Biotechnology Technician

2022/23 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1164
Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

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

COVID-19 and Academic Program Delivery

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

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

Program technology requirements are posted on the program web page. Students in hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality, and reliable Internet access. 

Program Handbook Guidelines

​The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly, and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.

This handbook must be read in conjunction with general information about Conestoga College found on the website and in the Student Guide. The information in the Student Guide and on the college website​ applies to all students, regardless of program.

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

Welcome

What you do out there logo

Welcome to the School of Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga's School of Health & Life Sciences offers a range of credentials to assist you in your goal of becoming a healthcare professional. From pre-health programs to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees, the School of Health & Life Sciences delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities. With a broad range of programs and delivery options to choose from, you can find a program that suits your needs and sets you on the path to a successful career.

Work-integrated learning is at the core of many of our programs. Whether through a field placement, clinical practicum, or co-operative education experience, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with an industry partner that will put your training into practice.

The School of Health & Life Sciences has many partnerships in industry as well as the local community and beyond.

What you learn here, counts out there – the School of Health & Life Sciences provides you with:​

​​​The opportunity to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in specialized settings with real-life scenarios.
  • The opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in a unique inter-professional environment.
  • The opportunity to take advantage of state-of-the-art learning facilities and study spaces.
  • The opportunity to become a "preferred graduate", sought after by your future employers.

Top 5 Expectations of You

​​​​​​1. Use MyConestoga to connect to:

  • Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca): This is the official communication channel for everything related to your academic requirements. Communication with faculty and staff is required to happen through your Conestoga email account. Check MyConestoga regularly and respond as requested.
  • eConestoga: This is your resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.
  • Student Portal: You will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting on this portal.
  • Placement Health Requirements: This service provides you with the requirements to enter into practice settings.
  • For BScN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub
    • The Hub is accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga.
    • The Hub provides information regarding Conestoga College and your program.
    • The Hub provides a link to Avenue To Learn: A resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.

2. Follow your academic schedule:

  • See the Orientation Checklist prior to starting your program.
  • Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
  • The Academic Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Programs with exams outside this time will be notified individually.
  • For BScN Students: Academic Year Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Please cross-reference these dates with McMaster University's sessional dates. 

3. Become a health care professional:

  • Act respectfully and professionally at all times, as these behaviours are the key to your learning experiences.
  • Present in professional dress and conduct: See the Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website. ​
  • Pre-WIL Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete the tasks as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your work-integrated learning (WIL) and program completion will be in jeopardy. *Note: The PSW and Supportive Care program does not participate in the WIL program.
  • Social Media: Use responsibly and respectfully. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend classes and labs to enhance your success:

  • Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and placement/WIL are in place to support your learning and experiences as a future professional. See Attendance and Student Success Strategies section in the Handbook.
  • Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See Attendance for Evaluation section in the ​Handbook.
  • Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Handbook.

5. Take responsibility for your academic status:

  • Student Records: For any questions concerning your student record, academic status and/or program withdrawals, please contact your Program Coordinator.
  • Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.
  • Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please review the Credit Transfer & PLAR website for more information.
  • Student Forms: To access forms, please go to the Student Forms page.
  • Academic Policies and Procedures: Are found under Policies and Procedures. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website. 
  • Student Affairs Policies and Procedures: Are found on the Student Affairs page.

Academic Dates

It is the student's responsibility to be aware of various important academic dates throughout the year. These academic dates are posted on the college website.

Please note that Continuing Education courses and Apprenticeship programs may have different start dates and exam dates for courses. 

Letter to Students

​​Dear 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 food science, agriculture, environmental remediation, biopharmaceuticals 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. 

Sincerely,

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 included practical and technical instruction in several areas including biology, biochemistry, microbiology, analytical chemistry, cell culture, molecular biology, and computer applications.

Graduates of the Biotechnician program will compete in emerging professions with diverse sectors of the bio-economy including: environmental, agricultural, food, analytical chemistry, and many other exciting fields.

