1000 University Information

Georgia State University is the embodiment of an idea: A great university is accessible, responsive, and relevant. This combination provides Georgia State students with many advantages.

Accessibility at Georgia State has many aspects. One is physical accessibility. The compact central campus in downtown Atlanta is within walking distance of thousands of offices and downtown living spaces and is but a short distance from major thoroughfares, interstates, and the many MARTA rapid-transit routes that feed the center of the city. The Georgia State MARTA station is adjacent to a campus at the very heart of the cultural, financial, legal, government, health-care, retail, and convention centers of Atlanta.

The downtown location provides a special advantage for students pursuing internships, which often lead to full-time careers upon graduation.

Georgia State is financially accessible. The university offers a first-rate education in a very broad spectrum of disciplines at very competitive fees, an excellent value in today’s educational marketplace. More than $320 million in scholarships, financial aid, and work-study programs is provided annually.

The university is responsive to students’ career goals, providing over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in over 100 fields of study through its college-level units: the College of Arts and Sciences, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Law, the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the Institute of Public Health, and the Honors College. Each term, courses are taught day and evening, and students may study full or part time. Many programs may be entered any term of the year.

Georgia State’s degree programs are highly respected and well recognized for their quality. Furthermore, they are relevant to the practical needs of both the student and the community. Most were designed with the input of community and industry advisory groups: A Georgia State University education is authentic preparation for success in today’s world.

Georgia State — a premier urban research institution — is the second largest of Georgia’s 80 accredited institutions of higher learning and enrolls some 32,000 students each fall — 10 percent of all students in higher education in the state. Students come from nearly every county in Georgia, every state in the union, and over 150 other nations. Georgia State has a racially diverse student body with 41 percent being white, 36 percent black, 13 percent Asian, 4 percent mixed race, 0.3 percent American Indian, 0.1% native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 6% unreported. Seven percent of Georgia State students define their ethnicity as Hispanic.

1010 Mission Statement

As the only urban research university in Georgia, Georgia State University offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of the university is to develop, transmit, and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.

1020 Accreditation

Georgia State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097) to award bachelors, masters, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees. Specialized accreditations for specific academic programs are listed in the college chapters of this catalog.

1030.10 Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Economics B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Criminal Justice B.S., M.S.
Criminal Justice & Criminology Ph.D.
Disaster Management G. Cert.
International Economics and Modern Languages B.A.
Nonprofit Management G. Cert.
Planning and Economic Development G. Cert.
Public Administration M.P.A., M.P.A./J.D.*
Public Policy B.S., M.P.P.,Ph.D.**
Social Work B.S.W., G. Cert., M.S.W.

1030.20 College of Arts and Sciences

African-American Studies B.A., M.A.
Anthropology B.A., M.A.
Applied Linguistics B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Art B.A.
Art Education B.F.A., M.A.E.
Art History M.A.
Arts Administration – Speech/Theatre B.I.S.
Asian Studies B.I.S.
Astronomy Ph.D.
Biology B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Chemistry B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Classical Studies B.I.S.
Communication M.A.
Computer Science B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
English B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Environmental Science B.I.S.
Film and Video B.A.
French B.A., M.A.
Geosciences B.A., M.A.
German B.A., M.A.
Gerontology U. Cert., G. Cert., M.A.
Heritage Preservation M.H.P., G. Cert.
History B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Interdisciplinary Studies B.I.S.
International Economics and Modern Languages B.A.
International Studies B.I.S.
Interpretation G. Cert.
Italian Studies B.I.S.
Journalism B.A.
Latin American Studies G. Cert.
Law and Society B.I.S.
Mathematics B.S., M.S., M.A.
Mathematics and Statistics Ph.D.
Middle East Studies B.I.S.
Music B.Mu., M.Mu.
Music Management B.S.
Neuroscience B.S., M.S., Ph.D
Philosophy B.A., M.A.
Physics B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Political Science B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Psychology B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Religious Studies B.A., M.A.
Sociology B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Spanish B.A., M.A.
Speech B.A.
Studio (Art) B.F.A., M.F.A.
Theatre Design B.I.S.
Theatre Performance B.I.S.
Translation G. Cert.
Women’s Studies B.A., G. Cert., M.A.

1030.30 College of Education

Behavior/Learning Disabilities M.Ed.
Birth Through Five B.S.E.
Communication Disorders M.Ed.
Counseling Psychology Ph.D.
Counselor Education and Practice Ph.D.
Early Childhood Education B.S.E.,M.A.T., M.Ed., Ed.S., Ph.D.
Early Childhood and Elementary Education Ph.D.
Education of Students with Exceptionalities Ph.D.
Educational Leadership M.Ed., Ed.S., Ed.D.
Educational Policy Studies Ph.D.
Educational Psychology M.S., Ph.D.
Educational Research M.S.
English Education M.A.T.
Exercise Science B.S., M.S.
Health and Physical Education B.S.E., M.Ed.
Kinesiology Ph.D.
Instructional Design and Technology M.S., Ph.D.
Mathematics Education M.A.T., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Mental Health Counseling M.S.
Middle Level Education B.S.E., M.A.T., M.Ed.
Multiple and Severe Disabilities M.Ed.
Reading, Language, and Literacy M.A.T.
Reading, Language, and Literacy Education M.Ed.
Rehabilitation Counseling M.S.
School Counseling M.Ed., Ed.S.
School Psychology M.Ed., Ed.S., Ph.D.
Science Education M.A.T., M.Ed.
Social Foundations of Education M.S.
Social Studies Education M.A.T., M.Ed.
Sports Administration M.S.
Sports Medicine M.S.
Teaching and Learning Ph.D.
Urban Teacher Leadership M.Ed.

1030.50 J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Accountancy/Accounting B.B.A., G. Cert., M.B.A., M.P. Acct., Ph.D.
Actuarial Science B.B.A., M.A.S.
Computer Information Systems B.B.A., M.S.I.S., Ph.D.
Business Economics B.B.A., M.B.A.
Enterprise Risk Management G. Cert.
Entrepreneurship M.B.A.
Finance B.B.A., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
General Business M.B.A.
Health Administration M.H.A., M.S.H.A.
Hospitality Administration B.B.A., U. Cert.
Human Resource Management M.B.A., Ph.D.
International Business M.B.A., M.I.B, U. Cert.
Managerial Sciences B.B.A., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Marketing B.B.A., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Operations Management Ph.D.
Personal Financial Planning G. Cert., M.S.
Real Estate G. Cert., B.B.A., M.B.A., M.S.R.E., Ph.D.
Risk Management and Insurance B.B.A., M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Taxation M, Tx.

1030.60 Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

Child Health Pediatric Nurse Practitioner G. Cert.
Clinical Nurse Specialist-Adult Health Nursing G. Cert.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing G. Cert.
Health Informatics B.I.S.
Nursing B.S., M.S., G. Cert., Ph.D.
Nutrition Science and Dietetics B.S., M.S.
Perinatal Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner G. Cert.
Physical Therapy D.P.T.
Respiratory Therapy B.S., M.S.

