April 24, 2013
The new rule is intended to clarify the full-time or part-time status of graduate students in Diploma, Certificate and MBA programs. Other programs are not affected.
Unlike what occurs in master’s and doctoral degrees, graduate diploma and certificate programs are registered as full-time or part-time on a term by term basis rather than according to the status at the time of admission. The required credit load for full-time status was intended to be three graduate courses when originally established (therefore 8 or more credits) however ENCS graduate courses are now 4 credits apiece and this regulation requires updating.
The John Molson School of Business MBA programs have different credit load requirements for full and part-time students. These additions to the Calendar reflect the current faculty practice.
As a point of clarification, international students are required to maintain the full-time or part-time status as indicated in their study permit/CAQ at the time of admission.
This clarification is intended to better reflect the reason for the withdrawal of a student from their program and to update the registration section of the Calendar.
There are two possible cases when a student leaves their program: the student withdraws him/herself or the student is withdrawn by the university. Currently all withdrawals are recorded as “withdrawn from program” on the record. In order to track these activities properly the record will show “withdrew from program” or “withdrawn from program.”
Students in degree program are required to have continuous registration from the time of their admission to graduation except for terms with approved leaves. There are currently three types of leave of absence: a leave without access, a leave with access and a prental leave. A fourth type of leave is required for students who are required to be absent from their program due to administrative reasons. (more) For instance, if an international student has not supplied renewed Study Permits/CAQ documentation by the DISC deadline, the International Students Office deregisters the student. A required “administrative leave” will be applied to the term in which deregistration occurred. When renewed documentation is submitted and registration can proceed, then the student will be allowed to register. The record will show continuous registration except for the leave(s).
This required administrative leave will also be applied to students who have failed to be re-instated within the term of their removal from a program (often due to accounts restrictions) but are able to be re-instated in a subsequent term.
No fee is associated with the leave. It does not extend the time-limit as it is a required leave. The other leaves are with the permission of the program (supervisor) and extend the time limit, but of course only when taken within the program time-limit.
Please remember that the graduate grade reporting deadline for the term is fixed to be no later than seven calendar days after the University’s last scheduled final examination for the term as published in the Calendar. In cases where it is not possible to report the grade by this deadline, the instructor must inform the Chair to make appropriate arrangements. Prompt reporting is critical as SGS does academic standing assessments at the end of each term for awards and continuance in the program. Blank grades will be converted into F-ABS grades at the DISC deadline of the following term.
A student can, with permission, complete the course-work later than the end of the term and have the grade reported according to the following:
*The letter grade is assigned on the basis that the missing work is graded as zero and included in calculating the submitted letter grade. For example, if the student earned an 8/10 for an essay worth 50% of the course and is missing a report worth the remaining 50% then their reported grade should be 40% = F with the IP notation. Grades with /IP or /IPE notations are not used in the cGPA, only the finalized grade is.
Please note that failure to submit the work or report the grade by the required deadlines will result in the initially assigned grade becoming permanent. See the Calendar regulations
Annual Progress Reports: Annual Progress Reports for students and supervisors have now been sent out to all programs. Students will be restricted from any registration activity until they have completed their progress report. As a supervisor, if you have not received the report for your students please contact your program assistant.
Students in the master’s program can be considered for fast-tracking/promotion into the doctoral program at any time. Supervisors and programs are STRONGLY encouraged to do this as early in the master’s program as feasible since the student must pay for master’s tuition (over 4 terms) while registered in the master’s program and then pay the entire doctoral tuition (over 8 terms) in the doctoral program (minus any course transfers). Many supervisors wait until the fourth term (often the Fall) in order to evaluate the student’s research capacity during the Summer. By this time the entire master’s tuition has been paid for Fall entrants. This is especially expensive for international students!
Deficiencies are courses identified at the time of admission and included as a requirement for the degree. All deficiency courses must be completed in the first three terms as per the Letter of Admission. If a required deficiency is determined to have been completed in a student’s previous degree, a request can be submitted during the student’s first term of admission to have a waiver for the course. Course descriptions will be required to assess this waiver. In cases where students have not completed them within the required time SGS places a registration block until the matter is resolved. In some cases the student will be withdrawn from the program. Web-based registrations can also be blocked if deficiency courses are not completed.