Program Philosophy

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 classroom, where everyone is respected, 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, then 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. Complete all tasks in compliance with pertinent legislation and regulations, as well as biotechnology standards and guidelines.
  2. apply quality control and quality assurance procedures to meet organizational standards and requirements.
  3. apply best practices for sustainability.
  4. complete biotechnological applications using principles of chemistry, biology and biostatistics as well as basic principles of physics.
  5. use appropriate laboratory procedures to carry out quantitative and qualitative tests and analyses.
  6. carry out standard cell culture procedures under aseptic conditions.
  7. carry out molecular biology procedures.
  8. assist with the management of biological data to support biological scientists and researchers in capturing, organizing/summarizing and storing their data.
  9. prepare, maintain and communicate scientific data effectively.
  10. develop and present a strategic plan for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance work performance. 

​Program Design

You can find your​ program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:

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

Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the School of Health & Life Sciences website. To find these courses, students need to scroll to the 'Program Courses' section.

Credit Transfer, Pathways & PLAR

Conestoga recognizes you may have formal post-secondary education that may allow you to enter a program at an advanced level or provide for individual course exemptions. To ensure your credits are eligible for transfer, please contact our Credit Transfer Office at: credittransfer@conestogac.on.ca. 

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

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

If you are currently a Conestoga student and want to continue studying at Conestoga, there are a number of different pathway opportunities available to you.

Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways, to help you meet your goals.

Conestoga College has articulation agreements with many domestic and international institutions. These agreements allow students to transfer into a specific program with advanced standing. Students must meet the academic requirements stated in the agreement.

For more information regarding pathways at Conestoga, contact the Credit Transfer Officer at 519-748-5220 ext. 2166.

​​Degree Opportunities

If you wish to achieve additional credentials after completing the Biotechnology Technician Diploma, there are several opportunities available to you. Please speak to your program coordinator if any of the following options are of interest to you:

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 can 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 they 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 alternatively enter the Honours Bachelor of Science Program in Biochemistry with advanced standing such that they can complete the degree in three years (six terms).​

​University of Waterloo

An articulation agreement between UW and Conestoga College ensures that Diploma graduates are eligible to apply into an Honours Bachelor of Science Program in Biology or Biomedical Sciences with advanced standing such that the degree can be completed in 2.5-3 years depending on the program selected.


Wilfrid Laurier University

Biotechnology Technician graduates are eligible to receive several transfer credits towards a variety of Bachelor of Science programs at Wilfrid Laurier University and are encouraged to speak with department representatives at WLU regarding any degree program they are interested in.

​Employment Opportunities

Our graduates have been very successful at gaining employment in the field of Biotechnology and 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 our graduates' sectors: agriculture, food & beverage, organic chemistry, microbiology, animal health, human health, plant genetics, environmental analysis, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, and immunology. Employers continue to report 100% satisfaction with our graduates on the annual College survey.​

Relationships

​​Communication and Contact Information

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

Contacting Faculty or Staff
When contacting faculty or staff (via email or by phone), your message should include the following information:
  • First and last name, student ID #
  • Course and semester or level
  • Brief description of the reason for contact
  • Telephone number or email contact where you can be reached
Student Email
All students are supplied with a Conestoga email address. All communications will be via your Conestoga email address or posted on Conestoga's online Learning Management System – eConestoga. Use only your Conestoga email address when communicating with faculty and staff. Students are expected to check their Conestoga email regularly. 

If you are having problems accessing your Conestoga email, contact the Information Technology (IT) department at ITSDesk@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3444 as soon as possible. Students are accountable for ensuring a functioning email account.

Faculty and Staff Availability
Students are encouraged to connect with faculty to discuss course work, assignments, or other matters related to success at Conestoga.

Procedures for Meeting with Faculty and Staff
To schedule a meeting with faculty or staff, please contact the person by email. Meetings may be held in person, virtually or by telephone.

Technical Requirements

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

​Contact Information

Program Coordinator
BIOTECHcoordinator@conestogac.on.ca

​​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. Please refrain from wearing scents when entering the office due to Faculty health concerns.

During the first several days of the semester, Faculty will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. Since Faculty have varied teaching schedules, please make an appointment to ensure they are available. Faculty members aim to reply to email messages within 48 business hours.

eConestoga​

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. All course material will be delivered through eConestoga and students should use this platform daily to keep up-to-date with their courses.

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 the 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 Concern or Issues

If any concerns or issues arise during your learning experience, our main goal is to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to resolve situations or concerns quickly and improve and optimize our processes.

