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Biotechnology Technician

2018/19 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1164
School of 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.


To the School of Health & Life Sciences

Your Bridge to Practice

bridge logo 

What Can This Mean For You?

  • The opportunity to begin, today, to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in life-like settings and with real-life scenarios, rehearsing for the day when you will be in these real-life situations.
  • A unique inter-professional opportunity, given the number of different disciplines in the school. You will learn with, about and from your future colleagues.
  • An opportunity to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, social and study spaces in our Cowan Health Sciences Centre, as well as other unique learning resources such as the Motz Emergency Service Bays in the Regional of Waterloo Paramedic Services Station, or the WeConnect Agora and Simulation Centre (Living Classroom at University Gates).
  • Your goal of being viewed by employers as a "preferred graduate" is up to you; your professors, support staff, administrative staff and college services look forward to supporting you as you journey from day one to your graduation.

Top 5 Expectations of You

1.    Use MyConestoga to Connect To:

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

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


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

Student Portal:

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

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

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

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

Course Schedule:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Attend To Enhance Success

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

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

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

5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Resources for You

1. Your Teaching Team

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

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

2. Counselling and Services for Personal Needs

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

3. Accessibility Services

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

4. Student Study Spaces and General Supports

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

Student Meeting Room Space: There is both formal and informal student study space available for use within the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. For more information on the availability of this space, please go to the Interprofessional Resources Office (2F16).

General Access Computers and printers are located in two areas:

  • 1st Floor—in the student lounge area with photocopier
  • 2nd Floor—at the Customer Service Desk and kiosk area

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

Tech Bar: Drop by the Tech Bar for one-on-one assistance. Information can be found on the Library Services website. 

5. Services for Students

Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing; Go to the Library Resource Centre page for more information.
International Education Office: Check out the International Education Office for services available to you.
Learning Commons: Your one-stop resource for academic services and resources, such as Math, Writing Skills, Peer Tutors and resources for APA. Check out their website or Access through MyConestoga.
Student Engagement: Get involved and shape your experience. Visit the Student Engagement page or Connect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
Student Financial Services: Your one-stop resource to apply for student awards, bursaries, and scholarships apply early to increase your chances. If you are in a financial crisis, please see the Emergency Assistance website for more information. 
Bookstore: Your location to buy books (check out their options including used books), clothing for your program and general supplies. Find it in the A wing, just inside Door 1.

Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op Placements (if you are in a degree); your source of help to look for summer jobs or future careers and gain help preparing your resume. Check out the Co-op and Career Services site for more information.

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

ONE Card: This is your official identification card designed to keep campus simple by offering an all-in-one solution to accessing eligible on-campus services. Check the eligibility on their website

Letter to Students

Dear Biotechnology Technician Students,

Welcome to the Biotechnology Technician Program. We recognize that you have worked hard to achieve admittance to this program and we are glad that you are here.

Biotechnology is an exciting and growing field with incredible importance to the scientific community. At Conestoga College you will gain valuable skills and knowledge that will prepare you to become successful contributors to this growing field by entering the workforce as well equipped technicians. Whether you aspire to work in the field of pharmaceutical development, food science, agriculture, or another Biotechnology or Life Sciences setting, you have come to the right place. We are excited to have you on board and look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, regulations, procedures and processes specific to the Biotechnology Technician Program. Please note that general information about the College can be found in the Conestoga College Student Guide, which applies to all students regardless of program. As a student, it is your responsibility to understand the contents of the Student Guide and the Handbook. If there is anything within this handbook that you do not understand, please ask the Faculty, Program Coordinator, or Chair for an explanation.

Use this manual as your guide and continuous reference as you proceed through the program. The Biotechnology Technician faculty will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.

We are here to help you successfully complete this program. Should you experience difficulty, or need assistance in any area of your studies, please come and speak with us. We will do all we can to provide you with the necessary skills and support to do your best and achieve your goal of becoming a valued graduate of the Biotechnology Technician program.

All the very best to you in your studies. 

Curt Monk (Chair, Informatics and Life Sciences)
Lindsay Schalm (Biotechnology Coordinator) & your Program Faculty

Program Overview

Program Description

This program provides students with the laboratory skills, technical knowledge, fundamental understanding, and employability skills for careers in Biotechnology and Life Science industries. Students will experience an integrated curriculum and applied learning environment that focuses on scenarios relevant to current innovations in the growing fields of Biotechnology and Life Sciences.

The program offers independent and collaborative opportunities to develop personally and professionally, and to perform laboratory duties in compliance with all legislative guidelines. Training includes practical and technical instruction in several areas including biology, biochemistry, microbiology, analytical chemistry, cell culture, molecular biology, and computer applications.

Graduates of the Biotechnology Technician program will compete in emerging professions within diverse sectors of the bio-economy including: environmental, agricultural, food, pharmaceutical and biomedical technologies, analytical chemistry, and many other exciting fields.

Program Philosophy

Students are, "The embodiment of incredible possibilities. I see imaginatively what they might become if they choose. I may [by teaching] invite them to activate possibilities they may not have envisioned" (Jourard, 1971).

