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Main Campus · Other · Mass Communications

Media Law
COMM-4454

  • Spring 2021
  • Section 01
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/09/2021 to 05/11/2021
  • Modified 01/06/2021

Description

Examination of the legal context regulating print, telecommunication and electronic media as well as advertising and public relations industries. Emphasis on libel, slander, privacy, copyright, free press/fair trial and obscenity law. This course is restricted to Seniors.

Requisites

Prerequisites:
COMM 2254 Minimum Grade: C and COMM 1154 Minimum Grade: C and ENGL 1102 Minimum Grade: C
Corequisites:

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Brad Yates

Google Voice Text: 678-752-7239

Office Hours

  • By Appointment and Virtually
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Meeting Times

Lecture

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM, Humanities 312

Materials

Mass Media Law

  • Author: Calvert, C., Kozlowski, D. V., & Silver, D.
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Edition: 2020 (21st)
  1. You are required to obtain access to the following book published by McGraw-Hill, in a digital bundle with Connect access: Calvert, Kozlowski, & Silver, Mass media law (21st Edition). McGraw-Hill: New York, NY.

  2. The UWG Bookstore, McGraw-Hill, and UWG Online (CourseDen Support) have partnered together to provide the most cost effective option for you to receive your digital course materials via the Connect Online Access Card for Mass media law (21st ed.).

  3. The material is provided to you directly through your CourseDen Account. Simply log in to CourseDen and choose the COMM 4454 course tile to gain access to the material. You do not need to look elsewhere for material.

  4. The cost of the material will be automatically charged to your student bill after Drop/Add in the amount of $70.

  5. How to Opt Out of Day One Access: You can opt out of the delivery of the material, as well as the charge for the material, before the Drop/Add date, but you will be responsible to obtain the material on your own without the lower discounted rate. 

  6. For questions about your access please contact the Day One Access team at [email protected] or 678-839-5563.

  7. Print Book Option: After you access McGraw-Hill Connect, you will have the option to purchase a low-cost print version of the text through Connect. This print book is not required. If you choose to purchase a copy, a full-color, loose-leaf version will be shipped to you.

  8. Important: Please be aware that even if you purchase or rent the physical version of this textbook from a third-party bookseller like Chegg.com, you MUST purchase the associated Connect access to complete assignments for each chapter.

  9. Warning: Connect access codes purchased from third party companies may have been used previously and, if so, will not operate properly.  Beware of purchasing Connect access from providers other than McGraw-Hill or the UWG bookstore.

Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court

  • Author: Eastland, T. (ed.)
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
  • Edition: 2000

RECOMMENDED

Supplemental Readings

Supplemental readings from selected textbooks, newspapers, magazines and online sites will be assigned throughout the semester as well as the viewing or listening of various online, radio, and television programs or examining selected online sites.

*It is not possible to successfully complete the requirements of COMM 4454 without reading the textbook and additional materials.

Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes:

    1. Students will identify the constitutional statutes and administrative and common laws that apply to communicators in any medium. (ACEJMC SLO 1)
    2. Students will analyze the philosophy supporting the liberty of speech and the press and the legal principles that both protect and limit that liberty. (ACEJMC SLO 6)
    3. Students will apply practical guides to coping with legal problems likely to confront communicators in the area of freedom of speech and press, censorship, libel, invasion of privacy, fair trials, obscenity, advertising and copyright. (ACEJMC SLO 1)

Evaluation

Criteria

Grades earned in this class are based solely on the following:

Test #1-100 points

Test #2-100 points

Test #3-100 points

Connect Online Access Study Modules-50 points

Legal Brief (Writing Improvement)-50 points

Research Paper (Writing Improvement)-100 points

Total-500 points

Breakdown

Grading Scale: (Points needed to receive grade)

A=450-500

B=400-449                            

C=350-399

D=300-349

F=299 and below

*Note: I reserve the right to change the assignments and point values in an effort to meet the objectives of the course. Ample notice will be provided if such changes are made.

Assignments

Tests: Three (3) tests will be administered during the semester. The tests will contain short answer and essay questions that cover material from textbook chapters, lectures, study modules, handouts, and multimedia outlets (films, television, radio, online sites, etc.) presented in class. There will be a limited number of objective questions (e.g., Multiple Choice, True/False, and Fill-in-the-Blank). All tests are worth 100 points each toward your final grade (300 points total). There is A LOT of reading in this course. Begin reading the chapters immediately so you do not fall behind.

