Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant

2022/23 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1111
Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

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

COVID-19 and Academic Program Delivery

​In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga academic plans and decisions will continue to evolve to reflect the advice of public health authorities. ​Please consult the COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date information on college protocols.

Expectations regarding course delivery, participation, and assessments will be communicated by your faculty member at the start of the semester and included in the instructional plan.

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. 

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.

The Student Guide provides details regarding Student ServicesSafety and SecurityStudent Rights and Responsibilities and more. 

Welcome

What you do out there logo

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. Use MyConestoga to connect to:

  • Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca): 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 MyConestoga 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.
  • For BScN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub
    • The Hub is accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga.
    • The Hub provides information regarding Conestoga College and your program.
    • The Hub provides a link to Avenue To Learn: A resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.

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 cross-reference these dates with 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. *Note: The PSW and Supportive Care program does not participate in the WIL program.
  • 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 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 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.

Academic Dates

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. 

Letter to Students

​​​Dear Student,

Congratulations on being accepted into the Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant (OTA & PTA) Program.

This handbook has been prepared to provide information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the OTA & PTA 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 two years at the College. If you do not understand any of the information in this handbook, please ask the Program Coordinator for an explanation.

Given the current pandemic situation, some processes and procedures in the program may be amended (e.g., Entry/exiting the building, physical distancing, the use of personal protective equipment PPE, course delivery and evaluation methods). Because the situation can change rapidly, the latest information will be disseminated to you closer to the start of the semester. If subsequent changes need to occur during the semester, they will be communicated to you through eConestoga and/or the College Website.

Use the table of contents in this handbook as your guide and reference as you proceed through the program. The OTA & PTA Faculty will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.

In addition to the OTA & PTA Standards and Procedures Handbook, the Conestoga College Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow. The OTA & PTA Standards and Procedures Handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga College Student Guide.

We are here to help you have a successful two years. Should you experience difficulty or need assistance in any area of your studies, please talk to your Program Coordinator, or come to my office to seek direction to support your success in the program.

All the very best to you in your studies.

Sincerely,

Dianna Fong-Lee, Interim Chair, Health Sciences

Sheetal Shenoy, ​OTA & PTA Program Coordinator and Faculty​

Program Overview

​Program Description

This program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform their role as occupational therapist assistants and physiotherapist assistants (OTAs & PTAs). OTAs & PTAs may perform functions common to both occupational therapy and physiotherapy practice settings and are primarily responsible for the implementation of treatment plans to promote physical functioning or to enhance participation in activities of daily living for individuals with a wide range of health conditions. 

The program integrates classroom theory with hands-on practical skills and enhances critical thinking, decision making and leadership skills, through the use of diverse learning activities such as small group case-based learning, simulation, applied learning projects and e-learning. Exposure to clinical experiences across a variety of clinical settings is integrated into the curriculum to ensure students have an opportunity to apply skills in a supervised setting Program Philosophy.

The fundamental responsibility of a student in health sciences is to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be a competent caregiver upon graduation. As a student is preparing to become a health care professional, your behaviours and attitudes must reflect the professional and ethical standards that are embraced by your chosen profession. We believe that a value system incorporating high moral and ethical integrity is of vital importance and regard the absence of such values as critical and dangerous to practice. We believe integrity to be a quality that includes sound moral principles, sincerity, honesty and self-respect.

It is expected that all OTA & PTA students, Faculty, and administration will function within the Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice for the OTA & PTA Program at Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Program Outcomes

Successful completion of the program will enable the graduate to:

  1. Communicate appropriately and effectively, through verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic means, with clients, their significant others, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and members of the interdisciplinary health care team and others.
  2. Participate in the effective functioning of the interdisciplinary health care teams to optimize client's physical and occupational functions.
  3. Establish, develop, maintain, and conclude client-centred, therapeutic relationships.
  4. Promote a safe environment that prevents or minimizes potential physical or mental harm to the client, therapist assistant and others.
  5. Practice in a legal, ethical, and professional manner within the role of a therapist assistant.
  6. Document client records in a thorough, objective, accurate, and timely manner within the role of the therapist assistant.
  7. Engage in reflective practice and ongoing professional development activities to maintain and enhance competence.
  8. Perform the roles and responsibilities of the therapist assistant effectively through the application of relevant knowledge of health sciences, psychosocial sciences, health conditions, resource management, and clinical procedures.
  9. Contribute to the occupational therapist's or physiotherapist's assessment of the client and the development, implementation and modification of intervention/treatment plans.
  10. Maximize the client's occupational performance by accurately and safely implementing the interventions, and related tasks under the direction and supervision of the occupational therapist.
  11. Maximize the client's physical function by accurately and safely implementing the interventions, and related tasks under the direction and supervision of the physiotherapist.

