Withdrawn From Course (W), Policy and Guidelines

Legislative History:

Approved by Senate: 2016/02/28; Revised and approved by Senate Executive Under Summer Authority July, 2016 (Effective Fall/Winter 2016-2017)

Approval Authority: Senate

Signature: Maureen Armstrong


Policy

The Withdrawn from Course Policy has the following applications:

a) Course Withdrawal and Transcript Notation: Student Selection

In the period between the last day to drop a course without receiving a grade and the final day of classes in a term, undergraduate students are permitted to withdraw from a course with the condition that the course enrolment remains on a student’s transcript, denoted by a “W” in the University’s records and on the student’s transcript as the grade decision.  No credit value will be retained for the course and no value will be included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA). Petitions for removal of the W notation are not permitted and no refund of tuition fees shall be provided for courses dropped through the late withdrawl option. Courses with this decision recorded will not be considered an attempt[1] in the context of the Senate Policy on Repeating Passed or Failed Courses for Academic Credit.

Exceptions:

The late drop option of the Withdrawn from Course Policy does not apply for the following:

  • Graduate programs
  • JD program
  • Practica / internships / co-op or other experiential learning placements
  • Exchange / Co-registration courses taken at another institution

b) Withdrawn from Course as a Petition / Appeal Decision

Withdrawn from Course shall be a decision available to Faculty Petitions / Appeal Committees and the Senate Appeals Committee for petitions for late withdrawal from a course. When Withdrawn from Course is granted by a committee the course(s) in question remains on a student’s transcript, denoted by a “W” in the University’s records and on the student’s transcript as the grade decision.  No credit value will be retained for the course and no value will be included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA). No refund of tuition fees shall be provided for courses dropped though the late drop option. Courses with this decision recorded will not be considered an attempt in the context of the Senate Policy on Repeating Passed of Failed Courses for Academic Credit.

 Standards governing late withdrawal decisions are set out in the Guidelines. They are also included in the Senate Appeals Committee’s Guidelines for the Consideration of Petitions / Appeals by Faculty Committees.

Guidelines for Granting Withdrawn from Course

Consistent with the Withdrawn from Course Policy, the option of Withdrawn from Course is available to Petitions / Appeals Committee as a decision for a petition / appeal for late withdrawal from a course on the ground of hardship. Decisions to grant Withdrawn from Course shall be guided by the following considerations:

  • the hardship can reasonably be seen to have caused the student’s decision to not drop, or inability to drop the course, before the withdrawal deadline
  • hardship includes transition difficulties experienced by students in their first University session
  • the hardship is clearly documented
  • the petition is filed promptly following the missed withdrawal deadline, "promptly" to be defined by the period affected by the hardship

Guidelines for Granting Removal of a Course from the Transcript

Removing a course from a transcript represents a significant alteration of a student’s academic record. Accordingly it should be granted infrequently only in recognition of exceptional circumstances, or to correct an error. Decisions to grant Removal of a Course from the Transcript should be guided by the following circumstances and considerations:

  1. Removal on grounds of non-participation in a course to correct an error

Considerations:

  • the instructor confirms that to his/her knowledge the student never attended the course and submitted no assignments
  • the student has not previously petitioned on the same grounds, or received prior written warning concerning withdrawal deadlines
  1. Removal on grounds that the academic feedback provided before the withdrawal deadline is less than required by the Senate Policy on Grading Scheme and Feedback

Considerations:

  • it is confirmed by the instructor that he/she did not provide the required feedback to the class before the withdrawal deadline (not intended to cover cases where students do not receive feedback as a result of not completing work without extenuating circumstances, attending class or contacting the course director)
  • the petition is filed promptly following return of the first piece of graded work by the instructor
  1. Removal on grounds of severe and prolonged hardship

Considerations:

  • the severe hardship (e.g., critical illness, overwhelming life circumstances) prevented a student from continuing their participation in a course(s) after the withdrawal deadline
  • the hardship is clearly documented


[1] “Attempt” is defined as a completed course for which a final grade has been recorded.