Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Office of the Registrar

How to Register

Registering for classes at Florida SouthWestern State College is easy and convenient using one of the following methods:

  • Logging into the FSW Student Portal.
  • Visiting registration services at one of the three campuses or the Hendry/Glades Center.

Accommodations for students with disabilities are available upon request. (See Academic Policies and Procedures Relating to Students.)

Refer to the Official Academic Calendar for important dates including registration, the add/drop period, and withdrawal deadlines. The Official Academic Calendar is found on the FSW website.

Prior to registration, placement testing is required for non-exempt students, as described in Florida Statute 1008.30. To assist with advising, exempt students may elect to take placement testing. Testing is used to determine placement in English, mathematics, and reading courses. (See Testing Services for more information.)

By registering for classes, all students assume the responsibility for familiarizing themselves with and abiding by the regulations, rules, policies, and procedures of Florida SouthWestern State College.

Student Categories

  1. Full Time: A student enrolled in 12 credits or more during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters, or six credits or more during a mini-semester.
  2. Part Time: A student enrolled in fewer than 12 credits during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters, or fewer than six credits during a mini semester.
  3. Freshman: A student who has earned less than 30 college credits.
  4. Sophomore: A student who has earned 30 but less than 60 college credits.
  5. Junior: A student who has earned 60 but less than 90 college credits.
  6. Senior: A student who has earned 90 or more credits prior to completing baccalaureate requirements.
  7. First-Time-in-College (FTIC) Student: A degree-seeking student who has not previously attended a college or university and is not transferring credit from another higher education institution.
  8. Credit Courses: Courses designed for students interested in earning college units toward a degree or certificate.
  9. Non-Credit Courses: Courses offered as Continuing Education and not for credit.
  10. Audit: The completion of a course for which no credit or grade is earned.
  11. Transient Student: A student currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a public, postsecondary institution who enrolls in a course offered by another public, post-secondary institution that is not the student’s degree-granting institution.

College Requirement: Cornerstone Experience SLS 1515

The Cornerstone Experience course at Florida SouthWestern State College is an integrative and interdisciplinary course designed to help first-year students acquire critical thinking and decision-making skills that promote academic success. In this course, students will learn about college resources and requirements, explore career objectives and programs of study, establish relationships with mentoring faculty, and develop a support group among peers.

All incoming degree-seeking* students who have earned fewer than 30 credits are required to take and successfully complete SLS 1515 - Cornerstone Experience  in the first semester. 

*Students who are admitted directly to limited access programs are not required to take SLS 1515.  This applies to students whose first coursework at FSW occurs after limited access program admission or to students whose first coursework after three consecutive semesters of non-attendance occurs after limited access program admission.
**Students who enroll in and successfully complete IDH 2910 will have met the Cornerstone Requirement.  Students enrolled in programs that require MAN 2021 will have met the Cornerstone Requirement after successful completion of MAN 2021.

College Requirement: CREATIVE Capstone IDS 2891

The Creative Capstone course at FSW constitutes a culminating General Education experience focused on applied transdisciplinary learning. Assisted by classmates, professors, and librarians, students will design and execute a significant project that addresses complex issues. By engaging in the research process from topic selection to presentation of results, students will demonstrate accumulated General Education skills, competencies, and knowledge.

All incoming degree-seeking students who have earned fewer than 45 credits are required to take and successfully complete IDS 2891 - CREATIVE Capstone  after the completion of 30 hours towards the Associate in Arts Degree, including (ENC 1101 and ENC 1102) OR (ENC 1101 and SPC 1017) OR (ENC 1101 and SPC 2608). 

*In an effort to maintain the academic integrity of our degree programs, exemptions to the IDS 2891 Creative Capstone degree requirement will only be granted when there is sufficient documentation of achievement as determined through careful review by the Capstone administrator. To apply for the exemption, a student must have 45 or more earned credits towards an AA degree. A maximum of 24 of the 45 earned credit hours may come from elective coursework.

