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Guidelines, Policies & Agreements

Please be advised that these guidelines, policies and agreements outline College rules and regulations based on registered students being 18 years of age or older. It is the student’s responsibility to follow provincial regulations and bylaws. Failure to do so will result in penalties as determined by the provincial regulation and/or bylaw.

All students who are less than 18 years of age must adhere to all standard provincial regulations and bylaws. For example, underage smoking and drinking is not allowed at anytime, anywhere on College property.

Academic Policies

Assignment Integrity

Students will risk an accusation of academic dishonesty if they do any of the following:

  • Fabrication: falsifying data, information or citations in academic assignments.
  • Deception: providing false information to an instructor concerning an academic assignment (e.g. giving a false excuse for missing a deadline, falsely claiming to have submitted work or falsely submitting someone else’s work as their own).
  • Bribery: giving assignment answers or test with or without payment.
  • Impersonation: assuming a student’s identity with the intent to advantage the student.
  • Sabotage: intentionally interfering to prevent others from completing their work (e.g. intentionally disrupting experiments of others, cutting pages out of library books).
  • Violation of assignment protocol (e.g. re-submitting a previous assignment after being instructed not to).

Students will be held accountable for any form of academic dishonesty, and incidents will be dealt with by program coordinators.

Exam Integrity

Students will risk an accusation of academic dishonesty if they cheat on an exam or display any behaviour that deviates from instructions on an exam sheet.

Cheating can take the form of crib notes, use of technology or any items when prohibited, using or sharing answers from a classmate’s exam or any forbidden sharing of information between students that violates the established rules governing the administration of the exam.

Plagiarism

The Canadian Oxford English Dictionary defines “plagiarize” in the following way: “1. Take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, etc. of another person) as one’s own; 2. Pass off the thoughts etc. of (another person) as one’s own.”

Students will risk an accusation of plagiarism and/or self plagiarism if they do any of the following:

  • Use words written by another person as if they were their own without providing appropriate documentation and/or citation.
  • Use, in whole or in part, re-stated or verbatim, of any words or ideas, clever or astute phrase written by someone else without acknowledging and referencing that source.
  • Reproduce the substance or structure of another person’s work or argument without providing appropriate documentation or citation.
  • Submit the same assignment or partial assignment to two instructors without written permission from both instructors and without proper referencing.
  • Download work from any source, whether it be the Internet, a database, a catalogue, other electronic form of storage or retrieval, print-based, lecture, television or radio transmission, film or streaming video without acknowledging and referencing that source.

Instructors can investigate any essay or assignment they suspect might contain plagiarized material using any of the resources available at the College including plagiarism detection software, and may engage the assistance of other faculty members or administrators in their investigation.

Each student, through the process of application and registration with the College, agrees to abide by the policies, guidelines and regulations of the College with regard to his/her academic and non-academic conduct. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with all matters relating to the College’s standards of conduct.

Academic Misconduct is defined as “any improper behaviours/attitude affecting a student’s continuing participation in a program of study” displayed in the classroom environment (virtual or face-to-face), while on field placement or work experience arrangements, or during any College function. It includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Interfering with the studies or other legitimate activities of students or staff (such interference may include acts of harassment or discrimination towards students, staff or patrons of Portage College);
  • Unethical, illicit, indecent or otherwise inappropriate use of computer and internal resources;
  • Cheating, plagiarism, fraud, deceit or other forms of academic dishonesty; and
  • Failing to maintain acceptable progress in the program of studies (e.g. inability to complete assignments within the required time lines, placement difficulties).

Breaches in academic conduct may result in disciplinary action. A substantial breach of academic conduct is any behaviour that intentionally or unintentionally jeopardizes the integrity of academic endeavor, or creates a safety hazard, or threatens or endangers the student or others. Such conduct may result in immediate suspension and/or withdrawal from the College programs.

Portage College will consider granting advanced course credit to students who have   successfully completed recognized course work at a post-secondary institution, or who can demonstrate learning based on information educational experiences.

At the time of application - Advisors will grant Advanced Credit to students who have taken courses at institutions with which Portage College has an Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT) Agreement.

       If NO Advanced Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT) agreement exists:

Requests for advanced course credit or assessment of prior learning should be made in writing to the registrar and must be accompanied by official transcripts or appropriate documentation when applying to the College. Fees for this service vary.

Since tuition fees are assessed by program, students will not be refunded  fees for courses for which they have received advanced or transfer credit.  Contact the Registrar’s Office at 780-623-5551 for more information.

