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Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training

2018/19 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1074
School of Community Services

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide

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.

Welcome

To the School of Community Services

Your Bridge to Practice

bridge logo 

What Can This Mean For You?

  • The opportunity to begin, today, to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in life-like settings and with real-life scenarios, rehearsing for the day when you will be in these real-life situations.
  • A unique inter-professional opportunity, given the number of different disciplines in the school. You will learn with, about and from your future colleagues.
  • An opportunity to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, social and study spaces. 
  • Your goal of being viewed by employers as a "preferred graduate" is up to you; your professors, support staff, administrative staff and college services look forward to supporting you as you journey from day one to your graduation.

 

Top 5 Expectations of You

1.    Use MyConestoga to Connect To:

Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca)

  • This is the official communication vehicle regarding your academic requirements. Communication with Faculty/staff should only be through your Conestoga email account. Communication through other accounts may not be responded to. Check it regularly and respond as requested.

eConestoga:

  • This is your resource for all course-based program information and course-based communication with your faculty.
  • Make eConestoga your partner in learning; this is your guide to all course activity.
  • Only course logistics should be communicated through eConestoga, all other email communication should be done through your Conestoga email.

Student Portal:

  • Find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting.

Practicum Health Requirements: (Go to "Services" and find "Practicum Services Link")

  • Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).

2. Know and Plan Around Your Academic Schedule With Your Family

Course Schedule:

  • Your schedule has been planned with many people and multiple considerations in mind.

The Academic Year has critical dates: Please plan around these dates to ensure you are here when you need to be--including the potential need to be present for the two weeks after the semester ends if you might need to complete supplemental work to allow you to continue to the next semester. Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the website. Course changes (add/dropping) may also be made through the Student Portal under the "My Courses" tab.

Academic Dates
Fall 2018 Dates Winter 2019 Dates
Fall Orientation Week Aug. 27- 31st  Winter Orientation January 3
Fall Semester Classes Start Sept 4 Winter Semester Classes Start January 7
Student Success Week Oct. 22-26th Student Success Week Feb. 25-Mar. 1
Last Week of Semester December 10-14* Last Week of Semester April 15-19*
Intersession (no classes) Dec. 17- Jan. 4/19 Intersession (no classes) April 22-May 3

*Programs with exams outside this time will be notified by the academic area.

3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become - From Day One

Civility, respect and professional behaviours will be key in the quality of your learning experience—and a future employer's first and lasting impression.

Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out Student Code of Conduct for our community at Conestoga.

Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your practicum and your program completion will be in jeopardy. 

Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend To Enhance Success

Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and practicum supports student learning and your experience as a future professional. See attendance and student success strategies section in the handbook.

Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See attendance for evaluation section in the handbook.

Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Program Handbook.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status

Student Records: If you have questions about your student record, academic status and or program withdrawals, speak to your Program Coordinator.

Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.

Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please refer to the Student Guide for more information.

Student Forms: To access forms go to the Student Forms page.

Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures. Please read and understand the Rights and Responsibilities website. 

Student Affairs Policies & Procedures: May be found at the Student Affairs page.

Top 5 Resources for You

1. Your Teaching Team

Contact Information:  Is posted in eConestoga and in your Program Handbook (Relationships Section in the Handbook)

Appointments: Making appointments (in person, by phone, email) helps to ensure your desired resource is available.
Email Inquiries: will be answered within two business days.
Urgent Need for Help: Program Assistants are available to help you reach one of the Teaching Team (contact information in Relationships Section of the Handbook)

2. Counselling and Services for Personal Needs

College Counselling: Professionally-trained counsellors can help you achieve your educational goals—for such common support as stress management, anxiety, depression, transition issues, family issues, etc. Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential. Arrange to see a Counsellor quickly if academic or personal problems stand in the way of your college success. To make an appointment, visit or call Doon-Room 1A101, 519-748-5220, ext. 3360, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Check the counselling services website for more information.
Good2Talk: Confidential 24-hour phone line for stresses big and small. Call 1-866-925-5454.
Conestoga Security: Provides a safe and secure work and learning environment. Call 519-748-5220 ext. 3357. Refer to the Student Guide for Conestoga's Safety and Security Services and procedures.
Student Financial Services: Student Financial Services can help you by providing you with options to finance your post-secondary education.
CSI Food Bank: The CSI Food Bank is an emergency food relief program for current Conestoga students.
Health Services: Your family doctor on campus. Check out the services that they offer on their website or call 519-748-5220 ext. 3679. Services available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A full-time health nurse is on site.
Facility Information: Refer to the Student Guide for information on after-hours parking, classroom and computer labs.

3. Accessibility Services

Students with Documented Disabilities are encouraged to book an appointment with Accessibility Services to access accommodations –early in your program. Disability-related documentation will be required to book an appointment. Go to the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.
Adaptive Technology Aids and Special FacilitiesAdaptive Aids are arranged through Accessibility Services; –accessible washrooms are located throughout the campus. Contact the Adaptive Technology Lab for more information on adaptive technology aids.

4. Student Study Spaces and General Supports

Cowan Health Sciences Centre (F-wing)
Student Lounge Space: Enjoy seats on each of the three floors. Plugs for laptops and charging stations are located throughout these areas.

Student Meeting Room Space: There are both formal and informal student study spaces throughout the College. The LRC has meeting spaces available for booking. 

Open Access Lab, 2nd Floor, 2F18.
This is available on a come and go basis for health & pre-health programs practicing key skills. It is open from 8:00am-4:00pm. Book with an Open Access Staff. 

Lockers are available with your tuition; important to store your extra clothes and books, etc. so that you can be at your professional best in the lab. Learn how to obtain a locker.
Information Technology: IT Service Desk—1E12 (provides supports & general assistance with college-related needs such as Email, Network accounts, connectivity & wireless printing. Go to the Web IT Service Desk for more information.

5. Services for Students

Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing; Go to the Library Resource Centre page for more information.
International Education Office: Check out the International Education Office for services available to you.
Learning Commons: Your one-stop resource for academic services and resources, such as Math, Writing Skills, Peer Tutors and resources for APA. Check out their website or Access through MyConestoga.
Student Life: Get involved and shape your experience. Visit the Student Engagement page or Connect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
Student Financial Services: Your one-stop resource to apply for student awards, bursaries, and scholarships apply early to increase your chances.
Bookstore: Your location to buy books (check out their options including used books), clothing for your program and general supplies. Find it in the A wing, just inside Door 1.
Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op Placements (if you are in a degree); your source of help to look for summer jobs or future careers and gain help preparing your resume. Check out the Co-op and Career Services site for more information.

Letter to Students

Hello Pre-Service Firefighter Students,

Congratulations, and welcome to the Pre-Service Firefighter Program.

This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the newly updated the Pre-Service Firefighter Program. Reading, understanding and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your success in this program and your chosen profession. The handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your three semesters at the college.

Refer to this handbook as you proceed through the program. Your faculty will refer to the program expectations often, but the responsibility for knowing these program standards is ultimately yours.

