Effective Catalog Policy
A student's effective catalog is the catalog in effect at the time of the student's initial enrollment at Florida SouthWestern State College or any catalog in effect through five years from initial enrollment. Graduation requirements refer to the specific combination of general education courses, required core courses, elective courses, and any other completion requirements such as passing scores on exams or completion of capstone projects. If the prerequisite requirements for any course changes after the student's time of initial enrollment, the student must meet the prerequisites in effect during the term that the student registers for the course.
A student whose enrollment was interrupted for one year [three (3) consecutive terms] or more must meet the graduation requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of readmission or any catalog in effect through five years following re-enrollment.
Exceptions to the effective catalog procedure may be necessary if degree requirements change as a result of changes in statute, accreditation requirements, or requirements of other regulatory agencies to which FSW is subject.
Although FSW faculty, staff, and administrators assist students in meeting the requirements for a degree or certificate, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to meet those requirements. FSW does not award a degree or certificate until all requirements and obligations have been met.
Students are expected to attend all class periods of the courses for which they are registered. Absence from several meetings of a course may result in a lower grade. The determination of what constitutes excessive absence in any course rests with the professor conducting that course. Attendance requirements for a given course are to be found in the course syllabus.
Students must attend each class at least once during the first week of class to be eligible to receive a financial aid disbursement. Failure to attend courses for which a student is enrolled will result in a loss or reduction of financial aid awards.
Only those persons enrolled in a class, or those persons who have authorization to be in attendance for a particular class, will be permitted to attend the class. Authorized persons include
- Individuals who have enrolled and paid for the class;
- Individuals identified by the Office of Adaptive Services that attend a course to assist an enrolled student with a documented disability
- Guest speakers invited by the College or instructor.
If an unauthorized visitor refuses to leave a classroom or laboratory, assistance should be sought from Public Safety.
Florida SouthWestern State College attempts to honor its commitment to provide the classes scheduled for a given term. At times it may be necessary to cancel a class. In such cases, every effort will be made to find an appropriate alternate class for the student.
Per Florida Statute §1006.53, the Florida SouthWestern State College policy on observance of religious holy days provides that students shall, upon notifying their instructor, be excused from class to observe religious holy days of their faith. The student will be held responsible for any material covered during the excused absence, but will be permitted a reasonable amount of time to complete any work missed. Students who feel this policy has been improperly applied may have their grievance addressed through the general academic appeals process.
The course syllabus provides students with information such as the description of the course, prerequisites, major topics to be covered in the course, and the skills to be mastered as a result of taking the course. This information is the same for all sections of the course. The course syllabus also includes such information as the schedule of class meetings, assignments, attendance policies, course materials, and scheduled test dates.
The final examination schedule is published online at www.fsw.edu. It is each student's responsibility to know when and where his or her final examinations are scheduled.
Grading Point System
||Numerical Point Value
||Incomplete (See "Incomplete Grade")
||Not Reported (Faculty member did not report grade)
||Withdrawal (See "Course Withdrawal Policy")
||Audit (No Credit)
The student's grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted. Grades earned in college preparatory classes do count in the computation of the overall grade point average, but are not considered in determining eligibility for graduation and/or the Dean's List. Satisfactory, Pass, Withdrawals, Incompletes, and Audits do not receive grade points and do not have an effect on the GPA.
A grade of "I" is given only when the student has successfully completed most of the course in question, provides documentation of extenuating circumstances (examples listed below), and is able to make up any deficit within the assigned time frame.
Examples of extenuating circumstances (professor may request proof):
- Incapacitating illness which prevents a student from attending classes for a minimum period of two weeks;
- Death in the immediate family;
- Financial responsibilities involving work schedule changes as required by employer;
- Issues related to pregnancies and childbirth (consult Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)*
- Military duty orders;
- Other emergencies deemed appropriate by the instructor
*In cases of pregnancy and childbirth, the student will have the opportunity to be granted an "I" grade independent of the amount of the course that has been completed prior to a related extended absence
- Student seeks guidance from professor regarding whether an incomplete grade is appropriate (where applicable consult Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1990, and/or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).
- Student completes Part I of the Incomplete Grade Request & Approval Form.
- Student submits form to professor.
- Professor completes Part II (with student present or emails back to student as attachment).
- Professor and student sign and date the form.
- Professor emails the form to the Dean of the School.
- Dean reviews the form and emails copy of the form to the Professor, Student, and Registrar.
A student who receives an "I" must make up the deficiency and have the change of grade recorded in the Office of the Registrar no later than last day to remove incomplete grades as published in the College Catalog or another date agreed upon by the academic supervisor. If no action has been taken by the deadline published in the Official College Calendar, the grade defaults to an "F." The responsibility for making the necessary arrangements with a professor for the removal of an "I" rests with the student. A student may not register for a class in which they have an "I" grade. An "I" grade may delay graduation and may affect financial aid.
Course Withdrawal Policy
A student can withdraw without academic penalty from any course in a term by the Withdrawal Deadline published in the Official College Calendar. The Official College Calendar provides information on important dates for each semester, such as the last day to withdraw from courses without a penalty. Withdrawals do not alter or waive a student's responsibility from paying tuition and other fees (no refunds will be granted).
Requests for Late Withdrawals may be granted only through established institutional procedures. Students may request a Withdrawal for extenuating circumstances after the published deadline by submitting a "Late Drop/Late Withdrawal Form" to the Office of the Registrar. Students who stop attending courses without officially withdrawing and without an approved Late Withdrawal form may receive an "F" grade.
Students who officially withdraw from a class or classes any time prior to the Withdrawal Deadline listed in the Official College Calendar will receive a grade of "W." Course(s) receiving a grade of "W" are included in attempted courses when determining a standard of academic progress. A student will be limited to two (2) withdrawals per course. Upon the third (3rd) attempt, the student will not be permitted to withdraw, and will receive a grade for the course.