Course additions after 10% of the course length will normally not be allowed. Changes in enrolment (drops or withdrawals) prior to 10% of the course length will have no record of the course enrolment on the transcript.

In order to change courses, a student, in consultation with his/her Program Coordinator and Student Advisor, must complete a “Course Change/Student Withdrawal” form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.

Students must complete the requirements for graduation within three (3) years of commencing a certificate program and within five (5) academic years of commencing a diploma program. Exceptions for career program completion may be granted by the Program Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. A re-assessment of competency skills may be required in these cases.

A student withdrawal up to and including 10% of the course length will result in no record of the course enrolment on the transcript. A withdrawal greater than 10% but less than or equal to 95% of the course length will result in “W” (withdrawal) grade on the transcript.

Certain programs offered by the College include placements or work experience for students. This learning takes place within community institutions, agencies or health regions. Many of these organizations, either for statutory reasons (e.g. Protection of Persons in Care Act) or for policy reasons, require criminal record or other background checks for students who will have access to their clients and place of business. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain, at the student’s expense, the necessary checks and provide the document(s) to a student advisor prior to registration. Any information received by the College will be protected from disclosure in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act. Criminal record checks are usually obtained from the local police agency where the student normally resides.

It is the decision of each agency designated as a placement site to accept or reject a student for placement based upon the results of a criminal record and/or other background check. The College will not be responsible for providing an alternate placement location. Since both completion of program requirements and eventual employment in the field of study may be dependent upon results of criminal record and/or other background checks, the College is not responsible for students with unclear records, if they are unable to complete program requirements, obtain employment, obtain professional licensing or become members of professional associations. Students who have concerns should discuss the matter with a student advisor.

All financial obligations to the College must be met before transcripts will be released to the student or third party. The College may withhold services to students who have outstanding accounts.

Tuition refunds are calculated on the basis of the official date of withdrawal from Portage College.

Universal/instructional fees (tuition):

  • For a non-registered student (no show) — full refund.
  • When the College cancels an offering — full refund.
  • Within the first 8 calendar days of the program/course start date — full refund.
  • Student attends up to 20% of the course or program — 75% refund.
  • Student attends over 20% of course or program — no refund.
  • Refunds to Advanced Education for Alberta Supports (formerly Alberta Works)
  • program are in accordance with College Policy.

Apprenticeship and oversubscribed programs:

  • Tuition deposit is non-refundable.
  • Cancel one business day or more before tuition deposit due date — full refund.
  • Less than one business day cancellation or no show — no refund.

Continuing Education courses and programs:

  • No refund is issued beyond the course cancellation or registration date, as advertised by the College unless the offering is cancelled by the College.

Universal non-instructional support fees (Recreation Fee):

  • For a non-registered student (no show) — full refund.
  • When the College cancels an offering — full refund.
  • Within the first 8 calendar days of the program/course start date — full refund.
  • After 8 calendar days — no refund.

Application fee:

  • Once a student is past the "Applied" state in our Student Records system, no refunds are given.

Fees for other services offered at the College (such as books and housing) are based on student utilization, and refunds vary depending on service and circumstance.

Should a student decide to withdraw from a program for any reason whatsoever, the student must notify the Instructor, Program Coordinator, Advisor, or Counsellor.

Failure to complete the clearance procedure or return books and materials can result in the withholding of the transcript, certificate, and/or diploma. Depending upon when the student withdraws, grades of “W” (withdrawal) may be assigned in the courses, and a refund may apply.

A student may be required to withdraw by the College due to lack of student achievement, unacceptable conduct and/or poor attendance. A student who is required to withdraw has the option of appealing this decision. Notice to Appeal forms are available from the Registrar’s Office or Counselling.

The Registrar’s Office will release official transcripts only upon request by the student. Students are required to sign a Transcript Request Form and pay $10 per copy requested before transcripts will be issued. Current students are not required to pay the fee. The Transcript Request Form is available on the College website.

Each program outlines the requirements for certification and all students will be advised of the requirements at the start of the program. Students must complete all requirements to obtain a certificate or diploma.

There is normally a 25% residency requirement. The registrar will determine the condition of any student’s admission/readmission and the advanced credit or transfer credit to be granted ensuring that the integrity of the College’s program and certification processes are maintained.

