On this page instructors will find the resources needed for teaching in a particular term, including important dates, academic integrity information, course outline requirements, and contacts for support.
Note: Some of the content of this page has been borrowed from the UWaterloo Faculty of Arts’ teaching term information, with thanks.
Last updated: August 16, 2023. Please review the new section on Student Absences. Please also review the Instructor FAQ for the new information added about cancelling classes unexpectedly.
- Review Course Outline / Syllabus Requirements and Template section below.
- Course materials should be available to your students online. Contact the library for help with this.
- If you believe that an academic offence has occurred, please reach out to the SJU Associate Dean, Dr. Alysia Kolentsis (firstname.lastname@example.org). Consult the Academic Integrity, Student Discipline - Policy 71 section below for more information on how to proceed.
- LEARN service outages: consult Waterloo Learn Help should these occur.
- See section below on Student Support and Accessibility for accessibility resources and mental health supports.
- See section below on Contacts for Your Support / Teaching Resources.
- Classes: September 6 to December 5
- Thanksgiving Day (holiday): October 9
- Reading week: October 7 to October 15
- Pre-exam study days: December 6 to December 7
- Final exam period: December 8 to December 21; includes Sunday exams on December 10
- Class enrolment - if students aren't able to add your class on Quest, consult the Enrolment problems and course overrides page.
- Check other Fall 2023 Important Dates and Religious and Spiritual Observances in sections below
|Labour Day - Holiday||Mon., Sept. 4, 2023|
|Classes begin||Wed., Sept. 6, 2023|
|Last day to add a class||Tues., Sept. 19, 2023|
|Last day to drop a class, no penalty||Tues., Sept. 26, 2023|
|Reading Week (no course activity or course work due)||Oct. 7-15, 2023|
|Thanksgiving Day - Holiday, no classes||Mon., Oct. 9, 2023|
|Last day to drop, receive a WD grade||Tues., Nov. 21, 2023|
|Classes end||Tues., Dec. 5|
|Pre-exam study days||Wed. & Thurs., Dec 6-7, 2023|
|Last day to drop, receive WF grade||Thurs., Dec. 7, 2023|
|Final exam/assessment period||Fri., Dec. 8 - Thurs., Dec. 21, 2023|
|University Holiday Closure||Dec. 23-31, 2023|
|Grades due - all courses (on-campus or online) without a scheduled exam or without a major assignment during the Final Exam Period||TBA|
|Grades due for all courses with a scheduled exam during the Final Exam Period (on-campus or online/remote)||Seven days from the date of the final exam|
|Grades due for all online courses||TBA|
SJU Phone Number if Dialing from Outside Number:
518-884-8110 or 519-884-8111
Cancelling Class Unexpectedly:
Faculty cancelling a single class should contact students directly through email/LEARN. They should also send an email to Morgan Regehr (email@example.com) and to their Department Chair for general awareness and so that a sign can be put on the classroom door, and any student inquiries that don't go directly to the instructor can be fielded appropriately.
Faculty who unexpectedly need to be away for multiple classes should contact their Department Chair/the VPAD to ensure an appropriate plan to continue student learning is in place that also aligns with employer obligations under the Collective Agreement and Occupational Health and Safety requirements.
Details of the equipment available in each classroom can be found on the Teaching Term Information webpage under Contacts For Your Support / Teaching Resources.
Each classroom is equipped with a phone and SJU IT Help, SJU Library, and SJU Reception are on speed dial. If you have questions or need assistance with the classroom audiovisual equipment, press IT Help or dial extension 40273. If your call is not answered leave a message to get a call back ASAP. After-hours calls may get a return call depending on availability and severity. Note that a helpful online Classroom IT Manual to support IT challenges can be found at www.sju.ca/ClassroomAVHelp and there is a link to this manual on the desktop of all classroom computers. Another option for IT support is to create a request ticket at sju.ca/jira-it.
Spills and Maintenance:
If you have an urgent issue with a spill or other clean up contact SJU Facilities (x28274) who will send the cleaners over. Less urgent maintenance issues may be reported via the RT system to the Facilities team at http://sju.ca/jira-facilities.
