Academic Consideration & Accommodation for Students

The Faculty of Arts and Science Protocol for Short-Term Academic Consideration is intended to guide students admitted to the Faculty of Arts and Science, instructors, departmental and Faculty office staff, in situations where extenuating circumstances are interfering with a student's ability to complete academic requirements related to a course(s) for a short period of time not to exceed three months. This protocol was developed in response to the recently-approved Senate Policy on Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances.

You must be a student in the Faculty of Arts and Science to submit a request for academic consideration through this portal. If you are a student from another a Faculty (e.g., Engineering and Applied Science, Nursing, School of Business, etc.), even if you are taking an Arts and Science course, you should submit your request for academic consideration according to the protocol and procedures of your home Faculty.

Submit a Request for Academic Consideration

Academic Consideration vs. Academic Accommodation

The chart below provides a summary of the difference between academic consideration vs. academic accommodation. The chart includes information about the relevant Queen’s University Senate policies, the objective, definition and examples of what constitutes academic consideration vs. academic accommodation, the types of conditions that may fall into each category, and who at the University authorizes the arrangements for academic consideration vs. academic accommodation.

 Academic ConsiderationAcademic Accommodation
Queen’s University Senate PolicyAcademic Considerations for Students in Extenuating Circumstances (April 2017)Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (November 2016)
ObjectiveTo provide consistent and fair academic considerations to students for a range of extenuating personal circumstances.To provide appropriate academic accommodations for students with disabilities as part of the University’s commitment to accessibility and equity.
Definition

An action or actions taken by an instructor or Faculty Office in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance.

Examples of academic consideration include:

  • Excused absence, deferral, extension,modified schedule for assignments, projects, labs, or placements, alternate assignment, re-weighting of term marks, permission for an incomplete grade, or course withdrawal without penalty.

 Any adaptation that reduces or eliminates barriers to participation, which arise when a student with a disability interacts with the academic environment.

Examples of academic accommodation include:

  • Extra time, different location, use of computer, adaptive technology, note-taking, alternate format (e.g., receiving textbooks in audio and/or electronic format), extensions.
Conditions

Extenuating circumstance beyond the student’s control, not to exceed 3-months.

Examples of conditions include:

  • Short-term physical or mental illness (e.g., stomach flu, mononucleosis, pneumonia, short-term anxiety or depression)
  • Serious injury (e.g., concussion or broken bones)
  • Required treatment (e.g., surgery or
    medication side effects)
  • Serious injury or illness of significant other
    (e.g., car accident)
  • Bereavement
  • Traumatic event (e.g., divorce)
  • Officially representing the University in a
    sanctioned event

Chronic or ongoing physical health or mental health condition, or a learning disability.

Examples of conditions include:

  • Long-term physical or mental illness (e.g., hearing, visual, or mobility impairments, diabetes, cancer, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD/ADD, OCD, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.)
  • Learning disability (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia,
    dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory or visual
    processing disorders, etc.)
Responsibility for Authorizing Arrangements

The Faculty Office verifies documentation. Instructor works with student to determine and implement reasonable academic consideration.

Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) determines accommodation and provides Letter of Accommodation for instructors to implement.

Students, delegates, instructors and administrators who are unsure if the situation requires an academic consideration or an academic accommodation may contact either the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Science (613-533-6000, ext. 75413 or asc.accommodations@queensu.ca) OR Tess Grant, Occupational Therapist at Student Wellness Services (613-533-6000, ext. 75842 or tess.grant@queensu.ca).

Background: Guiding Principles, Definitions, and Exclusions

This protocol is intended to guide students admitted to the Faculty of Arts and Science, instructors, Departmental and Faculty Office staff in situations where extenuating circumstances are interfering with a student’s ability to meet academic requirements related to a course(s) for a short period of time, not to exceed 3 months.

As noted under the Academic Consideration vs. Academic Accommodation section above, the Senate Policy on Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances was approved in April 2017. The Faculty of Arts and Science has developed this protocol to provide a consistent and equitable approach in dealing with requests for academic consideration from students facing extenuating circumstances. Academic consideration does not guarantee a particular level of achievement in a course(s). The following guiding principles, definitions, and exclusions are excerpted from the aforementioned policy and corresponding procedures, but have been adapted for use by Faculty of Arts and Science students, staff and faculty members.