In addition to the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program Standards and Procedures Handbook, the Conestoga Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow.

We are here to help you have a successful three semesters. Have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding journey through the Pre-Service Firefighter Program.

Sincerely,

 

Janos Botschner, Chair, Community Safety

And your Program Learning Team

Program Overview

Program Description Pre-Service Firefighter

Our newly updated program provides strong pre-service preparation for individuals seeking a career with today's and tomorrow's fire services. Our curriculum provides the knowledge, skills, and professional development for success as a fire services recruit, and the foundation for further career progression opportunities in this important area of public safety. 

With a focus on professionalism, integrated skills acquisition through simulation-based training and inter-professional collaboration, students build towards internationally recognized credentials (National Fire Protection Association - NFPA) relevant to careers in fire suppression and also prevention through training in public education. They also develop critical thinking, situational performance skills, and lifelong wellness practices that enhance their personal and professional development and adaptability, serving as the foundation for ongoing learning, and adding value and lowering risk to prospective employers.

Philosophy

The program builds on the following beliefs regarding college students:

  • He/she are mature adults who are competent, willing to work, and eager to learn.
  • He/she are eager to manage, and accept responsibility for, their own learning.
  • He/she recognize that their learning experience is directly proportional to the effort that they put into it.
  • He/she recognize that faculty members and instructors do not have the sole responsibility for student education; rather teachers enable, coach and guide students in a learning journey.
  • He/she recognize that learning often happens outside the walls of the classroom.
  • He/she value and seek continuous feedback regarding their performance and progress.

"What Our New Program Will Mean for You…"

As a graduate of the Conestoga College Pre-service Firefighting program, you have completed a learning journey, and the personal and professional development, to become a preferred fire service candidate.

You have gained certification in: NFPA 1001 Firefighter 1 and 2; NFPA 1006 Technical Rescue Core Competencies; NFPA 472 Hazmat Core Operations; NFPA 1035 Public Educator; Emergency Medical Responder; and you are ready to pass vocational fitness testing.  You have achieved excellence in practical training delivered by a skilled instructional team drawn from fire service personnel from across south-western Ontario. You honed these skills through active learning emphasizing inter-professional practice and simulation based training, completed at Conestoga's onsite fire station environment and Cross Centre for Simulation, as well as at the world class Waterloo Regional Emergency Service Training and Research Complex.

You also are "preferred candidate" because you are fit to begin a career as a fire fighter, you have been socialized into fire services, and you can work effectively as a member of inter-professional teams. You have demonstrated professionalism based on an exemplary standard of attitude and behaviour, and have a co-curricular record showing evidence of your involvement with diverse communities.  You are ready to step into the fire service and would become a valued member of any team now and into the future.

Program Map 2018-2019

New provincial training expectations and corresponding international standards for the portability of credentials have been rolled out across the province. Our updated program map describes an integrated learning journey over three semesters, built on Conestoga's tradition of excellence in fire service training. The program map was designed to help you become a preferred candidate for firefighter positions. The knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values you will need to become a firefighter are presented in an intentional sequence and provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice. The first semester provides the foundation for your career, and each subsequent semester builds toward your future as a Firefighter to create an integrated learning journey:

  • Level 1: Acquisition of foundational knowledge and skills
  • Level 2: Consolidation of abilities for situational performance
  • Level 3: Extension to professional role and practice

In addition to being organized according to the preceding set of developmental themes, the program map also includes important areas of emphasis across all three semesters:

  • Technical knowledge and skills
  • Situational awareness and application
  • Integration for inter-professional practice
  • Professional development and resilience

Your courses have been mapped to these themes to help you develop the technical knowledge and practice skills for the increasingly inter-professional and collaborative work environment of first responders.

Pre Service Fire Fighter Education & Training Program Map (2018-2019)

Program Map describes your learning journey with three important components:

  1. All courses focus on you demonstrating development towards the program outcomes and capabilities through your program journey.
  2. There are themes for your learning that will inform you on the courses you will take to develop program capabilities.
  3. Each semester has a theme that creates milestones for your learning within a semester and your journey from one semester to the next semester and ultimately to your readiness to graduate.
Focus of Vertical Integration & Learning Trajectory:
Focus of Horizontal Integration: Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Extension to Professional Role & Practice
Technical Knowledge and Skills FIRE1300 Fire Fighter I Theory
FIRE1310 Fire Fighter I Lab
FIRE1320 Hazardous Materials Core Operations
FIRE1380 Fire and Life Safety Educator
FIRE1351 Technical Rescuer Core
Situational Awareness and Application FIRE1330 Fire Fighter II Theory
FIRE1340 Fire Fighter II Skills
Integration for Inter-Professional Practice FIRE1360 Skills Consolidation
FIRE1370 Emergency Medical Responder
ETR1445 Career Preparation (Fire Fighter)
Professional Development and Resilience COMM1085 College Reading & Writing Skills
FIT1090 Vocational Performance Standards I

FIT1100 Vocational Performance Standards II

Program Design for Your Cohort

Students can find their program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to Student Portal
  2. Click on 'My Courses' tab
  3. Select 'View Progress Report' button

Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the Conestoga College website. To find these courses, students need to scroll down the page to the 'Program Courses'.

Pathways and Further Post-Secondary Education Opportunities

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.
Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates are prepared to become firefighters.
On average, 91% of graduates from the recent years (2014 to 2016) found employment within six months of graduation. Obtaining careers in the Ontario Fire Service often requires persistence and a demonstration of sustained commitment.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca

Relationships

Communication and Contact Information

Name Extension Email Address
Brad Kueneman
Program Coordinator
3968 bkueneman@conestogac.on.ca
Michael (Mac) MacCormack 3906 mmaccormack@conestogac.on.ca
Darrell Reis 3127 dreis@conestogac.on.ca
Program Administrative Assistant
Name Extension Email Address
Jaymie Wilson-Neil 3765 jwilsonneil@conestogac.on.ca
Lauren Reid 3182 lreid@conestogac.on.ca
Administration
Name Extension Email Address
Dr. Janos Botschner
Chair, Community Safety
3421 jbotschner@conestogac.on.ca

Contacting Program Team Members

When you require assistance or information with a specific course, your primary contact is the faculty member assigned to that course. If you have difficulty contacting your faculty member, or if you require assistance or information related to the program in general, your primary contact is the Program Coordinator.

Student Email

All students are supplied with a college e-mail address and an eConestoga account. You are expected to check both your college e-mail and your eConestoga email daily as official communications from faculty will most often be via these methods. Occasionally, a telephone fan out may be used. The coordinator will contact the class president. The class president will contact each company leader. Each company leader will contact each of the members of their company. You are also required to keep your contact information (address and phone number) up to date on the student portal. This also applies during the summer break.

Faculty Availability

Faculty offices are located in the main building at 2C20 and students are welcome to see individual faculty to discuss course work, assignments, or any other issues. During the first several days during the start of the semester faculty will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. As faculty have diverse teaching schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure that your faculty are available.

