A message for Conestoga students - updated December 22, 2017
We know that students have many questions about the impact of the faculty strike on their studies, plans for the extended terms, potential refunds and many other issues.
We’re working with Conestoga Students Inc., with government and with our other partners and will provide clear answers on these issues as quickly as we can.
Please check back regularly for further information and updates.
Message to students from VP Student Affairs - November 19, 2017
Could there be another strike if the faculty union and the colleges can't come to an agreement?
No. The Ontario government passed legislation on November 19 that ended the strike and called for the appointment of a mediator-arbitrator who will have the exclusive power to determine all matters necessary to conclude a new collective agreement between the faculty union and the colleges. That process will unfold in due course, but will not interfere with classes or with other college operations.
Conestoga looks forward to welcoming new students in full and part-time courses for the winter semester.
Where do I go to find out more about changes to courses and programs?
Students should follow the same timetable that was in place at the beginning of the semester. When you return to class, you will be provided with information regarding revised course expectations and due dates.
Will assignments, tests, projects or graded labs be due or held on the first day back to class?
No. Assignments, tests, projects or graded labs will not be due or held in the first class of each of your courses. When you return to class, you will be provided with information regarding revised course expectations and due dates.
Has fall semester been extended?
Fall semester dates have been extended to allow you to complete your academic term. Classes will continue until Friday, December 22 and resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. The last day of the fall semester will vary depending on your program. You will receive more information about revised dates when you return to class.
Will there be accommodations made for students unable to attend class during the revised semester?
If you have travel plans, employment and/or family obligations that will require you to miss classes in the extended semester prevent you from attending class, program contacts from Conestoga’s academic schools and program areas will work with you to develop solutions that will help you maintain both your studies and other obligations during this time. All requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
To submit a request, please contact the designated point person for your school or program area. These individuals will work with you to collect the required documents including student number, program, proof of travel booking etc. Once this is done, your request will be forwarded to your program chair for review and approval. All request for attendance exceptions must be submitted by Monday, December 4.
Will the college provide accommodations for students with school-aged children for the week of January 2-5?
Conestoga will provide free child-minding services for school-aged children (ages 4 -12 ) of registered students during the week of January 2 to January 5, 2018. Services will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the Doon (Blue Room, 1B18), Cambridge (Grand River Room, A2205-9), Guelph (Room 2A23) and Waterloo (Room D6) campuses.
In order to access this service, parents or guardians
- must remain on campus while your child is in the child-minding area,
- must provide proof of timetable if you are planning to leave your child in the child-minding area for more than 4 consecutive hours, and
- must provide a peanut-free lunch if leaving your child over lunch time.
Please note that Conestoga is unable to provide this service for children who are sick or who require administration of any medications.
When will winter semester start?
The winter semester will begin on January 15 and end April 27. The mid-winter student success week (February 26 to March 2, 2018) will be maintained.
Will we lose our mid-winter student success week?
No. The mid-winter student success week (February 26 to March 2, 2018) will be maintained.
What are the semester recovery plans for my program?
The plans will vary from program to program, based on their learning outcomes. You will be provided with information regarding revised course expectations and due dates when you return to class.
What are the semester recovery plans for apprenticeship programs?
For more information on semester recovery plans for apprenticeship programs, please visit the Apprentices web page.
What are the semester recovery plans for collaborative programs?
Plans for programs delivered in collaboration with other institutions (e.g., Wilfrid Laurier University) will be communicated to students by faculty and program leads.
I am expected to start co-op in January, how do semester recovery plans affect me?
The Co-op department is contacting employers of students with winter work terms impacted by academic recovery to renegotiate start dates to January 15 where possible. Students will be contacted by the Co-op department to confirm your revised start date.
Should you or your employer have travel plans, accommodations or other needs that require you to start your work term prior to January 15, your Co-op Advisor and program contacts will work with you to develop solutions that will allow you to meet both your study and co-op obligations. All such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
I have been informed that my class will be having a test less than seven days in advance. Will I be able to write my test with Accessibility Services with my accommodations?
If your test has been scheduled with less than seven days’ notice and you are unable to book it online, please contact your campus’ testing office. You can schedule your test by phone, email or in person at the testing office. If you have missed a scheduled test, contact the testing office and staff will help you reschedule. Please visit Accessibility Services for more information.
What are the revised academic dates?
Revised academic dates are published to the college's website. The winter semester will begin on January 15 and end on April 27, 2018. The mid-winter student success week (February 26 to March 2, 2018) will be maintained.
Can I withdraw from my program and get a tuition refund?
Conestoga encourages all students to come back to class to learn about the semester completion plans put in place for their program. With the adjusted academic plans, semester extension and student supports now in place, you will have the opportunity to successfully complete the semester and be ready in January to go on to the next step, whether that is a new academic term, a co-op placement, or a career.
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has confirmed that students who choose to withdraw as the result of the strike will receive tuition refunds:
- Students who choose to withdraw from their programs are eligible for a refund of all tuition fees, including the tuition deposit, as well as all ancillary fees with the exception of the Health Plan Fee and any program supply fees.
- Parking pass fees will be refunded on a pro-rated basis. Contact Parking Services for more information.
- Partial tuition fee refunds will not be granted.
- Students must withdraw in writing by submitting a signed Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office or the International Office by December 5, 2017, stating the strike as the reason for their withdrawal.
