Registered Nurse - Critical Care Nursing
2023/24 | Conestoga College
Program Code: 0479
Health & Life Sciences
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.
This handbook must be read in conjunction with general information about Conestoga College found on the website and in the Student Guide. The information in the Student Guide and on the college website applies to all students, regardless of program.
Welcome to the School of Health & Life Sciences
Conestoga's School of Health & Life Sciences offers a range of credentials to assist you in your goal of becoming a healthcare professional. From pre-health programs to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees, the School of Health & Life Sciences delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities. With a broad range of programs and delivery options to choose from, you can find a program that suits your needs and sets you on the path to a successful career.
Work-integrated learning is at the core of many of our programs. Whether through a field placement, clinical practicum, or co-operative education experience, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with an industry partner that will put your training into practice.
The School of Health & Life Sciences has many partnerships in industry as well as the local community and beyond.
What you learn here, counts out there – the School of Health & Life Sciences provides you with:The opportunity to become the professional you aspire to be.
- The opportunity to learn in specialized settings with real-life scenarios.
- The opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in a unique inter-professional environment.
- The opportunity to take advantage of state-of-the-art learning facilities and study spaces.
- The opportunity to become a "preferred graduate", sought after by your future employers.
Top 5 Expectations of You
1. Connect regularly to your online resources:
Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, email@example.com): This is the official communication channel for everything related to your academic requirements. Communication with faculty and staff is required to happen through your Conestoga email account. Check your school email regularly and respond as requested.
- eConestoga: This is your resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.
- Student Portal: You will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting on this portal.
Placement Health Requirements: This service provides you with the requirements to enter into practice settings.
2. Follow your academic schedule:
- See the
Orientation Checklist prior to starting your program.
- Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
The Academic Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Programs with exams outside this time will be notified individually.
For BScN Students: Academic Year Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Please review the McMaster University's Sessional Dates.
3. Become a health care professional:
- Act respectfully and professionally at all times, as these behaviours are the key to your learning experiences.
- Present in professional dress and conduct: See the Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website.
Pre-WIL Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete the tasks as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your work-integrated learning (WIL) and program completion will be in jeopardy.
Social Media: Use responsibly and respectfully. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.
4. Attend classes and labs to enhance your success:
Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and placement/WIL are in place to support your learning and experiences as a future professional. See Attendance and Program Expectations 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 Handbook.
5. Take responsibility for your academic status:
- Student Records: For any questions concerning your student record, academic status and/or program withdrawals, please contact 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 review the Credit Transfer & PLAR website for more information.
- Student Forms: To access forms, please go to the Student Forms page.
- Academic Policies and Procedures: Are found under Policies and Procedures. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website.
Student Affairs Policies and Procedures: Are found on the Student Affairs page.
Letter to Students
Dear Critical Care Nursing Students,
Welcome to the Critical Care Nursing Certificate Program.
This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the Critical Care Nursing Certificate Program. Reading, understanding and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your continued success in this program and your chosen profession. The handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your program at the college. If you do not understand any of the information in this handbook, please ask the faculty or Chair for an explanation.
Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program. The Critical Care Nursing Certificate faculty will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.
In addition to the Critical Care Nursing Program Handbook, the Conestoga Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow. The Critical Care Nursing Certificate Program Standards and Procedures Handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga Student Guide.
We are here to help you successfully complete this post-graduate program. Should you experience difficulty or need assistance in any area of your studies, please come and speak with us, and we will work with you to help you reach your career goals.
All the very best to you in your studies.
Shelley Edwards-Dick, PSW & CE Chair
Communication and Contact Information
Contacting Faculty or StaffWhen contacting faculty or staff (via email or by phone), your message should include the following information:
- First and last name, student ID #
- Course and semester or level
- Brief description of the reason for contact
- Telephone number or email contact where you can be reached
Student EmailAll students are supplied with a Conestoga email address. All communications will be via your Conestoga email address or posted on Conestoga's online Learning Management System – eConestoga. Use only your Conestoga email address when communicating with faculty and staff. Students are expected to check their Conestoga email regularly.
If you are having problems accessing your Conestoga email, contact the Information Technology (IT) department at ITSDesk@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3444 as soon as possible. Students are accountable for ensuring a functioning email account.
