Current Students


Student Guide

Policies and Procedures

eCore courses are collaborative and therefore share a specific set of policies and procedures.

This section will provide information on the following:

Admission and Placement
Admissions

Students seeking to enroll in an eCore course must be admitted to an institution offering eCore courses. The student’s home institution maintains the student's transcript, monitors progress toward a degree, and processes financial aid. Before registering for eCore courses, students must meet the admissions requirements of one of the eCore affiliate institutions and complete the eCore Introduction Quiz.

Transient Students

Students who are enrolled at an institution which does not offer eCore courses and wish to take eCore courses as a transient student should apply for transient status with a USG eCore affiliate institution. Once the course is completed, the student may request a transcript to be sent to his or her home institution.

Core Curriculum Requirements

The courses offered online through eCore are a set of high-quality courses intended to supplement institutional core offerings in Areas A-E. Institutional course equivalencies and eCore course descriptions are both available on the eCore website.

Transfer Information

Course credits earned through eCore are awarded by the student’s affiliate home institution and are transferable within the USG, as well as to other regionally accredited institutions.

Georgia Legislative Requirements

Each USG institution requires students to demonstrate competency in the history and constitutional frameworks for both Georgia and the United States. Students can take either History 2111 or 2112 to satisfy the history requirement. Political Science 1101 satisfies the constitution requirement.

Honors Credit

A student may be able to convert an eCore course for Honors credit, but doing so requires additional steps to be completed in advance of the semester. First, the student must follow his or her home institution's policy for granting Honors credit. Second, the student must make arrangements as soon as possible with the course instructor to work out specific details, in fulfillment of the policy. Often the instructor will require that the student turn in additional work in order to receive the Honors designation.

The eCore Instructor is not required to oblige the student; however, if the instructor does agree, then he/she and the student should describe in writing the conditions for granting Honors credit. Both student and faculty should sign the document, either literally or by email agreement.

Student Privacy and FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal statute that protects the privacy of student academic records. Notification of student’s rights regarding FERPA and release of their student academic records is available in the affiliate institutions’ undergraduate catalogs. USG eCampus complies with FERPA for all aspects of students’ records/interactions and requires staff to complete training on support protocols such as student confidentiality, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations. In addition to this training, student workers are required to sign additional documentation prior to beginning work. A signed copy of the document is maintained in each worker’s personnel file. Each support team member who is employed to work with at-risk students must also complete additional training related to student privacy and FERPA regulations.

Brightspace by D2L is used as the USG eCampus course learning management system and is hosted on a secure server by the USG Information Technology Services. D2L allows for the secure transmission of course material and content between instructor and student. Students directly log in to D2L with a unique username and password, and all account credentials and access are protected in accordance with USG IT security guidelines and through the use of industry-standard SSL encryption protocol.

Academic Honesty Policy

(Acknowledgement is hereby given to Georgia State University and Harvard University, on whose policy this is based).

Violation of the Academic Honesty Policy can result in failure of the assignment, failure of the course, and/or further consequences from the student's home institution. Ignorance of this policy is not an excuse or a means to repeal a charge of academic dishonesty.

As members of the academic community, all students are expected to understand and uphold standards of intellectual and academic integrity. The University System of Georgia assumes as a basic and minimum standard of conduct in academic matters that students be honest and that they submit for credit only the objects of their own efforts and creation. Both the ideals of scholarship and the need for fairness require that all dishonest work be rejected as a basis for academic credit. They also require that students refrain from any and all forms of dishonorable or unethical conduct related to their academic work.

In an effort to foster an environment of academic integrity and to prevent academic dishonesty, students are expected to discuss with faculty the expectations regarding course assignments and standards of conduct. In addition, students are encouraged to discuss freely with faculty, academic advisers, and other members of the academic community any questions pertaining to the provisions of this policy.

Definitions and Examples

The examples listed here (and definitions given below) are intended to clarify the standards by which academic honesty and academically honorable conduct are to be judged.

  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating on Examinations
  • Unauthorized Collaboration
  • Falsification
  • Multiple Submissions
  • Placeholder Submissions
  • Contract Cheating
  • Unauthorized Use or Distribution of Copyrighted Material/Copyright Infringement

The list is merely illustrative of the kinds of infractions that may occur, and it is not intended to be exhaustive. Moreover, the definitions and examples suggest conditions under which unacceptable behavior of the indicated types normally occurs. However, there may be unusual cases that fall outside these conditions that also will be judged unacceptable by the academic community.