As faculty, we believe that students deserve to be treated with respect. As a student, it is important that you understand that you are capable of success, and that we want to help you to succeed.

We believe that adults benefit greatly from a safe, nurturing classroom and a teacher who truly cares about their success. Caring about student success means that teachers should acknowledge different learning styles and interests.

We understand that you are working hard to achieve your goal of becoming a laboratory technician. Because of this, we aim to engage you with material and skills that you can immediately relate to a job, an interest, or prior knowledge. As faculty, we believe that if we are not pointing out connections to our learners, than it will be difficult to engage and motivate our students.

Conestoga College's Biotechnology Technician Program incorporates the above philosophy into our program by:

  • Accommodating individual situations, as appropriate for emerging adult learners
  • Encouraging and expecting students to develop behaviours necessary in the workforce and in the Biotechnology profession, including: responsibility for self and one's own actions, honesty, integrity, and punctuality
  • Designing courses and lab experiences to support students in constructing knowledge about the field of Biotechnology/Life Sciences in meaningful ways
  • Providing a variety of learning experiences, and by using a variety of evaluation methods
  • Supporting the integration of theory and practice
  • Engaging students actively in their learning process
  • Recognizing and appreciating the different styles and approaches to learning that an emerging adult learner may use/exhibit (multiple intelligences)
  • Building on previous successes in order to enhance confidence of the student as a learner
  • Introduction and engagement into the diverse themes of the profession.

Program Outcomes

Through successful completion of this program, the graduate will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop skills and aptitude of professional practice in a laboratory environment.
  2. Complete all tasks in compliance with pertinent legislation and regulations, as well as Life Sciences and Biotechnology standards and guidelines.
  3. Develop an understanding of ethical standards, and policies that foster social, environmental and economic responsibility.
  4. Apply quality control and quality assurance procedures to meet legislative and organizational standards and requirements.
  5. Apply scientific concepts in the fields of biology, biochemistry, and chemistry to perform a range of laboratory procedures relevant to the field of Biotechnology and Life Sciences.
  6. Conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses and tests using appropriate laboratory and industry procedures (GLP, GMP), and mathematical, statistical and computer skills.
  7. Conduct standard cell culture procedures under aseptic conditions for use in industrial applications, product development, or research and diagnostics.
  8. Conduct routine molecular biology procedures for use in industrial applications, product development, or research and diagnostics.
  9. Prepare, maintain, manage, and communicate scientific data effectively by demonstrating competence in collecting, organizing and summarizing scientific information.
  10. Develop and present a strategic plan for ongoing personal and professional development and continuing education to enhance work performance.

Program Summary Map – 2018/2019

The Program Map describes your learning journey with three important components:

  1. All courses focus on you demonstrating development towards the program outcomes and capabilities through your program journey.
  2. There are themes for your learning that will inform you on the courses you will take to develop program capabilities.
  3. Each semester has a theme that creates milestones for your learning within a semester and your journey from one semester to the next semester and ultimately to your readiness to graduate.
Level 1
Introduction and engagement into the diverse themes of the profession.
Fundamental learning of key principals and development of technical skills.
Level 3
Deepening of knowledge base and expanding technical skill set.
Level 4
Consolidation of understanding, practical experience and preparation for professional practice.

BIOT 1065
Laboratory Procedures and Safety

BIOT 2115
Quality Management Practices
BIOT 2070

BIOT 2100
Professionalism and Ethics for Biotechnology

BIOT 1040
Introduction to Microbiology

BIOT 1100
Introduction to Molecular Biology
BIOT 1090
Food & Agricultural Biotechnology
BIOT 2025
Applied Molecular Biology
BIOT 2090
Plant Cell Biotechnology
BIOT 1070
Microbiology for Biotechnology

CHEM 1055
Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences

BIOT 1083
Organic Chemistry
BIOT 1037   

BIOT 2065
Fermentation and Industrial Processes

MATH 1995
Algebra for the Life Sciences

BIOT 1055
Introductory Analytical Chemistry

Statistics for Life Sciences
BIOT 2015
Applied Analytical Chemistry
BIOT 1037   
Current Trends in Biotechnology
General Elective
BIOT 2120
Life Sciences Research Project I
BIOT 2130
Life Sciences Research Project II
COMM 1085
College Reading & Writing Skills
General Elective  General Elective
Program Summary Map-Fast Track Students

Level 1

Deepening of knowledge base and expanding technical skill set.

Level 2

Consolidation of understanding, practical experience and preparation for professional practice.

BIOT 1037


BIOT 2015

Applied Analytical Chemistry

BIOT 2070


BIOT 2025

Applied Molecular Biology


Food and Agricultural Biotechnology

BIOT 2065

Fermentation and Industrial Processes

BIOT 2090

Plant Cell Biotechnology

BIOT 1070

Microbiology for Biotechnology

BIOT 2120

Life Sciences Research Project I

BIOT 2100

Professionalism and Ethics for Life Sciences

BIOT 2140

Laboratory Skills for Biotechnology

BIOT 2115

Quality Management Practices


Statistics for Life Sciences

BIOT 2130

Life Sciences Research Project II

Program Design for Your Cohort

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

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

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


Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions.