Academic Course Load

A student may not take more than eighteen (18) credit hours during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters or nine (9) credits during a mini-semester without the permission of a Student Success Advisor. Florida SouthWestern State College reserves the right to limit the number of credits a student can enroll in if the student has been placed on academic warning or suspension by the Office of Academic Advising.

Registration, Fees, and Refunds

Priority Registration

Priority registration dates are established for the following groups of students: ADAptive Services, Athletes, Buc Bound, Honors, Housing, Presidential Scholars, Saturday Scholars, and Veterans. These dates are published in the Official Academic Calendar.

State Employee Fee Waiver

Pursuant to Section 1009.26 of the Florida Statutes, students may request permission to register for up to six credit hours without payment of tuition if they qualify as state employees under the guidelines. State employees must register between the first day and the last day of the “add/drop” period for classes on a space available basis only. Some courses may be full and therefore unavailable. Students must pay any applicable special fees.

Registration Restrictions

Certain registration restrictions are in place:

  1. Academic Probation: Students on academic probation must see a Student Success Advisor prior to registration.
  2. Balance Owed: All outstanding balances must be paid prior to registration.
  3. Duplicate Course Registration: Students are not permitted to register for more than one section of the same course per term.
  4. Instructor’s Consent: Students must obtain instructor consent prior to registration for applicable courses.
  5. Prerequisites: Published perquisites must be met prior to registration.
  6. Readmission: Students who have not registered for one academic year must seek readmission through the Office of Admissions.

Payment of Registration Fees

Registration fees are assessed at the time of registration and must be paid by the payment due date. Registration is not finalized until all registration fees are paid. The student’s registration may be canceled if payment is not made by the due date. Registration fees for courses added by the student after payment of initial registration fees must be paid by the new payment due date, or the student must drop the course(s) by the last day to drop with a refund. Students who fail to drop an unpaid course are billed by the Business Office for all applicable fees and are responsible for payment of those fees.

Tuition Costs | Florida SouthWestern State College (fsw.edu)

Add/Drop Period (Schedule Adjustments) 

The Add/Drop period is the time between the first instructional weekday of an academic term and the last day students are permitted to add a class, change sections of a course, drop a course without financial penalty, or change from credit to audit or audit to credit. Course additions cannot be made after the Add/Drop deadline.

Late Drop Refund Policy

Refunds of tuition and fees are made only if the student drops the class by the Add/Drop deadline as published in the Official Academic Calendar.

In the case of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control that occur during the term, a student may petition for an exception by submitting a Request for a Late Drop or a Late Withdrawal to the Office of the Registrar. (Withdrawals do not constitute refunds.) Petitions should completely explain the extenuating circumstance(s) and include supporting third-party documentation. In all cases, the situation must have interrupted the student’s ability to attend class(es) for a substantial length of time and/or to complete the semester. The Request for a Late Drop or a Late Withdraw Form is available online at the Office of the Registrar, and it must be received no later than one year from the end of the semester for which the student is petitioning.

Financial Aid Recipients Note

If a Refund Appeal is approved for a recipient of federal and/or state financial aid (grants and loans), and the student’s original course registration is canceled and/or tuition liability is eliminated as a result, federal/state regulations dictate that all financial aid previously applied to the student’s College account and/or disbursed to the student in the form of an over-payment refund must be returned to the respective loan/grant program. This action may result in an outstanding balance on the student account; in certain scenarios, that (new) balance owed may be in an amount greater than was incurred via the initial registration/aid disbursement.

A student who is dropped from a class or classes because of administrative action, except for disciplinary reasons, is entitled to a full refund of matriculation, tuition, and special fees.  Administrative drops/refunds must be approved by the Provost or Chief Financial Officer and are processed by the Office of the Registrar and forwarded to the Bursar’s Office and any credit balance on the student’s account is refunded to the student in the normal weekly refund process.