Faculty and Staff AvailabilityStudents are encouraged to connect with faculty to discuss course work, assignments, or other matters related to success at Conestoga.
Procedures for Meeting with Faculty and Staff
To schedule a meeting with faculty or staff, please contact the person by email. Meetings may be held in person, virtually or by telephone.
Additional Student InformationChange of name, home address, temporary residence address and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the Registrar's office. Forms for reporting changes are available from the Registrar's office. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the College and the student.
Change of name, address and telephone number
Please review eConestoga course shell for individual course instructor contact information.
The College is open and offers classes seven days a week.
Through theory and supervised clinical practice using the nursing process, this program focuses on stabilizing and caring for the critically ill adult client. Because the program has a flexible curriculum design it will meet the needs of both the experienced critical care nurse and the nurse who wants to move into this specialty area.
- Practice within the scope of professional, legal and ethical standards, organization policies and best practices in critical care nursing.
- Establish and maintain therapeutic relationships with patients, families and/or substitute decision makers to optimize patient and family-centred critical care.
- Assess, analyze and monitor data for patients with complex, multi-system problems in order to anticipate early deterioration in patient's condition, establish priorities and to plan interventions.
- Plan, implement, evaluate and document specialized nursing interventions to achieve optimal patient outcomes in potential or actual life threatening illness and end-of-life situations.
- Advocate for and deliver patient and family-centred care to patients/families experiencing potential or actual life threatening illness and end-of-life situations.
- Collaborate with members of the inter-professional health care team in providing care for patients experiencing potential or actual life threatening illness and end-of-life situations to achieve continuity of care and optimal patient outcomes.
- Use evidence-based research and best practice guidelines to inform and adapt critical care nursing practice.
- Use strategies and available resources to respond to environmental, physical and psychosocial stressors affecting self and others in the critical care setting.
- Engage in reflective practice and ongoing professional development to enhance competence in critical care nursing.
You can find your program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:
- Log in to Student Portal
- Click on 'My Courses' tab
- 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 School of Health & Life Sciences website. To find these courses, students need to scroll to the 'Program Courses' section.
General Education ElectivesStudents are required to complete General Education elective courses as part of their program requirements. General Education elective course requirements are listed at the bottom of the progress report, which is found on the Student Portal under My Courses. The progress report indicates the level/semester in which the course must be taken. Students are responsible for adding General Education electives into their schedule for the designated semester. Eligible courses are posted each semester by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies on the College's elective website. For more information and to view the current elective course offerings, visit https://www.conestogac.on.ca/electives/diploma. Questions regarding General Education electives can be directed to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conestoga College's degree students may be able to apply their interdisciplinary electives toward a minor within their degree program. A minor acknowledges additional learning within a specific discipline that a student achieves while completing their degree. A minor can help recognize the additional interests a student may have and can help differentiate a job seeker from their competitors. Successful completion of a minor will be identified on the student's official transcript.
For more information, please click here: https://www.conestogac.on.ca/electives/degree/minors.
Program Technology Requirements
Program technology requirements are posted on the program web page. Students in hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality, and reliable Internet access.
It is the student's responsibility to be aware of various important academic dates throughout the year. These academic dates are posted on the college website.
Please note that Continuing Education courses and Apprenticeship programs may have different start dates and exam dates for courses.
You can add, change and drop courses from your portal depending on the dates and which program you are in:
- Log in to the Student Portal
- Click on the "My Courses" tab
- Scroll over the icons to the right of individual course listings. It is strongly recommended that students consult their Program Coordinator and/or Academic Advisor prior to dropping a course.
Prior to transferring to another program, it is recommended that the student meets with the Program Coordinator and/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 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 course numbers/codes are identical or equivalent, automatic credit is given if passing grades are met.
Additional Information for Students
Below is information to supplement the information found in the Conestoga Student Guide.
- Your Student Guide provides detailed information about dropping courses. If you are planning to drop a course, you must do so within the time period. If you have missed that time period, please see the Program Chair and they will advise you as to your options. Not attending does not constitute an official dropping of a course and will result in a grade of "F".