There are a number of different opportunities available to students who want to continue studying at Conestoga. 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 Pathways information is available on Conestoga's website.

Post-Secondary Education Opportunities

Conestoga College – Bachelor of Environment Public Health

Graduates of the Biotechnology Technician program may apply with advanced standing to the Bachelor of Environmental Public Health degree at Conestoga College. As such, graduates are able to complete this honours degree at an accelerated pace. Typically two years credit is granted towards the four-year degree.

University of Guelph

The University of Guelph offers Biotechnology Technician graduates several ways to complete a degree at an accelerated pace. Diploma graduates may enter three different Honours Bachelor of Science Programs in Biology with advanced standing such that he/she can complete the degree in two and a half years (five terms). These programs are: Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and Microbiology.

Diploma graduates may also enter the Honours Bachelor of Science Program in Biochemistry with advanced standing such that he/she can complete the degree in three years (six terms).

Wilfrid Laurier University

On April 16, 2010 Conestoga and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) signed an articulation agreement that combines Laurier's honours B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology with Conestoga's Biotechnology Technician diploma. This means that students can apply into the Biochemistry degree program at WLU after completing their Biotechnology Technician diploma and be granted advanced standing such that he/she can complete the degree in an additional three years. This results in obtaining their diploma and degree in five years, a significantly reduced amount of time. Student can also fast track through programs other than Biochemistry at WLU.

University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo offers Biotechnology Technician graduates several ways to complete a degree at an accelerated pace. Diploma graduates may complete an Honours Bachelor of Science Program in Biology or Biomedical Sciences with advanced standing.

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates have been very successful at gaining employment in the field of Biotechnology and the Life Sciences. These graduates have been hired as technicians, technologists, analysts, research assistants, and even quality assurance/control managers. The following is an example of some of the sectors our graduates have been hired to work in: agriculture, food & beverage, organic chemistry, microbiology, animal health, human health, plant genetics, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, and immunology. Employers continue to report 100% satisfaction with our graduates on the annual Key Performance Indicator survey.



Communication and Contact Information

Faculty Commitment to Success

The Biotechnology Technician Program Faculty members are here to support you in acquiring an excellent education, a broad skill-set, and the confidence to move out into the workforce upon completion of the program. Ultimately, your success in this program rests on you; however, your instructors are committed to doing their best in supporting you throughout your studies.

The Program Faculty are well-equipped to provide you with a high-level of education. He/she is well- trained with diverse educational backgrounds, teaching experiences, work, and research experiences. Do not hesitate to ask questions and seek guidance from this supportive and experienced staff as you progress throughout your studies.

Contact Information and Availability

Curt Monk, Chair, Informatics and Life Sciences
(519) 748-5220 ext. 2379

Lindsay Schalm, Program Coordinator
(519) 748-5220 ext. 3964

Wendy Dunbar, Program Assistant
(519) 748-5220, ext. 2454

Heather Bauman, Professor (Maternity Leave)
(519) 748-5220 ext. 3139

Lisa Nielsen, Professor
(519) 748-5220 ext. 3952

Jessie Carviel, Instructor

Sarah Rank, Lab Technologist (Maternity Leave)
(519) 748-5220 ext. 2485

Stacey Robinson, Lab Technologist
(519) 748-5220 ext. 2784

Janine Grant, Lab Technologist

Jordenne Cain, Lab Technologist

Faculty Availability

The Biotechnology Technician Faculty Office is located at 2C15. Students are welcome to see individual Faculty to seek extra help, discuss coursework and assignments, or just to say hello. During the first several days of the semester, Faculty will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. Since Faculty have diverse teaching schedules, please make an appointment to ensure they are available. Faculty members aim to reply to email messages within 48 business hours.

Contacting Program Staff

When contacting Program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use email or telephone. Your message should include the following information:

  • first and last name
  • course and level
  • brief description of reason for contact
  • telephone number and/or email address where you can be reached

Student Email

All students are supplied with a college email address. Use the college email address only when communicating with Faculty. Non-college email addresses (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail etc.) are problematic. Students are expected to check their College email regularly as most official communication will be via this method.


All courses throughout the Biotechnology Technician program will be supported through Conestoga's online learning management system, eConestoga. This should always be a student's first point of access when looking for course information, content, schedules etc. There is also an email function within eConestoga that can be used to contact other students and instructors.

Student Engagement

Being a Part of the Biotech Team

We encourage you to think of your involvement in this program as more than just courses, labs and tests. You have an opportunity to be a part of a larger network of Faculty, students, and representatives from industry. Being a part of this team engages you in a supportive community that will provide an excellent springboard into your future career.

