VIII. Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures

Academic Consideration, Appeals and Petitions

Academic Consideration

The University will consider granting consideration for courses if there are sufficient extenuating medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances. Academic Consideration may take the form of an extended deadline, a deferred privilege, a late drop of a course(s) with or without failure, withdrawal from a semester with or without academic failure, or permission to continue on probationary status. A deferred privilege could take the form of approval to write a missed final examination or the completion of a course requirement after the end of the semester. Academic consideration is granted when acceptable medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances affect any portion of the semester work. Generally, work commitments will not constitute grounds for academic consideration. Depending upon the circumstances and whether the semester work is complete, consideration may be granted by the instructor, the program counsellor or the Academic Review Sub-Committee of the program in which the student is registered.

Students will need to assess the extent of the difficulty they face and the possible implications on their course work. For instance, an illness which lasts one or two days resulting in a missed deadline can usually be resolved between the faculty member and the student, often without documentation. Circumstances which affect the student's ability to attend classes, write term tests or meet assignment deadlines for an extended period of time may require more formal documentation and consideration. Students are encouraged to seek documentation if the situation extends for a significant length of time. The program counsellor, who is the dean's designate, should be contacted regarding appropriate procedures and documentation.

The program counsellor is the student's advisor in all matters pertaining to academic consideration and can assist in defining an appropriate course of action (counsellor names and locations can be found in Chapter VII - Academic Advising). It is the student's responsibility to consult the program counsellor as soon as extenuating circumstances affect academic performance, in order to initiate action, and provide any required documentation.

All available evidence, including the student's performance during the semester, will be given careful consideration when making a decision. Procedures to follow in each case are outlined below. Questions about procedures and deadlines should be directed to the program counsellor.

Grounds for Academic Consideration

Where possible, requests for academic consideration are to be accompanied by supporting documentation. Students unsure of documentation requirements are encouraged to contact their program counsellor.

1. Medical Grounds

For academic consideration based on medical grounds a student may be asked to provide documentation for the period of the illness. The necessity for documentation will depend in part upon the length of the illness and the amount of work missed during this time. Such documentation will always be required in the event of a request for consideration beyond the grade submission deadline for the course and must be submitted to the program counsellor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. If the medical situation results in missed semester work, the student should contact the instructor, presenting medical documentation where warranted. If the absence due to illness is of a duration that will affect a number of courses or completion of the semester's work, the student must contact the program counsellor for advice and consideration.

When the absence affects final examinations or final assignments the student should go to Student Health Services or a personal physician for documentation. The student must submit their documentation to their program counsellor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline.

2. Psychological Grounds

For academic consideration based on psychological grounds the student may be asked to provide documentation for the period affected. The necessity for documentation will depend in part upon the length of the problem and the amount of work missed during this time. Such documentation will always be required in the event of a request for consideration beyond the grade submission deadline for the course and must be submitted to the program counselor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. The student should submit this documentation to the program counsellor who will then advise the instructor of the need for consideration. If the difficulty is of a duration that will affect a number of courses or completion of the semester's work, the student must contact the program counsellor for advice and consideration.

3. Compassionate Grounds

Unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control in either his/her personal or family life may affect academic performance. The procedure to follow to request academic consideration based on compassionate grounds depends upon the severity of the circumstance and the amount of work missed. Students may wish to contact the instructor for consideration for missed work resulting from a compassionate circumstance. If the circumstance is more significant, or if the consideration sought will go beyond the grade submission deadline for the course, the student must consult with the program counsellor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. Generally, work commitments will not constitute grounds for academic consideration.

Incomplete Course Work

Instructors are responsible for granting academic consideration, if applicable, for course work up to the grade submission deadline for the course. Types of consideration that may be granted by an instructor include the setting of a make-up test, re-weighting the value of course assignments, extending a deadline or allowing the resubmission of an assignment (up to the grade submission deadline for the course). Students should consult with their program counsellor for advice on an appropriate course of action if:

  1. the student feels that appropriate consideration has not been granted by the instructor, or

  2. if the medical, psychological or compassionate circumstance is such that it could affect overall semester performance or the ability to meet the course grade submission deadline.

