Students must conduct themselves in a mature, respectful, and responsible manner. Students are expected to follow the current regulations, policies, guidelines, and procedures of the College and their program. When required, Columbia personnel may take disciplinary measures including suspension, or program withdrawal. If necessary, Columbia College reserves the right to refer an individual matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Columbia College students are expected to have a reasonable measure of self-discipline and academic maturity. While the College’s facilitational resources are available for help and guidance, and facilitators and staff will make reasonable efforts to assist students with academic or other problems, the final responsibility for success or failure in academic studies rests with the students.
At times there may be considerable pressure to achieve high grades. Some students may be tempted to obtain grades by dishonest means. The integrity of the College and the certificates and diplomas it awards are compromised by practices such as cheating and plagiarism. It is for this reason why college regulations are in place. They help to deter academic dishonesty and bring about fair consequences should these situations arise.
There is a pre-existing notion that everyone entering post-secondary education is well informed on how to avoid such offences. The fact is a lot of students are not taught what constitutes academic offences or the consequences associated with them.
“The presentation of words, ideas or techniques of another as one’s own. Plagiarism is not restricted to literary works and applies to all forms of information or ideas that belong to another”.
Some examples include:
- Quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing text without proper acknowledgement of the author;
- Paraphrasing too closely (changing only a few words or rearranging text);
- Submitting the same work in more than one class without permission;
- Downloading work from the Internet and presenting it as your own;
- Purchasing documentation and presenting it as your own;
- Sharing papers including the buying of essays, tests, or other assignments.
Unsure about referencing… then ask!
Facilitators are usually more than willing to help students when it comes to proper referencing, especially if it avoids plagiarism. The Library can also provide help with referencing and there are hundreds of online tools that will help you cite your material properly. Remember, if it’s not your ideas or words then reference the author.
Tips for avoiding plagiarism accusations:
- Acknowledge all assistance received, that would include help from friends or others in proofreading.
- Do not lend your work to other students unless you are sure they will not use it dishonestly.
- Know the specific rules of each assignment.
- Keep a photocopy and electronic copy of all assignments, essays, and term projects you have handed in for grading until you have graduated.
- Do not submit work that is not entirely yours i.e. using another student’s work.
- When in doubt, ask your facilitator. Do not rely on family or friends to interpret what is acceptable practice for a particular assignment.
“The attempt to secure a grade by unethical means. Knowingly assisting someone to cheat is itself cheating.”
Some examples include:
- Impersonating someone during a test or exam;
- Copying or sharing information during a test or exam;
- Obtaining or looking at a copy of a test or exam before it is administered;
- Unauthorized use of materials or technology;
- Unauthorized collaboration between students when individual work is required.
Required to withdraw for non-academic reasons… don’t let this happen to you
Cheating is a major problem among Canadian post-secondary institutions and it can have a lasting and negative impact on your academic career. It’s not worth risking your chance at a great education to gain a few marks on a test.
Tips for avoiding accusations of cheating:
- Do not sit near friends during a test or exam.
- Do not look around the room while writing.
- Cover up your answers so others can’t see.
- Do not take any notes or books into a test or exam unless previously authorized. If you’re unsure, ask your facilitator.
- Arrive on time.
- Do not talk with other students during a test or exam.
- If the manner in which a test, exam, or assignment is being administered seems inappropriate or inadequate, let the facilitator know.
- Report to the facilitator any unusual behaviour of other students writing a test or exam.
“It is an offence to falsify any academic record or to use a falsified record.”
Some examples include:
- Submitting a false excuse for missing a class, exam, etc.;
- Falsifying course work (e.g. altering or making up data);
- Changing the answers on a returned assignment and resubmitting it to be reevaluated;
- Submitting false information on an admission form or other documentation;
- Misrepresentation of knowledge of a language by providing inaccurate or incomplete information about their linguistic educational history;
- Non-disclosure of previous post-secondary enrolment;
- Presentation of another’s credentials as one’s own.
In most instances a lie will eventually catch up with you, so it’s important to be truthful with the College, especially when it comes to academic records.
“It is an offence to tamper with library materials or computer system resources in any way which would deprive others of their use”.
Some examples include:
- Destroying, hiding, or stealing library materials;
- Altering or destroying university computer programs or files without authorization;
- Accessing and altering official records without authorization.
Academic dishonesty is one of the most severe offences a student can commit at College. There are a variety of factors that will influence how a facilitator or Program Chair determines the punishment for a violation of academic regulations.