While we hope most situations can be resolved through discussion, if other methods of dealing with the behaviour are unsuccessful, you can reach UW Special Constable Service using the campus extension 22222 or at their direct line 519-888-4911. Faculty, staff, and students are also encouraged to download the UW WatSAFE app, which provides quick and convenient access to campus safety and emergency resources: https://uwaterloo.ca/watsafe
Try hotspotting first. This is as simple as holding your fob to a reader that is attached to a door frame (not just one on a door). For example, the fob reader that is on the door frame coming into main entry reception of Sweeney Hall is a hotspot. If this doesn’t fix the issue, check with Stephanie Bauman (SH Reception, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Issues with the Mailroom Printer/Photocopier/Scanner or Shredder:
During business hours please check with the front desk for assistance. After hours you may try the IT person on call (x40273).
If necessary as a back-up, you can use the photocopier in the SJU Library, but please identify yourself to the library staff working at the Circulation Desk before coming into the library staff space.
You can access printing supplies (toner and printer paper) self-serve from the mailroom from the cupboards along the back wall. Please make sure to note what you took on the tracking sheet on the cupboard door.
The mailroom also has SJU envelopes, inter-departmental envelopes, exam booklets, scantron sheets, and boxes of golf pencils available for use.
Other office supplies can be accessed via Morgan Regehr (SH 2106, x28595, email@example.com), including whiteboard markers, pens, post-it notes, plain envelopes, paperclips, and more. Just ask!
Contact Christina Mancini (x28225, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Health and Safety Concerns:
You are encouraged to review and to advise that students familiarize themselves with the Emergency Procedures posters made available in classrooms and other campus spaces.
Contact Michelle Watson (x28258, email@example.com) or a member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC):
Joint Health and Safety Committee if you have health and safety concerns.
Less urgent issues may be reported via the RT system to the JHSC at sju.ca/rt-facilities.
You have some other question and are not sure who to ask:
Contact Morgan Regehr (x28595, firstname.lastname@example.org), who can direct you to the right person.
The SJU policy on student discipline follows UW Policy 71 – Student Discipline (notwithstanding the paragraph regarding SJU in UW’s policy, all student discipline matters of an academic nature are handled under that policy). Should you suspect that an academic offense has occurred, please report the case promptly to the SJU Associate Dean, Dr. Veronica Austen (email@example.com). The Associate Deans in the UW network, which include the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo (AFIW), routinely work together to ensure that student discipline cases are handled promptly and fairly. In cases involving students registered at UW (e.g., in Math, Arts, Science, Engineering, or Environment), you may end up speaking with multiple Associate Deans. If you have questions about how to proceed with Policy 71, please contact the SJU Associate Dean.
From the UWaterloo Faculty of Arts:
Not every error in citation constitutes a full-fledged case of plagiarism. Be judicious, especially in the case of first year students. Do report all occurrences to the Associate Dean. Please do not attempt to devise your own remediation without consultation; these often backfire, especially in an increasingly litigious environment.
The UW Associate Dean of Arts-Undergraduate has created a Group Assignment Checklist to assist faculty who have collaborative work as a course component. It is highly recommended that you use it prior to the assigning of any group work.
SJU adopts UW’s guidelines regarding Returning Assignments and Posting Grades.
Look closely at the UWaterloo regulations on Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams for the official regulations governing the scheduling and administration of tests and examinations. Especially important to remember:
- The period (typically 2-3 days) between the end of classes and the start of exams is sacrosanct: lectures, tests, and other course activities may not be scheduled during this period.
- A final exam is any test worth more than 25% and that covers all or most of a term’s course content. A final exam may not be scheduled in the last 5 lecture days of the formal lecture period for the term.
- Courses with final exams may not have other course assignments due during the final examination period.
- Courses without final exams may have an assignment equivalent in scope and value to a final exam due during the final examination period.
- Instructors are expected to be available for all scheduled final exams for their courses. See the St. Jerome’s University Proctoring and Conducting Final Examinations policy.