Telephones for internal use are located outside the entry to faculty workspaces. Beside this phone will be a faculty directory with extension numbers only. If you have an appointment with a faculty member, please call to confirm that you have arrived. Please do not enter until you have confirmation that the faculty member is available to meet with you. If you do not have an appointment, please call the person you wish to meet with to confirm that they are present and can see you. If you do not reach them, please leave a message. In an interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not wander into faculty workspaces looking for them.

Student Engagement

Student Concerns/Issues

We appreciate that concerns/issues may arise during the learning experience. Our goal is to collaborate—students with Faculty and staff—to resolve situations of concerns quickly and to learn and improve from these situations.

To achieve this goal, we need an effective problem-solving environment. This means:

a.     When a situation of concern arises, it needs to be raised in timely manner and discussed by the individuals involved. This is the most important area for effective problem solving.

**Problem-solving closest to the individual associated with the learning is the place to start.

b.      Please see the "Student Concerns/Issues" Policy in the Student Guide for further details to be followed for the informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.

c.       Please note that issues and concerns related to a placement site, its operation or its employees should first be brought to the attention of the Conestoga Field Placement Supervisor or Program Coordinator, subject to the additional procedures outlined in the following Sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Practicum/Field Placement"--If applicable to your program. 

Student Representation

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga agree that a student has the right to invite a member of CSI to a student/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.

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which is made up of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. They meet several times a year to discuss the direction in which that industry is heading and any improvements that can be made to keep the program current. This helps to ensure that students are learning material that is relevant to their industry.

At the beginning of each year, the program will ask for student volunteers. The program will decide which students will represent years one and two. The student attendees are important members of the committee and are expected to be present at the meetings. Students must prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Chair/Coordinator which will be presented at the meeting. Students are expected to be professional, dress in business attire and engage in discussions.

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)

Conestoga College offers many unique and exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. One of the things that contribute to the excellence of this college is the host of exciting extra-curricular opportunities that add to the culture of this fine institution. WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative) is one such club whose members strive to 'learn with, from, and about' each other.

Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs at the Doon campus. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. The website includes information on past events (pictures and videos) as well as how to get involved. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.

 

Student Feedback

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

Key Performance Indicators

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 in select classes. 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 Appraisal of Teaching

The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT form gives teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.

The SAT process occurs in the last one-third of the semester. Typically about 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. The SAT process is managed by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning using an online survey system specifically designed for course/teacher evaluations.  After all marks for the semester have been submitted, a summary of results goes to the academic manager to be shared with the faculty member. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during thier Continuing Education course.

Class Cancellations

Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence

All class cancellations due to Faculty absences will be posted in the Student Portal on the left hand side of first page which a student sees after logging in. These notices in the Student Portal will be the only general notifications of class cancellations due to Faculty absences.

Although the informal notification comes through the portal, faculty may also elect to post an absences on eConestoga. 

Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations (92.9; 88.3; 1460; 96.7, 105.3, and 1240). It is up to staff and students to listen for campus closures. If the college is closed a message will be left on the campus switchboard after office hours. A notice will also be placed on the college website.

Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations

Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to Faculty absences. To receive such personal notifications students must subscribe to this special service.

To subscribe:

  • Log in to the Student Portal
  • Select Notifications under the Profile tab
  • Select the method by which you would like to be notified
  • Click Update.

Note: To change the email address to which these notifications will be sent, select My Addresses under the Profile Tab, and change the default email address.

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Professional Standards for Professionalism

The Office of the Fire Marshal and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs expect the college to graduate students that not only meet knowledge and skills based standards, but also meet or exceed a specific moral and ethical standard. This reflects a certain expectation of professional conduct.

Most often, the public is involved with the fire service during an unplanned crisis, which creates high levels of stress and confusion. During a crisis, the community expects from the fire service more than just the ability to mitigate the emergency. They also require fire service members to operate and perform their functions with a high standard of values, morals and attitudes. The public expects every firefighter to have the highly desired characteristics of integrity, compassion, and trustworthiness. Members of the public are not the only ones that have these high expectations. Fire service management, other emergency services, other city departments, and other firefighters also expect these personality characteristics. Firefighting is also very much a team effort. If any member of the team fails to perform, the entire team fails. Trust, competency and commitment are highly valued character traits in the fire service culture.

It is the school's responsibility to ensure that all students value these principles and display behaviour that is characteristic of these high standards of professional practice.

Uniform Policy

The uniform will be worn in its entirety, and can only be purchased from the approved distributor (the Conestoga Bookstore).

Standard Uniform

The uniform will consist of:

  • Dark blue uniform shirt
  • Dark blue uniform cargo pant
  • Dark blue t-shirt
  • Black leather safety boots
  • Black or dark blue socks
  • Black web belt
  • Name badge
  • Black tie (only when specified by the Program Faculty/Staff)
  • Ball cap (only when specified by Program Faculty/Staff)

The name badge will be worn just above the right chest pocket, centered and level. The uniform must be kept neat and clean in appearance.

Winter Uniform

During cold weather, the uniform may also include the following additional items:

  • Dark blue ¼ zip sweatshirt
  • Dark blue uniform jacket
  • Dark blue toque
The uniform shall be worn in its entirety to, at, and from, every class and practical training session, and any other time as directed by the program coordinator with the following exceptions:
  • Shorts: When bunker gear is worn, it is acceptable to wear a pair of dark appropriate length shorts. It is not acceptable to wear sweat pants under the bunker pants. If shorts are not worn, then the uniform pant must be worn under the bunker pants.
  • T-shirts and ball caps: If the instructor grants approval to train in a t-shirt and/or ball cap, then the uniform shirt may be removed while working in the lab area or on the training ground only. The uniform shirt must be worn and the ball cap removed when leaving the lab area after class is finished.

Personal Hygiene

In addition to the uniform policy, the student shall maintain a professional appearance (e.g. clean shaven, appropriate haircut / style as required by Fire Service standards). A student that is not professional in appearance will not be allowed in the classroom and shall be responsible for all activities and information missed during that class.

Safety Policy

Safety is the primary focus of this program. There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training.

  • Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. All practical evolutions and skill testing shall be conducted in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, Section 21 Firefighters' Guidance Notes, industry standards and best work practices.
  • All accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately.
  • All live fire activities will be conducted in accordance with NFPA 1403 as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Section 21 Firefighters' Guidance Notes.
  • All students, instructors, support staff, and others will wear personal protective equipment as is appropriate to the situation. Personal protective equipment may include CSA approved footwear, safety glasses, helmets, and appropriate protective clothing as dictated by your instructors.

Classroom / Lab / Fireground / Placement Decorum

Students learn and work better when there is mutual respect for each other. The College is a healthier and safer place to be when students and faculty can concentrate on the task at hand and not have to worry about annoying disruptions and harassment. The following rules are applied in support of, and addition to, those that are outlined in the Conestoga College Student Guide.