Was this the student’s first offence?
Was the offence intentional or accidental?
Is the student genuinely sorry for the offence?
Has the student been honest during the investigation?
The following are potential consequences if a student is charged and found guilty of an academic offence:
- Repeat of the assignment that triggered the discipline
- A failing grade in the piece of work triggering the discipline
- Failure of a class or course
- Required withdraw for an academic term or year (up to three years)
- Expulsion from the College
- Loss of a current or continuing scholarship or loss of eligibility to receive scholarship or loss of eligibility to receive scholarships, prizes, or bursaries
- Reduction in grade
- Certificate of diploma being revoked
What to do if you’re accused
You’re probably going to feel frustrated and angry if you’re accused of academic dishonesty; however, you have rights during this process and will have an opportunity to present your side of the story. Remember to be honest and to try and keep your emotions in check so that you don’t say or do anything you may later regret.
Remember that you have a right to be informed about and allegation against you and have a right to see documents that support that allegation.
So what’s going to happen if I’m accused?
- In the case of a first offence, situations can often be resolved informally between the student and facilitator. You may both agree that no violation has occurred, agree to resubmit the work in question or agree to a reduction in grade on the assignment. A facilitator will contact you if he/she feels a violation has occurred and where possible this is the best time to resolve the issue.
- If you cannot come to an informal resolution then the facilitator will seek a formal resolution through the Program Chair. The Program Chair will consider allegations brought forward and both you and the facilitator will present your cases. Remember the burden of proof is on the College to prove a violation has occurred.
- If after your hearing you feel the decision of the Program Chair was unjust you have a right to appeal the disciplinary action (the penalty) or the decision itself (finding of fault).
- You can pick up a Notice of Appeal Form from the Registrar’s office and initiate the appeal process. Please review the calendar section Grievances and Appeals for further details.
If your facilitator is unwilling to discuss the situation with you and is taking the matter personally then make sure you seek advice from another source. The Program Chair is a good place to start. It can be overwhelming after an accusation is laid, but remember that there is help available during this difficult time.
This section is meant to explore collaboration between students and what is considered inappropriate collaboration.
What is inappropriate collaboration?
- Working on assignments together
- Checking homework answers of others
- Having another student help you write a paper
- Sharing sources for papers or take-home exams
- Working in a group for labs
Why prevent collaboration?
Inappropriate collaboration is dishonest because it gives individuals credit when joint work is done. This puts students working independently at a distinct disadvantage and results in an uneven playing field. Inappropriate collaboration also prevents learning because students working together on assignments are not gaining the knowledge they should by working alone.
When is collaboration inappropriate?
If students share information without instruction to do so from their facilitator, then this is considered inappropriate collaboration. This applies to assignments, labs, take-home tests or exams. Only when facilitators specify that collaborating with other students is appropriate should you share information.
What can happen?
Inappropriate collaboration falls under the heading of “Cheating” as an academic offence and can carry the same penalties.
Columbia College would like to acknowledge permission to use materials from Saint Mary’s University’s “Academic Integrity: A student’s guide to avoiding plagiarism and cheating” publication.
A non-academic offence occurs when a student breaches one of the College’s statements related to non-academic offences. The following sub-headings present examples of non-academic offences.
- A student has been disruptive when he or she shows a lack of respect to another person’s thoughts, beliefs, opinions, expressions, peaceful assembly and association.
- Students are expected to be prepared, and positively and actively participate in all classes. They are expected to treat all staff and students in a sincere, polite, honest, respectful, and professional manner. Loud sounds, profane language and actions that negatively affect the college environment are not acceptable.
Physical Abuse, Harassment and Dangerous Activity
- A student has committed a non-academic offense when he/she has threatened to display or displays abuse, harassment and/or dangerous activity toward other member(s) of the College community.
- Harassment or discrimination shall not be displayed to others in any form or for any reason. This includes, but is not limited to, age, gender, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, philosophical, religious affiliation, disability, or sexual orientation.
Misuse or Misappropriation of College Equipment,
Facilities or Services
- No student should gain access to or enter College premises without authority to do so.
- No student shall remain on the College premises after normal classroom or library hours without authority to do so.
- No student shall deface, damage, or destroy College equipment, furnishings, or facilities.
- No student shall gain access to, damage, misuse, or destroy College computers, records or documents, materials stored electronically or otherwise.
- If someone witnesses a student committing a non-academic offense, then he/she is to report that offense to the appropriate College authority or representative.
