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Student Conduct

As a Northern Lights College student, you are expected to conduct yourself with integrity, dignity, honesty, and respect. NLC does not condone disruptive or dangerous behaviour, or other unacceptable conduct that detracts from the provision of instructional activities and services, or which undermines an environment conducive to learning.

You also have responsibilities pertaining to conduct, including:

  • Punctuality with assignments,
  • attendance at classes,
  • participation in class discussions/activities, or
  • disclosure of issues that may affect your performance.

The College recognizes that you may be faced with personal issues that could take precedence over your studies, and the College makes reasonable attempts to be flexible in these situations while still maintaining the integrity of its courses and programs.

Northern Lights College has developed policies that are designed to ensure you are provided with the necessary information to help you succeed in your studies, or to provide you with the opportunity to approach an appropriate College official when you have a question or complaint pertaining to your studies.

NLC also has policies that come into effect if you are unable to achieve certain course and/or program-related achievement benchmarks; you engage in behaviour that could endanger yourself or others, or could result in damage to College property; you engage in criminal activity while registered at the College; or you do not meet financial or other obligations to the College required for registration.

These policies are outlined in the following sections. For exact details and appeal processes, contact the Registrar’s Office by email at appinfo@nlc.bc.ca for a copy of the policy in question.

ACADEMIC APPEAL

You have the right to appeal course grade(s), if you have reason to believe the grade(s) is/are inaccurate.

Appeal of Term Grades While Course is in Progress

If you believe your term grade (grade earned while a course is in progress) is inaccurate, you should request a review of applicable papers and/or examinations in the presence of the instructor.

On the basis of this informal review, if you and the instructor agree the original assigned mark was accurate, or that a higher mark will be assigned, the matter will be considered concluded. If applicable, a change of grade will be submitted.

If agreement is not reached between you and the instructor, the instructor will provide written notification of this to you, the Program Chair (if applicable) and Dean. You may file a formal appeal. An appeal form may be obtained from Student Services or on the College website.

The formal appeal process requires you to fill out a Grade Appeal form and forward to the Program Chair of the department (or Dean, if there is no Chair) within two working days of receiving written notification from the instructor. The Program Chair (or Dean, if there is no Chair) will render a decision on the accuracy of the grade within three working days. If you agree, you will sign off on the decision, with a copy of the decision forwarded to the instructor (and Dean, if applicable).

If the decision was rendered by the Dean, the decision is final. If the decision was rendered by a Program Chair, and you do not agree with the decision, you have two working days after being informed of the decision to appeal to the Dean. The Dean will render a decision within three working days. That decision is final.

Appeal of Final Grade

After final grades have been released by the Office of the Registrar, if you believe a final grade in a course is inaccurate, you should meet with the course instructor and undertake an informal review of the grade.

Based on this informal review, if you and the instructor agree the assigned grade is accurate or that a higher grade will be assigned, the matter is considered concluded, and written notification of the decision will be forwarded to you, the Program Chair (if applicable) and Dean. The Office of the Registrar will be advised of any grade change. If you and the instructor are unable to agree on the grade to be assigned, the instructor will provide written notification to you, the Program Chair (if applicable) and Dean. You may lodge a formal appeal with the Program Chair (or Dean, if there is no Chair) within two working days of receiving notification of the instructor’s decision from the informal review. An appeal form may be obtained from Student Services or on the College website.

Within five working days of receiving the formal appeal the Program Chair (or Dean, if there is no Chair) will review the assigned grade, including providing you with supervised access to your final examination. The Program Chair (or Dean if there is no Chair) will make a formal decision on the grade to be assigned, and provide the decision in writing to you, the instructor and the Dean (if applicable).

If the decision was rendered by the Dean, the decision is final. If the decision was rendered by a Chair, and if you disagree with the decision, you have two working days to appeal to the Dean. The Dean will render a decision in writing within three working days of the appeal being received. The decision will be forwarded to you, the Instructor, the Registrar and the Program Chair (if applicable). The grade decision by the Dean is final.