The responsibility for the evaluation of student coursework and the assignment of final grades rests with the professor who has been assigned to teach the course. A student who believes that an error was made in the assignment of their final grade must contact his or her professor by the 28th calendar day after the start of classes in the following semester. For example, the student must request the review of a grade that was assigned in the Fall Semester by the 28th calendar day after the start of the immediate following Spring Semester.
The professor who assigned the final grade must initiate a Change of Grade. The Change of Grade Form must be approved by the appropriate Academic Dean and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.
As a matter of practice, a grade is corrected only in the instance where an error was made in the recording of a grade. Under no circumstances will an Academic Dean change a student's grade. In rare cases under compelling extenuating circumstances, an Academic Dean may ask a professor to consider changing a grade if it is deemed appropriate to do so.
During the semester, professors will communicate directly with students who are doing unsatisfactory work. Students with unsatisfactory performance are encouraged to meet with their professors with a view toward improving their work.
Grade Forgiveness Policy/Repeated Courses
The Grade Forgiveness/Repeated Courses Policy permits students to repeat a course in an attempt to improve a grade of "D" or "F." A student will be limited to two (2) repeats per course, or a total of three (3) attempts. Upon the third (3rd) attempt, the student is not permitted to withdraw from the course, and the grade assigned is the final grade for the course. Course withdrawals and earned grades count toward the maximum attempts.
For all students who have repeated courses at Florida SouthWestern State College, grade forgiveness is automatic. Grade forgiveness applies to all courses - whether taken at FSW or transferred from other institutions. Students should be aware some colleges or universities may not accept the grade of a repeated course, or may compute grade point averages incorporating the grade originally assigned.
NOTE: Students receiving financial aid of any type are cautioned to check with the Financial Aid Office to ensure the repeated courses will count toward their financial aid award.
Regarding repeated classes: Only the first passing attempt will be calculated in the GPA. In cases where a student has earned multiple "D's" or "F's" in the same course, only the most recent attempt will be calculated in the GPA
All grades will appear on the transcript with grades excluded from the GPA being denoted. Students may not repeat a course to improve a GPA after a certificate or degree has been awarded.
This policy applies to courses that are repeated for grade forgiveness purposes. It does not apply to courses designated as repeatable.
Mutually Exclusive Courses
Courses are mutually exclusive when their learning outcomes are too similar to earn credit for both (or all). Students may not enroll in a mutually exclusive course if they have completed any prior, corresponding mutually exclusive course with a passing grade, except in certain circumstances. Should a student wish to take a subsequent mutually exclusive course, they must gain approval and a mutual exclusion registration override from an academic advisor.
Maximum Course Attempts
In accordance with Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-14.0301, students may attempt the same course a maximum of three (3) times at Florida SouthWestern State College. Enrollment in a course beyond the last day to drop with a refund counts as an attempt for the purposes of this rule. Upon the third (3rd) attempt, the student is not permitted to withdraw from the course and will receive a grade for the course. Course withdrawals and earned grades count toward the maximum attempts.
Multiple Attempt Course Surcharge
Florida Statutes require that any student enrolled more than two times in the same state-funded undergraduate course, including college preparatory courses, be assessed an additional fee per credit hour. Students are assessed the additional fee on the third (3rd) and subsequent attempt. Any coursework taken prior to the Fall 1997 Semester does not count as an attempt when determining course attempts. Only coursework repeated at Florida SouthWestern State College counts in attempts. Transfer coursework does not count in the repeat calculation.
Florida Statutes also provide a one-time exception to the surcharge based on extenuating circumstances or financial hardship. Any student who withdrew from or failed a college preparatory or college credit course due to a major extenuating circumstance may submit a petition for Exception to Maximum Course Attempts and be granted a one-time exception, per course, to the maximum course attempts and/or 100 percent of the full cost of instruction fee (See Petitions in the Registration section in the college catalog for more information).
Excess Hour Advisory Statement
Florida Statutes 1009.286, establishes an "excess hour" surcharge for a student seeking a baccalaureate degree at a state university. It is critical that students, including those entering Florida colleges, are aware of the potential for additional course fees. "Excess hours" are defined as hours that go beyond 120 percent of the hours required for a baccalaureate degree program. For example, if the length of the program is 120 credit hours, the student may be subject to an excess hour surcharge for any credits attempted beyond 144 credit hours (120% x 120).
All students whose educational plan may include earning a baccalaureate degree should make every effort to enroll in and successfully complete the courses required for their intended major on their first attempt. Florida college students intending to transfer to a state university should identify a major or "transfer program" early and be advised of admission requirements for that program, including the approved common prerequisites. Course withdrawals and/or repeats, as well as enrollment in courses nonessential to the intended major, may contribute to a potential excess hours surcharge.
Academic Second Chance
Academic Second Chance (ASC) is a petition process whereby a student may request academic forgiveness for past coursework. The ASC allows a readmitting or transfer student a one-time, non-reversible opportunity to have past coursework excluded when computing the grade point average (GPA) for graduation.
- All admissions requirements must be met, and the student must be admitted to a degree or certificate program.
- The ASC applies to all courses within the semester(s) requested; if approved, the entire semester requested is excluded from the GPA.
- Coursework for amnesty consideration must be at least five (5) calendar years old.
- For the request to be considered, transfer or readmitted students must complete a minimum of 12 (twelve) semester hours at Florida SouthWestern State College across and within two (2) consecutive semesters, and the averaged GPA of the two (2) consecutive semesters must total 2.0 or better. (The minimum 2.0 averaged GPA, taken from not less than and no more than two (2) consecutive semesters, supports a consistently sustained and substantial commitment to academic improvement.) Developmental courses, ESL courses, and ENS courses do not apply and are not calculated as a part of the twelve (12) semester hour average.
