Academic Upgrading

2016/17 Program Handbook

Program Code: 1405
School of Career and Academic Access

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

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


Dean, School of Career and Academic Access

Congratulations on your decision to come back to school. We are pleased to work with you as you develop and follow your career and education plans. All of our programs are individualized to meet your needs. Please let us know how we can help you. Best wishes for a successful experience.

Chair, Preparatory Programs

Welcome to Academic Upgrading at Conestoga College.  By enrolling in Academic Upgrading, you are taking important steps toward continuing your education that will result in benefits to all areas of your life.  Our individualized, self-directed program allows you to work at your own pace in a manner that best suits your learning.  Whether you are returning to school after an absence, upgrading some courses, or looking to improve your skills for work, we are excited to support you in achieving your goals.  We look forward to working with you as you develop your learning plan and begin your upgrading.  We have no doubt that Academic Upgrading can assist you in meeting your education and career goals.

Conestoga Mission, Vision, and Values


  • Recognition for excellence in polytechnic education.


  • Champion innovation in education and research.
  • Serve community needs and priorities.
  • Inspire individuals to achieve their potential.


  • Access - Education and training opportunities for individuals across the communities we serve.
  • Respect - A welcoming environment that promotes fairness, individual rights and dignity.
  • Quality - Excellence in the design and delivery of programs and services.
  • Innovation - Creative solutions to meet the needs of our students, partners and community.
  • Community - Responsible employer, active partner and engaged corporate citizen.

School Mission and Vision

To support individuals in reaching their career, employment and academic goals and to respond to employers' recruitment and training needs.

Program Academic Team

Program Administration

Dean – School of Career and Academic Access

Andrea Leis
Student Client Services Building, 215-5
519-748-5220 x3672

Program Chair

Tanya Kell
Student Client Services Building, 214-3
519-748-5220 x2483

Program Faculty

Contact information for faculty will typically be provided on the first day of related courses.

Coordinators are specific to a campus location.

Downtown Cambridge

Sue Dawe
150 Main Street, Suite 402
(519) 623-4890 ext 7501


Adam Jensen
(519) 824-9390 x6172


Ed Lee
Room 2
(519) 271-5700 x7227


Brian Hofstetter
(519) 885-0300 x5229


Marisa Rentas
220 Colborne Street, Market Square

Program Overview

Program Description

Academic Upgrading provides adult learners with the opportunity to improve their mathematics, communications, computer, and science skills up to college-entry level. Students complete only the topics required:

  • for entry into post-secondary programs, trades, apprenticeship or other college programs;
  • for employment;
  • for work or interest
  • for GED test preparation (high school equivalency).

Program Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:

  1. Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  2. Perform written and oral communications skills as required for selected work, college or apprenticeship or other training programs.
  3. Perform fundamental arithmetic calculations.
  4. Perform operations and calculations in mathematics, measurement, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry as required for selected jobs or skill training programs.
  5. Recognize concepts of physics relating to mechanics: wave motion, sound, light and trigonometry as required for selected jobs or apprenticeship or other training or college programs.
  6. Recognize concepts of chemistry relating to atomic structure, bonding, gas laws, quantitative relationships, nomenclature, electrolysis, and families of elements as required for selected jobs or apprenticeship or other training or college programs.
  7. Recognize concepts of biology relating to cells and human anatomy and physiology as required for selected jobs apprenticeship or other training or college programs
  8. Operate a computer using basic word processing and spreadsheet software.

Student Services

For general information on this topic, please refer to your Student Guide.

Not all of the services listed in the Student Guide are available to Preparatory Programs students.  If you are unsure about whether or not you can access one of these services, please speak with your Coordinator.

Program Information and Requirements

Program Information


For more information visit the Financial Aid webpage.

Many of the supports listed on this webpage are available for post-secondary students only, but may be of interest to you in exploring your next steps after Preparatory Programs.

Program Requirements

For general information on Conestoga's policies and procedures and student code of conduct information, please refer to Conestoga's Policies and Procedures webpage or to your Student Guide.

Evaluations (deadlines, tests and examinations)

Copying and plagiarism of assignments will be dealt with in accordance with College Policy regarding Academic Integrity (also referred to as Academic Honesty) as described in the Student Guide under Academic Policies and Procedures.

Student Appraisal of Teaching

Students are asked to provide feedback regarding their faculty and course by completing the Student Appraisal of Teaching or "SAT" questionnaire. This is completed for each full-time faculty member on a 2-year rotation. Not all faculty are provided with feedback during the same academic year. SATs are confidential and are delivered to HR in a sealed envelope once completed by the students. The Chair meets with the faculty member to discuss the results of the SAT.


Students may be discontinued from a program if they do not meet specific academic standards.

For more information visit the College Policies, Procedures and Guidelines webpage then click on the Academic Administration side tab and search for the document entitled Discontinuance Policy.


The program assumes that you will be in attendance according to your attendance agreement.  Our policy states that:

If you are absent for three days or more and have not been able to contact us, then you may be withdrawn from your program.  If you are absent due to illness, we may request a doctor's certificate.  If special circumstances arise, you may request a leave of absence.

Part of your responsibility is to be on time according to your educational plan (including after breaks) and to remain until the end of your scheduled time.

Please call us if you cannot be in attendance on time for a morning, afternoon, or evening class

Procedure for Reporting Absences and Lateness

Academic Upgrading students may call Preparatory Programs at the appropriate campus:

Cambridge: (519) 623-4890 x7500

Guelph: (519) 824-9390 x6167

Stratford: (519) 271-5700 x7227

Waterloo: (519) 885-0300 x5353

Brantford: 519-753-8181

Please include your full name, reason for absence, and your telephone number.

Communication & Emailing Requirements

Conestoga will assign each student an email account upon enrolment. Conestoga will communicate information to students via their assigned account, and students are expected to check their account regularly. It is strongly recommended that all students use their Conestoga email accounts to communicate with staff and faculty at the college. 

Maintaining Student Files

Conestoga may retain examples of student coursework for the purposes of program review, accreditation, and/or for other administrative purposes. 

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Another part of your responsibility is to ensure that you have read and understood the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Guide.

Conduct yourself in a manner that is appropriate for a professional, adult learning environment, including appropriate dress and language.

Cell Phones – Please do not use your cell phone during class time. For emergency purposes, cell phones must be on vibrate mode.

Computers - Computers and a printer are available for student use.

Computers are NOT to be used for personal, non-course related activities.

Noise Level - Talking should be kept to a minimum and at a level that will not disrupt the learning of other students.


Facility Information

For facility related information including after-hours access, parking, and classroom & computer labs at the Guelph and Waterloo sites, please refer to your Student Guide.

Facility information for students attending Stratford, Cambridge, or Brantford is not available in the Student Guide.  This information will be provided to you during your program orientation session at your site when you begin your studies.

Safety Information

For Conestoga's safety and security services and procedures at the Guelph and Waterloo sites, please refer to your Student Guide.

Safety information for students attending Stratford, Cambridge, or Brantford is not available in the Student Guide.  This information will be provided to you during your program orientation session at your site when you begin your studies.

Student Acknowledgement and Documentation

Student Protection Acknowledgment

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

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

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

Program Handbook Revision Log

Program Handbook Revision Log

  • July 2016 - Annual Revision

Accommodation Disclaimer

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

Please note:

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

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