minor, or concentration requirements, or toward other specified requirements within a major, without permission from the major advisor and the dean.

Pass-No Credit Courses

Courses that are graded with a high degree of subjectivity, or where evaluation is based on the simple completion of a specific list of requirements, will be graded on a P/NC basis. Credit earned on this basis will count towards graduation but will not affect the student’s GPA.

Traditional program seniors may register for one elective course per semester for which they will receive the grade of Pass/No Credit. This option is reserved to students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and cannot apply toward a major, departmental requirement, courses required for teacher certification, or ordination. Also, instructors may remove any of their courses from this option. Arrangements for this option are to be completed at the time of registration.

Incomplete Grades

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.

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.

Veterans’ Benefits and Grades

Grade point averages for those receiving veterans’ benefits will be calculated on all work attempted. For certification of enrollment, those eligible should contact the Office of Academic Records.

Federal and State Financial Aid and Grades

In determining eligibility for state and federal financial aid, the cumulative grade point average will be calculated on all work attempted.

Good Standing and Academic Probation

At the close of fall and spring and after the second semester of summer school, a student’s record will be reviewed to determine eligibility for continuation without restriction.

Traditional Program

To remain in good standing, a student enrolled in the Traditional Program must earn the GPA (semester and cumulative) indicated:

  Hours Attempted GPA
  12 1.6
  24 1.6
  36 1.7
  48 1.8
  60 and above 2.0

Any student who fails to meet these requirements will be placed on academic warning for the following semester. Students placed on academic warning will be advised to limit co-curricular activities and they are allowed no unexcused absences from classes.

Any student who does not attain good standing by the end of the semester on academic warning will be placed on academic probation. Students who are on probation have limits on the extent they may represent the University (see details below). By the end of the semester of probation the student must meet the requirements for good standing or be suspended for one full semester. (Attendance at May term and summer school may be permitted.)

For transfer, part-time, or special students, the Provost will determine standing.

Online and Graduate Programs

An undergraduate Online and Graduate Programs student in good academic standing must maintain a cumulative 2.0 (C) GPA or higher on all SWU coursework attempted.  Students whose cumulative SWU GPA falls below 2.0 (C) will be placed on academic probation for the following semester.  Failure to attain a minimum 2.0 (C) cumulative SWU GPA at the end of the semester of academic probation will result in academic suspension.

An undergraduate Online and Graduate Programs student who is admitted conditionally due to an undergraduate collegiate GPA of less than 2.0 (C) on all course work attempted must attain a minimum 2.0 (C) SWU GPA for his or her first semester of enrollment at SWU. If the minimum cumulative SWU 2.0 (C) GPA is not attained, the student will be administratively withdrawn from Online and Graduate Programs with no semester of academic probation.

If a student has received two sequential course grades of incomplete (I), two grades of F, or a combination of one incomplete and one grade of F he or she will be administratively withdrawn (though not academically suspended). Arrangements must be made through the Academic Records Office to re-enter the program.

Representing the University

Representing the University is a responsibility and a privilege; therefore, such representation is generally carried out only by students in good standing. Also, off-campus overnight travel may make it difficult for students on academic probation to do well enough in their studies to remove probation; therefore, students on probation should not be involved in the following:

  • membership in the homecoming court
  • holding office in University organizations
  • having a continuing role in leading chapel
  • phonathon
  • ministry teams
  • intervarsity athletics, including travel with the team in a support role. (Students on probation may practice on campus.)
  • *internships and practica, including clinical experience
  • *traveling ensembles
  • *major dramatic productions

*Exceptions: Students for whom participation in one of these activities is a degree requirement may be allowed to participate, even if on academic probation.