- The ASC is not an option once FSW has conferred a certificate or degree; at that time, the academic record is considered sealed, and no changes may be made to coursework earned prior to the conferral of the award.
Additional Important Notes:
- ASC may be granted only once, and it cannot be reversed/revoked.
- No courses approved for ASC will apply toward requirements for a certificate or degree.
- ASC has no effect on a student's financial aid award history; courses that receive amnesty will still count for the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy with regard to attempted/earned credits.
- ASC has no effect on the calculation of course attempts related to multiple attempts and the multiple attempt surcharge.
- Approved, excluded grade(s) and course(s) will remain visible on the academic record (transcript); the affected course(s) will be marked to indicate the grade(s) was not used to compute the GPA. Additionally, if approved, a notation, "Academic Second Chance has been applied" will appear on the official transcript.
- If a course excluded by ASC was used as a repeat of an earlier course, the original course which had been excluded previously from GPA consideration due to the repeat policy will be added back into the GPA as though it had never been repeated.
- Students should recognize that some schools, agencies, academic departments, and scholarship programs may not honor or allow ASC; students planning to transfer are cautioned that the receiving institution may use all grades earned in computing GPAs for admissions or other purposes.
Standards of Academic Progress
To complete degree and certificate programs, students are required to earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of "C" (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than a 2.0 are no longer considered in Good Academic Standing. When a student is no longer in Good Academic Standing, written notification will be sent to the student's FSW email. The email notification will provide an explanation of the student's academic standing and information on the Academic Warning, Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, or Academic Dismissal process.
Evaluated transfer coursework contributes to the cumulative GPA. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to meet with their assigned advisor if they left their prior institution(s) with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or lower.
It is a student's responsibility to know his or her academic standing.
Good Academic Standing
Students are considered in Good Academic Standing if they earn and maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
When a student's cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 for the first time, the student is placed on Academic Warning for one semester. It is recommended that a student on Academic Warning meet with his or her assigned advisor prior to registering for a future semester to discuss success strategies for getting back to Good Academic Standing. Academic Warning limits a student's academic load to 13 credits in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Academic Warning are reinstated to Good Academic Standing. Students on Academic Warning who do not earn a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA will be placed on Academic Probation.
Students who are on Academic Warning who have a term GPA of 2.0 or higher but do not have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher will remain on Academic Warning.
Students who do not earn a cumulative or term GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Academic Warning are placed on Academic Probation for one semester. Students on Academic Probation are strongly encouraged to meet with their assigned advisor prior to registering for a future semester to develop a Student Success Action Plan. This plan may include, but is not limited to, learning contracts, enrollment in student success workshops, attendance at Academic Support Center workshops, and/or submission of academic progress reports. Academic Probation limits a student's academic load to 13 credits in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Academic Probation are reinstated to Good Academic Standing. Students on Academic Probation are placed on Academic Suspension if they do not earn a 2.0 term GPA while on Academic Probation. Students who earn a 2.0 or higher term GPA while on Academic Probation and have not yet earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater are placed on Continued Probation.
Students who do not earn a 2.0 term GPA while on Academic Probation are suspended for one semester. Students may petition their suspension to continue their enrollment by completing an Academic Reinstatement Petition obtained from the Florida SouthWestern State College advising web-page at www.fsw.edu/advising. Petitions for reinstatement will be reviewed by the Academic Progress Committee. In addition to the information requested on the Academic Reinstatement Petition, the Academic Progress Committee may also take into consideration the student's adherence to the Student Success Action Plan developed while on Academic Probation.
Reinstatement Petition deadlines can be found on the advising web-page. Students approved for continuation of enrollment will be placed on Probation after Academic Suspension.
Decisions of the Academic Progress Committee are final.
Probation after Academic Suspension
Students who enroll following Academic Suspension are placed on Probation after Academic Suspension and are required to meet with their assigned advisor prior to registering for a future semester to develop a Student Success Action Plan. This plan may include, but is not limited to, learning contracts, enrollment in student success workshops, attendance at Academic Support Center workshops, and/or submission of academic progress reports. Probation after Academic Suspension limits the number of credits a student can take in the Fall, Spring, and full Summer Semesters. The number of credits will be determined by the Academic Progress Committee. The Academic Progress Committee may also determine other conditions for reinstatement.
Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Probation after Academic Suspension are reinstated to Good Academic Standing. Students who earn a 2.0 or higher term GPA while on Probation after Academic Suspension and have not yet earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater are placed on Continued Probation. Students who do not earn a 2.0 or higher term GPA while on Probation after Academic Suspension are placed on Academic Dismissal.
Students who do not earn a 2.0 term GPA while on Probation after Academic Suspension are dismissed for three consecutive semesters. Students may petition their dismissal to continue their enrollment by completing an Academic Reinstatement Petition obtained from the Florida SouthWestern State College advising web-page at www.fsw.edu/advising.
Petitions for reinstatement will be reviewed by the Academic Progress Committee. In addition to the information requested on the Academic Reinstatement Petition, the Academic Progress Committee may also take into consideration the student's adherence to the Student Success Action Plan developed while on Probation after Academic Suspension.
Reinstatement Petition deadlines can be found on the advising web-page. Students approved for continuation of enrollment will be placed on Probation after Academic Dismissal.
Decisions of the Academic Progress Committee are final.
Probation after Academic Dismissal
Students approved for continuation of enrollment by the Academic Progress Committee will be placed on Probation after Academic Dismissal. Probation after Academic Dismissal limits the number of credits a student can take in the Fall, Spring, or Summer Semesters. The number of credits will be determined by the Academic Progress Committee. The Academic Progress Committee may also determine other conditions for reinstatement.
