Founded over a century ago, Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is working to enrich the lives of people by providing a comprehensive university education in a caring and understanding environment. Today, GSW continues to attract talented students and world-class faculty.
Georgia Southwestern is ranked as one of the best value colleges in the country. The university has approximately 3,000 residential, non-residential and online students from all academic areas. GSW is located in the peaceful and picturesque South Georgia town of Americus, Georgia. Situated just 130 miles south of Atlanta, Americus offers a perfect combination of a rural community-centered campus with all of the conveniences and to all the benefits a large metropolitan city has to offer.
Taking Tomorrow by Storm
For the first time in its history, GSW launched a comprehensive branding campaign. On October 4, 2018, the University unveiled the new brand – “Take Tomorrow by Storm” – complete with a fresh new logo. Capturing the power of the GSW brand story was no small task. The journey included research capturing the insights of nearly 1,300 members of the GSW community including students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. We heard what makes us powerful, inspiring and uniquely attractive to people in our backyard and across the globe.
Through the branding process, we uncovered several common threads. These key story elements detail what makes GSW unique and how each member of the GSW community is ready to Take Tomorrow By Storm!
Mission and Vision
Georgia Southwestern State University is a comprehensive university serving a diverse group of students. 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. The university offers a range of strong undergraduate and graduate programs in a vibrant learning environment. Georgia Southwestern aspires to be a comprehensive, progressive and inclusive university that serves as a center of learning, culture, and economic development for Southwest Georgia and beyond.
At the foundation of Georgia Southwestern State University are the school’s core values of Academic Excellence, Stewardship, Inclusiveness, Engagement and Connections. Academic Excellence is achieved by promoting rigorous academic standards and intellectual pursuits. GSW takes stewardship seriously, and strives for fiscal accountability, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and ethical acumen. GSW is committed to a campus that values diversity in a climate of mutual respect for inclusiveness. The university encourages active involvement between the campus, community, and the world to engage the stakeholders. Lastly, GSW encourages the development of connections by fostering meaningful relationships on campus and beyond.
A Best Value Business Program
The GSW School of Business Administration (SOBA) offers four bachelor’s degrees on the Americus campus— Accounting, Human Resources, Management, and Marketing. All four undergraduate business degrees are also available entirely online. Graduate level offerings include an Online Master of Business Administration degree that was named the “Best Value Accredited Online” MBA program for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.
The GSW president is Neal Weaver, Ph.D., who began his tenure in July of 2017 after serving as vice president for University Advancement and Innovation at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Liz Wilson, Ph.D., is the dean of the GSW School of Business Administration and has served in this role for seven years. During this time, she has seen the business school grow tremendously, especially in the online sector.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
The GSW School of Business Administration (SOBA) offers nine different scholarships specifically for business students at the institution. Established by alumni, faculty, and friends of the University, these scholarships range in annual amounts from $500 – $1,000 and the criteria for qualification vary. Last year over $25,000 was given in scholarships to SOBA students. The SOBA offers a convenient online scholarship application that allows students to apply for all scholarships at once.
Additionally, applicants to GSW can apply for all applicable U.S. Federal Financial Aid, including student loans and grants, via the free application for Federal Student Aid.
Changing Trends in Business Education
Georgia Southwestern is continually searching for ways to improve the offerings and curricula to ensure they are current and relevant to the rapidly changing world of business. Students today want to ensure that the knowledge, skills, and abilities they gain in school are readily transferable and sustainable when they enter the workforce.
GSW stays in touch with business stakeholders to make sure students graduate with the right skill set that today’s businesses are seeking. One change the university has found recently is that while businesses expect technical proficiency, they are increasingly interested in ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, conflict resolution skills, and communication skills. Business education today is focused on producing more well-rounded practitioners than simply graduates who are able to generate data and analyze technical information.
Among the many distinguished GSW alumni are former President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and the late Griffin Bell, former U.S. Attorney General.
