Student Wellness Services (SWS) Policy on Special Academic Accommodations for Students
Students may on occasion experience circumstances beyond their control which compromise their ability to write exams or submit assignments at required times. Requests for special academic accommodations (such as extensions, deferred tests and exams) may be recommended or supported by counsellors when serious personal circumstances or psychological problems have significantly compromised a student’s ability to function academically.
Accommodation requests by counsellors are made on the basis of their professional decision of what would be appropriate under the current circumstances. The final decision to grant such accommodations, and in some instances the nature of accommodations, lies with the course Instructor.
Steps for Arranging Academic Accommodations
Students should refer to their department and/or faculty regulations and procedures for academic accommodations. Initially students should directly contact the instructor and/or department in order to request an accommodation. Forms for requesting accommodations can be found on faculty or department web-sites. (For example, request forms are available for extensions on assignments, missed exams, exam conflicts, religious holidays, bereavement.)
If the extenuating circumstances are of a personal/confidential nature, and if the student prefers not to disclose these to their instructor or department, students may approach their counselor for supporting documentation.
Generally, supporting documentation from a counselor can only be provided if:
- the circumstances in question have been or are being addressed in counselling at SWS;
- these difficulties have been assessed by the counsellor as sufficiently disruptive to the students personal and/or academic functioning to warrant support from a health professional;
- the circumstances are confidential.
If the difficulties are of a chronic and ongoing nature for which documentation has been provided in the past, the student must demonstrate that they have been working on resolving the issues and working on developing coping skills to receive continued support.
Requests for academic accommodations may be supported for students in crisis even if they have not been previously seen at the counselling service.
Students who are seeing their family physician or a counselor in the community should contact these service providers for documentation. Counsellors cannot provide documentation on behalf of other service providers.