Plagiarism

(NOTE: Plagiarism detection systems are often used by faculty teaching eCore courses. For example, see the following site: http://turnitin.com/en_us/home)

Plagiarism is presenting another person's work as one's own. Plagiarism frequently involves a failure to acknowledge in the text, notes, or footnotes the quotation of the paragraphs, sentences, or even a few phrases written or spoken by someone else. Any written or otherwise recorded material, or even ideas, are considered the intellectual property of the original author, and failure to acknowledge the source and author of the work or idea is plagiarism.

The six primary types of plagiarism and definitions of each are:

  • Verbatim Plagiarism: Copying any source, word for word, without correctly paraphrasing, quoting, citing, and/or referencing the source, even if a few words are changed.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism: Using multiple sources, word for word, one after another in a work or paragraph with or without citation; or, using multiple substantial quotes from any other source.
  • Inadequate paraphrase: using someone else’s ideas in a sentence, paragraph, or entire essay without attribution; also, using text spinners or any other online paraphrasing tool will result in inadequate paraphrases, with or without citation.
  • Uncited paraphrase: using another's work or idea, summarizing the main point(s), but not providing a citation and/or reference to the material.
  • Uncited quotation: Quotes used from works, word for word, with quotations, but without citation and/or references.
  • Using material from another student's work: submitting all or even a portion of another student’s work, in any format; this includes using another student’s ideas and submitting it as your own.

To summarize, the submission of research or completed papers or projects by someone else is plagiarism, as is the unacknowledged use of research sources gathered by someone else. Failure to indicate the extent and nature of one's reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism.

Finally, there may be forms of plagiarism that are unique to an individual discipline or course (such as computer science or foreign languages), examples of which may be provided in advance by the instructor. The student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging academic, scholarly, or creative indebtedness, and the consequences of violating this responsibility. If a student is unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, they have the responsibility to reach out to their instructor for clarifications or to avail themselves of other resources and training before submitting assignments.

Cheating on Examinations

Cheating on examinations involves giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an examination. Examples of unauthorized help include the use of notes, texts, "crib sheets," websites (including Google), electronic documents or notes, apps, and computer programs during an examination (unless specifically approved by the instructor). Sharing information with another student during an examination in any way (unless collaboration specifically approved by the instructor) is expressly forbidden. Other examples include intentionally allowing another student to view one's own examination and forbidden collaboration (such as sharing test questions) before or after an examination.

Unauthorized Collaboration

Submission for academic credit of a work product, developed in substantial collaboration with other persons or sources but represented as one's own effort, is unauthorized. Seeking and providing such assistance is a violation of academic honesty. However collaborative work specifically authorized by an instructor is allowed.

Falsifications

It is a violation of academic honesty to misrepresent material or fabricate information in data collection, an academic exercise, references, assignment, or proceeding.

Some examples of falsification are:

  • false or misleading citation of sources
  • the falsification of the results of experiments or of computer data
  • false or misleading information in an academic context

Additionally, it is a violation of the Academic Honesty policy for authorized users to knowingly share passwords, PINs, or any other means of access to their eCampus courses with unauthorized persons or for the purpose of dishonorable or unethical conduct related to their academic work.

Multiple Submissions

It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once, including in subsequent sections of the same course, without the explicit consent of the instructor(s) to whom the material is submitted for additional credit. In cases in which there is a natural development of research or knowledge in a sequence of courses, use of prior work may be desirable, or required. However, the student is responsible for indicating, in writing, that the current work submitted for credit is cumulative in nature.

Placeholder Submissions

Placeholder submissions are blank or corrupted files that are submitted for assignments, are unopenable or unviewable on the grading end, and are submitted in order to gain the unfair advantage of extra time on an assignment. This is dishonest behavior and violates the Academic Honesty policy. If a student needs extra time on an assignment, they should reach out to their instructor.

Contract Cheating

There are two primary types of contract cheating. The first type is when a student makes an agreement with another person to take all or even a portion of their course for them. As a reminder, it is a violation of the academic honesty policy to share login information with any party, for any reason. It is also a violation of the academic honesty policy for someone else to complete any portion of a student’s course for them.