  • Students will receive regular evaluations of their academic progress from course instructors.
  • Students will be informed, at the beginning of the course, of the evaluation practices that apply to the course.
  • Students can expect that results of marked/graded work will be returned to them promptly.
  • Although not all course work must necessarily be returned to students, student access and review of results will be assured for a period of 90 days from course completion date.
  • Evaluations will give consideration to all aspects of the learning process, including assignments, tests, evaluations, participation, shop/lab work, reports, projects, and work placements, as are appropriate to the course.
  • Evaluation results will be recorded on progress Progress reports may be discussed with the student, and will normally be signed by the student.
  • Final grades are recorded on the progress report, indicating the grade is Copies of the progress reports are given to the students.
  • Unacceptable academic standing by a student in a program or course may result in disciplinary action. Satisfactory standing is pre-defined on a program-by-program basis.

The decision to take disciplinary action and place a student on academic warning/probation or to dismiss the student from a program is made on a case-by-case basis considering all relevant factors.

Evaluation and Grades

Students completing career programs with distinction will receive their certification marked “With  Distinction” and the official transcript will indicate “Passed with Distinction”.

Certification with Distinction is awarded to those students in Career programs who achieve a program cumulative grade point average of 3.7 or higher with no course grades below 3.0.

Students completing programs with honours will receive certification marked “with honours” and the official transcript will indicate “parchment granted with honours”.

Certification with Honours is awarded to students who achieve a program cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or greater (or a weighted average of 80% or greater).

The 4.0 Letter Grading Scale is used for career programs (University Studies, Pre-Hospital and Health, Business, Human Services, Native Arts and Culture, and Technical programs).

Academics for Careers and Education, and Apprenticeship Trades programs use a Numeric Grading Scale. The Numeric Scale is based on percentage. Grades are shown by percentage (e.g. 75%). Additional course grading codes as defined below may be assigned in place of the letter or numeric mark.

"AU" Audit

The grade assigned when a student has attended and participated in a class, but has not been evaluated in any way. A grade of “AU” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"CR" Advanced Standing Credit

The grade assigned when the course requirements have been completed through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. “CR” is not an acceptable letter code for university transfer courses. A grade of “CR” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"IN" Incomplete

A temporary grade assigned when a student fails to finish a course by the course’s normal completion date. After 30 days (90 days for practicum courses), “IN” is replaced by the grade earned, or by an “F”. A grade of “IN” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"IP" In Progress

The grade assigned to indicate that the course is not officially over when the transcript is prepared. After the prescribed end date of the program, “IP” is replaced by the grade earned or appropriate code. A grade of “IP” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"W" Withdrawal

Withdrawal after 10% of the course length, and up to and including the 95% point, will result in the course being shown as “W” (withdrawal) on the transcript.

"P" Pass

In approved courses where a pass/fail grading system is justified, Pass may be used. A grade of “P” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"F" Failure

In approved courses where a pass/fail grading system is justified, Failure may be used. A grade of “F*” is not used in calculating a grade point average. In approved courses with letter grade when an “F” is received a grade point of zero (0.0) is used in the grade point average calculation.

"COM" Complete

In approved courses where a complete/incomplete grading system is justified, complete may be used. A grade of “COM” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"I" Incomplete

In approved courses where a complete/incomplete grading system is justified, incomplete may be used. A grade of “I” is not used in calculating a grade point average.

"RW" Required to Withdraw

Suspension from a course. No credit earned. A grade of “RW” is used in calculating a grade point average with a point weighting of zero (0.0).

"RWA" Required to Withdraw

Suspension from a course due to academic offense. No credit earned. A grade of “RWA” is used in calculating a grade point average with a point weighting of zero (0.0).

Students will be informed, in writing, of the specific grading scale(s) used in a program and the progression/passing standards of their program.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average (GPA) measure achievement in credit courses, and is calculated as follows:

GPA = Total Grade Points ÷ Total Credits

Each course is assigned a credit value based on the course hours.

Step 1: Multiply the number of credits by the grade points received for each course.

Step 2: Total the grade point value for each course.

Step 3: Divide the total grade point value by the total number of credits.

Repeated Courses

Credit for highest grade is calculated in the cumulative grade point average.

Supplemental Grades

Grade on supplemental is awarded, indicated on transcript and included in the grade point average.

Challenge Grades

Grade on challenge is awarded, indicated on transcript and included in the grade point average.

Progression to the next semester or year of study is dependent upon demonstrating acceptable achievement. Each program area determines acceptable achievement and progression requirements. Students are informed, in writing, of specific mark scale(s) and progression/passing standards by the Program Coordinator during student orientation. If you have questions, please contact the Program Coordinator or a Student Advisor.

Student progress is closely linked to student commitment and engagement with the learning process. In order for students to succeed academically and to receive the full benefit of their learning situation, students are expected to involve themselves and participate fully in the process of their educational program.

