Program Handbook Guidelines

The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting, and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly and students must check their program handbook for the current edition. 

Introduction

Welcome to the School of Trades & Apprenticeship and thank you for choosing Conestoga for your post-secondary education in skilled trades.

Conestoga offers a comprehensive array of programs in the Construction, Motive Power, Industrial and Service sectors to suit your interests and career aspirations. Our established partnerships with many successful local, national and international companies, result in program enhancements and significant career opportunities for our students.

Operating from campuses in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, as well as a training facility in Ingersoll, we deliver current and relevant skills-based education and training allowing our students and graduates access to successful careers in the skilled trades.

I encourage you to take full advantage of the learning opportunities and resources available.

Sincerely,

Julia Biedermann, PhD, PEng

Executive Dean

Program Academic Team

Program Chair
Suzanne Moyer | 1C04
519-885-0300 ext. 5234 | smoyer@conestogac.on.ca

Program Manager
Joni Jean | ATS Room 101
519-748-5220 ext. 3460 | jjean@conestogac.on.ca

Program Manager
Brenda Gilmore | Guelph A3-4
519-824-9390 ext. 6122 | bgilmore@conestogac.on.ca

Office Services Assistant
Nancy Roszell | 1C04
519-885-0300 x5552 | nroszell@conestogac.on.ca

Program Faculty

Program Coordinator

Jeff Willsie | 1D26
519-885-0300 ext. 5558 | jwillsie@conestogac.on.ca

Dean Sharp | 1D19
519-885-0300 ext. 5557 | dsharp@conestogac.on.ca

Rob Haywood | 1D26
519-885-0300 ext. 5560 | rhaywood@conestogac.on.ca

Wayne Wright | 1D26
519-885-0300 ext. 5306 | wwright@conestogac.on.ca

Shop Technologist
Keith Ahrens | 1D19
519-885-0300 ext. 5588 | kahrens@conestogac.on.ca

Support Services

Records Officer
Brenda Bender | Welcome Centre - Office of the Registrar 
519-748-5220 ext. 3244 | bbender@conestogac.on.ca

Apprentice Liaison Team
Accessibility/Academic Support
519-748-5220 ext. 2154 | apprenticeliaison@conestogac.on.ca

Technical Support
IT Service Desk | Doon – 1E12
519-748-5220 ext. 3444 | itsdesk@conestogac.on.ca

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) 
Apprenticeship | 4275 King St E, Suite 200, Kitchener ON  N2P 2E9 
800-387-5656 | kitchener.apprenticeship@ontario.ca

Service Canada
Employment Insurance
800-206-7218 | www.servicecanada.gc.ca

Ontario College of Trades (OCOT)
Member Services | 655 Bay St, Suite 600, Toronto ON  M5G 2K4 
855-299-0028 | info@collegeoftrades.ca

For additional financial and other supports for apprentices and employers, students should visit Conestoga College's website.

Program Overview

Program Description

This program consists of eight-week basic, eight-week intermediate, and eight-week advanced components and is designed to provide theoretical knowledge in all aspects of plumbing along with the practical training necessary to complement on-the-job training with an employer. Entering the plumbing trade offers a variety of opportunities after the apprenticeship has been completed and students will have acquired a skill that is always in demand. Graduates may start their own business or find employment in industry as a member of maintenance staff. Opportunities are also available in sales with wholesalers or manufacturers of plumbing fixtures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcomes can be found on the Plumber (Apprenticeship) program page of the college's website.

Program Curriculum Sequence 

Apprentices are placed on a waitlist for school based on their 'Program Start Date' with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). When it is the apprentice's turn to go to school, the MTCU is responsible for mailing the "Offer of Classroom Training" to each apprentice approximately 90 days prior to the start date of class. Conestoga College does not control when an apprentice is sent an "Offer of Classroom Training". In addition, the apprentice must be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) throughout their apprenticeship in order to remain eligible to receive an "Offer of Classroom Training".