ACADEMIC MONITORING

If you are registered in the Academic and Career Programs Division, you are required to achieve a cumulative Term Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.00, unless other collaborative grade scales apply. If you fail to achieve that minimum standard of academic performance, you will be subject to Academic Monitoring.

One week following the grading deadline for the term, the following steps will be taken:

  • The Registrar will notify the Dean of all students who did not achieve the minimum GPA of 2.00;
  • The Dean will consult with Program Chairs to determine if there are extenuating circumstances i.e. a serious health issue documented by a doctor or psychologist or a documented death of a family member – that excuse you from Academic Monitoring and will notify the Registrar;
  • The Registrar will write to you indicating the Academic Monitoring, required followup with the Program Chair, and the consequences of not improving your academic standing;
  • A notation will be placed on your record indicating Academic Monitoring.

For the subsequent term:

If you have completed nine credit hours and achieved the minimum academic standard, you will no longer be on Academic Monitoring. The notation will be removed from your record.

If you have completed nine credit hours and not achieved the minimum academic standard, you will be Required to Withdraw from the program for a period of one term unless there were extenuating circumstances determined by the Dean. A notation will be placed on your record indicating Required to Withdraw.

If you have been placed on Academic Monitoring or have been Required to Withdraw, you may apply in writing to the Dean to review the appropriateness of the decision within three weeks of receiving a letter from the Registrar.

If you are Required to Withdraw, you are permitted to enrol only in Career and College Preparation courses during your one-term withdrawal period. If you were Required to Withdraw, you may apply for re-admission one complete semester after the dismissal.

If a course is repeated to replace a failed or other grade, the higher grade will always be used to calculate GPA or to determine standing. A course may not be repeated more than twice within five years of the first unsuccessful completion attempt.

Ambiguous Situations

Multiple Submission

“Double” or “Multiple” submission involves submitting essentially the same work for more than one course. You are expected to obtain permission from the instructor(s) for whom the work is being prepared before submitting basically the same work for more than one course.

Collaborative Work

You are expected to obtain permission from the instructor(s) before initiating collaborative work. All work that is the result of collaboration shall be identified as such, and shall include a statement about the specific contributions of those individuals who have been involved. You are expected to consult with instructor(s) regarding issues that may involve academic integrity.

CHEATING

You have a responsibility to be honest. Cheating occurs where a student or group of students uses or attempts to use unauthorized aids, assistance, materials or methods. Cheating is a serious educational offense.

Where an instructor believes cheating has occurred, the following will occur:

  • Typically, a grade of zero will be awarded for the exam;
  • For most second offences, a failing grade will be assigned in the affected course;
  • Depending on the circumstances surrounding a first or second offence a more severe level of discipline may be imposed by the College, including denial of re-admission and notation on transcript “Required to Withdraw.”

When an instructor believes you have cheated, you will be informed and allowed to explain. If the instructor still believes cheating has occurred, the Dean will be informed within 10 days of the incident or discovery. The instructor will inform you of the decision regarding the assignment of a grade to the affected work and that the documentation will also be forwarded to the Dean. The Dean will assign any additional disciplinary action.

You may appeal the decision to the Dean or Vice President Education who may refer the matter to an Internal Discipline Committee. The Internal Discipline Committee will recommend action to resolve the problem. You will be updated at each step of the appeal process. The Registrar is available to assist you regarding the appeal procedure.

COURSE CHANGE

In order to change the status of a course, you must complete a Student Record Update available from Student Services. Deadlines for withdrawal are specified in the current Education Calendar.

EVALUATION

You will be evaluated in a fair and equitable manner, regardless of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age.

All College courses and programs use learning outcomes and/or objectives to clearly describe the material covered in the course or program. Any evaluation must be related to this material. You cannot be held liable for evaluation based on material beyond the scope of the course.

Evaluation criteria, assignment due dates, grading scales, policies regarding penalties and allowances (i.e. assignment due date extensions), and other relevant information must be clearly articulated to students at the beginning of a course both verbally and in a course outline.

You must be made aware of:

  • All methods of evaluation used,
  • The weighting of each method used,
  • The learning outcomes of the course, and
  • The material to be covered in the course.