- If you have completed courses from a college or university that you think may be very similar in content to courses in this Certificate Program you may be eligible for a course exemption. Please note that to receive an exemption, courses must have been completed within the past 5 years and your achieved grade must be the minimum passing mark of Conestoga College course or above. If you would like to proceed with a request for exemptions, please contact the Credit Transfer Officer or your Program Coordinator. Please note that exemptions will not be processed until a student is registered in the Program. The exemption process will take some time (two-three weeks), and students should attend all scheduled courses until they receive the exemption as they will be responsible for all material covered in class should the exemption be denied.
Credit Transfer, Pathways & PLAR
Conestoga recognizes you may have formal post-secondary education that may allow you to enter a program at an advanced level or provide for individual course exemptions. To ensure your credits are eligible for transfer, please contact our Credit Transfer Office at: email@example.com.
The Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure are available on the college website.
If you are currently a Conestoga student and want to continue studying at Conestoga, there are a number of different pathway opportunities available to you.
Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways, to help you meet your goals.
Conestoga College has articulation agreements with many domestic and international institutions. These agreements allow students to transfer into a specific program with advanced standing. Students must meet the academic requirements stated in the agreement.
For more information regarding pathways at Conestoga, contact the Credit Transfer Officer at 519-748-5220 ext. 2166.
Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available through our partnerships with local businesses, industry leaders, and generous donors. To be considered for an award, you will need to complete the General Application form through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts. For more information, please visit Student Financial Services.
Attendance and Program Expectations
Working Together to Plan Your Success
Your success matters! 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 or an assessment, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members prior to the class/assessment and access any missed information.
Attendance for Evaluations
Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. It is your responsibility to attend all evaluations (e.g. test, exam, presentation, etc...). 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, commuting, or vacation plans.
- To communicate the dates of each evaluation at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan.
- To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances that may require changes to the course schedule.
- As per the Religious Holiday Procedure, provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council.
- To provide all accommodations requested by Accessible Learning.
- To consider alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine the unique circumstances (e.g., unexpected family obligations, personal emergencies, etc...) and collaboratively determine an appropriate solution.
- Note, do not request doctor's notes from students.
- To review the instructional plan and familiarize with the dates of evaluation.
- As per the Religious Holiday Procedure, inform your faculty member in writing that the religious holiday defined by the College Employer Council will occur during the semester and may require considerations for evaluations to be rescheduled.
- If you must 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
- Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
- 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).
- Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
- Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
- 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.
- As soon as possible, email the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed and arrange for appropriate follow-up.
Documentation for Absences
Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances, such as brief illness, do arise during the term. As a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary or possible, we do not ask you to provide a doctor's note except in exceptional circumstances.
If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (e.g., experiential activity, lab, or a group presentation) your professor may provide you with a revised assignment or allocate its marks to another evaluation item, so long as the combined total does not exceed 40% of the course grade. This will be communicated to you by email.
Students are supported 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(s) because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the missed work or complete alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.
Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council.
It is your responsibility to:
- Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
- Advise the faculty that you will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday. You will also 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 Program Chair.
Class CancellationsStudent Portal and select notifications.
Class cancellations due to inclement weather
College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations and posted on the
College's website. A message will be recorded on the campus phone line after office hours.
What is Academic Integrity?
Having academic integrity means acting fairly and honestly when engaging in academic activities.
By having and applying an Academic Offences Policy and Procedure, Conestoga ensures graduates complete their studies fairly and honestly through hard work and dedication, and thus are well-prepared for their future careers.
Conestoga facilitates access to print, media, and electronic resources to support and enrich learning, teaching, and research in compliance with the following:
Plagiarism is submitting or presenting work of another person(s)/organization in whole or substantial part as one's own without proper citation and referencing.
Academic Offences and Plagiarism
Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. It is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy described on the Policies and Procedures page. The Academic Offences Policy 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; and
- The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.
Please speak with a faculty member or your Program Coordinator if you have any further questions after reviewing the policy. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is essential and that it is your responsibility to know the
Academic Offences Policy.
Below are a few examples to help you avoid breaching academic integrity:
- Make sure you recognize information that requires referencing.
- 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. See the Student Success Services website for assistance with formatting and referencing.
- If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, make sure you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
- Read the Academic Offences Policy and make sure that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.
- If you require more information, see the Academic Integrity website.
- For in-person tests, once a test begins, students may not leave the test room for 30 minutes. If they finish a test before that time, they 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 or Proctor.
- Any student found cheating during an examination/test will be addressed according to procedures found on the Academic Integrity page.