Problems with academic standing occur when a student’s cGPA falls below the required level (3.0 in most programs), they receive an “F” or too many “C’s”. All of these issues trigger a registration block that must be resolved with a program recommendation of “may/may not continue” from the program director. Directors may find the following revised spreadsheet calculator helpful when providing advising or deciding on the continuance of students in poor academic standing. It allows you to estimate the necessary GPA in remaining courses to achieve a graduating GPA, displays the required grade combinations, the impact on GPA of taking additional courses or how many additional courses are required to boost the GPA to a given value. The SGS has tested the calculator but if you find any problems please let us know.
Also, please note that the program (director) should notify the supervisor if a student is being removed from program to insure an appropriate close-down of the non-academic aspects (funding, access to labs, etc.).
Program Directors and Supervisors are reminded that supervisory committees can be composed according to program rules. The SGS does not require that the supervisory committee mirror the (thesis) examination committee structure. The supervisory committee should be structured to provide the best supervision for the student with the understanding that supervisory committee members may not ultimately be on the examination committee.
Beginning the Summer 2013 term thesis examiners will no longer provide individual rankings for the thesis for awards purposes. Instead the examination committee will provide a consensus report on the quality of the written thesis which will utilized for awards purposes and be reported on the Concordia Record and Transcript. This consensus report is similar to the current report on the oral defence. The form will appear on the SGS website at the beginning of the Summer term.
In cooperation with the Registrar, SGS has developed a new form to report the thesis grade to insure accuracy in reporting. Recently, several programs have changed the weight of their thesis and it is essential to report the thesis credits so that the Registrar can assign the correct credit weight. Also, the thesis grade can only be reported once all corrections have been completed and accepted. There have been a few instances where the grade had been reported (as accepted) even when the modifications had not been either approved or were approved in a different term than the grade report.
The School would also like to draw your attention to the critically important government reporting deadline dates below. Grades submitted via paper-based Activity Reports will generally be registered in the term in which the activity took place (based on signature date). However, if they are received by the Registrar after the following dates they must be reported in the term in which the report is received since the previous term(s) have been reported to the government. These dates affect all registration activities (Late DNE, DISC, NCC courses etc.) and can result in extra billing to the student.
Fall term - March 1
Winter term - August 1
All Summer terms - November 15
Students who transfer from a PhD to master’s program may request the transfer of academic credits (course grades) and a financial credit associated with the academic credits. Additional financial credits (for tuition paid above the academic credits) will be assessed upon completion of the master’s degree and upon request. All other transfers (e.g. master’s to master’s) are assessed and awarded at the time of transfer. All transfer credit requests should be made in the first term.
Students with a second “C” or an “F” are required to either repeat or replace the problematic course in the “Recommendation on Academic Standing” request. In cases where the recommendation is to replace the course the replacement must be taken after the approval of the recommendation (i.e. a current or previous course cannot be used as the replacement).
Please note, many program directors and program assistants are still listed as having Alcor email addresses. Please verify and update (if necessary) your contact information in the GPD/GPA listing. Also, programs are encouraged to use “positional” email addresses (e.g. GPD_Hist@Concordia.ca) rather than personal addresses to facilitate transition between GPD’s etc.
August 7, 2012
Current time limits for graduate programs at Concordia are approximately twice as long as the optimal time to completion. Therefore, the need for Time Limit Extensions (TLE) is expected to be exceptional. The current time limits can be found in the Calendar
SGS has been implementing tighter rules surrounding the granting of TLE requests. While each case is decided on its own merits the general rule of thumb is that requests for greater than one term of TLE will usually prompt increased supervisor/program monitoring and validation of student progress. As the number of TLE terms increases SGS will enforce greater monitoring of progress by granting one-term at a time TLE, mandating interim-progress reports (IPS) or having the thesis work and proposed work plan reviewed by a committee before granting additional TLE requests. Generally, requests for 3 or 6 terms beyond the time limit for master’s or doctoral programs will be refused.
This process is a work in progress, but, programs and students can expect these conditions to continue to tighten-up in the future.
When making a TLE request it is important to remember that students will generally be held accountable to the timeline that they set for themselves. Therefore, their timelines and plans should be realistic and achievable. Not all requests will be granted which would result in students being removed from the program due to the lack of demonstrable progress.