1030.70 Institute of Public Health

Public Health G. Cert., M.P.H., Ph.D.

 

* Joint program with College of Law and Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

** Joint program with Georgia Institute of Technology.

*** Joint program with College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences

**** Joint program with J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

Explanation of Abbreviations for Degrees and Certificates Offered

B.A. Bachelor of Arts
B.B.A. Bachelor of Business Administration
B.F.A. Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.I.S. Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
B.Mu. Bachelor of Music
B.S. Bachelor of Science
B.S.E. Bachelor of Science in Education
B.S.N. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
B.S.W. Bachelor of Social Work
D.P.T. Doctor of Physical Therapy
EDB Executive Doctorate in Business
EDD Doctor of Education
Ed.S. Specialist in Education
G. Cert. Graduate Certificate
J.D. Juris Doctor
M.A. Master of Arts
M.A.T. Master of Arts in Teaching
M.A.Ed. Master of Art Education
M.A.S. Master of Actuarial Science
M.B.A. Master of Business Administration
M.Ed. Master of Education
M.F.A. Master of Fine Arts
M.G.H.M. Master of Global Hospitality Management
M.H.A. Master of Health Administration
M.H.P. Master of Heritage Preservation
M.I.B. Master of International Business
M.L.M. Master of Library Media
M.Mu. Master of Music
M.P.A. Master of Public Administration
M.P.Acct. Master of Professional Accountancy
M.P.H. Master of Public Health
M.P.P. Master of Public Policy
M.S. Master of Science
M.S.H.A. Master of Science in Health Administration
M.S.I.S. Master of Science in Information Systems
M.S.I.S.A.C. Master of Science in Information Systems Audit and Control
M.S.R.E. Master of Science in Real Estate
M.S.W. Master of Social Work
M.Tx. Master of Taxation
Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
U. Cert. Undergraduate Certificate

1040.10 Libraries

Georgia State University is served by two libraries: the University Library and the College of Law Library. The University Library occupies two buildings, North and South, bridged by a four-story glass link. Inside, a variety of technology services are provided and supported. Over 400 computers, plus wireless access, are available throughout the building. Laptops and netbooks are also available for check out. The building includes 55 group study rooms, a 5th floor quiet study area, and a variety of other comfortable study spaces. With the implementation of the Discover search service, students can access millions of resources instantly, including the University Library’s collection of books, databases, journals, periodicals, and government documents, with close to 300,000 e-books and 50,000 e-journals. Subject librarians are available to help students, faculty, and the community use the resources that are provided, with a librarian assigned to work with each of Georgia State’s academic departments, assisting with discipline-specific research. In addition, the University Library’s Special Collections and Archives preserve rare historical materials. A mobile version of the library’s website is also available, allowing students to easily check their library account, computer availability, the library catalog, and library hours. In addition students can ask a librarian for help through the Live Assistance chat service. Students can also phone, email or visit the library for assistance, including nights and weekends.  For information about the University Library and its hours, visit www.library.gsu.edu/ or call 404/413-2820.

The College of Law Library is designed and equipped to meet the demanding research needs of students, faculty, and members of the legal community. With a collection of more than 164,000 hard-copy volumes and hundreds of online databases, the library provides legal research materials in various formats. For information about the Law Library and its hours, visit law.gsu.edu/library/.

1040.20 Information Systems and Technology

The Division of Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) provides and supports state-of-the-art technology resources for the Georgia State University community. Student technology resources include Windows and Macintosh computer labs with workstations that provide Internet access as well as a variety of software applications to help meet academic requirements. Students can access computers in many locations on campus, including University Library Learning Commons, Aderhold Learning Center, Digital Aquarium, Alpharetta Center and Brookhaven Center.

IS&T services for students include campus-wide wireless connectivity (CatChat2x), e-mail (PantherMail), online file storage (Lockerbox), and online training by Skillsoft and Lynda.com. IS&T also provides students with information security resources and anti-virus software. Visit http://technology.gsu.edufor a complete list of services and instructions on getting started. For technical assistance or more information, contact the IS&T Help Center at help@gsu.edu or 404/413-HELP (4357).

1040.30 Alpharetta and Brookhaven Centers

In addition to the downtown campus, Georgia State University provides instruction at the Alpharetta Center and the Brookhaven Center. At the Alpharetta Center, the university offers graduate business and education credit classes, as well as non-degree programs for those living or working in the northern metropolitan area. At the Brookhaven Center, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business offers an MBA curriculum convenient to students in the vicinity of Buckhead and Brookhaven. The Alpharetta Center is located at 3705 Brookside Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia. For Alpharetta Center information, call 404/413-2200. The Brookhaven Center is located at 4362 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia. For Brookhaven Center information, call 404/413-5100.

The Robinson College of Business also offers the Executive MBA program as well as non-degree Executive Education at a Buckhead location, Tower Place 200, 3348 Peachtree Road, Suite 400, Atlanta, Georgia. For EMBA information, call 404/-413-7182. The Robinson College of Business also offers the Professional MBA program at a Henry County location, 125 Westridge Industrial Boulevard, McDonough, Georgia and at a Perimeter location, Palisades Building D, Suite 100, 5909 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30328. For information on the PMBA program , call 404-413-7050 .

1040.40 The Welcome Center

The Welcome Center provides an official reception area and introduction to Georgia State University. Prospective students, visitors, alumni, faculty and staff can stop by for information about the university, its programs and activities.

The Welcome Center offers daily visit opportunities, Monday through Friday with 45-minute information sessions at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and 90-minute campus Atlanta tours at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Both will help familiarize you with our campus and downtown Atlanta.

The bus and walking tour highlights the advantages and excitement of going to school in Downtown Atlanta. Geusts first ride in PantherExpress buses to view classroom buildings and housing facilties, while passing by popular Atlanta landmarks. The walking tour includes the Student Recreation Center and various administrative and academic buildings.

Complimentary parking is provided to visitors who register in advance for any of these sessions. For more information, or to schedule an information session or Campus Atlanta tour, please visit the Welcome Center online at www.gsu.edu/campusvisits/. To schedule a special group tour for 10 to 50 people, please register online at webdb.gsu.edu/visit/visitForm/group_tours.cfm or call the Welcome Center at 404/413-2063. It is recommended that large groups have one adult chaperone for every 20 students, and dates are requested at least two weeks in advance of the desired visit.

The Welcome Center will relocate from Dahlberg Hall to 100 Auburn Avenue during the 2013 Fall Semester. You may contact the Welcome Center at 404/413-2063 or by e-mail to tourguide@gsu.edu.