- The faculty is responsible for advising as to the material permitted in the testing room. Personal items and learning materials will be left in an area identified by the faculty or Proctor.
- The faculty or Proctor will advise as to the seating arrangements of students.
- Students must bring their course materials (books, notes, Learning Packages, etc.) for individual use during open-book tests. Students may not share any of these materials. Electronic devices, such as cell phones, or translators, will not be permitted.
- If testing occurs through eConestoga utilizing Respondus lockdown browser, it is the students responsibility to ensure they have downloaded what is required for testing PRIOR and communicate to the faculty facilitating the
assessment about any technical issues.
Importance of Test and Presentation Dates
Test and assignment dates are scheduled at the beginning of each semester through your instructional plan. 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 test times. Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. 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). However, Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances do arise during the semester. Students who wish to reschedule a test or presentation because of a religious holiday must 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.
Students with extenuating circumstances that prevent them from submitting assignments on time should discuss their circumstances before the due date. They should negotiate alternative arrangements regarding due dates, in person, one week before the scheduled date with the faculty. Students who initiate this process, and are approved for a new due date, will not experience the loss of late marks.
Under typical circumstances, late assignments will be accepted until that assignment has been marked and returned to the class. No assignments will be accepted after the last day of the semester.
Steps to Follow to Submit Assignments Outside of Class Time
While assignments should be submitted in class on the day they are due, circumstances may require that they be submitted outside a scheduled class. If so, the student must provide an electronic copy of the assignment to the faculty as per faculty instructions.
Steps to Follow when Missing a Test, Presentation or Workshop
- Email the faculty who teaches the relevant course. (This email is made preferably before class but must be made within 24 hours of the class by the student).
- Students may be asked to present documentation to validate the absence. This documentation must address the day of the absence confirming your inability to participate and attend class.
- Arrange with faculty for alternative presentation/workshop arrangements.
- Tests will be made up In the College Testing Centre on the following Thursday, or by individual arrangement with program faculty.
Important Points to Remember:
- It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with faculty to make alternate arrangements for missed tests, presentations, and workshops.
- Students who utilize more than two rescheduled evaluation methods may be required to meet with the Program Coordinator to discuss program success.
- Students will be asked to show their student cards or Government Photo ID before they are permitted to write the test for an in-person test or visually on the computer for online testing.
Faculty Returning Tests and AssignmentsIn order to support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Faculty will inform students in class how/when tests and assignments and/or marks will be returned. Please note that some tests will be returned to students and some may be retained by faculty. 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, write a note to the faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required,
- Initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss, and
- Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment.
General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work
In the Health & Life Sciences programs, there are some 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 standards required within the profession. Faculty will identify students who are having difficulty in this area and will approach students 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 WorkFor specific course requirements, refer to the Course Schedule and Evaluation Methods information provided. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss with individual faculty.
Unless otherwise indicated by professors, generally, assignments should be:
- Word processed
- Double spaced and one sided
- Submitted using font size of 12 dpi, if word processed and proper margins
- Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check)
- Submitted online with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted
- Submitted online before the beginning of class on the designated due date in class, unless otherwise indicated by the professor
- Handed in using the APA@Conestoga format if references are required
This Certificate Program provides both academic study and professional training to prepare students for careers working in the field of health care. Throughout the program, students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to apply themselves to academic achievement. Professionals function in an independent and interdependent environment. The fundamental responsibility of the student is to gain additional knowledge and skills to be a competent health care professional. As professionals, it is imperative that behaviours and attitudes reflect standards that are endorsed by Conestoga College and your chosen profession. As a Conestoga College student, there are three areas of conduct you are expected to follow; Academic Conduct, Professional Conduct, and Social/Behavioural Conduct.
As a student of Conestoga College, you are a member of the college community and as such you have received a Conestoga Student Guide that includes Student Rights and Responsibilities. Student Rights include the right to learn, be safe, be informed be heard and appeal. The Student Responsibilities section includes detailed information regarding respect for persons, respect for college learning and working environment and respect for property, facilities and college reputation. It is essential that you review this section and familiarize yourself with these responsibilities. It is expected that your conduct as a student will be reflective of the responsibilities listed. If you have any questions regarding any of them, please contact your Associate Chair.