Faculty sponsors, instructors, and others in charge of activities prohibited above, or of other activities which make heavy extra-class demands on a student’s time, or which involve representing the University, are notified each semester about students who have been placed on academic probation, and will take action to advise against or prohibit participation. Students who have been placed on social probation during a semester by the Vice President for Student Life may be advised against or prohibited participation in events that represent the University.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension results if the terms of academic probation are not met. Suspended students are not eligible for re-admission for six months. After that period, the student must submit a petition for re-admission to the University in accordance with the re-admission procedures of Southern Wesleyan University. The student’s petition for re-admission will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Admissions Committee.  If the student’s petition is approved, the student may be re-admitted on academic probation and will have one semester to attain good standing or risk permanent exclusion.

Disciplinary Dismissal

A student dismissed or expelled from the University for disciplinary reasons will receive academic credit only for courses already completed at the time of dismissal.

Transient Course Credit

Current students may request to complete courses at another institution as a transient student. Traditional Program students may submit an online Transient Letter Request via mySWU prior to the semester in which the student would like to enroll in transient courses.  Students enrolled in the Online an Graduate Programs may submit a Permission to Take Undergraduate Courses(s) at Another College Form to their Academic Coordinator.  Students who do not request or receive transient permission to attend another institution or who complete courses that were not approved by the Office of Academic Records risk not having their transient courses transfer to SWU.

Once the student submits the Transient Permission Request, the Office of Academic Records will send the student notification of whether or not the transient request was approved.  If approved, the student will be sent a Certified Transient Permission Letter that may be presented to the transient institution for purposes of admission.  The student is responsible for sending a copy of the official transcript from the transient institution to the Office of Academic Records at SWU once the transient courses are completed in order for the transfer credit to be included in the student’s academic record.

Alternative Sources of Academic Credit

A maximum of 68 credit hours will be awarded to a student in any combination of the following:  College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST (formerly, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), Advanced Placement (AP) credit, military credit, and departmental exams.  American Council on Education (ACE) standards are utilized to determine minimum credit awarded.

The minimum test scores required and AP, CLEP and DSST transfer course equivalencies are available on the University website.  Course equivalencies are subject to change without notice.  A fee will be charged for granting all CLEP and DSST credit.  Official score reports are required from each testing provider prior to credit being awarded.

Students should discuss their intent to complete an examination and its applicability to the students’ degree program with their academic advisor BEFORE registering for the exam. 

Students completing exams to meet final graduation requirements should plan to take the exam at least six weeks prior to the anticipated graduation ceremony in order to allow time for official score reports to be received.

Classification of Students

Degree-seeking students are academically classified according to the number of semester hours successfully completed:

  Freshmen 0-29 hours Juniors 60-89 hours
  Sophomores 30-59 hours Seniors 90 and above

Examinations

Examinations and announced tests missed because of an unexcused absence cannot be made up. Make-up of work missed because of excused absences should be arranged with the teacher before the absences, if possible. Re-examinations are given only under exceptional circumstances and then only with the permission of the academic dean.

Textbooks

Textbooks can be purchased at the virtual bookstore: http://swu.ecampus.com/

Graduation Requirements and Degree Conferral

Associate Degree Graduation Requirements

The Associate of Arts degree requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit, including required Core Curriculum course work and remaining elective credits.

The following are the graduation requirements at the associate level:

  1. Completion of the Core Curriculum.
  2. Completion of ENGL 1003 and ENGL 1013 with a minimum grade of C-.
  3. Completion of 60 semester hours (at least 15 credit hours from SWU) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  4. Satisfactory participation in all required divisional and University assessment activities.
  5. Recommendation by the faculty and approval by the Trustees of Southern Wesleyan University.
  6. Completion of the application for graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all requirements for graduation and apply for graduation by the dates specified in the University calendar.
  7. Payment of all financial obligations.

