13. Student Accommodations and Supports
13.1. LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Leaves of absence are available to students for compassionate, medical, parenting, educational, and ‘Co-op Program’/Industry reasons. Reasonable accommodation is expected to be made.
The Dean of the CGPS, or designate, will consider any petitions from students whose request for leave or extension of leave has been initially denied by the academic unit. If the leave request remains denied, the student may formally appeal under the procedures for appeals of standing in program.
The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree, and tuition is not assessed during the leave. Nominal student fees are assessed during the leave period. While a student is on leave, all supervisory processes are suspended. Unless otherwise permitted by the source of funding, financial support offered to a full-time, fully-qualified student is not available to a student on leave. Students are advised to refer to the terms of the funding agreement. Students are advised to discuss with their academic unit the implications of financial support when a leave is necessary.
13.1.1. COMPASSIONATE AND MEDICAL LEAVES
A graduate student who has developed an illness, who has been the victim of an accident, or who has suffered grave events in his/her life, upon provision of appropriate documentation to the Graduate Chair, may be eligible for medical or compassionate leave. The Graduate Chair should forward these documents and a letter of support to the CGPS for approval. At the end of a medical leave and before returning to active studies, the student will need to provide to the Graduate chair and to CGPS a clinician's certificate indicating the condition necessitating the leave no longer compromises the graduate program.
The Head of the academic unit or Graduate Chair has the authority to approve a first-time leave request of up to 4 months for compassionate or medical reasons.
Medical and/or compassionate leaves shall not exceed 12 months consecutively, or 24 months collectively. Students requiring additional leave time shall withdraw from their program.
13.1.2. MATERNITY, ADOPTING, PARENTING LEAVES
A graduate student who is bearing a child, and/or who has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately following a birth or an adoption is eligible for parental leave.
Parental leave may be granted for up to 16 months.
Maternity leave may be granted for up to 4 months.
Maternity leave and parental leave can be taken consecutively when applicable.
13.1.3. CO-OP PROGRAM LEAVES AND GRADUATE STUDIES IN INDUSTRYIt is the policy of the CGPS to encourage wherever appropriate research and teaching partnerships with the public and private sectors. When students receive offers to spend a period of time in industry or the public sector pursuing research-related activities which are closely linked to their Master’s or Ph.D. Program of Studies, the CGPS will consider granting a four-month leave. Such a leave may be repeated once at a later time in the program. Request for such leaves must provide all relevant details in writing and must be supported in writing by the supervisor and Graduate Chair. The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree and tuition is not assessed during the leave.
13.1.4. LEAVES TO PURSUE UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES
A graduate student that has been offered admission into an undergraduate program at the University of Saskatchewan may apply for a leave of absence from the graduate program for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The student must also provide a detailed plan to completion for the graduate program that has been approved by the graduate program supervisor and graduate chair.
13.2. ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
‘Disability’ applies as defined in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, meaning:
1. any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes:
- any degree of paralysis;
- lack of physical co-ordination;
- blindness or visual impediment;
- deafness or hearing impediment;
- muteness or speech impediment; or
- physical reliance on a service animal, wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device; or
2. any of:
- an intellectual disability or impairment;
- a learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in the comprehension or use of symbols or spoken language; or
- a mental disorder: a disorder of thought, perception, feelings or behaviour that impairs a person’s:
- capacity to recognize reality
- ability to associate with others
- ability to meet the ordinary demands of life
- drug and alcohol dependencies.
A student with a disability or disabilities is the person most capable of determining whether future success in the graduate program of study will be assisted by registering with Access and Equity Services (AES) and self-disclosing accommodation requirements as soon as possible. Students are responsible for organizing their own assessment of disability and accommodation requirements in consultation with AES. Files for the purposes of registering with AES are kept at the AES office. Once a graduate student has made the decision to register with AES, and the confidential registration process is complete, the student may choose to initiate the following procedures to determine and implement appropriate accommodations:
1. AES contacts the Graduate Chair in the student’s disciplinary academic unit to determine whether standard AES accommodation methods (e.g., for course work) will work for the student at that time. If they will, then AES undertakes its standard process for accommodations.
2. Where AES staff and the Graduate Chair in the academic unit determine that the student’s stage of program requires an individualized accommodation plan (e.g., to support preparation of research proposal; qualifying or comprehensive exams; thesis research, writing, defence), the Graduate Chair schedules an Accommodation Planning Committee (APC) meeting, normally including, at the minimum, the following people as members:
- Student seeking accommodation
- Supervisor (or Graduate Chair if a Supervisor has not been assigned)
- Manager of AES (or designate)
- Associate Dean of CGPS (or designate)
Note: The APC may include additional members, at the determination of the academic unit in consultation with the student, such as the Graduate Chair, members of the student’s Advisory Committee, or an advocate selected by the student. While the student and AES members of the APC will know the precise nature of the student’s disability, this information will be divulged to other members of the APC only with consent of the student.
3. The APC will determine an appropriate accommodation plan, a copy of which will be kept on file by the academic unit separate from the student’s regular academic file, by the student, and by AES. The APC will communicate as a group as needed to monitor or adjust accommodations. Any member of the APC may request an in-person meeting of the full committee as needed.
It is the student’s responsibility to be proactive in registering as early as possible with AES. Given that the registration process with AES and the work of a subsequent APC will take time, students are responsible for meeting all deadlines related to disability accommodation and required to participate actively in the accommodation planning in order to receive appropriate and timely accommodation. An accommodation plan aims to assist the student to meet program requirements. It does not, however, guarantee or imply successful completion of the program or that other CGPS policies and procedures will be supplanted (e.g., extension to time in program, leaves of absence). A student may waive an accommodation at his or her discretion, though in so doing will be expected to meet the performance standard set without accommodation. An accommodation plan will not be applied retroactively to have previous academic decisions reconsidered.
The Academic Accommodation Policy and Procedures for Students with Disabilities will be reviewed by the CGPS Graduate Academic Affairs Committee, in consultation with AES, annually for the first three years, and biannually thereafter, and modified as needed.
This policy and procedures is adapted from College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and School of Rehabilitation Science, and with assistance from the Manager of AES.