Guiding principles:
  • Good faith is a general presumption that all involved are acting with honest and sincere intentions.
  • Need-to-know basis means that privacy and confidentiality will be protected and maintained throughout this process to the extent possible. Information may be shared among university personal (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.) on a need-to-know basis for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
  • Academic integrity provides the foundation for learning, teaching, research and service at Queen’s University. Any behaviour that compromises the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility is considered a departure from academic integrity and may be subject to remedies and sanctions as established by the Faculty of Arts and Science. Providing any false or misleading information, or using the forms contained in the Procedures for Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances to delay or avoid fulfilling academic requirements constitutes a departure from academic integrity, and will be investigated. See additional information on Academic Integrity.
Definitions:
  • Extenuating circumstances refer to a personal circumstance beyond the student’s control that had a direct and substantial impact on the student’s ability to meet essential academic requirements or standards in a course(s).
    • Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to a sudden or acute physical or mental illness, serious injury to self or significant others, bereavement, a traumatic event, or other serious personal/ family crisis. This may include extenuating circumstances that last for a period of a) up to 48 hours, or b) more than 48 hours and up to 3 months.
    • Extenuating circumstances may also include officially representing the University at a sanctioned event (e.g., Queen’s varsity teams participating in a provincial, national, or international competition where student participation is essential to the success of the team). This may also be through an invitation to share an exceptional talent or ability at a non-University event on a national or international stage (e.g., musical or artistic performance for the Prime Minister, singing at the opening of the PanAm Games, Olympic qualifier, etc.).
  • Academic consideration refers to an action or actions taken by an instructor or the Faculty Office, in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance. Academic consideration includes but is not limited to: an excused absence, a deferral, an extension, a modified schedule for assignments, projects, labs, or placements, an alternative assignment, a re-weighting of term marks, permission for an incomplete grade, course withdrawal without penalty, or other consideration deemed appropriate by the Faculty Office. Students receiving academic consideration must continue to meet all essential academic requirements and standards of the course.
  • Essential academic requirements and standards refer to the knowledge and/or skill which must be acquired and/or demonstrated, for a student to successfully meet the learning outcomes of a course or academic work.
Exclusions that are not covered by this protocol:

Procedures and Steps for Students/Delegates

Students who experience extenuating circumstances that affect their ability to complete one or more of the academic requirements of one or more courses may request academic consideration. This applies to students enrolled in both on-campus and online courses. There are separate procedures to follow, depending whether the extenuating circumstances last for a period of a) up to 48 hours, b) more than 48 hours and up to 3 months, or relate to c) a sanctioned event.

Students are expected to request academic consideration as soon as the need for this  consideration is apparent. While the course is in progress, requests for retroactive academic consideration are considered by the instructor, who may wish to consult with the Faculty Office. If the course has ended, requests for retroactive academic consideration should be made by submitting an appeal to the Associate Dean (Studies). Appeals related to academic consideration should follow current Faculty Office appeals process. Students may contact an Academic Counsellor or the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty Office for additional details related to appeals.

Type of RequestExamples of Extenuating CircumstancesVerification
Brief Absence
(up to 48 hours)
• Brief illness (e.g., stomach flu)
• Family member in serious car accident
• Self-declaration
Short-term
Extenuating
Circumstances
(more than 48 hours,
up to 3 months)
• Short-term physical or mental illness (e.g., mononucleosis, pneumonia, short-term anxiety or depression)
• Serious injury (e.g., concussion or broken bones)
• Required treatment (e.g., surgery or medical side effects)
• Serious injury or illness of significant other
• Bereavement
• Traumatic event
• Health care provider
• Obituary
• Accident report
• Police report
• Court order
• Letter from professional
Significant Event• University sanctioned event at the provincial, national, or international level• Athletics OR Student Affairs

Please see the drop down sections below with detailed instructions regarding how to submit a request for academic consideration.

Self Declaration for Brief Absence (up to 48 hours)

When this form should be used:
This form should be used when a student is requesting academic consideration for a period of up to 48 hours due to experiencing an unexpected illness (e.g., stomach flu) or distressing event (e.g., family member in a serious car accident) that has led to physical or psychological impairment of sufficient severity that the student feels they are temporarily unable to meet academic requirements. This form should be used in situations where the student expects to return to full academic functioning within 48 hours.

The University does not require verification documentation from a health care professional (on-campus or hospital or community-based) in these circumstances.