GSW Business alumni have gone on to accomplish many things – from running worldwide businesses to starting international non-profit organizations. Among the most notable of business alumni is Jaha Dukureh, an alumna of the online Bachelor of Business Administration degree, who was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for her work towards ending female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in her home country of The Gambia in West Africa. Dukureh was herself a victim of FGM at just one week old. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015. Dukureh earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and management online at GSW in 2013. That same year, she founded the non-profit organization Safe Hands for Girls, which provides support for survivors of FGM and advocates for an end to FGM practices. She was then part of the movement that successfully banned FGM in The Gambia in 2015. Jaha was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Career Opportunities and Exposures
Students both online and on campus in the GSW School of Business Administration are offered the opportunity to participate in many experiences that expose them to real-world scenarios and equip them with the skills needed to be successful in the workforce. Perhaps one of the most impactful experiences for students is the completion of an internship. This experience, offered each semester, is invaluable and has proven to be a stepping stone into a promising career for students in the past.
Additionally, business courses at GSW are often visited by industry-leading guest speakers from near and far, giving students a window into what it really takes to be successful in business after graduation. Many of the guest speakers’ talks are also live streamed for online students. The GSW School of Business Administration also holds several community focused events on campus that students are encouraged to participate in such as the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon and Business Ethics Panel. Additional opportunities for community and industry involvement include an active Accounting Club, Marketing Club, Society for Human Resource Management chapter, Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and ENACTUS community service club.
Popular Events on Campus
There are several events organized on campus throughout the year. Some of the most popular among them are: –
Move In Day – a GSW tradition where current students, staff, faculty, and administrators help new freshmen and their families move into dorm rooms.
Southwest Fest – An outdoor music festival featuring live bands and free food sponsored by GSW Enactus.
Student Appreciation Day – A celebration with free food and fun for students before finals week.
‘Glow Canes” Golf Cart Parade & Glow Party – GSW student organizations turn golf carts into spirited parade floats.
Dive in Movies – Dive-in-Movie events are popular among the newest batches of students on campus.
Georgia Southwestern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The School of Business Administration holds industry-specific accreditation by the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
The GSW School of Business Administration has also been named to several notable rankings for its online degrees, such as:
- #1 Most Affordable Human Resources Bachelor’s Degree 2019 (SR Education Group)
- #2 Most Affordable Accounting Bachelor’s Degree 2019 (SR Education Group)
- #3 Most Affordable Management Bachelor’s Degree 2019 (SR Education Group)
- #4 Most Affordable Marketing Bachelor’s Degree 2019 (SR Education Group)
“Words of Trust”
“Over the course of the past four years, Georgia Southwestern has become my second family. My main reason for choosing GSW as an eighteen-year-old was affordability. In addition to it being so cost efficient, it was only 40 minutes away from my hometown of Cordele, Ga. After completing my first year, I knew that this was a great place for me because of the friends I had made and the relationships that I had forged with my professors. Recently, my mother faced critical medical conditions which ultimately led to her passing away on October 30th. This is something that no student should have to face alone and the School of Business professors ensured that I wouldn’t; I could literally feel them wrapping their arms around me with love, understanding, and encouragement. I can confidently say that I would not have received this immense amount of support at any other institution. Great friends, amazing staff, and affordable tuition exemplify attributes only found at Georgia Southwestern and I am honored to be a part of the storm.”
– Meionne Harvey
Senior, Human Resource Management Major
“Enrolling in GSW’s School of Business Administration has been the best decision I’ve ever made in regards to my education. The instructors really make the difference here. Not only are they extremely knowledgeable and experienced, but there is an element of personal touch, a genuine concern for each student’s success, that makes this program stand out from the rest. Taking classes exclusively online and living hours from campus can be challenging, but my instructors have consistently made themselves highly accessible and are very technologically skilled, making my learning and overall college experience seamless and, without a doubt, the best I could have ever imagined.”
– Baylie M. Lane,
Senior, Human Resource Management Major