New Students FAQ

*For information on applying to Dawson College, please go to our Admissions website.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

What is Welcome Week?

Welcome week is designed to provide new Dawson students with a first look at the tools and resources offered by the college. On your assigned Welcome Day, you will have the opportunity to:

  • familiarize yourself with Dawson and the Dawson community.
  • learn out about the tools, services, and support available to you at Dawson.
  • connect with staff, faculty, and other new students from your program.
  • take your picture for your Dawson student ID card.
  • find the locations of your classes before the first day of classes.
  • find the location of the locker you chose online, if applicable.
  • receive your agenda and water bottle from the Dawson Student Union.

How/When do I find out what books I need to buy?

The books you need to buy for your classes will be listed on the course outlines provided by your teachers during the first week of classes.

To find out if the books you need are available at the bookstore, login to your My Dawson portal and click on Bookstore Course List under the My College Services tab.

Where do I buy my books?

You can buy your books at the Bookstore located in the Lower Atrium, 1F.2.

You can also look for used books on the Dawson Used Book Exchange or Sale Facebook page.

How/Where do I get an ID card?

It is mandatory for all Dawson students to carry a valid Dawson ID card. You will have the opportunity to get your Dawson student ID during Welcome Week.

Once classes have started, Student ID cards are available in room 2E.01. The first card is free, but there is a $10.00 (cash only) replacement fee in the event that a new card needs to be issued to you.

How/Where do I get a locker?

You can rent a locker online through the My Dawson portal under My Omnivox Services. The cost to rent a locker is $6.00 and is payable online by Visa or MasterCard credit cards only. Please note that in order to access the locker selection module, you must have already finalized your schedule.

Lockers are not available to Continuing Education students.
Students in an AEC program must get their lockers through the AEC department in room 3H.1.

 

Registration

Is there a guide or written information that provides details about registration?

Yes. Login to the MyDawson portal using your student number and password.

Desktop: Once logged in > My College Services > Timetable and Registration Guide

Mobile App: Once logged in > Services > Omnivox Home Page > My College Services > Timetable and Registration Guide

The Timetable and Registration Guide explains how and when students in each program can register, and includes a searchable database of all courses offered in the upcoming semester, including day, time, teacher and location.

There are also instructions within the registration module itself. (Login to the MyDawson portal using your student number and password. Click on “My Intranet” and then on “Registration.”) In the registration module, read all instructions, then follow the directions given to register for courses proposed to you for the current semester. For a video that walks you through the registration process, go to New Student Orientation

You will register for your courses at your designated appointment time during the prescribed registration period. You can find your personal registration appointment time on the MyDawson portal using your student number and password. About a week before registration begins, Go to MyDawson -> My Omnivox Services -> Course Registration to see your registration access time.

How do I register for my courses?

You register for your courses online. Login to the MyDawson portal using your student number and password. Click on “My Intranet” and then on “Registration.”

In the registration module, read all instructions, then follow the directions given to register for courses proposed to you for the current semester. For a video that walks you through the registration process, go to New Student Orientation

I will be away at registration time. What do I do?

Students can register from anywhere as long as they have internet access. If you will not have access to the internet, you can give a trusted friend or family member the necessary information, including student number and password, to register online for you. In-person registration, which takes place once online registration is over, is a last resort. Your choices will be limited if you wait for in-person registration, and there is no guarantee that you will get a full course load. Remember, registering for your courses is your responsibility.

Can I change my registration appointment time?

Appointment times are organized by program and semester of study. It is not possible to change your appointment time. Remember though, that your appointment time signals the start of your personal registration period, and you normally have several days to complete your registration.

Do I choose all of my courses myself?

All students choose their own general education courses (English, French, Humanities, and Physical Education) and complementary courses. Students in most programs are assigned all or some of their specific education courses. (These are also called concentration courses.) The exceptions are General Social Science and Liberal Arts students, who select their own specific education courses.

The course I want is full. How do I get into it?

During the online registration period, you can check available course seats online. Within the registration module, on the right-hand side of the “course request form,” there is a box in which you can enter a course number to “check for available seats.” Unfortunately, if a course is full it is not available to you. You can keep checking course seats as outlined above, right up until you finalize your registration online. You can make a change should a seat open up or if a new section of the course is added.

Do I need to write an English Placement Test in order to register for an English course?

You must write an English Placement Test and have a placement result in order to register for an English course, unless you have already passed a cegep-level English course.

Do I need to write a French Placement Test in order to register for a French course?

Not necessarily. If you graduated from Secondary V in Quebec, you will be given a French placement based on your final grade in Secondary V French or français. If you have a French placement, you may register for a French course (space permitting).  If you have not graduated from a high school in Quebec or have not passed a cegep level French course, you will be required to write the French placement test in order to know what level of French to take.