A student who is withdrawn from a class or classes for disciplinary reasons is not entitled to a refund of matriculation, tuition, and special fees.

Florida SouthWestern State College reserves the right to apply any refund due to the student’s account if the student has outstanding financial obligations.

Adding, Dropping, Auditing or Withdrawing from a Course

Adding or Dropping Courses

Students can add or drop courses, or change sections through the Add/Drop period, as published in the Official Academic Calendar. After the Add/Drop period has passed, students are financially liable for all courses in which they are registered. The College may drop students for non-payment; however, it is the student’s responsibility to drop any course for which they have registered but do not plan to attend.


Following the close of the Add/Drop period, changes to student schedules are not permitted. Requests for exceptions must be made through a Petition for Reinstatement. Petitions may be approved based on the submission of unusual and extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control, supported by relevant third-party documentation. Being dropped for non-payment is not considered an extenuating circumstance. Petition for Reinstatement will only be considered the week immediately following the Add/Drop period and will require the signatures of both the instructor and the Dean. Students with approved petitions are required to pay at the time the class is added.

Auditing a Course

Students who intend to audit a college credit course must register as Audit with the Office of the Registrar. This cannot be done through the student portal. Students are not allowed to change from Audit to Credit status, or from Credit to Audit status, once the Add/Drop period has closed. Tuition and fees for Audit status is the same as Credit status. Audit students may participate in class activities, but are not required to take examinations and will not receive a grade or credit.


To withdraw from a course, a student should do so through their student portal. Students with registration holds may withdraw in person at one of the registration service offices located at one of the three campuses or the Hendry/Glades Center. This must be completed before the last day to withdraw, as published in the Official Academic Calendar. 

Note: Students who officially withdraw from a course(s) before the withdrawal deadline receive a grade of a “W.” Students are limited to two withdrawals per course. Upon the third attempt, the student is not permitted to withdraw from the course and must receive a grade for the course. (Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-14.0301)

Withdrawing from a course(s) may affect financial aid status and may result in having to pay the third attempt course surcharge. Additionally, withdrawing from a course will not generate a refund, and it may affect the anticipated graduation date.

It is recommended to speak with the professor before withdrawing from a course. Additionally, it is recommended to meet with a Student Success Advisor to discuss the impact of a withdrawal on the education plan. Withdrawing from a course may increase the cost of education and may affect financial aid status, including applicable scholarships. A conversation with a Financial Aid Specialist to discuss the impact of a withdrawal on financial aid is advised.

Late Withdrawals

Florida SouthWestern State College requires students to withdraw from any course(s) by the published withdraw deadline. If students face extenuating circumstances and wish to withdraw from a course after the deadline, they may submit a Late Drop/Late Withdrawal petition to the Office of the Registrar. The form is available in the Office of the Registrar or on the website. Petitions requesting late withdrawals must be supported by third-party documentation, reviewed and signed by the instructor and the Office of Financial Aid. The petition does not alter or waive a student’s responsibility for paying tuition and other fees. Students who stop attending courses without officially withdrawing may receive a grade of “F.”

Student Portal

The student portal allows Florida SouthWestern State College students to register and pay for classes, check grades, view financial aid information, transcripts, and obtain additional services. Students must use their student ID number (beginning with @ and followed by eight digits) and their Personal Identification Number (PIN) (initially comprised of  the student’s date of birth in a six-digit format [mmddyy], to access the portal. Students are required to change their initial PIN to a unique PIN the first time they access the portal.

Enrollment Verification, Final Grade Reports, and Grade Corrections

Enrollment Verifications

Students are encouraged to contact the National Student Clearinghouse for official enrollment verifications. Official enrollment verifications may also be obtained by submitting a completed Enrollment Verification Request to the Office of the Registrar at least one week before the verification is needed. Enrollment Verification Requests are processed after the Add/Drop period has passed and will not be processed for future terms. Additionally, the FSW Office of the Registrar does not monitor a student’s anticipated graduation date nor does the FSW Office of the Registrar require students to graduate within a specific time; therefore, an anticipated graduation date cannot be verified and is not included within the FSW enrollment verification.