Students on Probation after Academic Dismissal are required to meet with their assigned advisor prior to registering for a future semester to develop a Student Success Action Plan. This plan may include, but is not limited to, learning contracts, enrollment in student success workshops, attendance at Academic Support Center workshops, and/or submission of academic progress reports.
Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Probation after Academic Dismissal are reinstated to Good Academic Standing. Students who earn a term GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Probation after Academic Dismissal but have not earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher are placed on Continued Probation. Students on Probation after Academic Dismissal who fail to earn a term GPA of 2.0 or higher will be placed on Academic Dismissal.
Students who earn a term GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Academic Probation, Probation after Academic Suspension, or Probation after Academic Dismissal and have not earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher are placed on Continued Probation. Continued Probation limits a student's academic load to 13 credits in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. A student on Continued Probation must meet with their assigned advisor to create a Student Success Action Plan. This plan may include, but is not limited to, learning contracts, enrollment in student success workshops, attendance at Academic Support Center workshops, and/or submission of academic progress reports.
Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher while on Continued Probation are reinstated to Good Academic Standing. Students on Continued Probation who earn a term GPA of 2.0 or higher and have not earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher will remain on Continued Probation. Students on Continued Probation who fail to earn a term GPA of 2.0 or higher will be placed on the appropriate academic progress status based on their current standing.
Other Academic Policies
Students admitted to Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) are expected to complete the degree requirements listed in the FSW College catalog. In an effort to maintain the academic integrity of our degree programs, transfer credit, course waivers, and course substitutions will only be granted when there is sufficient documentation of equivalency as determined through careful review by faculty and administrators. In cases where review may be appropriate for the student's major and program completion, the student must initiate a Credit Review Request.
Steps to request a credit review:
- Students meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss the request, complete the Credit Review Request form, provide supportive documentation, and request advisor support. (Please note: the advisor may elect not to support the request.)
- Advisors will forward the request to the Registrar's Office for circulation.
- The Registrar's Office will forward finalized requests to the appropriate academic departments. Incomplete requests - those missing information or documentation -- will not go forward. Students will be contacted, via their FSW email address, to gather additional information or data. The advisor will receive a copy of the notification. The incomplete request will be held in the Registrar's Office for 30 calendar days from the date of contact; after that time, the request will be destroyed.
- Once the Credit Review Committee has met, the Registrar's Office will notify the student of the decision using FSW email. Students should check the Credit Review Committee schedule on the Registrar's Web page for both request submission deadlines and decision notification dates.
Faculty Office Hours
Full-time professors are required to schedule a minimum of 10 hours per week of office hours, during which time they will be physically present on campus and available to assist students. Faculty teaching online courses have the same requirements for holding office hours but may hold a portion of their office hours online. Office hours will be posted on or near faculty office doors. Additional office hours beyond the required 10 hours may be scheduled, and students may also be seen by appointment. Faculty teaching online courses have the same requirements for holding office hours but may hold a portion of their office hours online.
Part-time professors are required each semester to make themselves available for student consultation before or after class. They may also make themselves available by appointment, phone, voice mail, or email. Availability to students should be appropriately noted in the class syllabus.
Foreign Language Competency
In accordance with Florida Statute 1007, students initially entering a Florida College System Institution in 2014-2015 and thereafter must demonstrate competency in foreign language pursuant to guidelines set in Florida Statute 1007.262 for the Associate in Arts degree.
Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
In accordance with the State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.02413, Prior to the award of an associate in arts, first-time-in-college students entering a Florida College System institution in the 2018-19 school year, and thereafter must demonstrate competency in civic literacy through one of the following options prior to graduation:
- Successfully passing one of two courses (see GE Guide) designed to include:
- Understanding of the basic principles and practices of American democracy and how they are applied in our republican form of government:
- An understanding of the United States Constitution and its application:
- Knowledge of the founding documents and how they have shaped the nature and functions of our institutions of self-government; and
- An understanding of landmark Supreme Court cases, landmark legislation and landmark executive actions and their impact on law and society.
(2) Achieving the standard score on one of the following assessments:
- AP United States History 4
- AP Government and Politics: United States 3
- CLEP: American Government 50
Rulemaking Authority 1001.02(1), 1007.25(4) FS. Law Implemented 1007.25 FS. History-New 6-19-18
Florida SouthWestern State College will periodically distribute surveys to students in order to obtain information useful in evaluating education programs, student services and many other aspects of the College and its mission. These surveys may be sent by mail, administered over the phone, administered by a link to a website sent by email or administered in the classroom. They may be administered to a cross-section of students, to graduates of particular programs, or to students enrolled for a short time. Results of student surveys are shared with administrators, faculty, the Board of Trustees, and with students. Findings are reported as summaries of all responses, without identifying any particular student. The information is used to identify ways to improve programs and services and to plan future activities. Student participation in surveys ensures that the information gathered provides an accurate basis for decision-making.
Textbooks and Required Course Materials
Students are required to obtain the required textbook and/or course materials for their classes. The College anticipates that, except in unusual circumstances, course materials will be adopted for at least one year.
Students are expected to word-process papers in courses taken for credit. Florida SouthWestern State College's basic composition course, ENC 1101, requires students to demonstrate competence in the basic use of computers, including word-processing. The word-processing of papers is regarded as the norm and is considered good practice for students continuing into an FSW baccalaureate program or transferring to other colleges and universities.
Academic Grievance Procedure
The Florida SouthWestern State College Academic Grievance Procedure is designed to provide resolution to legitimate academic issues. State Board Rules and College Policies are not subject to academic grievance; only the application or interpretation of rules or policies may be grieved. To facilitate an efficient and timely resolution process, Florida SouthWestern State College has an Ombudsperson to assist students through informal and formal grievance procedures. The College also maintains a clear chain of escalation for grievances.