Problem-solving strategy:

1. When a situation of concern arises, inform those involved in a timely manner.

2. Please see the Student Rights and Responsibilities​ website for further details on informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.

3. Issues and concerns related to a placement site, or its employees should first be brought to the attention of the Conestoga Field Placement Supervisor or Program Coordinator, subject to the additional procedures outlined in the sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Field Placement" of your handbook. 

Student Representation

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

Program Advisory Committees (PACs)

Program Advisory Committees (PACs) provide the necessary link between Conestoga and the community it serves. PACs operate in an advisory capacity to Conestoga administration with the objective to keep Conestoga responsive to current and future workforce needs, trends or opportunities in industry and the marketplace.

All post-secondary education programs of study at Conestoga, both full-time and part-time, which lead to an employment related credential, or are approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), will be associated with a PAC, with the exception of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. For any program not leading to an employment related credential, such as foundation programs, PACs are optional.

At the beginning of each year, the coordinator(s) of the program will ask for student volunteers. The coordinator(s) will select which student(s) will represent the program at PAC. Student attendees are important members of the PAC and are expected to be present at all meetings and are responsible for preparing and submitting a report based on guidelines provided by the program coordinator.

Students who participate in PACs will receive credit on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR) . Your CCR is an official document, complementary to your academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that you have achieved through approved Co-curricular experiences at Conestoga.

​​Student Feedback

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

Key Performance Indicators

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

Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT)

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

The SAT process has two components: the Early Course Check-in and Full-SAT. The Early Course Check-in is 5 questions, occurs during week 10 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 43 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty member and their academic manager. Typically, about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term. All full-time faculty have a SAT review at least once every two years. Part-time faculty may be reviewed more frequently. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during their Continuing Education course.

​​Class Cancellations

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

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

Class cancellations due to inclement weather

College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations and posted on the College's website. A message will be recorded on the campus phone line after office hours.

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

​​Student Expectations

  • Students adhere to the published Standards of Conduct (Academic and Social) in Conestoga College's Student Guide for the current academic year.
  • Students 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 their skill set.
  • Students 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 Rights and Responsibilities Policy, it will be dealt with according to the procedure outlined in the Student Guide. This involves submitting a Student Rights and Responsibilities Reporting Form to the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) office as outlined in the Students Rights and Responsibilities Procedure.

Professionalism

As a Health & Life Sciences 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 overall attitude and presentation. In all courses with a laboratory component you will be assessed based on your professionalism according to the following expectations:


Expectation
AttireTo dress professionally means to dress tastefully and respectfully and to adhere to the standards of health and safety. In all laboratory settings, specific recommendations are to be followed.

Although at times you will be attending classes via Zoom, it is still a good idea to “dress for success”. You don’t have to wear suits and ties or dresses, but you should make an effort to dress in reasonable school attire – don't attend Zoom meetings in pajamas. When you dress professionally, you are putting yourself in a professional mindset that will enhance your learning.
AttitudeIt 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, behaviour and language should reflect that of a positive, hard-working professional.
TeamworkWorking alongside others is an integral part of health care professions. 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. Although you will not be working side by side with your peers this year, you will be interacting with them via zoom. Please use this opportunity to network with other students in a professional and respectful manner.
OrganizationTime management and organization are of the utmost importance throughout any program. When you are working in the health care field, you must complete tasks at the scheduled time. Similarly, you will have deadlines for completing assigned tasks – consider these practices for completing work-related tasks on time. Be sure to arrive on time for your scheduled classes – even during a zoom meeting, late arrivals can be disruptive. Begin by keeping a neat and tidy workspace as you would in a professional environment. Demonstrate appropriate time-management and organizational skills, allowing for the completion of tasks in a timely and effective manner.  
ConductYour conduct within the laboratory environment must adhere to standard health and safety protocols and the additional regulations of the specific labs. All food and drink are prohibited from the lab. There are to be no interactions that could pose a safety threat, such as horseplay or excessive noise. Keep professional conduct in mind during your classes and be aware that this will be an important part of your future career.

What is Academic Integrity?

Having academic integrity means acting fairly and honestly when engaging in academic activities. 

By having and applying an Academic  Offences Policy and Procedure, Conestoga ensures graduates complete their studies fairly and honestly through hard work and dedication, and thus are well-prepared for their future careers.