Final Grades 

Final grades are available to students after the end of each semester through Florida SouthWestern State College’s student portal or, for transient students, at FloridaShines.org. Florida SouthWestern State College does not mail final grade reports.

Grade Corrections

A request for a grade correction must be made during the semester immediately following the semester in which the incorrect grade was assigned. The instructor and the appropriate Academic Dean must approve the grade correction. No grade will be changed after a credential is awarded.

Petitions and Appeal of Academic Petition


Florida SouthWestern State College will review, based on a student’s written request, several types of petitions, including:

  1. Academic Second Chance.
  2. Late Drop and/or Late Withdraw.
  3. Exception to the Maximum Attempts Policy.
  4. Reduction of Fees Due to Continued Enrollment (Exception to the Multiple Attempt Course Surcharge).
  5. Reinstatement.


Forms related to each type of petition are available in the Office of the Registrar, The Office of Academic Advising, or at registration services at one of the three campuses or the Hendry/Glades Center. For Academic Second Chance, Late Drop/Late Withdraw, Exception to Maximum Attempts, and Reduction of Fees Due to Continued Enrollment, completed petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar within one calendar year following the term being petitioned. Reinstatement petitions will only be considered the week immediately following the Add/Drop period.

The Petition Review Committee determines to approve or deny the request, based on the information provided by the student. Petitions without third-party supporting documentation will not be considered. If necessary, additional college administrators may be involved in the decision. The Office of the Registrar will inform the student of the Petition Committee’s decision via Florida SouthWestern State College email.

Appeal of an Academic Petition

A student has a right to appeal a decision made on an academic petition. A student wishing to appeal a decision must submit a written appeal request and return it to the Office of the Registrar or at registration services at one of the three campuses or the Hendry/Glades Center. The appeal is forwarded to the College Registrar. A copy of the original petition is automatically part of the subsequent appeal. An appeal is not simply a review of the original petition decision but a request to reverse the original decision. The student must supply new, relevant, previously-undisclosed information, or present an argument as to why the original petition decision should be reversed. For an appeal to be successful, new information must be critical to the case, and new consideration or arguments should prove the student’s case conclusively.

Release of Student Information, Student Holds, and Transcripts

Release of Student Information

Florida SouthWestern State College may, without the written consent of the student, release information from the education record to a court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with a court order of that court or to the attorney of record pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena, provided that in advance of compliance with the court order or subpoena FSW notifies the student. A student who objects to the release of his or her records must file a motion to invalidate the court order or subpoena and provide FSW with copies of the relevant legal documents. All releases of student information are made in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Student Holds

Holds are placed on a student’s account, records, grades, diploma, or registration if the student does not fulfill all obligations (financial or otherwise) to the College. Before a hold can be released by the appropriate College office, students must satisfy any outstanding obligations to FSW.


To request an official Florida SouthWestern State College transcript, visit the Office of the Registrar’s webpage, www.fsw.edu/registrar/transcript. Transcript requests are not processed for any student or alumnus with certain obligations to FSW, such as outstanding library books and/or audiovisual equipment, or incomplete admission records. Students who attended FSW prior to 2001 may have an archived record and delivery may be delayed. There is a nominal fee for an official transcript, and rush delivery and international delivery are available at an additional cost. Unofficial transcripts may be obtained via FSW’s student portal.

Transfer of Credits

Technical Centers

Florida SouthWestern State College has a number of articulation agreements ensuring the transfer of credit from technical schools into FSW programs.

In accordance with the Florida Department of Education, Florida SouthWestern State College provides articulation opportunities to high school and technical center graduates from Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Glades School Districts. FSW and these districts are partners in the Career Pathways program, which offers students the opportunity to focus on technical high school electives that will help train them for high-skill, high-wage occupations. While high school or technical center students are preparing for careers and postsecondary education, they can earn college credit that may be applied toward an Associate in Science degree at FSW.

