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Guidelines Regarding the Setting of the University Calendar of Academic Dates

Committee on Enrolment and Student Affairs

Guidelines Regarding the Setting of the University Calendar
of Academic Dates

Approved by Senate on 27 April, 2011

Preamble

The 2010-2011 Calendar of Academic Dates Work Group’s discussion was guided by the premise that academic considerations should have priority in determining the calendar of academic dates. The following proposals, a combination of continuation of current practice and some refinements, respect this priority. Priority concerns included allowing for sufficient instructional time over each Fall and Winter term, opportunity for course content to be taught and learned through to the end of each term, and an examination schedule that allows some time for review. Changes from typical current practice include normally starting the Fall term on the Tuesday following Labour Day, scheduling the Study Break in the first full or nearly full week of March, shortening the final examination period to 10 days, scheduling the last day of Winter final examinations as close as possible to the end of April, allowing evening final examinations from Mondays to Thursdays, and formally approving the Calendar of Academic Dates at least two years in advance. The Work Group recommends maintaining the current standard of 39 contact hours of instruction in 3-credit courses, a 13-week term, a study day (or intervening weekend) when possible in each term.

1. General Calendar Issues, Fall and Winter Terms

There shall be at least 130 teaching days over the Fall and Winter terms, taken together.

 

2. General Calendar Issues, Fall Term

The Work Group recommends that the Fall term should normally start on the Tuesday following Labour Day and that it be arranged so that the following priorities are met, in this order:

  1. There is a full 13-week term (equivalent to 39 contact hours for a 3-credit course). In the event that the schedule for a particular pattern does not permit 39 contact hours or that courses must be cancelled (on an election Monday, for example), Faculties shall have the discretion to determine how the missing hour(s) shall be made up.
  2. A 10-day examination schedule can be provided, without weekends, but including Monday to Thursday evenings.
  3. A one-day study break or a weekend separates the end of classes and beginning of examinations when possible.
  4. The Fall term should be contained within the four months from September to December, with the exception of new student orientation activities at the end of August.

 

3. General Calendar Issues, Winter Term

The advice parallels that for the Fall term. The Work Group recommends that the Winter term should be arranged so as to ensure that the last day of examinations is scheduled as close as possible to the end of April in order to provide a reasonable break between the end of the Fall examination period and the beginning of the Winter term, and that the following priorities are met, in this order:

  1. There is a full 13-week term (equivalent to 39 contact hours for a 3-credit course). In the event that the schedule for a particular pattern does not permit 39 contact hours or that courses must be cancelled (on an election Monday, for example), Faculties shall have the discretion to determine how the missing hour(s) shall be made up.
  2. A 10-day examination schedule can be provided, without weekends, but including Monday to Thursday evenings.
  3. There is a Study Week, which will normally occur in the first week of March*, where necessary including one or two days at the end of February.
  4. There is a study day or weekend between the last day of scheduled classes and the first day of examinations when possible.
  5. The Winter term should be contained within the four months from January to April.
  6. Deferred and supplemental examinations for the Fall term may be held in May.

* Effective 2012-2013

 

4. Religious Observance Examination Conflicts

The Work Group affirmed that the existing policy on deferral of examinations in respect of religious observance remained the preferred way to address such conflicts. This policy (and the dates for Passover) will be expressed explicitly in future Calendar proposals so that affected students may make suitable arrangements as soon as the spring examination schedule is known.

 

5. Schedule of Calendar Approval

The Work Group recommends that the University continue its practice of setting the Calendar of Academic Dates at least two years in advance.