1040.50 Alumni Association

The Georgia State University Alumni Association provides a wide variety of programs and services to keep alumni and students in touch, informed, involved, and invested in their Alma Mater. The Alumni Association provides networking opportunities through academic, professional, special interest, and regional alumni groups; leadership and volunteer opportunities in student recruitment and community service; the Student Alumni Association, which is a program that links current students to alumni; and social activities for rekindling friendships and fostering new ones.

The Alumni Association invites graduates back to campus during the year for special celebrations and life-long learning and keeps graduates connected to Georgia State and to each other through the Georgia State University magazine and an electronic newsletter, Panther News.

In addition, the Alumni Association adds to the vitality of the university by annually awarding 25 student scholarships and honoring outstanding alumni and faculty through the Distinguished Faculty Awards and Distinguished Alumni Awards.

The Alumni Association also sponsors several programs for current students including the “Lunch and Learn” series of educational programs and the “Graduating Senior” series of informational seminars.

Anyone who has attended Georgia State is considered an alumnus or alumna. The Alumni Association is governed by a volunteer board of directors, and specific programs are carried out with the assistance of alumni volunteers and the Alumni Association staff. For more information, please call 404/413-2190 or 1-800-GSU-ALUM or visit the website at www.pantheralumni.com.

1040.60 Foundation

The Georgia State University Foundation is the primary destination for all gifts to the university. The foundation is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization incorporated under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The foundation is classified as a public charity and contributions to the foundation qualify as charitable donations. Management of the foundation is vested in a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, and the foundation receives an annual independent audit. Through its board and committee structure, the foundation gives alumni and other volunteers personal opportunities to help Georgia State accomplish its mission and goals.

The mission of the foundation is to raise, receive, manage, and disburse private gift funds for the benefit of Georgia State University. The majority of private support for scholarships, academic disciplines, endowments, and other programs from individuals and organizations is contributed through the foundation. Several facilities, including 25 Park Place, the University Commons, the Rialto Center for the Arts, the Alpharetta Center, the Lofts, and the Student Recreation Center were acquired as a result of the efforts of the foundation.

1050.10 Equal Opportunity Policy

Georgia State University is an equal opportunity educational institution. Faculty, staff, and students are admitted, employed, and treated without regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. Georgia State University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Sections 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act, as well as other applicable federal, state and local laws. In compliance with these laws and regulations, Georgia State University has established the following specific policies:

Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunities — Georgia State provides equal employment and educational opportunities for all individuals without regard to race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. All Georgia State University educational and personnel actions will be governed by an affirmative action program developed in compliance with applicable federal and state law and regulations, and the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment — an effort to foster a community in which there can be a free and open development and discussion of ideas, Georgia State University is committed to maintaining a working and learning environment free of discriminatory and sexual harassment. Georgia State University has adopted policies and procedures concerning such forms of harassment that may be obtained from the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning, the Ombudsperson, or Dean of Students. In addition to the procedures outlined in these policies and procedures, a person alleging an instance of discriminatory or sexual harassment may file a complaint with the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning, the Ombudsperson, the Dean of Students, the respective college administrative unit, and the appropriate state or federal agencies. Students can file complaints of sex discrimination with the Title IX coordinator, Linda J. Nelson, Assistant Vice President for Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning, in person at 460 Ten Park Place, by e-mail at afaljn@langate.gsu.edu, by telephone at 404/413-3300 or by fax at 404/413-2560.

Disabilities — Georgia State University provides program accessibility and reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. Specifically, the university provides evaluation of individual needs, advisement, and appropriate support for academic programs for identified persons with disabilities. A student with a disability has the responsibility of contacting the Office of Disability Services for an intake interview to assess his or her needs prior to the first semester of enrollment at Georgia State University. Should any problems arise concerning his or her academic program, the student should contact the Office of Disability Services at 230 Student Center (404/413-1560) as soon as possible.

1050.20 Disability Complaint Policy

Georgia State University has a procedure by which students who believe they have been discriminated against by the University in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may file complaints about the discrimination or denial by the University to provide a requested accommodation. The right to file a complaint pursuant to this disability complaint procedure may be forfeited unless exercised within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory act or denial of accommodation. All properly filed complaints will be heard by a subcommittee of the University ADA Committee and a final decision will be rendered by the Provost. Copies of the disability complaint procedure are available at the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning and the Office of Disability Services.

1050.30 Disruptive Behavior Policy

The University has a policy that addresses student behavior in the learning environment that disrupts the educational process. In accordance with this policy, the University seeks resolution of disruptive conduct informally when possible. However, student conduct that disrupts the learning environment may result in sanctions up to and including withdrawal of the student from class. Students withdrawn from a course for disruptive behavior receive a grade of “W” or “WF”. The full text of the Disruptive Student Conduct Policy is available in the Office of the Dean of Students and at www2.gsu.edu/~wwwdos/codeofconduct.html.

1050.40 University Code of Conduct

The University has established the policies and procedures that comprise the Student Code of Conduct to both promote the university mission and protect the rights of students, faculty and staff. The official University rules and regulations are contained in the Georgia State University General Catalog and the student handbook, On Campus. The most current version of the Student Code of Conduct may be found online at http://www.gsu.edu/studenthandbook/Student_Code_of_Conduct.html each semester. In the event of a conflict between the Student Code of Conduct and other University policies, the most current version of the Code governs.

1050.50 Federal and State Law Disclosure Requirements

Federal and state laws require all colleges and universities receiving federal funds to establish certain programs, policies, and procedures and to distribute an annual report describing the information and providing statistics regarding: graduation rates; drug, alcohol, and weapon violations; and certain crimes on campus, which include murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and sex offenses. The Georgia State University annual report and information regarding these programs, policies, procedures, and statistics are available upon a written request directed to the Georgia State University Office of Public Information, 530 One Park Place South, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

1050.60 Integrity in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities

Georgia State University maintains high ethical standards in research and requires all faculty, staff, and students engaged in research to comply with those standards. Cases of misconduct in research present a serious threat to continued public confidence in the integrity of the research process and the stewardship of federal funds. Misconduct includes fabrication or falsification of data, research procedures, or data analysis; destruction of data for fraudulent purposes; plagiarism; abuse of confidentiality; omission in publication of conflicting or non-conforming observations; theft of research methods or data; false attribution of authorization or creation of the creative works of another; and other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or creative works. Georgia State University will pursue allegations of misconduct to timely resolve all instances of alleged or apparent misconduct. To obtain a copy of the Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policy, the General Principles for Scholarly Integrity, and the Responsible Conduct of Research at Georgia State University publication, contact University Research Services and Administration, 217 Alumni Hall, 404/413-3500.