Copyright at Conestoga 

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

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is submitting or presenting work of another person(s)/organization in whole or substantial part as one's own without proper citation and referencing.

​​​​​​Academic Offences and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. It is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy described on the Policies and Procedures page. The Academic Offences Policy provides a detailed description of the following:

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

Please speak with a faculty member or your Program Coordinator if you have any further questions after reviewing the policy. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is essential and that it is your responsibility to know the Academic Offences Policy.

Below are a few examples to help you avoid breaching academic integrity:

  • Make sure you recognize information that requires referencing.
  • Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. See the Student Success Services website for assistance with formatting and referencing.
  • If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, make sure you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
  • Read the Academic Offences Policy and make sure that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.
  • If you require more information, see the Academic Integrity website

​​​​Safe Practice

Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who aims to become a healthcare professional.

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

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention:

  1. Your safety begins with the use of professional attire and footwear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.   
  2. Please help us create a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, ensuring laptop cords do not snake across walking areas, and reporting equipment or facility problems when you notice these.  
  3. Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioural conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.   
  4. Safe work practices are to be followed during all training. Follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a placement, your instructor will ensure that you know safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the instructor and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required.  
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. ​​

​​Student Protection Acknowledgement

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

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         
  • Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
  • Academic Offences Policy & Procedure ​
  • Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
  • Convocation Procedure
  • Co-operative Education Policy
  • Discontinuance Procedure
  • Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
  • Grading Procedure
  • Program and Course Withdrawal and Refund Procedure/International Student Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
  • Readmission Procedure
  • Religious Holiday Policy & Procedure
  • Student Expectations for Online Engagement
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure

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

​​​Professional Conduct - Use of technology

To support a respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placements, the use of technology for social networking can only occur during break times, before and after class, and during formal break time in field placement.

Social Media Policy

As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain your professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.

According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet." The same organization also indicates that "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment.

  • Assume the information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  • Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  • Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, faculty or field placements.
  • Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  • Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the expressed permission of all individuals involved.
  • Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  • Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences.
  • Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
  • Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

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

Cell Phone Policy

Students should respect their instructors, faculty and staff by not using their cell phones for personal use during class time.

Students can not bring their cell phone or technology device(s) into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. 

In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test, please speak to your faculty as soon as you enter the examination room. 

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

​Attendance and Punctuality

In light of the learning complexities and emphasis on skills obtained in the lab setting, it is imperative that students in the Biotechnology Technician program attend classroom, lab, and tutorial sections as scheduled. Health & Life Science Programs are centered around a competency-based curriculum with defined learning objectives that place a great deal of emphasis on the theoretical and practical skills required to enter the profession. Therefore, students who are absent from class or lab place themselves in academic jeopardy of meeting the competency-based learning objectives as stipulated by the program outcomes.

In order to be respectful to both fellow students and to faculty, students are expected to arrive on time for class and laboratory periods. Students who arrive 10 minutes after the laboratory period has begun will not be allowed to enter the lab as they will have missed all pertinent procedural and safety instructions. 

Missed Evaluations

There may be a reason in which you must be absent from class on the date of a scheduled assessment (test, quiz, laboratory exercise, in-class assignment etc.). Please read the following section carefully to ensure that you understand when it is appropriate to miss an evaluation and what the proper steps are for informing your instructor/professor of the absence.

Acceptable Reasons for Absence

  1. Illness: Students experiencing health concerns that prevent attendance should notify their professor of their absence in advance and may be asked present a certificate from a physician.
  2. Quarantine: Students who have been told to quarantine by Public Health should stay at home for the full amount of time specified. Absences must be reported on the Student Portal and the student should notify their professors by email.
  3. Compassionate Leave: Request for leaves of absence to attend to family illness, death or family problems are considered. These requests will be submitted to the professor who will consult with the Program Coordinator and Chair if necessary.
  4. Jury Duty: Any student who receives a summons for Jury Duty should bring the document to the Chair to assess if it can be arranged to have the subject excused if such duty interferes with the progress in the program.
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. It is the responsibility of the student to:
  • Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
  • Advise the faculty member that they will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.

Unacceptable Reasons for Absence

Vacation and work commitments are not acceptable reasons for missing a test/examination/lab or any other type of evaluation. Missing any type of assessment for any reason other than those listed in the "acceptable reasons for absence" section above will result in a grade of zero for the missed evaluation.