Cell Phones / Pagers

The uses of these items are not permitted in classes or labs. A student who may be expecting an emergency communication must make arrangements with the instructor prior to the start of class.

Laptops

A laptop is allowed to be used for the purpose of note taking during class, but is not allowed to be used for other purposes during class (e.g. email or social networking)

Participation

All students are responsible for contributing to a positive and respectful learning environment. Since class time is limited, students are expected to focus on the particular subject and not bring other work or other issues to that class. Disrespectful actions or comments directed towards faculty or other students will not be tolerated.

Safe Classroom Conduct

Conduct of any kind that might jeopardize the safety of any individual in class or that might damage college property is prohibited.

Tidiness

Respect for others will be demonstrated by cleaning up the classroom area in preparation for the group that will follow.

Impairment

A student will not be allowed to attend class if there is evidence that the student has consumed alcohol or recreational or illicit drugs. This is of extreme importance for the safety of everyone in the lab/firegrounds environment.

 

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure found in the Conestoga  Student Guide. This guide has been provided to you on our College website. The Academic Offences Policy and Procedure provides a detailed description of the following:

  • Scope of academic integrity,
  • What academic integrity means,
  • What types of behaviours constitute a breach of academic integrity,
  • The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.

After reading this information, if you do not fully understand what is meant by academic integrity, and what is required of you to maintain academic integrity, please speak with a faculty member or your program Coordinator. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is very important, and that it is your responsibility as a Conestoga student to know the Academic Offences Policy and Procedure and to initiate help if you do not fully understand it.

Below are a few hints to help you avoid breaching academic integrity.

  • Make sure that you recognize information that requires referencing.
Example Required Referencing
Milk is good for you. General information in the public domain. Does not require referencing.

"According to Health Canada milk beverages provide the nutrients needed for healthy bones and optimal health".

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Direct quote right from a published source. Requires a reference.

Consuming milk every day provides the nutrients that you need for healthy bones and optimal health.

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Information that has been put into your own words, but offers information outside of public domain related with specialized knowledge. Requires a reference.
  • Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper, or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. The APA style is the format most often used in the health and social sciences. Please visit the Conestoga Learning Commons for assistance with the APA format.
  • If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, including in class assignments that expect independent submission, make sure that you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
  • Make sure that you read the Academic Offences Policy located in the Conestoga Student Guide, and that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.

Copyright – What Students Need to Know

Photocopying and scanning at Conestoga are governed by the Copyright Act, an agreement with Access Copyright, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Fair Dealing Policy.

Under the terms of our Access Copyright license which gives the broadest permission:

You can photocopy or scan the following:

  • Up to 10% of most published works
  • One chapter that is greater than 10%, but no more than 20% of the book
  • One article, short story, play, poem or essay from a book, magazine or journal issue containing other works
  • One newspaper article or page
  • One entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work
  • One drawing, sculpture, painting, print, architectural work of art or work of artistic craftsmanship from a larger volume containing other works.

Cumulative Copying

If you copy 10% of a book today, 10% next week, 10% the week after that, and so on, this is called cumulative copying and it is not allowed. The copy limits apply to an entire academic year, so once you reach the limit for an item, you can't copy more until the next academic year.

You cannot copy or scan the following:

  • Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use
  • Instruction manuals
  • Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints
  • Advertisements
  • Business cases
  • Full Textbooks
  • Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list

You can find all of this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.

If you have any questions about copyright or the limits of copying on campus, contact James Yochem, Copyright Coordinator, at Jyochem@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3746.

Safe Practice

Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who is or wants to be a professional.

There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training in your program that have been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These will be reviewed with you during your program.

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention and follow-through:

  1. Your personal safety begins with the use of professional attire and foot wear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college. 
  2. Help us have a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, by ensuring lap top cords do not snake across walking areas and by reporting equipment or facility problems when you see them.
  3. Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioral conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.  
  4. Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a practicum/field placement, your Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Preceptor will ensure that you are aware of safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the Responsible Faculty and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required. For example, should outside temperatures during the summer become unusually hot, very high temperatures may occur in some workplaces; this could require that specific steps be taken to ensure a safe working environment. 
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. This is an opportunity to problem-solve about how to avoid these areas of concern for the future.

Student Protection Acknowledgement

A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures". 

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         

  • Academic Credential Procedure 
  • Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
  • Academic Offences Policy & Procedure 
  • Academic Recognition Policy
  • Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
  • Co-operative Education Policy
  • Discontinuance Policy & Procedure
  • Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
  • Grading Procedure
  • Graduation Requirements and Convocation Procedure
  • Honours Policy & Procedure
  • Program Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
  • Student Code of Conduct Policy
  • Student Concerns and Issues Policy & Procedure
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure

Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfill and enforce these standards.

 

Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones

To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, outside of children's play areas (indoors/outdoors) and during formal break time in field placement.

Laptops and other forms of technology may be used in the classroom when the use pertains to the content and processes of learning facilitated by the professor/team member. If your technology use is disruptive to the class, the faculty/staff may ask you to leave the class until such time that you are able to re-engage in the learning process. 

Social Media Policy

  • Social media has many advantages for a professional. It can be used to network, to resource information and keep current
  • As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including Social Media.

BE AWARE:

  • According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet. Social media sites create and archive copies of every piece of content posted, even when deleted from on-line profiles. Once information is digitalized, the author relinquishes all control." The same organization also indicates "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment. As the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario notes, users may intend to share their online existence solely within their own network, but in theory anyone can access the user's musings, photos and information. Further, the words can be altered, forwarded and misquoted. "

Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media

Ensure that your posts reflect you as the professional you are and wish to become – if a potential employer were to see your posts.

  1. Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
  2. Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  3. Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  4. Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
  5. Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  6. Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
  7. Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
  8. Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  9. Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others. 

    Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences:
  1. Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities
  2. Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites (Keep faculty and staff as resources to connect with after you have graduated or after you have left the college)

Cell Phone Policy

Students should respect their professors and other instructors by following program policy and not use their cell phones for personal use during class time. This is representative of the professional manner in which you are expected to act as you prepare to enter the workforce.

Students will not bring their cell phone or technology device into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. Phones should be left in your locker or left in your bag at the front of the classroom. In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test (parents with young children, students experiencing a family emergency, etc.) please speak to your professor as soon as you enter the examination room. Those who have been permitted to bring a phone into the classroom will likely be asked to either leave the phone with the professor, or they may be permitted to leave their phone out on their desk where it is visible to the professor and proctors. In any case, students are not permitted to touch or answer the phone without raising their hand to ask for the professor/proctor's permission. If you are found to have a cell phone in your possession during an examination that has not been declared, you will be asked to leave the examination room, and will be given a zero on the assessment.


 

 

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

Guidelines for Use of Conestoga Emergency Services Station (WREMS Building)

Conestoga Station #1 is located adjacent to the ATS building and parking lot 10. This joint facility (also known as WREMS) has a three-bay apparatus floor, and is an operational Waterloo Region EMS ambulance station.  The east bay and living quarters comprise the Regional EMS station and are off-limits and unavailable to students.