It is the student’s responsibility to inform their program coordinator in advance of planned absences or in a timely manner for any unforeseen absences.

Appropriate documentation regarding absences may be required.

Health, Safety and Security

College campuses will remain open and classes will run during cold/inclement weather in accordance with the standard hours of operation unless closure is declared by the president. The College will only be closed in the event of a public safety/health matter. Students are encouraged to use judgment to ensure safety during cold/inclement weather.

Portage College is committed to providing its students and employees a learning and work environment that ensures an atmosphere of mutual respect. Harassment is any unwelcome and unwanted behaviour that degrades, demeans, humiliates, excludes, isolates or embarrasses a person or group that a reasonable person would have known to be unwelcome and unwanted. It does not matter whether the harasser intended to offend the other person.

Harassing behaviours may include: malicious or intimidating gestures or actions, threats, bullying, coercion, verbal assault, taunting or ostracizing, threatened or actual physical assault, insults, derogatory comments, rudeness, gossip and slander. It may be a single significant incident or it may be a series or pattern of behaviours persisting over time. Examples of harassment include: written or verbal abuse or threats; displays of racist or other offensive or derogatory materials; practical jokes that embarrass or insult someone; bullying; offensive gestures; unwelcome physical contact; intimidating, patronizing or condescending behavior; humiliating an individual in front of co-workers or their peers; vandalism of personal property; physical assault; and the use of electronic methods including texting, blogging or use of social networks in a derogatory manner.

When a student experiences harassment, it is important to:

  • Identify this to the person who is committing the unwanted behaviour. They may not realize their behaviour is a problem, and they need to be informed that it is unwanted and inappropriate.
  • Report the concern to the Vice President of Student Services, an instructor, coordinator, or counsellor (whoever you feel comfortable with).

Portage College is committed to prompt action to protect the rights of students and staff, as harassing behaviour is absolutely not acceptable.

Portage College promotes a healthy learning environment. All Portage College campuses are smoke free environments. Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.

Cannabis Use

Students are responsible to ensure they are fit to learn. Any impairment and/or inappropriate conduct will be addressed through the college’s Student Misconduct Guidelines. Impairment can be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or any other substances. Be aware of workplace and practicum drug policies.

Smoke can impact the healthy environment and safety of others. Impairment can impact the healthy environment, the safety of others as well as one’s success.

Community standards will respect the rights of all of us and one individual’s or group’s decision should not interfere with the rights of others.

Each campus in different communities have differing bylaws and legislation that can apply. Before using cannabis at any location please ensure you are following all Portage College guidelines, county or city bylaws, and federal legislation.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Portage College recognizes that a student’s religious observance may require an absence from required course activity as scheduled in the course outline or course activities scheduled after the first day of class or from an examination scheduled later in the term. The sincerity of a student’s religious belief is accepted at face value and will be respected, though accommodation of all requests may not be possible in every circumstance.

Students should notify their instructor or program coordinator in writing as soon as possible in advance of the required day(s) of observance, based on the following expectations:

  • For required activities scheduled in the course outline (including practicums), available and/or distributed by the first class — request will be made within the first week of classes;
  • For required activities scheduled after the course outline is distributed — request will be made within five (5) business days of the distribution of the schedule; and
  • For an examination — requests will be made within five (5) business days of the publication of the examination schedule

The instructor and the student will consult to reach agreement on a reasonable accommodation. When making arrangements, the Instructor and the student must ensure that academic progress is not negatively impacted and academic obligations  can be met.

Rules on cell phone use in class vary from program to program. Please familiarize yourself with your program’s guidelines and be respectful of them.

Students are encouraged to make full use of computer equipment in teaching labs, classrooms, campus libraries, and public areas. Students are expected to use privileges responsibly to maintain a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for everyone. Students accept a computer use agreement prior to being granted access. Any misconduct regarding computer use will be treated as misconduct.

Each student, through the process of application and registration with the College, agrees to abide by the policies, guidelines and regulations of the College with regard to his/her academic and non-academic conduct. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with all matters relating to the College’s standards of conduct.

Non Academic Misconduct is defined as “any improper behaviour not normally associated with the student’s academic endeavours, occurring on College property or at a College sponsored event”, and includes but is not limited to:

  • Subjecting any staff member, student or other person to abusive language, physical danger or threat;
  • Acts of discrimination or harassment towards other students, staff or patrons of Portage College;
  • Removing College property without authorization or willfully damaging College property;
  • Neglecting safety procedures /practices, or creating safety hazards;
  • Intoxication from or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Engaging in illegal activities of any nature on College property;
  • Failing to settle outstanding fees or accounts; and
  • Failing to abide by the established rules of service providers (e.g. Housing, property owners of buildings or space leased by the College).

