Policies and Guidelines

COURSE POLICIES

Admission Policies

All students enrolling in Faculty of Education courses offered in the Additional Qualifications program at Western must be qualified for admission according to Ontario Regulation 176/10 - Teachers' Qualification Regulation under the Ontario College of Teachers Act.

Applicants must be members of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and hold a Certificate of Qualification and Registration (CQR). NOTE: If you hold a TRANSITIONAL Certificate of Qualification and Registration, you cannot enroll in an Additional Qualifications course.

New graduates MUST be fully certified with OCT prior to the course start. Failure to become a member in good standing will result in the AQ course NOT being recommended for certification. Students from Faculties outside of Ontario MUST be a member of the Ontario College of Teachers prior to the course start date.

Teachers trained outside of Ontario, and wishing to teach in Ontario, must meet the requirements set by the Ontario College of Teachers prior to registration.

Exceptions to the above are made for trained teachers from other jurisdictions who do not plan to teach in Ontario. Contact aspire@uwo.ca for more information.

**To ensure successful application, registration and course completion, applicants are strongly advised to check the Admission Requirements prior to registration.

The ASPIRE Office will make reasonable attempts to ensure that course candidates are qualified for admission to their course; however, the ultimate responsibility lies with the course applicant. We strongly encourage you to seek a pre-assessment for any course which requires supporting undergraduate coursework. *For pre-assessment, email a scanned copy of your transcripts to aspire@uwo.ca or fax to 519-850-2526 and include a note with your evaluation request, OCT application/membership number, and contact email address.

*Admission to all Business Studies, French as a Second Language, Intermediate Additional Basic, Senior Additional Basic, and Honour Specialist courses is dependent on a sufficient academic background. Candidates will be required to submit an official transcript from the university(s) they attended. Western graduates do not need to submit a transcript as your academic record will be accessed through the Western system.

Attendance & Course Participation

As per Ontario College of Teachers' guidelines, there is a time commitment of 125 hours for all Additional Qualifications Courses. This time allotment includes ongoing and active participation in the online Discussion area, participation in Collaborative Inquiry, and the completion of readings and assignments.

Before beginning your course, please be aware of the attendance and time commitment required:

ATTENDANCE

Intersession: You are expected to actively participate in the online discussion (including collaborative inquiry) every second day, and keep up with readings and submit written assignments. The time commitment is approximately 21 hours/week.

Summer: You are expected to actively participate in the online discussion (includign collaborative inquiry) every second day, and keep up with readings and submit written assignments. The time commitment is approximately 31.25 hours/week.

Fall and Winter: You are expected to actively participate in the online discussion (including collaborative inquiry) 3-4 times per week, and keep up with readings and submit written assignments. The time commitment is approximately 12.5/week.

PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS

  1. The progress of each student is subject to various forms of evaluation on a regular basis. Eligibility to remain registered in any course is contingent on a student's ability to maintain a satisfactory level of academic, professional and pedagogic performance in all components of the course (i.e. Collaborative Inquiry, Assignments, and Discussion).
  2. A student who, at the end of a Module, has not achieved a satisfactory level of performance shall, at the discretion of the Associate Dean, in consultation with the student's instructors:
    • be required to withdraw; or,
    • be placed on Conditional Status.

Course Withdrawal/Refund

Withdrawal from an AQ course has a corresponding financial implication. To withdraw from a course after registration, the student should notify the ASPIRE Office immediately by sending an email to aspire@uwo.ca. Note that non-participation in a course does not presume formal withdrawal.

If withdrawal is made prior to the commencement date of the session, a refund of tuition fee less a $100 non-refundable processing fee will be issued.

If withdrawal occurs after the commencement of the session, a refund in accordance with the refund schedule established by Western University will be issued. *The $100 non-refundable processing fee applies to all refund amounts.

Full refunds are issued if a course is cancelled by the University.

Refunds are only issued in the same tender used for payment. No interest is paid on refunded tuition. Refunds take approximately 7-10 business days to process.