In addition to all Student Rights and Responsibilities found in the Conestoga Student Guide, students completing this Certificate have the following obligations:
- Complete the learning objectives, tests, assignments and all other forms of student work, with honesty and professional integrity;
- Attend Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) experience as scheduled;
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour while online and at WIL experience;
- Protect the integrity of the Program and the College;
- Maintain the confidentiality of all online and WIL experiences; and
- Seek clarification from faculty/administration when unsure of any of these standards.
Equipment and Facility Information
Cowan Health Sciences Centre and Lab Spaces
Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all students
In order to maintain all labs as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn. This dress code aims to ensure the safety of the student, faculty and staff and prepare for the clinical environment. The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.
All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab.
- Lab coat, scrubs or clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean). Note: the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning requires full clinical uniform to be worn
- Closed toe, closed heel shoes as per Occupational Health & Safety requirements.
- Hair tied back, up and secured.
- No rings, necklaces or dangling earrings (A pair of studs may be worn and a plain wedding band may be worn)
- Nails should be kept neat and short; artificial nails and nail polish are not allowed.
- No hats to be worn (exceptions related to the Human Rights Code).
- No denim or sweatpants
- Nametags must be worn
- Scented products (perfume, scented aftershave, hair products) must not be worn.
- Personal hygiene products such as deodorant should be used but unscented.
- No gum chewing is permitted in clinical, lab or community settings.
Requests for accommodations of this policy (e.g. for religious or disability reasons) will be considered within the Conestoga College Policy or Human Rights framework.
Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper handwashing/hygiene is in effect. While every effort is made to maintain a latex-free environment in the clinical learning centre, students must be aware that the centre and clinical placement areas are not latex-free environments.
**Please note: Lab practice expectations including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), will follow College policies and will be described and demonstrated in detail, at the semester start.
Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who aims to become a healthcare professional.
There are several policies and procedures associated with practical training that has been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These policies will be reviewed during your program.
The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention:
- Your safety begins with the use of professional attire and footwear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.
- Please help us create a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, ensuring laptop cords do not snake across walking areas, and reporting equipment or facility problems when you notice these.
- Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioural 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.
- Safe work practices are to be followed during all training. Follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a placement, your instructor will ensure that you know safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the instructor and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required.
- All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor in charge immediately.
Professional Conduct - Use of technology
To support a respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placements, the use of technology for social networking can only occur during break times, before and after class, and during formal break time in field placement.
Social Media Use
As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain your professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.
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." The same organization also indicates that "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment."
- Assume the information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
- Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
- Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, faculty or field placements.
- Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
- Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the expressed permission of all individuals involved.
- Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
- Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences.
- Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
- Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.
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
Cell Phone Policy
Students should respect their instructors, faculty and staff by not using their cell phones for personal use during class time.
Students cannot bring their cell phone or technology device(s) into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty.
In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test, please speak to your faculty as soon as you enter the examination room.
Academic Progress Through the Program
The college's approach to academic progression is governed by the Promotion Decision Procedure.
A student's academic achievement results in a promotion decision, such as eligible to continue, graduate, and discontinued.
Progress from one level to the next in a program is dependent upon the successful completion of courses and/or meeting program promotion standards.
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.
Students who have been unsuccessful in their clinical 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 academic conditions. Academic conditions are designed as part of written learning contract that the student and Associate Chair create together. The goal of these measures is to allow students to continue in the program accompanied by a supportive plan for success.
Reason for Student Progress Being Reviewed by Promotion Committee
Students who fail to meet program standards will be reviewed by the Promotion Committee.
Reasons for presentation at Promotion Committee Meetings include:
- Failure of a theory course and/or practice course.
- Patterns of absence from learning environment, lab, or WIL experience, which may affect achieving program standards.
- Failure to follow through on previous Promotion Committee recommendations.
A student who has not met the standards will not be promoted to the next level of the program:
- Complete supplemental requirements for course failures (see criteria for supplemental examinations). Following successful completion of supplemental work, the highest course grade that can be achieved is the minimum passing mark for the course.
- Follow through with academic counselling.
- Follow through with health measures as recommended.
- Complete makeup work for missed learning experiences. Total time lost will be assessed on an individual basis. Additional time may be required to complete program objectives.
- Complete the requirements of Probationary Status.
