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Mission Statement

Georgia Southwestern State University is a comprehensive university serving a diverse population of students, offering a range of strong undergraduate and graduate programs in a vibrant learning environment. The University is a collegial community that values collaboration and community engagement with an emphasis on faculty, staff, and student interactions. An active student body and state-of-the-art amenities enhance the learning experience on a visually appealing campus located in historic Americus, Georgia.

Approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents November 15, 2017

Vision Statement

Georgia Southwestern State University aspires to be a comprehensive, progressive and inclusive university that serves as a vibrant center of learning, culture, and economic development for Southwest Georgia and beyond.


Core Values

  • Academic Excellence – We promote rigorous academic standards and intellectual pursuits.
  • Stewardship – We strive for fiscal accountability, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and ethical acumen.
  • Inclusiveness – We are committed to a campus that values diversity in a climate of mutual respect.
  • Engagement – We encourage active involvement between the campus, community, and the world.
  • Connections – We foster meaningful relationships on campus and beyond.

Strategic Plan

Theme 1 - Expanding High-Impact Teaching & Learning Experiences

1.1 Provide opportunities for experiential learning and community engagement across the curriculum.

  • 1.1.1 - Develop new academic programs that incorporate experiential learning outcomes and enable changes to existing programs that allow students to earn credit towards graduation from experiential learning activities.
  • 1.1.2 - Increase opportunities for students to engage in research, scholarship, creative works, internships, civic involvement, and other co-curricular learning experiences, and encourage and enable all students to participate.
  • 1.1.3 - Expose students to faculty expertise and scholarship through signature courses offered across majors and schools.

1.2 Support innovative curriculum that furthers academic excellence.
  • 1.2.1 - Stimulate academic innovation through the implementation of modular course sequences and competency-based education.
  • 1.2.2 - Leverage advanced communication and information technology to improve access to information, enhance the learning experiences, and foster innovation in teaching/learning both inside and outside the classroom.
  • 1.2.3 - Implement an entrepreneurial curriculum and co-curriculum for students that is supported by private and non-profit collaborators that facilitate career pathways in areas of market demand.

1.3 Incorporate retention and progression efforts as a seamless integration to the learning environment and campus culture.
  • 1.3.1 - Improve curricular and student support infrastructure to enhance student access, student success, and educational quality.
  • 1.3.2 - Create living/learning communities and enhance existing academic programs to complement efforts to boost student retention by enhancing student learning.
  • 1.3.3 - Increase student retention, persistence, and timely graduation to support student success.

Theme 2 - Transforming Campus Connections

2.1 Support a campus environment where the pursuit of excellence, respect and civility prevail in all interactions. (focus on the campus community – faculty, staff and students)

  • 2.1.1 - Embrace our diverse community of faculty, staff, and students through recognition of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political perspective, geographic origin and economic condition.
  • 2.1.2 - Create community gathering spaces where wide-ranging professional, academic, and social interests can be forged.
  • 2.1.3 - Celebrate our campus connections frequently through established and new University-wide traditions that embody the full scope of the Georgia Southwestern brand and identity.
  • 2.1.4 - Further our community spirit and campus pride through shared activities and events in the arts, athletics, and academic programs as both participants and spectators.
  • 2.1.5 - Support an intellectual climate of campus-wide engagement, scholarship pursuits, and the free exchange of ideas.

2.2 Support a world-class student experience that strengthens the campus community through the development of responsible, civically-engaged students with strong essential skills and leadership skills. (focus on students)
  • 2.2.1 - Create a year-round educational experience by extending courses and experiential learning activities throughout the week, summers, and between semesters, and secure the additional resources required to support these activities.
  • 2.2.2 - Maximize student engagement and student satisfaction through well-planned events backed by marketing and branding.
  • 2.2.3 - Establish a legacy of athletic competitiveness to support the complete development of the student athlete and fostering relationships with University constituents.
  • 2.2.4 - Provide experiences centered on student success, development, and engagement that develops leaders and prepares graduates to succeed in a diverse national and global society.

2.3 Support an environment that values professional experience, academic knowledge, personal health, and cultural proficiency of all of its employees. (focus on faculty and staff)
  • 2.3.1 - Encourage and enable staff to contribute to the education and scholarship missions of the University to advance their expertise and advance in their individual careers.
  • 2.3.2 - Promote the safety and well-being of the University community through programs that support and enhance health, fitness, and public safety.
  • 2.3.3 - Implement technology solutions to better connect all constituents of GSW, enhance communication among the campus population and streamline processes across all divisions.
  • 2.3.4 - Enhance the infrastructure for research, scholarship, and creative activity to allow for the acquisition of external funding to support the performance and visibility of scholarly pursuits.
  • 2.3.5 - Foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem for faculty that leverages expertise and encourages outside pursuits while managing commitments to the University.
  • 2.3.6 - Ensure equitable compensation practices among all faculty and staff.