What Students need to do:

  1. As soon as the need is apparent (and no later than 24 hours after the end of your brief absence), log into the Academic Consideration Request Portal (ACRP) using your NetID and password. You will need to complete and submit a Self-Declaration of Brief Absence form on the Portal, indicating each course where you will miss an academic requirement during the 48-hour period.
    Note: The course syllabus should identify what email address should be used (i.e., instructor, course coordinator, etc.).
    Note: Delegates submitting a Self-Declaration of Brief Absence form on behalf of a student should complete the paper form and submit to the Faculty Office.
  2. Your instructor(s) will receive an email notifying them of your request for academic consideration.
  3. As soon as possible, you will need to follow up with your instructor(s) either by email or in-person to discuss how you will be making up the missed academic requirements.
  4. Complete and submit academic work as agreed upon with your instructor(s).
  5. In cases where you anticipate needing an additional day or two beyond the 48 hours, contact your instructor, who has discretion to consider the circumstances and extend academic consideration for brief absences beyond 48 hours if they deem it appropriate. If you anticipate you will need academic consideration for a longer period of time or if your instructor does not agree to extend the brief absence, you will need to complete and submit a Request for Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances and applicable Verification forms (see next section below).
  6. If you require assistance at any point in this process, contact the Faculty Office and ask to speak with an Academic Counsellor.

What Instructors need to do:

  1. You will receive an email from the Faculty Office notifying you of the student’s request for academic consideration.
    Note: Accept Self-Declaration of Brief Absence forms submitted to the Faculty Office as official documentation. The University does not require verification documentation from a health care professional in these circumstances.
    Note: Ensure TAs and others working with students are aware of the Policy and Protocol so that they are prepared to respond to students who have questions. For example, if a TA receives documentation or emails from a student requesting academic consideration, instruct them to advise the student to submit requests directly through the Academic Consideration Request Portal (ACRP).
  2. Recognize the University’s ‘good faith’ approach and respond with empathy.
  3. Maintain the student’s privacy and confidentiality. Share information only on a need-to-know basis with University personnel (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.) who require information in the context of the case and for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
  4. As soon as possible, the student will contact you either by email or in-person to discuss the academic consideration request.
  5. Assess missed academic work and provide reasonable academic consideration, while maintaining essential academic requirements and standards. Students receiving academic consideration must still meet the learning outcomes for the course.
  6. In cases where the student will need an additional day or two beyond 48 hours, you have the discretion to consider the circumstances and extend academic consideration beyond 48 hours if you deem it appropriate. If you anticipate the student will need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you are unable to extend the brief absence, the student will need to complete and submit a Request for Academic Consideration for Short-Term Extenuating Circumstances and applicable Verification forms.
  7. Keep a written record of interactions with the student, the outcome, and action taken to support the student, including only personal details of the student’s extenuating circumstances that are essential to the context. Paper and electronic records should be securely stored and confidentially destroyed as per the University’s records schedule.
  8. If the situation is particularly complex, or there is a reason you cannot provide academic consideration for a brief absence, or there are repeated requests for academic consideration, refer the student to the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty Office.

What the Faculty Office will do:

  1. The Faculty Office will recognize the University’s ‘good faith’ approach and respond with empathy.
  2. The Faculty Office will maintain the student’s privacy and confidentiality and share information only on a need-to-know basis with University personnel (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.) who require information in the context of the case and for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
  3. The Faculty Office will refer students to supports and services as appropriate.
  4. The Faculty Office will oversee the tracking of requests/forms, copies of which will be kept in the student file.
  5. In cases where repeated requests have been made using the Self-Declaration of Brief Absence form, the Faculty Office will work with the student to ensure they have adequate support for their health and wellness needs, and with instructors to assess the feasibility of meeting repeated requests on a case-by-case basis.

Short-Term Extenuating Circumstances (more than 48 hours – 3 months)

When this form should be used:
This form should be used when students are requesting academic consideration because they are experiencing extenuating circumstances for more than 48 hours and up to 3 months due to a physical or mental impairment, which results in a reduced ability to meet academic requirements. Extenuating circumstances could include an extended unanticipated illness (e.g., mononucleosis, pneumonia), a serious injury (e.g., concussion or broken bones), a required treatment (e.g., surgical procedure, significant side effects of new medication), serious injury or illness of a significant other, bereavement (e.g., loss of family member), traumatic event, or other significant personal crisis. This form should be used in situations where the student expects to return to full academic functioning within the next 3 months.

The University requires verification documentation from a health care professional in these circumstances (on-campus or hospital- or community-based).