The Academic Grievance Procedure is based on the assumption that academic disagreements should be resolved by student and faculty interaction via an informal process. The formal grievance procedures are intended to provide all Florida SouthWestern State College students with opportunities for objective review of facts and events that are related to the cause of a grievance when the involved faculty members and students are not able to resolve a dispute on their own. These reviews will be accomplished in a collegial, non-judicial atmosphere. All parties are expected to behave in a civil manner.
When a student feels that an error has been made in the assignment of a course grade, it is the responsibility of the student to first meet with the faculty member to try to resolve the issue. The Academic Dean or designee in the appropriate school may be consulted if necessary. Grades are assigned solely by the faculty member of record. This assignment of grades is not subject to change through the Formal Academic Grievance Process. The decision of the faculty member is binding, except in cases where a grade can be shown to have been arbitrary, capricious, and/or retaliatory in nature.
Time Limits for Grievances
A grievance must be filed in a timely fashion. Formal written grievances must involve a specific event or incident occurring within 30 days of filing. The student must participate in an Informal Grievance Procedure before filing a formal written grievance. Grievances will generally be resolved within 30 days. If more time is required to reach a resolution, all parties involved must agree in writing to the extension. If agreement cannot be reached, the Provost will make the final time determination.
Informal Grievance Procedure
The aggrieved student feels that published College policies or procedures have been violated and that this has negatively affected his/her academic status.
- The student shall meet with the faculty member and both shall make an effort to reach a mutual resolution. The syllabus will be the guiding document. Every effort should be made to resolve the problem at this level.
- If the grievance remains unresolved, the Academic Dean or designee shall be consulted, and a second attempt will be made to solve the grievance informally.
- If resolution is not successful, then the student may move to place a formal grievance. The formal grievance must be submitted within five working days of denial of the informal grievance.
Formal Grievance Procedure
The aggrieved student should submit a request in writing to the Academic Dean for a formal student grievance hearing.
A formal written grievance is distinguished from an informal grievance in the following manner:
- The grievance must be in writing, and must be dated and signed by the student making the grievance.
- The grievance must clearly identify the department(s) and issue(s) involved.
- The grievance must indicate that the student has attempted to resolve the issue with the involved staff member prior to the date of the grievance.
The Academic Dean shall appoint an ad hoc grievance committee consisting of the faculty Department Chair, Program Coordinator or Director, or faculty designee, and two other members: one regular, full-time administrative employee and one member of the Student Government Association Board. The Department Chair, Program Coordinator or Director, or faculty designee will serve as the chairperson.
- The Dean or his/her designee will serve as recording secretary to the committee, but shall have no vote.
- The committee shall, within seven working days of being constituted, meet to hear the grievance, review documentation, and interview all witnesses deemed pertinent to the matter.
- The committee shall, within four working days after the close of the hearing, report its findings, and make a recommendation for resolution of the matter.
- The Academic Dean will report the finding to the Provost for a final decision. That decision is binding. There are no further appeals within the College.
- When the grievance has been resolved, all paperwork shall be forwarded to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs for archiving.
Student Administrative Grievance Procedure (Non-Academic Issues)
A grievance is a student complaint regarding a violation, interpretation, or application of a College policy or College operating procedure. The written grievance procedure is based on the assumption that grievances, disagreements, and complaints should be resolved by direct interaction among students and staff. To facilitate an efficient and timely resolution process, Florida SouthWestern State College has an Ombudsperson to assist students through informal and formal grievance procedures. The College also maintains a clear chain of escalation for grievances.
Grievances pertaining to the following matters shall not be processed under this rule:
Disciplinary actions taken under the Florida SouthWestern State College Student Code of Conduct.
The professional judgment exercised by an instructor in assigning a grade.
Complaints involving discrimination, harassment, or violations of Title IX.
A grievance must be filed in a timely fashion. Formal written grievances must involve a specific event or incident occurring within 30 days of filing. The student must participate in an informal grievance resolution before filing a formal written grievance. Grievances will generally be resolved within 30 days. If more time is required to reach a resolution, all parties involved must agree in writing to the extension. If agreement cannot be reached, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs will make the final time determination.
Informal Grievance Resolution
The student must first attempt to resolve a grievance informally by meeting with the staff member who is alleged to have caused the grievance. If the grievance cannot be resolved at this level, the student is encouraged to continue informal resolution presenting the problem orally through appropriate administrative channels up to, but not including, the Office of the Vice President in whose area the grievance has occurred. If an informal resolution still cannot be reached, then the student may initiate the formal grievance procedure. All formal written grievances should be submitted to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
Formal Grievance Resolution
A formal written grievance is distinguished from an informal grievance in the following manner:
- The grievance must be in writing, and must be dated and signed by the student making the grievance.
- The grievance must clearly identify the department(s) and issue(s) involved.
- The grievance must indicate that the student has attempted to resolve the issue with the involved staff member prior to the date of the grievance.
Once a formal grievance has been submitted to the Vice Provost for Affairs, the following process is engaged:
- The Vice Provost of Student Affairs will route the grievance to the appropriate employee within the department where the issue resides. This employee will initiate an investigation of the issues identified in the grievance.
- Within 10 business days of receiving the grievance, the employee will provide the student with a written response to the grievance; the written response will contain a description of any findings and decisions made regarding the grievance. The employee will send the Vice Provost for Student Affairs a copy of the written response for documentation purposes.
- If the student feels the response does not address the grievance properly, the student may request that it be referred to the next higher administrative level.
- At each administrative level, the administrator will be given 10 business days to investigate the issue and provide the student with a written response. The administrator at each level will send the Vice Provost for Student Affairs a copy of the written response for documentation purposes.