- Accommodations for deferred final exams are made only under specific conditions and time restrictions. It is the student’s responsibility to make him/herself available for the entire examination period, and travel plans are not a sufficient reason to have a final exam deferred. Please see the Accommodations section of the Undergraduate Calendar, and refer any request with which you are not comfortable to the SJU VPAD, Carol Ann MacGregor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Any student may review their final exam under supervised access without initiating a formal appeal procedure.
NOTE: Instructors are recommended to use alternatives to testing during remote learning terms. There will be no online exam proctoring for SJU courses.
The VPAD’s Office is once again offering the Make-Up Midterm Exam service. The purpose of this service is to provide instructors with scheduling and proctoring support around make-up midterm exams.
A room is scheduled on Fridays from 1:00-4:00 pm. There will be an experienced proctor, with a degree, to administer your make-up exam. You will need to make yourself available only for the first 30 minutes of the exam (e.g., via phone). You will also need to provide examination materials in a timely manner. Please contact Morgan Regehr (email@example.com) by Wednesday at noon if you have students in need of this service that Friday.
Of course, there may be instances in which students have legitimate reasons for being unable to make this time. In those cases, instructors must handle scheduling and administering the make-up exams.
Fall 2023 will have a final exam period from December 8-22, 2023.
If you have questions about how to manage final assessments in our current circumstances, please contact the SJU Interim Associate Dean, Dr. Alysia Kolentsis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Retention rule: The mandated length of time to retain assignments, tests, and exams is one full year (until the end of the following like term). Contract academic staff are recommended to give their assignments and/or tests to their department chair/program director, who will store them until it is time for shredding.
Final examination and final course grades shall not be posted before the final examination period ends.
Refer to Important Dates. Reading Week normally begins on a Saturday and ends on the following Sunday. During this time normal class schedules and academic requirements are suspended. Student services such as student advising support, Health Services, Counselling Services, the library, and residences continue to provide service.
Instructors are not permitted to administer, and students are not required to sit for examinations, tests, or lectures during Reading Week. There are to be no compulsory academic events (e.g., classes, labs, tutorials, seminars, exams). Deadlines for assignments are not permitted during Reading Week (see Scheduled Pauses in the Academic Term).
Instructors should consider including their availability in their course outline, if possible. When instructors are not available to assist students during Reading Week, alternate arrangements for students seeking help should be made.
- The Formal Lecture Period
- The Final Examination Period
- Scheduled Pauses in the Academic Term (e.g. Reading Week)
- Parameters for Scheduling Tests During the Formal Lecture Period
- Rules for Test Conduct
- Additional Rules for Final Examinations
- Student Access to Final Examination Papers
Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for all official information about Assignments, Tests and Final Exams.
Academic Administrative Assistant – Morgan Regehr (email@example.com)
VPAD – Carol Ann MacGregor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SJU Associate Dean – Veronica Austen (email@example.com)
Please reach out to your department chair or program director with any questions or issues you may have.
SJU Associate Librarian - Michelle Atkin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SJU Library Associate – Deb Addesso (email@example.com)
Place a request through SJU's Jira-IT system to be assisted by the first available staff member.
All classrooms have podiums at the front of the classroom. The podiums contain a computer with full internet access and connections to the audiovisual equipment; no key to the podium is needed to access everything required. If you have a laptop, this can be attached to the podium with the provided cables (HDMI or VGA) and used as needed. There is wireless internet access in each classroom via EDUROAM (WatIAM credentials are required to connect).
If you have any questions or need assistance with the audiovisual equipment in your classroom, please contact the IT help line by pressing the speed dial button labeled IT Help or dial extension 40273. If your call is not answered leave a message to get a call back ASAP. Classroom support is available from 8am-8pm most weekdays; afterhours calls may get a return call depending on availability and severity. If you want to arrange training, special assistance, or have special requirements in a classroom, please contact Chirag Budhrani, IT Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org, ext. 28204).
NOTE: You can review the helpful online Classroom IT Manual to address IT challenges: https://www.sju.ca/ClassroomAVHelp There is a link to this manual on the desktop of all classroom computers.
- For assistance with pedagogical and practical course design, consult Victoria Feth (email@example.com) our Faculty Liaison at the Centre for Teaching Excellence.