What Students need to do:

  1. As soon as the need is apparent, log into the Academic Consideration Request Portal (ACRP) using your NetID and password. You will need to complete and submit the following forms:
    a. Request for Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances form on the Portal; and
    b. Verification documentation, which may include the Verification of Personal Health Condition form (e.g., physical or mental health), a Verification of Confidential Extenuating Circumstances form, or other documentation (e.g., obituary, police report or accident report, court order, etc.). You are not required to disclose specific details of your personal circumstances to your instructors; however, the Faculty Office may require documentation that verifies the timeline of the extenuating circumstance and your inability or reduced capacity to complete academic work.
    Note: Additional documentation or details should not be requested from you by an instructor in cases where a Verification of Confidential Extenuating Circumstances form has been submitted.
    Note: Delegates submitting a Request for Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances form and Verification Documentation on behalf of a student should complete the paper forms and submit them to the Faculty Office.
  2. Once the request is received, the Academic Accommodation Counsellor will review and verify supporting documentation and then either email you and your instructor(s) to indicate that your documentation has been verified, or email you to request additional documentation if required.
  3. Your instructor(s) will receive an email notifying them of your request for academic consideration.
  4. As soon as possible, you will need to follow up with your instructor(s) either by email or in-person to discuss your academic consideration request.
  5. Complete and submit academic work as agreed upon with your instructor(s).
  6. Update the Academic Accommodation Counsellor regarding your recovery and academic progress as appropriate.
  7. If it becomes apparent that a full recovery will not take place within 3 months and that ongoing academic support may be required, you should contact Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) to register and request ongoing academic accommodations: 613-533-6467 or accessibility.services@queensu.ca
  8. If you require assistance at any point in this process, contact the Faculty Office and ask to speak with an Academic Counsellor.

Verification of Personal Health Condition Form

Verification of Confidential Extenuating Circumstances form

What Instructors need to do:

  1. You will receive an email from the Faculty Office notifying you of the student’s request for academic consideration.
    Note: All requests and supporting documentation for academic consideration for extenuating circumstances for more than 48 hours and up to 3 months, must be reviewed and verified by the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
    Note: Ensure TAs and others working with students are aware of the Policy and Protocol so that they are prepared to respond to students who have questions. For example, if a TA receives documentation or emails from a student requesting academic consideration, please instruct them to advise the student to submit a request directly through the Academic Consideration Request Portal (ACRP).
  2. Recognize the University’s ‘good-faith’ approach and respond with empathy.
  3. Maintain the student’s privacy and confidentiality. Share information only on a need-to-know basis with University personnel (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.)  who require information in the context of the case and for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
  4. As soon as possible, the student will contact you either by email or in-person to discuss the academic consideration request.
  5. Assess missed academic work and provide reasonable academic consideration, while maintaining essential academic requirements and standards. Refer to Information for Instructors – Arrangements that can be authorized by an Instructor, p. 13 in the Protocol. Students receiving academic consideration must still meet the learning outcomes for the course.
  6. Keep a written record of interactions with the student, the outcome, and action taken to support the student, including only personal details of the student’s extenuating circumstances that are essential to the context. Paper and electronic records should be securely stored and confidentially destroyed as per the University’s records schedule.
  7. If it becomes apparent that a student will not have a full recovery within 3 months and that ongoing academic support may be required, direct the student to contact Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) to register and request ongoing academic accommodation: 613-533-6467 or accessibility.services@queensu.ca
  8. If the situation is particularly complex, or there is a reason that you cannot provide academic considerations for a lengthy absence, or there are repeated requests for academic consideration, refer the student to the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty Office.

What the Faculty Office will do:

  1. The Faculty Office will recognize the University’s ‘good faith’ approach and respond with empathy.
  2. The Faculty Office will maintain the student’s privacy and confidentiality and share information only on a need-to-know basis with University personnel (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.) who require information in the context of the case and for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others.
  3. The Faculty Office will refer students to supports and services as appropriate.
  4. The Faculty Office will review and verify supporting documentation.
  5. The Faculty Office will oversee the tracking of requests/forms will be kept in the student file.
  6. The Faculty Office will work with students and instructors in cases where there are challenges determining reasonable academic consideration.