The second type of contract cheating occurs when a student purchases an essay or any other academic work from a third party, such as ghostwriters or essay websites, and submits that work for academic credit. Students should be aware that predatory websites exist and operate under the guise of helping students write essays, when they are actually selling essays as a product. Utilizing any of these services will violate academic honesty policies.

If a student needs help with academic writing, eCampus offers embedded librarian and tutoring support.

Unauthorized Use or Distribution of Copyrighted Material and Copyright Infringement

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material occurs when a student utilizes, reproduces, or distributes copyrighted material without written permission by the copyright owner. Unauthorized use or distribution of ANY eCore course material is expressly prohibited. This includes sharing any information about eCore courses with websites or any other third party.

Copyright infringement occurs when a student uses substantial portions of copyrighted sources in their course work. Copyright laws are complicated but learning to quote minimally, paraphrase, cite, and reference correctly will completely avoid this issue.

Evidence and Burden of Proof

In determining whether or not an academic honesty violation has occurred, guilt must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that if the evidence that a violation occurred produces a stronger impression and is more convincing compared to opposing evidence, then an academic honesty violation has been proven. In other words, the evidence does not have to be enough to free the mind from a reasonable doubt but must be sufficient to incline a reasonable and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than to the other. Evidence as used in this statement can be any observation, admission, statement, or document that would either directly or circumstantially indicate that an academic honesty violation has occurred. Electronic means may be used to monitor student work for the inappropriate use of the work of others.

(NOTE: Plagiarism detection systems are often used by faculty teaching eCore courses.)

Student Academic Honesty Violation Procedures

A student who is contacted by an instructor regarding an academic honesty violation should provide all information requested so that a thorough investigation can take place. Grades and/or academic records may be affected if academic dishonesty is confirmed. Academic Honesty Violation cases must be reported to the student's home institution. A student has a right to an appeals process if he or she feels any grade or decision is unfair; consult with the affiliate eCore liaisons as necessary. Also, after the initial discovery of an academic honesty violation by the instructor, the student will be afforded the following:

  • 1. Student is contacted by instructor regarding concern of an academic honesty violation.
    • Student is provided with possible consequences of the offense.
    • Student is provided with the opportunity to discuss or explain the circumstances in writing.
  • 2. Student responds to the concern(s) from step one within seven (7) calendar days. Response is sent to the instructor via the mail tool inside the course.
  • 3. Student receives decision from the instructor.
  • 4. Student accepts or appeals the instructor's decision within seven (7) calendar days.
  • 5. If the student decides to appeal the instructor's decision, the student should complete the Student Academic Honesty Violation Appeal Form, and then take the following steps:
    • a. Appeal in writing to the Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus.
    • b. If the appeal is not resolved at the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean's level, the student must inform the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean, in writing, within seven (7) calendar days that he/she is not satisfied and must then appeal in writing to an ad hoc committee consisting of a cohort of faculty who teach eCore courses. The Dean of USG eCampus will appoint the committee, which will then consider the written appeal concerning the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean's decision via conference call or through an electronic medium. After careful deliberation and consideration, the committee will recommend to the USG eCampus Dean what should be done in the case.
    • The Dean of USG eCampus will render the final decision taking all relevant factors into consideration.

Per BOR Policy 4.7.1, final judgment on all appeals rests with the student’s home institution. If the student wishes to continue his/her appeal beyond the decision of the USG eCampus Dean, the student must appeal directly to the university PROVOST at his/her home institution, following local procedure, within seven (7) calendar days of being notified of the USG eCampus Dean’s decision.

The Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus will be involved in the escalation of academic honesty issues and provide guidance, signatures, etc., during any appeals process as needed.

Grade Appeals

The formal grade appeal process for eCore courses is used to appeal the final grade in a course. Grade appeals related to individual assignments should be made to the course instructor.

If a student wishes to appeal a grade, that appeal must be made within thirty days after the grade is posted. The student can contact his/her eCore Liaison or the USG eCampus staff for assistance with the process.