As a Pre-Service Firefighter student, you will have access to the two bays at the west end of the building. These two bays are shared with Conestoga's Paramedic Program.

Your practical Fireground training at Doon Campus is organized out of WREMS. The WREMS building must be treated as an operational firehall – the station must be maintained in a clean, organized, and secure condition at all times.

Access to the station outside of class time for approved activities can be arranged through the Firegrounds Technologist. There is a significant amount of program equipment stored in this station, which makes it the perfect Open-Access Lab for practice and review of your firefighting skills throughout your time in this program.

Guidelines for Use of Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Complex (WRESTRC)

WRESTRC is the Regional fire training facility located in Waterloo, available to all Fire Departments and emergency services (Police and EMS) within the region. There may be as many as ten agencies training at WRESTRC on the same day, so it is imperative that you respect all other users. Priority is always given to other in-service agencies as they are the primary users; we are fortunate that they share their facility with us.

There are a number of policies and procedures associated with the use of WRESTRC. A few important points that students need to be aware of include:

  • Personal protective equipment is to be worn on the training ground at all times (CSA approved footwear, safety glasses, helmets, and appropriate protective clothing as dictated by your instructors)
  • Safe work practices are to be followed during all training (follow the direction of your instructors)
  • Do not block roadways – emergency vehicles may be required to respond to an emergency from WRESTRC at any time
  • Except for the apparatus bay, no bunker gear is allowed in the Administration Building. (You must remove bunker gear to enter the locker room / washroom).
  • Parking – students are directed to park along the roadway before the administration building. Leave enough space for fire apparatus to drive in and out of the training grounds. Do not park on the fireground, driving track, or in the administration building parking lot. Obey the posted speed limit; regional bylaw enforcement officers may ticket you for speeding.
  • In keeping with Waterloo Region policies, we encourage students to avoid the use of disposable plastic water bottles – please use a reusable water bottle

Attendance and Punctuality

The program requires that you are available for class Monday through Friday from 0730 to 1700 hrs.

In view of the learning complexities of the Pre-Service Firefighter Program, you are strongly urged to attend ALL classes, labs and placement opportunities as scheduled. Students who are absent from class or field placement place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning outcomes stipulated by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM). The provincial standardized curriculum of the OFMEM specifies minimum content for the program.

Students are expected to arrive on time for all classes (theory and practice) and field activities. Tardiness is not accepted in the Fire Service and it also severly frowned upon in this program. Attendance will be taken at the start of every class and lab in support of observing conduct consistent with professionalism and participation.

Participation is taken into consideration in calculating student grades in core courses as part of the "professionalism" marks allocation.

It is the sole responsibility of the student to make up for information not obtained due to an absence.

In case of a health problem or personal emergency that necessitates missing a class or being late for a class, the student must report their absence on the student portal and advise the faculty assigned to their class by email prior to commencement of the class in question.

For off-campus events/activities without a faculty member, the student is required to notify the agency contact, and the Program Coordinator.

Work, sports (other than varsity) and participation or completion of other course requirements are not considered to be an "authorized absence". Due to the strenuous nature of the Firefighter Fitness course and practical fireground courses a "return to work" doctor's note may be requested by the instructor before the student is allowed to resume classes.

Successful Recruit Firefighter Candidate Characteristics

Successful students and firefighters:

  • Recognize that fire service culture is very conservative, paramilitary, and is steeped in tradition
  • Achieve an advanced level of physical fitness
  • Demonstrate a strong ability to work safely as a team
  • Demonstrate strong mechanical aptitude
  • Demonstrate vast and varied theoretical and practical skill sets
  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy
  • Demonstrate a strong sense of care for, and desire to help, others
  • Demonstrate a very high standard of moral and ethical conduct
  • Are life-long learners that strive for excellence
  • Display a professional appearance and conduct
  • Demonstrate respect for others at all times
  • Develop teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically problem solve

Characteristics of Successful Students

  • He/she attend class regularly and arrive on time. If He/she must miss a class He/she feel obligated to contact the instructor regarding their upcoming absence. He/she subsequently pick up on all information and assignments regarding the class that they missed.
  • He/she prepare for class by doing advanced reading. He/she come to class ready to participate and have issues that they may not be sure on, clarified. In the firefighting program, the notes for the upcoming class are available on eConestoga and the student will read those before class. The successful student will also take advantage of interactive learning strategies that are made available, complete the appropriate textbook readings and will complete the appropriate text and workbook activities.
  • He/she participate in class even if their attempt at answering a question seemed a bit clumsy or perhaps was incorrect.
  • He/she interact with faculty both in and out of class. He/she seek out the appropriate resources at times when they need assistance.
  • He/she review their notes on a regular basis and look for opportunities to complete practice test questions. Studying is ongoing and not restricted to the day or two before an exam.
  • He/she look professional and take pride in their work.
  • He/she submit all assignments on time.
  • He/she manage their time well. Often they may make use of a "day planner" to ensure that they are aware of upcoming meetings, assignments and other activities.
  • He/she restrict their participation in a part-time job to the number of hours that are comfortably manageable for that individual. As a general rule of thumb, most students are not comfortable with more than 12 – 15 hours of part-time employment per week.
  • He/she read. He/she make time to access periodicals and other reference information on a regular basis.
  • He/she seek feedback from faculty and their peers. When suggestions are made for improvement, He/she receive the suggestions openly and try to implement them.
  • He/she offer feedback to faculty regarding possible improvements to the program and make faculty aware of specific needs that the individual may have in order to optimize learning.
  • He/she maintain a healthy lifestyle and arrive at class ready to energetically participate.  

Religious Holidays

Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or do alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.

Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council

It is the responsibility of the student to:

a. Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;

b. Advise the Faculty member that they will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.

Test Procedures

  • Once a test begins, students may not leave the test room for 30 minutes. If he/she finishes a test before that time, he/she may review their answers but are expected to sit QUIETLY and not disturb others. Once students leave the room they may only re-enter when invited back by faculty.
  • Any student found cheating during the course of an examination/test will be addressed according to procedures found in Conestoga Student Guide.
  • Faculty will advise students as to the material permitted in the testing room. Personal items and learning materials will be left in an area identified by the faculty.
  • Faculty will advise as to the seating arrangements of students.
  • During open book tests, students must bring their own course materials (books, notes, Learning Packages etc.) for individual use only. Students may not share any of these materials. Electronic devices, such as, iPod, text messaging, cell phones, translators, will not be permitted. 

Importance of Test and Presentation Dates

Test and assignment dates are scheduled at the beginning of each semester. Unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program, or the faculty may require changes to the course schedule. If this occurs, students will be notified.

Students are required to write all tests during the scheduled in-class test times. Students who make personal commitments that conflict with meeting test and assignment deadlines do so at their own risk. There will be no special arrangements made for students with personal conflicts (e.g. work, family commitments or vacation plans). Students who wish to reschedule a test or presentation because of a religious holiday are required to discuss the situation with faculty at the beginning of the semester.