​Program Design

You can find your​ 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 School of Health & Life Sciences website. To find these courses, students need to scroll to the 'Program Courses' section.

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: credittransfer@conestogac.on.ca. 

The Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure are available on the college website.

For more information, visit the Credit Transfer webpage and the PLAR webpage.

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.

​Employment Opportunities

The program adheres to the program standards set by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that graduates will be provided with the entry-level skills they need to become successfully employed. An electronic version of these standards is posted at the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.


Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in various settings such as hospitals, retirement homes or long-term care facilities, private rehabilitation clinics and other health-related community agencies. Graduates will perform specific tasks related to individual or group treatment programs as part of the interprofessional team focused on the rehabilitation needs of the patient/client.

See the Government of Canada website for more details on related occupations, job market information, and career opportunities.

Relationships

​​Communication and Contact Information

The Faculty and staff are here to support you in acquiring an excellent education, a broad skill set, and the confidence to move into the workforce upon completion of the program. Ultimately, your success in this program rests on you; however, we are all committed to do our best to support you throughout your studies.

Contacting Faculty or Staff
When 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 Email
All 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 Availability
Students 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.

Technical Requirements

Student success is important and requires technology to support learning needs. To effectively participate in remote learning and complete class assignments and virtual testing, students must have reliable internet access and meet the following device requirements: 
  • A laptop or computer with reliable internet access.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 or macOC 10.14 (or higher). *Check with your program to see preference.
  • Webcam functionality and audio capability (speakers and a quality headset/microphone).
  • Office 365 software (note: the college provides registered students access to free software downloads through the following link.

​Contact Information

Program Coordinator
OTAPTAcoordinator@conestogac.on.ca

Faculty Offices

Faculty offices are located in the main building (4B area) 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. Individual Faculty timetables may be posted. As Faculty have diverse teaching schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure that they are available. Faculty members will endeavour​ to reply to email messages within 48 business hours.

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 the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not wander into Faculty workspaces looking for them.

​​Student Engagement

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.

Problem-solving strategy:

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. 

Student Representation

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.

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.

​​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 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.

​​Class Cancellations

Class cancellations due to faculty or staff absences will be posted on the Student PortaleConestoga, or for BScN students on Avenue to Learn.

Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to faculty absences. To receive these notifications, students must subscribe to this service. See the Student 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.

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

​​​​Program Standards for Professional Practice

Conestoga College School of Health & Life Sciences has been given the mandate to prepare OTA & PTAs. The Province of Ontario expects the college to graduate OTA & PTAs who meet the standards that have been established for the profession. Conestoga College Student Guide, Standards of Conduct stipulates college expectations that are to be applied to all programs.

OTA & PTAs function in an independent and inter-dependent environment. The majority of the time, the practitioner's involvement at the care recipient's side is of an independent nature when direct supervision of an action is not possible. The client has implicit trust that the OTA & PTA is an ethical, moral and competent person.

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 Student Responsibilities. 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 Program Coordinator.

It is the expectation of all students, Faculty, and administration of Conestoga College that we, as health care practitioners, will incorporate and function within the guidelines of these professional standards of ethical practice.

In addition to all Student Responsibilities found in the Conestoga Student Guide, OTA & PTA students have the following obligations:

  • complete the learning objectives, tests, assignments and all other forms of student work, with honesty and professional integrity;
  • attend class and field placement as scheduled;
  • actively engage in classroom learning processes;
  • demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour while attending class, and field placement;
  • protect the integrity of the program and the college;
  • maintain the confidentiality of all classroom and field placement experiences, including the use of any form of social media, and seek clarification from faculty/administration when unsure of any of these standards.

As an OTA & PTA student, please note that all expectations referred to above and found in the Conestoga Student Guide apply equally to clinical placement experiences and all work/activities related to clinical placement experiences as they relate to patients, families, and staff, their person and/or property. 

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.