You should receive feedback in a timely manner before the official withdraw date. You will be provided with sufficient feedback to allow you to minimize the financial and/or scholastic penalties associated with withdrawal from a program.

The College recognizes that significant variation in evaluation methods provides the most comprehensive analysis of a student’s abilities, and that evaluation should not be based on a single instance. In general the College encourages instructors to use at least four separate evaluative items as the basis for final grades and to make the final exam worth no more than 50 per cent of a final course grade. However, in certain instances, outside agencies may impose restrictions that limit the methods used in, and the frequency of, evaluation.

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism involves the unacknowledged reproduction of information. It includes inadequately citing sources for information quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in an assignment; wholesale copying of material written by others; and submitting work prepared by someone else as one’s own. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.

When an instructor determines that Plagiarism has occurred, the following actions will occur:

  • Where the instructor regards the Plagiarism as an isolated error, a warning and/or partial grade deduction will be applied.
  • In situations where the instructor regards the Plagiarism as a more serious offense than an isolated error, the following decisions may be rendered:
    • Typically, for a first offense, a grade of zero will be awarded for the assignment, test, paper, analysis, etc.;
    • For most second offenses, a failing grade will be assigned in the affected course;
    • Depending on the circumstances surrounding a fi rst or second offense, a more progressive level of discipline may be imposed by the College.

When an instructor believes that you have plagiarized, the instructor will schedule a meeting within three working days of the discovery of the possible plagiarism. You will be asked for an explanation and may be asked to provide documentation. If the instructor still believes you have plagiarized, the instructor will consult the Plagiarism Committee and request advice. This process will be completed within three working days of the meeting with you, and will comprise part of the process by which the instructor renders a decision. Within two working days of consulting with the Plagiarism Committee, the instructor will inform you and the Dean in writing of the decision.

The Dean, upon receipt of the written information from the instructor, will inform the Registrar, and the Registrar will maintain a record of each offence in your student file. Within five working days of receiving the letter from the Instructor, you may appeal that decision to the Dean. The Dean may confer with an Internal Discipline Committee in making a decision on the appeal. The Dean will render a decision on the appeal within five working days of the appeal being lodged.

STUDENT ABSENTEEISM

Regular and punctual attendance is expected of you in all classes and class activities, including practica, lectures, laboratories, workshops and seminars. Attendance may be a necessary condition for completing a course satisfactorily.

Program specific guidelines may exist and, if so, they will take precedence. These rules can be consulted in the program guide handbook or website. Sponsoring agencies may have their own attendance requirements, which are your responsibility to manage.

If you are absent because of illness or some other acceptable cause, you are responsible for class work or assignments missed. If repeated or prolonged absences are due to illness, you may be required to consult with the instructor to determine accommodation for continuing studies and be requested to submit a medical certificate.

STUDENT PRACTICUM PLACEMENTS

Northern Lights College, according to applicable program requirements, enters into work placement agreements (or practicum placements) with a variety of placement locations in order to provide off-campus learning environments for students. A “practicum placement” refers to any placement, work experience or community agency visit that is part of your program’s completion requirements. Practicum placements are also known as work study, work experience, or direct employment training.

You and your instructors have responsibilities and expectations with regard to practicum placements, and will be expected to complete a checklist and enter into an agreement indicating understanding of these responsibilities and expectations. You must have a learner work-study agreement in place prior to beginning a placement.

If you are injured or become ill during a practicum placement, the Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all illnesses and injuries that occur on the job be reported by you and the employer. The employer is responsible for transporting you to medical aid in the event of illness or injury. The cost of transport will be reimbursed upon receipt of the Ministry of Health BC Ambulance invoice or Taxi receipt by NLC.

If you return to work after an injury or illness, and accommodation is required by you for a successful return to work, NLC will provide assistance via the Health and Safety department to form an accommodation plan.

Suplemental Examinations

The supplemental examination is not an automatic right of students, but a privilege determined by the Dean and the instructor of the course. Under certain conditions, you may attempt to improve your final grade in a course by writing a supplemental examination prepared and evaluated by the instructor.