Academic accommodations are provided to students with documented disabilities through the Accessibility Services Office.

Assignment Policies

The expectation of Health Professionals is that they complete assigned work competently and in the allocated time, or that they anticipate difficulty in meeting deadlines and notify the appropriate person(s).

The following regulations regarding assignments reflect this belief and are designed to ensure that graduates of the programs meet these expectations.

  • Students are required to submit all written assignments on or before the date and time specified.
  • Students should anticipate problems that will necessitate an extension of time.
  • If an extension of time is required, students will make this request ahead of the assignment due date to the appropriate Instructor.

NOTE: An extension of time may be given at the discretion of faculty.

  • Late assignments will receive a grade of zero.
  • A student will not receive a passing final grade until all assignments have been submitted. All late submissions must be turned in by noon on Friday before the week of final exams.

Steps to Follow to Submit Assignment Outside of Class Time

While assignments should be submitted in class on the day they are due, if circumstances require that they be submitted outside a scheduled class, the following procedure should be followed:

1.                  Provide an electronic copy of your assignment to the faculty as per faculty instructions.

2.                  Contact faculty by email to alert them that you have submitted your assignment.

Working Together on Group Assignments

Students will often work with their fellow peers on various assignments/projects throughout the program. Each group member is responsible for ensuring that he/she has an equal role in the group. All students in the group should review the completed work before it is submitted/ presented. When issues/concerns arise during the group process, it is the responsibility of group members to contact the course professor for assistance prior to due date.

Faculty Returning Tests and Assignments

In order to support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Individual faculty will inform students in class how/when tests and assignments and/or marks on them will be returned. Please note that some tests will be returned to students and some may be retained by faculty. Final exams and supplemental exams are not reviewed will not be reviewed with the students. Under no circumstances are students to enter the offices of faculty or look through papers on a desk without a faculty present. Students who have questions about tests/assignments/grades should follow the process outlined below:

  • at least 24 hours after receiving the mark and within seven days, contact faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required
  • initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss the matter 

    Note: Students are encouraged to keep all assignments, texts and course-related resources and materials throughout the duration of the program.
     

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

In the Pre-Service Firefighter Program, there are continuous requirements for written work in a variety of formats (papers, assignments, forms and plans, handouts, etc.). It is expected that all students will meet the standard of English required within the profession. Faculty will identify students who are having difficulty in this area and will approach them to discuss the need for improvement. Students may be referred to the Learning Commons to help them improve the quality of their written work.

General Guidelines for submitting written work

For specific course requirements, refer to the course outlines provided. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss this with individual faculty. Students are required to use spell-check and grammar-check to assist with the editing of written work. The Learning Commons will be an invaluable resource to students who require assistance in organizing and writing an assignment with correct spelling and grammar.

Unless otherwise indicated by professors, generally, assignments should be:

  • Word processed
  • Double spaced and one sided
  • Submitted using font size of 12, and proper margins
  • Written in a grammatically correct manner
  • Handed in securely fastened with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted
  • Handed in at the beginning of class on the designated due date in class, unless otherwise indicated by professor
  • Handed in using the APA@Conestoga format if references are required
NOTE: Faculty does not assume responsibility for assignments not given directly to them in hard copy at the beginning of the relevant class. Students should avoid handing in assignments outside the regularly scheduled class time and should make every effort to hand assignments in to professors in person.

Use of Time between Classes

Students are encouraged to use breaks between classes for personal needs (food, washroom, phone calls, emails etc.) but also for group work, studying, connecting with faculty, field placement supervisors, etc.

Academic Progress Through the Program

Academic Standing and Promotion

The Conestoga Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. The Conestoga Student Guide is available on the college website and by visiting the "Student Guide" tab in your Student Portal.

In addition to the Academic Regulations found in the Conestoga Student Guide, the following apply to the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program:

Achievement

  1. Students must attain a minimum 70% passing grade in all Pre-Service Fire Fighter courses and year end composite exams.
  2. The student must have successfully completed all courses of all previous semesters and passed year-end composite exams (where such exist) in order to be promoted into the next semester. Failure to do so may result in discontinuance from the program.
  3. The student is expected to apply theory and skills to practice in a safe competent manner in accordance with the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and current professional practice guidelines within all lab and simulation settings.
  4. Regular participation is mandatory to achieve a "pass" in both theory and lab classes.
  5. The student is encouraged to maintain mental and physical health throughout the program, consistent with Fire practice requirements. A range of College resources are available to help and support students to be physically and mentally healthy.
  6. Students must adhere to Standards of Conduct – Academic, Social and Professional as outlined in the Conestoga Student Guide and the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program Handbook.

Course Add/Drop

You can add, change and drop courses from your portal depending on the dates and which program you are in:

  1. Log in to the Student Portal
  2. Click on the "My Courses" tab
  3. Scroll over the icons to the right of individual course listings. It is strongly recommended that students consult their program coordinator/academic advisor prior to dropping a course.

Special Timetables/Adding Dropped or Failed Courses

Please note that when students are not taking the program in the prescribed sequence, they will be on "special timetables". Prior to the beginning of the semester, students should attempt to add missed courses from a previous semester by logging in to the Student Portal and following the instructions to register for courses. If students are not able to add courses on their own (because of a timetable conflict or full course section) they must seek assistance from their Program Coordinator during the "Special Timetable Registration" initiated by the college. Dates, times and locations of Special Timetable Registration periods are posted in the student portal in advance of the beginning of each semester. Students must attend this meeting where they will receive further guidance regarding this academic status from their Program Coordinator.

Students who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.

Academic Probation

Students who have been unsuccessful in their field experience, have failed two or more academic courses, and/or have required considerable testing/assignment variances may be recommended for Academic Probation. Academic probation allows students to be promoted to the next level with a special timetable or with academic conditions. Special timetables and academic conditions are designed as part of written learning contract that the student and program coordinator create together. The goal of these measures is to allow students to continue in the program accompanied by a supportive plan for success.

Discontinuance

Students who have failed to meet all program standards or who have failed to meet the standards set out in the Conestoga Student Guide and/or the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program Handbook involving academic dishonesty, student responsibilities, or unacceptable behaviour, attitude or conduct may be discontinued from the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program.

Students can be discontinued according to the following reasons:

  • For failure to meet academic program standards by failing two or more courses in the same term.
  • For violating documented ethical standards of practice.
  • For inappropriate behaviour that jeopardizes the study of other students.
  • For not adhering to the professional standards of health and ability required for this kind of work. For example, if the presence of a documented health issue exceeds the reasonable capacity of the College to provide accommodation and is determined to constitute a barrier to safe participation in the Program according to the standards of the Program and/or College.

Procedure

  1. The professor notifies the promotions committee of the reasons a student is suggested to be discontinued.
  2. The promotions committee reviews the reasons and recommends discontinuance.
  3. The program chair and/or coordinator meet with the student to explain the reason(s) for discontinuance and complete the Discontinuance Form. A copy of the form is forwarded to the Registrar.
  4. The registrar forwards the student a letter outlining the discontinuance and explains the steps involved in requesting an appeal. 