- Complete compulsory practice remedial assignments.
Clearance of Academic Deficiency
A student that is unsuccessful in a course may be granted the opportunity to complete supplemental requirements. Students who are unsuccessful in a course and wish to discuss eligibility for supplemental opportunity must directly contact the course instructor within five (5) working days of receiving the final course grade.
Please note that following the end of the semester, contact with any student eligible to write a supplemental will be made either by phone or email. A specific date and time will be given to each student. If a student cannot be reached or is unavailable at the specified date and time, the student forfeits the opportunity to write a supplemental.
Criteria for Eligibility to Write Supplemental Examinations
- No more than two supplementals throughout the program and no more than one supplemental per course will be offered.
- For the purposes of determining supplemental eligibility repeating a failed course counts as a supplemental in that course.
- The student must have passed at least one test/exam in the course.
- The student must have achieved a final course grade of 50% or within 10% of the required pass mark, whichever is the higher standard. Therefore, for courses with 65% pass, the student must have achieved 55%.
- A supplemental evaluation will not be granted for a course in which a student has received an academic offence. An academic incident resulting in a warning is not considered an academic offence.
- A student who attains a course grade of less than 55% for a vocational course will not be offered a supplemental in that course.
In addition, the following will also be considered by the committee:
- Previous academic history
- Current clinical practice performance
- Demonstration of professional behaviour
- Attendance in class, lab, and practice experiences
- A fee is to be paid to the Registrar's Office for supplemental work.
- If the student is successful in completing the supplemental work for the course, the failing course grade will be upgraded to the minimal passing grade for the course.
Failure to successfully complete requirements of the promotion committee will result in student repeating course or discontinuance from the program.
For more information visit the College Policies, Procedures, Practices and Guidelines webpage at
https://www.conestogac.on.ca/about/corporate-information/policies then click on the Academic Administration side tab and search for the document entitled Clearance of Academic Deficiency.
Students who fail to meet the program standards (academically, clinically, or ethically) will be discontinued from the program, based on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee and agreement from the Chair. Students will be discontinued when they are no longer eligible to repeat a course based on academic regulations or as a result of failure to meet program standards for behaviour or ethics. Such students will be entitled to appeal the discontinuance decision in accordance with the College's appeal process.
Students not planning to return to the program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available from the registrar's office, or on the college website.
Student Concern or Issues
If any concerns or issues arise during your learning experience, our main goal is to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to resolve situations or concerns quickly and improve and optimize our processes.
1. When a situation of concern arises, inform those involved in a timely manner.
2. Please see the Student Rights and Responsibilities website for further details on informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.
3. Issues and concerns related to a placement site, 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 sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Field Placement" of your handbook.
Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga College 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.
Students who complete their program are required to fill out an Application to Graduate form and submit it with payment to the Registrar's Office. Students who are discontinued or have withdrawn and then return to the college will be placed in the current program design and must meet all requirements to graduate. Students will receive an invitation for convocation through the Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the winter, spring, and fall of each academic year.
Work-Integrated Learning Experiences
Student Consent Forms
Students are required to complete program-specific consent forms if applicable. To access the forms, students must visit the H.S. Trax home page under the Service tab on your Student Portal.
Application to ProgramAll students must be accepted into the program before partaking in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Experiences. Students are required to:
- Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form;
- Attach proof of admission requirements; and
- Await for the selection to be made following an assessment of the admission requirements.
Pre-WIL Health and Safety Requirements
- A complete immunization record including TB testing, and Covid-19.
- Standard First Aid and CPR – BLS.
- Mask fit completion.
- An annual Police Check including 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 WIL experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the agency's discretion; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the Program Chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)
All students who participate in unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on WIL experience. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to WIL experience sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.
Prior to your first WIL experience, you must 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 Colleges and Universities (MCU) while you are on training WIL experiences. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your WIL experience.
Concerns Regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for ClientsWIL experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment. These WIL experiences have been organized by your program in partnership with the organization where you are placed.
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 the WIL experience.
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 WIL site on the first day of their WIL experience. The Orientation may include details of the WIL 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:
a. The student must immediately report these concerns to the College individual associated with the WIL experience (Clinical Instructor, Faculty responsible for your WIL experience, WIL Supervisor).
b. The Clinical Instructor /Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss this concern with Site Management
c. For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Program Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact WIL site management to determine next steps.