The grade appeal process is as follows:

  • Student must appeal to the instructor teaching the eCore course in writing, explaining why he/she thinks that the grade he/she received is not in accord with what the student has achieved in the class.
  • If the appeal is not resolved at the instructor level, the student must inform the professor, in writing, that he/she is not satisfied and will be continuing the appeal process within thirty calendar days after the final exam period has ended for the course. From the date of informing the professor, the student must then appeal, in writing, to the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean within seven calendar days.
  • If the appeal is not resolved at the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean's level, the student must inform the USG eCampus Associate/Assistant Dean, in writing, within one business week that he/she is not satisfied and must then appeal in writing to an ad hoc committee, consisting of a cohort of faculty who teach eCore courses. The Dean of USG eCampus will appoint the committee which will then consider the written appeal concerning the USG eCampus Associate Dean's decision via conference call or through an electronic medium. After careful deliberation and consideration, the committee will recommend to the USG eCampus Dean what should be done in the case.
  • The Dean of USG eCampus will render the final decision, taking all relevant factors into consideration.

Per BOR Policy 4.7.1, final judgment on all appeals rests with the student’s home institution. If the student wishes to continue his/her appeal beyond the decision of the USG eCampus Dean, the student must appeal directly to the university PROVOST at his/her home institution, following local procedure, within seven calendar days of being notified of the USG eCampus Dean’s decision.

Incomplete Grade Policy

The notation of "I" (incomplete) may be given to a student who, for nonacademic reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to meet the full requirements of a course. In order to qualify for an "I", a student must:

  • Have completed most of the major assignments of the course (generally all but one);
  • Be earning a passing grade in the course (aside from the assignments not completed) in the judgment of the instructor.

When a student has a nonacademic reason for not completing one or more of the assignments for a course, including examinations, and wishes to receive an incomplete for the course, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor in person or in writing of the reason. A grade of incomplete is awarded at the discretion of the instructor and is not the prerogative of the student. Conditions to be met for removing a grade of incomplete are established by the instructor.

A student receiving a grade of "I" is expected to consult with the instructor on remaining work and assessments. The student is then expected to complete all necessary work and assessments before the end of the next academic term.

Removal of an Incomplete

A student receiving a grade of "I" is expected to consult with the instructor on remaining work and assessments. The student is then expected to complete all necessary work and assessments before the end of the next academic term.

Once the student satisfies the incomplete requirements before the end of the following academic term, the instructor will submit a Grade Change Form, changing the "I" to the grade earned by the student. The grade change will be processed and sent to the Registrar's Office at the student's Affiliate institution, and the student's Banner record will be updated accordingly.

The university system requires that the grade of "I" be removed no later than the end of the third academic term after the incomplete was assigned (whether or not the student was enrolled during these three terms). The Office of the Registrar will assign a grade of "F" (or "U", if an "S/U" grading) at the end of the third academic term unless the Office of the Registrar receives an approved grade change request from the instructor. Using the grade change form, instructors may or may not change this "F/U" to an authorized academic grade (i.e., A, B, C, D, S or WF) but may not change it back to an "I". Instructors may not change an "I" to a "W" unless a Hardship Withdrawal is awarded. Students need not be enrolled to complete assignments for a course in which a grade of "I" has been assigned. Auditing or retaking the same course will not remove a grade of "I". No student may graduate with an incomplete grade.

Auditing Courses

Students who wish to audit a course may be able to do so, depending on institutional policies. Students should consult with their institutional Registrar's Office regarding this option.

Registration without Tuition

Anyone desiring to register for courses under the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or the Georgia Residents Aged 62 or Over program may do so if space is available. These students must pay course-specific fees if any are required and will be allowed to register during the specified registration date at the student’s affiliate institution. Please consult with your institution for specific institutional policies.

Course Evaluation

Near the end of the semester, each student may complete a confidential standardized evaluation form for each eCore course being taken. The feedback provided will be helpful to the instructor and the University System in providing quality online instruction and course design. Evaluation data will be securely gathered online and distributed to students via their home institution campus email accounts. The faculty member will not receive the evaluation information until after the end of the semester.

To help ensure that services are improved, evaluation data will also be shared with other involved groups. Specific evaluation results regarding course development will be provided to the eCore Regents Academic Advisory Committee. Results regarding student services and portal access will be provided to USG eCampus.

Student Complaint or Grievance Policy

Student complaints are handled through one of two procedures, depending on the nature of the complaint. If the matter is academic in nature, the student should follow the stated academic complaint procedures. If the matter is non-academic or grade related, the student should follow the stated non-academic complaint procedures.

eCore Administrative Services will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals who file a complaint to the eCore Administration, or who cooperate in the investigation of such reports. To the extent possible, the confidentiality of the reports will be maintained.