A substantial breach of conduct is defined as: “any behaviour which creates a safety hazard, or threatens or endangers other persons and takes place on College property.”

In cases of substantial breach of conduct, the offender may be immediately suspended/withdrawn from the program of studies, removed from College property or other sanctions as deemed appropriate to the severity of the misconduct, and may include withdrawal of services. All other disciplinary action protocols may be waived.

Because of the need for the College staff to communicate with students on a wide variety of matters, every student should ensure that his/her address, telephone number and email are up-to-date. Any changes in these must be reported immediately to the Program Coordinator or the Registrar’s Office.

Change of address, telephone number, or email as an excuse for not receiving communications is unacceptable to the College.

Students have rights and responsibilities associated with any form of communication or interaction, online or offline. Although cyberspace seems impersonal, students are still responsible for treating others with respect and decency.

Facebook policy itself bars posting “harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, vulgar, obscene, hateful or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable” material on the site (view the Facebook Community Standards at https://www.facebook.com/ communitystandards). Any inappropriate conduct on social media will be considered misconduct.

Any Portage College property such as library books, classroom materials, recreation equipment, shop equipment, and smocks must be returned to the College upon termination or completion of a program. If the loaned material is lost or not returned, the student will be charged for the cost of the material.

The student has the right to appeal disciplinary action and is entitled to just and equitable treatment. Appeals are conducted to ensure that an individual’s rights are upheld within the College’s policies, guidelines and procedures.

Appeals are not intended to create new guidelines or exemptions.

Prior to an Appeal

First, all other means of resolving the issue(s) should be taken. This includes discussion toward resolution between the student and staff member directly involved, and between the student and supervisory staff in the area of concern.

Throughout this process, students and staff are encouraged to seek third party advisement, such as counsellors, to clarify issues and to help seek resolution.

  • “Cool down” before initiating the appeal so that you can study your rights, responsibilities and (See Appeal Procedure and Student Grievance for the number of working days allowed when filing an appeal/grievance.)
  • You have the right to appeal even if it appears you do not have a good case.
  • Not every frustration of student life can or should become the object of an appeal.
  • Look at the weaknesses and strengths of your argument so that you can handle questions in a convincing way.
  • Always talk to the party who originally made the decision.
  • Do not use abusive language when talking about the personality or character of the group/person being challenged.

It is better to avoid having to submit an appeal by developing an understanding of Portage College and departmental rules and regulations, by being aware of deadlines, and by expressing your concerns at the beginning of the semester.

Appeal Procedure

  • If the issue remains unresolved, a student choosing to appeal should complete and deliver a Notice of Appeal form to the registrar’s office or appropriate service area within three (3) working days of receipt of the incident.
  • An appellant has the right to an advocate in the appeal process.
  • The registrar’s office will send the student’s completed Notice of Appeal to the registrar or appropriate service area.
  • The registrar will collect all relevant documentation prior to the appeal and will set an Appeals Committee meeting to hear the appeal within three (3) working days, or if these time lines cannot be met the appellant will be contacted of the revised time line.
  • Appeals will be considered on the basis of procedural non-compliance or circumstances of the appeal by the College or it’s designate.
  • The registrar will subsequently forward the Committee’s decision to the registrar’s office.
  • The registrar’s office will send written notification of the Appeal Committee’s decision within three (3) working days of receipt of the decision.
  • The Appeal Committee’s decision is final.

Portage supports the principle of fostering a fair and caring environment. Examples of grievances covered under this process include fairness of evaluations, grade appeals, late assignments, classroom dynamics, course content, and deferral/ supplemental exam decisions. Students have the right to present their concerns or grievances and can have an advocate (student services staff, student association, other staff members or family /friends) to help present the grievance.

  • Students should first meet directly with the instructor or coordinator to attempt to resolve the concern/grievance.
  • If the concern/grievance remains unresolved, the student should submit a Notice of Grievance form (available in Student Service Centre) within six (6) working days of incident.
  • The supervisor (coordinator or dean depending on situation) will attempt to resolve the concern/grievance and provide a written recommendation to the student and the instructor      (or coordinator) within six (6) working days of receiving the Notice of Grievance.
  • If the concern/grievance remains unresolved, the Notice of Grievance should be submitted to the Vice President-Academic. The decision of the Vice President-Academic is final and binding on all parties.
We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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