- Please remember to consult the resources on the Keep Learning website.
- Textbooks: Instructors are to order/adopt their textbooks (https://wstoreapps.uwaterloo.ca/adoptions.html) and courseware (https://wstoreapps.uwaterloo.ca/courseware/) directly online. All textbooks and courseware are sold through the W Store.
- Desk Copies: Instructors are encouraged to request their own desk copy of their textbook from the publisher.
- Course Reserves: Put individual readings for your course on reserve at www.reserves.uwaterloo.ca/ares/. If you need assistance, please contact Deb Addesso (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Quest (student information system, including course scheduling information)
- LEARN (web-based learning management system for managing course materials and interacting with students): click here for LEARN resources, or log in here.
Copyright legislation must be followed. Please be diligent about complying with copyright laws and what materials you use while remotely delivering your course. Helpful information can be found on UW’s copyright website.
Each term, a pop-up notice regarding copyright will appear in LEARN (once per term for each instructor, disappearing after instructors acknowledge it by clicking the ‘Close’ button). This pop-up informs you of the responsibility you share with the University and is intended to serve as a reminder that materials that are uploaded to LEARN must be copyright-cleared in some way. The notice also provides a reminder of the guidance offered by the University, and the support services that are available. The full text of the notice is available on the Copyright at Waterloo website.
If you have any questions about copyright, contact email@example.com.
Course evaluations at SJU are customarily administered at the end of each term. For the 2022-2023 academic year, SJU's course evaluations are administered using UW's eValuate online system.
Please note that instructors must distribute a course outline, or syllabus, in its full and complete form to all students no later than the end of the first week of classes.
SJU’s policy relating to course outline requirements was updated and approved by the SJU Senate Council in May 2019. Please pay particularly close attention to Article 4.2, which contains the required language regarding academic integrity to be placed at the end of the outline.
Appendix A of the Course Outline Requirements policy is SJU’s course outline template, which adheres to the University of Waterloo requirements on the required language regarding academic integrity and also provides simple formatting that follows accessibility standards for online content.
Please use the SJU Course Outline Template. If you choose not to use the template, you are advised to cut and paste the required language into your outline – please ensure that the hyperlinks remain and that your syllabus meets AODA accessibility standards.
REMINDER: The course outline is a contract with students. As a result, making changes to the outline once the term begins can cause problems. Changes to the grading breakdown, in particular, should only be made for absolutely compelling reasons, in writing, and with the express approval of the class. Students wishing to adhere to the original grading structure should be accommodated.
Course Outline Requirements
- Every course outline for an in-person class should be designed with a plan that considers alternate arrangements for:
- a short-term (e.g., one-week) cancellation of in-person classes, whether for the particular course or University-wide;
- a longer-term cancellation of in-person meetings, whether for the particular course or University-wide;
- cancellation of in-person (midterm or final) examinations.
- You should include as much detail as possible in your plan to make students aware of possible scenarios. Where there are program, department, or faculty-wide contingency plans in place, you should ensure that your course plans are consistent with them.
- Outlines should also describe accommodation that will be available for students who cannot attend classes due to self-isolation.
- All course outlines posted on UW websites, including LEARN and personal websites hosted by UW, must meet AODA accessibility standards. Note the new Article 5: Guidelines for AODA Compliance in the aforementioned Course Outline Requirements policy.
- Articulate your late submission policy in clear and unambiguous terms on the course outline about how late or missed assignments will be treated. This helps avoid complaints later.
- In courses where “participation” will be a weighted element, the nature and application of the requirement should be given unambiguous description and definition.
- Instructors using Turnitin® must include the required statement noted in the aforementioned Course Outline Requirements policy. Instructors should make their policies clear to students at the beginning of the term. Please review the Turnitin and iThenticate Guidelines for Instructors provided by the UW Office of Academic Integrity.
- It is strongly suggested that instructors include information on their course outlines regarding mental health support on campus and in the community, encouraging students to seek out mental health support if needed.
- Optional statements that may be included on course outlines:
A. MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
All of us need a support system. The SJU faculty and staff encourage students to seek out mental health support if they are needed.