Apprentices are issued with an "Apprenticeship Training Standard" from the OCOT in which to track their competencies obtained on the job. Please note that faculty and staff at Conestoga College are not permitted to sign off any skills in the training standard.

Current Program Design

Apprentices can find their program design on the Student Portal by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to the Student Portal
  2. Click on 'My Courses tab
  3. Select 'View Progress Report' button 
Courses are listed by level/semester. Apprentices can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the Conestoga College website. To find these courses, apprentices need to scroll down the page to the 'Program Courses'. 

Program Information and Standards

Academic Assistance

Academic assistance is available to students through a variety of avenues. The program coordinator and faculty can advise students on specific program and course information such as adding / dropping courses, special timetabling, etc. If an apprentice is struggling with the academic content in any course they are encouraged to speak with a member of the apprenticeship liaison team (ALT), relevant faculty or the program coordinator. An ALT member is available to all apprentices and will provide one-on-one learning support or referrals to other services. Students can also access the Learning  Commons website for detailed information on the academic services they provide, including learning skills, peer services, math and writing assistance.

Conestoga College is committed to providing a safe and accessible environment for apprentices with disabilities. Accommodating disabilities at the college is a shared responsibility between apprentices, faculty and administration. Apprentices are responsible for providing relevant and up to date documentation of their disability to Accessibility Services, when they first register. This documentation will allow the apprentice to be considered for accommodations and access to available services.

Student Services

Refer to the Student Guide for information on student services including Counselling, Student Financial Services and Student Life.

Academic Dates

Follow the link for a listing of important academic dates for the current school year, including a list of holidays when classes are cancelled. Apprentices should be aware that programs within the School of Trades and Apprenticeship do not necessarily follow all of the listed dates. Speak with the program coordinator regarding program-specific dates, including study week, if applicable.

Credit Transfers

Credits can be transferred for apprentices who have proven that they have comparable or equivalent learning in a formal educational environment. Course learning outcomes will be the criteria for determining exemptions. The notation of "G" is used for the grade.

Note: When an apprentice moves from one Conestoga College program to another and where course numbers are identical, automatic credit is given if program passing grades are met. The course grade from the original course will stand.

Previous work experience is not eligible under the Credit Transfer process.

If an apprentice believes that they should be exempt from any complete level of in- school training they are to contact the MTCU for further guidance.

Academic Standing and Promotion Requirements – Program Standard

If for any reason an apprentice is concerned about their academic progress, they should arrange to meet with a full-time faculty member or the program coordinator.

Apprentices must achieve a minimum passing grade of 70 per cent in each and every course. Failure or withdrawal from any course will result in the apprentice not being eligible for the next level.

Common Academic Decisions

At the end of each level, the program team reviews apprentices' grades. Below are the most common academic decisions issued by the program team:

Eligible to Continue

Apprentices that pass all reportable subjects (courses) are eligible to continue in the program.

Decisions (Pending)

Apprentices that fail one reportable subject (course) may request a supplemental assessment in order to be eligible to continue on in the program.

Supplemental Assessment: Apprentices who have failed one course may request a supplemental assessment (a "make-up"). It is the apprentice's responsibility to check the grade postings. It is not the responsibility of the instructor to seek out the apprentice and offer a supplemental.

Supplemental assessments may be approved by faculty, or the program team, if the apprentice meets the following academic criteria:

  1. No more than one failed course (F grade) in the level.
  2. The failed course (F grade) was within 10 marks (10 percentage points – 60 per cent to 69 per cent) of the required passing grade of 70 per cent.
  3. Attended 80 per cent or more of the classes in the course in question.
  4. No more than one other supplemental assessment over the duration of the level.
  5. Must have passed at least one formal evaluation in the course.
  6. Not have been assessed an academic offence during their period of study within the program.

The supplemental process must be completed within two weeks from the end of the level. To register for a supplemental, the apprentice must have an Authorization for Supplemental form completed and signed by the program coordinator and submit the appropriate fee ($40.00) to the Registrar's Office. The apprentice must provide proof of fee payment at the time of the supplemental exam.

