Student's Rights Cheat Sheet

As a student at York University you have the right to:

What you can expect from York! 

 the students who submit petitions and appeals have responsibilities to meet the requirements of the process; the University has responsibilities in administering it.  

Non-Academic Staff:

It is the responsibility of members of the non-academic staff to: 
•    make available to students advice and guidance regarding options, deadlines, required documentation, and appeal routes by way of written notification, the University website, personal appointments or communication over the telephone;
•    direct students to the appropriate office for information on petitions/appeals;
•    attend to petitions and appeals efficiently to prevent undue delay;
•    maintain confidentiality.

Faculty Members:

It is the responsibility of faculty members to: 
1.    respond adequately to requests for information from students and non-academic staff in a timely manner;
2.    direct students to the appropriate office for information on petitions/appeals;
3.    maintain confidentiality.

Petition/Appeal Officers/Committees:
It is the responsibility of petitions/appeals officers or committees to: 
•    ensure that parties receive fair, consistent and ethical treatment;
•    give thorough and serious attention to all requests;
•    render decisions only after careful deliberation;
•    supply parties with reasonable explanation for decisions;
•    respect and maintain students’ right to confidentiality.

What York can expect from you:

The University has established regulations and procedures through its legislative bodies to which students must adhere. Students are also expected to monitor their own progress in courses, taking into account their personal and academic circumstances, and adjusting their workload as necessary prior to the appropriate deadlines. However, the University recognizes that specific circumstances may justify a waiver of the regulations/requirements/deadlines on an individual basis. Students opting to initiate a petition should be assured that confidentiality is a hallmark of this process and information submitted in support of their petition/appeal will not be used for any other purpose.  
While it is the University’s responsibility to provide students with proper information, guidance and advice, it is the student’s responsibility to:
•    be aware of and adhere to all Faculty and Department regulations, requirement and published deadlines;
•    familiarize themselves with their Faculty’s written petition/appeal procedures and make requests in a timely fashion ;
•    provide all documentation to support their petition/appeal and to do so in a timely fashion;
•    indicate and document all relevant circumstances upon submitting a petition.

Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy:

•    that the grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) be announced, and be available in writing, within the first two weeks of class
Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances, which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations, as soon as possible.

From the University Secretariat Website 

Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities (Policy)

 

Policy

1.     Pursuant to its commitment to sustaining an inclusive, equitable community in which all members are treated with respect and dignity, and consistent with applicable accessibility legislation, York University shall make reasonable and appropriate accommodations in order to promote the ability of students with disabilities to fulfill the academic requirements of their programs. This policy aims to eliminate systemic barriers to participation in academic activities by students with disabilities.

2.    All students are expected to satisfy the essential learning outcomes of courses. Accommodations shall be consistent with, support and preserve the academic integrity of the curriculum and the academic standards of courses and programs.

3.    Requests for accommodations shall be made and dealt with expeditiously.

4.    Accommodations shall be sufficiently flexible to address individual needs.

5.    Requests for extension or for deferral based on unforeseen and transient personal circumstances such as bereavement or short-term illness should be considered on compassionate grounds, but are not generally matters of academic accommodation under this policy.

6.    All members of the University community bear responsibility for implementing this policy, and should make themselves familiar with the policy and the resources available to them. Accommodations are collaborative in nature and shall be based on mutual understanding.

7.    Disabilities’ shall be defined as those conditions so designated under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Accommodations shall be sufficiently flexible to address individual needs. Requests for extension or for deferral based on unforeseen and transient personal circumstances such as bereavement or short-term illness should be considered on compassionate grounds, but are not generally matters of academic accommodation under this policy.All members of the University community bear responsibility for implementing this policy, and should make themselves familiar with the policy and the resources available to them. Accommodations are collaborative in nature and shall be based on mutual understanding.

Guidelines

1. Accessibility, Accommodation and Course Design

Accommodation and inclusive course design are methods of preventing and eliminating barriers for students with disabilities.

a.    Course curriculum, delivery and evaluation methods should be designed inclusively from the outset.

b.    Even when the principles of inclusivity (or Universal Design for Learning – UDL) have been applied, accommodations may be required and requested.

2. Privacy and Confidentiality

a.    All documents and communications concerning accommodations shall be kept confidential and may not be disclosed without consent except to the extent that disclosure is necessary for the implementation of accommodations, resolution of a disagreement, or as required by law.

b.    Students are not required to disclose a mental health diagnosis when requesting accommodation. Medical documentation must confirm a diagnosed mental health disability without a specific diagnostic label.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

a.    Counselling and Disability Services (Keele Campus) and the Accessibility, Well-Being and Counselling Centre (Glendon Campus) are the primary offices for processing requests, working with students and faculty members to develop accommodation plans, and providing appropriate resources for the community.

b.    Students shall provide timely notice of requests for accommodation based on disability and the documentation necessary to develop an accommodation plan. Requests are normally expected to be made with the assistance of the appropriate University office or centre as noted in 3a). The information provided must be sufficient for the specialized staff in the appropriate office or centre to determine the appropriate accommodations in consultation with the student and the instructor.  Students are expected to communicate in a timely way any change in their circumstances and to fulfill the role assigned to them  in their accommodation plans in a timely way where required by such plans.

c.    Instructors shall take reasonable steps to accommodate in a manner consistent with these Guidelines and the information provided through the appropriate university office of centre.

d.    Programs / departments and if necessary the Deans / Principal shall make best efforts to arrange timely mediation in cases when disagreements between students and instructors about requests for accommodation are unresolved.

4. Instruction-Related Accommodations

a.    Instruction-related accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  •   timely provision of reading lists and other course materials to allow for alternate format transcription / conversion

  • §  alternate format transcription / conversion

  • §  alternate scheduling for the completion of course, project, thesis work or competency examinations

  • §  reasonable, proportionate extensions to program completion time limits

  • §  use of assistive devices or auxiliary aids in the classroom/laboratory/field (e.g., sound amplification systems worn by course instructors; computerized note takers in the classroom)

  • §  use of oral and visual language interpreters and/or notetakers in the classroom

  • §  permission to audio-record or video-record instruction for accommodation purposes only

  • §  special seating, wheelchair accessible tables

  • §  adjustments to lightingb

b. Accommodation in Examinations and Evaluations

i.        Test and examination accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

o    alternate scheduling of examinations and essays

o    alternate forms of assessment

o    extended time to complete tests/examinations

o    use of special equipment (computer, assistive technology, etc.)

o    use of special facilities (alternate test/exam room and proctor) and/or examinations in alternate formats (e.g. Braille, audiofiles, etc.)

ii. Whenever possible, the usual procedures for writing tests and examinations shall be followed.

Procedures

1.Requesting Accommodations

a.    Students with disabilities who require accommodations shall, in a timely manner, provide all necessary documentation to the appropriate University office or centre, It is that office or centre that determines what is necessary documentation.

b.    Designated offices will help students to identify particular aspects of courses that might present barriers to them and will work with them to identify the appropriate accommodations, to obtain or provide supportive documentation, and to assist the students and instructors in developing accommodation plans.

2. Accommodation Agreements and Dispute Resolution

a.    accommodations having regard to input from the appropriate University office or centre.

b.    In cases where the instructor and the student cannot agree about the provision of accommodations, the instructor shall discuss the recommended accommodations with the specialized staff in the relevant designated office or centre, In the event of a disagreement over an accommodation plan or its implementation, normal dispute resolution processes shall be followed (beginning with the relevant program or department and, if necessary, the Associate Dean / Associate Principal of the relevant Faculty).

DEFINITIONS

Academic Integrity: Academic integrity refers to the upholding of essential requirements of courses and programs: All courses and programs have core or essential requirements against which students are evaluated as to whether they are demonstrating the skills, knowledge or attributes at the designated level of the course.  Learning outcomes involve learning tasks and objectives that must be undertaken successfully without compromising the standard required for success in a course or program.

 Appropriate University Office or Centre:  Refers to the Counselling and Disability Services Office on the Keele Campus and The Accessibility, Well-being and Counselling Centre on the Glendon Campus.

 Disability: For the purpose of this policy, disabilities are defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code as follows:

a.    any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,

b.    a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,

c.    a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,

d.    a mental disorder, or

e.    an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Reasonable Academic Accommodations:  These are planned and agreed-upon variations in the manner in which students may receive course instruction, participate in course activities, or be evaluated.  Accommodations are designed to eliminate or reduce barriers to participation in academic life and to ensure students are treated with dignity and respect.  The University has a duty to provide accommodations up to the point of undue hardship, which may be related to the following factors identified in the Ontario Human Rights Code:

§  Cost

§  Availability of outside sources of funding

§  Health and safety requirements

Students: For the purposes of this Policy, “students” are those individuals who have been admitted to the University, including the School of Continuing Studies, and are eligible to enroll in courses.

Universal Design for Learning – UDL: The principles of UDL(sometimes referred to as Universal Instruction Design or Inclusive Curriculum Design) emphasize:

§  multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge

§  multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know

§  multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation

 

Academic Accommodation for Students’ Religious Observances (Policy, Guidelines and Procedures)

Preamble

York University is a secular institution, committed to sustaining an inclusive, equitable community in which all members are treated with respect and dignity.

I. Policy

a.    The University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community, and making reasonable and appropriate accommodations to adherents for observances of days of religious significance.

b.    No student should be materially disadvantaged / penalized because of religious observance.

c.    Efforts are made by the University to avoid scheduling formal or in-class examinations on days of religious significance which require an absence from the University or prohibit or require certain activities that would make participation in course activities unfeasible.

d.    Students seeking accommodations have an obligation to inform instructors in a timely fashion of a conflict between a date of religious significance and a course examination, test or deadline.

e.    The terms of this policy and the related guidelines and procedures for requesting and arranging accommodations shall be publicized and accessible.

f.     All members of the University community bear responsibility for implementing this policy, and should make themselves familiar with it and the resources available to them. Accommodations are collaborative in nature and shall be based on mutual understanding.

II. Guidelines/Principles

a.    All students are expected to satisfy the essential learning outcomes of courses. Accommodations shall be consistent with, support and preserve the academic integrity of the curriculum and the academic standards of courses and programs.

b.    The University provides reasonable and appropriate accommodation for students whose religion requires them to be absent from the University for observance of recognized religious days of significance.

c.    A list of Commonly Observed Dates of Religious Significance shall be compiled concurrently with the establishment of the Sessional Dates for the following academic year, and disseminated to assist instructors in course planning.

d.    Normally the form of accommodation will be alternative dates for final examinations, and adjustment of dates for term work, mid-term examinations or other course components.

e.    The Registrar’s Office takes into consideration the dates of religious significance in its establishment of the final examination schedule.

f.     Documentation from faith leaders is not required to support requests for accommodation.

III. Procedures

a.  Annual Dissemination of Dates of Religious Significance

The Office of the Vice-Provost Students shall compile the list of Commonly Observed Dates of Religious Significance annually. There are many holy days associated with various faiths, and the absence of such dates on this list should not be interpreted to mean that accommodation will not be provided to students who observe those days.  The Commonly Observed Dates of Religious Significance[1] shall be transmitted to the Office of the University Registrar by September each year for reference in its scheduling of the December and April examination periods for that academic year, and in the establishment of the Sessional Dates for the following academic year. Upon confirmation of the Sessional Dates by the Senate Academic Standards, Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and Senate in the autumn, the Commonly Observed Dates of Religious Significance shall be posted on the Registrar’s Office site and disseminated by the Office of the Vice-Provost Academic to assist instructors in planning their courses for the following academic year.

b.  Final Examinations

Students who have a conflict between a religious commitment and the scheduled date of an examination in either of the December or April formal examination periods must request an alternative date to write the final exam. Using the Religious Accommodation Agreement students contact the course director no later than 21 days prior to the start of the examination period to arrange an alternate examination date. Failure to meet the deadline may result in a denial of the request. The instructor will process requests expeditiously to avoid an academic disadvantage to the student. Completed Agreement forms are submitted to the department offering the course.

In cases where an arrangement between the student and course instructor cannot be made, or if the student is uncomfortable approaching the instructor to request a religious accommodation, the student should contact the Associate Dean of the Faculty in which the course is offered. Students are required to contact the Associate Dean not less than 14 days prior to the start of the examination period. Failure to meet the deadline may result in a denial of the request.

Guided by the student’s particular circumstance, the forms of accommodations provided by the Associate Dean may include:

i.        Treating the request as a conflict and accommodating it within the examination period, or

ii.        Scheduling a deferred examination as close to the original examination date as possible.

c. Term Work/Course Components other than Final Examinations

Students seeking accommodations under the terms of this policy may do so in in order to reschedule the date of:

§  a test

§  submission of an assignment

§  any other other required form of course evaluation (such as labs or presentations)

Students are responsible for making a formal request (in person or in writing) to their instructor(s) for accommodation within 14 days of the date for which accommodation is sought. If the day of religious significance occurs within 14 days of the start of a term, the student shall contact the course director at the earliest opportunity to request accommodation.

Normally the forms of accommodation provided by the course instructor will be to:

i.        re-schedule the evaluation to an alternative date

ii.        provide an alternative evaluation for satisfying the course requirement (including a common date for the class for all deferred tests / mid-term examinations)

iii.        provide an alternative assignment for satisfying the course requirement

In exceptional circumstances, re-calculating the evaluation scheme in a course to eliminate the component that has been missed may be determined to be the most appropriate accommodation for individual students. Consistent with the Guideline that the essential learning outcomes of a course must be satisfied (Section II a), no component worth more than 20% may be re-weighted within the grading scheme.

If a course instructor and a student are unable to agree on the form of accommodation, the request will be referred to the Associate Dean to determine the form of accommodation consistent with these Guidelines / Principles and Procedures.

 

[1] Does not include days of religious observance that are also statutory holidays

 

No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes, which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms. (York University Secretariat: Policies)

Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy

Policy: 
That the grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) be announced, and be available in writing, within the first two weeks of class, and that, under normal circumstances, graded feedback worth at least 15% of the final grade for Fall, Winter or Summer Term, and 30% for ‘full year’ courses offered in the Fall/Winter Term be received by students in all courses prior to the final withdrawal date from a course without receiving a grade, with the following exceptions

  • Graduate or upper level undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the instructor’s discretion, consists of a single piece of work and/or is based predominantly (or solely) on student presentations (e.g. honours theses or graduate research papers not due by the drop date, etc.);

  • Practicum courses;

  • Ungraded courses;

  • Courses in Faculties where the drop date occurs within the first 3 weeks of classes;

  • Courses which run on a compressed schedule ( a course which accomplishes its academic credits of work at a rate of more than one credit hour per two calendar weeks).

Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances, which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations, as soon as possible. (York University Secretariat: Policies,  Procedures, and Regulations)


339 Second Student Centre

416-736-2100 x44869

advocacycentre@yfs.ca

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