Writing Improvement: Social science writing is formal and analytical, using concise, clear expository prose to 1) describe, explain, report, and evaluate the outcome of research; or 2) interpret, evaluate or discuss in a thoughtful and contemplative manner the theories or research of others. Social science writing contains social science content and contains clearly formulated arguments. Thus, in an effort to provide opportunities to practice and improve your social science writing skills, you will be assigned two writing assignments. 

Legal Case Brief: The first writing assignment will be a legal case brief (50 points) of a court case you will discuss in your research paper. The legal brief should be ONE-TWO (1-2) PAGES in length (double-spaced), no more.

Research Paper: The second writing assignment will be an in-depth research paper, including references, (100 points) on a narrow topic related to Media Law. Through the research and the writing of a thesis paper you should gain skills and knowledge that will be of value to you. More complete details are below and will follow.

  1. All students enrolled in Media Law will be required to complete a research project. You may work alone or with a partner. The project will require extensive research and compilation of information as well as writing the paper. BE CLEAR ON THIS: If you choose to work with a partner, each person receives the same grade. You all have a task to complete; thus, get it done by deadline and share the workload. No excuses. Moreover, I do not wish to hear about any in-fighting between you and your partner, whatsoever! This is an individual or team effort, and you are making the choice to work with someone; thus, leave the negativity somewhere else, cooperate with one another, and write the best possible paper. Bring it strong and make it an award-winning effort.
  2. You are to keep all information that is gathered. The information that you gather to write the paper should be available to turn in to the instructor on demand. A digital archive (e.g., Google Drive File Stream, Dropbox) or a three-ring binder would be useful to keep your materials organized.
  3. There is no specified length for the paper other than to say that you must provide comprehensive coverage of the topic you select. Most papers are generally about 10-12 pages, but the nature of your topic will determine if you exceed that range.
  4. The paper should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th) and its official companion site - APA Style Blog.
  5. Papers must be typed in 12-point type using Times New Roman font or 11-point type using Calibri font. Paper margins should be 1" (1.25" left and right margins are acceptable, but top and bottom should be 1”). You will submit a title page, paper, and references. At the beginning of the first page of text should be the title of the paper. An abbreviated title and page number should be in the header (upper right-hand corner) for all subsequent pages. Completed papers will be submitted via the Assignments Tool in CourseDen. More complete details will follow.
  6. Try to select a topic that you are interested in and one that you can research in the library or on the Internet. If you have access to a law library you should not have problems finding material, but our library resources are more than adequate in the area.
  7. Glance at your textbook for possible topics. You should also consult various indexes in the library for topics. A list of possible topics will be provided, but it is not exhaustive. You must submit your topic for your research project for approval by Thursday, February 18, 2021 in the CourseDen Assignments Tool. Note: Some of the suggested topics are very broad; you should narrow the topic.
  8. This paper should be original work. The penalty for plagiarism will be severe.
  9. A goal you should strive for in writing your research paper is to write one that is good enough to be submitted to an academic conference. Your instructor will provide potential conferences for you to consider as he receives information about them.

Schedule

The class schedule and assignments are subject to change in order to accommodate guest speakers, reinforce course material, and maintain some flexibility. 

Additional reading and viewing assignments will be made throughout the semester.

You are responsible for all material assigned.

January

Week One

Sat. 09-

  • Classes Begin

Tues. 12-

  • Syllabus review/Introduction to Media Law

Thurs. 14-

  • Ch. 1-The American Legal System

Fri. 15-

  • Last day (by 11:59 p.m.) to DROP courses and receive a refund of paid funds
  • Last day (by 11:59 p.m.) to ADD a course

Week Two

Mon. 18-

  • MLK Holiday – Campus closed; No classes

Tues. 19-

  • Ch. 1-The American Legal System (cont.)
  • Fee Payment Deadline (by 11:59 p.m.)

Thurs. 21-

  • Ch. 2-The First Amendment: The Meaning of Freedom

Week Three

Tues. 26-

  • Ch. 2-The First Amendment: The Meaning of Freedom (cont.)

Thurs. 28-

  • Ch. 3-The First Amendment: Contemporary Problems

February

Week Four

Tues. 02-

  • Ch. 3-The First Amendment: Contemporary Problems (cont.)

Thurs. 04-

  • Ch. 3-The First Amendment: Contemporary Problems (cont.)