Failure in the supplemental will result in no change to the original course grade. Successful completion of the supplemental evaluation will result in the minimum passing grade of 70 per cent being awarded. The final grade as a result of the supplemental will be automatic and is ineligible for appeal.

Discontinuance, Withdrawals and Probation

The MTCU mandates that all apprentices must maintain 100 per cent attendance in their in-school training. Apprentices who are marked absent for three occurrences may be discontinued from the level. Apprentices may also be discontinued from a level based on misconduct.

For further information on discontinuance, withdrawals and probation, visit the Admissions section of the College website.

Attendance - Program Standard

Apprentices are required to demonstrate the same attention to punctuality, attendance and safety as would be required by the business or industry in which they are or expect to be employed.

Attendance for each course will be monitored. If an apprentice knows in advance that they will miss one or more classes (authorized absence), they must contact the faculty involved and let them know before the occurrence.

An authorized absence is defined as, but not limited to, illness requiring the care of a doctor, death of an immediate family member, or severe weather. All other absences are considered unauthorized. Regardless of explanation, if an apprentice is absent they must contact the appropriate faculty or leave a message with the office services assistant. Authorized absences are tracked and will contribute to the total days missed.

In the event of an absence, it is the apprentice's responsibility to make up the missed work. Due to limited shop / lab availability missed labs may result in a zero mark at the discretion of the faculty.

Apprentices that arrive late for a scheduled class will be counted as absent immediately after the start of the class. Apprentices that leave early, prior to the dismissal time, will also be counted as absent.

The School of Trades and Apprenticeship uses a 'flag' system to track unauthorized absences. The first missed day will result in a verbal warning. The second missed day will result in a 'blue flag' being issued. The third missed day will result in a 'red flag' being issued. At this point, a meeting will take place between the apprentice and program coordinator in consultation with the MTCU and the apprentice runs the risk of being ineligible for supplemental assessment opportunities due to poor attendance as well as possible discontinuance from the program. A 'day' is determined by the number of equivalent class hours missed, normally set at six hours. An accumulation of class hours missed over a number of weeks will equate to a day missed.

If an apprentice is to be absent from class due to a religious holiday, arrangements must be made in advance in accordance with Conestoga College's 'Religious Holiday Policy and Procedure'.

Evaluations (Deadlines, Tests and Examinations) – Program Standard

The School of Trades and Apprenticeship has programs directly associated with industries that require commitment to deadlines. As part of our role as an educational institute, we emulate the 'real world of work' to provide apprentices with the opportunity to recognize the essential skills required to be successful in their chosen career.

As such, the School of Trades and Apprenticeship has a 'zero tolerance' rule for unsubstantiated late submissions of assignments and projects.

Cases whereby the submission did not meet the deadline, due to medical illness, an accident, or a death in the immediate family, supporting formal documentation, such as doctor's note, police report and / or medical forms, or copy of death certificate will be required. This must be included with the late submission and personally delivered to the appropriate faculty member and / or program coordinator.

This process ensures that all apprentices within the School of Trades and Apprenticeship are following academic / industry protocol and are all treated fairly and equally in their evaluations.

Under no circumstances will a test or examination be permitted to be made up or re- written for an unauthorized absence. Apprentices are required to contact the appropriate faculty member prior to the scheduled test or examination if they know they will be absent. In the case of an authorized absence it is the apprentice's responsibility to make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member to complete the exam or test immediately upon their return to school.

Course Add/Drop

Course Add/Drop is not applicable to apprenticeship training.

Program Transfer

Program Transfers are not applicable to apprenticeship training.

Graduation

Graduation is not applicable to apprenticeship training.

Program Advisory Committee (PAC)

Program Advisory Committees do not apply to apprenticeship training.