Copyright at Conestoga 

Conestoga facilitates access to print, media, and electronic resources to support and enrich learning, teaching, and research in compliance with the following:

Plagiarism

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

​​​​Safe Practice

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:

  1. 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.   
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.   
  4. 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.  
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. ​​

​​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.​​ 

Conestoga 101

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.

​​​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 Policy

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 can not 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. 

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.

Dress Requirements

  • 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 as per BScN Handbook
  • 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.
    • 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 sweat pants.
  • 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.

Program Standard Dress Code

  • Clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean). Students must wear Program-approved clothing (OTA & PTA golf shirt and approved shorts or pants) for lab safety and accessibility for courses with a lab component. These may be purchased from the Conestoga College Bookstore. 
  • On-site labs involving movement-oriented activities will also require additional clothing to achieve learning objectives. Faculty will advise you to wear sleeveless tops or sports bras and shorts or​ leggings in order to participate in lab activities. Make-up work may be assigned if restrictive clothing is worn that interferes with full completion of required learning activities. 
  • For practical lab exams, clinically appropriate clothing is expected. Students are required to wear the OTA & PTA golf shirt and nametag, and 'casual dress' pants.

Note: Dress requirements apply not only to lab or examination areas but also while working in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. 

Guidelines for Student Use of Classrooms and Labs

  1. No food is allowed in classrooms or labs.
  2. Only drinks with spill-proof lids are allowed in classrooms (i.e., not paper coffee cups).
  3. No drinks are allowed in the lab areas of combined classroom/labs.
  4. The materials from the lab must remain in the room.
  5. Students are expected to show respect for the environment and equipment.
  6. The labs are intended for educational, not recreational use.
  7. The rooms are to be left clean after each class (i.e., equipment put away, chairs, tables and plinths returned to their proper positions, the sink and tables must be cleaned if needed, etc.).
  8. Permission must be given by Faculty to utilize any of the materials or equipment. Students may approach faculty to book access to lab areas for practice when the room is not in use.
  9. Lab areas are shared spaces for several programs. Be respectful of other users.

Procedure for Booking Open Access Space during Regular Hours, After-Hours and over the Weekend

Please refer to the booking procedure posted in the School Program Shell​

Lack of Compliance to Health and Safety Regulations

Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner will be asked to leave the Rehabilitation Lab. Faculty have the authority to ask any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner to leave the Rehabilitation Lab.

Occupational Health & Safety Office General Information

This department is available to students, staff and Faculty.

The objectives of this department are to:

  • Monitor the health status of personnel and maintain health records.
  • Provide health teaching and health counselling.
  • Promote a healthy and safe work and study environment, thus reducing absenteeism.
Each student must have Health Insurance coverage and/or an Ontario Health Card.​

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

​​​In view of the learning complexities of the OTA&PTA Program, it is imperative that students attend all classes, labs, and clinical placement as scheduled. Students absent from class or field placement place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning objectives stipulated by the program.

If extenuating circumstances require students to miss a class, please note that it is the student's responsibility to share this information with faculty and acquire any missed information.

In order to be respectful to both fellow students and faculty, students are expected to arrive on time for class and field placement.

​​​Religious Holidays

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.

Test Procedures

In-Person Theory Exams:

  • 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.
  • Any student found cheating during the course of an examination/test will be addressed according to procedures found in Conestoga Student Guide.
  • Faculty is responsible to advise 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 iPods, text messaging, cell phones, translators, will not be permitted.

On-Line or Remote Theory Exams:

  • Tests that are written in virtual testing environments are not considered open book​ unless specified by faculty.
  • While writing virtual tests, students may be required to use a lockdown browser and appear on a webcam for the duration of the test. 

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 if they anticipate difficulty in meeting deadlines they take responsibility for notifying 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 may make this request ahead of the assignment due date to the appropriate course instructor. NOTE: An extension of time may be given at the discretion of faculty. An extension will not be given if the request is made on the day the assignment is due.
  • Late assignments will be accepted but there will be a 10% penalty for each day the assignment is late up to three days. Assignments that are more than three days late will receive a grade of zero.
  • All assignments must be completed. A student will not receive a passing final grade until all assignments have been submitted even if the late penalty reduces the points possible to zero. All late submissions must be turned in by noon on Friday before the week of final exams.
  • Assignments are to be submitted according to the submission guidelines and in the format as outlined by the professor. 