Withdrawal

Students not planning to return to the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available from the program coordinators, the Registrar's Office, or on the college website.

Program Transfer

Prior to transferring to another program, it is recommended that the student meet with the program coordinator or academic advisor. Students who decide to change programs may do so by completing and submitting a program application form to the Registrar's Office. If considering transferring to a program outside the school in which they are currently enrolled in, students may want to discuss options with a career advisor. When a student moves from one Conestoga program to another and where courses numbers/codes are identical or equivalent, automatic credit is given if passing grades are met.

Appeal

Students have the right to appeal any academic decisions as set out in the Conestoga Student Guide. It is recommended that students begin this appeal process by first meeting with the faculty and/or program.

Clearance of Academic Deficiency

Please refer to Conestoga Student Guide for the procedure and criteria regarding Clearance of Academic Deficiency. Please note that following the end of semester, contact with any student eligible to write a supplemental will be made either by phone or email. A specific date, time and room number will be given to each student. If a student does not respond to this contact, the student forfeits the opportunity to write a supplemental test. The maximum number of supplemental opportunities during the program is two per student.

Procedure

  1. Promotions Committee grants or denies permission for supplemental work. To be eligible for a Supplemental, the student must have achieved a final grade that is within 10% of the minimum passing grade (63% or greater on courses requiring 70% to pass).
  2. Program Coordinator contacts student and sets up a time to meet and fill out the Supplemental Request Form.
  3. Student brings form and pays additional fee for supplemental work at the Registrar's office.
  4. Student receives supplemental work from Program Coordinator.
  5. Student completes supplemental work (test or assignment) in accordance with the times and dates given by the Program Coordinator.
  6. Student meets with Program Coordinator to submit assignment.
  7. Supplemental work is assessed and the Registrar's Office is contacted with the result.

Readmission to the Program

Since the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program is a highly integrated and oversubscribed program, a student who has withdrawn or been discontinued from the program must apply to be readmitted. Readmission to the program is not guaranteed. Students who have been discontinued from semester one must reapply through Ontario Colleges for readmission to semester one. Admission/readmission to all other semesters is based on seat availability and academic status. If space in the program exists, students will be readmitted to the current program design, to which current program standards and procedures will apply. Students will be ranked ordered for readmission using the following criteria:

  1. Students in good academic standing who have withdrawn from the Conestoga College PSF program due to illness or personal circumstances with prior approval from the Program Coordinator and/or Program Chair.
  2. Students who have one discontinuance as a result of course failure(s) and whose academic status/performance and extra-curricular preparation suggests that they will be successful in the program if readmitted.
  3. Transfer students from other institutions whose Pre-Service Fire Fighter Programs are deemed to be substantially equivalent in curriculum structure and who are in good academic standing.

If there are more students within any category than space in the program can accommodate, the following academic factors will also be considered when categorizing students for readmission:

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) for students in good academic standing.
  • Number of courses failed and grade point average if student presents with one discontinuance.

Students who do not meet the above criteria will not be readmitted to the program.

A student who has been out of the program for more than 12 months may be required to successfully complete theory and/or skill challenge testing.

Only one opportunity to re-apply or repeat a failed course is permitted.

For additional information, refer to the Academic Administration page for more information on the readmission procedure

Promotion is based on academic achievement as well as meeting personal and professional performance standards.

 

General Education / Breadth Electives

School of Liberal Studies

The purpose of diploma General Education electives and Degree Breadth electives is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed not just in their chosen career fields, but in all life paths. Working collaboratively with your program, General Education and Degree Breadth elective courses help develop the critical and creative thinking skills, civic engagement and knowledge of the broader world of arts, culture and science that helps make you more reflective, creative, and effective in your own life.

All Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, and Degree programs at Conestoga require students to complete general education electives / interdisciplinary breadth.

More information on these courses can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/electives.

 

Process for Resolution of Student Concerns

In order to resolve any concerns which may arise during a course, field placement or relating to the program overall, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level prior to proceeding to a formal appeal.

If attempts have been made, and a successful resolution has not been reached, students are encouraged to refer to their Conestoga Student Guide, and to follow the procedures outlined under the "Academic Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure" section.

Maintaining Student Files

  1. Official records of each student's education are maintained electronically by the Registrar.
  2. Administrative records related to your experience in the Program are maintained to demonstrate compliance with external and college requirements. This information is as follows:
Administrative
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

Pre Practicum Health Requirements (if applicable)

  • per copies of information received from students

In H.S Trax, by individual student access

**accessed through My Conestoga

  • Each student has his/her own information on the Passport for provision to practicum agencies as required.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program

Acknowledgement of WSIB Understanding (if applicable)

  • Signed electronically by each student prior to the first practicum placements
  • By the Program, online
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program

Student Consents Signed on Admission electronically (varies per program)

  • Student Consent for Release of Information
  • Student Understanding of Professional Standards
  • Student Understanding of Safety Requirements
  • Filed electronically
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.
  1. Academic Files are set up as required for a student to document important matters relevant to a student's progress or to document and monitor resolution of concerns.
Academic
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

A.  Documents related to academic progress

  • Correspondence regarding course equivalencies
  • Correspondence re supplementary examinations
  • Learning Contracts
  • Disabilities Information & plans
  • In Student File, maintained by the Program Coordinator, initially, and then filed for safe-keeping during the student's time in the Program –maintained by the Program Assistant
For 1 year following graduation or as required by accrediting body

B.  Records of Competency Attainment

As above As above

C.  Documents related to areas of Concern

  • Interview Records, with supporting email documentation as appropriate
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Incident Reports
  • Letters/emails of significant concern and replies
  • Appeals
As above As above
  1. Students may review the contents of their academic file by:
    • Requesting this in writing to the Program Coordinator
    • Reviewing the file in the presence of the Coordinator

 

  

Field Placement Experiences

Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go into the Practicum Services Community in myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.

 

Field Placement

Firefighter training is based on an integrated balance of theory and practice. Your program includes work integrated learning opportunities that can be expanded and clarified with the theoretical knowledge gained from classes. These involve brief practical skills development through fire grounds training at WRESTRC and exposure to fire services/allied services via field trips and other off-campus activities.

Practicum Health Requirements

Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:       

  • Standard First Aid and CPR – HCP level
  • A Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS).  Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.

WSIB

Prior to your first exercise at WRESTRC, you must log onto eConestoga and electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical Placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development while you are on off-campus training. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage is electronically signed or you will not be allowed to attend your field experience.

Concerns regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients

Off-campus experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment.  These visits and activities have been organized by your Program in partnership with the organization where you have been involved.

The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during an off-campus experience to support both a solid learning experience and a constructive partnership with the host site.

A. Communication of General Concerns Regarding Your Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients

  • Students will be provided with an Orientation to their off-campus experience site.  The Orientation may include details of the off-campus experience site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and /or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.
     