Communication – Program Standard

Conestoga College and eConestoga student email accounts will be used to communicate to students/apprentices. Students/apprentices are expected to regularly check their email accounts. Faculty will not respond to emails from non-Conestoga email addresses. Faculty will respond to student/apprentice emails by the end of the next business day after receipt of an enquiry.
The email utility in eConestoga is permitted for course content-related items only. 

Co-operative Education Policy

The Co-operative Education Policy is not applicable to apprenticeship training.

Awards – College Application Procedure

 Since apprentices are not considered full-time students for an entire academic year they are not eligible to apply for most College-wide awards, scholarships or bursaries.

However, apprentices who are interested in awards may contact the Financial Aid and Student Awards office for more information.

School of Trades and Apprenticeship Awards – Program Specific

Every year, the School of Trades and Apprenticeship hosts an awards ceremony in May where approximately $140,000 worth of monetary and product prizes are awarded to deserving students and apprentices. Apprentices are to speak with faculty for more information on possible apprenticeship-related awards.

Co-Curricular Record

Conestoga’s Co-Curricular Record (CCR) enhances apprentices’ growth and development outside the classroom. The CCR is an official document, complementary to an academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that is achieved through approved co-curricular experiences at Conestoga College.

Student Feedback

Apprentice/student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for apprentice/student feedback include:

Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT)

The SAT allows direct feedback from apprentices/students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT form gives teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for improving teaching at Conestoga.

The SAT process occurs at semester-end. One-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term, and each has two courses selected by their academic managers for appraisal. All teachers have a SAT review at least once every two years. Apprentices/students complete either an electronic or paper copy of the SAT. A summary of results is prepared by Institutional Research. The report is sent to the academic manager who shares the report with the faculty member AFTER all marks for the level have been collected.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This survey is conducted each academic year. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.

Student Representation

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga agree that an apprentice/student has the right to invite a member of CSI to an apprentice/student and faculty meeting, provided that 24 hours advance notice is given to faculty. This advance notice will ensure that all parties will have an opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting.

Required Equipment, Supplies and Texts

Faculty members are responsible for distributing a suggested minimum tool list, where applicable. Texts required for each course are included on the pertinent course outline.

Facility Information

After-hours Access Policy & Parking

Conestoga College's hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The after-hours access is a privilege, not a right. This privilege requires that apprentices follow established guidelines, rules and regulations to ensure safety and security of person and property. Additional details on the after-hours access policy can be found in the Student Guide.

Parking

A system of paid parking is in place at Doon, Cambridge, Guelph and Waterloo. Apprentices must display a valid parking permit on their car windshield if parking on campus lots between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Information on parking regulations and permits can be found in the Parking Services section of the College's website.

Room Access

The Waterloo campus does not permit students to remain after 11:00 p.m.

Apprentices must leave the classroom / computer lab if requested to do so by Security, maintenance and / or cleaning staff.

Classrooms, Computer Labs and Shop Access

There is no food permitted in any classroom, computer lab or shop. Beverages are permitted in unbreakable, re-sealable containers.  Please note that in computer labs, beverage containers should be placed away from the keyboard to prevent unnecessary damage.

Access to shops and use of equipment outside of regularly scheduled class times is not permitted without written permission from the faculty and the presence of either the faculty or technologist. For safety reasons access will only be granted for a minimum of two apprentices.

Safety Information

Basic Safety

Apprentices are required to sign a Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (CCITAL) Acknowledgment of Safety Training and Responsibilities Form (if applicable to program), which will be provided by the faculty at the start of the program.

Any apprentice who has consumed, or is deemed to have consumed alcohol will not be allowed entry into the shop. The apprentice will have to meet with the program coordinator and chair to discuss readmission to the shop. As per the Student Guide, apprentices shall not "possess, use, manufacture, produce, distribute or aid in the use, manufacture, production or distribution of any controlled substance involving alcohol or drugs, except as expressly permitted by law." Violation of this could impact an apprentice's continuance in the program.