Week Five

Tues. 09-

  • Ch. 4-Libel: Establishing a Case

Thurs. 11-

  • Ch. 4-Libel: Establishing a Case (cont.)
  • Writing Assignment #1-Legal Brief Due

Week Six

Tues. 16-

  • Ch. 5-Libel: Proof of Fault

Thurs. 18-

  • Ch. 5-Libel: Proof of Fault (cont.)
  • Research Paper Topic Due

Week Seven

Tues. 23-

  • Ch. 6-Libel: Defenses and Damages

Thurs. 25-

  • Test #1 (Chapters 1-6)

March

Week Eight

Mon. 01-

  • ***Graduation Application Deadline for Summer 2021***

Tues. 02-

  • Ch. 7-Invasion of Privacy: Appropriation and Intrusion

Thurs. 04-

  • Ch. 7-Invasion of Privacy: Appropriation and Intrusion (cont.)

Week Nine

Tues. 09-

  • Ch. 7-Invasion of Privacy: Appropriation and Intrusion (cont.)

Thurs. 11-

  • Ch. 8-Invasion of Privacy: Publication of Private Information and False Light

Week Ten

Tues. 16-

  • ***Spring Break***

Thurs. 18-

  • ***Spring Break***

Week Eleven

Tues. 23-

  • Ch. 8-Invasion of Privacy: Publication of Private Information and False Light (cont.)

Thurs. 25-

  • Ch. 9-Gathering Information: Records and Meetings
  • Ch. 10-Protection of News Sources/Contempt Power

Week Twelve

Tues. 30-

  • Test #2 (Chapters 5-Emotional Distress, 7, 8, 9, 10)

 April

Thurs. 01-

  • Ch. 11-Free Press/Fair Trial: Trial Level Remedies and Restrictive Orders

Fri. 02-

  • ***Last Day to Withdraw with Grade of W*** from Full Session (non-eCore) 16-week courses
  • Reminder there is no refund associated with withdrawing from a course
  • Undergraduate course withdrawals during this period are subject to the Limited Withdrawal Policy. Click here for more information.

Week Thirteen

Tues. 06-

  • Ch. 12-Free Press/Fair Trial: Closed Judicial Proceedings
  • Scholar’s Day Undergraduate Research Conference and Honors Convocation

Thurs. 08-

  • Ch. 13-Regulation of Obscene and Other Erotic Material

Week Fourteen

Tues. 13-

  • Ch. 13-Regulation of Obscene and Other Erotic Material (cont.)

Thurs. 15-

  • Ch. 14-Copyright
  • Writing Assignment #2-Research Paper Due

Week Fifteen

Tues. 20-

  • Ch. 14-Copyright (cont.)

Thurs. 22-

  • Ch. 16-Telecommunications Regulation

Week Sixteen

Tues. 27-

  • Ch. 16-Telecommunications Regulation (cont.)

Thurs. 29-

  • Test #3 (Ch. 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, plus terms in glossary)

May

Week Seventeen

Mon. 03-

  • Last Day of Classes

Tues. 04-

  • Reading Day

Wed. 05-

  • Exams Begin

Week Eighteen

Tues. 11-

  • Exam Period (11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) (NOTE THE EXTENDED TIME)

Wed. 12-

  • Graduation

*The reading and study module assignments are to be completed by the date indicated on this schedule.  When you come to class on that day, you should know the content of the chapter assigned, unless otherwise specified.

*Lectures and discussions in class will not always correspond to the reading and study module assignments. You are responsible for both the chapters in the text as well as the material presented in class. Don’t get behind!!!

Note: I wish to acknowledge and thank Dr. Chester Gibson, Dr. Glenn Novak, Dr. Milagros Rivera-Sanchez, Dr. Tony Fargo, and Dr. Michael Hoefges for allowing me to use parts of their syllabi to design this one. Their materials and advice are greatly appreciated!

Course Policies and Resources

COMMUNICATION & OFFICE HOURS

Below are the communication protocols for this class.

Communication Tools

Rules

CourseDen

Use this account as the primary method of communication for the duration of this course. Class-related inquiries should be sent in CourseDen e-mail.

UWG E-mail Account

[email protected]

Use this account for all non-class related inquiries. General class-related inquiries may be copied to this address. The official university communication to students is through campus e-mail (myUWG). Be sure to access this several times a week to keep up-to-date on important information from the university.

My Response Time

Necessary responses to your e-mail inquiries will be sent within 48 hours or less assuming there is no extenuating circumstance that does not allow for a response within the designated timeframe.

Google Voice

678-752-7239

Use this number to leave class-related voicemails or texts.

Office Phone

678-839-4938

Use this number for all non-class related inquiries unless we have made special arrangements to converse via phone.

Emergencies

If you have to contact me because of an emergency, you may use CourseDen e-mail, my e-mail, office phone, or Google Voice.

Office Hours

I will maintain virtual office hours from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the semester and will be accessible via e-mail and Google Meet. You may also schedule a face-to-face, phone, or virtual appointment outside of office hours.



LATE/MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS & TESTS/QUIZZES

Late assignments: Late assignments will be accepted at my discretion. If a late assignment is deemed acceptable, it will suffer a half a letter grade penalty for each day (not class meeting) it is late.

Make-up assignments and tests/quizzes: Any make-up assignments or tests/quizzes will be administered at my discretion. All requests to make-up assignments or tests/quizzes must be substantiated with official documentation as to why you were absent and unable to complete your work. Acceptable situations include a serious incapacitating illness or a death in your family, among others. See Health Services Patient Advocates when relevant to obtain official documentation.

ACCESSIBILITY ACCOMMODATIONS

I will make accommodations for students who submit a UWG SAR (student accommodation report) from Accessibility Services. Students requiring short-term accommodations may work through Health Services Patient Advocates. If unusual circumstances arise, let me know as soon as you can, not a few days before an assignment or test/quiz is due. Don’t wait until after the first assignment or test/quiz to talk with me! I am here to facilitate your learning, but I need to be informed to do so.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Academic dishonesty is NOT tolerated. It will result in failure on assignment(s) as well as possible disciplinary sanction(s) in accordance with the academic misconduct policy as stated in the latest Student Handbook. University of West Georgia Honor Code defines academic dishonesty as cheating, fabrication, plagiarism and facilitating or allowing academic dishonesty in any academic exercise.

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids

Fabrication: falsification or unauthorized invention of any information or citation

Plagiarism: representing the words or ideas of another as one's own. Direct quotations must be indicated and ideas of another must be appropriately acknowledged.

Academic dishonesty in any form compromises your grade and lowers the quality of your diploma. A fellow student who cheats may actually lower your grade, sometimes causing unfair and inflated grading scales. I hope each of you values your college education enough to protect yourself from dishonest classmates. If you are aware of cheating taking place, please contact me or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jill Drake, and proper action will be taken.

BEHAVIOR IN THE CLASSROOM

You do not need anyone to tell you how to behave in a classroom environment.  However, you should be aware of course expectations in order to avoid embarrassing situations.

  • You are expected to participate in class discussions. None of us will have answers to all of the issues that are raised in this course. Some of the issues are very difficult to resolve. Even the courts disagree. There will be a lot of clash. Feel free to speak your mind during class, no matter how outrageous your comments may be. You are expected, however, to show respect to your classmates. If you disagree with their point of view, please express that disagreement in a way that is not offensive. When one person is talking, everyone else should listen. The same goes for discussions via CourseDen. Please abide by the Core Rules of Netiquette when talking to your classmates in the online environment.
  • You are expected to learn the material in the text on your own. Frequently, additional material not contained in your text will be covered. Keep up with your reading so that you can make an informed response when you are asked questions.
  • Do not ever hesitate to state your opinion on issues even when it may differ from the opinion of others. We will frequently play “devil’s advocate” so be prepared to defend your views.
  • Throughout the semester you will be cross-examined in class over material you should know.
  • Turn off all mobile phones or put them on silent. If a phone rings or vibrates during class, I reserve the right to answer the phone or respond to a text and to ask you to leave class.

I will be well aware of the clock during our class meetings. Therefore, please refrain from slamming books and closing backpacks until the class is over! I will be respectful of your schedules and will not purposely keep you longer than our allotted time.

ATTENDANCE

Based on the guidance from the Provost’s Office (see below), you are expected to be in class. If you miss class, you are responsible for all material, turning in assignments on time, and taking tests when scheduled.

Attendance Expectations from the Office of the Provost (December 17, 2020) 

The University of West Georgia expects students to attend all regularly-scheduled classes for instruction and examination. In hybrid courses, students are expected to participate fully in both the online and face-to-face portions of the course. These two components of the course complement each other; one is not a substitute for the other.

When a student is compelled for any reason to be absent from class, the student should immediately convey the reason for the absence directly to the instructor. The student is responsible for all material presented in class and for all announcements and assignments.

Students who stop attending class may be administratively withdrawn (with or without academic penalty); a grade of W may be assigned when students fail to attend 10 percent of any class meetings prior to the midpoint of the term; a grade of WF will be assigned when students stop attending after the Withdraw with a W Deadline.

Individual instructors or departments may have attendance policies stricter than that of the university, as long as the policies are stated in the class syllabus.

Extenuating circumstances for which an absence may be excused include, but are not limited to, participation in university-sponsored activities, hazardous weather conditions, personal hardship, extended illness or hospitalization, family emergencies, or death in the immediate family. 

Instructors may request documentation to verify the extenuating circumstances for illness or self-isolation related to COVID-19. Treatment Records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) instead of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Please be sure all requests adhere to the UWG policy on FERPA

Note: This course is designated as a Hybrid course, which is defined by the University as follows: H (1-50 percent = Hybrid) – Technology is used to deliver 50 percent or less of class sessions, but at least one class session is replaced by technology. Additionally, the Department of Mass Communications is following the directive of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (see below) to offer as many in-person courses as possible in the Spring 2021 semester. And, for those courses that are hybrid, like this one, the Board encourages as much in-person interactive instruction as possible. Given these guidelines, this hybrid class will primarily meet in-person with limited online instruction. This course is not offered via dual modality during the Spring 2021 semester; thus, there is no option to engage in the class fully online. If the University System of Georgia issues new guidelines for delivery options for the health and safety of everyone during the ongoing pandemic, we will adjust accordingly.

BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA

A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is focused on supporting its institutions continuing to return to safe in-person instruction; and

WHEREAS, the Board is focused on the continued success of Georgia students.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia believes in-person instruction maximizes the well-being and mental health of each student; and

IT IS RESOLVED, that each campus is to maximize safe in-person instruction; ensure hybrid instruction includes a vast majority of in-person interactive instruction where appropriate and safe; promote transparency in the modality of instruction prior to registration; and collect data on the effectiveness of student engagement and face to face interaction with their instructors. (Adopted October 13, 2020)

STUDENT SUPPORT

There are several resources available to you navigate through the course learning systems you are using with your courses, as well as information on how you can access a wealth of student services virtually. 

College/School Policies

Mission

Fair, just, and productive societies require the free flow of news, information, and ideas from communicators of knowledge, skill, and integrity who reflect the diversity of the people they serve. Therefore, the Department of Mass Communications strives to provide high quality academic and experiential learning opportunities to prepare students for successful integration into the global community as industry professionals, leaders, and thinkers in the fields of convergence journalism, digital media and telecommunication, film and video production, and public relations.

Vision

The Department of Mass Communications is committed to empowering students to communicate clearly, act responsibly, think critically, and understand context(s) to enhance their personal, civic, academic, and professional lives, facilitating active participation in an evolving and increasingly diverse society.

Strategic Priorities

Invested Teaching

To inspire and equip students to discover their personal, intellectual, and professional potential through personalized teaching, academic coaching, and career mentoring.

Experiential Learning

To offer students early and on-going multiple and diverse hands-on learning to develop and enhance personal, intellectual, and professional growth.

Connectedness

To serve as the hub that connects and cultivates partnerships among key stakeholders to enhance personal, intellectual, and professional growth. Key stakeholders include administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, industry, community, and friends.

Mass Communications Degree Program Learning Outcomes

ACEJMC Professional Values and Competencies: The Bachelor of Science degree program in Mass Communications is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), and the Department is committed to preparing students with the requisite knowledge and skills to be successful in the media and communications industries after graduation. The Department has adopted as its Mass Communications degree program learning outcomes ACEJMC’s 12 professional values and competencies, known as 6 X 6 MASS COMM SUCCESS, that all graduates of an ACEJMC accredited program should be aware of and able to demonstrate as scholars and professionals in the discipline. For the detailed list of the ACEJMC professional values and competencies, see the UWG Undergraduate Catalog or ACEJMC - Standard 2. Curriculum and Instruction

6 X 6 MASS COMM SUCCESS

 

6 X 6 MASS COMM SUCCESS

(click to view image)

  1. Freedom of Speech & Press
  2. History
  3. Diversity
  4. Global Impact
  5. Theory
  6. Ethics
  7. Think Critically & Creatively
  8. Research & Evaluate
  9. Write Effectively
  10. Self-Evaluate
  11. Apply Numbers & Statistics
  12. Apply Technology

 

 

Film & Video Production Degree Program Learning Outcomes

Overview: The Bachelor of Science degree program in Film & Video Production is designed to train graduates in the field who are agile, adaptable, and able to employ their skills in an array of roles from entrepreneurial content producers to on-set film work, both above and below the line. It will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the machinery at work behind media production and distribution, along with a set of tangible, marketable, and transferable skills for an array of positions within the infrastructure of film and content production. The FVP degree program learning outcomes include:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking, aesthetic awareness and technical proficiency in the production and assessment of audio-visual film work.
  2. Understand all phases and roles of film production in order to help formulate career goals.
  3. Understand the various potentials of film as both a commodity for a targeted audience, and an act of authorship and creative expression.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of cinema in a global society.

Institutional Policies

Academic Support

Accessibility Services: Students with a documented disability may work with UWG Accessibility Services to receive essential services specific to their disability. All entitlements to accommodations are based on documentation and USG Board of Regents standards. If a student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if he/she needs to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, the student should notify his/her instructor in writing and provide a copy of his/her Student Accommodations Report (SAR), which is available only from Accessibility Services. Faculty cannot offer accommodations without timely receipt of the SAR; further, no retroactive accommodations will be given. For more information, please contact Accessibility Services.

Center for Academic Success: The Center for Academic Success provides services, programs, and opportunities to help all undergraduate students succeed academically. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6280 or [email protected]

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center assists students with all areas of the writing process. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6513 or [email protected]

Online Courses

UWG takes students’ privacy concerns seriously: technology-enhanced and partially and fully online courses use sites and entities beyond UWG and students have the right to know the privacy policies of these entities. For more information on privacy and accessibility for the most commonly used sites, as well as technology requirements visit the UWG Online site.

Students enrolled in online courses can find answers to many of their questions in the Online/Off-Campus Student Guide.

If a student is experiencing distress and needs help, please see the resources available at the UWG Cares site. Online counseling is also available for online students.

Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia, we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. 

The University of West Georgia maintains and monitors a confidential Academic Dishonesty Tracking System. This database collects and reports patterns of repeated student violations across all the Colleges, the Ingram Library, and the School of Nursing. Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. Student conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Additionally, the student is responsible for safeguarding his/her computer account. The student’s account and network connection are for his/her individual use. A computer account is to be used only by the person to whom it has been issued. The student is responsible for all actions originating through his/her account or network connection. Students must not impersonate others or misrepresent or conceal their identities in electronic messages and actions. For more information on the University of West Georgia Honor Code, please see the Student Handbook.

UWG Email Policy

University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important university related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

Credit Hour Policy

The University of West Georgia grants one semester hour of credit for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks. For each course, the course syllabus will document the amount of in-class (or other direct faculty instruction) and out-of-class work required to earn the credit hour(s) assigned to the course. Out-of-class work will include all forms of credit-bearing activity, including but not limited to assignments, readings, observations, and musical practice. Where available, the university grants academic credit for students who verify via competency-based testing, that they have accomplished the learning outcomes associated with a course that would normally meet the requirements outlined above (e.g. AP credit, CLEP, and departmental exams).

HB 280 (Campus Carry)

UWG follows University System of Georgia (USG) guidance: http://www.usg.edu/hb280/additional_information#

You may also visit our website for help with USG Guidance: https://www.westga.edu/police/campus-carry.php

Mental Health Support

If you or another student find that you are experiencing a mental health issue, free confidential services are available on campus in the Counseling Center. Students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence may receive confidential medical and advocacy services with the Patient Advocates in Health Services. To report a concern anonymously, please go to UWGcares.

ELL Resources

If you are a student having difficulty with English language skills, and / or U.S. culture is not your home culture, specialized resources are available to help you succeed. Please visit the E.L.L. resource page for more information.

COVID-19

Proctored Exams/Online Instruction: Students should be aware and plan ahead for the possibility of having to complete all courses and/or exams online or in a proctored environment. This means talking with your instructors about what minimum technical requirements (software and hardware) will be required should your class move online or a student's personal needs dictate. This also includes making plans for internet access at whatever location participation may occur.

Virtual or in-person proctored exams, if your instructor should require them, may result in an additional cost to the student. Please discuss these details with your instructor or see the information provided here.

Face Coverings: Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of West Georgia, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Student FAQs: For more information about UWG COVID-19 guidance for students visit the Student FAQ webpage

 

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