Reporting Absences

Notification for Absence from Evaluations:
Students are required to notify their instructor/professor of an absence from any evaluation, test, quiz, lab etc. for any reason. Alternative assessment arrangements will only be made if the notification procedure below is followed and the reason for the absence meets the above criteria for Acceptable Absences.

  • Notification must be received prior to the start of the evaluation.
  • Failure to do so will result in a mark of zero being assigned

Notification Procedure

Log into the student portal and click on the Absence tab and indicate that you will be absent from class on a day that has an evaluation. You will receive a confirmation email that you have recorded your absence for that day.

Note:

  • Your professor will be aware of your absence from an evaluation by your lack of attendance and because you have entered your absence using the online Absence Recording System on the Student Portal.
  • The Absence Recording System shows you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you record your absence. (For example, if you record your absence for that 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 then going to be present again for some later class, you will need to bring your presence to the attention of your Professor in that later class.)
  • The earliest that you may record your absence for a particular day is after 8:00 pm on the preceding day.

Follow-up after Reporting Your Absence from an Evaluation:

  • You must make contact immediately with faculty (via your Conestoga email address) to explain the reasons for your absence and to arrange an alternative assessment date assuming your absence is deemed valid.
  • If there is a concerning pattern of absence you will be asked to meet with the program coordinator. This may result in the need for you to provide documentation verifying the reason for your absence.
  • Faculty will then make alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate.
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled.
  • If the evaluation is to be conducted in the testing centre, you will be asked to show your student card before you are permitted to write the test.
  • Tests will be made up in the College Testing Centre in, or by individual arrangements with program faculty.

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 above Acceptable Reasons for Absence Section, and if the proper procedure for reporting the absence is followed (see Notification Procedure above): 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, documentation to verify your absence may be required for the absence to be considered valid.) All other lab absences, such as those that are not reported on the portal or those with illegitimate reasons for being away, will be considered invalid.  

Repeated laboratory absences are unacceptable. The Biotechnology Technician program is a skills-based program and without attendance in lab an individual cannot develop the hands-on competencies required to proceed through the program. If an individual is regularly absent from laboratory sessions (regardless of whether absences are for the same course, or span across several courses), this will result in a formal meeting with the program coordinator and program chair and could jeopardize an individual’s ability to receive a course credit regardless of their ability to achieve a passing grade in the course. 

NOTE: Missing 25% or more of lab periods in a course puts you in jeopardy of failing to meet the course standards. It is expected that those who are ill will follow proper procedure (as outlined above) to report their absence, and for these students, considerations will be made as to how to ensure course standards are met. However, any student who skips a lab, or chooses not to attend for an invalid reason, must recognize that course completion rests not only on final grades but on the completion of course competencies. Lab absences will result in failing to meet the required laboratory skill standards of a given course and could result in a student not earning the course credit. 

The following describes the impact on laboratory assessments in the event of a valid or invalid laboratory absence.

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

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

It is your responsibility to:

  • Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
  • Advise the faculty that you will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday. You will also make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Program Chair.

Test Procedures

In-Person Theory Exams:

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

On-Line or Remote Theory Exams:

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

Importance of Test and​​ Presentation Dates

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

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

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

Assignment Policies

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

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

  • Students are required to submit all written assignments on or before the date and time specified.
  • Students should anticipate problems that will necessitate an extension of time.
  • If an extension of time is required, students may make this request ahead of the assignment due date to the appropriate course instructor. NOTE: An extension of time may be given at the discretion of faculty. An extension will not be given if the request is made on the day the assignment is due.
  • Late assignments will be accepted but there will be a 10% penalty for each day the assignment is late up to three days. Assignments that are more than three days late will receive a grade of zero.
  • Assignments are to be submitted according to the submission guidelines and in the format as outlined by the professor. 

Submitting Assignments Outside of Class Time

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

  1. Provide an electronic copy of your assignment to the faculty as per faculty instructions. 
  2. Contact Faculty by email to alert them that you have submitted your assignment. 
  3. Bring the hard copy of the assignment with an attached copy of the email you sent to the faculty member to the 4B reception area and submit into the Assignment Drop Box by the Receptionist desk.