Withdrawing from a course after its midpoint will result in a failing grade and no refund of tuition.

Course Deferrals:

Requests to defer a course to the following session must be received  prior to the commencement date of the session, and is contingent on space availability. Students may defer only from Spring to Summer, OR from Fall to Winter sessions; however, not from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter. Submit the deferral request in writing by sending an email to aspire@uwo.ca

Course Cancellation

Decisions regarding cancellations of courses where there is insufficient enrolment will be made approximately 2 weeks prior to course start. Candidates who are enrolled in a course that is cancelled will be notified by email and provided with a full refund or the opportunity to transfer to another open course.

Accommodation for Medical Illness

From Academic Handbook:

The University recognizes that a student's ability to meet his or her academic responsibilities may, on occasion, be impaired by medical illness. Illness may be acute (short term), or it may be chronic (long term), or chronic with acute episodes. The University further recognizes that medical situations are deeply personal and respects the need for privacy and confidentiality in these matters. However, in order to ensure fairness and consistency for all students, academic accommodation for work representing 10% or more of the student's overall grade in the course shall be granted only in those cases where there is documentation indicating that the student was seriously affected by illness and could not reasonably be expected to meet his or her academic responsibilities. Information on submitting documentation is noted below.

Student requests for accommodations due to medical illness that deals with work that is less than 10% of the total course grade should be submitted directly to the course instructor as soon as possible. The course instructor will consider the circumstances of the request and negotiate an assignment extension with the student. Medical documentation is not necessary for a first request and as long as the extension does not exceed the course end date. Please note that discussion participation in a course is a requirement for OCT accreditation and instructors are not able to provide a waiver of attendance requirements.

Documentation shall be submitted, as soon as possible, to the appropriate Dean's office (the Office of the Dean of the student's Faculty of registration/home Faculty) together with a request for relief specifying the nature of the accommodation being requested. These documents will be retained in the student's file, and will be held in confidence in accordance with the University's Official Student Record Information Privacy Policy.

Once the petition and supporting documents have been received and assessed, appropriate academic accommodation shall be determined by the Dean's Office in consultation with the student's instructor(s). Academic accommodation may include extension of deadlines, waiver of attendance requirements for classes/labs/tutorials, arranging Special Exams or Incompletes, re-weighting course requirements, or granting late withdrawals without academic penalty.

Academic accommodation shall be granted only where the documentation indicates that the onset, duration and severity of the illness are such that the student could not reasonably be expected to complete his/her academic responsibilities. (Note - it will not be sufficient to provide documentation indicating simply that the student "was seen for a medical reason" or "was ill.") Whenever possible, students who require academic accommodation should provide notification and documentation in advance of due dates, examinations, etc. Students must follow up with their professors and their Academic Counselling office in a timely manner.

Documentation from Family Physicians and Walk-In Clinics

A UWO Student Medical Certificate (SMC) is required where a student is seeking academic accommodation. This documentation should be obtained at the time of the initial consultation with the physician or walk-in clinic. An SMC can be downloaded at: website to be determined. Hard copies are available from Academic Counselling in the Faculties.

Documentation from Student Health Services

Students obtaining documentation from Student Health Services should sign a "release of information." This form authorizes Student Health Services to provide information to the student's home Faculty. Release of information forms are available from, and can be arranged through, the student's home Faculty Academic Counselling service. Academic Handbook, Appeals, Medical Accommodations Page 2 Issued: 2008 05

Documentation from Hospital Urgent Care Centres or Emergency Departments

Students should request that an SMC be filled out. Students may bring this form with them, or request alternative Emergency Department documentation. Documentation should be secured at the time of the initial visit to the Emergency Department. Where it is not possible for a student to have an SMC completed by the attending physician, the student must request documentation sufficient to demonstrate that his/her ability to meet his/her academic responsibilities was seriously affected.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities: Classroom Assistance

Should you require classroom assistance (interpreters or assistive devices) related to special needs such as hearing or visual impairment, please contact the ASPIRE office at aspire@uwo.ca as early as possible. Arrangements for interpreters, in particular, need to be made well in advance. Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) - assists students who have ongoing conditions or challenges that may include: chronic illnesses, chronic pain, vision, hearing or mobility impairments. To discuss possible arrangements the University can make in order to accommodate your needs, please set up a meeting with a counsellor.