Submitting Assignments Outside of Class Time

While assignments may be submitted in class or via eConestoga 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. 
  3. Bring the hard copy of the assignment with an attached copy of the email you sent to the faculty member to the 4B reception area and submit into the Assignment Drop Box by the Receptionist desk.

Working Together on Group Assignments

Students will often work with their fellow peers on various group assignments/projects throughout the program. Each group member is responsible for ensuring that they have 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 faculty member for assistance prior to due date. 

Faculty Returning Tests & Assignments

In 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 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 7 days, write a note to the faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required;
  • Initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss the matter; and
  • Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment.

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

In the Health & Life Science programs, both in courses and clinical placement, 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, clinical placement supervisors and cooperating instructors 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 Schedule and Evaluation Methods information provided in course outlines. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss this with your faculty.

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

  • Typewritten
  • Double spaced and one sided
  • Submitted using font size of 12 CPI and standard 1" margins
  • Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check)
  • 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 instructor
  • Formatted using APA@Conestoga


Academic Progress Through the Program


In this competency-based curriculum model, the student must:

  1. Demonstrate a theoretical base for practice, and the ability to transfer and apply theory to practice in a variety of situations.
  2. Master the required skills to care for the client.

Promotion Standards have been developed in both theory and practice that evaluates the competency of the learner.

Theoretical Standards
Standard Rationale

STANDARD 1

The student is expected to complete all course requirements.

The Ministry of Colleges & Universities (MCU) set provincial educational standards that must be met by the OTA & PTA Program. Course requirements are completed in accordance with these provincial standards.

STANDARD 2

The student must demonstrate a minimum level of theoretical competency in meeting course and program requirements by achieving a minimum of 65% on all final course grades for vocational courses

Graduates must have a sound theoretical knowledge base to practice in the discipline. Therefore, students must achieve a 65% and above for all vocational courses to pass a course.

STANDARD 3

The student must have completed all courses of all previous semesters in order to be promoted into Clinical Placement III (semester iv)

Clinical Placement III provides students with the opportunity to integrate and consolidate all learning from previous semesters/courses in meeting the standards of practice.
Practice Standards
Standard Rationale

STANDARD 4

The student is expected to apply theory and skills to practice in a safe competent manner in accordance with the level identified in the learning outcomes.

The OTA & PTA Program is based on a competency-based model where minimum theoretical knowledge and practice skills must be demonstrated. The program curriculum is designed with learning outcomes that are levelled in performance expectations as students advance through the program.

STANDARD 5

The student's progress in practice will be documented in formative and summative evaluation.

Student achievement records are maintained as the student progresses through the program. The formative evaluations will provide the student with performance assessments of strengths and weaknesses. The Summative Record at the end of the course provides the student with an overview of performance strengths and weaknesses and goals set directing future expectations.

STANDARD 6

The grade for practice experiences is "pass" or "fail".

An assessment of pass indicates that the student has met the learning outcomes.

STANDARD 7

Regular attendance is mandatory to achieve a "pass" in practice experiences.

Absenteeism places the student in academic jeopardy because teachers/clinical preceptors are unable to assess and evaluate performance when students are not in attendance for practice experiences.

STANDARD 8

The student is expected to maintain mental and physical health throughout the program, consistent with OTA & PTA practice requirements.

The Care Provider must be in good mental and physical health in order to care for others. Poor mental and physical health leads to absenteeism and results in disruption to the learning process.

Achievement

Students must attain a minimum 65% passing grade in all OTA & PTA courses, and achieve a Pass, when the course is graded as Pass / Fail

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 and/or Academic Advisor prior to dropping a course.

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 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 online learning environment 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 writing of 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 counselling (academic and/or personal).
  • 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. 

Supplemental Work

A student that is unsuccessful in a course may be granted the opportunity to complete supplemental requirements.

Criteria for Eligibility to Write Supplemental Examinations

  1. No more than two supplementals throughout the program and no more than one supplemental per course will be offered.
  2. For the purposes of determining supplemental eligibility, repeating a failed course counts as a supplemental in that course.
  3. The student must have passed at least one test/exam in the course.
  4. 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%.
  5. There must be no academic misconduct on record related to the failed course (e.g. plagiarism)
  6. 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.

NOTE:

  • A fee is to be paid in advance 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 of 65% for the program.

Discontinuance

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 Associate 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.

Withdrawal

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.

Program Transfer

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.