Here are some ways to deepen your experience throughout this program and fully participate in the Biotech Team:

  • Engage in classroom dynamics: Whether it is during discussions, labs, or group work, don't hold back - ask questions and get involved.
  • Participate in extracurricular Biotech events: fun and learning can go together. Throughout the program look out for Biotech program social events, guest speakers, and activities that will provide opportunities to network, learn, eat food, and have fun.
  • Participate in community-wide initiatives: As members of the Conestoga College community, we want to give back to the broader community around us. So we encourage our students to participate in volunteer opportunities and fundraising events throughout the city.
  • Network: join the LinkedIn group to build connections and stay updated with job opportunities.
  • Give us your input: if you have ideas, share them. We are always looking for ways to increase the significance of the Biotech team experience.


Student Engagement

Student Concerns/Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Student Representation

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

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

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

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

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)

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

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

Student Feedback

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

Key Performance Indicators

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

Student Appraisal of Teaching

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

The SAT process occurs in the last one-third of the semester. Typically about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term, and each has two courses selected by their academic managers for appraisal. All teachers have a SAT review at least once every two years. The SAT process is managed by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning using an online survey system specifically designed for course/teacher evaluations.  After all marks for the semester have been submitted, a summary of results goes to the academic manager to be shared with the faculty member. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during thier Continuing Education course.

Class Cancellations

Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence

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

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

Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

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

Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations

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

To subscribe:

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

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

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Student Expectations

  • Students are required to adhere to the published Standards of Conduct (Academic and Social) in Conestoga College's Student Guide for the current academic year.
  • Each student is to interact with peers, faculty, and the wider Biotechnology community in a way that fosters trust, respect, collaboration, and innovation.
  • Students continually strive to improve the application of professional knowledge.
  • Students understand, uphold, and promote the ethical standards of the profession.
  • Students maintain competence while striving to improve the quality of his/her skill set.
  • Students have the responsibility to protect the integrity of the Health and Life Sciences Programs and the College community by behaving and interacting in such a way that demonstrates respect and professionalism.
  • Students seek clarification from faculty/administration when unsure of any of these standards.

Faculty will accept, fulfill, and enforce these expectations. Anyone who believes that a faculty member has violated these standards may confidentially initiate a complaint to the Program Chair.

In the event that a student violates the Student Code of Conduct it will be dealt with according to the procedure outlined in the Student Guide. This involves submitting a student code of conduct incident report form to the office of the VP Student Affairs, investigation by the VP student affairs/ethics committee, and administration of appropriate sanctions as outlined in the Student Guide.

Academic Offences

Academic integrity is taken very seriously in the Biotechnology Technician program. Copying from others during tests, submitting identical assignments, and failure to reference are just a few examples of situations that would result in an academic offence. The penalty for academic offences ranges from zero on an assignment, to a grade of zero in the course, and even being discontinued from the program.

The following are academic offences:

  • Copying from another student in an evaluation situation
  • Copying and submitting, as one's own, in whole or in part in any format, the work of another/others
  • Using unauthorized material or aids in the preparation of an assignment or project
  • Possessing unauthorized material or aids in an evaluation situation
  • Claiming to have completed assigned tasks that were, in fact, completed by another person
  • Plagiarizing materials or works, in whole or in part, prepared by another person without citing appropriate reference credit
  • Allowing another person to take an evaluation in one's place
  • Altering or falsifying academic records in any way
  • Submitting false medical, academic or other documentation required by the College
  • Improperly obtaining through theft, bribery, collusion, or otherwise any test or evaluation information prior to evaluation
  • Aiding or abetting anyone in an act of academic dishonesty
  • Submitting the same work in one course which has also been submitted, or presented or graded in a previous course without the prior written agreement of all involved Faculty members
  • Fabricating information or other types of material to meet course or program requirements
  • Misrepresenting the reason for deferring an evaluation
  • Unauthorized collaboration, for example, working together without permission
  • Submitting work prepared collaboratively with (an) other person (s) without explicit permission from the Faculty member

Academic Offences and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy found in the Conestoga Student Guide. This guide has been provided to you on our College website. 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,
  • The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright – What Students Need to Know

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

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

You can photocopy or scan the following:

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

Cumulative Copying

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

You cannot copy or scan the following:

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

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

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

Safe Practice

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

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

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

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

Student Protection Acknowledgement

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

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

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

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


Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones

To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, and during formal break time in field placement.

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

Social Media Policy

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Cell Phone Policy

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

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


Attendance and Student Success Strategies

Laboratory Absences

An absence from a laboratory period is only considered valid if the reason for the absence is one of the approved reasons listed in the Acceptable reasons for Absence section, and if the proper procedure for reporting the absence is followed (see Notification Procedure below): including reporting the absence on the student portal prior to the start of lab and contacting the professor prior to the start of lab. (Please note, if the absence is not your first in the term across all courses, documentation to verify your absence will be required for the absence to be considered valid.)

All other lab absences, such as those that are note reported on the portal or those with illegitimate reasons for being away, will be considered invalid. 

