Students’ Rights and Obligations
The role of the Ombudsperson is to:
- Provide an independent and confidential service.
- Gather information related to student concerns and facilitate or mediate a solution.
- Access student records and other documents within the constraints of law and College policy in order to fulfill the functions of the office.
The Ombudsperson will assist you with:
- Grievance recourse
- Grade review
- Direction on procedures or regulations affecting you.
- Appeal procedures for either academic or disciplinary matters.
Excerpt from the Institutional Evaluation Policy (ISEP) pgs. 27 – 30
- Students have a right to know the basic objectives and standards, content and general procedures of a course before registering for the course and to be assured that the course will not be substantially changed after registration.
- Students have a right to be given a written course outline at the beginning of each course which states the required texts and materials, the objectives of the course, the teaching methods, the evaluation system to be used, including tentative dates for major assignments and tests, and penalties for late assignments or missing a test.
- Students have a right to be notified of any change in course outlines in time to be able to meet deadlines for assignments and tests.
- Students have a right to have their courses held at the times and places scheduled in the timetable at registration, unless these are officially changed by the Registrar’s Office.
- Students have a right to have their classes start and end on time.
- Students have a right to be advised in course outlines of their teachers’ expectations with regard to class attendance and any penalties for absences or lateness.
- Students have a right to be notified of class cancellations as soon as possible. Even if prior notice has been given in class, students have a right to have all class cancellations posted.
- Students have a right to have their teachers post and keep office hours. In Continuing Education, practice with regard to posting and availability of office hours may vary.
- Students have a right to be advised in the course outline of the specific implications of cheating and plagiarism for each course.
- Students have a right not to be subject to sexist, belittling, or discriminatory remarks or behaviour in the classroom.
- Students have a right to expect their teachers to determine and maintain standards of student behaviour which will not affect adversely the learning of students in the classroom.
- Students have a right to an on-going evaluation of their performance in their courses throughout the semester. They have a right to be advised of their progress in courses by mid-semester.
- Students have a right to have their grades treated as confidential, subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act. Grades shall not be posted by name or released to individuals other than College employees without written permission, unless required by law.
- Students have a right to review all graded work with the teacher up to the end of the following semester. In the event that the teacher is away from the College, students are advised to contact the department chair.
- Students have a right to request a grade review, subject to the provisions of the grade review procedures in the Institutional Student Evaluation Policy. If the Sector Dean finds that the request for the grade review is well founded, students have a right to appear before the departmental grade review committee to present their case.
- Students have a right of ownership of any original work they have produced and of any exam papers, including class tests, quizzes and examinations, which they have written. The teacher has a right to retain the actual test questions.
- Students have a right to have all of their work and exam papers returned promptly to them. The right to have work returned does not apply in cases where cheating or plagiarism may be involved.
- Students have a right to have their work and exam papers returned individually to them. Exam papers and student work are not to be left in unsupervised areas such as halls or outer offices.
- Students have a right to have unreturned evaluation materials stored for one semester by their teachers or, in the absence of the teacher, by the department chair. This right does not extend to bulky work such as drawings, sculptures, photographs, collages and portfolios.
- Students have the same right accorded to other members of the Dawson community to attend and participate in College meetings. Students have a right to know why a meeting is declared closed.
- Students have a right to academic advising concerning program and graduation requirements, academic regulations and university admissions.
- Students have a right to view any official record that exists in their files.
- Students have a right to an environment which is safe and conducive to learning.
- Students have an obligation to know the requirements of their programs of study, including the academic standing requirements, and to seek help from Academic Advising whenever necessary.
- Students have an obligation to acquaint themselves with the deadlines and the procedures to be followed for registration and course change.
- Students have an obligation to acquaint themselves with the course outline, objectives, teaching methodology and evaluation system of each course for which they are registered, and to assume responsibility for completing course requirements.
- Students have an obligation to respect their teachers’ right to determine course content, methodology and evaluation within the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education and constraints established by the academic departments, programs and the Institutional Student Evaluation Policy.
- Students have an obligation to take action to solve academic problems, which they may encounter in their courses, by communicating with their teachers or by seeking help through College services such as Academic Advising, Counselling, the Academic Skills Centre, or Cléo.
- Students have an obligation to be honest and to refrain from cheating, plagiarism and other dishonest or deceptive behaviour. Students have an obligation to inform themselves of all aspects of the College’s policy on cheating and plagiarism.
- Students have an obligation to attend their scheduled learning activities.
- Students have an obligation to remain informed about what takes place in their regularly scheduled classes. Absence from class does not excuse students from this responsibility.
- Students have an obligation to make arrangements in advance to meet the requirements of any classes missed as a result of taking an intensive course which forces them to be absent from their regularly scheduled course offerings. Students who take intensive courses may be subject to penalties for missing laboratories or tests prescribed in the course outline.
- Students have an obligation to respect their teachers’ right to formulate and enforce policies on lateness and attendance. Penalties for absences may include failure in the course.
- Students have an obligation to arrive on time and remain for the duration of scheduled classes and activities.
- Students have an obligation to wait for the teacher for 15 minutes after the scheduled beginning of a class, unless they have been notified otherwise in a specific instance.
- Students have an obligation to respect teachers’ right to expect assignments to be neatly and legibly presented (typed or double spaced, if hand-written) with appropriate identification (name, student number, course title).
- Students have an obligation to respect teachers’ right to set deadlines for assigned work and to establish penalties for failure to comply with these deadlines. Students have an obligation to submit their work at the time specified by the teacher.
- Students have an obligation to ensure that all assignments are given directly to the teacher and are advised to retain a copy of work submitted as a protection against loss.
- Students have an obligation to write tests and final examinations at the times scheduled by the teacher or the College. Students have an obligation to inform themselves of, and respect, College examination procedures.
- Students have an obligation to pick up evaluation materials at the time and place specified by the teacher.
- Students have an obligation to keep all quizzes, tests, papers, essays or other assignments returned to them for at least one semester in the event of a grade review.
- Students have an obligation to show respectful behaviour and appropriate classroom deportment. Should a student be disruptive and/or disrespectful, the teacher has the right to exclude the disruptive student from learning activities (classes) and may refer the case to the Director of Student Services under the Student Code of Conduct.
- Students have an obligation to respect the rights of other members of the community to a clean and safe environment, and not behave in any way which might jeopardize it.
- Students who wish to observe religious holidays have an obligation to inform each of their teachers in writing within the first two weeks of each semester of their intent as prescribed in the Policy on Religious Observances.
For the complete Institutional Student Evaluation Policy, please consult:
Typical concerns brought to the Ombudsperson
- Academics (grading disputes, testing procedures, instructor/student misunderstandings)
- Disagreements/misunderstandings with College policy
- Human or legal rights violation
- Cultural conflicts
- Reporting unethical behavior
- Have a problem at Dawson and do not know how to proceed?
- Feel you have been treated unfairly?
- Need information about policies or procedures at Dawson?
- Need someone to mediate between individuals in the College?
- Think that the College has made an error regarding your case?
- Need information about grievance procedures and your rights at Dawson?
- Feel that you are the victim of harassment or discrimination?
- Have suggestions about improving the College?