- The determination of the Vice President in whose area the grievance has occurred will be the final decision. There are no further appeals within the College. The Vice President will send the Vice Provost for Student Affairs a copy of the final determination for documentation purposes.
Note Concerning Discrimination, Harassment and Title IX Complaints:
Florida SouthWestern State College maintains a separate set of procedures to address complaints that entail accusations dealing with violations of Title IX, discrimination, or harassment. These types of complaints are addressed through Florida SouthWestern State College Board Policy 6Hx6:2.03 and College Operating Procedures 01-0108, 05-0102 and 05-0107. Students should notify the Campus Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Associate Dean of Students, or the Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer for assistance in resolving any discrimination or harassment issue.
Academic Support Programs and College Success Courses
Cornerstone Experience Course
Florida SouthWestern State College values student success and is committed to creating a foundation for students. By encouraging the development of critical thinking skills and making the acquisition of knowledge relevant to their lives, FSW provides students with strategies to succeed academically and professionally.
Florida SouthWestern State College has created the Cornerstone Experience Course (SLS 1515 ) in collaboration with the Office of Student Engagement to connect students with the resources, tools, and programs that are essential for their success in the first year and beyond. The Cornerstone Experience course facilitates the development of critical thinking skills and self-reliant learning among first-time-in-college students. The Office of Student Engagement provides opportunities for students to develop a sense of belonging by integrating them into the community of Florida SouthWestern State College through, academic and co-curricular workshops, engagement with peer leaders, and community service opportunities.
Academic Support Programs
Florida SouthWestern State College has Academic Support/College Tutoring Centers at each campus as well as an online presence. This mission of the Academic Support Centers is to support students in achieving their academic and professional goals. The Math Center, the Writing Center, the Oral Communication/Speech Center, and the Peer Tutoring Center promote learning and academic achievement by using individual and small group tutoring sessions to assist with student questions and academic studies. The Academic Support Centers are linked through live video streaming to ensure that students can access services from any FSW location as well as online. In addition to tutoring session, the Center's web pages delivers on-demand, topic-specific tutoring videos created by its staff covering a variety of topics designed to assist students with course content and promoting academic success based on their decade-long observations of troublesome content or topics. Students can access services and schedule appointments via links within their course Canvas shells or directly at fsw.edu/academicsupport in addition to visiting the centers at each College location.
In addition, the College has partnered with Tutor.com to provide access to 24/7 online tutorial assistance. Students may access up to four-funded hours* per semester from Tutor.com. Both services, Academic Support and Tutor.com, are designed to assist students with academic success and persistence and are available to registered Florida SouthWestern State College students.
*Florida SouthWestern State College reserves the right to limit or increase the time available for use of the service.
As per Florida Statute 1008.30:
A student who entered 9th grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-2004 school year, or any year thereafter, and earned a Florida standard high school diploma or a student who is serving as an active duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Services shall not be required to take the common placement test and shall not be required to enroll in developmental education instruction in a Florida College System institution. However, a student who is not required to take the common placement test and is not required to enroll in developmental education under this paragraph may opt to be assessed and to enroll in developmental education instruction, and the college shall provide such assessment and instruction upon the student's request.
A student who takes the common placement test and whose score on the test indicates a need for developmental education must be advised of all the developmental education options offered at the institution and, after advisement, shall be allowed to enroll in the developmental education option of his or her choice.
A student who demonstrates readiness by achieving or exceeding the test scores established by the state board and enrolls in a Florida College System institution within 2 years after achieving such scores shall not be required to retest or complete developmental education when admitted to any Florida College System institution.
Students who must enroll in the same College Success course a third time shall pay fees at 100 percent of the full cost of instruction. Students who withdraw or fail a course due to extenuating circumstances, or who have a financial hardship, may be granted an exception to the 100 percent full cost of instruction (please see "Petitions" in the Student Records section for more information). Students must provide written documentation of financial hardship, disability, or extenuating circumstances that resulted in the withdrawal or failure. Such documentation shall be submitted to the College Registrar for consideration.
Students are permitted to enroll in Developmental instruction concurrently with credit instruction in courses for which they are qualified. Non-Exempt students testing into remedial courses may not enroll in the following categories of college credit courses while completing their College Success coursework:
- Non-exempt students who are deficient in mathematics may not enroll in any college-level mathematics course or courses that require mathematics skills beyond the skill level of the student.
- Non-exempt students who are deficient in English and/or reading skills may not enroll in English or humanities courses that meet the Gordon Rule requirements (State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.030) or any courses that require communication skills beyond the skill level of the student.
- Non-exempt students who are deficient in all three areas may enroll in college-level courses such as orientation courses, college success courses, or courses that are not dependent on college-level computation and communication skills.
- College Success instruction is provided in reading, writing, and mathematics.
Reading for College Success instruction includes the recognition of main ideas, supporting details, meanings of words in context, author's purpose, tone, valid arguments, explicit and implicit relationships within and between sentences, and the ability to detect bias, to distinguish fact from opinion, and to draw logical inferences and conclusion.
Writing for College Success instruction includes grammatical concepts and usage, punctuation, word choice, and paragraph and essay development.
Mathematics for College Success instruction includes arithmetic and introductory algebra including real numbers and their properties and basic operations, linear expressions, factoring of algebraic expressions, solutions of linear equations and inequalities, graphing, and quadratic equations.