Valid Lab Absences

Professionalism and Laboratory Notebooks

A student with a valid, reported absence will not be graded for Professionalism (and the Laboratory Notebook assessment when applicable) on that day and instead will be granted a "no mark", meaning that their overall Professionalism mark will be reweighted accordingly at the end of the semester. It is the responsibility of the student to record the missed laboratory documentation in their Notebook during subsequent lab periods. No time outside of class will be given to make up missed work. The student will be expected to answer questions pertaining to the missed lab on the Laboratory Notebook exam(s).

Take-Home Laboratory Reports

Students who have a valid, reported absence will be required to obtain the data collected during the missed laboratory period from one of their lab team members. The student will use this data to complete the lab report and may still earn full marks on the report if submitted by the due date.

In-Class Laboratory Reports

Students who have a valid, reported absence will be granted a "no mark" for laboratory assessments that are to be completed and submitted within the missed laboratory period, and thus are not required to make up the in class lab report. However, students are still responsible for understanding the content of the lab as it may appear on other assessments throughout the term.

Invalid Lab Absences

Professionalism and Laboratory Notebooks

If a student has an invalid absence for a laboratory period they will receive a grade of zero for Professionalism (and the Laboratory Notebook assessment when applicable) on that day. The student will subsequently be given a grade of zero on any Laboratory Notebook exam question(s) related to the missed lab period, as they will not be permitted to answer questions pertaining to the missed lab on the laboratory notebook exam(s).

Take-Home Laboratory Reports

Students with an invalid absence must obtain the data collected during the missed laboratory period from one of their lab team members, however, they will be given a grade of zero on the data collection portion of the laboratory report. The student may use the data to complete the lab analysis section of the report and may still earn full marks on the analysis section of the laboratory report if it is submitted by the due date.

In-Class Laboratory Reports

Students who have an invalid absence, will be given a grade of zero for laboratory assessments that are to be completed and submitted within the missed laboratory period. However, students are still responsible for understanding the content of the lab as it may appear on other assessments throughout the term. 

Religious Holidays

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

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

It is the responsibility of the student to:

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

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


Use of Time between Classes

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

Faculty Returning Tests and Assignments

The Biotechnology Technician Faculty is committed to supporting students in achieving success. One way in which to promote student success is through consistent, timely feedback. For this reason, all tests and assignments will be graded within two weeks of the date on which they were due. Individual instructors will inform their students as to how assignments will be returned or made available for viewing. Under no circumstances are students to enter the offices of Faculty or look through papers on a desk without a faculty present. Students who have questions about a test/assignment mark may request an appointment with the instructor who marked the evaluation to discuss the mark. If a student requests for a question to be re-marked the instructor, the instructor may choose to re-mark the entire assessment.

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

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

General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work

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

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

  • Word processed
  • Double spaced and one sided
  • Submitted using font size of 12, and proper margins
  • Written in a grammatically correct manner
  • Handed in securely fastened with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted
  • Handed in at the beginning of class on the designated due date in class, unless otherwise indicated by Faculty
  • Handed in using the APA@Conestoga format if references are required

NOTE: Faculty does not assume responsibility for assignments not given directly to them in hard copy at the beginning of the relevant class. Students should avoid handing in assignments outside the regularly scheduled class time and should make every effort to hand assignments in to instructors in person.

Test and Examination Policies

The structure and weighting of tests and examinations will vary for each course; however, there are some general policies that apply to all forms of tests written within the Biotechnology Technician Program:

  • Admittance to the test/examination may require the presentation of PHOTO I.D. to the Faculty or proctor.
  • Students arriving late to write tests will NOT be granted an extended time for writing. The test must be completed within the scheduled timeframe. Students arriving 20 minutes late or more to an assessment will not be permitted to write the assessment and a makeup assessment will not be granted unless rare, extenuating circumstances cause the instructor to decide to make other arrangements.
  • Test and exams are not permanently returned to students but are held within the department. Requests for review of test papers may be arranged with individual Faculty within two weeks of writing the test and not immediately prior to supplemental work.
  • Accommodations in the examination procedure are made by Accessibility Services solely for students as prescribed by the Accessibility Services office.

Assessment Policies

  • Students are required to submit all written assignments on or before the date and time specified.
  • If due to extenuating circumstances, a student anticipates problems that will necessitate an extension of time he/she must make this request in writing to the appropriate Faculty at least 48 hours prior to the deadline. After the request has been made, a student should assume the deadline has not changed unless he/she hears otherwise from their instructor.

Note: Extensions are given rarely and are done so at the discretion of the instructor. Do not expect to receive assignment extensions, organize your time to complete assignments by the given deadlines.

  • Late assignments will not be accepted and will receive a grade of zero. An assignment is considered late if it is not submitted on or before the deadline given on the assignment outline. For example, if an assignment is due at 9:00 am, it is late if you hand it in at 9:10 a.m.
  • If you are ill or encounter a family emergency or some other type of family emergency on the date that an assignment is due and this will prevent you from handing in the assignment by the deadline, you must follow the same policies outlined for missed tests and evaluations  described above (procedure for Absence Notification) including reporting your absence on the student portal and immediately contacting your course instructor.