In order to arrange for a supplemental examination, you should apply to Student Services. The supplemental examination shall be held within one semester of the semester in which the original grade was received. The original grade will be recalculated, taking into consideration the grade earned in the supplemental examination, but in no case shall the supplemental examination count for more than 50 per cent of the revised semester grade. You may not repeat a supplemental examination for a given semester without the approval of the Dean.

The following are guidelines regarding supplemental examinations:

  • specific program requirements must be met;
  • you must have written the final exam and completed all course assignments;
  • in no case will the final grade of a course, which has been recalculated on the basis of a supplemental examination, be greater than ‘C+’; and
  • you must have achieved a minimum grade of 40 per cent in the course (i.e. vs. the supplemental exam).

A fee will be charged for each supplemental examination.

TRADES AND APPRENTICESHIP ATTENDANCE POLICY

During the course of a Trades and Apprenticeship program, you are expected to attend all classroom and lab sessions.

WITHDRAWAL

You must complete an official written withdrawal form within the dates specified in the Education Calendar to “Withdraw” from a course. You are considered to be a member of the class until the Student Record Update form is fully processed.

Non-attendance in itself does not constitute withdrawal from a course. If you drop a course without officially withdrawing, you will receive a final grade of ‘F’ (Fail) and ‘0’ (Zero) grade point. Course withdrawals from the College become effective on the date the Student Record Update form is submitted to Student Services.

After the eighth week, withdrawals will be permitted only under exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the Dean. You must write a letter to the Dean that requests a late withdrawal and outlines the exceptional circumstances, and give the letter to Student Services. The Dean will then convene an Appeal Committee to determine if the ‘W’ (Withdrawal) is to be assigned or if the ‘F’ (Fail) is to remain. If you do not meet specifi c attendance requirements in your program and you do not officially withdraw, you may, at the discretion of the Dean receive a final grade of ‘NSH’ (No Show), rather than ‘F’ (Fail). The NSH will not receive an ‘0’ (Zero) grade point, nor will it be included in the grade point averaging. The circumstances of such situations should be based on compassionate grounds, where the administrative intent is to not penalize you for non-attendance but rather to facilitate you re-enrolling in post-secondary education once your personal circumstances permit. Note: If you wish to withdraw from a course during Intersession, you must do so by the end of the fourth week of class.

FINAL APPEAL

Most College policies include incremental actions to be taken by appropriate College staff and administrators to address issues that arise. Currently, those policies include: Human Rights Policy; Student Absenteeism Policy; Trades Attendance Policy; Academic Monitoring Policy; Academic Cheating and Plagiarism policies; Tuition Payments, Deposits, Deferrals and Invoicing Policy; Grade Appeal Policy; and CollegeResidence Code of Conduct.

These actions are taken in cooperation with or after consultation with you, and will involve input from College officials such as the Conflict Resolution Advisor, Access Services Coordinator, Health and Safety Officer, and/or Student Development Coordinator. Under some circumstances, if successful resolution is not possible through the steps outlined in the policy, the ultimate outcome for you is one of the following decisions:

  • You may be Required to Withdraw from the College for one semester/term with a behaviour contract issued or Academic Monitoring imposed. This contract or monitoring will indicate areas requiring improvement and/or restitution;
  • You may be Required to Withdraw from the College for a period ranging from one semester to one calendar year. The grade ‘Required to Withdraw’ (RW) will be recorded on your official transcript; or
  • If the unacceptable conduct is deemed suffi ciently serious, you may be dismissed from the College.

If you disagree with a decision that has resulted in one or more of the following outcomes – Required to Withdraw, Academic Monitoring, a Behaviour Contract, or Dismissal from the College – there is a final level of appeal that may be available to you.

A Final Appeal will be heard if:

  • The decision was based on inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • The decision was made by College representatives before completing all incremental steps outlined in the specifi c policy under which the original action was taken.

If you wish to lodge an Appeal based on one of these two conditions, you should contact the Registrar’s Office immediately for a copy of the Student Appeals Policy for requirements, deadlines, and an Appeal application form.

You must lodge the appeal with the Registrar’s Office within five days of notification of the final decision that results in one or more of the following outcomes: Required to Withdraw, Academic Monitoring, a Behaviour Contract, or Dismissal from the College.


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