Concerns or Complaints?

If you develop concerns about a course - about the content, delivery, or administration of the course, or any other aspect of the functioning of the course - you must:

  • . . . FIRST take your concerns to the Course Instructor

Instructors are usually very receptive to student concerns once the concerns are made known to them, and are willing to try to resolve or remedy any problem.

  • If you are uncomfortable approaching the Instructor, or if the problem remains after you have done so, consult the ASPIRE Office at aspire@uwo.ca for guidance. You may be advised to present your concern in writing to the Associate Dean who will then investigate.

For further information and guidance, check the following sites:

Policy on Academic Rights & Responsibilities - http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/appeals_discipline/index.html

Office of the Ombudsperson - http://www.uwo.ca/ombuds/
The Office of the Ombudsperson has guides to help with questions such as these ...

  • I just got back my assignment and think the mark I received is unfair. What can I do?
    • Grade Appeals and Other Requests for Relief
    • Writing an Effective Appeal or Request Letter
  • I'd like to talk to my instructor about some issues I'm having with the course. How should I do this?
    • Relations with Instructors and Persons in Positions of Authority
    • Academic Problems and Appeals
    • Writing An Effective Appeal or Request Letter

Email Communication

The ASPIRE Office will communicate with you primarily by email. Ensure that your email account is active and that you check it regularly for important information and instructions. *Some email programs automatically route business emails to 'spam' or 'junk' folders. It is advised to add aspire@uwo.ca to your email contact list to help ensure that you receive our mail.

Notify aspire@uwo.ca immediately of changes to your email address.

English Proficiency

If English is not your mother tongue OR you have not studied full-time for at least three years (or equivalent in part-time studies) in an accredited university where the language of instruction and of examinations was English and which was located in a country where the first language is English, course candidates must ensure they have achieved the required level of English proficiency for certification with the Ontario College of Teachers.

Grade Appeals Guidelines

  1. If you are dissatisfied with a grade on a piece of work or with your final standing in a course, you must first discuss the matter with your course instructor. If at all possible, you must do this within two weeks of the mark being issued or posted. If your instructor is not available or fails to act, or if you cannot resolve the matter satisfactorily with the instructor, you may submit a written appeal to the Associate Dean.
  2. Your appeal to the Associate Dean must cite substantive reasons for your claim that the assignment or course under discussion merits a higher grade. The appeal must include:
    • the assignment(s) under discussion as marked by the instructor; any written comments the instructor might have provided;
    • your reasons for disagreeing with the instructor's assessment;
    • a suggested solution to the issue (such as reassessment of the assignment by a third party, reweighting of the assignment, exemption from a portion of course requirements, rewriting of the assignment).
  3. The Associate Dean will attempt to resolve the matter informally through consultation with you and the instructor.
  4. If informal consultation fails, the Associate Dean will make a final decision on how the appeal is to be resolved.
  5. The Associate Dean will notify you and your instructor of her decision, promptly and in writing, and of any change in grade that may have resulted.

(A grade may be raised, lowered, or stay the same.)

The Associate Dean's decision may be appealed to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA). For policies involving SRBA appeals, go to the Academic Handbook at: Undergraduate Appeals

Plagiarism

Retrieved from Plagiarism.Org

What is plagiarism?

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

All the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. NOTE: Western University subscribes to the service at Turnitin to help professors identify internet plagiarism and help students maintain academic integrity.