Academic Progress Through the Program

Academic Standing and Promotion

The Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. The Conestoga Student Guide is available on the College website and by visiting the "Student Guide" tab in your Student Portal.In addition to the Academic Regulations found in the Conestoga Student Guide, the following apply to the Biotechnology Technician Program:


To be eligible for graduation, a student is required to successfully complete all courses specified in the program design.

The following regulatory standards (performance expectations) must be achieved for advancement in the program.

  • The student is expected to successfully complete all course requirements.
  • The student must demonstrate a minimum level of theoretical competency in meeting course and program requirements by achieving the minimum passing grade assigned to the course on all final vocational course grades. In most cases, the minimum passing grade is 60%.
  • 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.
  • Regular attendance is mandatory to achieve a "pass" in laboratory practice experiences. Repeated absences in lab-based courses will be brought to the attention of the Program Coordinator and Chair and could result in jeopardizing student promotion.

Special Timetables/Adding Dropped or Failed Courses

Please note that when students are not taking the program in the prescribed sequence, he/she will be on "special timetables". Prior to the beginning of the semester, students should attempt to add missed courses from a previous semester by logging in to the Student Portal and following the instructions to register for courses. If students are not able to add courses on their own (because of a timetable conflict or full course section) he/she must seek assistance from their Program Coordinator during the "Special Timetable Registration" initiated by the college.
Special Timetable Registration periods are posted in the student portal in advance of the beginning of each semester. Students must attend this meeting where he/she will receive further guidance regarding this academic status from their Program Coordinator.
Students who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.

Academic Probation

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

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 class or practice, which may affect achieving program standards.
  • Excessive accumulated absences from class, lab or practice.
  • Failure to follow through on previous Promotion Committee recommendations.

The Promotions Committee may decide such a student should be discontinued or may require the student to complete one or more of the following, or an alternative as deemed appropriate:

  • 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 assigned to the course.
  • Repeat the course at the earliest opportunity with a special timetable.
  • 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. This is only available for students in serious, extenuating circumstances as approved by the Program Chair.
  • Complete the requirements of Probationary Status.    

Supplemental Work

Supplemental work is an academic privilege not an academic right. The privilege is extended to students who have been academically assessed as meeting the criteria for the granting of supplemental work. The criteria will provide for academic objectivity in making decisions about which students will be granted the privilege of supplemental work.

Criteria for Eligibility to write Supplemental Examinations

  • A student with final course grade of less the minimum course standard, but above 50%, may be offered supplemental work.
  • The student has utilized strategies to improve chances for success.
  • A student who fails three or more of the core courses in a semester will NOT be offered a supplemental in any of the failed courses.
  • A student who attains a course grade of LESS than 50% will NOT be offered a supplemental in that course.


A decision to grant supplemental work will be finalized by the Promotion Committee, using the following criteria:

  • Previous academic history including previous course/program failures.
  • Current practical laboratory performance.
  • Prior grant of supplemental work. A maximum of two supplemental examinations can be offered throughout the program (a maximum of one for the Fast Track Students). If you have been previously discontinued from the program, you will still only be granted a total of two supplemental examinations across the entire duration of your time in the program (one supplemental examniation for the Fast Track Students).
  • Demonstration of professional behaviour.
  • Attendance in class and lab.

A student who completes supplementary work for a course will pay an additional processing fee to the institution.
Any changes to the above regulations will be made with approval by the Program Chair.

NOTE: 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 assigned to the course.


  1. Promotions Committee grants or denies permission for supplemental work.
  2. Program Coordinator contacts student and sets up a time to meet and fill out the Supplemental Request Form.
  3. Student brings form and pays additional fee for supplemental work at the Registrar's office.
  4. Student receives supplemental work from Program Coordinator.
  5. Student completes supplemental work (test or assignment) in accordance with the times and dates given by the Program Coordinator.
  6. Supplemental work is assessed and the Registrar's Office is contacted with the result.
Promotion and Supplemental Procedure
Promotion Committee Grants or denies permission for supplemental work.


Program Coordinator/Instructor

Meets with the student.

Completes the supplemental form with criteria. Reviews the recommendation of the Promotion Committee.



Takes completed Supplemental Form and payment to Registrar's Office.

Brings pink copy of Supplemental Form for admission to supplemental as well as photo ID


Program Chair/Program Coordinator/Instructor

Sets date for supplemental examination.

Notifies student and Registrar's Office of result of supplemental work.

Failure to successfully complete requirements of the promotion committee will result in discontinuance from the program.


Program Standards are developed which define the expected academic performance requirements of students who are progressing through the program. Students who fail to meet the documented standards of performance may be discontinued from the program.
Students will be evaluated based on program standards, which are well defined for the program and for each course. Students who are assessed as failing to meet program standards (academically, technically, or ethically) will be discontinued from the program on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee. Such students are entitled to appeal the discontinuance decision in accordance with the College's appeal process.
Students who have discontinued from the Biotechnology Technician program will not be given priority for re-admission to the program when re-applying to level 1. Students who have been discontinued from the program more than once, will need to meet with the Coordinator and Chair of the program prior to re-applying to the program.