I want to register for a course but the system won’t let me. How come?

There are several possible reasons. Either:

  • The course is full.
  • The course is not proposed to you.
  • The course is reserved for another profile/program.
  • You do not have the prerequisite for the course.
  • You need special permission to take the course.
  • The course is not offered in the current semester.

You can check available course seats within the registration system, and whether the course is reserved for another profile/program in the Timetable and Registration Guide. You may call the Registration Help Line at 514-931-5701 to seek clarification as to why you’re unable to take the course or to request that it be proposed.

What is an intensive course?

An intensive course is an entire college course offered in a condensed time schedule, sometimes before a semester begins or after it ends. Intensives allow you to complete a typical semester-long course in a shorter amount of time. It is very important that you make yourself aware of course start and end dates, as well as the course drop deadline, as these courses don’t follow the traditional timeline of most CÉGEP courses.

I can’t finalize. What do I do?

If you are not taking all of the courses proposed for the current semester, you must request a reduced course load in order to finalize. (To do so, log on to MyDawson, select my My College Services, and click on Reduced Load Requests. If you haven’t done so, exit the registration module and log in again: you should now be able to finalize.If you are taking an additional course, you must call the Registration Help Line at 514-931-5701 to have a registration permission added for the extra course.

For all other difficulties finalizing, please call the Registration Help Line at 514-931-5701.

How do I register for extra courses?

Students sometimes wish to take additional university prerequisites that are not part of their program, or to take more than their normal course load. Call the Registration Help Line at 514-931-5701 and ask to speak with an advisor. If the advisor agrees to the extra course, s/he will propose it, and add the necessary registration permission so that you can register for the extra course and finalize on your own.

Who can help me with registration?

Videos are available online to help you with the registration process. You will find links to several videos relating to the registration process in our New Student Orientation section.

Where can I find out what the deadline to register is?

The deadline for online registration is listed in the Internet Registration Timetable & Registration Guide, which is available on the College’s website and on your student portal. Login to the -> My College Services. These deadlines are also publicized on the MyDawson portal.

Can I come into school to register in person?

In-person registration, which takes place once online registration is over, is a last resort. It is not recommended.  Your course choices will be limited if you wait for in-person registration, and there is no guarantee that you will get a full course load.

Can someone else register for me?

Yes. You can give a trusted friend or family member the necessary information, including student number and password, to register online for you.

Proxy registration is permitted for in-person registration. If you cannot attend registration, please pick up and complete a Proxy Registration Form at the Registrar’s Office (2D.6) to have someone else register for you. This form is also available online.

Can I change a course after I’ve finalized?

You can try to change a course during the designated course change period, which is at the start of the semester. There must be space in the course you want, it must be open to you in your particular program, and it cannot conflict with other courses in your schedule. There is a fee for changing courses.

 

The First Week of School

When do classes begin?

Classes generally begin in the third week of August for the fall semester, and the third week of January for the winter semester. For specific start dates, consult the academic calendar for the current academic year. You can access the Academic Calendar from the Dawson homepage.

What do I bring to school on the first day?

Bring your course schedule, a binder so you can safely store the course outlines you’ll be given, and a pen. If you have a Phys. Ed. course, be dressed for gym and ready to go.

What if I can’t find one of my classes?

There is a map of the College in each wing of the building, on every floor.
Decoding a room number: 4E.5 – This room is on the 4th floor, in the E wing, room 5.
If your course is offered in a room with “P” in the number, it means that the course takes place in the Pepsi Forum at the corner of St. Catherine Street and Atwater.

I will be away for the first week of classes. What do I do?

As soon as you’ve finalized your schedule during the registration period, email your teachers to let them know. Ask if an electronic copy of the course outline is available so that you can be prepared for your first class when you do return. Please note that course change normally takes place during the first week of classes, and no course changes take place once the deadline has passed.

I’m in a course I cannot stay in. What do I do?

If you feel that you are not in the right level of a course (for example, French), you should speak with your teacher and discuss your options.
If you can no longer make it to school for the course (although you believed you could when you initially registered for it), you can try to change the course during the course change period at the start of the semester. You can change courses on line or in-person; see the College website for details.
If you feel that you need to take fewer courses than you initially registered for and would simply like to drop a course, see an advisor at drop-in to discuss the implications of dropping the course.

What if I feel that I have chosen the wrong program?

The first few days in a new system are often stressful; don’t rush to any snap judgments. You have several weeks at the start of a semester to try out courses before the course drop deadline. Give your courses a fair chance, but be aware of the course drop deadline. (The deadline to officially drop a course is usually 3 about weeks after school starts each semester, but please check with an Advisor to be sure.) If, a few weeks in, you still feel that your program is a poor fit, speak to an advisor to explore your options. There is a program transfer deadline every semester (November 1st to be in a different program in winter, and March 1st to be in a different program in fall). Please note that we don’t admit to any of our 3-year programs in the winter semester.