  • If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:
    • The student must immediately report these concerns to the college individual associated with the practicum (Faculty responsible). 
       
    • The Responsible Faculty will discuss this concern with Site Management.
       
    • For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Responsible Faculty will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact site management to determine next steps.

      Should facility policies require that students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to off-campus experience site management, the student should report to the Responsible Faculty immediately afterward.

B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during an Unpaid Educational Experience

  • Should students experience personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the Responsible Faculty. The site will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required.  The Responsible Faculty will notify the Program Coordinator and Chair and complete an Unpaid Work/Education Placement-Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the College's Occupational Health & Safety Office.  Where necessary,   the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.

C. Reporting of Student Involvement in Situations of Possible Injury to Clients during a Practicum Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property

  • Should students be involved in care/service situations where there the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of a site, this concern must be immediately reported to the Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Responsible.  The faculty member will discuss this immediately with the site and ensure that an incident report is completed.  The faculty member must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform College officials accordingly. 

  • Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources/physical property at a site, this concern must be reported immediately to the Site and to the Responsible Faculty.  The faculty member will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications.  It is the responsibility of the Responsible Faculty to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.

Fire Service Work Integrated Learning/Off Campus Policies

  • Students are expected to complete their activities as assigned. Locations and length of work integrated learning experiences can vary.
  • Students who will be absent from work integrated learning experiences are required to notify both the agency where they are placed and their faculty at the college prior to the start of their shift.
  • Students who require special shift considerations due to extenuating circumstances should negotiate this with faculty at the beginning of the semester.
  • Students who fail to meet the required number of hours may not be eligible to graduate.

Fire Department and Agency Partners

We are very pleased to have the support of many local fire departments and agency partners for the Pre-Service Firefighter Program including:

  • Brantford Fire Department
  • Cambridge Fire Department
  • Guelph Fire Department
  • Kitchener Fire Department
  • Woodstock Fire Department
  • Stratford Fire Department
  • Waterloo Fire Rescue
  • Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Complex
  • Township of Wellesley Fire Department
  • Township of Woolwich Fire Department
  • Township of Puslinch Fire Department
  • University of Waterloo (Fire Research)
  • Children's Safety Village

Student Awards

Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available to our students through the partnerships we have established with local business and industry leaders. To be considered for an award, complete the General Application available through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts in the fall semester (Deadline: First Friday in October) and winter semester (Deadline: First Friday in February). Visit the Student Financial Services on Conestoga's website.

The following awards* are available to the students of Pre-Service Firefighter Program. Students who have questions about any of these awards should speak with their Program Coordinator. Please watch your college email for information from the Financial Aid office concerning application deadlines, processes and eligibility. You may obtain information about other school wide awards and scholarships from Financial Aid. You can find the General Awards Application online

* Note: All awards correct at time of publication, but are subject to change.

Pre-Service Firefighter Program Awards and Letters of Recognition

Award Name Award Description Donor Estimated Amount Students Eligible to Apply Selection Process
Tyler Todd Memorial Entrance Award The Tyler Todd Memorial Entrance Award is presented to a student in the Pre-Service Firefighter Program, with preference given to one who has served in the Canadian military service. Family of Tyler Todd $500 Registered students in the Pre-Service Firefighter Program are eligible to apply Applicant submits a brief note describing why he or she wants to become a firefighter, and if applicable, outlines his or her service experience in the Canadian military

Firefighter Fitness

Outstanding Achievement

The Firefighter Fitness Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to the top male or female in the graduating class of the Pre-Service Firefighter Program. It is granted to the student who has achieved the highest level of fitness based on the final test scores. Aaron Dolson $100 and Plaque All graduating students are considered Faculty determine the student with the highest test scores in Firefighter Fitness

Emergency Patient Care

Outstanding Achievement

The Emergency Patient Care Outstanding Achievement Award is presented a student who has demonstrated superior performance in providing emergency patient care. Northside Trophies and Awards $100 and Plaque All graduating students are considered With a focus on practical skills, the recipient will be determined by the coordinator, in consultation with faculty
Leadership The Leadership Award is presented to a student who demonstrates traits expected of fire service leaders, demonstrates leadership in motivating and supporting others throughout the program, and is viewed by faculty and students as the "leader of the class".

Darch Fire

 

 

$250 and Plaque All graduating students are considered The recipient will be determined by the coordinator, considering nominations from students and faculty
Outstanding Achievement in a Selected Practice Area The Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to a student who maintains personal and professional growth throughout the program, and demonstrates a superior ability to apply, in a proficient manner, firefighter theory to a selected practice area.

Professional Firefighters Associations

(Dec. grads)

 

Modern Training Ontario

(Apr. grads)

$500 and Plaque All graduating students are considered Coordinator determines which student receives the most nominations from Fireground Instructors
Academic Excellence The Academic Excellence Award is presented to the student who achieves the highest academic grade point average in firefighting vocational courses over the three semesters of study.     All graduating students are considered Coordinator determines the student with the highest credit-weighted GPA of vocational courses
Community Service Excellence

The Community Service Award is presented to a student who demonstrates an orientation and commitment towards serving others by actively participating in charitable and community service events throughout the program.

 

    All graduating students are considered With a focus on community service contributions, the recipient will be determined by the coordinator in consultation with faculty.

College Hours

Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday,  8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

In some instances, classes will be scheduled outside of this time frame to accommodate course, program, and college requirements.

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.

Attendance for Evaluations

Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend.  If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.  
Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.
While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.  
In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:

Faculty Responsibilities

  • To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
  • To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
  • To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
  • To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
  • To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.

Student Responsibilities

  • To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
  • To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
  • If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

  1. Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
  2. Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
  3. Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
  4. Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.

Important! Please note the following:

  • The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
  • The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
  • If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
  • When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%

Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

  • Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate.
  • Students will complete any necessary forms. 
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
  • Tests will be made up in the Conestoga Test Centre in the following week, or by individual arrangements with course faculty member.
  • If the evaluation is to be conducted in the Conestoga Test Centre, students will be asked to show their ONECard* before permitted to write the test.

* Students taking part-time courses or in programs where OneCard is not provided such as Apprenticeship may be asked to show alternate ID.

Program Handbook Revision Log

Last Revised By Whom
June 15, 2015 Jillian Grant
May 24, 2016 Dom Parisi
June 29, 2016 Janos Botschner
June 16, 2017 Jillian Grant
July 5, 2018 Jaymie Wilson-Neil

Accommodation Disclaimer

Conestoga College is dedicated to promoting an equitable environment where students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of College life. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Conestoga College recognizes its responsibility and legal obligation to provide education, information and services in an accessible manner.

The Program Handbook is intended to provide general information with respect to program expectations. There may be individual accommodations and/or medical circumstances that require exceptions. For example, students may need to be accommodated for a missed assignment or evaluation. Students who are registered with Accessibility @ Conestoga are not required to provide an additional doctor's note for a missed or late evaluation. For more information about Accessibility @ Conestoga please drop in or visit our website.

We recognize that other extenuating circumstances may apply. Consult with your Professor. All exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.