1050.70 Intellectual Property

In complying with the policies of the Board of Regents, Georgia State University has adopted an Intellectual Property Policy concerning the ownership and subsequent rights to intellectual property created by faculty, staff, and students. The Intellectual Property Policy pertains to any patentable inventions, biological materials, copyrightable materials, software, and trade secrets regardless of whether formal protection is sought. It is the responsibility of individual creators to disclose intellectual property to the University in a timely manner in accordance with the policy. To obtain a copy of the Intellectual Property Policy, contact University Research Services and Administration, 217 Alumni Hall, 404/413-3500.

1050.80 Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals

I. PURPOSE AND APPLICABILITY

Georgia State University seeks to maintain the highest standards of integrity and fairness in its relationships with students. The Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog (both found at www.gsu.edu/es/catalogs_courses.html), and the Student Code of Conduct http://www.gsu.edu/studenthandbook/Student_Code_of_Conduct.html set forth policies and requirements for Georgia State students. Students are expected to know and comply with these policies. Students may, however, seek relief or resolution when they believe that:

  1. The application of these policies and procedures will create undue hardship for them or will not recognize their extraordinary or extenuating circumstances; or
  2. Specific actions, practices, or decisions on academic or non-academic matters have been made or carried out in an arbitrary, discriminatory, or inequitable manner.

The procedures set forth below cover complaints, petitions, and appeals related to University-wide and college-based policies. Individual colleges or departments may have additional or more specific procedures that may also apply to complaints, petitions, and appeals. Students are referred to the office of the dean of the particular college for information about additional or more specific procedures that apply. In case of conflict among policies, this University policy takes precedence over College and Departmental policies.

The following policies include their own complaint, petition and waiver procedures. This policy may not be used in lieu of these policies:

  1. Any policy for anyone other than a student to make a complaint, file a grievance, or request a waiver, such as policies that govern faculty and staff.
  2. All policies in the student code of conduct
  3. Hardship withdrawal policy
  4. Discriminatory and sexual harassment policies
  5. Disability policies
  6. College of Law Honor Code
  7. Student parking policy

The procedures set forth below are applicable to undergraduate and graduate students of the University.

All appeals under these procedures will be made based only on the written record. A student’s appeal under these procedures will be granted only if the student can prove by preponderance of evidence that a decision was arbitrary, discriminatory, or inequitable.

II. STUDENT COMPLAINTS ON ACADEMIC MATTERS

  1. College-Level Academic Complaints
    1. Final Course Grade Appeals
      • Students are encouraged to discuss concerns and disputes over final course grades with the instructor prior to filing a formal grade appeal, in an effort to gain understanding about the basis of his/her grade. Instructors are encouraged to be available to students for such discussion regarding grades so that grade disputes, to the extent possible, are resolved informally. The Office of the Ombudsperson can provide assistance to students, instructors and administrators with resolving disputes informally through voluntary facilitated discussions, in an effort to bring resolution to the matter prior to the initiation of a formal complaint.
      • In situations where such informal resolution does not occur or is not successful, the student may appeal the final course grade to the Department Chair. The appeal must be in writing and describe the precise reason for the appeal. Any pertinent information must be submitted with the appeal in order to be considered in this or subsequent appeals. The appeal must be submitted within 10 business days of the beginning of the academic term (fall, spring, and summer) that follows the term in which the final grade was submitted by the instructor. For example, if a student took an incomplete in a fall term course and completed the course works in the following spring semester, then an appeal of that grade must be submitted within 10 business days of the beginning of the summer term. The Department Chair will provide a decision in writing to the student, normally within 10 business days of the receipt of the complaint in the Department.
      • The student may appeal the decision of the Department Chair, as described in section 2-c through 2-e below.
    2. Other College-Level Academic Complaints
      • Judgments on the suitability of academic decisions made within a college are most appropriately made by individuals with expertise in the particular academic discipline involved. For this reason, resolution of student complaints about college level academic decisions, actions, or practices is the responsibility of the department and college involved. Normally, such complaints can be resolved quickly and informally through discussion with the faculty member directly involved. The Office of the Ombudsperson can provide assistance to students, instructors and administrators with resolving disputes informally through voluntary facilitated discussions, in an effort to bring resolution to the matter prior to the initiation of a formal complaint.
      • In situations where such informal resolution does not occur or is not successful, the student may submit a formal complaint to the Chair of the appropriate academic department. The student’s complaint must be submitted in writing and be accompanied by pertinent documentation describing (a) the specific action, practice, or decision that is problematic; (b) the impact of that decision; (c) what resolution is being sought; (d) and why it should be granted. To promote prompt resolution, complaints must include current contact information and be submitted at the earliest possible time. Consideration will not be given to any complaint submitted later than the end of the term immediately following the term in which the matter in question arose. The Department Chair will provide a decision in writing to the student, normally within 10 business days of the receipt of the complaint in the Department.
      • The student may appeal the Department Chair’s decision within 10 business days of being notified of the Chair’s decision. Such appeal will be made, in writing, to the Dean of the College in which the Department is located. At the discretion of the Dean, an advisory panel may be appointed to review the written documentation and make a recommendation to the Dean. The Dean will issue a decision to the student in writing, normally within 10 business days of the receipt of the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the Dean’s decision to the Provost, in writing, within 10 business days of being notified of the Dean’s decision. The Provost will issue a decision to the student, in writing within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the Provost’s decision to the President, in writing, within 10 business days of being notified of the Provost’s decision. The President will issue a decision to the student in writing within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the President’s decision to the Board of Regents, in writing, within 20 business days of being notified of the President’s decision. Decisions regarding grades may not be appealed to the Board of Regents (BOR Policy 407.01).
  2. University-Level Academic Complaints
    1. Judgments on the suitability of academic decisions made at the University level are most appropriately made by individuals with expertise in the particular area. Normally, such complaints can be resolved quickly through discussion with the Academic Administrator directly involved. (See the University Organizational Chart athttp://www.gsu.edu/administrative_organization.htm.) Students can contact the Office of the Ombudsperson for assistance in preparing for discussion with academic administrators. The Office of the Ombudsperson can also provide assistance to students and academic administrators with resolving disputes informally through voluntary, facilitated discussions, in an effort to bring resolution to the matter prior to the initiation of a formal complaint.
    2. In situations where such informal resolution does not occur or is not successful, the student may submit a formal complaint to the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. The student’s complaint must be submitted in writing, and be accompanied by pertinent documentation describing (a) the specific action, practice, or decision that is problematic; (b) the impact of that decision; (c) what resolution is being sought; and (d) why it should be granted. To promote prompt resolution, complaints must include current contact information and be submitted as early as possible, but no later than the end of the term immediately following the term in which the matter arose. The Associate Provost for Academic Programs will normally issue a decision to the student in writing, within 10 business days of receiving the complaint.
    3. The student may appeal the Associate Provost’s decision to the Provost within 10 business days of being notified of the decision. The Provost will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
    4. The student may appeal the Provost’s decision to the President in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the Provost’s decision. The President will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
    5. The student may appeal the President’s decision to the Board of Regents in writing within 20 business days of being notified of the President’s decision. Decisions regarding residency and the Guaranteed Tuition Plan may not be appealed to the Board of Regents (BOR Policy 407.01).