Can I speak to an advisor?

In the first week of classes, advisors are available at drop-in, in room 2D.4, with no appointment necessary. Please see the Academic Advising website for posted drop-in hours. To check drop-in hours, go to https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/academic-advising/

 

Course Change (Adding/Dropping/Changing the Type/Time of a Course)

What is the difference between an essential course change and preferential course change?

An essential course change is a course change that must be carried out, either because:

  • you lack the prerequisite for the course
  • you aren’t taking the course that is supposed to be taken with it
  • you are taking a course at the wrong level
  • you are taking a course that doesn’t count in your program/profile.

You can try to make a preferential course change if you prefer to take a different course than the one you registered for, or the same course at a different day or time, or with a different teacher.

When is course change?

Course change generally takes place over a 4-day period at the start of the semester. For specific dates, log onto MyDawson, check the Internet Registration Timetable & Registration Guide ( – Go to MyDawson -> My College Services or ask at the Registrar’s Office (2D.6).

I’m having second thoughts about a course I registered for. Can I change it?

Maybe. It depends on whether the course you would like to take instead…

  • is offered in the current semester.
  • is proposed to you.
  • Is not reserved for another profile/program.
  • has room in it.
  • doesn’t conflict with other courses in your schedule.

My teacher has told me that I’m in the wrong course. What do I do?

If your teacher has indicated that you lack the prerequisite or co-requisite for a course that you are taking, or that you are taking a course at the wrong language level, s/he or the department chairperson may give you an essential course change form. Please bring this form (which must be signed by the chairperson or program coordinator) to the Registrar’s Office (2D.6). All requests will be processed within 24 hours, and you will be able to view your revised schedule in Omnivox. You will be sent a MIO if there is any issue with the change.

Can I change a course on my own?

There are both online and in-person processes for course change. In the online process, you can change:

  1. one section of a course for a different section of the same course
  2. one course for another course that sits in the same box of your progression chart (e.g., a complementary)
  3. or make several of the above changes at once, to arrive at a whole new schedule.

You must come to in-person course change to add a course or to change into a course that is not proposed to you. Please go to your My Dawson portal for details about these course change processes. There is a $20 fee for one or more successful course changes carried out in a single operation.

How do I add a course?

Authorization is required. Please go to in-person course change to add a course. The necessary form is available in the course change room on in-person course change days. Please consult this form or your My Dawson portal for specific details about dates, times and location of in-person course change.

How do I drop a course?

FIRST SEMESTER STUDENTS

Both Pre-university Students and Technical/Career Program Students: To drop either a General Education or Specific Education/Concentration course, go to drop-in at Academic Advising (room 2D.4) during a posted drop-in period.

The deadline to drop a course is September 19th for the fall semester, or February 14th for the winter semester. Please note that the course drop deadline varies for intensive courses; please check the Print-Friendly version of your schedule, your course outline or the Timetable for specifics.

There is no fee to drop a course.

What is the deadline to change a course?

Course change normally begins on the third day of classes and continues for 4 days. See your My Dawson portal for the specific course change deadline each semester.

What is the deadline to drop a course?

The course drop deadlines are normally September 19th for the fall semester and February 14th for the winter semester. Please note that the course drop deadline varies for intensive courses; please check the Print-Friendly version of your schedule, your course outline or the Timetable for specifics.

Who can help me with course change?

If you have questions about course change, see an advisor at a posted drop-in time (room 2D.4) or check out the video posted on the College website.

 

Mid-term Assessment/Grades/Transcripts

What is a mid-term assessment?

At mid-term, you will receive notification from each of your teachers as to whether you are passing, failing or at risk of failing in their course. If you are failing or at risk of failing any of your courses, you should speak to your teacher to find out what you need to do to improve your grade, and seek out help from student support services if needed (e.g., go to Academic Skills Centre (4E.3) for help building stronger study skills or essay writing skills, or to line up a tutor for a particular course).

How do I find out my mid-term assessments?

Mid-term assessments are available to you by logging onto your MyDawson portal and looking under the heading “Results – Mid-term Report.”

Are mid-term assessments on my official transcript?

Mid-term assessments are not official grades and do not appear on your transcript.

What if I’m not doing well in course(s)? Where do I get help?

Start by speaking to your teacher to find out what you need to do to improve your grade. Seek help from student support services if needed:

  • Academic Skills Centre (4E.3) for assistance with study skills, essay writing, to line up a tutor
  • CLEO (4E.10) for help with French reading comprehension and oral or written expression
  • Counselling and Career Development (2D.2) regarding personal issues or career exploration
  • The Library (5C.) for assistance in carrying out research
  • Student AccessAbility Centre (2E.8A) for specialized services or accommodations relating to a learning challenge or medical condition
  • Academic Advising (2D.4) for advice on academic matters, educational planning and transferring programs

What is a transcript?

