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UNIVERSITY 201. Policies & Procedures on Suspension, Probation and Withdrawn Standing Academic Support Services Appealing a grade or academic standing Role of the Ombudsperson. Section 1: Policies & Procedures on Suspension, Probation and Withdrawn Standing. Background.

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  • Policies & Procedures on Suspension, Probation and Withdrawn Standing
  • Academic Support Services
  • Appealing a grade or academic standing
  • Role of the Ombudsperson

Section 1:

Policies & Procedures on

Suspension, Probation

and Withdrawn Standing

  • Ryerson takes pride in its high academic standards. Therefore, it is required that all students will maintain a certain minimum level of academic achievement, e.g. CGPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.
  • All universities and colleges have promotion policies that describe what your academic standing is as you progress through your program.
  • These academic standings are designed to provide feedback on a student’s progress towards graduation requirements.
  • You get an academic standing at the end of each term.
background cont

Ryerson’s objective:

  • Students’ successful

completion of program

requirements and graduation.

  • Ryerson’s policies identify when you are having difficulty academically and provide constructive ways to deal with these issues.
things to consider
Things to Consider
  • It’s hard to recognize at the time but suspension or probation is not “the end of the world”.
  • Some students attain a Clear standing after changing their study habits
  • Some students are reinstated into their original program and many succeed in graduating from that program.
  • Other students pursue another program more suited to their interests and abilities.
students on suspension
Students on Suspension
  • Students are normally suspended:
    • The student’s cumulative GPA falls below 1.00, or
    • The student receives 3 or more failed grades in the same term, or
    • The student fails to meet the terms of an agreed upon probationary contract.
  • Students are responsible for understanding the academic variations and any specific pre-requisite requirements within their own departments.

- (e.g. Urban and Regional Planning, Nursing)

suspension cont
  • If you are suspended, normally:
    • You maynotcontinue in your program at this time, AND
    • You may not apply to continue in your original program until your period of suspension has ended, AND
    • You may only accumulate credit towards that program during your period of suspension if you have received permission in advance from the relevant program
minimum period of suspension
Minimum Period of Suspension
  • The minimum period may be one Fall or one Winter academic semester.
  • Please note that the Spring/Summer term is only considered a period of suspension for Part-time programs.

FEAS Students, CE Courses

  • There is a different policy for Engineering studentswho wish to take CE courses
  • Access to CE courses requires prior written approval from the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Science, other than Liberal Studies courses, CCMN432 and CECN801.
    • Without prior authorization, the course will NOT be credited towards the student’s degree requirements.
    • If a FEAS student registers in a CE course without prior written authorization, he/she will be dropped from the course during the first two weeks of classes.
expectations during period of suspension
Expectations During Period of Suspension
  • During the period of suspension you are expected to:
    • reflect on the factors contributing to your suspension and address them, and
    • seriously consider if you are in the appropriate program.
suspension reinstatement
Suspension / Reinstatement
  • If you intend to apply for reinstatement, you must meet with your program representative, as soon as possible, to discuss reinstatement.
  • You will be advised of the program’s minimum conditions for reinstatement; these conditions may be academic, non-academic, or a combination of the two.
suspension reinstatement cont
Suspension / Reinstatement(cont.)
  • Your program representative may suggest that you complete up to 2 courses (at Ryerson or another post-secondary institution). Advice will be provided on the expected level of performance for the course(s).
  • Normally the designated course(s) will be taken after the minimum period of suspension has ended.
suspension reinstatement cont1
Suspension / Reinstatement(cont.)

However, if you are suspended, you may be granted advance permission during your term of suspension. 2 “one-term” semester courses (or equivalent) may be credited toward your program graduation requirements if you:

  • Successfully completed the course(s), AND
  • Subsequently get reinstated to your program
withdrawn standing
Withdrawn Standing
  • A student is normally assigned a Withdrawn standing when he/she is suspended a second time.
    • E.g., had already been suspended from his/her program once, was reinstated, and then was unable to meet the promotion criteria in his/her program.
  • A Withdrawn standing will be assigned if a student fails a requiredcourse for the third time.
withdrawn standing cont
Withdrawn Standing(cont.)
  • If you are assigned a Withdrawn standing:
    • You may not apply to return to your original program.
    • You may notaccumulate credit towards your original program at any time.
    • You mayapply to another degree program at Ryerson, if qualified.
reinstatement application
Reinstatement Application
  • You must submit an application form to the University along with a letter. In the letter, you will:
    • Identify the problems which lead to your suspension and explain how they have been addressed so the situation won’t occur again.
    • Normally you are expected to complete one or more designated courses successfully so you can demonstrate your ability to complete future program courses.