- The College representative will have the witness, as well as any other witnesses, review the Employee and Student Incident and Grievance Procedures document and if they wish to proceed, fill out an Incident Description Form.
- The Program Chair will then follow the procedures described in the Employee and Student Incident and Grievance Procedures document.
Referral to Civil Authorities
- If necessary, Columbia College reserves the right to refer an individual matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- It is to be understood that regular attendance in all aspects of a course or program is essential to academic success. In general, students who miss three consecutive instructional periods (classes, labs, etc.) for an individual course without authorization may be considered withdrawn. Please review the College’s student attendance policy for further detail. In some cases, individual programs, scholarship awards or funding sponsors (eg. Grants) may include additional attendance requirements.
- Canadian Copyright Law is to be obeyed. Failure to comply with copyright law will result in disciplinary action. This may include suspension, expulsion or legal action.
Liquor, Tobacco and Drugs
- Disciplinary action will be taken when students consume or serve alcohol, when students break the no-smoking policy, or where students are involved in the use or distribution of illegal drugs. Action may include probation, suspension, expulsion and/or legal action.
Incident Reporting, Grievances and Appeals
Exceptional service is expected and uppermost in every decision made and action taken at Columbia College. We believe that the high satisfaction and success of each of our customers will have a direct impact on our success both individually and as an organization.
It is our goal to be recognized by our customers as an exceptional service provider. As such, we continually improve our services by monitoring and objectively evaluating each aspect of our College. This includes the satisfaction, safety and security of our students, employees and visitors.
1. Incident Reporting
The term ‘incident’ refers to:
- Accidents resulting in injury or property damage;
- Work related ill-health and injuries that result in time away from work and have required more than basic first aid;
- Fires or incidents resulting in property damage;
- Dangerous occurrences (near misses that could have resulted in serious harm);
- Incidents of physical or verbal assault;
- And road traffic accidents that occur on campus or during work-related travel off campus.
Incident reporting may also include a safety concern or regulatory discrepancy that requires follow-up and review for preventative quality management. For more information on how to complete an incident report, please refer to the “Incident Reporting Policy and Procedure” document. This document can be obtained by contacting your program chair.
2. Student Grievances
A student grievance refers to a formal complaint made by the student on the belief of an unfair interpretation or application of student contracts, Columbia College policy documents, or program practices. For more information on student grievances, please refer to the “Student Grievance Policy and Procedure” document.
The term appeal refers to a formal request to a higher authority for a chance in or confirmation of a decision. An appeal made be made from a disagreement on the following grounds:
- The nature of the decision (i.e. student wants to appeal a grade due to an incorrect calculation of an assignment);
- Or a disagreement on the outcome of the decision (i.e. student does not refute that they plagiarized on an assignment, but wants to appeal the severity of the disciplinary outcome.
Appeals can be made of decisions made to the following areas:
- Course Grade
- Non-Academic Offense
- Academic Misconduct
For more information on appeals, please refer to the “Student Appeals Policy and Procedure” document.
For questions and support relating to Student Grievances and Student Appeals, please contact the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Records (Confidentiality)
Columbia is responsible for the confidentiality of student records and following the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). No information about a student’s academic record will be released to a third party without written permission from that student. Records may be released to sponsors or civil authorities conducting an investigation.
Columbia’s instructional and administrative personnel, who have legitimate interest in the academic record of a student and require such information, will be permitted access to the student’s records.
Each student has the right to review his/her academic file. When the original documents are shown, examination is only permitted under conditions which prevent alteration or mutilation. Original documents may not be removed from the file, but may be copied. Access fees may be charged for special information requests.
Academic transcripts from other institutions, criminal checks, or other admission documents will not be copied and/or returned to students. As Columbia College can not verify that these documents have not been altered or corrected since their submission, students must request these documents from their original source.
Student Achievement and Academic Regulations
- A student’s final course grade is determined by academic progress throughout the entire course. The facilitator will take into consideration classroom tests and examinations, lab work, essays, reports and projects together with classroom attendance and participation.
Information and Advice
- A student may obtain further information about the Academic Regulations from the Office of the Registrar. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the Academic Regulations.
- It is the responsibility of each course facilitator to determine the grade each student will be assigned for each course.
- Each course syllabus will indicate how a student will be graded for his/her course. This should be reviewed with the student by the facilitator during the first class.
- Each student’s final grade for a course in professional programs will be a letter grade that corresponds to the grading system below. Pre-career program final grades for each course will be stated as a percentage.