A transcript is a permanent academic record, listing all courses taken and final grades in those courses.

Do courses that I dropped appear on my transcript?

If courses have been dropped officially, using the appropriate form and by the stated deadline, and bearing all necessary signatures, they do not appear on your transcript.

Where do I find my grades?

You can find grades for course you have completed on your MyDawson portal under the heading “Results – Final Grades.”

Will my grades be mailed to me?

No, grades are not mailed to you each semester; they are made available on your MyDawson portal.

What is an authorized absence?

Due to exceptional circumstances, a student may have reason to ask to drop a course after the course drop deadline has passed. An Authorized Absence may be requested only for serious medical reasons which prevented the student from attending school for more than three weeks in a given semester. Supporting documentation from an independent medical professional is required. Other requests will be considered in exceptional cases for grave and serious reasons. Students must submit their requests before the end of the semester concerned.

How do I apply for an authorized absence?

A request for an authorized absence must be completed (available at the Registrar’s Office, room 2D.6), and supporting documentation from an independent medical professional is needed. The form (and, ideally, the supporting documentation) must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the semester concerned.

What is a grade review?

A student can ask to have a committee review and, if necessary, re-evaluate his/her grade in a particular course. This is a grade review. The committee will be composed of 3 teachers including the teacher who assigned the disputed grade. Your grade may go up, may go down, or may remain unchanged.

How do I request a grade review?

You must complete the Request for Grade Review form and submit it to the relevant Dean along with supporting documentation. The Dean will review the request and determine if a grade review committee should be struck.

 

Changing Programs

How do I transfer into another program?

You must submit a Program Transfer Request (available in Omnivox under My College Services) by the stated deadline. An admissions committee will determine if you can be offered admission to your requested program. It is important that you find out if specific prerequisite courses are needed for the program you are requesting, or if a portfolio, interview, test, audition or anything else is required.

Can I request a transfer into a different program in any semester (i.e. fall or winter or summer)?

Provided you meet the admissions criteria, you may request a transfer into any program for the fall semester.
You may request a transfer into most Social Science or Creative Arts/Arts, Literature and Communication or Science profiles for the winter semester. Transfers into three-year career programs are not possible for the winter semester.
Generally, you cannot request a program transfer for the summer semester.

Is there a chance my program transfer request won’t be approved?

Admissions are competitive and it is possible that your program transfer request will not be approved.

What happens if my program transfer request isn’t approved?

If your program transfer request is not approved, you stay in your current program, academic standing permitting.

Does it cost money to request a program transfer?

There is no fee for a program transfer request.

When is a full application to a program required rather than just a program transfer request?

If you are not a current student in a day or evening program, you must complete a full College application.

What is the deadline to request a program transfer?

The deadlines to request a program transfer are as follows:

  • November 1st (to be in a different program in winter)
  • March 1st (to be in a different program in fall)

 

Final Exams

Do all courses have final exams?

No, not all courses have final exams. Generally, all math and science courses do. Consult your course outline to be sure.

What do I need to know about writing exams?

Please follow this link for regulations governing final exams, in particular the rules that will result in disqualification from writing a final exam.

What am I allowed to bring into a final exam?

Only I.D. cards, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers and any other allowed course specific materials can be on your desk.

Can I change my exam schedule?

Students must be available for any examination scheduled during the examination period. No special arrangements will be made in the event of personal time conflicts.
For special circumstances, the examination coordinator may allow a final examination to be scheduled outside the final examination period (e.g. students who are on a stage or internship during the final examination period).

What if I miss an exam?

Students must be available for any examination scheduled during the examination period. If you miss an exam, you may fail the course. In the event of a personal emergency preventing you from writing an exam, please contact your teacher and/or Dean immediately. Supporting documentation will be required.

 

Miscellaneous

How do I get a proof of enrollment letter?

Please go to the Records Office (2D.6) to request proof of enrollment.

Can my parents access my personal student information?

If you are aged 18 or over, your parents may only access your personal student information with your consent.

What if I need to see my teacher but I’m not free during his office hours?

Contact your teacher using the email address and/or phone number listed in your course outline to attempt to line up an alternate meeting time, or send him a MIO (an email message system available when you log onto your student portal, under “My Services”).

What is the CRC or R Score?

This score is used by Quebec universities to compare and rank students for university admission purposes. Students receive individual scores for each of their courses as well as an overall R Score. This score is calculated by the Ministry of Education and accessed by the College, which in turn makes it available to students. R Scores are updated in February, June and September. Click here for detailed information on the R Score.



Last Modified: December 6, 2018