Excused Absence for Significant Event

When this form should be used:
This form should be used when students are requesting academic consideration because they are representing the University through participation in a University-sanctioned varsity athletic event, or as a distinguished guest at a sanctioned non-university event. This participation may require the student to be absent from campus for a short period of time and may limit the student’s ability to meet academic requirements. This applies to:

  • A Queen’s University varsity athletics team participating in a significant event (e.g., provincial, national, or international championship) where student participation is essential to the success of the team; or
  • A student who is invited to share an exceptional talent or ability at a non-University event on a national or international stage (e.g., musical or artistic performance for the Prime Minister, singing at the opening of the PanAm Games, Olympic qualifier, etc.).

The University requires verification documentation in these circumstances (Queen’s Athletics and Recreation senior management team/Athletics Services Coordinator-Retention for varsity athletic events OR the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs for other significant events).

What Students need to do:

  1. A minimum of two weeks before the sanctioned event, or as soon as the event is scheduled, complete and submit a Request for Excused Absence for Significant Event form to the Faculty Office.
    Note: Queen’s varsity athletic events require verification from a member of the Queen’s Athletics and Recreation senior management team/Athletics Services Coordinator-Retention (Athletics and Recreation Centre, 284 Earl Street).
    Note: Other significant events require verification from the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (Gordon Hall, Room 300, 74 Union Street). You will need to include a description of the event, documentation of the invitation to participate, and details regarding the nomination/selection process.
  2. Your instructor(s) will receive an email notifying them of your request for academic consideration.
  3. As soon as possible, you will need to follow-up with your instructor(s) either by email or in-person to discuss how you will be making up the missed academic requirements.
    Note:
    This may require you to complete academic requirements prior to being absent for the event.
  4. Complete and submit academic work as agreed upon with your instructor(s).
  5. If you require assistance at any point in this process, contact the Faculty Office and ask to speak with an Academic Counsellor.

Verification of Confidential Extenuating Circumstances Form

Request for Excused Absence for Significant Event

What Instructors need to do:

  1. You will receive an email from the Faculty Office notifying you of the student’s request for academic consideration.
  2. As soon as possible, the student will contact you either by email or in-person to discuss the academic consideration request.
    Note: This may require the student to complete academic requirements prior to being absent for the event.
  3. Assess missed academic requirements and provide reasonable academic consideration, while maintaining essential academic requirements and standards. Students receiving academic consideration must still meet the learning outcomes for the course.
  4. Keep a written record of interactions with the student, the outcome, and action taken to support the student, including only personal details of the student’s extenuating circumstances that are essential to the context. Paper and electronic records should be securely stored and confidentially destroyed as per the University’s records schedule.

What the Faculty Office will do:

  1. The Faculty Office will review the form and forward the request to instructors.
  2. The Faculty Office will oversee the tracking of requests/forms, copies of which will be kept in the student file.
  3. The Faculty Office will work with students and instructors in cases where there are challenges determining reasonable academic consideration.

Additional Information for Students

Confidentiality and Privacy:
  • Students should be aware that privacy and confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible; however some information may be shared on a need-to-know basis among University personnel (e.g., Faculty Office, instructors, Exams Office, Student Wellness Services, etc.) for the purpose of arranging academic consideration. Confidentiality cannot be maintained where there is reason to believe that a student may be at risk of harming them self or others.
Exclusions that are not covered by this protocol:
Missing an accommodated mid-term or final exam:
  • If a student is currently receiving academic accommodation through Student Wellness Services (i.e., Accessibility Services, Counselling, Health, or the Occupational Therapist) and is unable to attend an accommodated mid-term exam that requires the use of a computer or an accommodated final exam, it is the student’s responsibility (or that of their delegate) to advise the Exams Office immediately by email.  Otherwise, a fee for missing an accommodated exam will be applied.

Resources and Contacts

If you have any questions or require additional support, contact the Academic Accommodation Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Science at 613-533-6000, ext. 75413 or asc.accommodations@queensu.ca. Students may also book an appointment to speak with an Academic Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Science by calling 613-533-2470 or visiting us at Dunning Hall, First Floor, 94 University Avenue, Kingston, ON Canada, K7L 3N6. Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm (closed from 12:00pm to 1:00pm)

If the situation is of an urgent nature, please seek support from the appropriate on-campus service at Student Wellness Services (146 Stuart Street):

  1. Health Services: 613-533-6740, health.services@queensu.ca
  2. Counselling Services: 613-533-6000 ext. 78264, counsellingservices@queensu.ca
  3. Occupational Therapist: 613-533-6000 ext. 75842, tess.grant@queensu.ca
  4. Accessibility Services: 613-533-6467, accessibility.services@queensu.ca

You can also seek support and services from the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, Human Rights Office, or the University Ombudsman:

Resources