- All final grades will normally be submitted to the Program Chair and the Office of the Registrar within one week of the end of classes. The Office of the Registrar will note students’ grades on their official records. The students should normally receive a copy of their course grades within one month of the end of each course.
- Students must submit all course work to their facilitators prior to the end of their courses on the date specified by their facilitators.
|Grade||Grade Point Value|
|A Excellent Performance||4.0|
|B Very Good Performance||3.0|
|C Satisfactory Performance||2.0|
|D Poor Performance||1.0|
Grade Point Average
- Some programs use a weighting factor system to determine the Grade Point Average. Please check with your Program Chair in order to know whether a weighting factor is being used in the program you are attending.
- To determine the grade point average for a set of courses, multiply the grade point assigned to each letter grade by the grade weighting points factor assigned to the course. Although most courses are assigned a 3.00 grade weight, there are some that are assigned other weights such as 1.5 or 6 depending on the number of hours of instruction and/or the difficulty of the material.
- Once the total grade point is determined for each course, the next step is to add up the total of the grade points and divide it by the total of the grade weight points. In the example below, 36 ÷ 13.50 = 2.67 (GPA).The student’s grade point average (GPA) would be 2.67.
|Total Grade Points Factor|
|Management 100||A||4||3.00 =||12|
|Communication 110||B||3||3.00 =||9|
|Marketing 105||C||2||3.00 =||6|
|Marketing 110||A||4||1.50 =||6|
|Management 105||D||1||3.00 =||3|
Non-Grade Designated Courses
- Some courses at Columbia College may not have a grade designation. For example a course may be designated as Pass/Non-Pass.
- Courses which are transferred from other institutions will not show a grade designation.
- The following list indicates other non-designated grades that may be assigned to a student.
|FCR||Formal Course Review|
|CA||Completion of Attendance|
A student will only receive a grade designation “I” in very unusual and/or exceptional situations. The designation will only be awarded by the facilitator after the student has completed the Non-Grade/Incomplete form and have it submitted to his/her course facilitator prior to his/her last class. The facilitator will then review the form and decide if they will make an exception. Serious family illness, emergencies and/or extenuating circumstances out of the student’s control are examples of situations that may be considered exceptions. If the facilitator approves the request, the form will be handed in to the Program Chair for approval and then forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. Normally students have no more than a month to clear an Incomplete course grade.
The designation of “W” is awarded to a student who officially, in writing, withdraws from, stops taking, or is terminated from a program.
CR Credit Rating
Credit – This is assigned to a student by the Office of the Registrar when the student has successfully completed equivalent subject materials, including previously completed Columbia courses in which the student achieved a mark of “C” or better.
Credit By Challenge
This is assigned to a student by the Office of the Registrar for courses in which the student successfully demonstrated prior learning through his/her level of prior knowledge and current competence in challenge examinations or other evaluations set and administered by the Program Chair.
P Pass/Fail Courses
Student performance is indicated by either “pass” or “fail”. In this case, these carry a weight factor of zero.
Awarded to a student who is registered in a credit course, but not eligible for credit.
A student will receive a grade of “X” which indicates that the course is not yet complete at the end of one semester. The student’s grade will be given at or by the end of the next semester.
FCR Formal Course Review
This is awarded to a student who has formally completed the course for review. This student would have previously completed the course successfully, and has repeated the course in a formal setting to improve their skills or retain previous knowledge. Formal Course Review grades carry a weight factor of zero.
CA Completion of Attendance
Completion of Attendance is awarded to a student who was in attendance for the entire course. This grade designation is for students who are auditing the course, but required to complete all of the assignments. Completion of attendance grades carry a weight factor of zero as no grade is assigned.
Student in Good Standing
A student is considered in good standing at Columbia College when his/her cumulative grade point average stands at or above 2.0.
A student in a professional program will be considered on probation when his/her cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0. A student in a pre-career program will be placed on probation when his/her semester average falls below 60%. A student may also be placed on probation when he/she fails to meet the standards of behavior or performance placed on him/her by the College. A student placed on probation will be required to correct himself/herself as soon as possible. He/she may also be restricted from certain actions, events, or activities until his/her probationary status is lifted.
Required to Withdraw
A student may be required to withdraw for the following reasons:
- academic performance (GPA that falls below 2.0);
- an extended period on probation;
- when behavior, attendance or performance does NOT meet the College standards.
Please see calendar section “Incident Reporting, Grievances and Appeals” for details on student appeals.