Student's Responsibilities

If due to medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances a student is unable to complete any portion of the course's work the student should:

  1. Inform the instructor-in-charge of the course in writing.

  2. If the instructor requests it, supply documentation. If documentation is unavailable, consult your program counsellor.

  3. Complete and submit missed work by the new deadline established by the instructor.

  4. Consult with the program counsellor if circumstances warrant (see a) and b) above).

If the medical, psychological or compassionate circumstance is such that it could affect overall semester performance or the ability to meet the course grade submission deadline, the program counsellor should be consulted regarding an appropriate course of action.

Instructor's Responsibilities

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. The instructor cannot grant extensions beyond the final date for submission of grades for the course.

Program Counsellor's Responsibilities

If the student and the instructor cannot arrive at a mutually agreeable accommodation to complete course requirements prior to the course grade submission deadline, the program counsellor may act as a mediator. The program counsellor may discuss the issue with the department chair if appropriate.

In the event that medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances are affecting the student's overall performance, the program counsellor will ensure that the student's instructors are advised that academic consideration based on medical, psycological or compassionate grounds is warranted. In such cases the program counsellor may be of assistance in co-ordinating instructors' responses to the request for consideration.

Academic Review

If final examinations, term assignments, projects, work term reports or other course requirements are not completed by the course grade submission deadline, academic consideration is not the responsibility of the faculty member but rather, the responsibility of the Academic Review Sub-Committee of the program in which the student is registered.

A request for academic consideration should be made to the Academic Review Sub-Committee during, or immediately after, the semester to which it refers. A request for a deferred privilege for a missed final examination or other course requirements not completed must be submitted, along with supporting documentation, to the program counsellor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline.

A request to change an earlier decision of the Academic Review Sub-Committee may be made only on the basis of relevant information not previously submitted. Students wishing to resubmit a "Request for Academic Consideration" form with additional supporting documentation should consult their program counsellor. Students who believe that the decision of the Academic Review Sub-Committee is inappropriate may appeal the decision to the Senate Committee on Student Petitions within 10 working days of the academic review decision (see Petitions). The Senate Committee will not normally consider any appeals submitted past this deadline.

Student's Responsibilities

If due to medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances the student is unable to complete a final requirement of the course by the course grade submission deadline and wishes academic consideration, the student should:

  1. Consult with the program counsellor for advice on the appropriate consideration that should be requested.

  2. Submit a request for consideration on the "Request for Academic Consideration" form available from Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services, at https://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/downloads or from their program counsellor. A request for a deferred privilege for a missed final examination or other course requirements not completed must be submitted, along with supporting documentation, to the program counsellor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. Deadlines for other type of consideration can be found in a chart under "Process for Academic Consideration and Appeals". Students should consult with their program counsellor for meeting dates.

Instructor's Responsibilities

In a case where a student has not completed course requirements by the course grade submission deadline, the instructor shall complete the "Incomplete Coursework Form".

If the medical or psychological evidence or compassionate reasons have been verified and accepted the Academic Review Sub-Committees use this form to determine whether a student is eligible to be considered for a deferred privilege for a missed final exam, final assignment or final piece of the graded components of the course. The instructor should include with the Incomplete Coursework Form any documentation provided to the instructor by the student in support of the academic consideration request.

A student who receives credit standing will receive credit in the course without a numerical grade. This course will not be included in the student's overall average or specialization average.

A deferred privilege could be approval to write an examination and/or to submit an assignment(s). Deferred privileges must be completed within the semester immediately following the semester in which the exam/course work was originally missed, refer to Chapter III--Schedule of Dates. Scheduling, from the Office of Registrarial Services, will inform the student of the deadline for the deferred privilege (see Deferred Privilege).