Bachelor Degree Graduation Requirements

All undergraduate degrees obtained through the residential campus programs include the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the Core Curriculum.  In some majors, specific courses are designated.
  2. Completion of a concentration of studies constituting a major. (Transfer students must complete at least nine hours of upper-level courses in the major discipline at Southern Wesleyan.)
  3. Completion of major courses, ENGL 1003, and ENGL 1013 with a minimum grade of C-.
  4. Completion of a total of 120 semester credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0.  At least 32 semester hours must be taken by study under the faculty of Southern Wesleyan University, and except in some cooperative programs, these must be the final 32 semester hours.  At least the last 52 semester hours must be completed in institutions granting the baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree.
  5. Satisfactory participation in all required divisional and University assessment activities.
  6. Fulfillment of any chapel requirements for students enrolled in the Traditional Program.
  7. Recommendation by the faculty and approval by the Trustees of Southern Wesleyan University.
  8. Completion of the application for graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all requirements for graduation and apply for graduation by the dates specified in the University calendar.
  9. Payment of all financial obligations.

All graduation requirements must be completed, and all financial obligations must be cleared before a student is graduated with a degree from Southern Wesleyan University. Participation in graduation activities may on occasion be permitted if a student is enrolled in courses that will result in the completion of degree requirements at the time of commencement ceremonies, even though final certification of graduation is not yet possible.

Degree Conferral

Degrees are conferred during the May and December graduation ceremonies.  Final degree requirements must be completed or in progress to participate in commencement.

The graduation application, the application deadline as published on the University calendar, and related graduation information and instructions are emailed to graduation candidates via their SWU email account several months prior to commencement.  Graduation candidates must apply for graduation prior to the stated deadline to have their degree conferred.

Diplomas are mailed to graduates’ permanent address within 4-6 weeks following commencement.

Graduates who have outstanding financial obligations to the University will not receive their diploma until all financial holds are resolved.

Academic Honors

Alpha Chi

Southern Wesleyan University sponsors a chapter of the National Honorary Society, Alpha Chi. To be eligible for selection, a student must be enrolled in the residential-campus program and have completed at least 60 hours of course work at Southern Wesleyan University. Membership is limited to the top ten percent (all college work included) of the senior class and top five percent of the junior class. Eligibility for membership is determined by the Provost and election is by the Academic Council during the spring semester of each year.

Alpha Sigma Lambda

The University also hosts a chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honorary society that gives recognition to outstanding adult students. To be eligible for selection, a student must be at least 25 years of age and have taken at least 24 graded credits in a baccalaureate program at Southern Wesleyan University. Members are selected annually from the top 20 percent of those eligible based on the above criteria and who have attained at least a 3.2 cumulative collegiate GPA on all work attempted in college.

Sigma Tau Delta

Under the sponsorship of the Modern Languages Division, Southern Wesleyan University initiated the Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International Honorary English Society during the Spring semester of 2007. Founded in 1924 by Professor Judson Q. Owen at Dakota Wesleyan College, Sigma Tau Delta is now one of the largest members of the Association of College Honor Societies. Sigma Tau Delta’s purpose is to confer distinction upon students of English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature. The Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter began with 12 charter members. New members will be added each year as qualifying criteria are met.

Dean’s List

Twice yearly, the Provost will publish a list of those undergraduate students who have carried at least 12 hours of college credit within the preceding semester, have no grade for any single course below a B, and have earned a GPA of at least 3.5.

Graduation Honors

Graduating seniors with outstanding scholarship will qualify for the following honors, to be recognized at commencement.

  Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 on all collegiate work attempted.
  Magna Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 on all collegiate work attempted.
  Summa Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of at least 3.8 on all collegiate work attempted.

To be eligible for graduation honors, a student transferring from another college must complete at least 45 credit hours at Southern Wesleyan University with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 on all collegiate work attempted.

Grades earned in SWU courses and also in courses from accredited institutions that are equivalent to SWU offerings or are applicable to SWU degree programs are included in the calculation for graduation honors. Non-credit courses and 0.0 courses count as 0.0.

University Honors

In the event that a student is ineligible for any of the above graduation honors but has achieved a cumulative SWU GPA of at least 3.8 on no less than 60 credits earned at Southern Wesleyan University, that student will be assigned the designation of “University honors.”