Academic Complaint Procedures

An academic student complaint is any non-civil rights related complaint generated by an individual student concerning the work-related activities of any faculty member (such as grade disputes).

Students who wish to lodge a complaint about a final grade should follow the Grade Appeal Policy. Students may not use this procedure to appeal grades resulting from violations of academic honesty. Students should refer to the Academic Honesty Appeal Procedures.

Students wishing to lodge an academic complaint should follow the procedures outlined below:

  • Students must initiate a telephone conference with the instructor with whom they have a complaint no later than two weeks after the relevant incident/dispute. One representative from USG eCampus staff may be requested by each party to participate in this conference. At this conference, the student must identify the concern(s) and propose a resolution. For assistance in setting up the telephone conference, please contact USG eCampus at 678-839-5300.
  • If the conflict is not resolved in the conference between the student and instructor, the student, if he/she chooses to pursue the matter further, must put the complaint in writing within five business days by completing the Student Complaint Form in the SEADS Student Portal. Upon submission of the form, USG eCampus staff are notified.
  • The Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus will convene a meeting with the student and instructor via a telephone conference. The Associate/Assistant Dean will conduct any necessary investigation prior to the meeting. The Associate/Assistant Dean will render a decision taking all relevant factors into consideration.
  • If the student or instructor is unsatisfied with the results of the meeting with the Associate Dean of USG eCampus, either party may request a review of the complaint by the Dean of USG eCampus. At that time, the formal written complaint and the instructor's written statement of facts as he/she understands them will be submitted to the Dean of USG eCampus. Within one week of the time the Dean has received copies of the applicable documentation, the Dean shall appoint an ad hoc committee who will consider the written appeal concerning the USG eCampus Associate Dean's decision via conference call or through an electronic medium. After careful deliberation and consideration, the committee will recommend to the Dean of USG eCampus what should be done in the case.
  • The Dean of USG eCampus will render the final decision, taking all relevant factors into consideration.
Non Academic Complaint Procedures

A non-academic student complaint may be a complaint related to civil rights, services, violation of FERPA Regulations, or other complaints not academic in nature. If a student has a complaint, he or she should initially attempt to resolve that issue with the other person(s) involved no later than two weeks after the relevant incident/dispute. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of that attempt, then he or she should submit a formal complaint, within ten (10) business days after the attempt to resolve the issue, by following the steps outlined below:

  • To file a formal complaint, the student must complete the Non Academic Student Complaint Form after logging into SEADS. Upon submission of the form, USG eCampus staff are notified.
  • The Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus will convene a meeting with the student via telephone conference. The Associate/Assistant Dean will conduct any necessary investigation prior to the meeting. The Associate/Assistant Dean will make a recommendation, taking all relevant factors into consideration.
  • If the student is unsatisfied with the response from the meeting with the Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus, he/she may request a review of the complaint by the Dean of USG eCampus. At that time, the formal written complaint and the statement of facts as he/she understands them will be submitted to the Dean of USG eCampus. Within one week of the time the Dean has received copies of the applicable documentation, at the Dean's sole discretion, grievance appeals may be held in one of the following two ways:
    • The Dean will review the information provided by the student and administration. The Dean may convene a formal meeting with the student via telephone conference. Parties of interest may include the student, Associate/Assistant Dean of USG eCampus, and other official campus representatives deemed necessary. The Dean will render the final decision, taking all relevant factors into consideration.
    • The Dean will appoint an ad-hoc committee who will consider the written appeal. A telephone conference may be scheduled with the parties in question. After careful deliberation and consideration, the committee will recommend to the USG eCampus Dean what should be done in the case. The Dean of USG eCampus will render the final decision, taking all relevant factors into consideration.
Student Conduct

Students are expected to refrain from profanity, crudeness, and slurs of any kind. Students are expected to behave and treat fellow students and the instructor fairly, just as in the traditional classroom.

Students are expected to read and respond politely and thoughtfully to others in the online course and should always refrain from crude or unbecoming comments. Proper conduct applies to all forms of communication in the course.

Students who do not adhere to the code of conduct will be reported to their home institution.

We use cookies on this site to offer a better browsing experience, perform analytics, personalized advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent, visit our Cookie Policy.

Back to Top