Senate Policy on Academic Concession

The University is committed to supporting students in their academic pursuits. Students may request academic concession in circumstances that may adversely affect their attendance or performance in a course or program. Generally, such circumstances fall into one of two categories, conflicting responsibilities and unforeseen events.

Academic concession is different than academic accommodation for a disability. Students with disabilities may apply for an academic accommodation. (See Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities and UBC Policy 73).

Conflicting responsibilities include, but may not be limited to: representing the University, the province or the country in a competition or performance; serving in the Canadian military; observing a religious rite; working to support oneself or one's family; and having responsibility for the care of a family member.

Unforeseen events include, but may not be limited to: ill health or other personal challenges that arise during a term; and changes in the requirements of an ongoing job.

Students who intend to, or who as a result of circumstance must, request academic concession must notify their instructor, dean, or director as specified below.

Students with conflicting responsibilities have a duty to arrange their course schedules so as to avoid as much as possible any conflicts with course requirements. Students with such responsibilities are also required to discuss with their course instructor(s) at the start of each term, or as soon as a conflicting responsibility arises, any accommodation that may be requested. Instructors may not be able to comply with all such requests especially if the academic standards and integrity of the course or program could be compromised.

Religious observance may preclude attending classes or examinations at certain times. In accordance with the UBC Policy on Religious Holidays, students who wish to be accommodated for religious reasons must notify their instructors in writing at least two weeks in advance, and preferably earlier.

Students who, because of unforeseen events, are absent during the term and are unable to complete tests or other graded work, should normally discuss with their instructors how they can make up for missed work, according to written guidelines given them at the start of the course (see Grading Practices). Instructors are not required to make allowance for any missed test or incomplete work that is not satisfactorily accounted for. If ill health is an issue, students are encouraged to seek attention from a health professional. Campus Health and Counselling Services will normally provide documentation only for students who have been seen previously at these offices for treatment or counselling specific to conditions associated with their academic difficulties. Students who feel that requests for consideration have not been dealt with fairly by their instructors may take their concerns to the office of their dean or director.

Students who, because of an unforeseen event, experience a prolonged absence during a term or who miss a final or term-end examination, must report to their dean or director to request academic concession as close as possible to the time when attendance is adversely affected. The University, in considering these requests or any appeals of decisions on academic concession, will not normally take into account untimely notifications. The occurrence of adverse personal circumstances that cannot be anticipated may necessitate that a student seek academic concession more than once. Each request for academic concession will be considered on its merits. Repeat requests based on the same or similar reasons may require a different response than de novo requests.

Before responding to a student's request, the dean or director may require supporting documentation and may also ask the student to formulate and follow an academic plan which could include: a reduction in course load; a commitment to an ongoing program of medical care, counselling services, or support from the Access and Diversity office (Disability Resource Centre); or other appropriate actions. The student's personal circumstances will be taken into account in the development of such a plan. Ongoing support from the academic unit may require periodic updates from the student on their academic plan and/or the submission of documentation from a treating health professional or other source of personal support. This documentation might be a "Statement of Illness" form obtained from Campus Health or an informative letter from the attending physician, from Counselling Services or from another recognized counsellor.

The academic concessions that may be granted include the following: permission to drop or withdraw from a course after the normal deadlines (see Change of Registration), Aegrotat standing or Deferred standing (see Standings), and withdrawal from the University (see Change of Registration).

If permission is given to drop or withdraw from a course, any refund of fees will be in accordance with normal policy (see Refund of Fees).

Students who are denied academic concession from their dean or director may have grounds to appeal the decision. See Senate Appeals on Academic Standing.

Students in good academic standing who are permitted to withdraw from the University as an academic concession may apply to re-enrol in the program from which they withdrew. Application to re-enrol must be made by the published application deadline for the program (see Readmission). Students permitted to withdraw may be told the time period during which an application to re-enrol will be permitted. Documentation from a medical or counselling professional or from the UBC office of Access and Diversity (Disability Resource Centre) of a nature sufficient to satisfy the University that the student is ready to continue studies may be required before the student will be re-enrolled.

* Approved by the UBC Okanagan Senate in November 2009

This information is for quick reference. For the full text of the Minutes of Senate, which include the motions and discussion, please see the Minutes Archive.

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