Who’s Who

During the spring semester each year, nominees are selected from the roster of graduating seniors for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Eligible students will have completed a minimum of 90 hours with at least 45 hours at SWU, will meet or exceed a GPA of 3.0, and will have received less than three NC, O, or F grades. Eligible students also should have demonstrated campus/community involvement and/or leadership or leadership potential.

Honors Program

The Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University is a four-semester program that affords qualified students the opportunity to engage professionally in their chosen field while still in college. Students become candidates in their freshmen and sophomore years and are offered some unique opportunities for fulfilling a couple of General Education requirements and are invited to a number of community-building events. Candidates are evaluated in the spring of their sophomore year, and if they qualify, are invited to join and complete the Honors Program in their junior and senior years. 

Students who are qualified and interested in participating in the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University can become candidates in one of several ways:

  • Incoming freshmen with a high-school GPA of at least 3.5 and a score of 1200 on the SAT or equivalent on the ACT are admitted as candidates of the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University. Once accepted for admission to the university, students with these credentials will be evaluated, and letters will be sent to those who qualify for candidacy. These students will also be enrolled in HNRS 2323 in place of SEMR 2323. Participation in this courses is a privilege of candidacy.
  • Transfer students with freshmen or sophomore standing entering with a college GPA of at least 3.5 will also be admitted as candidates of the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University. These students will also be enrolled in HNRS 2323 in place of SEMR 2323. Participation in this courses is a privilege of candidacy. 
  • Existing freshmen and sophomore students at Southern Wesleyan University with at least a 3.5 college GPA can request to become candidates of the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University.
  • Southern Wesleyan faculty members can recommend existing freshmen and sophomore students with at least a 3.5 college GPA for candidacy in the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University.

During the spring of a candidate’s sophomore year, the director of the Honors Program at Southern Wesleyan University, in conjunction with the Honors Oversight Committee, will evaluate the cumulative GPA and request faculty endorsements of the candidate to assure that he or she is qualified for admittance into the Honors Program. If the candidate has a 3.5 cumulative college GPA or higher and has a positive endorsement from a faculty member in his or her major, then the candidate will be formally invited to participate in the Honors Program.

Once the candidate has accepted the invitation, he or she will be become a member of the Honors Program.

Student members of the Honors Program enjoy many benefits from participating in the program. First and foremost, the Honors Program affords its members an opportunity to engage professionally in their chosen field while still in college. One major element of this professional engagement is a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member in that field. This professional engagement opportunity includes academic leadership opportunities, alternative or expanded engagements in major courses, opportunities to explore a topic or area of choice in a more in-depth format, professional experience that will enhance one’s resume, and additional preparation for post-graduate work. All Honors courses and project work is remunerated with academic credit and noted on the student’s official academic transcript and the student’s Honors project is recognized in the commencement program at graduation.

More specifically, student members of the Honors program enjoy the following benefits:

1. Integration of faith, learning, and living is important. We believe God expects us to be good stewards of the intellectual gifts He has given us.

2. Helps students to further develop their skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.

3. Helps students to see that they can accomplish a level of professional engagement beyond what they might have thought they were capable.

4. Helps students to develop intellectual independence.

5. Can help enhance student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty.

6. Provides students with the opportunity to engage in professional scholarly work in their chosen field.

7. Helps students to promote better oral and written presentation skills through presentations at on-campus forums or local, state, regional, or national conferences.

8. Fosters a sense of accomplishment in student participants.

9. Helps to promote an innovation-oriented culture among students.

10. Helps students to build an identity as a group.

11. Helps provide effective career preparation so students are better qualified for their chosen vocations-better qualified for the job market.