MAT 0057 Mathematics for College Success (*)-Modularized
REA 0019 - Reading for College Success (*)-Modularized
REA 0019 - Reading for College Success (*)-Compressed
REA 0019 - Reading for College Success (*)-Contextualized
ENC 0022 - Writing for College Success (*)-Modularized
ENC 0022 - Writing for College Success (*)-Compressed
Academic Recognition and Honors Programs
At the conclusion of the Fall and Spring semesters only, the Office of the Registrar will generate a list of students completing 12 or more credits that semester whose grade point average is 3.5 or above and who did not receive any grade below a "C". The list is published after the period allowed for students to make up "Incompletes." The Dean's List will be posted on the Office of Registrar's web-page (www.fsw.edu/registrar), and each student on this list will receive an email containing a Dean's List letter noting the accomplishment. A notation of this accomplishment will be made on the transcript of each student so honored. Such students can request a personalized Dean's list letter, if desired. Please note: College Preparatory Courses and courses beginning with the prefixes EAP, PEL, PEM, and PEN are not considered in calculating Dean's List eligibility.
The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunities for leadership development; community service; intellectual exchange of ideas and ideals; lively fellowship for scholars; stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence; and transfer scholarships. FSW supports four chapters of PTK: Alpha Tau Eta - Charlotte Campus, Alpha Upsilon Nu - Collier Campus , Beta Tau Pi - Hendry/Glades Center and Omicron Epsilon Chapter - Thomas Edison Campus.
In order to be a member of an FSW chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, a student must meet all of the criteria outlined below:
- A 3.5 or higher overall GPA (excluding college prep courses)
- Completion of 12 college credit hours (excluding college prep and level 1-4 EAP courses)
- Be seeking an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science degree
- Not have previously earned an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Bachelor's degree or higher from FSW or any other institution
- Be enrolled in classes in the semester for which membership is applied
- Adhere to the FSW Code of Conduct
- Possess recognized qualities of citizenship
Qualified students are then invited to be members of the society. Once the student has been inducted as a member of PTK, they may attend chapter meetings, hold office, and participate as a full member in PTK sponsored activities on any FSW campus.
Honors Scholar Program
Florida SouthWestern State College's Honors Scholar Program offers students an enriched and challenging educational experience that extends learning beyond the classroom. We strive to cultivate academic excellence, skillful leadership, and commitment to social responsibility. As a rigorous, transdisciplinary program, we inspire students to seek out transformative experiences and participate in the world in new ways.
Mission and Values
The mission of the Florida SouthWestern State College's Honors Scholar Program is to offer students an enriched and challenging educational experience that extends learning beyond the classroom. We strive to cultivate academic excellence, skillful leadership, and commitment to social responsibility. As a rigorous, transdisciplinary program, we inspire students to seek out transformative experiences and participate in the world in new ways.
Our program develops intellectual curiosity that leads to exemplary independent research and consistent engagement with the outside world. Honors scholars cultivate their own ability to acquire necessary skills and knowledge to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.
Our program creates a safe and supportive environment that encourages students to accept intellectual challenges, embrace uncertainty and learn from mistakes. Our courses and extra-curricular activities facilitate both independent thought and collaborative engagement for intellectual growth.
Our program teaches students to inhabit respectfully the positions of others and to be open to diverse perspectives. Honors scholars practice charitable dialogue to broaden their understanding of cultural interconnectedness and awareness of how individuals and societies are shaped by socio-political factors.
Our program engenders social responsibility and a commitment to activism. Honors scholars are encouraged to explore multiple perspectives and take appropriate action for the good of the local and global community.
Our program cultivates awareness of how individual and local actions resonate on a global scale. Through our coursework and extracurricular activities, students identify their role in the international community and are encouraged to create solutions for global challenges.
Our program offers a platform for the discovery and cultivation of creative potential so that students make meaningful intellectual and aesthetic contributions to society. Honors scholars trust the revision process and acknowledge the value of the continual refinement of ideas.
Our program teaches students to communicate discipline-specific content to diverse audiences. Honors scholars hone these skills in academic and professional forums where they engage with the broader intellectual community.
Benefits of the Program
- Financial support for a wide range of academic and extracurricular experiences
- Opportunities to participate in State, Regional, and National Conferences
- Opportunities for Study Abroad in partnership with the Center for International Education
- Access to smaller classes taught by our most talented professors and attended by our most dedicated students
- Seminar style classes which often include hands-on field research
Admission Guidelines for the Honors Scholar Program
We use a holistic approach to identify and evaluate talented candidates so as not to exclude late-bloomers, non-traditional students, or students who may have met with substantial obstacles which prevented them from developing their full potential prior to their application to the College. This program is best suited for students seeking an AA degree who have not taken more than 30 credit hours. We accept applications once a year; the deadline is July 1st. Please visit our website for details: http://www.fsw.edu/honors
Applying for Affiliate Membership
Students who do not meet the requirements for full membership in the program but who are still academically talented in specific discipline(s) may still be able to take specific Honors classes as an Honors Affiliate. Affiliate members are not awarded scholarship money but any course they take as an affiliate will be applied towards their required 15 credit hours for the Honors certificate if they apply and are accepted for full membership in the program. Please submit the affiliate application found on the Honors website to the Honors coordinator.
- Student must have a minimum 2.5 overall GPA
Graduating High School Students
In-coming Freshman should fill out the FSW scholarship application online and click the box to indicate interest in the Honors program which will link to our application.
Those who are rewarded an Academic Excellence scholarship are automatically placed in the Honors Scholar Program.
Dual-enrolled High School Students
- DE students who have already completed college coursework must have a 3.2 overall GPA and need to submit at least one letter of recommendation from college faculty. Their second letter may be from a high school teacher, counselor, or administrator.