Articulated credit may be awarded to the eligible student who meets the following criteria:

  1. The student must have completed an approved technical program of study (at least three high school courses or an earned technical center certificate);
  2. The student must be currently enrolled and seeking an Associate in Science degree in a correlating* program at Florida SouthWestern State College. The student must successfully meet all requirements that apply to associate degree seeking students as stated in the Florida SouthWestern State College Catalog;
  3. The student must successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours at FSW.


*A correlating program is one in which the coursework whereby the student proposes to articulate aligns with the degree program in which the student proposes to enroll. For example, networking technology courses correlate to the AS in Network Systems Technology, but would not correlate to the AS in Accounting Technology.

In addition, the State of Florida has approved statewide articulation agreements for transfer to an Associate in Science degree for students who complete an approved technical program of study and earn a technical center certificate. The State of Florida has approved awarding college credit for certain qualifying industry certifications. Note: The State of Florida continues to re-evaluate and develop these articulation agreements.

Students should meet with their Student Success Advisor to discuss opportunities related to articulation.

Credit from Military Service Schools

Joint Services Transcripts (military transcripts) must be sent to Florida SouthWestern State College for evaluation before a student receives any benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), regardless of transferability of courses.

FSW follows the guidelines in Florida State Board Rule 6A10.024 (and Veterans Affairs) for awarding credit for Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) exams. Florida SouthWestern State College is a Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) and uses the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines in evaluating military learning experiences.

Florida SouthWestern State College may award college credit for military training in accordance with the following conditions and stipulations:

  1. The applicant must be applying or transferring as a degree seeking student.
  2. The applicant must provide a Joint Services Transcript.                                    

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs)

Florida SouthWestern State College will award college credits for qualifying DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) examination scores per FAC 6A-10.024 guidelines and the Articulation Coordinating Committee Credit-By-Exam Equivalents adopted September 19, 2001, as follows:

Since a grade of “S” for satisfactory will be assigned, no grade points will be assigned for credits awarded through the DSST Program; see www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5421/urlt/0078391-acc-cbe.pdf. (See DSST Examination Program.)

Transfer Practices

Transfer Classification

Students are classified as transfer students if they have previously registered at any college or university prior to Florida SouthWestern State College, regardless of the amount of time spent in attendance or credit earned. Students may transfer credit from other institutions into FSW; however, to be awarded a certificate or degree, at least 25% of the program or certificate credit must be earned at FSW.

Applicants who plan to earn a degree or certificate at FSW must provide official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities. Though not required for admission, military transcripts must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for possible credit and are required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be evaluated and on file to receive Military Educational Benefits. Official transcripts should be mailed from the institution holding the record to Florida SouthWestern State College, Office of the Registrar, Lee Campus or sent via secure electronic transmission from the institution holding the record within the first semester of enrolling. Faxed transcripts or those emailed directly from students to FSW are not considered official. Transcripts will not be evaluated until transcripts are received from all institutions (including official credit-by-examination scores).

Official credit-by-examination scores from accelerated programs including the Advanced Placement (AP) program, the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) program, the College-Level Examination (CLEP) program, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) program, and the UExcel Examination program are required. Once all transcripts are received and evaluated, transfer credit appears on the FSW transcript. Unofficial FSW transcripts can be viewed using the student portal.

Acceptance of Military Credits

Eligible members of the United States Armed Forces must have an official copy of their Joint Services Transcript (JST)/military transcript forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. As required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to receive educational benefits, Joint Services Transcripts/military transcripts will be reviewed for possible credit according to the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) and certified to the VA.

