Policies and Procedures
All policies and procedures related to undergraduate students can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar. We recommend that all faculty and staff familiarize themselves with this portion of the calendar prior to the start of the semester.
Common policies and procedures that faculty rely on regularly throughout the semester are highlighted below. If you have any questions or concerns when implementing these policies please feel free to contact the Program Counsellors or the ADA
Below is a list of common academic policies and procedures that instructors should familiarize themselves with:
- Academic Consideration
- Academic Misconduct
- Auditing Courses
- Accommodations for Disabilities
- Deferred Privileges
- Religious Obligations
- Supplemental Privileges
Missed semester work
During the course of a semester many students will experience circumstances beyond their control that impact their ability to complete all the required course work. If a student misses course work during the semester, that is a graded component of the course ( eg. lab, assignment, midterm, discussion etc), the student can apply directly to the instructor for academic consideration.
Academic consideration is to be based on medical, psychological or compassionate grounds. Students should be able to provide the instructor with some sort of documentation to support the request, if requested by the instructor. The undergraduate calendar has the following message in regard to requesting documentation:
“Faculty members should exercise discretion when requiring documentation, particularly when the assessment in question constitutes a small proportion of the course grade, or when alternative means for carrying out the assessment are available."
The Board of Undergraduate Studies recommends that faculty make every effort to accommodate students representing the University in extracurricular activities when there is a conflict between those activities and the requirements of the course.
If the student does not submit all of the required work by the course grade submission deadline, the instructor shall refer the situation to the Academic Review Sub-Committee via their Program Counsellor. The instructor cannot grant extensions beyond the final date for submission of grades for the course.” (Undergraduate Calendar Section VIII)
The form the consideration takes is the decision of the instructor and it is encouraged that the instructor be consistent in their decisions. Information related to consideration for missed semester work, including the form the consideration will take, should be stated in the course outline for all students to access.
The institution does not consider work obligations, vacations, multiple midterms on the same day or within a 24hr period as grounds for academic consideration. An instructor is under no obligation to accommodate under these circumstances.
In certain situations the student may approach their program counsellor and submit documentation to them directly for missed work, especially if the circumstances affect more than one course. In these instances the program counsellor may issue a signed Request for Consideration form from the advising office indicating the dates in which the circumstances prevented the student from completing the course work. This should be considered formal documentation.
Missed final exam or final assignment
If a student misses a final exam or assignment the instructor must complete an Incomplete Coursework Form (ICF) for each student. A copy of the form must be submitted with the final grades to the Chair of the department. Copies of these forms are then sent to the Registrar’s Office along with the final grades for the course.
The ICF form is available on the Registrar's Office website.
A student applies for a deferred privilege for a missed final exam or final assignment through their Program Counsellor. The student is not required to notify the instructor prior to the exam, nor are they required to submit documentation to the instructor. If the student has submitted a request for a deferred privilege to the instructor, the request should be forwarded to the Program Counsellor for consideration by the Academic Review Committee.
Instructors are not obligated to make arrangements for a student to write at an alternate time during the final exam period.
The institution does not have a rule regarding three exams in 24 hrs and does not consider these grounds for consideration. Students are given their exam schedules prior to the start of the semester and therefore have time to change their courses if they are concerned about the scheduling of the exams.
Academic integrity is a core value and an identified learning objective at the University of Guelph. As an instructor of a course it is your responsibility to report any allegations of academic misconduct to your Chair. The University and the College of Biological Science does not take academic misconduct lightly and will penalize individuals who commit offenses related to misappropriation of other’s work, misrepresentation and fraud, improper access and obstruction or aiding and abetting.
Specific details of what constitutes offences within these four areas can be found at under Academic Misconduct in the Undergraduate Calendar:
As part of the formal report the individual will collect all necessary documents, evidence and supporting materials pertaining to the course work in question. The instructor will then submit all documents to the Chair of the department that offers the course. The instructor does have the right to request a meeting with the student to discuss the work in question but is not obligated to do so. The instructor should also notify the student if they do suspect an offence has occurred.