NOTE: These courses will be chosen in the meeting you have with the program representative.


Reinstatement is not automatic; given space limitations, there is no guarantee that you will be reinstated following a suspension.

  • You are expected to provide reasons, in written form, to explain the steps you have taken so that you will be able to do well if you are reinstated.

* This letter must accompany your request for reinstatement to the Office of Admissions (including any official transcripts for courses taken at another post-secondary institution during your term of suspension).

reinstatement deadline
Reinstatement Deadline

The deadline for guaranteed consideration for Winter 2009 reinstatement is

Monday November 3, 2008.

how does suspended or withdrawn standing affect my osap
How does Suspended or Withdrawn standing affect my OSAP?
  • It is your responsibility to notify Financial Aidif your standing changes to suspended or withdrawn.
  • Contact the Student Financial Aid Office for details. 416-979-5081 –POD-59
  • If you are reinstated or are successful in appealing your standing, you will return to your program as a probationary student.
  • According to university standards, students who are placed on probation are performing at levels below graduation requirements.
  • While probation is not as severe as suspension, a probationary standing means that concerns exist over the student’s potential to meet graduation requirements.
students on probation
Students on Probation

Students are normally placed on probation


  • Your cumulative GPA falls between 1.00 and 1.49, or
  • You have failed 2 courses, or
  • You have a second term in a row with Conditional Standing

* Students who are re-instated after suspension are placed on Probation

key probationary features
Key Probationary Features
  • You may continue in your program. However, You are required to meet with a department representative to set up a probationary contract, which includes ALLcourses you are to take during the Probationary term.
  • Check with your department as soon as possible, to set up a time to discuss the situation, so that deadlines are not missed.
  • The objective is to return you to a Clear standing at the earliest opportunity.
repeating courses
Repeating Courses
  • You may be encouraged to repeat courses where you have low grades (e.g. D-).
  • The most recent grade replaces the original grade in the GPA calculation; however, both grades remain on your academic record.
  • Repeating courses is a good idea when problems revolve around low CGPA.
  • No course can be repeated more than twice.
    • i.e. registered initially, repeated once, repeated twice = 3 registrations
repeating courses cont
Repeating Courses(cont.)
  • If you fail a required course for thethird time, you will be assigned an Academic Standing of WITHDRAWN, and will be ineligible to continue in your program.
  • If you are WITHDRAWN for failing a course for the third time and request to transfer to another program at Ryerson, the course that was failed 3 times must not be required in the new program as you will not be permitted to register in the course for a 4th time.
repeating courses cont1
Repeating Courses(cont.)
  • If you take a course once and get a D- and you take it again and get an F, the F will be used for GPA calculation purposes.
  • However, you will not have to take the course again, as the original D- will be used towards your program’s graduation requirements.




Summary of Status of Grades During Suspension/Probation

Suspended Term

  • May take courses
  • Courses will normally

not count for credit

unless advance

permission is received

  • Courses will not count

for GPA

Suspended Term Over, But Not Reinstated

  • May take program-applicable courses.
  • Courses taken with advance permission will count for credit if reinstated
  • Grades assigned for these courses will

not count for GPA calculation

Probationary Term (after reinstatement)

  • May register in courses according to Probationary Contract worked

out with program.

