Graduate Policies

Admission and Retention in COE Graduate Programs

A student must be admitted to the graduate degree program for which they intend to earn a degree by the completion of half of the required program course work. Any courses taken beyond that point will not apply to the degree program. In order to be admitted in a graduate education program, a student must meet all admission standards of the program (see graduate catalog for details).  This approach is not recommended because programs of studies (POS) change.  Students must fulfill the POS in place the term they are admitted.

Prior to a structured field placement (i.e., an internship, practicum, and on-going experience that is more than a one-time classroom project), a graduate student must:

    • Meet all admission and retention requirements for the graduate education program, including GPA requirements.
    • Have earned an overall GPA of 2.50 or higher on all college course work or higher.
    • Make application to student teaching no less than one semester prior to the academic year semester in which registration for the course occurs.
    • Meet admission requirements for student teaching no less than one semester prior to enrollment in the course.
    • Have met the college and department prerequisites for majoring in the field.
    • Have a disciplinary record clear of any actions which might be a detriment to successful performance in the classroom.
    • Possess mental, emotional, and physical health compatible of expectations of the profession.
    • Participate in mandatory orientation for Student Teaching
    • Complete the professional education program and the courses in the teaching field with a grade of “C” or better and an adjusted GPA of 2.75 or better
    • Take the GACE Content Assessment appropriate for the field.
    • Purchase liability insurance.
    • Pass the Georgia’s Educators Ethics – Program Exit  (360).
    • Posses a Preservice Certificate from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

All of the following requirements must be met for retention in a graduate education program:

    • Maintain required GPA
    • Successfully complete all key assessments required by the program
    • Successfully complete all field experiences required by the program
    • Maintain an active account with the College of Education’s electronic assessment and data management system (TaskStream) while enrolled as a graduate student
    • Successfully complete all requirements specified by the program and be making satisfactory progress toward achieving program outcomes. Programs will be responsible for monitoring student progress and providing guidance to students who may be having difficulty meeting retention requirements.
    • Must not have violated the Georgia Professional Standards Commission’s Code of Ethics for Professional Educators. Must not have a past reprimand, monitoring, or warning statement in the educator’s certification file. Failure to report any violation of state or federal law to the Professional Standards Commission within 90 days is grounds for exclusion from a program.
    • Must not have been found in violation of the Georgia Southern University Student Conduct Code. Reviews will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the seriousness of the violation and with regard to consistency.
    • Maintain liability insurance.
    • Students who are required to participate in structured field placements as part of their graduate program are required to complete a criminal background recheck on admission to the program and before commencing the structured field placement. Students will be required to undergo a criminal background recheck once every two years but will not be required to perform a background recheck more than one time per year if their program requires multiple structured field placements.
    • Meet all retention criteria established by the College of Graduate Studies.
COE Graduate Admission Procedures

Prospective candidates must make application for admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Once an application file is complete, the designated COE program admissions coordinator reviews the file using Hobson’s Apply Yourself (AY) , the admissions software used by the Graduate Admissions Office. Admission decisions are made for non-degree admission as well, including non-degree applications for the purposes of acquiring initial certification, adding fields, certification renewal, and other professional development.

Additional admission criteria are required by some programs (i.e. interviews, writing samples): Applicants should carefully check the graduate catalog and the program website for detailed information about admission requirements.

Admission decisions are made within the department and in collaboration with program faculty, and the decisions are posted in Hobson’s Apply Yourself (AY). The Graduate Admissions Office staff then notify applicants of their admissions status.

Disclosure and Affirmations

For admission to a COE graduate program, a prospective candidate must submit a completed “Disclosure and Affirmation Form” that addresses misconduct disclosure, criminal background check, the Code of Ethics for Educators, and tort liability insurance. Violations can prevent admission and/or retention in the educator preparation program. Criminal background rechecks are required every two years. Guidance to graduate students, program coordinators, and graduate advisors regarding the criminal background check and other requirements is available at:

Graduate Advisement

Graduate candidates are advised by professional advisors in the Graduate Academic Services Center (GASC) or by a faculty advisor in the program to which a student is admitted. Department chairs regularly update the list of advisor assignments, and the office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research maintains a central list that is used by the Graduate Admissions Office. Candidates are notified of their advisor’s name and contact information upon admission. After admission into the graduate program, advisors provide candidates a copy of the program requirements and provide advisement through e-mail, telephone, and conferences. All College of Graduates Studies (COGS) policies for matriculation must be followed (see

Campus Change Policy

As a consolidated university, there are a few instances where the same College of Education graduate program is offered on both the Armstrong and the Statesboro campuses (or 100% online). If a College of Education graduate student wishes to change campuses, they must complete the attached form Campus-Change-Request (pdf) to make this request. Prior to completing the form, students should carefully review this request with their advisor. Students should be aware that their current program of study will follow them to the other campus if the request is approved.