12. Helps to increase acceptance/enrollment in graduate education and with getting teaching assistantships or fellowships

13. The ability to do quality research may help with earning a raise or a promotion in future employment.

In order to maintain candidacy and after admittance to the Honors Program, candidates and members are expected to demonstrate a high level of participation in class-discussion, reports, debates, and presentations. They are also expected to demonstrate abilities such as the following: thinking, discussing, writing, analyzing, synthesizing, and gathering and presenting information from a variety of sources and viewpoints.

The Honors Program consists of social events, course work, non-credit and service opportunities, and attendance at the research or creative project presentations of others in the Honors Program. Members are expected to maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Guidelines for being in the Honors Program, writing a proposal, and participating in a scholarly research or creative project may be found on the university’s website under Academics, Honors Program, or on MySWU under the Honors Program link.

Major Courses or Upper Division Courses with Honors Components (9-12 credits) 

These are courses that students take in order to earn a particular degree in a particular major. The student will choose, or the faculty of a particular major may dictate, which courses in that major will be taken as Honors courses.

  • Two (2) courses in the student’s major designated for honors credit (3-4 credits each)
  • An additional upper-division course (3-4 credits), such as an additional course in the major, an Honors-level independent study, an Honors course outside the major; or a second research project.

Research Sequence: 5 credits 

These credits are not in addition to the required credits for graduation,but will serve as part of the credits for graduation. These credits are remuneration for the time and effort invested in the research or creative project.

  • HNRS 2011, Honors Introduction to Research or Creative Projects (1 credit)-fall of junior year after admittance into the Honors Program
  • HNRS 4993 or XXXX 4993, Honors Research or Creative Project (3 credits)–spring junior year or fall senior year

Students will choose a faculty advisor in their major field who will guide them in the preparation of a proposal for the scholarly research or creative project. At least two additional faculty, one in the discipline area and one outside of the discipline, will be chosen by the student in conjunction with the faculty advisor to serve as a supervisory committee for the project.

The proposal for the research or creative project should be presented to the Honors Oversight Committee for approval before the research or creative project is started, no later than 12 months before the final presentation of the project (usually late fall or early spring of the junior year)

  • HNRS 400X, Honors Senior Seminar (1-2 credit)–fall or spring of senior year, written research or creative project and oral presentation

The final research paper or creative project and oral presentation and defense of the research or creative project should be at least 6 weeks prior to graduation and will require approval of the supervisory and Honors Oversight committees (1 credit).

An additional academic credit can be earned if the student applies for extramural funding for their project or presents his or her project outside of SWU at an appropriate professional meeting or symposium.

Classes

Co-Curricular Instructional Workshops

All students who are conditionally admitted to SWU, and ESL students who score below 550 paper test or 213 computer test on the TOEFL, will be enrolled in co-curricular online workshops that provide instructional support for ENGL 1003  and MATH 1053 

English Foundations Workshop

Students who are admitted conditionally and/or those who score below the official minimum TOEFL score (550-paper test, 213-computer test) will be enrolled  in our co-curricular English Foundations Workshop concurrently with ENGL 1003. Using coordinated reading and writing assignments that help students work with concepts in context, the workshop provides assistance with ENGL 1003 assignments as well as the essential skills needed to be successful in ENGL 1003.

Students who do not earn a C- or better in ENGL 1003 must retake ENGL 1003 concurrently with the English Foundations Workshop until they earn a C- or higher in ENGL 1003.

Math Foundation Workshop

Students who are admitted conditionally will be enrolled in our co-curricular Math Foundations Workshop concurrently with MATH 1053. The workshop provides assistance with MATH 1053 assignments as well as the essential skills needed to be successful in MATH 1053.

Students who do not receive a passing grade in MATH 1053 must retake MATH 1053 concurrently with the Math Foundations Workshop until they receive a passing grade.

Directed Study Courses

Directed study is a method of instruction permitting the student to complete a course in an independent context. Essentially, the course work is completed independently but under the supervision of the faculty member, a grade is assigned, and college credit is posted to the student’s academic record upon successful completion of the course.