Acceptance of Transfer Credits from Regionally Accredited Institutions

All credits earned at other colleges or universities accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies will be recorded as transfer credit and placed on the student’s permanent record (transcript). These six regional accreditors include:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Courses will be equated to a similar course or an appropriate unclassified elective. For students pursuing a baccalaureate degree, all earned credits will be recorded at the appropriate level (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior level). Regardless of level, all transfer coursework is included on the permanent academic record and is included in the overall grade-point average (GPA).

Acceptance of Transfer Credits from Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions

Florida SouthWestern State College may accept credits from institutions that are not regionally accredited in accordance with the State of Florida K-16 Articulation Agreement, which recognizes courses approved in connection with the Florida Department of Education Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS).

Acceptance of credits from non-regionally accredited institutions of higher education may be reviewed and awarded based upon evaluation and recommendation from the FSW instructional department responsible for the course subject area(s). Credits awarded at institutions not regionally accredited may be accepted by FSW and placed on the transcript if the credits represent collegiate level coursework relevant to the program of study and course credit and level of instruction, resulting in student competencies that are at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in comparable instruction at FSW. The following factors will be considered in determining whether courses are transferable and, if so, how they will be recorded.

  1. Breadth, depth, and rigor of course content as evidenced by course syllabi, prerequisites, placement test scores, exit requirements, student portfolios, textbooks, writing or oral communication requirements, grading standards, catalog descriptions, etc.;
  2. Qualifications of the faculty member(s) providing the instruction;
  3. Age of credits;
  4. Recommendations through other established credit assessment bodies (e.g., ACE);
  5. Institutional accreditation via other professional assessment/accrediting bodies (e.g., AMA, NLN, state agency);
  6. Secondary documentation of course competencies (e.g., professional certification, standardized exam scores, etc.).

College/University Transcripts from Outside the United States or U.S. Territories

Students must have an English translation and course-by-course evaluation completed at the student’s expense, by a member of either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) (www.naces.org/members), or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (aice-eval.org/members).

Recording Transfer Credits on the Student’s Permanent Record (Transcript)

Final award or posting of credits to the student’s permanent record may be contingent upon successful completion of one or more of the following requirements:

  1. Florida SouthWestern State College residency requirement;
  2. Successful completion of higher-level courses in the student’s program of study;
  3. Successful completion of subsequent courses in the subject/course sequence;
  4. Demonstration of specific lab/clinical skills or other applied competencies;
  5. Additional supplemental independent/directed study in the subject area;
  6. Presentation of a portfolio of coursework substantiating the competencies;
  7. Verification of faculty credentials at the transferring institution.


Once accepted, transfer credits will be recorded on the student’s permanent record as externally awarded and will indicate the original institution awarding the credit. Credits recorded as transfer credits are not guaranteed to meet specific degree requirements for the student’s program. The College may limit the number of transfer credits applicable toward the student’s degree. When FSW does not offer an equivalent course, or if the course differs substantively from the suggested FSW course, the transfer credits may satisfy elective requirements. Final determination of how transfer credits may apply to a specific degree program lies with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Faculty Chair, and the Registrar.

Appeal of Transfer Credit 

A student may appeal the outcome of the transfer evaluation by submitting a Credit Review Request to the Credit Review Committee. Credits in question will be reviewed by the Academic Dean, and subject matter experts. Appeals must be accompanied by course descriptions, faculty credentials, and syllabi. All decisions are forwarded to the student in writing via their Florida SouthWestern State College email account. FSW reserves the right to deny common course number credit for courses in which practicum or internship components reside. Students must meet their Student Success Advisor to discuss and initiate a Credit Review Request.

State University System Articulation Agreement

Florida law provides that Associate in Arts degree graduates of a Florida state or community college must be granted admission to an upper-division program offered by a state university or college, unless that program has been designated as a limited access program (see Transfer Guarantees). If minimum standards are not met for the limited-access program, universities may deny both acceptance into the desired program and acceptance into the university. Priority is given to state/community college Associate in Arts graduates over out-of-state students for admission to a state university. Florida state/community colleges have similar articulation agreements with the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF).