Appeal

Students have the right to appeal any academic decisions as set out in the Conestoga Academic Decision Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure. It is recommended that students begin this appeal process by first connecting with the faculty and/or Program Chair.​

Readmission to the Program

Since the OTA & PTA 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 are 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 program due to illness or personal circumstances with prior approval from the Program Coordinator and/or Chair.
  2. Students who have one discontinuance as a result of course failure(s) and whose academic status/performance and extra-curricular preparation suggest that they will be successful in the program if readmitted.
  3. Transfer students from other institutions whose OTA & PTA 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.

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

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

​​​Graduation

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.

General Education Electives

Students 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: genedfaq@conestogac.on.ca

​​​​Process for resolution of student concerns

To resolve any concerns that may arise during a course, clinical or field placement, or relating to the overall program, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level before proceeding to a formal appeal.

If attempts have been made for a resolution, yet no satisfactory outcome was reached, students are encouraged to refer to the Policies and Procedures​ page, and to follow the procedures outlined under the "Academic Di​​spute Resolution and A​​ppeal Proc​edure".​​

Additional Information for Students

Below is information to supplement the information found in the Conestoga Student Guide.

  • Your Conestoga 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 Coordinator 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 the OTA & PTA program you may be eligible for a course exemption. (Please note that to receive an exemption, courses must have been completed within the past seven years and with a passing grade of 65%). If you would like to proceed with a request for exemptions, please contact your Program Coordinator for guidance. 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.
  • If you feel you have acquired the knowledge and skill presented in a specific course (including field placement) without taking that course in an academic institution, you may wish to investigate Prior Learning Assessment (PLAR). Please consult a Continuing Education Calendar, available on the Conestoga website, for details. 

Work-Integrated Learning Experiences

​​​​​Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms if applicable. To access the forms, students need to visit the WIL Document Services Community in myConestoga and see Consent Forms tab. 

​​Pre-WIL Health Requirements

Mandatory work-integrated learning (WIL) health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student WIL experiences. Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for WIL experiences, students must present the following by the required deadline indicated on the WIL health and safety package, which will be distributed at the start of the program:               

  • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, Polio, COVID-19, and Hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR – BLS level.
  • N95 Respirator Fit Testing based on facility assignment.
  • 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 end date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
  • ​Students are responsible for all costs associated with ​meeting the WIL Health Requirements listed above.

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.

WSIB

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 Clients

WIL 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Guidelines for WIL Placement

Students are responsible for completing all of the required hours of WIL placement to successfully complete this program. All financial costs related to WIL placement are the responsibility of the student.

Assignment of WIL Placements

​Students will be assigned their​ placements. Factors that may influence the assignment of placement include (but are not limited to):

a) Meeting ALL WILs requirements (completed health passport)
b) Ensuring varied learning experiences/opportunities over the course of placements, including facility types and experiences
c) Facility specific requirements
d) Students on probationary status may be placed in specific facilities to monitor progress closely. Most WIL placement locations are within the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, however, some placements are further away. There are no guarantees that all locations will be accessible by public transportation. Efforts are made to assist students by placing them in a location that will not put undue stress on them. However, all students should realize that they are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the facility to fulfill the requirements of the WIL placement.

​Requesting Specific WIL Placements

Students are not allowed to arrange their own placements. Students may submit a request for a type of placement/facility that does not constitute a guarantee. If there is a facility that you know is interested in having students, the Placement Lead or Fieldwork Support Staff for the program should be consulted, and proper procedures will be undertaken to enable this to happen if it is appropriate. If that location is confirmed as a student placement, student assignment will still be based on the factors or criteria previously described.

Confirmation of WIL Placements

Placement locations and dates are usually confirmed 3-4 weeks prior to placement start dates. However, in unforeseen circumstances, students must be prepared for changes.

Students are not eligible to receive ​confirmation of a placement assignment if they have not completed the mandatory WILs requirements by the due dates and this will result in a course failure. 

Student Responsibilities

Prior to departing to WIL placement sites, it is necessary that each student shall have:

  • completed all mandatory WIL health requirements, Safety in the Workplace Course and online consent for WSIB coverage as listed previously
  • satisfactorily completed all required courses in each semester of the OTA & PTA curriculum
  • reviewed the dress requirements for lab (Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice); all the requirements for lab also apply to the clinical setting
  • obtained appropriate clinical clothing.
  • dress code for clinical placement is OTA & PTA Program golf shirt, name tag, 'dress casual' pants and low-heeled closed heel-and-toe shoes

Students may be expected to comply with other requirements that may be asked in certain settings.