For further information:

Cheating, Plagiarism, and Unauthorized Collaboration: What Students Need to Know - http://www.uwo.ca/ombuds/academic/undergraduate/academic_integrity.html

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It - http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml

Is It Plagiarism Yet? - http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/02/

How Not to Plagiarize - http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize

Safe Practices - http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/03/

UNIVERSITY POLICIES

Academic Integrity

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity is a fundamental principle of teaching, learning, scholarship and research. It is a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility.

Scholastic Discipline: Course Candidates are expected to demonstrate a level of academic integrity befitting membership in the teaching profession. Any form of academic dishonesty on the part of a student undermines this Faculty and its courses, and raises grave doubts about whether or not that student should be permitted to pass the course. (Find Western's policy on Scholastic Discipline at http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/appeals_discipline/index.html)

Western's Code of Conduct: Any conduct on the part of a student that has, or might reasonably be seen to have, an adverse effect on the reputation . . . of the University (i.e., furnishing false information) . . . is subject to discipline under this Code. (Find Western's Code of Student Conduct at http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/appeals_discipline/index.html)

Integrity is an essential part of any true educational experience. Integrity is important in Education precisely because integrity is important in all areas of life. If we don't have integrity in the small things, if we find it possible to justify plagiarism or shoddy work in things that don't seem important, how will we resist doing the same in areas that really do matter - in areas, for example, where students' well-being, learning, and educational futures may be at stake; where the reputation of the institution or profession is at stake; or where your own character and trustworthiness is at stake? Personal integrity is a quality of character that must be nurtured. We can only be persons of integrity if we practice it every day. And, basically, academic integrity requires the same things of you as a student as it requires of Faculty members. We will do our best to live up to our responsibilities. If you feel we've failed to do so, you have every right to call us on it. If you do, we have a responsibility to give you respectful consideration. If you feel that we do not do these things, you have the right (and responsibility) to bring this to the attention of our Dean. At the same time, we have a right to expect that you will live up to your responsibilities. If we get a sense that you're not doing so, it is a matter of my academic integrity that we call you on it. Indeed, in certain circumstances (such as cheating or plagiarism), we may be required to charge you with a violation of UWO policy because, at Western, scholastic offences are taken seriously. Academic integrity, as with so much in life, involves a system of interconnected rights and responsibilities that reflect our mutual dependence upon one another. The success of our individual efforts in the ASPIRE program, as with so much in life, depends on all of us conscientiously exercising our rights and living up to our responsibilities. And the failure of any of us - even just one of us - to do what is required will diminish, however slightly, the opportunity for the rest to achieve their goals. That is why it's essential for all of us in this Faculty to practice academic integrity. Practice today will lay a solid foundation for practice tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, so that through daily practice integrity will come to be woven throughout the fabric of our lives, and thus through at least a part of the fabric of society. Retrieved and modifed from: http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf

Accessibility at Western

Western's commitment to accessibility: Western is committed to achieving barrier free accessibility for persons with disabilities studying, visiting and working at Western. As part of this commitment, there are a variety of services, groups and committees on campus devoted to promoting accessibility and to ensuring that individuals have equitable access to services and facilities. To help provide the best experience to all members of the campus community (students, staff, faculty and visitors), this website offers information on accessibility-related resources available at Western: http://accessibility.uwo.ca/

Privacy Protection

The Faculty of Education at Western is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals with whom it comes in contact. Please see our Privacy Protection policy for further information.

Safe Campus Community

http://communications.uwo.ca/safe_campus/

Scholastic Discipline

Policy on Scholastic Discipline Course Candidates are expected to demonstrate a level of academic integrity befitting membership in the teaching profession. Any form of academic dishonesty on the part of a Course Candidate undermines the integrity of the Faculty, and raises grave doubts about whether or not that a Course Candidate should be permitted to pass the course. Course Candidates must be fully aware of and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty, and avoid both the fact and the appearance of any such offences. Ignorance is not an option. Scholastic Offences include the following:

Plagiarism: presenting another's words or ideas as one's own. The concept of plagiarism applies to all assignments, including lesson and unit plans, laboratory reports, diagrams, and computer projects. Detailed advice about plagiarism and how to avoid it can be found in the Plagiarism Policy. For further information, course candidates may consult their instructors, the Associate Dean's Office, and a variety of current style manuals available in the University's libraries.
Cheating on a test or examination.
Falsifying any material you submit for academic evaluation (e.g. pretending that you actually taught a particular lesson when you did not, or reporting a discussion or interview that did not take place)
Submitting a false medical certificate or other such documentation.
Recycling, Double-counting, or Double-dipping: If you submit an assignment, part of an assignment, a reflective comment, or an on-line posting that you or someone else has already submitted in another course, you are committing a scholastic offence. In the unusual circumstance that such recycling of your own original work might be acceptable, you must have prior written approval from the instructor to whom the work is to be submitted.

Penalties for Scholastic Offences include the following: The Faculty of Education will not treat lightly any incident of academic dishonesty. A course candidate guilty of a scholastic offence may be subject to the imposition of one or more penalties such as

  • reprimand;
  • a requirement to repeat and resubmit the assignment;
  • a failing grade in the assignment;
  • a failing grade in the course in which the offence was committed;
  • suspension from the University for up to three academic years or for a portion of one academic year including the academic session in which the Course Candidate is currently registered;
  • expulsion from the University.

In addition to any proceedings which may take place within the University, evidence of wrongdoing may result in criminal prosecution. Course Candidates' Responsibilities principles of academic integrity require that you avoid both the fact and the appearance of any form of academic dishonesty. It means, with regard to assignments, that you must

  • ensure you are fully aware of and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty;
  • submit work you have prepared specifically for the course in question, not something you purchased on-line, borrowed from someone else, had someone else write for you, or recycled from another course;
  • seek only appropriate help from others (such as proof-reading, or discussing your ideas with someone else to gain clarity in your thinking);
  • ask for further information or assistance from your instructors or the Associate Dean's Office, or both, if you find yourself in a situation that raises questions or concerns for you about academic integrity.

As well, even if you are certain that you know what constitutes plagiarism, you should check the information about plagiarism (and how to avoid it) on the ASPIRE website. Instructor's Responsibilities principles of academic integrity apply to all members of the university community. With regard to assignments, they require that instructors will do their best to

  • devise meaningful assignments that further the aims of their courses;
  • provide clear descriptions of assignments so you know what is expected of you;
  • give due and careful consideration to your assignments when evaluating them and assigning grades;
  • inform you of any suspicions they may have that you have plagiarized or submitted work not entirely your own, or that you have committed another kind of scholastic offence,

and,

  • report any suspicions to the Associate Dean who will, in consultation with the instructor, determine whether further investigation is required or penalties warranted.

OTHER

Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession

The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession represent a vision of professional practice. At the heart of a strong and effective teaching profession is a commitment to students and their learning. Members of the Ontario College of Teachers, in their position of trust, demonstrate responsibility in their relationships with students, parents, guardians, colleagues, educational partners, other professionals, the environment and the public.

The Purposes of the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession are:

  • to inspire members to reflect and uphold the honour and dignity of the teaching profession
  • to identify the ethical responsibilities and commitments in the teaching profession
  • to guide ethical decisions and actions in the teaching profession
  • to promote public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.

The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession are: Care: The ethical standard of Care includes compassion, acceptance, interest and insight for developing students' potential. Members express their commitment to students' well-being and learning through positive influence, professional judgment and empathy in practice. Respect: Intrinsic to the ethical standard of Respect are trust and fair-mindedness. Members honour human dignity, emotional wellness and cognitive development. In their professional practice, they model respect for spiritual and cultural values, social justice, confidentiality, freedom, democracy and the environment. Trust: The ethical standard of Trust embodies fairness, openness and honesty. Members' professional relationships with students, colleagues, parents, guardians and the public are based on trust. Integrity: Honesty, reliability and moral action are embodied in the ethical standard of Integrity. Continual reflection assists members in exercising integrity in their professional commitments and responsibilities.