III. NON-ACADEMIC COMPLAINTS

  1. Judgments on the suitability of non-academic decisions are most appropriately made by individuals with expertise in the particular area. Normally, such complaints can be resolved quickly through discussion with the Administrator in charge of the department making the decision. (See the University Organizational Chart at www.gsu.edu/administrative_organization.html.) Students can contact the Office of the Ombudsperson for assistance in preparing for discussion with non-academic administrators. The Office of the Ombudsperson can also provide assistance to students and non-academic administrators with resolving disputes informally through voluntary, facilitated discussions, in an effort to bring resolution to the matter prior to the initiation of a formal complaint.
  2. In situations where such informal resolution does not occur or is not successful, the student may submit a formal complaint to the Vice President or Associate Provost who oversees the area. The student’s complaint must be submitted in writing, and be accompanied by pertinent documentation describing (a) the specific action, practice, or decision that is problematic; (b) the impact of that decision; (c) what resolution is being sought; and (d) why it should be granted. To promote prompt resolution, complaints must include current contact information and be submitted as early as possible, but no later than the end of the term immediately following the term in which the matter arose. The Vice President or Associate Provost will provide a decision to the student in writing, normally within 10 business days of the receipt of the complaint.
  3. The student may appeal the Vice President’s or Associate Provost’s decision to the Provost in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the decision. The Provost will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
  4. The student may appeal the Provost’s decision to the President in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the Provost’s decision. The President will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
  5. The student may appeal the President’s decision to the Board of Regents in writing within 20 business days of being notified of the President’s decision. Decisions regarding traffic citations may not be appealed to the Board of Regents (BOR Policy 407.01).

IV. STUDENT PETITIONS FOR ACADEMIC POLICY WAIVER or VARIANCE

  1. College-Level Policy Waiver or Variance Petitions
    1. Students may petition for a waiver or variance of a department-level or college-level policy. The appropriate College Office of Academic Assistance can provide the student with college policies and petition procedures.
    2. The student must submit a petition, in writing, to the Office of Academic Assistance of the College which has made the policy in question. The petition must include the following: (a) the policy from which the student is seeking a waiver or variance, (b) the deviation being sought; and (c) the reason(s) why the exception should be granted. The Office of Academic Assistance representative will determine whether the petition needs to be addressed at the departmental or college level, and will forward the petition to the appropriate administrator who will notify the student of his or her decision.
    3. The student may appeal the decision, in writing, following the procedures stated in Section II.A.2.c through f above, the College-Level Academic Complaint Policy and Procedures. If the original decision was rendered by a Department Chair, the appeal should be initiated at the level of the Dean; if the original decision was rendered by the Dean (or his or her designate), the appeal should be initiated at the level of the Provost.
  2. University-Level Policy Waiver or Variance Petitions
    1. Students may request a waiver or variance of a policy established by the University or the Board of Regents (BOR).
    2. All requests for waivers or variances from university and BOR level policies will be made based only on the written record.
    3. All petitions must include the following:
      • The section number from the Catalog (or otherofficial University document) of the policy or requirement from which the student is requesting a waiver
      • the deviation being sough;
      • the reason(s) why the exception should be granted
      • a current copy of the student’s academic evaluation record
      • a current copy of the student’s Georgia State University transcript (unless the petitioner is not yet a Georgia State student)
      • transcripts from all other colleges the student has attended (if the petitioner has attended other colleges).
    4. Financial Aid Appeals (Appeals of Rules Currently in Section 1200 of the Catalog)
      • Appeals of financial aid rules will be made in the first instance by the Director of Financial Aid.
      • If the petition is denied, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, a committee appointed by the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. The student must appeal in writing and within 10 business days of being notified of the decision of the Director of Financial Aid.
    5. Add, Drop and Withdraw Appeals (Appeals of Rules Currently in Section 1332 of the Catalog)
      • Appeals of the add, drop and withdrawal rules will be made in the first instance by the University Registrar.
      • If the petition is denied, the student may appeal to the Registration Appeals Committee, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards. The student must appeal in writing and within 10 business days of being notified of the decision of the University Registrar.
      • The Registrar will copy the Chair of the Registration Appeals Committee on all letters to students notifying them of results of their petitions. Every semester, the University Registrar will distribute to the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards a report that indicates (at a minimum) the number of petitions filed, the number granted, and the number denied. Any member of Admissions and Standards may review the documents of any petition when there is a legitimate educational interest.
      • This motion policy does not change the Hardship Withdrawal policy.
    6. Course Load, Scholastic Discipline, Course Substitution in the Core, and Regents Test Appeals (Appeals of Rules Currently in Sections 1330.30, 1360, 1410, and 1420 of the Catalog)
      • Appeals of rules regarding course load, scholastic discipline, course substitution in the core, and Regents Test will be made in the first instance by the Director of the Student Advisement Center. However, appeals for waivers of Section 1330.30 (Course Load) will be considered by the student’s college if the student has declared a college and will follow the procedure outlined in Section IV.A above.
      • If the petition is denied by the Director of the Student Advisement Center, the student may appeal to the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards. The student must appeal in writing and within 10 business days of being notified of the decision of the Director of the Student Advisement Center.
      • The Director of the Student Advisement Center will copy the Chair of the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee on all letters to students notifying them of results of their 2 petitions. Every semester, the Director of the Student Advisement Center will distribute to the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards a report that indicates (at a minimum) the number of petitions filed, the number granted, and the number denied. Any member of Admissions and Standards may review the documents of any petition when there is a legitimate educational interest.
    7. Academic Regulation and Graduation Requirement Appeals (Appeals of Rules currently in other parts of Sections 1300 and 1400 of the Catalog)
      • Appeals of other university-level academic rules and graduation requirements will be made in the first instance by the Academic Director of Student Retention.
      • If the petition is denied, the student may appeal to the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards. The student must appeal in writing and within 10 business days of being notified of the decision of the Academic Director of Student Retention.
      • The Academic Director of Student Retention will copy the Chair of the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee on all letters to students notifying them of results of their petitions. Every semester, the Academic Director of Student Retention will distribute to the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards a report that indicates (at a minimum) the number of petitions filed, the number granted, and the number denied. Any member of Admissions and Standards may review the documents of any petition when there is a legitimate educational interest.
    8. Subsequent Appeals
      • The student may appeal the decisions of the Admissions Appeal Committee, Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the Registration Appeals Committee, and the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee to the Associate Provost for Academic Programs in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the decision. The Associate Provost will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the Associate Provost’s decision to the Provost in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the decision. The Provost will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the Provost’s decision to the President in writing within 10 business days of being notified of the Provost’s decision. The President will respond in writing to the appeal within 20 business days of receiving the appeal.
      • The student may appeal the President’s decision to the Board of Regents in writing within 20 business days of being notified of the President’s decision.

V. DEADLINES

  1. The University strives to resolve complaints and petitions by the deadlines established in this Policy. However, each situation is unique and may prevent the meeting of a deadline. Every effort will be made by the parties involved to minimize the delay and proceed through the processes outlined in this Procedure as close to the deadlines as possible.
  2. All deadlines established in this Policy are stated in terms of business days. If a deadline falls on a weekend or scheduled holiday, the deadline will be the next scheduled workday of Georgia State University.
  3. Students lose their right to continue to the next step of the procedures if they miss a stated or agreed-upon deadline.

VI. MEDIATION

Students who have filed formal complaints or petitions or those who have had formal complaints filed against them under Sections II A or B of this Policy (except for grade appeals) may request that the matter be submitted to mediation in an effort to achieve resolution. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process whereby a neutral person facilitates discussion between the parties in a mutual attempt to reach resolution on the issues raised by the parties.

In the event mediation is agreed upon by both parties, the timelines under this policy shall be suspended until which time the mediation is completed. In the event that mediation results in agreement, the student’s complaint will be considered resolved. In the event that mediation does not result in resolution of the matter, the student may appeal to the next level of review under this policy.

Information derived from mediation discussion may not be used as the basis for higher levels of appeal, nor can the mediator be asked to provide information or make any decision at any level of the formal appeals process. Persons interested in mediation should contact the Office of the Ombudsperson.

GLOSSARY

POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES

Policy: A written statement (rule or principle) used to govern the actions of Georgia State University’s employees, faculty, students, visitors, and others who come in contact with Georgia State University. For the purposes of this document, academic policies are those pertaining to scholarly programs (e.g., program degree requirements), or the students’ progress through those programs (e.g., program prerequisites, financial aid, registration). Non-academic policies are those pertaining to functions that only indirectly support the students’ academic endeavors (such as housing, recreation, or parking).

University-Level Student Policies: Policies established under the authority of the university and applied to all students in all colleges. These policies are implemented and enforced by central academic or administrative offices (for example, the Registrar’s Office, the Student Financial Aid Office, or the University Library).

College-Level Student Policies: Policies established under the authority of a college and applied to all students enrolled in courses or programs offered by that college: Andrew Young School of Policy Studies; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education; Lewis School of Nursing; School of Health Professions; Institute of Public Health; Robinson College of Business.

Procedure: A guideline that explains how policies are to be carried out or implemented; may or may not be in writing.

Practice: A commonly accepted way or pattern of doing things; typically not in writing.

ARBITRARY, DISCRIMINATORY, INEQUITABLE

Arbitrary: In an unreasonable or capricious manner, in disregard of facts, or without determining principle.

Discriminatory: In a manner that is unfair or denies privileges to persons because of their race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Inequitable: In a manner that fails to treat similarly situated persons the same way.

COMPLAINTS, PETITIONS and APPEALS

Complaint: An objection to a decision, action or practice with a request that it be changed or reversed; a claim seeking remedy, relief, or resolution. Complaints may be against a decision or action that was based on either University-level or College-level policy.

Petition for Waiver or Variance: A request for a suspension (waiver) or modification (variance) of a particular policy which, if applied normally, would cause undue hardship for the individual.

Waiver: An agreement that suspends a particular policy for an individual in a specific situation due to the special circumstances of that individual. (When a waiver (or suspension) of a policy is granted, the individual does not have to comply with some or all of the particular requirements set within that policy).

Variance: An agreement that modifies a particular policy for an individual in a specific situation due to the special circumstances of that individual. (When a variance (modification) of a policy is granted, the individual must comply only with the modified requirements.)

Appeal: A request that a decision on a complaint or petition be reconsidered at a higher level in the University.

PEOPLE

Academic Administrator: The head of a centralized university office or department that has responsibility for academic-related student processes (such as the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Admissions, the Student Financial Aid Office, the Office of Student Accounts, the Student Advisement Center); typically reports through an Associate Provost.

Administrator in Charge: The head of a University office with responsibility for non-academic student processes (such as the Housing Office, the Office of Parking and Transportation, the Bookstore); typically reports through a Vice President.

1050.90 Criminal & Disciplinary History: Continuing Duty to Report

Disclosure of criminal/disciplinary history is required on the Georgia State University admission application. Georgia State students have a continuing duty to report criminal/disciplinary events that occur after submission of their admission application. The criminal/disciplinary events that must be reported under this continuing duty are described below and reports must be made to the Office of the Dean of Students within 72 hours of student’s notice of the event. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in sanctions up to and including immediate withdrawal from the University.

  • Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic violation
  • Criminal charges filed against the student
  • Entering a plea of guilty, a plea of no contest, a plea of nolo contendere, an Alford plea, or a plea under any first offender act in response to charges filed against the student
  • Disciplinary or academic misconduct charges initiated or sanctions imposed against the student from a high school, trade school or other college or university.

1055 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

I. Introduction

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.  FERPA rights are provided only to University applicants upon actual acceptance to and subsequent enrollment for classes at the University.  Under FERPA, students attending an institution of postsecondary education may:

  1. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that such disclosures are authorized without consent as more fully described below in Paragraph IX (A);
  2. Choose to suppress (i.e., keep from being disclosed) their directory information per the process identified below in Paragraph IX (B);
  3. Inspect and review their education records;
  4. Seek amendment of those education records believed to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights; and
  5. File complaints with the Department of Education about alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

II. Definitions

  1. Student: : any person who attends or has attended the University.  For purposes of FERPA, Georgia State University considers an admitted student to be “in attendance” upon enrollment/registration for classes.  Note:  The definition of “student” set forth above is only for use in connection with this guidance.  For the official University definition of “student”, please refer to the Georgia State University Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Education Records: any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer or other medium) maintained by the University or an agent of the University which are directly related to a student except:
    1. A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool.
    2. Records created and maintained by the Georgia State University Police Department for law enforcement purposes.
    3. An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student.
    4. Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
    5. Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the University and which do not relate to the person as a student.
  3. Directory Information: information contained in an education record of a student
  4. that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  Georgia State University has designated the following types of information to be directory information: student name, mailing addresses, telephone number, date and place of  birth, major field of study, full or part-time status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees and awards applied for and/or received, dates of attendance, previous educational institutions attended by the student, photographs and other recorded images, and, with respect to members of athletic teams,  height, weight, age, hometown, hobbies, and general items of interest.

III. Federal Student Records Law

Annually, Georgia State University informs students of the protections afforded by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. (20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 C.F.R., 99.1-99.67) This Act, with which the institution endeavors to fully comply, was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, and to establish the right of students to inspect and review their non-privileged educational records. The act also provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the Act. An informal complaint may be filed within the University by contacting the Registrar. This guidance explains in detail the procedures to be used by the University for compliance with the provisions of the Act. Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Legal Affairs.