WIL Placement Preparation Sessions

These sessions will be scheduled throughout the term and prior to the start of the first WIL placement. These sessions will address the following:

  • Etiquette for initial contact with the facility
  • Student obligations with respect to attendance, professional behaviour, dress code and confidentiality
  • Performance goals and learning objectives
  • Method of evaluating student performance
  • Facility Evaluation
  • Tips on communicating with on-site or off-site supervising therapists
  • Other​

WIL Placement Hours

Leaving or failure to show up at the WIL placement site without communicating with the WIL placement supervisor and the Placement Lead or Fieldwork Support Staff at the College is a serious infraction of professional ethics and is considered abandonment of one's professional responsibilities to the patients and facility. The student will receive a failing grade in the WIL placement and will not have the option to re-enter the program.

Expectations for the completion of placement hours:

  1. Students are expected to work their full shifts as assigned by their WIL placement preceptor and to complete an attendance log. The length of a shift may vary from placement to placement. Students who are absent from placement are required to notify both the facility where they are placed and the Placement Lead or Fieldwork Support Staff at the College prior to the start of their shift that day.
  2. In the event of inclement weather or illness, the student should make a judgement in consultation with the Placement Lead at the College as to whether the shift should be discontinued. Note that even if Conestoga College is closed, clinical sites may remain open. If the clinical site remains open, the student is expected to attend if they can travel safely.
  3. Students are required to make up any missed time from placement. Students incurring repeated absences (full or partial days) must meet with the Placement Lead to review the situation and develop a plan for completion of placement. Students may be required to produce written documentation, such as a doctor's note, to validate their reasons for absence.
  4. Students who have not completed all required hours or learning requirements by the end of the semester may be eligible for an incomplete. This would be negotiated with the Placement Lead at the College in consultation with the placement site. If the incomplete is approved, the student may be granted an extension to return to the placement and complete outstanding learning objectives. 

WIL Placement Evaluations

An evaluation should be conducted by the preceptor in writing and verbally. Strengths and weaknesses are identified and suggestions are made to help students achieve their goals. The student and/or the preceptor will report unsatisfactory student performance immediately to the Placement Lead. Problem areas will be identified, suggestions for improved performance will be outlined, and alternative solutions will be explored toward the goal of improved performance during the remaining half of the placement. The final WIL placement grade is pass/fail.​

WIL Placement Related Expenses

All placement-related expenses (parking, transportation, bus fare etc.) are the responsibility of the student. 

Student Awards

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. ​​

Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours

​​​Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2022

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga has developed an academic delivery plan for the Fall 2022 semester. The safety and well-being of our college community remains our highest priority. Our academic plans and decisions continue to be based on the advice of public health authorities. 

Back on campus

We look forward to continuing to welcome students back in person and on campus for the fall term. There are three ways in which programs will be delivered:

Hybrid: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. Most class hours will be delivered in person, with a few hours delivered remote/online.

On campus: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. All class hours will be delivered in person.

Remote: Remote programs will be delivered fully online. There will be no in-person classes.

Details regarding classes and delivery formats will be provided in your program schedule (timetable).

College Hours

Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. *

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

Web-based Tools

​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.

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

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 you are absent from a scheduled evaluation, you must:                  

A. Report the Absence on the Student Portal prior to scheduled class time: See the Student Responsibilities section above.    

B. Make Alternative Evaluation Arrangements 

i. Reach out to your professor to ask how the evaluation will be made up. Your professor will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate.  

If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example it is an experiential activity, lab, or a group presentation) your professor may allocate its marks to another evaluation item. This will be communicated to you by email to your eConestoga or college account OR discussed and documented in an interview and then signed off by both you and your professor.

Program Handbook Revision Log

​ ​Last Revised
By Whom
June 18, 2015Paul Finch
June 26, 2015Jillian Grant
May 20, 2016Paul Finch
May 31, 2016Nicole Dorscht
​June 19, 2017​Jillian Grant
​June 5, 2018​Wendy Dunbar
​July 8, 2019
​Julia Rodricks
​July 14, 2020
​Beth Davidson
​July 8, 2021
​​Beth Davidson
​June 17, 2022​Beth Davidson

Accommodation Disclaimer

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

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 accessibility@conestogac.on.ca 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.

Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant