Academic Consideration, Appeals and Petitions

General Information for Academic Consideration and Appeals

The University of Guelph-Humber is committed to supporting students in their learning experiences and responding to their individual needs. To this end a broad network of advising, and support services is provided to assist students in meeting their personal and academic goals. The University is aware that a variety of situations or events beyond the student's control may affect academic performance. Support is provided to accommodate academic needs in the face of personal difficulties or unforeseen events. Procedures for academic appeals are designed to ensure that every effort is made at these times to provide appropriate accommodation and consideration, thus enabling students to complete course and program requirements as quickly as possible.

Knowledge of the procedures, early action on the student's part, timely consultation with the faculty(s) and/or Academic Advisor, and immediate provision of any required documentation will facilitate a prompt, coordinated institutional response.

Process for Academic Consideration and Appeals

This chart outlines the categories for academic consideration, grounds, timelines and appeals. For detailed information on the policies and processes, see the following pages. Students are reminded to consult the program head 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 Academic Advisor.

Category Grounds for Consideration Consideration Granted By Period of Consideration Subsequent Appeal To
Incomplete Course Work (see below for deferred privilege requests) Medical Psychological Compassionate Faculty Same semester Academic Review Sub-Committee Submitted as soon as possible, not later than the end of the following semester
Request for deferred Privilege (Examination or Condition) Medical Psychological Compassionate Academic Review Sub-Committee (consult with the Academic Advisor) Documentation must be submitted to the Academic Advisor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline Formal Appeal 10 working days deadline for appeals of academic review decisions
Supplemental Privilege Please see the criteria listed under the Supplemental Privileges section of the Undergraduate Calendar Academic Review Sub-Committee (consult with the Academic Advisor) Documentation must be submitted within the first five class days of the subsequent semester Formal Appeal 10 working days deadline for appeals of academic review decisions
Late Drops, Credit Standing, and Withdrawal with Failure (WF) Medical Psychological Compassionate Academic Review Sub-Committee (consult with the Academic Advisor) Documentation must be submitted within the first 20 class days of the subsequent semester Formal Appeal 10 working days deadline for appeals of academic review decisions
Request for Probationary Status Medical Psychological Compassionate Academic Review Sub-Committee (consult with the Academic Advisor) Contact your Academic Advisor for request submission deadlines Formal Appeal 10 working days deadline for appeals of academic review decisions
Request for Grade Reassessment Calculation Error or omission Faculty 10 class days of the following semester No appeal
Request for Grade Reassessment Methods and Criteria Program Head 10 class days of the following semester Formal Appeal 10 working days after decision of the Program Head
Request for Grade Reassessment Misapplication of an Academic Regulation Faculty Should be initiated as soon as possible First Level: Program Head; Second Level: Vice-Provost; Third Level: Provost

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 faculty member, the Academic Advisor, or the Admissions and Academic Review Sub-Committee.

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 and results 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 Academic Advisor should be contacted regarding appropriate procedures and documentation.

The Academic Advisor is the student's advisor in all matters pertaining to academic consideration and can assist in defining an appropriate course of action (advisor names and locations can be found at https://www.guelphhumber.ca/advising/advisors). It is the student's responsibility to consult the Academic Advisor as soon as extenuating circumstances affect academic performance, in order to initiate action, and provide any required documentation.

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 Academic Advisor.

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 Academic Advisor 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 faculty, 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 Academic Advisor for advice and consideration.

When the absence affects final examinations or final assignments the student should go to Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre or a personal physician for documentation. The student must submit their documentation to their Academic Advisor 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 Academic Advisor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. The student should submit this documentation to the Academic Advisor who will then advise the faculty 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 Academic Advisor for advice and consideration.

3. Compassionate Grounds

Unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control in either 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 faculty 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 Academic Advisor within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline. Generally, work commitments will not constitute grounds for academic consideration.

Incomplete Course Work

Faculty 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 faculty 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 Academic Advisor for advice on an appropriate course of action if:

a) the student feels that appropriate consideration has not been granted by the faculty, 

b) 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 semester’s work the student should:

  1. Inform the faculty-in-charge of the course in writing.
  2. If the faculty member requests it, the student must supply documentation. If documentation is unavailable, the student should consult their Academic Advisor.
  3. Complete and submit missed work by the new deadline established by the faculty member.
  4. Consult with the Academic Advisor 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 Academic Advisor should be consulted regarding an appropriate course of action.

Faculty'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 faculty shall refer the situation to the Academic Review Sub-Committee. The faculty cannot grant extensions beyond the final date for submission of grades for the course.

Academic Advisor Responsibilities

If the student and the faculty cannot arrive at a mutually agreeable accommodation to complete course requirements prior to the course grade submission deadline, the Academic Advisor may act as a mediator. The Academic Advisor may discuss the issue with the Program Head if appropriate.

In the event that medical, psychological or compassionate circumstances are affecting the student's overall performance, the Academic Advisor will ensure that the student's facultys are advised that academic consideration based on medical, psychological or compassionate grounds is warranted. In such cases the program head may be of assistance in co-ordinating facultys' 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 Academic Advisor 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 Academic Advisor. 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 Academic Advisor for advice on the appropriate consideration that should be requested.
  2. Submit a request for consideration to their Academic Advisor. 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 Academic Advisor 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 Academic Advisor for meeting dates.

Faculty's Responsibilities

In a case where a student has not completed course requirements by the course grade submission deadline, the faculty 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 faculty should include with the Incomplete Coursework Form any documentation provided to the faculty 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.

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 faculty;
  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.

Academic Review Sub-Committee Procedures

A request for academic consideration should be made by the student 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. If a student is appealing a required to withdraw decision, the student should consult with their program counsellor about the deadline before submitting the "Request for Academic Consideration" form.

The Academic Review Sub-Committee will consider requests for academic consideration with regard to:

  • Course results (e.g. late drop of a course(s) with or without failure, deferred or supplemental privileges, credit status).
  • Meeting the continuation of studies requirements (e.g. probationary status).
  • Meeting the graduation requirements.

All requests are to be made in writing, on the Request for Academic Consideration form available from Registrarial Services office, or from the student’s Academic Advisor. Request forms must be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation. Requests that are inadequately documented or that lack clarity will not be dealt with but will be returned to the student. The student should meet with their Academic Advisor for advice on the preparation and submission of requests for academic consideration. 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 head within five working days of the missed examination/course work deadline.

When the form is complete, the student should retain a copy along with copies of all documentation submitted. The form, with the original documentation attached, should be submitted to the student's Academic Advisor.

The Campus Registrar or designate, shall prepare the agenda for each meeting of the Academic Review Sub-Committee, maintain a record of the sub-committee's decisions and the Academic Advisors should immediately inform each student in writing as to the disposition of the request.

An appeal of an Academic Review Sub-Committee's decision may be submitted to the Vice-Provost within 10 working days of the decision. Students who are appealing the decision of an Academic Review Sub-Committee for denial of probationary status will not be allowed to attend classes pending the outcome of the petition.