IV. University-Maintained Student Records

The student records maintained by the University are classified as follows:

  1. Official academic records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar. They include admission applications and associated documentation; the registration records for each semester in residence; the records of grades and credits received in courses at this University or accepted here from another institution; and other documents directly relating to academic progress and status. The dean of each college is the custodian of records for all college and departmental records regarding students not of the type maintained by the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Disciplinary records are maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students. They include information about the investigation, adjudication and imposition of sanctions by the University against an individual student for breach of the University’s Code of Conduct or other written policies.
  3. Financial records: Fee payment records are maintained by the Office of Student Accounts. Financial aid application records, including tax forms, are maintained by the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Employment records of students receiving financial aid consist of work-study authorizations and are maintained by the Financial Aid Office. Non-work study employment records of students are maintained by the Office of Human Resources. Graduate student teaching and research appointment records are maintained by the involved College or department. Some employment records of students with graduate teaching and research appointments may also be maintained by the Office of Human Resources.
  5. Medical, psychological and counseling records are maintained by the University department providing the involved health care (i.e., Health Clinic, University Counseling & Testing Center). They include records of examinations and treatments.
  6. Career and job search records are maintained by University Career Services.
  7. Housing records are maintained by University Housing. They include housing applications/agreements and related information.
  8. PantherCard and parking records are maintained by Auxiliary and Support Services.

Student educational records maintained on Banner are covered by this guidance and should only be accessed by University employees with a legitimate educational interest or whose access is otherwise undertaken to comply with FERPA. Unauthorized access is a violation of federal law and University policy.

No record shall be kept of the political views of students or of student membership in any organization except for academic, honorary, professional and social organizations directly related to University life. Records maintained by student organizations are not considered University records. Student organizations are, however, expected to take reasonable steps to protect student information they maintain from unwarranted invasions of privacy and to permit students to access their records.

V. Student Access to Records

Access to a student’s official academic record, disciplinary record and financial aid record is guaranteed to him or her subject only to reasonable regulation as to time, place and supervision with the exceptions of those types of documents identified below:

  • Any and all documents written or solicited prior to Jan. 1, 1975, on the presumption that they were intended to remain confidential and privileged.
  • Any and all documents to which access has been waived by the student.
  • Any and all records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of educational records.
  • Any and all financial data and income tax forms submitted in confidence by a student’s parent(s) in connection with an application for or receipt of financial aid.
  • Any and all records connected with an application to attend Georgia State University or a component unit of Georgia State University if that application was denied or, in the alternative, if the application was accepted but the applicant never enrolled (FERPA rights extend only to applicants upon actual acceptance and subsequent enrollment).
  • Those records which contain information on more than one student to the extent that a requesting student has the right to view only those portions of the record which pertain to his or her own educational records.
  • Confidential recommendations and evaluations (Placement records maintained by the University Career Services may be inspected by the subject of the file with the exception of recommendations or evaluations to which the student has waived his or her access. Confidential recommendations and evaluations are only included in a student’s placement file if the student has voluntarily submitted a written waiver of access to the recommendations and evaluations. If a student has not waived access, then recommendations and evaluations submitted on condition of confidentiality are returned to the sender).
  1. Inspection of records is granted only upon written request, presented in person with appropriate identification, and must be made in the presence of designated personnel of the office maintaining the records. All requests shall be granted as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 45 days after the date of request. No documents or files may be altered or removed once a request has been filed. When an original record is shown to the student, examination will be permitted only in the presence of a University employee and any other conditions deemed necessary to prevent the alteration, mutilation, or loss of such original records. Upon reasonable request by the student, verbal explanations and interpretations of education records will be promptly provided except where a verbal response is not practical or appropriate. Requests for written explanations/interpretations of education records must be made in writing. If an education record is not in a form readily reviewable by the student (e.g., records stored in microfilm or electronically), a true and correct copy of the record will be provided for the student’s inspection.
  2. Copies of Records
    1. Copies to students will be provided to students in good standing upon written request and payment of fees for copies (see the Request for Access to Student Record Form at www.gsu.edu/registrar/academic_records.html (under Records Access), with the exception of transcripts received from other educational institutions and any documents the student has waived his or her right to see. Copies of education records may be withheld by the University when the student is not in good standing as a result of such conditions as unmet financial obligations and violations of institutional regulations. Such records to be withheld may include, but are not limited to, grade reports, transcripts, and certifications of student achievement and performance. A transcript of a student’s official academic record contains information about his or her academic attainment and status exclusively. Only the Registrar is authorized to issue transcripts or to certify in any way the official academic record of a student. An official transcript is issued only when requested by the student in writing.
    2. Copies to third parties will be provided upon receipt of the student’s written and signed consent for disclosure of the records. Such a written consent must:
      • identify the records to be disclosed,
      • identify the person or class of persons to whom the disclosure may be made,
      • specify the time period during which consent is applicable, and*
      • be signed and dated.

* A Consent to Release Information to Third Parties form is available online at www.gsu.edu/registrar/academic_records.html under Records Access.

VI. Requests for Amendment and Challenge Hearings

If, upon inspection and review of his or her record, a student believes that the record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of his or her privacy rights, he or she may request that the record be corrected. A request for correction must be submitted in writing and must specify the information being questioned, the revision requested, and the reasons the student has for disagreeing with the entry in question. Any supporting documentation should be attached to the request. Where possible, disagreements should be resolved informally. This provision does not apply to grade appeals, and students wishing to appeal the assignment of a grade should refer to the Policy and Procedures for Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals.

Only the Registrar, upon consultation with the respective dean, may authorize a correction in a record within the academic file of a student. Similar authority is held by the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of Admissions, the Director of Financial Aid, the respective College Dean and the Director of Personnel for the records which are maintained under the authority of these various University officials.

The University representative to whom a request for correction of a non-academic file is properly addressed will notify the student of his or her decision within 21 days after receipt of the written request. If the University decides that the information in a student’s education record is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended. If the University decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the student of the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision. Such a statement shall become a part of the information contained in the education record and will be disclosed with it.

Should the University decide the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, then the student will also be advised of the right to appeal the University’s decision and challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy rights. The appeal may extend only to the material in the respective University file. While it may extend to the correct recording of a grade, it may not include a challenge to the assignment by the instructor of the grade. The student has 20 days to appeal the decision in writing to the Provost and ask for a hearing. On behalf of the President of the University, the Provost shall refer the appeal to an existing committee or designate a hearing committee comprised of University officials who do not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. Georgia State University will notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The student may bring one individual to act as an advisor but the individual may not address the committee. The committee will prepare a written recommendation based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and submit it to the Provost who will make a determination on the matter. The recommendation will include a brief summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision. The decision of the Provost may be appealed in writing to the President within 20 days of the date of the decision. The appeal to the President shall be made on the record.