If on the basis of acceptable medical, psychological or compassionate documentation a numerical passing grade or credit standing is granted rather than a deferred privilege, the student may request the deferred privilege. The request must be submitted in writing to Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services, by the end of the add period for the following semester.

Co-operative Education Program - Appeal Process

Students may be required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Work Term and Work Preparation Related Issues

    1. The student leaves the employer without approval during the work term.

    2. The student is dismissed with just cause from a work term.

    3. The student receives an “Unacceptable” Co-op Work Performance Evaluation by the employer

    4. The student did not complete COOP *1100 or did not receive a passing grade.

  2. Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies Related Issues

    The student does not follow the approved academic and work schedule including:

    1. Maintaining full-time academic status during academic semesters (minimum 2.0 credits per semester).

    2. Successfully completing the requirements for each of the approved scheduled academic semesters.

    3. Completing no more than five full-time academic semesters in their co-op program before beginning the first work term.

    4. Completing COOP *1100 in the semester scheduled.

    5. Completing a Fall, Winter and Summer work term, unless otherwise agreed to.

  3. . Academic Related Issues

    1. The student does not have the required minimum 70% cumulative average after full-time studies in first year, based on a minimum of 2.0 credits in each of the Fall and Winter semesters.

    2. The student receives an “Unsatisfactory” Co-op Work Report Evaluation.

Appeal Process

A student who is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program has the option to appeal. In the case where a student wishes to apply for re-admission to the program, the student must appeal the “Required to Withdraw from Co-op” decision no later than the 15th class day after notification. Students cannot re-apply for admission to the Co-op Education program in subsequent terms.

  1. Work Term and Work Preparation Related Appeals

    If the student is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program on the basis of Work Term or Work Preparation related reasons and wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal must be submitted to the Co-op Appeal Committee using the Co-op Appeals Form. The form can be obtained from the Co-operative Education & Career Services Office. The decision of the Co-op Appeal Committee is final.

  2. Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies Related Appeals

    If the student is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program because he/she has not followed the Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies and wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal must be submitted to the Academic Review Sub-committee.

  3. Academic Related Appeals

    1. If the student is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program because he/she does not attain the 70% cumulative average required and wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal must be submitted to the Academic Review Sub-committee, according to the procedures outlined in Chapter VIII of the Undergraduate Calendar under Academic Consideration, Appeals and Petitions.

    2. If the student wishes to appeal an “Unsatisfactory” Work Report Evaluation, the appeal must be submitted according to the regulations outlined in Chapter VIII of the Undergraduate Calendar under Grade Reassessment.

Student Petitions

The Senate Standing Committee on Student Petitions is comprised of students and faculty members and is supported by a representative from the Office of Registrarial Services and the Governance & Judicial Officer.

The Committee has the jurisdiction to:

Act as an appeal body for the following decisions:

  1. a decision of an Academic Review Sub-committee (undergraduate students) denying a request for academic consideration;

  2. a decision of the Admissions & Progress Sub-committee (graduate students) denying a request for academic consideration;

  3. a decision denying a specific request for academic accommodation pursuant to the Senate policy on “Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities”;

  4. a decision of academic misconduct, made by the appropriate dean(s)/ designate(s); either the finding of academic misconduct or the penalty may be appealed;

  5. a final grade on a course based on the methods and criteria used by the instructor;

  6. review and make decisions regarding a student request to expunge a record of academic misconduct no sooner than five years after the date of last registration;

  7. review and make recommendations to the President in regard to a student request to expunge a record of expulsion.

  8. review a decision of an Admissions Sub-committee, or the Admissions & Progress Sub-committee on readmission to a program, only if the basis of the appeal is procedural unfairness or bias on the part of the Admissions Sub-committee or Admissions & Progress Sub-committee.

Students must file a petition/ appeal within 10 working days of the receipt of the original decision.

For more information on the student petitions/ appeal process, students may contact student judicial services at the University Secretariat judicial@uoguelph.ca .

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