Effective Fall 2000, all graduates of an Associate in Science degree programs listed in the Statewide Articulation Manual shall be granted admission into a corresponding baccalaureate program at the state universities or colleges, except for limited-access programs and those requiring specific grades in particular courses for admission. The Florida Department of Education stipulates the integrity of the general education program will be recognized by all public institutions of higher education in Florida. Any questions about the general education program should be addressed to an Student Success Advisor.

Transfer Guarantees

Florida College System Associate in Arts graduates are guaranteed the following rights when transferring to a state university under the Statewide Articulation Agreement (State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.024):

  1. Admission to one of the state universities or colleges, except to limited-access programs which have additional admission requirements.
  2. Acceptance of at least 60 credit hours by the state universities toward the baccalaureate degree.
  3. Transfer of equivalent courses under the Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS).
  4. Acceptance by the state universities of credit earned in accelerated programs (e.g., Advanced Placement (AP) program, the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) program, the College-Level Examination (CLEP) program, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support), and/or the Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) program).
  5. No additional general education core requirements.
  6. Equal opportunity with native university students to enter limited-access programs.


The universities determine the courses and prerequisites that must be taken to receive a baccalaureate degree. Although all credits earned toward an Associate in Arts degree will transfer to a university, not all credits earned will meet program prerequisites or course requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Therefore, students must assume responsibility for knowing the course requirements of the intended program and taking the appropriate course(s) while pursuing the Associate in Arts degree.

Transfer Services

Students planning to transfer to an upper level college or university program, or to a Florida SouthWestern State College baccalaureate or limited access program, are encouraged to consult with their Student Success Advisor concerning transfer and degree requirements. Students should also reference the catalog and list of requirements from the institution(s) for which they plan to apply. Information provided at FloridaShines.org offers a variety of student services and resources to help students succeed in postsecondary endeavors and prepare for careers. Students anticipating transfer should begin a preliminary application to the college of their choice two semesters prior to completion of their associate’s degree.  The Office of Academic Advising facilitates events and programs to help students learn more about the transfer process. Visit www.fsw.edu/advising/transferadvising for more information.

Custodians of Student Records

Florida SouthWestern State College has designated the Registrar as the official custodian of academic student records. The information contained in a student’s record becomes the property of Florida SouthWestern State College and is not released without the written permission of the student.

Policies Governing Student Records/FERPA

Florida SouthWestern State College respects each student’s right to privacy and releases, provides access to, and maintains a student’s record in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.

Directory Information

Under the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Florida SouthWestern State College has established the following as Directory Information:


1.         Student’s name.

2.         Major.

3.         Date(s) of enrollment.

4.         Degree(s) and honors earned and dates.

5.         Participation in officially recognized activities or sports.

6.         Enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time student status).

7.         Previous colleges attended.

8.         Photographs.

9.         Awards.


Although the above Directory Information may be available for release to the general public, Florida SouthWestern State College does not routinely release such information to third parties. Under FERPA, students have the right to inform Florida SouthWestern State College that Directory Information is not to be released. Florida SouthWestern State College honors the student’s request to restrict the release of Directory Information as stated previously. To withhold information, a student must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Status of disclosure at the last registration period is binding and all records are noted: “CONFIDENTIAL.” No information is released without the written consent of the student.

Florida SouthWestern State College has designated GradImages, the National Student Clearinghouse, BankMobile, CareerSource, Parchment, and Florida public universities and Independent College and Universities of Florida (ICUF) as agents of the College, authorized to release student information in the performance of their contracted duties.