Directed study courses are designed as an exception for students and may be offered as an option for students who are nearing graduation and are required to enroll in a course that is currently not offered.

In general, students must have earned at least 60 credit hours and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to enroll in a directed study course. Students may be limited to a maximum of 3 hours of directed study credit each semester.  Additionally, students may apply no more than 12 credit hours of directed study credit in their degree program and no more than 25% of their core course work in their major or minor.

Approval to register for a directed study course must be obtained in writing by the dean prior to the faculty assigning any work for credit.

All students (students in either the traditional or the nontraditional program) seeking a directed study course will be charged an additional $100 per credit hour over regular tuition, which will then be used for renumeration for the faculty member directing the study, except in extenuating circumstances, including the following:

  • In the event that there is insufficient enrollment for a class to make, students who need the class to graduate on time, as determined by the dean, will be offered the class as a directed study, with no additional charge to the student.
  • If a class needed to graduate is not being offered, or if the class time conflicts with another class required for graduation, the student will not be charged the additional fee for enrolling in the directed study necessary to graduate on time.
  • Students taking directed study as part of the Honors Program will not be charged the additional fee.

Permission for directed study, as well as fee waivers, must be approved in writing by the dean.

Experiential Learning (Credit-bearing) Courses

Southern Wesleyan believes that learning is often enhanced through practical experience in settings where theory can be applied to practice. Though often integrated with content-based courses, credit may from time to time be granted for experiential learning such as internships, practica, and clinical experiences which constitute stand-alone courses. In certain majors, these experiences are required, while in other programs they are recommended or optional. The prerequisite for participation in such an experience is completion of all required general education courses in computer, math, oral communication, and writing. No more than 18 credits of stand-alone experiential learning may count toward the requirements of a degree.

Eligibility for the credit-bearing experience will be determined by the academic advisor and coordinator of studies for the major. The Coordinator of Studies is responsible for approving arrangements for the course. Unless otherwise noted, credit for the experiential learning requires at least 40 hours of engagement in the setting per credit hour and appropriate critical reflection approved by the assigned faculty member. Faculty oversight is expected in all field experiences.

Hybrid Courses

Some courses at Southern Wesleyan University are offered in hybrid format in which some traditional face-to-face “seat time” is replaced by online learning activities that extend and reinforce the classroom learning. If a hybrid meeting date for “seat time” falls on a holiday, the instruction for that meeting will be given online.

Independent Study Courses

A course in independent study is available in each major offered by the University, to enable stronger students to enrich their program by studies or research opportunities not generally available in formal courses.

To be eligible for independent study, a student must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 on all work attempted. Up to eight hours of credit may be earned, but no more than three hours in any one semester.

To register for independent study, the student must obtain the signatures of the division chair and the dean of the course requested.

Online Courses

Southern Wesleyan University offers some of its courses in a distance-learning format that allows students to complete the course requirements in a manner mediated through technology (rather than in a face-to-face setting). In general, such courses are asynchronous and web-based. As such they require of the student a level of technological skill, organization, and self-discipline beyond what may be commonly a part of face-to-face courses. Students are strongly advised to assess their readiness before enrolling in an online course. 

In addition, all those participating in a distance learning course must have completed completed SWU’s online learning orientation.

Travel Courses

On occasion it is deemed that course learning outcomes may be achieved through a combination of travel and instruction. Faculty in charge of courses involving extensive travel should consult the Vice-President for Student Life to determine whether or not a student wishing to take such a course is on social probation. If so, the instructor may prohibit such a person from registering for the course or from completing it.

Tutorial Instruction

On occasion it may be necessary for a student to receive instruction on an individual basis from a member of the University faculty. When this is necessary, the instructor will spend the full amount of class time with the student, and the tutorial fee will be one and one-half times the regular tuition fee.

Academic Honesty

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:

  1. 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.
     