  • Courses will count for credit
  • Courses will count for GPA calculation

Section 2:

Student Services

learning success centre
Learning Success Centre

Free Workshops

Writing Exams

Dealing With Performance & Test Anxiety

Writing University Essays (2 topics)

Delivering Effective Presentations

  • Discovering & Applying Your Learning Style
  • Learning From Lectures and Textbooks
  • Managing Your Time & Staying Motivated
  • Preparing for & Taking Tests/Exams
  • Improving Your Mental Focus

Workshop schedule available at:

learning success centre1
Learning Success Centre

Other Programs & Services

  • Learning Groups
  • Resource Centres for Engineering, Science, and Business
  • Tutor Registry
  • Individual Consultations with a Peer Learning Strategist
  • Online Resources and Tip Sheets

416-979-5000 ext.7350

centre for student development counselling
Centre for Student Development & Counselling

Suspended Student Group Information Seminar

- Suspended standing and its implications

- Applying for reinstatement

  • Career decision-making for those reconsidering educational direction

To register: 416-979-5195

Monday, June 4, 12:30-4:30 orWednesday, June 6, 9:30-12:30

career centre
Career Centre

Career Planning

Job Search Strategies

Resume Writing

Interview Skills

Job Postings

4th floor, Jorgenson Hall


more student services
More Student Services...

Aboriginal Student Services

Access Centre (for students with disabilities)

English Language Support

Health Centre

Health Promotion

International Services for Students

Sports and Recreation

Student Financial Assistance

Student Housing

Student Programs

Tri-Mentoring Program


Section 3:

The Office of the


a place of first resort
A Place of First Resort…
  • For information
  • To figure out what the problem is
  • To discuss your options
the last resort
The Last Resort…
  • You have tried to solve the problem yourself
  • You have gone through a process and it seems unfair
  • You have received a final decision and it doesn’t seem right
somewhere in the middle
Somewhere in the Middle…
  • The Ombuds Office may become involved when an appeal process has been initiated if a student believes one of the University’s policies has not been followed or the process is unfair
  • Example1: student is not able to register for courses or continue in their program after filing an appeal
  • Example2: student has not been allowed to review the final exam
  • Objective review
  • Does not take sides or advocate for individual viewpoints
  • No information will be provided to anyone without your permission
  • Notes used only by the Ombudsperson
  • Complete freedom to discuss concerns off-the-record
  • If a call is made, your name will only be given with your express permission
  • Not employed by the University or any Student Association
  • No one can tell the Ombudsperson how to handle a case
  • No vested interest in a particular outcome
  • Primary concern is fairness for all concerned
who provides this service
Who provides this service?

Nora Farrell, Ombudsperson

Heather McGhee Peggs, Assistant Ombudsperson

2nd Floor – Oakham House

416-979-5000 Ext. 7450

Where is the Ombuds Office?

useful websites
Useful Websites

The Student Guide:

Ryerson Student Medical Certificate:

Ryerson Forms: appeal)

Grades and Standing Information:

Registration and Records:

useful websites cont
Useful Websites(cont.)

CESAR - CE and PT Students’ Association:

RSU - Full Time and Graduate Students’ Union:

Office of the Ombudsperson:

Learning Success Centre:

Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals Policy:

useful contacts
Useful Contacts
  • Kim Neal, Student Issues & Advocacy Coordinator,

RSU: 416-979-5255 ext. 2322 – SCC-311

  • Emily Shelton, Student Rights Coordinator, CESAR: 416-979-5000 ext. 7716 – SCC-301
  • Laura Thrasher, Learning Success Centre: 416-979-5000 ext. 6559 – JOR-300
  • Lurana Kruchten, Appeals advising, Student Services:

416- 979-5000 ext. 6657

  • Dawn Lovas, Appeals advising, Student Services:

416-979-5000 ext. 6654

  • Nora Farrell / Heather McGhee Peggs, Office of the Ombudsperson: 416-979-5000 ext. 7450
useful contacts cont
Useful Contacts(cont.)
  • Learning Success Seminars: 416-979-5000, ext. 7350
  • Ann Whiteside, Discrimination and Harassment Office: 416 979-5000, ext 6340
  • Financial Aid: 416-979-5113 –POD-59
  • Registrar:
  • Registration and Records:
  • Curriculum Advising, Ann Mackay, Assistant Registrar,
  • Faculty of Engineering Counsellor: Shannon Robinson, 416-979-5000, ext 4262 – ENG-352
  • First Year Science Office Student Counsellor: Sarah Thompson, 416-979-5000 ext.4104 – KHE-124

Section 4:

Appeal Process

& Other Options

filing an appeal

Filing an Appeal

(standing up for your rights)

your advocates1
Your Advocates

Emily Shelton

Student Rights Coordinator

Continuing Education

Students’ Association of

Ryerson (Local 105 of the Canadian Federation of Students)

*All Part-Time and C.E. Students*

Kim Neale

Student Issues and Advocacy Coordinator

Ryerson Students’ Union (Local 24 of the Canadian Federation of Students)

*All Full-Time and graduate Students*

why advocacy
Why Advocacy?