- Counselling Services: firstname.lastname@example.org / 519-888-4567 x32655
- MATES: one-to-one peer support program offered by Federation of Students (FEDS) and Counselling Services
- Health Services Emergency service: located across the creek form Student Life Centre
Off campus, 24/7:
- Good2Talk: Free confidential help line for post-secondary students. Phone: 1-866-925-5454
- Grand River Hospital: Emergency care for mental health crisis. Phone: 519-749-4300 x6880
- Here 24/7: Mental Health and Crisis Service Team. Phone: 1-844-437-3247
- OK2BME: set of support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning teens in Waterloo. Phone: 519-884-0000 x213
Full details can be found online on the Faculty of Arts website.
Download the WatSafe app to your phone to quickly access mental health support information
B. TERRITORIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. St. Jerome’s University is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometres on each side of the Grand River.
C. CHOSEN/PREFERRED NAME
Do you want professors and interviewers to call you by a different first name? Take a minute now to verify or tell us your chosen/preferred first name by logging into WatIAM.
Why? Starting in Winter 2020, your chosen/preferred first name listed in WatIAM will be used broadly across campus (e.g., LEARN, Quest, WaterlooWorks, WatCard, etc). Note: Your legal first name will always be used on certain official documents. For more details, visit Updating Personal Information.
- If you included a preferred name on your OUAC application, it will be used as your chosen/preferred name unless you make a change now.
- If you don’t provide a chosen/preferred name, your legal first name will continue to be used.
D. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Students should be aware that this course contains the intellectual property of their instructor, TA, and/or St. Jerome’s University. Intellectual property includes items such as:
- Lecture content, spoken and written (and any audio/video recording thereof);
- Lecture handouts, presentations, and other materials prepared for the course (e.g., PowerPoint slides);
- Questions or solution sets from various types of assessments (e.g., assignments, quizzes, tests, final exams); and
- Work protected by copyright (e.g., any work authored by the instructor or TA or used by the instructor or TA with permission of the copyright owner).
Course materials and the intellectual property contained therein, are used to enhance a student’s educational experience. However, sharing this intellectual property without the intellectual property owner’s permission is a violation of intellectual property rights. For this reason, it is necessary to ask the instructor, TA, and/or St. Jerome’s University for permission before uploading and sharing the intellectual property of others online (e.g., to an online repository).
Permission from an instructor, TA, or the University is also necessary before sharing the intellectual property of others from completed courses with students taking the same/similar courses in subsequent terms/years. In many cases, instructors might be happy to allow distribution of certain materials. However, doing so without expressed permission is considered a violation of intellectual property rights.
Please alert the instructor if you become aware of intellectual property belonging to others (past or present) circulating, either through the student body or online. The intellectual property rights owner deserves to know (and may have already given their consent).
Public posting of final grades is not permitted. Refer to the Privacy and Information Management section of this page below.
You should receive a Grade Submission Memo from the Registrar's Office approximately one month before the end of the term with deadlines, instructions, and other notes. These memos are also stored on the Registrar Resources for Staff and Faculty website (WatIAM login required) -> Mass Email Communications -> Communication to Instructors.
Final examination and final course grades are not to be posted before the final examination period ends.
Instructors may request changes to official grades on a student's record within one year of the term's officially graded date. Requests for changes to grades after the one-year period must be made as a result of a policy decision (Student Appeals, Student Discipline, Student Petitions and Grievances).
For a grade change, please contact Morgan Regehr (email@example.com), the Academic Administrative Assistant, and provide the course, section, student ID, original grade, and adjusted grade.
Refer to the Grades section of the Undergraduate Calendar.
Failing grades in the Faculty of Arts may range from 0-49%, and will appear as such on the transcript. The system accepts any number as the course grade; however, in order to preserve consistency and continuity with historical grading practices in the courses of the Faculty of Arts, grades from 0-32% will be calculated at 32% for the purpose of determining an Arts student’s average(s). (Motion passed by Arts Faculty Council, March 13, 2007.)