When reporting a case of suspected academic misconduct, the instructor must complete the Academic Misconduct reporting form and submit the form along with all related documents to the Chair within 10 working days of the due date of the course work.
The instructor can let the student know if there has been an allegation of academic misconduct submitted and provide the student the links ot the calendar for more information regarding the process and penalties.
It should also be noted that the report forwarded to the Chair is an allegation of academic misconduct and that the final decision rests with the Associate Dean Academic. Students should be reminded that they will have an opportunity to address the allegation and present their case to the Associate Dean Academic, prior to any decision being made.
Further details surrounding the procedures to detect and document the issues, investigate the allegations and judgement can be found under the Protocol within the Academic Misconduct section of the Calendar.
The penalty for the types of academic misconduct varies and is evaluated based on type of offence and whether a first or subsequent offence. The specific details can be found in the guidelines for assigning penalties.
Appealing the decision
All students have the right to appeal the finding or penalty assigned to the Senate Committee on Student Petitions. The student has 10 days upon receipt of the decision to submit the request.
Information regarding the Senate Committee on Student Petitions and how to submit an appeal can be found on the Student Judicial website.
Students are allowed to audit courses instead of taking the course for credit. To add a course as an audit, a student must obtain the approval signatures of the instructor and the Chair of the department offering the course as well as the Program Counsellor on an Undergraduate Course Request Form. The form is then submitted to the Registrar’s Office for processing and to be added to the student's schedule.
When the student approaches the instructor seeking approval to audit the course, the instructor should discuss what the expectations are of the student and what level of participation the student will have in the course. Ex. Will the student participate in the labs? Will the student write the midterm? Will it be marked?
Students cannot change from an audit status in a course to a for credit standing in the course beyond the last day to add courses. Students can however change from a credit course to an audited course beyond the last day to add courses. Audit courses do not appear on the student’s transcript, nor is there a mark calculated for the student.
There is a fee associated with auditing a course, unless the student is already enrolled in a full course load. Fee information can be found on the Student Financial Services website.
Full details related to the policy and guidelines for accommodations for students with disabilities can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar
Students with recognized and diagnosed disabilities need to contact and register with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) prior to the 40th class day. Details on how to register and documentation requirements can be found on the SAS website
Types of accommodations most typically considered can be viewed under point number 5 in the disabilities guidelines and procedures in the Undergraduate Calendar
A number of accommodations only require the approval of the SAS including:
- note taking
- arranging appropriate seating in the classroom
- writing of the final exam with the SAS, including extra time, use of computers, access to a reader or scribe.
Instructors will be provided with a list indicating those students approved to write the final exam with SAS. The instructor is responsible for sending the correct number of copies of the midterm or final exam to SAS. The instructor does not need to provide a different exam, or exam format,from that distributed to all other students in the class. An instructor can request that the student write at a time overlapping with the scheduled exam time.
If a student does not meet the deadlines to apply for accommodations, the instructor is not obligated to provide the accommodations.
For accommodations outside of those mentioned above, the student is encouraged to approach the instructor directly to request accommodations. Each student registered with the SAS has an advisor who is able to discuss and confirm the necessary information needed for the instructor to make an informed decision regarding the requested accommodation. The purpose of accommodations is to “level the playing field” and it is not the intent of the accommodation to compromise the integrity of the course. If an instructor and student cannot come to a consensus on what accommodation is appropriate, the instructor is encouraged to contact the student’s SAS advisor.
A deferred privilege in a course is granted by the Academic Review Committee during the semester end meetings conducted by the program counsellors of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Deferred privileges are considered for final exams or final course work. Students are required to submit a request for a deferred privilege to their program counsellor.
Instructors do not grant deferred privileges however they do recommend what course of action is appropriate for the missed components of the course through the Incomplete Coursework Form (ICF).