Clearing Course Deficiencies
Students may only be allowed one repeat of a given course. Only under extreme or very special circumstances may a Program Chair grant a third attempt to complete a course. To grant a third attempt at a course, the Program Chair must present in writing their approval to the Office of the Registrar. The original grade or failure will not be removed from the student’s transcript. The transcript will indicate both the original grade and the repeated course grade. Only the repeated course mark will be calculated in a student’s GPA.
The method of clearing a deficiency must also be approved by both the Program Chair and the Registrar. The methods of clearing course deficiencies include:
- special assignment(s);
- writing supplemental examination(s);
- repeating the course through regular scheduled classes or Continuing Education courses;
- other arrangements approved by the Program Manager.
Students will pay the current course fees or a percentage of program cost for repeating a course. Prorated fees, where applicable, will be determined by the accounting department.
Transcripts of Marks
A student requiring his/her transcripts should complete a Request for Transcript form and forward it to the Office of the Registrar. Transcripts will be given to the student or mailed to the school or agency stated on the request form.
A student’s records are confidential. Transcripts will only be issued on written authority from the student. Transcripts will be a complete unabridged academic record.
The appropriate fee for each copy of the transcript requested should accompany the request for transcripts.
Requirements for Graduation
A student must meet the requirements found in the specific program graduation requirements section of this calendar in order to be awarded a Columbia College Certificate or Diploma.
Grade Point Average Requirements
A student must generally achieve at least an overall 2.00 Cumulative Grade Point Average to qualify for a Certificate or Diploma. Please check with the Program Chair for specific program requirements.
Graduation lists and attendance for the annual convocation may include names of students expected to graduate. In some cases, outstanding requirements may not be successfully completed. Therefore, attending convocation does not by itself verify that a student has graduated from their program.
A transfer student must normally complete 50% of the total program at Columbia. The student’s program of study must be described in the Transfer Student form, and must be approved by his/her Program Chair in advance.
In special cases, residence requirements may be waived if approved by the Program Chair and Registrar (or designate).
Certificate or Diploma with Distinction
A student enrolled in a professional program will be awarded Certificate or Diploma with Distinction if he/she maintains a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.8 or greater for his/her overall program and has not failed or withdrawn from any required course in the program.
Transfer of Course Credits from Another Institution to Columbia College
Transfer credit for courses completed at other institutions may be granted to the extent that such courses are applicable to the student’s degree program at Columbia College. Requests for Transfer of Course Credits must be made during the Admission process.
In order to help determine appropriate transfer credit, students will be requested to submit detailed course outlines for coursework completed at other post-secondary institutions.
Course outlines must include the following information for each course for which transfer credit is requested:
- detailed list of topics covered;
- list of textbooks used;
- grading practices used for the course;
- number of weeks of attendance (excluding examination period);
- and number of lecture, tutorial and laboratory hours.
These outlines can normally be obtained from the department offering the course.
Students requesting transfer credit for courses completed at other institutions must submit a Transfer Credit Request form to the Registrar’s office along with the specific course outline information for each course.
Transfer to Another College/University
Colleges and universities may grant credit on a course by course basis in the form of specific credits for individual courses or groups of courses taken at another institution. Credits will be transferred to the extent that they meet the program, residence and other requirements of the institution in which the student wishes to enroll.
Students who intend to seek transfer credit for selected courses taken at Columbia should seek formal approval in advance from the college or university from which they wish to receive future transfer credit.
Withdrawal from Courses or Programs
Withdrawal from Courses
A student wishing to withdraw from a course must:
- contact the Main Office in building 802, and obtain an official Course Withdrawal form.
- return the form to the Program Chair.
- students who complete the form and return it to the Program Chair will receive a grade of “W”.
Withdrawal from the Program
A student who wishes to withdraw from the program must:
- obtain an official Program Withdrawal form from the Main Office in building 802, and complete the Withdrawal form;
- submit the form to the Office of the Registrar.
Students who withdraw without completing and submitting the required form(s) to the Office of the Registrar will not be eligible for any refund of fees. The student’s permanent record may show a “Failure” in all courses in which the student was registered.
Other College Policies and Records
The college maintains additional policies, procedures, and regulations pertaining to students, faculty and staff. Copies of relevant documents will be made available to faculty, staff and students as required and when requested. See the Program Chair or designate for additional specific program policies.
All of Columbia’s students are bound by the academic regulations that are contained in the current calendar.