Academic Integrity is one of the cornerstones of academic life at Concordia University. Every year some students find themselves in a very serious predicament when they unintentionally, unknowingly or through carelessness violate the Academic Code. Sanctions at the graduate level are severe and often result in students failing the course in which the infraction occurred. This can jeopardize the student’s continuance in the program due to the “F” rule.
One of the most common reasons that students give to explain the plagiarism is that they were unaware of how to cite sources correctly. To respond to this, we would encourage instructors to discuss the importance of correct citation practice in the academic and professional environments and remind students of the expectations and requirements when submissions are coming due.
Professors may want to consider adding the following (or something similar) to their course materials to insure that all students are aware of the standard to which they will be held accountable and where to find practical sources for citation information. The following directs students to use the APA style guide but other guides prepared by the Library are available on their website
All graduate students are required to acknowledge the work of other authors by using a clear and accepted citation style when they submit written work to the university. In this course, students must use the APA citation style. An easy to use APA guide can be found on the Library’s website. If you fail to provide correct or complete citations you can be charged with plagiarism which is a violation of the Academic Code. Sanctions for violating the Academic Code can be very severe and may result in removal from the graduate program. Avoid this danger by following correct citation practices. The following is not a complete guide to citations but highlights areas where many students encounter problems.
You are expected to paraphrase the sources of information (e.g. books, journals, the internet, newspapers etc.) that you use in preparing your work. Paraphrasing is more than changing a few words or rearranging the structure of a sentence. A useful guide on how to paraphrase can be found on the University of Toronto website
When you are presenting the words of another author you must, in all cases, place them in quotes or separate them from your text and cite them. The APA citation style page has a good and simple explanation of how to properly quote text; look for the section on quotation and follow it carefully! It is not acceptable to just cite the text as if it were a paraphrase or refer to the author as having stated something (e.g. Smith wrote in his paper…). Improperly quoted text is the single most common error that students make.
Each image, chart and other non-text item taken from another source must cite the original source in the caption. Do not presume the reader will know you didn’t create it.
A simple bibliographic list of your sources at the end of your document is not an acceptable form of citation. Each idea, quote or piece of information taken from a source must be individually identified.
If in doubt, ask your professor, TA, the librarians or visit the Provost’s Academic Integrity page. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.
At the April 20, 2012 Senate meeting the graduate grade reporting deadline for the term was fixed to be no later than seven calendar days after the University’s last scheduled final examination for the term as published in the Calendar. In cases where it is not possible to report the grade by this deadline, the instructor must inform the Chair to make appropriate arrangements. Prompt reporting is critical as SGS does academic standing assessments at the end of each term for awards and continuance in the program. Blank grades will normally be converted into F-ABS grades at the DISC deadline of the following term.
The SGS has reviewed the 2011/12 grades and has found that there are a significant number registered as IP grades. As anticipated, a number of these grades were issued as a means of accommodating the student protests as described in several communications. As the communications and the 2011/12 Calendar rules specify, the grades for these courses are expected to be reported by August 31st.
The SGS has contacted students to remind them of their outstanding IP grades and the need to submit the work sufficiently early to allow for grading and reporting in advance of this important date. A follow-up email will be sent in August to both the student and their professor. Additionally, instructors are asked to insure that a workable submission deadline is set to the student if they have not already done so. If the student knows that they will be unable to complete the work by this deadline, for whatever reasons, then the student should immediately initiate a request with their program for either an in-progress extension grade (IPE) or a late DISC registration. The urgency is to accommodate the possibility of the request being refused while still allowing sufficient time to complete the work before August 31st. See the above link for useful details on the late DISC and IP grades. Please note that any IPE requests would fall under the current Calendar rules. See the following item and examples.
The following information applies to courses starting in the 2012/13 academic year and extensions of existing IP grades.
The new rules surrounding the assignment of “IP’s” are significantly different than the old rules. It is critical that the new rules are followed correctly otherwise students could end up being “stuck” with incorrect or poor grades.
The full set of regulations is in the Current Calendar however the following are the highlights:
Example 1: I have assigned an IP grade to a Winter 2012 term course. What happens to it August 31st?