  2. Inform the student of the resulting discipline, based upon the situation:
    1. student’s unprompted confession - NC or 0 for work involved
    2. admission after confrontation by faculty member - NC or 0 on work and 10% course grade reduction
    3. denial of guilt and faculty member believes innocence - no penalty
    4. denial of guilt but faculty member believes guilt - F for the course
    5. 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.
  3. Explain the appeal process to the student, which is thus detailed in the catalog:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  4. Submit a written report to the provost, including the discipline implemented. Upon receipt of the report, the provost will take the following action:
    1. 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.
    2. For a first offense involving multiple students or outside parties that results in a recommendation of dismissal, the provost will meet with the students.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

Academic Appeals

Grade-Appeal Procedures

The University has approved a formal procedure for resolving those occasions when a student actively disagrees with the grade received in a course:

  1. No later than four weeks after the grade is posted, the student will confer with the instructor. If a grade inaccuracy is determined, the instructor will process a grade-change request.
  2. If agreement cannot be reached, the student may appeal to the instructor’s division chair, in writing, within ten working days after the meeting with the instructor. If the division chair can mediate an agreement between the student and instructor, a grade-change request may be processed. 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 next step is applicable.
  3. The student may appeal the decision to the academic dean of the appropriate college or school, in writing, again within ten working days. The academic dean shall investigate and render a decision. A decision by the academic dean that the grade is not appealable is final. If the decision is to reconsider the grade, the academic dean shall within ten working days in consultation with the provost, assign the appeal to the Academic Council or its designated Appeals Committee to review all appropriate material, consult the parties involved, and determine the final grade. The Council may retain the original grade or assign a new grade (which may be the same as, higher than, or lower than the grade in question), and it will so inform the registrar. The decision of the Academic Council is final.

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

Students seeking an exception to the application of a stated policy of the University may appeal in writing to the University registrar who will refer the appeal to the administrator responsible for the application of the particular policy. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the matter may be referred to the Provost within ten days of the decision. The Provost will investigate and render a decision. A decision by the Provost that the matter is not appealable is final.

If the decision is to consider an exception to the policy, the Provost will either make the appropriate change or, within ten working days, assign the appeal to the Academic Council or its designated Appeals Committee to review all appropriate material, consult the parties involved, and make a determination. The decision of the Academic Council is final.

Workplace Policies

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.

Email Policy

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.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, Southern Wesleyan University will determine whether or not the offices and academic programs for Online and Graduate Programs 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.

Smoking Policy

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 Online and Graduate Programs 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, Online and Graduate Programs enforces the no-smoking rule in Online and Graduate Programs 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.

Tutoring Services

SMARTHINKING

SMARTHINKING is an online tutoring service offered by Southern Wesleyan University to students who are enrolled in Online and Graduate Programs . The service is free to SWU students, and most subject areas are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With SMARTHINKING, students can connect with a tutor and interact live, submit writing for any class to the Online Writing Lab, or submit a question and receive a reply from a tutor. Students may connect with SMARTHINKING when assistance is needed in any one of several subject areas including writing, math, science, or business.

Smarthinking can be accessed via course modules in Canvas or via the student tab in mySWU.

For help using SMARTHINKING, click on the SMARTHINKING Student Handbook in the Customer Support & FAQ area of your homepage or contact Customer Support at (888) 430-7429 ext. 1 (Mon-Fri; 8am - 6pm ET).

For on campus help, contact Tutoring Services at 864.644.5036.

Library Services

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.

Name of Resource Description
Library Website Your starting point for accessing all library resources, including databases and catalogs.
ONEsearch Use ONEsearch to find books, ebooks, and articles in one single search.
About Rickman Library Contact information, library hours, and services.
Adult/Evening Students (Online and Graduate Programs) A page just for Online and Graduate Program students that may addresses the special needs of Online and Graduate Program students.
LibGuides (Research Guides) LibGuides are research guides and useful resources compiled by your friendly librarians.
Citing Sources (APA, MLA) How to cite your sources in different styles.

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.  Online and Graduate Programs 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!