Working Together on Group Assignments

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

Faculty Returning Tests & Assignments

In order to support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Faculty will inform students in class how/when tests and assignments and/or marks will be returned. Please note that some tests may be retained by faculty. Students who have questions about tests/assignments/grades should follow the process outlined below:
  • At least 24 hours after receiving the mark and within 7 days, write a note to the faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required;
  • Initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss the matter; and
  • Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment.

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

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

General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work​

For specific course requirements, refer to the Course Schedule and Evaluation Methods information provided in course outlines. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss this with your faculty.

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

  • Typewritten
  • Double spaced and one sided
  • Submitted using font size of 12 CPI and standard 1" margins
  • Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check)
  • Handed in securely fastened with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted
  • Handed in at the beginning of class on the designated due date in class, unless otherwise indicated by instructor
  • Formatted using APA@Conestoga

Conestoga 101

The Student Engagement Department is here to help you transition to the Conestoga College experience, connect with your community, and build your skills. 

Start your college experience by completing Conestoga 101 (CON0101) on eConestoga, a mandatory course for all new full-time students that will take you approximately one hour to complete. CON0101 provides an overview of the supports, services, and opportunities available to you throughout your time at Conestoga. Make sure you complete it early on in the term, as it contains valuable information that will help you transition to Conestoga.

Academic Progress Through the Program


Achievement

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.

Course Add/Drop

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

  1. Log in to the Student Portal
  2. Click on the "My Courses" tab
  3. Scroll over the icons to the right of individual course listings. It is strongly recommended that students consult their Program Coordinator and/or Academic Advisor prior to dropping a course.

Academic Probation

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

Reason for Student Progress Being Reviewed by Promotion Committee

Students who fail to meet program standards will be reviewed by the Promotion Committee.

Reasons for presentation at Promotion Committee Meetings include:

  • Failure of a theory course and/or practice course.
  • Patterns of absence from online learning environment or WIL experience, which may affect achieving program standards.
  • Failure to follow through on previous Promotion Committee recommendations.

A student who has not met the standards will not be promoted to the next level of the program:

  • Complete supplemental requirements for course failures (see criteria for writing of supplemental examinations). Following successful completion of supplemental work, the highest course grade that can be achieved is the minimum passing mark for the course.
  • Follow through with counselling (academic and/or personal).
  • Follow through with health measures as recommended.
  • Complete makeup work for missed learning experiences. Total time lost will be assessed on an individual basis. Additional time may be required to complete program objectives.
  • Complete the requirements of Probationary Status.
  • Complete compulsory practice remedial assignments.

Clearance of Academic Deficiency

A student that is unsuccessful in a course may be granted the opportunity to complete supplemental requirements. Students who are unsuccessful in a course and wish to discuss eligibility for supplemental opportunity must directly contact the course instructor within five (5) working days of receiving the final course grade.

Please note that following the end of the semester, contact with any student eligible to write a supplemental will be made either by phone or email. A specific date and time will be given to each student. If a student cannot be reached or is unavailable at the specified date and time, the student forfeits the opportunity to write a supplemental. 

Supplemental Work

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 a final course grade lower than 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 supplemental evaluation will not be granted for a course in which a student has received an academic offence. An academic incident resulting in a warning is not considered an academic offence. 

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

Regulation

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 examination 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.
If the student is successful in receiving a passing grade on the supplemental work, they will be granted the course credit and their grade will be upgraded to the minimal passing grade assigned to the course (60% for all Biotechnology courses). 

Any changes to the above regulations will be made with approval by the Program Chair.

Procedure

  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.

Discontinuance

Students who fail to meet the program standards (academically, clinically, or ethically) will be discontinued from the program, based on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee and agreement from the Associate Chair. Students will be discontinued when they are no longer eligible to repeat a course based on academic regulations or as a result of failure to meet program standards for behaviour or ethics. Such students will be entitled to appeal the discontinuance decision in accordance with the College's appeal process.

Withdrawal

Students not planning to return to the program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available from the registrar's office, or on the college website.

Program Transfer

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


Appeal

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

Discontinuance - Program Standard

Students who have been 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. A Learning Contract will be developed during this meeting which the student will sign. Students who are on a Learning Contract are considered to be on Academic Probation.

Academic probation may involve a special timetable and/or academic conditions. Special timetables and academic conditions are designed as part of the formal Learning Contract that the student, the 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.