Advocacy is a service provided by your students’ union

(We got your back)

Moving through red tape can be difficult

  • Lots of details, fine prints
  • People get bounced from office to office, person to person
  • Many find it cumbersome and confusing to maneuver
  • Often leaves people exhausted and jaded

Student Advocates can

work the system with students

student rights at ryerson
Student Rights at Ryerson

As a student at Ryerson, you have a RIGHT to:

• See all of your written work for a course, including the final exam

• Course Outline which, if changed without notification, can form the appeal basis

• Appeal final grades and/or promotional status

• Have academic work judged solely on its merits without discrimination

• Representation at the Senate appeal level

• Written responses throughout the formal appeal process

• Continue with your course work while your appeal is in progress (Exception: if a student is judged to be at risk of endangering the public)

If charged with academic misconduct, you have a right to know the charge against you and see the evidence against you in advance

the appeal process
The Appeal Process

The Ryerson Appeal system is available:

  • When something unexpected happens that really messes you up on an assignment or exam

(“situations beyond the control of the student arise which were unforeseen that made it impossible for you to succeed academically”)

  • When your Prof does something inappropriate that has a negative impact on you as a result

(Ryerson policies are violated in a way that has an unfair and negative impact on your academics e.g./ Prof changed weight of final at the last minute)

  • You are charged with plagiarism (Cheating)
  • Your academic standing changes (eg. you get suspended)
informal resolution is key
Informal Resolution is key

You will have the best chances of winning when you try to resolve the situation informally by speaking to your instructor about your problem (ideally) as soon as it arises.

You must first attempt to resolve the situation with the instructor, and if that does not pan out for you, with the Chair/Director of your program.


  • More options. Your Prof will have more leeway, and can bend policies when no one else knows
  • You need to try to resolve the problem informally in order to be successful in filing a formal appeal
two types of appeals
Two types of appeals


  • You feel the grade you received is inappropriate
  • You are appealing to have an opportunity to re-write the final/re-take the course
  • You are appealing your standing so that you can continue to take courses

Academic Misconduct

  • You were charged with cheating
  • You are fighting the charge and trying to demonstrate the work is your own
what can my advocate do for me
What can my Advocate do for me?


  • Listen (confidential)
  • Provide advice
  • Assist in letter writing
  • Direct to correct people

Uphold student rights

  • Policies (in hearings and structural revisions)
  • Dignity and Respect
grade appeal
Grade Appeal

If you want to appeal your grade, you must have appropriate grounds for your appeal.

These include:

  • Medical
  • Compassionate
  • Course Management
  • Prejudice
  • Procedural Error

You were physically/mentally incapable of studying for or writing the exam

  • You must submit a completed Ryerson Medical Certificate or a note on letterhead from your doctor to demonstrate this
  • You can find a Ryerson Medical Certificate on the Senate website or the CESAR website.

*Documentation which demonstrates the claims that you make in your written statement is essential to win an appeal on these grounds*


An unforeseen situation arose that had a serious impact on your ability to perform well in the course.


  • Death or other tragedy in the family
  • Excessive stress
  • Bad breakup

*Documentation is useful but it is recognized that it is not always available in these situations*

course management
Course Management

If something on the course outline or evaluation structure was significantly changed in a way that violated policy which ultimately caused your academic problems.

Course Management is Policy 145

  • If you feel your grade was affected by prejudice, (i.e. different treatment on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination, such as race, religion, gender, etc.).
  • This kind of complaint should be handled by the Discrimination & Harassment Prevention Office.
procedural error
Procedural Error
  • If it is believed that there has been an error in the procedure followed in any University policy or regulation.
    • E.g., you provided detailed reasons for your exam to be reassessed, but the reassessment was not properly completed.
  • You must provide evidence of the regulation or policy that was improperly applied or followed, and how it affected your academic progress.

You have the BEST CHANCES of winning your appeal when you can provide documentation to demonstrate the claims you make in your written statement.