If a deferred exam is granted, it will be scheduled and supervised by the examination coordinator during the deferred exam period. The deferred exam period is highlighted in the undergraduate calendar in the schedule of dates and occurs in the semester immediately following the semester the course was completed. The instructor will be notified by the Registrar’s Office as to how many exams must be provided to the examination coordinator. It is suggested that the instructor provide a different exam than that given during the exam period. However the deferred exam should be of similar format, unless the student is notified of the change, and should be of similar level of difficulty.
The specific timing of the deferred exam will be posted on web advisor, under exam information.
Once completed, all deferred exams will be returned to the instructor for grading. The instructor has 7 days to mark and submit the final grades.
If the instructor wishes to allow a student to complete the exam prior to the scheduled deferred exam period, the instructor should check the box that they will supervise the exam on the ICF form. The instructor however will be responsible for arranging a time, with the student, to write the exam and will be responsible for invigilating the exam.
A deferred condition can take many forms including a take home exam, assignment, essay, oral exam, written exam or lab exam. The condition does not have to, but can, take the same form as the originally missed course component. When a deferred condition is granted the student is notified that they will need to follow up with the instructor to determine what form the consideration will take. The instructor and student should complete the Terms of Supplemental/ Deferred Condition form
The form is in essence a contract between the student and instructor which indicates the specific requirements for the condition. The instructor and student should each retain a copy of the form.
The instructor has 7 days following the submission of the condition to submit the final mark for the student.
Click the following link to find more details related to deferred privileges
The institution does have policies related to when midterm and final exams and final assignments can be scheduled. Full details of the policies can be found under exams in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Midterm/term test exams cannot be scheduled within the last 5 days of the semester. Exceptions are laboratory or studio exams, however, approval by the Dean or designate is required. The information regarding the date of these exceptions must be clearly posted in the course outline distributed at the start of the semester.
Instructors can schedule midterms outside of the regularly scheduled class time. However, instructors are encouraged to schedule all midterms during regular class time. If an instructor wishes to schedule the exam outside of class time, scheduling must be contacted as soon as possible to confirm availability and book the appropriate rooms to accommodate student numbers. It should also be noted that if a student has another regularly scheduled class during the scheduled midterm time, the regularly scheduled course takes priority and the student must be accommodated with an alternate time to write the midterm.
Instructors can schedule a midterm on a Saturday.
Instructors are responsible for taking attendance at all midterm exams.
Instructors are encouraged to have a policy regarding the form academic consideration will take if a student misses the midterm exam, or any other graded components of the course, clearly stated in their course outline. Students who miss a midterm, or other graded components of the course, must apply for consideration directly to the instructor. Please see the section on academic consideration for information regarding documentation required for academic consideration.
Final Exams/Final Assignments
Find full details of final exam and final assignment policies are in the exams section of the policies and procedures.
In the exams section of the Undergraduate Calendar you will find information regarding when a final assignments or final papers can be due and when materials related to the completion of the final assignment/paper must be available to the student.
There are also guidelines related to take home exams and when they should be submitted and how long the student must have to complete the exam. The instructor must clearly indicate on the course outline the form of final assessment and the due date of the final assignment and report the due date of the take home exam to the Registrar’s Office.
The format of the exam (ie sit down exam during the examination period, or take home exam), must be clearly indicated on the course outline at the start of the semester.
Final sit down exams are to be written during the final examination period as set by the Registrar’s office. The examination period is listed in the schedule of dates in the Undergraduate calendar. All formal sit down exams are to be 2 hours in duration.
Final exams can be scheduled on a Saturday of the final exam period.
The instructor's responsibilities for invigilating the exam are clearly outlined in this section as well. Specifically there is information related to the number of exams, when you must arrive, taking attendance, and number of invigilators.
The University of Guelph has made a commitment to its students that instructors will provide meaningful feedback, at least 20%, to their students prior to the 40th class day. The 40th class day is posted in the schedule of dates.
Meaningful feedback is described in the grading procedures
The university has clearly defined standards for grade assignment. These standards can be found under Resolution 1 of the grading procedures
Changing grading schemes – An instructor is not to change the grading scheme as stated in the course outline, once the course has started, unless the change has been approved through proper procedures. Under Resolution 5 of the grading procedures section the guidelines and process is stated.