The request to change campuses must be approved by the student’s advisor, program director, and the Dean of the College of Education. Approvals will be made on a case-by-case basis and may include one or all of the following factors:

1. Space available in the program on the new campus
2. The qualifications of the student (e.g., academic record)
3. Whether or not the campus change will hinder the progress of the student
4. Whether or not the campus change would have an impact on current students in the program on the new campus

It is the student’s responsibility to determine if a campus change will increase their fees/tuition or have an impact on financial aid disbursements. Students must have an approved and completed form by the following dates to switch campuses by the terms specified below.

Fall term – August 1
Spring term – January 2
Summer – May 1

If you have questions about this process, please contact your advisor.

Graduate Academic Improvement Policy, Plan, and Form

University Policy:
A graduate student who is on probation with an academic program, or has just been reinstated, will be placed on academic intervention until the student is no longer on probation. While on academic intervention, the student must complete this Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) under the guidance of an assigned university official. The student’s progress on the AIP will guide the academic program when making decisions on academic exclusion or appeal for reinstatement.

Students are notified by the College of Graduate Studies (COGS) that they have been placed on probation. Program directors are copied on this initial communication as well. Per the University policy the student must then complete an Academic Improvement Plan (Academic Improvement Plan)

In addition, the College of Education would like students to know that failure to complete the AIP will weigh heavily against them if they decide to appeal for reinstatement if they are excluded from the program. Below are the steps internal to the College of Education that need to be taken to assist in the completion of the AIP.  Below are the steps internal to the College of Education that need to be taken to assist in the completion of the AIP.

1. COGS notifies the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Research when a student is placed on probation.
2. The Associate Dean notifies GASC who completes the top have of the form, including the number of As the student will need to be removed from probation.
3. GASC then sends the partially completed form (the top half) to the program director.
4. The program director then notifies the student that they must complete the bottom half of the form and obtain all the necessary signatures.
5. Once the form is completed and signed off by the program director and advisor, the student must email it to GASC where it will be stored.
6. If the student does not get off probation after 9 credit hours, then the advisor and/or program director will revisit what was accomplished on the AIP.
7. Students may contact GASC for copies of their AIP if they wish to use it as part of a future reinstatement appeal.

Graduate Appeals Procedures

If an applicant is denied admission to a College of Education (COE) graduate program or a graduate student is excluded from continuing in a COE graduate program, the procedures to follow to make an appeal are provided in detail here.  The graduate appeals process is a student-driven process, so the student may decide at each stage if they wish to go to the next stage. The process begins with a review of the appeal by the program coordinator/director (see link here to locate the name of your program’s coordinator/director). Because this is an automated process, students will be electronically prompted about the next stages/options in the appeals process once a decision is rendered. Five (5) stages are involved in the appeals process. Note that appeals initiated during summer may be delayed up to 8-10 weeks due to limitations in program faculty availability.

Program of Study

Programs of study for individual students must conform to the Georgia PSC and University-approved programs of study. College of Graduate Studies (COGS) policies must be followed (see Faculty advisors may approve a limited number of course substitutions and may determine what transfer or transient course credit may apply to the program of study as long as the program’s learning outcomes and SPA standards are met.

Senior Privilege to take Graduate Courses as an Undergraduate Student

In the College of Education, “senior privilege” can be granted to high-achieving undergraduate students who are in their senior year and desiring to take up to two graduate courses in the term prior to Student Teaching (typically in the summer). Only in special circumstances will more than 6 graduate credit hours be allowed or for any other term besides the term preceding Student Teaching. It is recommended that students contact the program coordinator for course recommendations.