Provide Proof wherever possible.

standing appeal
Standing Appeal

Standing appeals are usually based reasons such as

medical or compassionate.

To appeal your standing you must:

  • consult with your program Chair or Director as soon as possible after receiving your standing;
  • provide substantive reasons why the current standing is not appropriate;
  • explain how that situation affected your performance.
filing the appeal
Filing the Appeal
  • Gather documentation
  • Completely fill out the appeal form (
  • Write and attach a letter explaining:
    • What is your situation (grade? standing?)
    • What are your grounds?
    • Describe your grounds.
    • How would you like it resolved? (must be within university policy)
    • What is the rationale for your proposed resolution?
where do they go
Where do they go?

Grade Appeals

    • submitted to the department which taught the course

Standing Appeals

    • submitted to your program department

Misconduct Appeals

  • Submitted to the Faculty in which the course was taught
levels of appeal
Levels of Appeal

Three levels:

  • Department/School Level
  • Faculty Level (may be a Hearing)
  • Senate (Hearing)

In most cases, all documentation must be submitted at the beginning of the process.

standing and appeals
Standing and Appeals
  • If you are appealing your academic standing, you are eligible to continue in your program (a Fall and/or Winter term) until the appeal decision is made.
    • You must advise your department that you are appealing and arrange a probationary contract; you must register in courses as per the contract and pay the resulting tuition fees.
      • If your appeal is successful, you will continue as usual.
      • If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will be dropped from your program courses and any applicable fees paid will be refunded or held in credit in your financial account.
maximize success
Maximize success
  • Provide as much documentation as possible.
  • Ensure that all information provided is 100% accurate.
  • Provide key dates (e.g., when a family emergency occurred).
  • Be as specific as possible when explaining how your situation affected your ability to study.
frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Will I be penalized for appealing?
    • No. Appealing is your right; sometimes mistakes are made and misunderstandings occur. Appealing should not damage your relationship with your professors or your department.
  • How long does the process take?
    • It can vary depending on when you submit your complete appeal and how quickly the department responds. Normally it takes about two months for a student to go through all three levels of academic appeal.
frequently asked questions1
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What type of documentation is needed?
    • The more you can document your appeal, the better. It is best if the documentation comes from an unbiased source like a doctor, counsellor, or a religious leader.
  • What are my chances?
    • Your chances depend on your circumstances and on your ability to clearly demonstrate them.
important deadlines
Important Deadlines
  • Under the policy it’s expected that you consult with appropriate people (e.g. chairs/directors and professors) prior to appealing.
  • Wednesday May 28 is the appeal deadline for Winter 2008 academic standing appeals and grade appeals for Winter 2008 program (day) courses.
  • Within four weeks after the course end date is the appeal deadline for CE courses.
  • Once the preparation of your appeal is complete (i.e. fully documented), you are urged to submit it as soon as possible to the appropriate department. Do not wait until the last day.
letter writing workshops
Letter Writing Workshops

Grade and Standing Appeal Letter Writing Workshops:

For the first time, RSU and CESAR will be holding joint appeal letter writing workshops as a pilot project. Students will be asked to write a draft of their appeal letters before they attend these workshops. It is our hope that during the workshops students will work with each other and the Advocate to put together their case.

Information packages about the appeal process, including sample letters will be available for students at the RSU front desk, SCC311.

All workshops will be held in the CESAR board room and half of the workshop will be a hands on working period where students can use the computers in the CESAR lounge (SCC301) to review their letters with peers and the RSU and CESAR Advocate.

letter writing seminars
Letter Writing Seminars
  • Students who require extra help and attention due to the complicated nature of their situation will have the opportunity to meet with an RSU or CESAR advocate one on one only after they attend a letter writing workshop.
  • The better your letter, the better chance you have of succeeding in your appeal
  • I pity the fool who don’t attend a letter writing workshop!
letter writing seminars1
Letter Writing Seminars
  • Wednesday, May 21st


  • Thursday, May 22nd


  • Friday, May 23rd


  • Monday, May 26th


  • Tuesday, May 27th


  • Wednesday, May 28th


stand up fight back
Stand up, fight back
  • If you have valid grounds for appeal…
  • Stand up for yourself!
  • File that appeal and fight back