The IP grade was assigned under the 2011/12 Calendar rules. If the work has been completed, submit the grade to replace the IP grade via the FCMS. If the work hasn’t been completed submit the earned grade thus far otherwise the IP will turn into an F-ABS. If the student wishes to extend the IP, and you agree, the IP grade will need to be changed to a letter/IP notation according to the new rules before August 31st. If all goes well, the programming will be in place. This action will effectively “extend” the IP to the Fall DNE deadline. If you wish to extend the grade/IP notation beyond the Fall DNE deadline, or the programming has not been completed, submit an IP extension request (IPE). These grade changes and requests need to be done immediately in case the IPE request is denied.
Example 2: It is now the end of the Fall 2012 term and I agree to accept work late from a student for their fall course. How do I assign an IP?
Example 3: What if the work is not handed in (or the grade isn’t changed)?
Under the new process the letter/IP grade combination will convert to a permanent letter/INC grade. The letter/INC is a permanent grade and will not be changed even if the work is subsequently handed-in and graded. If the work was handed in on-time but the grade wasn’t changed on time by the professor a Student Request must be submitted by the program to manually change the grade.
ProQuest is company that provides access to a wide variety of information for researchers, governments and businesses via its databases. Until recently all theses submitted to Concordia were put into ProQuest databases as a means of electronic distribution and to facilitate searching. However, with the successful launch of Spectrum, that provides free and full electronic search and access to theses, Concordia is no longer providing copies to ProQuest. Some research disciplines still rely heavily on ProQuest for access to information and may want to require that students submit their theses to ProQuest. Please inform Sharon Carey or Mary Appazetto in the Thesis Office if your program wants theses to be deposited with ProQuest as part of the final thesis submission process.
SGS is working with all faculties, IITS and the Registrar to implement web-based registration for all graduate students. Progress on the project has been steady and a few programs will be piloting web registration for this Fall. We expect an expanded roll-out for all programs to follow. In developing this project it has come to light that some programs may have unwritten rules about the sequencing of graduate courses. This sequencing, which amounts to course prerequisites, is readily accommodated under the current centralized manual registration process but will cause significant problems with student-based web registration. All programs are being asked to report if they have course prerequisites not listed in the Calendar. Virginia Bruce will be sending out these prerequisite reports to programs in August. Please identify any pre-requisites, co-requisites or exclusions that are not currently listed in the calendar. SGS plans to facilitate the curriculum process to get them into the Calendar.
Deficiencies are courses identified at the time of admission and included as a requirement for the degree. All deficiency courses must be completed in the first three terms. In cases where students have not completed them within the required time SGS places a registration block until the matter is resolved. SGS will be implementing similar rules in the upcoming web registration system to insure students are aware of their obligations. However, as a result, program directors are encouraged to validate carefully the need for deficiency courses and to insure that they are taken within the first three terms. Care should be exercised as these courses can add a significant cost to the degree, especially for international students. If a required deficiency is determined to have been completed in a student’s previous degree, a Student Request can be submitted during the student’s first term of admission to have a waiver for the course. Course descriptions will be required to assess this waiver.
Problems with academic standing occur when a student’s cGPA falls below the required level (3.0 in most programs), they receive an “F” or too many “C’s”. All of these issues trigger a registration block that must be resolved with a program recommendation of “may/may not continue” from the program director. Directors may find the following spreadsheet calculator helpful when providing advising or deciding on the continuance of students in poor academic standing. It allows you to estimate the necessary GPA in remaining courses to achieve a graduating GPA, the impact on GPA of taking additional courses or how many additional courses are required to boost the GPA to a given value. Please remember that the program (director) should notify the supervisor if a student is being removed from program to insure an appropriate close-down of the non-academic aspects (funding, access to labs, etc.)
New this year is the necessity to flag specific courses as either being replaced or the repetition of a course in which the student has received a “C” grade in excess of the maximum number allowed. The need arises because the course credits cannot be counted towards the program requirements. In both cases, the program must make a recommendation of either Replace (REPL) or Repeat (REPT). The choice of Replace or Repeat depends on the program’s curriculum requirements and the Director’s decision if the course is an elective. In the case of a replacement the initial course credit (with the “C” grade) is removed, allowing an unspecified replacement course to count towards the degree. For courses that are repeated the initial course credit is retained and the credits for the second attempt are not counted. However, the course grade(s) for all of the courses will contribute to the CGPA.
Annual Progress Reports have now been sent out to all programs. Students were required to complete them by July 15th otherwise they would be restricted from registering until they were completed. The reports were unavoidably delayed this year in order to incorporate new questions and information. Next year the reports should be sent to programs at the usual time at the end of May. The highlights of the changes are:
The School of Graduate Studies is heading an all-faculty committee that is currently examining and reviewing the language proficiency requirements for admission to graduate programs. The intention is to raise the minimum entrance requirements and require that all applicants show proficiency. These changes are expected to come into effect in the 2013/14 academic year, following a consultative process and pending approvals from the various legislative bodies. Hand-in-hand with these changes will be the increased availability of language proficiency courses geared towards graduate students.
The School of Extended Learning has proposed to offer three levels of English language courses specifically intended for graduate students. Each workshop style course will be 50 hours, limited to 20 or less students per class and will cost $585. The cost structure of these SEL courses, as opposed to existing ESL courses, is intended to offer some relief to international students due to the high differential in tuition rates that they face. With prior approval from SGS these courses may be substituted for required language deficiency courses for international students.
At this stage, SGS is trying to determine the interest in these courses for the upcoming Fall and Winter terms in order to establish if they can be offered this year. If your program has identified students or applicants with language deficiencies please send an email to Erika Macfadden (Erika.MacFadden@Concordia.ca). In the email, identify the number of international students that would be required to take language proficiency courses and the term(s) in which the course(s) should be taken (i.e. Fall only, Fall/Winter, Winter). Please also note that any student can take these courses for the purposes of self-improvement even if they are not a degree requirement (in which case they are open to all students, not just internationals). So, if you know of students who would benefit from these courses please include that information in the email. The School will collect the information and work with SEL to assess the feasibility of offering these courses this year. Depending on demand, SEL has committed to flexibility in offering these workshop style courses as intensive courses and at times that minimize conflict with existing graduate course offerings. As this will be the first running of these courses, and there is an uncertain demand, the precise schedule has not yet been determined.
May 24, 2012
Concordia upholds the right that each instructor is to determine appropriate content and evaluation mechanisms in the courses they teach or for which they are responsible. The university also has a responsibility to ensure that all students receive treatment consistent with Concordia’s rules and policies. The following information is intended to help make instructors of graduate level courses aware of the options available to them for assessing and grading students within the framework of existing university policy and regulations.
The information that has been reported to the university indicates that the vast majority of Winter term courses have operated without any disruptions. In these courses, the instructor is expected follow the assessment scheme established in the course syllabus at the beginning of the term and report final grades within the normal timeframe*. In courses where there were disruptions, the instructor has considerable latitude in decisions regarding resolution of individual cases and modification of course requirements. In these cases the following scenarios may be helpful to instructors where they choose to show flexibility in their assessments:
If there is missing work but sufficient material exists to assess the student:
It is legitimate for the instructor to acknowledge and adapt to the fact that some course material is unavailable. If instructors elect to follow this route, students should be made aware of the changes to the assessment scheme and the instructor should report the grades within the normal timeframe*.
If it is not clear that there is sufficient material to assess the student’s work and assign a viable grade:
In these situations, the instructor is encouraged to show flexibility in providing a fair opportunity for students to complete the course especially when the student has made reasonable efforts communicate and work with the instructor. While it is not possible to extend the term, possible accommodations may include accepting work beyond the end of the term, accepting work beyond the normal submission deadlines, assigning alternate work etc. Once the instructor has determined how the coursework will be completed a grade should be reported within the normal timeframe*.
If an accommodation cannot be reached, the instructor may assign a grade according to the work that they have on hand. Where appropriate, students are also entitled to ask for a discontinued registration.
The policies set out in the 2011/12 Graduate Calendar apply for 2011/12 courses.
Additional graduate information has been e-mailed to Department Chairs and Graduate Program Directors for dissemination to all instructors of graduate courses.
* Normal reporting timeframe.
It is important that all students be assigned course grades at the conclusion of the academic term as it may affect academic standing, graduation and/or the ability to take subsequent courses. The normal expectation is that grades are to be reported promptly after all work has been assessed. The issue of grade reporting at the graduate level was discussed at the December 19 and March 26 meetings of the Council of the School of Graduate Studies which approved a new regulation, for 2012-13, that all graduate course grades are to be reported no later than seven (7) days after the end of the university examination period.
The expectation is that grades will be reported within the timeframes above. Where this is not possible the instructor must communicate with their Chair so that the matter can be resolved.