Students can be discontinued according to the following reasons:

  • For failure to meet academic program standards by failing two or more courses in the same term.
    For violating documented ethical standards of practice.
  • For inappropriate behaviour that jeopardizes the study of other students.


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


Voluntary withdrawals from the Program are supported from an academic perspective. Students assess their own capabilities in meeting the academic requirements of a program and decide to withdraw.
Extended personal leave of absence could result in a student's withdrawal from the program due to the loss of study time. Financial constraints may be a necessary reason for program withdrawal. For these and other reasons, voluntary withdrawals are approved and supported with the option of re- applying for admission. Requests for voluntary withdrawals from the program will be approved by the Program Chair. The student will initiate the withdrawal by informing the Program Chair of his/her intention to withdraw from the program.

Program Transfer

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


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

Readmission to a Program

Students are required to apply for readmission when he/she has been absent from their program for one semester or longer unless an Intention Form has been completed (returning students only), or when the student has withdrawn or been discontinued. Upon readmission, students are placed into the current program of study which determines graduation requirements. Students are subject to the college and program policies and procedures in place at the time of readmission.

Students applying for readmission to Level/Semester one must do so through Ontario Colleges. Students applying for readmission to a level beyond Level/Semester one must do so using a Conestoga College Program Application Form. Applicable fees will be charged.
The application for readmission will be reviewed based on the student's academic eligibility, program readmission requirements, and space availability. The student will be informed in writing of the decision
For additional information, refer to the Academic Administration page for more information on the readmission procedure.


Students are expected to respond to their invitation through their Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the spring and fall of each academic year. Students, who take longer than the advertised program length, are responsible for completing any new or additional courses due to a program design change. Students who complete their program after the scheduled completion date 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.

General Education / Breadth Electives

School of Liberal Studies

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

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

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


Process for Resolution of Student Concerns

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

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

Maintaining Student Files

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

Pre Practicum Health Requirements (if applicable)

  • per copies of information received from students.

In H.S Trax, by individual student access

**accessed through My Conestoga

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

Acknowledgement of WSIB Understanding (if applicable)

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

Student Consents Signed on Admission electronically (varies per program)

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

A.  Documents related to academic progress

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

B.  Records of Competency Attainment

As above As above

C.  Documents related to areas of Concern

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

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 he/she 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 Biotechnology Technician Program you may be eligible for a course exemption. (Please note that to receive an exemption, courses must have been completed within the past five years and with a mark of at least 65%.). If you would like to proceed with a request for exemptions, please contact the Credit Transfer Office located in the Registrar's Office in the Welcome Centre. Alternatively you can email: credittransfer@conestogac.on.ca or call: 519-748-5220 Ext. 2397. 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 he/she receive the exemption as he/she will be responsible for all material covered in class should the exemption be denied.

Work-Integrated Learning Experiences

Student Consent Forms

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

Laboratory/Work Placement Experiences

The Biotechnology Technician program trains students to be competent, skilled individuals, ready for employment in a laboratory setting. For this reason, the program places a large emphasis on the development of technical lab skills. When working in a laboratory there are several important elements to be aware of that will be discussed below.


As a Biotechnology Technician student, it is important to present oneself in a professional manner. A professional demeanour and appearance are important in establishing effective working relationships. Professionalism constitutes your overall attitude and presentation. In all courses with a laboratory component you will be expected to meet the following expectations:

Professionalism Expectations


To dress professionally means to dress tastefully and respectfully and to adhere to the standards of health and safety. In all laboratory settings, lab coats are to be worn and the specific recommendations outlined in section below are to be followed.


It is expected that you will treat your experience in this program similar to that of a workplace. Thus, as you interact with peers and Faculty your attitude and behaviour should reflect that of a positive, hard-working professional.


Working alongside others is an integral part of the Biotechnology profession. You  are expected to demonstrate effective teamwork strategies including taking on roles as a leader and as a member in group situations. You are to respect your colleagues and interact in a positive, encouraging, productive, and collaborative way.


Time-management and organization are of utmost importance throughout this program. Within the laboratory you must keep a neat and tidy workspace and demonstrate appropriate time-management and organizational skills allowing for completion of tasks in a timely and effective manner.


Your conduct within the laboratory environment must adhere to standard health and safety protocols and the additional regulations of the specific labs used for the Biotechnology Technician Program. All food and drink is prohibited from the lab. There are to be no interactions that could pose a safety threat, such as horseplay or excessive noise. In addition, for many courses, a detailed Lab Notebook must be maintained and kept locked in the laboratory room.


Attire in the laboratory must be professional and adhere to standards of health and safety. The following uniform regulations for the laboratory setting have been established by Faculty to address these issues.

Long sleeved white lab coats are to be worn at all times during a lab period. No caps or hats are to be worn in the lab. Long hair must be tied back and off the collar. Closed-toed, flat shoes must be worn in the lab. For safety reasons, shoes must not have open toes or be a style that exposes any part of the bare foot. Long pants must be worn in the laboratory. Shorts, skirts, and capris are not appropriate attire. Depending on the nature of the experiment being performed, safety glasses/goggles and/or laboratory gloves may be required.