- Incomplete (INC) grades should only be entered when there has been a formal, written arrangement between you and the student outlining how and when the missing course elements(s) will be completed. The INC Form must be used when making such an arrangement with a student. The form, and instructions on how to use the form, may be found at Registrar Resources for Staff and Faculty web page.
- NMR (no mark reported) is to be used should there be a name on your roster for a student who has never submitted any course element for grading and/or to your knowledge, has never appeared in class. An NMR grade calculates at 32%.
- IP (in progress) is for term courses, such as undergraduate thesis courses, where the final grade will only be entered when an additional required term course has been completed. IP may not be used as a substitute for INC. Students with IP on their records are not eligible to graduate.
- CR or NCR may only be used if the course is registered in the system with that grading basis. An instructor may not otherwise substitute a numeric grade with CR or NCR under any circumstances.
- Incomplete (INC) grades should only be entered when there has been a formal, written arrangement between you and the student outlining how and when the missing course elements(s) will be completed. The INC Form must be used when making such an arrangement with a student.
- Refer to the INC Grade section of the Registrar Resources for Staff and Faculty website (under Academic Rules and Forms) for the INC form, guidelines, roles in the process, and frequently asked questions.
- CAS instructors who wish to enter an INC grade should work with their department chair before beginning the INC grade process.
Requests for accommodation based on religious and spiritual holidays must be submitted to the student’s instructor(s) as soon as the conflict becomes apparent. Instructors may provide accommodations as outlined in the Accommodations section of the Undergraduate Calendar. Any unresolved disputes between instructors and students regarding the legitimacy of extenuating circumstances or the suitability of accommodations will be decided by the SJU Associate Dean, Dr. Veronica Austen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The UW Registrar’s Office provides a chart listing the most commonly observed religious and spiritual holidays. This list is not exhaustive and others may be accommodated as requested. See the Religious Observances chart on the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism website.
If a student makes a request beyond those listed by the Registrar’s Office, please have that student contact the SJU Associate Dean, Dr. Veronica Austen (email@example.com).
Students have the following three options for declaring an absence during the Fall 2023 term:
- Short-term Absence - an absence of 2 calendar days or less during the formal lecture period. The absence can be for any reason that prevents a student from meeting their academic obligations. No accompanying documentation is requested or required. Only one short-term absence can be self-declared per academic term. Undergraduate students only.
- Covid-19-related Absence - an absence of 10 days or less due to Covid-10 related illness (including vaccination side-effects) or a requirement to self-isolate. Participation in online course elements may be reasonable. Students can self-declare one Covid-19-related absence in an academic term.
- For absences that do not meet the short-term absence or Covid-19 criteria, for self-declared absences that exceed the maximum number permitted per term, or for (retroactive) reports of illness, students are required to submit the Verification of Illness Form.
- If the student’s absence is due to extenuating circumstances, they should use the VIF intake form via https://vif.uwaterloo.ca. Students will be required to upload a PDF or high-quality photo of their documentation to the intake form.
Students are expected to notify their instructor(s) before or within 24 hours of the missed course element.
Mental health support is available for students.
- Sean Hayes, Director of Campus Ministry (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available as a resource.
- The Faculty of Arts provides details on available support on its website.
- Campus Wellness - Counselling and Health Services
- The Student Affairs team at SJU exists to facilitate and encourage a transformative student experience. Our team works to create healthy and accessible learning environments, to encourage students to take ownership and accountability in advocating for their own unique student experience, and to foster opportunities for growth and leadership development.
- For additional UW resources, visit the Student Success Office - Learning Resources
The Student Alert initiative runs each term through a widget in Learn. This is a targeted approach where students can self-select to receive support, can send an alert for a classmate, or an instructor can submit an alert for a student they are concerned about.
Instructors will identify students who are:
- Performing poorly academically
- Chronically absent or disengaged from studies and class activity
- Seemingly isolated
- Exhibiting signs of distress
When a Student Alert is sent by an instructor, the Arts Undergraduate Office (AUO) advising team receives an email message outlining the concern with the student and the student’s advisor will reach out promptly to provide support and make a connection.
Learn how to add the Arts Connect widget to your course shell in Learn.