Theme 3 - Cultivating Community Engagement & Global Awareness

3.1 Enhance international learning opportunities to enrich the campus experience and the development of global citizens.

  • 3.1.1 - Reinforce a global perspective for teaching and learning and prepare students for global viewpoints through integration with the curriculum and engagement activities.
  • 3.1.2 - Maximize the value of our global education network by focusing our strategic international engagements across areas of greatest strength.
  • 3.1.3 - Globalize our community by increasing the number of on-campus international studentsand domestic students who actively participate in global studies and experiential learning abroad.

3.2 Build an engaged community of alumni networks, friends, partners, and influencers who work to advance the university’s reputation.
  • 3.2.1 - Expand our influence and effectiveness through strong partnerships with cultural institutions, corporations, and government and nongovernmental agencies.
  • 3.2.2 - Affirm our alumni as full-fledged members of our community and lifelong learners through outreach, participation in student mentoring, and on-campus events and reunions.
  • 3.2.3 - Further opportunities for leaders in industry and non-profit agencies to serve to provide their expertise through service on advisory boards, mentoring, and leadership programs.

3.3 Expand recognition for the University’s role in community engagement and economic development.
  • 3.3.1 - Establish community engagement as a distinctive feature of the Georgia Southwestern experience by achieving the Carnegie Foundation’s designation as a Community Engaged Institution.
  • 3.3.2 - Participate in and improve the civic life of the communities we serve through the active involvement and leadership of our faculty, students, and staff.
  • 3.3.3 - Contribute to the region’s economic impact, reputation and competitiveness in the global marketplace for talent, capital, and ideas through University-based initiatives and engagement with faculty, staff, and students.
  • 3.3.4 - Increase faculty, staff, and students’ contributions towards economic vitality, educational outcomes, and quality of life at the local, state, and international levels.

  • 3.4 Strengthen and expand awareness of Georgia Southwestern on a regional, national and international scale.
    • 3.4.1 - Emerge as a destination of choice for faculty, staff, and students.
    • 3.4.2 - Improve the University’s website and electronic communication systems to effectively communicate with all university stakeholders and to promote academic programs, campus experience, facilities, and regional assets as an education destination.

Theme 4 - Promoting Enhanced Stewardship

4.1 Increase revenue to ensure long-term financial sustainability of the University.

  • 4.1.1 - Create and execute a comprehensive Strategic Enrollment Plan that takes into account the University’s mission and identity as a nurturing institution, while also diversifying the University’s enrollment base.
  • 4.1.2 - Diversify and conduct good stewardship of fiscal resources to ensure long-term economic viability of the University.
  • 4.1.3 - Make all reasonable attempts to control costs to ensure that a Georgia Southwestern education remains affordable for students from diverse groups.

4.2 Continue the physical transformation of the GSW campus and maintain the University’s classical, historical architecture, while ensuring updated, state-of-the-art facilities and amenities are provided.
  • 4.2.1 - Update the University Master Plan to take into account long-term growth and facilities needs.
  • 4.2.2 - Enhance the University’s aesthetics and visual appeal through continued beautification projects throughout campus to ensure a pleasing environment to current and prospective students.

4.3 Generate enduring private and philanthropic support for infrastructure and institutional aspirations.
  • 4.3.1 - Increase philanthropic giving for priority needs through defined case statements and implementation of specific, sustainable programs.
  • 4.3.2 - Implement a comprehensive campaign to support the long-term vision of the university as supported by the strategic plan.

University Learning Outcomes

GSW Graduates have demonstrated general competency in the following areas:

  • Written Communication
  • Quantitative Problem Solving
  • Critical Evaluation of Information
  • Understanding of Cultural Differences
  • Articulating Factual and Conceptual Knowledge of the Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Interpreting Symbolic Representations of Data Relevant to the Physical World
  • Evaluating the Relationship between Observation and Inference in the Natural Sciences
  • Articulating Factual and Conceptual Knowledge Concerning Societal Dynamics
    • Concerning historical and societal dynamics within the US
    • Concerning world-wide historical and societal dynamics
  • Evaluating Problems or Texts
  • Composing Organized, Coherent, and Accurate Responses to Problems or Texts

GSW Graduates have demonstrated advanced competency in at least one area of Specialized Learning (the Major)

GSW Graduates have demonstrated competency appropriate to their area of specialized learning in the following Intellectual Skills:

  • Oral and Written Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Information Literacy

GSW Graduates are able to apply their Specialized Learning and their Intellectual skills in real world situations

GSW Graduates have demonstrated general competency in the following areas of Global Learning:

  • Identifying, describing and explaining cultural differences
  • Asking questions about other cultures and finding answers to those questions
  • Interacting with people from other cultures


Approved April 2015