Should facility policies require that WIL experience students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to WIL site management, the student should report to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer immediately afterward.
B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during a WIL Experience
- Should students experience a personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the WIL Employer and Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor. The WIL Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required. The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor 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 WIL Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property
- Should students be involved in care/service situations where the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of the WIL site, this concern must be immediately reported to the WIL Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor. The faculty will discuss this immediately with the WIL site and ensure that an incident report is completed. The faculty 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 the WIL site, this concern must be reported immediately to the WIL Site and to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer. The faculty will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.
The Student Engagement Department is here to help you transition to the Conestoga College experience, connect with your community, and build your skills.
Start your college experience by completing Conestoga 101 (CON0101) on eConestoga, a mandatory course for all new full-time students that will take you approximately one hour to complete. CON0101 provides an overview of the supports, services, and opportunities available to you throughout your time at Conestoga. Make sure you complete it early on in the term, as it contains valuable information that will help you transition to Conestoga.
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 Colleges and Universities (MCU). This Student Experience 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 (SAT)
The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT forms give teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.
The SAT process has two components: the Early Course Check-in and Full-SAT. The Early Course Check-in is 5 questions, occurs during week 10 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 43 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty member and their academic manager. Typically, about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term. All full-time faculty have a SAT review at least once every two years. Part-time faculty may be reviewed more frequently. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during their Continuing Education course.
Program Advisory Committees (PACs)
Program Advisory Committees (PACs) provide the necessary link between Conestoga and the community it serves. PACs operate in an advisory capacity to Conestoga administration with the objective to keep Conestoga responsive to current and future workforce needs, trends or opportunities in industry and the marketplace.
All post-secondary education programs of study at Conestoga, both full-time and part-time, which lead to an employment related credential, or are approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), will be associated with a PAC, with the exception of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. For any program not leading to an employment related credential, such as foundation programs, PACs are optional.
At the beginning of each year, the coordinator(s) of the program will ask for student volunteers. The coordinator(s) will select which student(s) will represent the program at PAC. Student attendees are important members of the PAC and are expected to be present at all meetings and are responsible for preparing and submitting a report based on guidelines provided by the program coordinator.
Students who participate in PACs will receive credit on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR) . Your CCR is an official document, complementary to your academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that you have achieved through approved Co-curricular experiences at Conestoga.
College-wide Policies and Procedures
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 Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
- Academic Offences Policy & Procedure
- Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
- Convocation Procedure
- Co-operative Education Policy
- Discontinuance Procedure
- Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
- Grading Procedure
- Program and Course Withdrawal and Refund Procedure/International Student Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
- Readmission Procedure
- Religious Holiday Policy & Procedure
- Student Expectations for Online Engagement
- Student Feedback Policy
- Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure
- Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure
Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfil and enforce these standards.
Program courses may use web-based services with data centres outside of Canada. Students may be expected to complete assessments where information is transmitted outside of Canada. Students who do not wish to submit their information to other countries have the right to opt-out. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit an alternate assignment.
Course examinations may be administered through a remote proctoring service to assure academic integrity. Ensure that you meet the system requirements that will allow the recording of your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.
Conestoga's Accessible Learning services provide support for students with permanent and temporary disabilities who feel they are encountering barriers to learning. They work with students to understand the impact of a disability in the college environment and will help develop a success plan that considers student goals and required academic accommodations. Accessible Learning will also communicate necessary accommodations to professors on behalf of the student.
To consult with an Accessibility Advisor about accommodations please make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 519-748-5220 ext. 3232.
Exceptions for non-accessibility focused issues need to be consulted on with your professor. Final approval for exceptions unrelated to academic accommodations rests with the program chair.
Program Handbook Revision Log
|Last Revised||By Whom|
|July 3, 2015||Nicole Dorscht|
|July 15, 2015||Lori Peppler-Beechey|
|June 21, 2016||Michelle Heyer|
|June 23, 2016||Jillian Grant|
|June 5, 2017||Brett Gibson|
|July 9, 2018||
|July 5, 2019||Julia Rodricks|
|July 10, 2020||Beth Davidson|
|July 20, 2021||Beth Davidson|
|June 16, 2022||Beth Davidson|
|July 6, 2023||Liz Brown|