Course instructors are legally required to accommodate students with disabilities, whether the disability is temporary, chronic, permanent, or even suspected. While courses are being offered remotely, students with disabilities are still eligible for academic accommodations and will have remote access to the accommodation supports and services offered through AccessAbility Services. You will receive an email (Faculty Notification Letter) every time a student requests an approved accommodation for your course, which will articulate the roles and responsibilities in facilitating these accommodations. Do not hesitate to contact AccessAbility Services if you have any questions or concerns at email@example.com.
The University of Waterloo is committed to ensuring all students have equitable opportunities to access and benefit from their education and receive reasonable academic accommodations. These modifications are intended to not alter the fundamental purpose or essential requirements of the academic program or course. Accommodations are a means of preventing and removing barriers that impede students with disabilities from participating fully in the educational environment in a way that is responsive to their unique circumstances. In order to support our legal duty to accommodate students with disabilities, instructors are asked to uphold a student’s academic accommodation plan, as determined by UW's AccessAbility Services.
It is beneficial to become familiar with the University’s Student Academic Accommodation Guidelines, as it articulates the roles and responsibilities of students, faculty, and staff in the academic accommodation process. The Guidelines provide procedural guidance for a) the registration process, b) the process for providing retroactive accommodations, and c) the dispute mechanism process. The Guidelines include resources related to a) defining reasonable accommodations, essential requirements, and undue hardship, b) course instructor timeline requirements for facilitating accommodations, c) ways to protect student personal health information, and d) scripts for rereferring students to AccessAbility Services.
Universal learning design (ULD) is a great way to increase the accessibility of your course for all students; however, it is important to be mindful of how ULD may impact students who require academic accommodations. AAS created a new tip sheet for faculty members/course instructors planning to implement ULD in their upcoming course which includes tips and scripts for students who inquire about how it will impact their accommodations.
As noted in the Student Academic Accommodation Guidelines, the University (according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission) has a duty to inquire into the possible relationship between a student’s behaviour and a disability to assist and accommodate students. The duty to inquire also means that we need to consider the student’s disability prior to imposing measures that may affect the student negatively. The educator’s perception of disability will engage the protection of the code and as such, we all must continue to pay attention to signs/cues to students who appear unwell or where you perceive a student may have a disability. If you believe a student may require accommodations, you are to attempt to assist them by refer them to support services, such as AccessAbility Services (you can use the ‘referral scripts’ in the appendix of the Student Academic Accommodation Guidelines).
AAS provides academic accommodations to students with disabilities, and the term disability covers a broad range and degree of conditions including, the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of a trauma (e.g., sexual violence, and/or racial trauma). Students are not required to provide documentation verifying their trauma to begin the registration process, to get connected with resources and supports, and to work with AAS to create an interim accommodation plan. If a student discloses that they are being impacted by a trauma, please know that you can refer them to AAS to explore whether academic accommodations will be required.
AAS’s online system (AIM) is used by students and AAS staff to request and manage accommodations. Course instructors can use this same system to manage their course accommodations, through the Faculty Module. This module enables you to:
- View a dashboard listing of your students and their accommodations for each of your courses.
- Export a list of students by eligibility (e.g., Extra time: 5, 10, 15 minutes per hour, etc.).
- Receive real-time updates to accommodation plans should it change throughout the term.
- Navigate between courses and sections using the Advanced Search Panel option.
- Submit and make changes to your Alternative Testing agreement, so AAS can appropriately facilitate your in-person tests on your behalf (when offering in-person exams).
AAS is here to support you in upholding our collective duty to accommodate. We can offer 1:1 support to you to a) explore how your course design will meet the specific accommodation needs of a student, b) to develop a safety-based accommodation plan for a student in your lab or other ‘high risk’ area, c) to assist you with accommodation disputes, d) to ‘vet’ the need for exemptions to your program/course requirements, and e) to work with you to identify essential requirements of your course or program to explore whether an accommodation will cause undue hardship. We also work with thesis supervisors to explore appropriate accommodations for graduate students for the various graduate milestones. Essentially, we are here to help. Just reach out to Casey Gautreau (Manager, Student Accommodations) by email: firstname.lastname@example.org