Requests for accommodations of this policy (e.g., for religious or disability reasons) will be considered within the framework of the Conestoga College Policy for Human Rights.

Faculty reserve the right to ask students who do not conform to the uniform policy to leave the lab setting.

Removal from the laboratory as a result of inappropriate attire or conduct will result in a mark of zero in any assessments occurring during that particular lab session.

Lab Notebook

Development of exceptional procedural recording skills through the use of standardized lab notebook practices is one of the foundational components of this program. It is one of the most highly acclaimed characteristics by employers that have hired Conestoga Biotechnology Technician graduates.

For several lab courses, students will record all performed labs in neat, detailed, Lab Notebooks. Significant instruction will be provided as to how to record labs and best practices for efficiency and effectiveness in using lab notebooks. Detailed lab notebook expectations, as well as examples, will be posted on eConestoga. The following summarizes the overall expectations for the Lab Notebook:

Notebook Expectations
Neatness All information is recorded clearly and printed neatly. All charts are completed using a ruler. Writing is spaced out so that it is easy to read.


All pages are numbered and every lab is dated. Headings are always used where appropriate. Labs are recorded in the order in which they were performed and the details of the procedure and observations are recorded in order of occurrence.
Completeness The steps of the procedure are recorded with a very high level of detail. All observations are recorded with precision and detailed descriptions.


Students are to possess one Lab Notebook per course in any given term. All Lab Notebooks are to be hardbound and must remain in the laboratory classroom throughout the entire course term. The purpose of this practice is to mimic industry regulations where Lab Notebooks are considered the property of the company and cannot be taken from the industrial lab. This also aids in the development of efficient recording skills such that students are capable of completing and recording an entire lab procedure during the designated lab period. Lab Notebooks will be left in the lab at the end of each lab session and will be locked in a labelled cabinet until the next lab session.

Lab Notebooks will be assessed in different ways throughout the varied courses of this program. This could include assessment by the instructor of the Lab Notebook based on the expectations above. It could also include a Laboratory Notebook exam in which notebooks are used to complete a written exam based on the lab experiments performed throughout the course. Removal of a Lab Notebook from the laboratory could result in significant consequences such as receiving a mark of zero on the notebook evaluation or loss of ability to use the notebook for the Lab Notebook exam.

Maintaining an organized, clear, and complete Lab Notebook is an important skill. Students are encouraged to access provided instructional materials on eConestoga and ask for help if experiencing any struggles with effective maintenance of their Lab Notebook.


Student Awards

Awards Available for Biotechnology Technician -2018/2019

The following awards* are available to the students of the Biotechnology Technician program. Students who have questions about any of these awards should speak with their Program Coordinator. There are also a number of other awards offered through Financial Aid that Biotechnology Technician students may qualify for. Please watch your college email for information from the Student Financial Services office concerning application deadlines, processes and eligibility. You may obtain information about other school wide awards, bursaries and scholarships from Student Financial Services. You can find the General Awards Application online.

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

Program Sponsored – Organized through your program
Award Name Est. Amount Year or Level # of awards Criteria Selection Process Presented At:

Syngenta Canada Inc. Exceptional Laboratory Technician


Year 2 and Fast Track Students


Consistently exhibited outstanding knowledge and skills in the laboratory setting


Biotech Awards Ceremony

Ontario Agri-Food Technologies Biotechnology Technician Student Leadership Award


Year 2 and Fast Track Students


Displayed leadership through mentoring fellow students, as well as displaying creativity and ingenuity inside and outside the classroom.


Biotech Awards Ceremony

Research & Teamwork Award


Year 2 and Fast Track Students

1 Group

A group of students who displayed outstanding collaboration and teamwork during a research project


Biotech Awards Ceremony

Student Leadership Award


Year 1


Displayed leadership through mentoring fellow students, as well as displaying creativity and ingenuity inside and outside the classroom.


Biotech Awards Ceremony

Biotechnology Technician Program Contribution Award


Year 2 and Fast Track Students

# of awards will vary

Contribute to the Biotechnology Technician Program beyond what is expected


Biotech Awards Ceremony

School Sponsored – Awarded Annually
Award Name Estimated Amount Year or Level # of awards Criteria Selection Process Presented At:
Canadian Federation of University Women $500 Year 2 and Fast Track Students 4 75% +, female registered in Yr. 2, demonstrate financial need, intellectual achievement and promise Apply Financial Aid

College Hours

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

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

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

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

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

Attendance for Evaluations

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

Faculty Responsibilities

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

Student Responsibilities

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

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

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

Important! Please note the following:

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

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%

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

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

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

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

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

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

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

Program Handbook Revision Log

Last Revised By Whom
June 22nd, 2015 Jillian Grant
May 5th, 2016 Lindsay Schalm
June 9th, 2016 Nicole Dorscht
May 29th, 2017 Jillian Grant
June 21st, 2017 Wendy Dunbar
May 25th, 2018  Wendy Dunbar

Accommodation Disclaimer

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

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

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