Academic Policy Changes

 At the June 22, 2016 meeting of Senate, a number of policy introductions and revisions, designed to facilitate access to courses, were approved and will be effective September 1, 2016.  Some components of the policies, as noted below, are effective Fall 2017.

   This page provides information and resources about these important changes and how they affect students.

 Repeated Course Policy  |  Grade Point Averages Policy
Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) Policy  |  Authorized Withdrawal (AW) Policy

Repeated Course Policy

The Repeated Course Policy is a new policy (2016) that articulates the rules that apply when a course is repeated or replaced by an equivalent or mutually exclusive course (a course that may not be held for credit with the original course) and to identify the implications of repeating courses. The following are some of the major requirements of the Repeated Courses Policy.

Repeating Courses

  • Subject to the regulations of Faculty/Colleges/Schools, students may be permitted to repeat a course in which they have received a grade (satisfactory or failing) or for which they have a Voluntary Withdrawal (VW).
  • Faculties/Colleges/Schools are allowed to develop their own regulations, subject to Senate approval, including any limits to the number of repeat attempts allowed for an individual course (or equivalent), or within a degree program.
  • Repeated courses will be subject to Limited Access.

Limited Access

  • Limited Access will first affect course registration in Winter 2018, based on the repeating of courses taken in Winter 2017 or later.  Please also see the Frequently Asked Questions about Limited Access.
  • Limited Access is defined as a registration rule that limits students who have previously enrolled in a course from registering in that course prior to a Limited Access Registration date, which will expire each term following a specified period of time (please refer to the respective Academic Schedule for specific dates).
  • The timeline by which students will be subject to Limited Access is established as three consecutive terms following the term in which the course was initially completed or in which the student elected to VW. This does not mean that students cannot take the course for three terms.  Students are encouraged to register for the course after the Limited Access Term Expiry Date each term, subject to space availability.
  • Limited Access will impact course access in the following ways:
    • Students, who have not yet had an opportunity to register in a course, will be allowed first access to that course.
    • Students who wish to repeat a course for which they have earned a grade or from which they have Voluntarily Withdrawn will be subject to Limited Access for that course (or equivalent) for the next three terms.   Subject to Limited Access does not mean the student cannot register for the course for three terms.   While subject to Limited Access, students will be restricted form enrolling in that course (or equivalent) until after the Limited Access Term Expiry Date.   After the Limited Access Term Expiry Date has passed students can register for the course (or equivalent) subject to available space.  Permission to repeat the course (or equivalent) is not necessary when the Limited Access Term Expiry Date has passed.
    • Students that repeat a course for which they have a prior grade will also be subject to changes proposed in the Grade Point Average Policy (2016 revised) that effectively discourage repeating a course for the purpose of improving a passing grade. 
    • Students who receive a grade for a course (A - F) or who VW from a course, and who elect NOT to repeat that course, will not be affected by Limited Access.
  • Students who wish to repeat a course after they are no longer subject to Limited Access (after three terms have passed) will require a Limited Access override; this should be requested prior to their registration date.

For more details, please refer to the Repeated Course Policy document.

back to top

Grade Point Averages Policy

The Grade Point Averages Policy (revised 2016) replaces the Grade Point Averages Policy (2006). Changes to this policy include the following:

  • Clarification of the calculation methods for the following types of GPA: Cumulative (CGPA), Degree (DGPA), Sessional (SGPA) and Term (TGPA).
  • The elimination of selective CGPA and TGPA calculations, and the adoption of a non-selective calculation. Under the revised policy, when a student repeats a course (or takes an equivalent or mutually exclusive course), all attempts will be used in the calculation of the TGPA and CGPA. Whether these grades are used toward the DGPA will be subject to Faculty policy.
  • Affords Faculties/Colleges/Schools the opportunity to use any of the GPA calculation methods to assess student performance.

For more details, please refer to the Grade Point Averages policy document.

back to top

Voluntary Withdrawal Policy

The Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) Policy (revised 2016) replaces the VW Policy (2005). The following are some key points in the revised VW Policy.

  • VW is a registration option that enables students to withdraw from a course or courses after the Registration Revision Period without academic penalty. The VW period begins at the end of the Registration Revision Period and ends at the VW deadline. Please refer to the respective Academic Schedule for specific dates. VW is limited to courses taken in a current term.

    Important note: With the revised policy, the VW deadline for courses spanning two or more terms will change to the end of the revision period of the second term. This specific change will take effect in the 2017/18 Academic Schedule.
  • Students are responsible for considering all implications prior to VW.  VW from a course(s) may affect academic progression, financial aid eligibility, CIS athletic eligibility, entrance into future programs and/or student visa requirements.
  • Undergraduate students are generally permitted to VW without prior approval; however, graduate students require the approval of their advisor, the head or graduate chair, and FGS.
  • In accordance with the new Repeated Course policy, students who VW from a course will be subject to a limited access period of three academic terms subsequent to re-enrollment in that course (see below for more details).
  • Faculties/Colleges/Schools may, with the approval of Senate, deny access to VW for all students enrolled in an identified academic program—applicants to the program must be notified of this proscription.
  • With the approval of Senate, VW may be considered, together with course failures or repeats, when the FGS or another Faculty/College/School with limited enrolment programs is reviewing applications for admission.

For more details, please refer to the Voluntary Withdrawal Policy document.

back to top

Authorized Withdrawal Policy

The Authorized Withdrawal (AW) Policy and Procedure provide a clear definition of AW, outlines required documentation, and provides guidance on the basis on which an AW may be granted. The following addresses the provisions introduced in the Authorized Withdrawal (AW) Policy (2016).

  • AW is an approved withdrawal from all courses in a given period for medical or compassionate reasons. AW is limited to the current term and/or a term or terms dating back no more than three academic years. An AW will show up on a student history, but not on an official transcript.
  • AW is limited to withdrawal from all courses in any given term, except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Re-enrolment following AW may be subject to availability of space in limited enrolment programs.
  • The AW Procedure establishes a consistent procedure for processing and granting requests for AWs. This includes:
    • Requests for AW are submitted to the Dean’s Office of the Faculty/College/School of registration for undergraduate students and to the head or graduate chair for graduate students for recommendation to FGS. The RO will be developing an AW request form that will be made available online, through the Dean’s Office, or from Student Advocacy;
    • Requests for AW will require a letter of explanation outlining how circumstances or symptoms affected the student’s ability to complete course requirements; supporting documentation detailed in the procedure is also required;
    • Faculties/Colleges/Schools will notify students of the outcome of an AW request in a timely manner; additionally, they will disclose the length of time available to appeal an unsuccessful AW request (subject to unit policies);
    • Conditions may be imposed prior to re-enrolment following AW including meeting with an academic advisor, producing a certificate of fitness to return to studies, and/or making use of support services on campus.
  • Students are responsible for considering all implications prior to requesting an AW.  Withdrawal may affect academic progression, financial aid eligibility, CIS athletic eligibility, entrance into future programs, and/or student visa requirements.
  • Faculties/Colleges/Schools are responsible for ensuring proper collection and disposal of personal information under PHIA and FIPPA and to provide an annual report to the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). Details on reporting requirements will be provided at a later date.

For more details, please refer to the Authorized Withdrawal Policy and Procedure documents.

back to top

Updated Oct 16, 2017