- DE students who have not completed any college coursework must have a 3.5 unweighted high school GPA and need to submit at least one letter of recommendation from a high school teacher and one letter from a counselor, or administrator
Current FSW Students
- GPA of 3.2 on 12 hours of College coursework exclusive of College Prep courses
- Two faculty recommendations
- Approval by the Program Coordinator
- GPA of 3.2 on 12 hours of College coursework exclusive of College prep courses
- Two faculty recommendations
- Approval by Program Coordinator
Academic Integrity Policy
Florida SouthWestern State College recognizes that adherence to high principles of academic integrity is vital to the academic function of the College. Therefore, the entire academic community shares the responsibility for establishing and maintaining standards of academic integrity. Those in charge of academic tasks have an obligation to make known the standards and expectations of acceptable academic conduct. Each student has an obligation to know and understand those standards and expectations. While the academic community recognizes that the responsibility for learning and personal conduct is an individual matter, all students and faculty members are expected to help maintain academic integrity at the College by refusing to participate in, or tolerate, any dishonesty.
Florida SouthWestern State College expects all students to be honest in their academic endeavors. All academic work should be performed in a manner which will provide an honest reflection of the knowledge and abilities of each student. All members of the community understand the rationale for, and the critical nature of, academic integrity.
Violations of student academic integrity include any actions which attempt to promote or enhance the academic standing of any student by dishonest means. The following are some examples of actions that are violations of academic integrity:
- Cheating on an academic exercise. Cheating includes giving or receiving unauthorized aid or information by copying, by using materials not authorized, by attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, or by otherwise failing to abide by academic rules. The person who aids an individual in cheating will be held equally responsible.
- Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty that involves a person committing one or more of the following actions: portraying any portion of another's work as the person's (including turning in work that an individual other than the person prepared, regardless of the willingness of the individual), portraying another author's idea(s) as the person's, misrepresenting a source's meaning or content, or inadequate citation or missing citation. Plagiarism can occur in three main categories: wording, content, and citation. Plagiarism due to wording occurs when a person uses the wording of the original without quotes. Plagiarism due to content occurs when a person rewords the original but does so too closely and often without giving the original author credit. It can also occur when a person misconstrues the meaning of the source, effectively claiming the original author stated content or opinions that he/she did not. Citation plagiarism occurs when parenthetical citations or works cited entries are missing or inaccurate. Using a source in a paper and failing to include a citation entry is also considered plagiarism as it does not allow the readers to access the original source.
- The principles of academic integrity require that all work submitted or presented without citation of sources will be the student's own work, not only on tests, but in themes, papers, homework, and class presentations, unless it has been clearly specified that the work is a team effort.
- Fabricating information with intent to deceive. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsifying experimental data or results, inventing research or laboratory data or results for work not done, knowingly presenting falsified or invented results, citing information not taken from the source indicated, falsely claiming sources not used, known to be false, misleading, or not supported by evidence. Submitting any academic accomplishment in whole or in part for credit more than once, whether in the same course or different courses without the prior consent of the instructor is considered self-plagiarism.
- Submitting any academic accomplishment in whole or in part for credit more than once whether in the same course or in different courses without the prior consent of the instructor.
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain an examination, or any part of it, before, during, or after the examination has been given.
- Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as changing answers after an exam is scored and communicating verbally, non-verbally or electronically with another person during an exam, or leaving while an exam is still in progress.
- Copying, editing, deleting, or intentionally damaging Florida SouthWestern State College computer files without permission.
- Altering, changing, or forging College academic records or forging the signature of any academic officer.
- Offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting any materials, items or services of value to gain academic advantage for oneself or another.
- An oral citation is a spoken acknowledgment of a source provided as part of an oral presentation (i.e., speech), and an absence of oral citations when providing information or ideas that are not the student's constitutes plagiarism. Orally cited information includes statistics, non-original materials (e.g., tables, pictures, graphs), quotes, arguments, and ideas of others, even if paraphrased.
Academic Integrity Policy Procedures
When a faculty member determines that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred, the faculty member will notify the student of the offense.
The following actions may be taken by faculty for students in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy:
- Referral to the appropriate support service
- Assignment of a reduced grade on the plagiarized academic exercise
- Assignment of a final letter grade/reduction for the course
- Assignment of an "F" for the course
The faculty member will then send an Academic Misconduct Report, for tracking purposes, to the Dean of Students within 10 business days after the date on which the faculty member identifies the violation. The Academic Misconduct Report will document the circumstances surrounding the accusation and any adjustment to a grade or other action recommended by the faculty member.
Students with multiple Academic Integrity Policy violation referrals will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct process. A printed notation may be included on the student's official academic transcript indicating that the student has been found to be in repeat violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see the Student Code of Conduct for information regarding the conduct procedures and sanctions). Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will not be approved as an extenuating circumstance for purposes of late drop or withdrawal.
Academic Integrity Policy Violation Appeal Procedures
Students may appeal a grade, and/or grade-related penalties assigned for an Academic Integrity Policy violation. To appeal a grade or other action recommended by a faculty member in regards to an Academic Integrity Policy violation, the student must submit a written appeal to the Academic Dean within 10 business days from the date the faculty member notified the student of the offense. The student's appeal should describe why the student does not agree with the grade assigned by the faculty member or the faculty member's academic integrity findings and/or penalty. The Dean will provide a copy of the appeal to the faculty member.
The Academic Dean will respond to the student's request for an appeal and schedule a meeting with the student within 10 business days.
After the meeting, the Academic Dean will send a written response to the student with copies to the faculty member and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs within 10 business days.
The appeal determination of the Academic Dean is final. There are no further appeals within the College.
Florida SouthWestern State College through the involvement of the administration, faculty, staff and advisory committees, may approve closure of educational programs. In these cases, FSW creates a teach-out plan that will provide for the equitable treatment of students and is submitted to the College's accreditor, SACSCOC, for approval. Teach-out plans include the date when new students will no longer be admitted (date of Program Closure), an explanation of how students will be helped to complete the program in a designated timeframe, and details on how students will be informed.