Emergency Procedures

For life threatening emergencies, from any landline:

DIAL 9 (for outside line), then dial 911.

Notify the Security Office at ext. 5555 whenever emergency response personnel are contacted. The Security Office should also be contacted whenever there is an individual requiring medical attention but is not life threatening or whenever there is a minor injury and no medical attention is required. Conestoga College (Doon) has a nurse on duty Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. who can be reached at ext. 3254.

There is an Emergency Guide located on Conestoga College's webpage for information on how to respond to emergency situations.

Faculty will discuss the following at the beginning of each level:

  1. Fire Exits - the closest fire exit and any alternates
  2. Fire Alarms - the location of the nearest pull station
  3. First Aid Locations – usually the closest Security Desk/Office
  4. Telephones - the nearest telephone to report accidents, illnesses or emergencies
  5. First Aiders - identify lab faculty and staff who are trained in first aid

All accidents and injuries must be reported by the apprentice within 24 hours to the program chair or program manager and an Incident Report Form will be completed and submitted to the Occupational Health and Safety Office (safety@conestogac.on.ca).

Students are encouraged to download Conestoga's free mobile safety app, which features emergency contacts, safety tips, a personal safety toolbox and maps.

Machine Operation and Safety

Machine operation and safety requirements will be provided by the faculty responsible for the delivery of each course, as necessary. Students/apprentices will sign-off after they have received safety training relevant to the machinery in use. Students/apprentices must not use any equipment for which they have not received training or which they do not feel comfortable using.

Students are invited to download Conestoga’s free mobile safety app which features emergency contacts, safety tips, a personal safety toolbox and maps. 

Physical Protection / Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

For classes with a shop component, the following are the minimum PPE requirements:

  1. CSA-approved (Omega Symbol recommended) steel toe work boots or shoes
  2. CSA-approved clear-lensed safety glasses

Other physical protection requirements in the shop include:

  1. Long pants must be worn (shorts or capris are not permitted)
  2. No loose coats or clothing items
  3. Long hair must be tied back
  4. No rings, bracelets or loose jewelry

Any additional personal protective equipment requirements will be provided by the faculty responsible for the delivery of each course.

Cell phones and other electronic communication devices may not be used in classrooms and labs without prior permission from the instructor or staff member.

Student Protection Acknowledgment

A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear after the student logs in into the Student Portal. A PDF will direct students to the location of related policies, procedures and program information. Students will confirm that they have been duly informed by Conestoga and attest to that fact by clicking the acknowledgement box provided in the popup. Date and time of the student’s acknowledgement will be captured in the Student Portal database. Conestoga will be able to run reports as necessary.

Once the acknowledgement box has been clicked, the student may proceed to enter the Student Portal and go about their business. An e-mail will be automatically generated and sent to the student acknowledging their acknowledgement. The Student Protection Information PDF will be resent within the e-mail for their reference.

The Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear to all students and students once per academic year. 

Conestoga Policies and Procedures

Additional Resources

For additional information on campus and classroom policies, procedures and guidelines, including the Academic Integrity and Copyright policies, please refer to the following links to Conestoga College’s website:

Program Handbook Revision Log

Accommodation Disclaimer

Conestoga adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code and is dedicated to promoting an equitable environment for students and employees and opportunities for members of the community to have access to and participate in all aspects of college life.  The Program Handbook is intended to provide general information in regards to program expectations.  Individual students may have accommodations that create exceptions.

Please note:

1) We recognize that extenuating circumstances may apply. Consult with your Professor. All exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.
2) Some students, who are registered with Accessibility Services and whose accommodations indicate the need, may occasionally receive accommodations for missed or late evaluations. 
3) Students with a documented disability, who have already provided a related accommodation, are not required to provide an additional doctor's note for a missed or late evaluation. Examples may include: Exceptional absences and/or extensions of assignments.

For information on Accessibility Services please visit our website or in person.  Accommodations are made for students with disabilities, as determined by Accessibility Services.