Notification of Access and Review of Student Records 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) § 513 of P.L 93-380 affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review their education record within 45 days of Florida SouthWestern State College receiving a request for access. The student should submit to the Registrar or other appropriate FSW official a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Florida SouthWestern State College official arranges for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the student may inspect the record(s). In the case where a request is presented to an FSW official who does not maintain the requested records, the FSW official advises the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. A student will ordinarily not be provided with copies of any part of his or her record other than the official transcript, unless the inability to obtain copies would effectively prevent the student from exercising his or her right to inspect and review the education record.
  2. The right to request the amendment of their education records if the student believes the record is inaccurate or misleading. The student should submit to the Registrar or other appropriate FSW official a written request clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. The FSW official notifies the student if it is decided to amend or not to amend the record as requested by the student. The FSW official advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment and provides additional information regarding the hearing procedures to the student.
  3. The right to request the non-disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in their education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Students should contact the Office of the Registrar for more information. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is the disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by FSW in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel), a person serving on the District Board of Trustees, or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their duties. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from educational records (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks). A school official has legitimate educational interests if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, FSW discloses education records without consent to officials of school(s) to which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by FSW to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Solomon Amendment

Under a 1997 rule adopted by the United States Department of Defense, the College, if requested, must provide to the U.S. military the student’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, level of education, current major and degrees received for all students age 17 or older.

Notification of Social Security Number Collection and Usage

In compliance with Fla. Stat. §119.071(5), Florida SouthWestern State College collects and uses student social security numbers (SSNs) only for the following purposes in performance of the College’s duties and responsibilities. To protect student identity, FSW will protect all social security numbers from unauthorized access, never release social security numbers to unauthorized parties, and assign each student/employee a unique identification number (Banner ID#). This unique ID number is used for all associated employment and educational purposes at FSW.

Federal legislation relating to the Hope Tax Credit requires all post-secondary institutions to report student SSNs to the Internal Revenue Service. This IRS requirement makes it necessary for colleges to collect the SSN of every student. A student may refuse to disclose his or her SSN to the College, but the IRS is then authorized to fine the student in the amount of $50.00 (Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law No. 105-34, 111 Stat. 788).

In addition to the federal reporting requirements, the public school system in Florida uses SSNs as a student identifier (Fla. Stat. §1008.386; Florida Public Records, Fla. Stat. §119.071(5)(a)2.a.(II)). In a seamless K-20 system, it is beneficial for post-secondary institutions to have access to the same information for purposes of tracking and assisting students in the smooth transition from one education level to the next. All SSNs are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and are never released to unauthorized parties.

Financial Aid Office

The Office of Student Financial Aid requires students to submit their social security numbers on various forms to correctly identify applicants, match each applicant’s financial aid record with the student record, and help coordinate state aid programs with federal and institutional aid programs (Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Sections 441-448, 483 and 484(p), 20 U.S.C §109 (p), 20 U.S.C §1078-2(f); Code of Federal Regulations, 34 CFR 668.32(i) and 668.36; 38 U.S.C §3471).

Human Resources Office/Payroll Office

The SSN is used for legitimate employment business purposes in compliance with:

  1. The Application and Employment Packet: completing and processing the Federal I-9 (Department of Homeland Security).
  2. Completing and processing payroll documents: Federal W4, W2 and W9 for 1099 reporting (Internal Revenue Service); Federal social security taxes (FICA); processing and distributing Federal W2 (Internal Revenue Service); direct deposit files.
  3. Completing and processing quarterly unemployment reports (FL Dept. of Revenue).
  4. Completing and processing Florida Retirement Contribution reports (FL Dept. of Revenue).
  5. Workers Compensation Claims (FCCRMC and Department of Labor).
  6. Completing and processing federal and state employee and educational reports.
  7. Completing and processing 401a, 403b and 457b contribution reports.
  8. Completing and processing group health, life and dental coverage enrollment.
  9. Completing and processing various supplemental insurance deduction reports.
  10. Providing your Social Security number is a condition of employment at Florida SouthWestern State College.


FSW Libraries provide borrowing privileges to students, staff, faculty, and citizens of its five-county service community. To borrow materials, faculty and currently enrolled students must present a Florida SouthWestern State College ID Card (a.k.a. BUC Card) which serves as their de facto library card.