VII. University Career Services

The file of a student maintained in the University Career Services is assembled at the initiative of the student. The extent of disclosure to prospective employers, graduate schools, organizations awarding fellowships and the like shall be made clear to the student when he or she requests that the file be assembled and shall be agreed to by him or her on a form specifically provided for that purpose.

The student may make a specific waiver of access to evaluations solicited and/or received under condition of confidentiality, but the waiver must be made by the student without pressure or coercion. Any evaluation received under such condition of confidentiality without the student’s waiver of access or without the student’s knowledge shall not be incorporated in the file but shall be returned to the sender.

VIII. Addition to Records

No entry may be made on a student’s official records and no document or entry may be placed in such records without written notice to the student by the administrative officials responsible for the specific category of information, as identified in Paragraph IV. For purposes of this guidance, notification of grades, written communication to a student of school or departmental evaluation and announcement of honors shall constitute adequate notice. A document or entry supplied by or at the request of the student may be placed in the student’s record without additional notice to him or her. In the case of student records maintained in deans’ offices and departmental offices, additions other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraph require the permission of the Registrar, who in turn is responsible for notification of the student.

IX. Release of Student Information

  1. Georgia State University will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except that the records may be disclosed without consent when the disclosure is:
    1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
      • A school official is:
      • A person employed by the University (which, for purposes of this guidance includes persons employed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia) in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including health or medical staff.
      • A person or entity employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as a University affiliated organization, attorney, auditor, or outside vendor.
      • A person who is employed by the Georgia State University law enforcement unit.
      • A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
      • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
      • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement.
      • Performing a task on behalf of the University/Board of Regents in connection with his or her job responsibilities.
      • Performing a task related to a student’s education.
      • Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
      • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
      • Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.
        The determination as to whether or not a legitimate educational interest exists will be made by the custodian of the records on a case-by-case basis. When the custodian has any question regarding the request, the custodian should withhold disclosure unless the custodian obtains consent from the student, or the concurrence of a supervisor or other appropriate official that the record may be released.
    2. Upon request of officials of another school at which a student seeks or intends to enroll, the University will attempt to notify the student of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure.
    3. Information the University has designated as “directory information,” unless the student has made a written request to suppress (i.e., to refuse to allow disclosure of) their directory information as more fully described below in Paragraph IX (B).
    4. To school officials or lending institutions, in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to:
      • Determine eligibility for the aid;
      • Determine the amount of the aid;
      • Determine the conditions for the aid; or
      • Enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
    5. To parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The parents must provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return establishing the student’s dependency. Full rights under the act shall be given to either parent, unless the institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation or custody that specifically revokes those rights. Georgia State University does not have an obligation to disclose any financial information about one parent to another. If a parent claims a student as a dependent and does not want his or her financial information disclosed to his or her spouse or former spouse, the parent may make that request to the institution.
    6. In connection with an emergency, to appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is believed necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
    7. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the University makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance. Notification may be prohibited if the University receives a federal grand jury subpoena or any other subpoena which states that the student should not be notified. The University will comply with such process only upon the advice of counsel. All subpoenas received by the University should be immediately forwarded in person or by facsimile (404-413-0518) to the Office of Legal Affairs to evaluate the validity of the subpoena. In the case of a subpoena which can be disclosed to a student, the Office of Legal Affairs will inform the student of the subpoena and give the student an opportunity to file an objection to the subpoena before responding on behalf of the University.
    8. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence, as that term is defined in Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code, or a non-forcible sex offense, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against the alleged perpetrator of that crime or offense with respect to that crime or offense. For the purpose of disclosure under this paragraph, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding shall include only the name of the student, the violation committed and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student and may include the name of any other student, such as a victim or witness, only with the written consent of that other student. The Office of Legal Affairs shall be consulted prior to release of the record.
    9. Subject to the conditions set forth in 34 CFR 99.35 authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement purposes (investigation or enforcement of federal legal requirements of federally supported education programs), or state and local educational authorities.
    10. To state and local officials or authorities to which such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to the state statute adopted prior to Nov. 19, 1974, if the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve the student whose records are released; or information that is allowed to be reported pursuant to a state statute adopted after 1974, which concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are released. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the state from further limiting the number or type of state or local officials who will continue to have access thereunder.
    11. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted.
    12. To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
    13. To Department of Veterans Affairs Officials pursuant to 38 USC 3690©.
    14. To the court those records that are necessary to defend the institution when a student initiates legal action against the institution.
  2. Choosing to Suppress Directory Information – Directory Information is treated as public information. Students may choose to keep their directory information from being disclosed (“suppressed”) by submitting a written request to the University’s Registrar at any time. However, to keep the directory information from being included in various printed University publications, such requests should be made before the end of the drop/add period for Fall Semester. Information cannot be deleted after printed publications have gone to press and information previously-released in printed publications cannot be recalled. Information contained in electronic publications may generally be changed upon 48 hours notice. Students having opted to suppress their directory information may change their position at a later date by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing. Please note: refusing to permit the release of directory information means that a student’s history at Georgia State will be suppressed in full, preventing the verification by future employers and others of degrees earned and dates of enrollment.Exception to Directory Suppression: Due to system constraints, final graduation lists and official programs will include all students who are graduating, regardless of Directory Suppression, unless otherwise stated on the Graduation Application.
  3. Records of Deceased Students will be made available to the parents of the deceased student and other authorized parties upon written request. The request must include the need for the records and must identify the requestor’s relationship to the deceased student. An official copy of the death certificate must accompany the request, if the University does not have prior notice of the student’s death.
  4. The University has the discretion to disclose to any parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21 information about a violation of any federal, state or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.

X. Recordkeeping Requirements

Georgia State University will maintain a record of requests for and/or disclosures of information from a student’s education records which record may be reviewed by the student. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request and what records, if any, were received, as well as the interest in the records. Such recordkeeping is not required if the request was from, or the disclosure was to:

  1. The student;
  2. A school official determined to have a legitimate educational interest;
  3. A party with written consent from the student;
  4. A party seeking directory information; or
  5. A federal grand jury or law enforcement agency pursuant to a subpoena that by its terms requires nondisclosure.

Recognition is given to The Catholic University of America upon whose FERPA Policy Georgia State University’s FERPA Policy was modeled.

This FERPA policy was approved by the Administrative Council on March 5, 2008.

1060 Access to Student Records

To file a request for suppression of directory information, a student should fill out a Suppress Directory Information Form, available at http://www.gsu.edu/enrollment/images/Registrar/rrfsisf.pdf, and turn it in to the One Stop Shop, 227 Sparks Hall.

Inquiries about students or former students should be directed to the Office of the Registrar. Georgia State’s written policy on “Access to Student Records” complies with the provisions of the Act. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605, regarding alleged violations of the Act.