In accordance with the Clearance of Academic Deficiency policy students will remain on Academic Probation until the requirements of their Learning Contract have been met. All students on Academic Probation will be reviewed by the Promotion Committee at the end of every semester. 

Part-Time Studies – students who have been discontinued from the program cannot re-enter the program as a part-time student and take courses from a level higher than the level from which they were discontinued. For example, if a student was discontinued at the end of Level 2, they cannot take courses from Level 3 or 4 as a part-time student.

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

Voluntary Withdrawal

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 may decide to withdraw.​

The need for an extended personal leave or financial constraints may be necessary reasons for a student to pursue 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 their intention to withdraw from the program.

Readmission to a Program

Students are required to apply for readmission when they have been absent from their program for one semester or longer (unless an Intention Form has been completed by 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 and must pay careful attention to any program changes that may be imposed by their admission to the current program of study. 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.​​

​​​Graduation

Students who complete their program are required to fill out an Application to Graduate form and submit it with payment to the Registrar's Office. Students who are discontinued or have withdrawn and then return to the college will be placed in the current program design and must meet all requirements to graduate. Students will receive an invitation for convocation through the Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the winter, spring, and fall of each academic year.

General Education Electives

Students are required to complete General Education elective courses as part of their program requirements. General Education elective course requirements are listed at the bottom of the progress report, which is found on the Student Portal under My Courses. The progress report indicates the level/semester in which the course must be taken. Students are responsible for adding General Education electives into their schedule for the designated semester. Eligible courses are posted each semester by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies on the College's elective website. For more information and to view the current elective course offerings, visit https://www.conestogac.on.ca/electives/diploma. Questions regarding General Education electives can be directed to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies: genedfaq@conestogac.on.ca

​​​​Process for resolution of student concerns

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

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

Additional Information for Students - Dropping Courses and Transfer Credits

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 plan to drop a course, you must do so within the time period. If you have missed that time period, please see the Program Coordinator and they will advise you as to your options. Not attending does not constitute an official dropping of a course and will result in a grade of "F".
  • If you have completed courses from a college or university that you think may be very similar in content to courses in the 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 they receive the exemption as they 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 if applicable. To access the forms, students need to visit the WIL Document Services Community in myConestoga and see Consent Forms tab. 

Student Awards

Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available through our partnerships with local businesses, industry leaders, and generous donors. To be considered for an award, you will need to complete the General Application form through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts. For more information, please visit Student Financial Services. ​​

Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours

​​​Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2022

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

Back on campus

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

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

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

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

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

College Hours

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

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

Web-based Tools

​Program courses may use web-based services with data centres outside of Canada. Students may be expected to complete assessments where information is transmitted outside of Canada. Students who do not wish to submit their information to other countries have the right to opt-out. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit an alternate assignment.

Course examinations may be administered through a remote proctoring service to assure academic integrity. Ensure that you meet the system requirements that will allow the recording of your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

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

Attendance for Evaluations

Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend.  If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.

Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.

While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.  

In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:

Faculty Responsibilities

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

Student Responsibilities

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

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

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

Important! Please note the following:

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

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations

Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances, such as brief illness, do arise during the term. As a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary or possible, we do not ask you to provide a doctor's note except in exceptional circumstances. If you are absent from a scheduled evaluation, you must:                  

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

B. Make Alternative Evaluation Arrangements 

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

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

Program Handbook Revision Log

​​​Last Revised

​By Whom
​June 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
​July 8, 2019
​Julia Rodricks
​July 10, 2020
​Beth Davidson
​July 22, 2021
​​Beth Davidson
​June 17, 2022​Beth Davidson

Accommodation Disclaimer

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

Conestoga's Accessible Learning services provide support for students with permanent and temporary disabilities who feel they are encountering barriers to learning. They work with students to understand the impact of a disability in the college environment and will help develop a success plan that considers student goals and required academic accommodations. Accessible Learning will also communicate necessary accommodations to professors on behalf of the student. 

To consult with an Accessibility Advisor about accommodations please make an appointment by emailing accessibility@conestogac.on.ca or calling 519-748-5220 ext. 3232.

Exceptions for non-accessibility focused issues need to be consulted on with your professor. Final approval for exceptions unrelated to academic accommodations rests with the program chair.

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