Submitting grades – Prior to the start of the exam period, the Registrar’s Office will send out a “Grades Due Report”. This report will indicate the date by which the final marks for the course must be submitted.
The instructor must submit a grade for each student who appears on the class list. If a student did not complete the final exam or final assignment, the instructor must submit an incomplete (INC) grade indicating the course requirements are not complete. An Incomplete Coursework Form (ICF) must be submitted for each INC grade assigned.
The attached document includes ICF instructions.
Releasing grades – The University states that grades are considered official once they are released on WebAdvisor by the Registrar’s Office. It is the responsibility of the Registrar’s Office to release final grades to the student, not the instructor. Therefore the instructor should not feel obligated to release grades to students prior to the official grade release date.
Students can request a grade reassessment following the release of final grades based on one of the following criteria:
- Calculation error or omissions
- Methods and criteria used for establishing final grades
- Misapplication of an academic regulation or procedure
If a student feels that a final grade has been impacted by any of the above, a written request with evidence to support the request, to the instructor by the 10th class day of the subsequent semester. If the student does not hear from the instructor within 5 days of submitting the request they are encouraged to forward the request to the Chair of the department that offers the course. An e-mail request from the UofG e-mail account can be accepted as a ‘written’ request.
The following section of the Undergraduate Calendar outlines the process for requesting the grade reassessment. .
Reviewing the final exam
If a student wants to view a final exam, paper or assignment, the student must submit a request in writing to the Chair of the department offering the course, within 5 days of the subsequent semester.
The instructor must provide access to all written material related to the final exam, paper or assignment to the student along with the marking scheme, the student’s exam including all notes from the marker and, in the case of an oral exam, the examiner's notes taken during the exam. The student cannot retain the final exam or a copy of the marking scheme.
Instructors are required to retain all marked course materials for at least a semester following the course offering.
The full policy is available can be view here.
The University of Guelph does recognize that conflicts may arise during the semester between academic requirements and religious obligations.
The University recognizes the diverse nature of our graduate and undergraduate populations and therefore has developed a policy supporting academic accommodations for direct conflicts with various religious and academic obligations. In order to receive accommodation, it is the student’s responsibility to submit a request for accommodations within the first two weeks of class to the course instructor or through the program counsellor.
A complete listing of major holy days can be found on the Human Rights and Equity website
If the student has followed the proper procedure to request accommodations, as indicated in the calendar, the instructor is required to provide appropriate accommodations. The form the consideration can take should be reflective of the nature, weight, and timing of the missed work and should not disadvantage the student.
In instances where the religious obligations interfere with a final exam, the instructor is obligated to make arrangements to have the student write at another time during the final exam period.
A supplemental privilege is an opportunity for a student to gain credit for a failed course. The privilege is marked on a pass/fail basis. The original grade will remain on the transcript, however, a P or F will be included with the mark depending on the outcome of the privilege.
Supplemental privileges are granted by the academic review committee in conjunction with support from the instructor. Normally such requests are considered when all the following criteria are met:
- It is the last credit required by the student to graduate
- In some instances, the request may be considered in the second last semester if the course is not offered again for an entire year
- The student has achieved a grade of at least a 40% in the course. In certain circumstances, and with instructor support, the committee may consider marks slightly lower.
Once the request is submitted and the above criteria are met, a member of the academic review committee will contact the instructor to confirm whether a privilege is appropriate for the course and for this student based on the components completed and nature of the course. If there is support from the instructor, the privilege may be granted.
The privilege is to be comprehensive in nature and can take the form of an oral exam, written exam, lab exam, take home exam, essay etc. It is up to the instructor’s discretion. The instructor and student should complete the Terms supplemental privilege/deferred condition form which acts as a contract between the student and instructor indicating what is required from the student, and when it is to be completed. A fee of $50 is charged by the university for this privilege and the student must also submit the payment form to the Registrar’s Office in order for the result to be posted on the student’s transcript.