- The tuition refund also applies to both full-time and part-time apprentices. Apprentices can apply for a full refund of classroom fees if they are unable to complete their in-school training for reasons related to the strike.
- Refunds generated as a result of a program withdrawal for OSAP recipients will be sent to the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) for credit against their outstanding loan balance (if applicable).
- All other refunds will be issued by cheque. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing.
Students who submit a Withdrawal Form after the December 5 due date and wish to be considered for a refund of their tuition due to the strike must submit an appeal outlining the exceptional circumstances. These requests must be submitted in writing, along with supporting documentation noted below, to the Registrar's Office no later than December 22, 2017.
- Student submissions must detail facts, particularly dates, circumstances and how these circumstances affected the student’s ability to submit their withdrawal by the due date. Evidence verifying these circumstances should also be provided. Considerations will be made under the following:
- Documented medical cause where the student was under direct medical care. This documentation may take the form of a letter from a certified medical practitioner and must include the dates where the student was under care and therefore unable to notify the college of intent to withdrawal by the due date.
- Documented personal cause. The documentation must be based on the nature of the event (i.e., a copy of an obituary in the case of bereavement).
Can I withdraw from my program and start again?
We encourage all students to continue with their current program. With the adjusted academic plans, semester extension and student supports now in place, you will have the opportunity to successfully complete the semester and be ready in January to go on to the next step, whether that is a new academic term, a co-op placement, or a career.
If you are thinking about withdrawing from your current program and would like to reapply for an upcoming semester (winter, spring or fall of 2018), please contact an admissions officer for more information and to confirm the process. Admissions officers are located in the Registrar’s Office and International Office at the Welcome Centre, Doon Campus. Students who withdraw cannot be guaranteed admission to future offerings, particularly in highly competitive programs.
I have decided to withdraw from my program.
If you withdraw from your program, Conestoga's Career Centres can help you explore other options and provide supports as you decide what you are going to do next. Services are free and available to everyone. You don't need to be a registered student to access career advising and support services.
I am an international student. Will withdrawing from my program affect my study permit or work permit?
The International Office is hosting information sessions for international students daily during the weeks of November 20 and November 27 to discuss questions about study permits and work permits for international students who are considering withdrawing from a program in fall 2017 and/or restarting at the next program availability. The schedule of information sessions will be emailed to international students.
What is the Student Strike Relief Fund, and how do I apply for it?
Conestoga will provide up to $500 per student to help cover unexpected incremental costs resulting from the strike. Examples of such costs include additional childcare fees, incremental transportation costs such as rebooked train or bus tickets, incremental living expenses such as housing, or other additional expenses students may have faced as a result of the strike.
Lost wages are not considered an expense and cannot be claimed through the strike fund. However, Conestoga recognizes that students may face hardship because of lost work opportunities during the strike and invites students to use the appeal process to apply for extra assistance.
- All domestic and and international students registered in a full-time program of study at Conestoga in fall semester 2017 are eligible to apply.
- Students who are on a co-op work term in fall 2017 are not eligible to apply.
- Students who choose to withdraw by December 5 and receive a full tuition refund are not eligible for further assistance.
- The online application is now available at http://www.conestogac.on.ca/student-strike-relief. Applications will be accepted until April 27, 2018 to allow for any unforeseen expenses that may be identified later.
- Students should complete the application form and submit it along with receipts or other supporting documentation providing evidence of additional expenses.
- If you do not have receipts, record the expense and provide an explanation. The claim will still be reviewed.
- Cheques will be issued to students who meet the eligibility criteria. Further information about timelines and distribution will be provided in the near future.
Financial assistance provided through the Student Strike Relief Fund will not impact students’ OSAP funding or eligibility.
How does the strike affect my OSAP?
The Ontario government has released the following information regarding OSAP:
- Students currently receiving OSAP who were likely to graduate before December 31 of this year, and who have their current semester extended, will receive additional OSAP for the length of the extension. OSAP will start making payments for extensions in mid-December, after college extension plans are finalized.
- Students currently receiving OSAP who have their winter semesters extended past the normal end date will also receive additional OSAP aid.
- If you have questions about your OSAP status, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When are winter semester fees due?
Fee payments for winter semester are due December 5, 2017, for students who do not receive OSAP. Students who receive OSAP have until January 19, 2018, to pay their fees.
I use the textbook rental service, will the extended semester affect my rental term?
The deadline to return rental textbooks is extended to Friday, January 12, 2018. The Conestoga Bookstore is committed to ensuring students have the resources they require to complete their term successfully. If you have any further questions, please contact the Bookstore at 519-748-5220 ext. 3241.
Will I need to purchase an additional parking pass for the extended semester?
No. Your fall parking pass will be extended to the revised end of semester date at no additional cost.
I stay in residence, how does the return to class affect me?
The residence cancellation deadline of November 15 has been extended. All residence students will be notified of the final date via email once it has been determined.Students currently living in residence will be able to stay until the end of the extended semester at no additional cost.
Are there changes to the locker limitation dates?
Locker limitation dates have been changed for the fall and winter semesters to accommodate the revised semester dates. Student lockers for the fall 2017 semester will be extended until January 12, 2018. Winter semester lockers will be avaialable from January 15 through April 27, 2018. Spring semester locker dates will remain the same.
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