Following are the process and guidelines to be followed:

  1. The student completes a Senior Privilege (Graduate Credit for Seniors) request using the form available through the College of Graduate Studies. COGS guidelines for Senior Privilege must be followed. Senior Privilege requires that the student qualifies for regular admission to a graduate degree program, including acceptable GRE or MAT test scores and GPA.
  2. The student must obtain the signature of his/her Student Success Center advisor on the request form to verify senior status and GPA.
  3. The student must obtain an approval signature of the department chair for the graduate program the student desires to enter. Attached to the request form must be the verification of status in the undergraduate program (that all but Student Teaching has been completed) and GPA.
  4. The student must obtain an approval signature of the COE associate dean for graduate education. At this time, GRE/MAT scores, GPA and academic standing in the undergraduate program will be examined to assure the applicants meet “regular” admission status for the M.Ed. program.
  5. The COE associate dean for graduate programs will forward the request to the College of Graduate Studies for a final admissions decision.
Curriculum Approval

Graduate curriculum is approved through a process that typically begins at the program level. Recommendations from collaborations such as Program Action Teams, Educator Preparation Committee, and the Partner School Council are considered by the department, as program of study, new course, course revision, and course deletion proposals are made. The process occurs as follows:

  • Proposal is developed and approved at the program or departmental level.
  • Proposal is submitted to the Educator Preparation Committee (EPC) via the COE Associate Dean for Undergraduate Teacher Education and Accreditation. The proposal is reviewed by EPC members using the online EPC Forum. Upon completion of EPC review, COE’s associate dean signs/seeks necessary signatures for and submits the appropriate Approval Signature Forms to the originating college. The originating college will then submit their proposal to the originating college’s curriculum committee, if appropriate.
  • For COE proposals, following EPC Committee review and approval, the COE proposal is forwarded to the COE Curriculum Committee for review and approval. COE Curriculum Committee approval must be received if a proposal relates to a COE program.
  • Proposal is then submitted to the dean of the college for approval.
  • Following dean’s approval, the proposal is submitted to the University’s Graduate Committee or Undergraduate Committee for approval.
  • If not approved, the proposal is returned to the department for reconsideration.
  • If approved by the committee, the proposal is submitted to the University Senate, to the Provost, and, if applicable, to the President and to the Board of Regents.
Graduate Program Coordinator

Graduate Program Coordinators in the College of Education (COE) are appointed by the department chair. It is the responsibility of the Graduate Program Coordinator to implement all policies and procedures of the Graduate Committee and COGS as well as any policies, guidelines, and procedures of the COE and the department that pertain to the graduate program. (See full document: Responsibilities of Graduate Program Coordinators).

Graduate Assistantships

The College of Graduate Studies makes annual graduate assistant allotments to each college. In the College of Education, the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research facilitates the allotment of graduate assistants to the COE departments based on assessed needs. Faculty and departments typically are asked to submit requests each year (late spring when notice of the college allotment is received). Requests are reviewed by the associate dean and department chairs so that equitable assignments are made based on needs within the college. Graduate assistant applications are available online in Web Xtender. Department chairs and appropriate faculty within the college interview and select the candidates they wish to employ as graduate assistants. The associate dean’s office monitors the process and assists with processing necessary forms.

Additional graduate assistants are employed through grant funding. Grant principal investigators and/or directors are responsible for the selection of those they employ. Graduate assistants who are paid by grant funding must meet all the requirements of all other graduate assistants.

Graduate assistants and their supervisors must follow COGS policies and procedures related to assistantships. All graduate assistants are evaluated each semester using a COGS evaluation instrument, and evaluations are submitted to the COE associate dean for graduate programs.

COE Policy for hiring Graduate Assistants participating in online programs

• The College of Education is limited to 3-4 graduate assistants who are enrolled in 100% online programs (i.e., charged the e-tuition rate) during the course of one academic year.

• If there is a demand for more than 4 graduate assistants from 100% online programs, the hiring decision will be based on financial need, use of the graduate assistantship for recruitment of new students to programs, and the expertise of the student for specific projects.

• Online students who are hired as graduate assistants must be employed by the College of Education.

• Students enrolled in collaborative GoVIEW (formerly GOML) programs are not allowed to hold graduate assistantships per the University System of Georgia.

Approved 11/3/2015 by College of Education Dean, Thomas Koballa, Jr., Ph.D.

Last updated: 10/19/2018

Graduate Education and Research • PO Box 8103, Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5648