Hearing Instrument Specialist

2022/23 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1176
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 Hearing Instrument Specialist Student:

Congratulations on your acceptance to the Hearing Instrument Specialist Program, you have chosen a wonderful career choice.

This handbook has been prepared to provide information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the Hearing Instrument Specialist Program (HIS). Reading, understanding and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your continued success in this program and your chosen profession. The handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your two years at the College. If you do not understand any of the information in this handbook, please ask the Faculty or the Program Coordinator for an explanation.

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

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

In addition to the Hearing Instrument Specialist Program standards and procedures handbook, the Conestoga College Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow. The Hearing Instrument Specialist Student Information handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga College Student Guide.

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

All the very best to you in your studies,

Sincerely,​

Dianna Fong-Lee, Interim ​Chair, Health Sciences

Calvin Staples, Hearing​ Instrument Specialist Program Coordinator/​HIS Program Faculty

Program Overview

​​Program Description

The HIS program prepares students to test hearing, select and fit hearing aids for adults, repair and verify hearing aids, counsel hearing loss and hearing aid patients, and recommend the use of other assistive listening devices when appropriate.

The program curriculum includes courses in: acoustics and perception of sound, anatomy and physiology of the ear, measurement of hearing sensitivity, digital and analog hearing-aid electronics, acoustic signal processing, hearing-aid programming and fitting, manufacturer fitting software, counselling and professional ethics. Simulated clinical scenarios and clinical field placement will enable students to apply knowledge and skills to the reality of the work environment.

After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to write provincial examinations and in the province of Ontario are required to complete 1,000 hours of supervised practice prior to achieving full HIS membership with the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP). In order to complete the 1,000 hours of supervised practice, the student must pay their AHIP membership dues in full and provide proof of professional liability insurance.

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 adult learners with the goal of entering autonomous clinical practice as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, it is important that you take responsibility for your own learning in the Program. As Faculty, we believe that students deserve to be treated with respect and that it is our role to support you in your learning journey. 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 an instructor who truly cares about their success. Caring about student success means that instructors should acknowledge different learning styles and interests.

We understand that you are working hard to achieve your goal of preparing to enter a healthcare setting. Because of this, we aim to engage you with knowledge and skills that you will be able to apply in your future program. 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 Hearing Instrument Specialist 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 a professional educational setting, including responsibility for self and one's own actions, honesty, integrity, and punctuality,
  • Designing courses, lab and simulation​ experiences to support students in obtaining the skills necessary to succeed in future programs,
  • Providing a variety of learning experiences, and using a variety of evaluation methods,
  • Incorporating simulated experiences to create a real-life learning environment,
  • 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.

Program Outcomes

Successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:

  1. Assess the hearing levels of the client and fit hearing aids using an understanding of sound, the sense of hearing and the causes of hearing loss from an anatomical/physiological standpoint.
  2. Act as an integral member of the hearing health care team that includes audiologists, primary care physicians, ear, nose, and throat physicians and the various other allied health care professionals that support the patients the HIS serves.
  3. Administer and interpret appropriate tests of hearing, known as "audiometry".
  4. Integrate audiometric test findings in order to determine optimal hearing aid fittings.
  5. Select appropriate hearing aids from specific manufacturers for subsequent fittings of specific degrees and frequency configurations of hearing loss. Verify hearing aid performance using Real-Ear measurements.
  6. Measure and interpret electro-acoustic hearing aid function, according to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) test procedures.
  7. Refer clients who require audiological or medical intervention to appropriate specialists.
  8. Apply the knowledge of Ontario's Assistive Devices Program, and of other hearing aid financial assistance services when required in order to meet the needs of the hearing loss client.
  9. Articulate the challenges facing hearing instrument specialists who wish to establish a private practice.
  10. Assess the psycho-social implications of hearing loss on the hard of hearing and counsel appropriately.
  11. Practice in a competent manner the theory and skills requisite to function as a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
  12. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills related to essential employability skills including numeracy, literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, learning how to learn, teamwork and communication.

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

It is the expectation of all students, Faculty, and administration that health care practitioners will incorporate and function within the Standards of Conduct for Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

​Program Design

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

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

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

Credit Transfer, Pathways & PLAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

​Employment Opportunities​

Graduates of this program will test hearing, select and fit hearing aids for adults, repair and verify hearing aids, and recommend the use of other assistive listening devices when appropriate. The scope of practice for the HIS is confined to the treatment of hearing loss for the adult population, whose members present with no medical reason to counter-indicate the use of hearing aids. The HIS typically finds employment in private practice, larger retail chains, the hearing-aid manufacturing sector, and periodically in the hospital setting.

2020 KPI data indicates that 88% of graduates are working in their​ field of study.

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

Relationships

​​Communication and Contact Information

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

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

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

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

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

Technical Requirements

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

​​​Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Hearing Instrument Specialist Program
HIScoordinator@conestogac.on.ca

Each of your Faculty members will notify you of the best method for contacting them as well as any office hours the instructor holds for meeting with students.

AHIP (Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners)

Graduates of the HIS program must become members of the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP) in order to practice in the province of Ontario. Each student will be provided direct information from AHIP, with supportive documentation from the program Coordinator outlining the processes and policies in order to become a member. At the completion of the fourth semester, the Program Coordinator will inform AHIP of the names of those ​who successfully complete the HIS diploma program. ​Additionally, once they have successfully completed their Conestoga College Hearing Instrument Specialist program, each student must complete a 1,000-hour clinical internship administered and governed soley by AHIP. Each student that wishes to practice in the province of Ontario must also successfully pass the International Licensing Exam, which AHIP administers. The exam is required to become a full member of AHIP.

​​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


What is Academic Integrity?

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

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

Copyright at Conestoga 

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

Plagiarism

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

​​​​​​Academic Offences and Plagiarism

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

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

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

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

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

​​​​Safe Practice

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

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

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention:

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

​​Student Protection Acknowledgement

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

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

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

Conestoga 101

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

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

​​​Professional Conduct - Use of technology

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

Social Media Policy

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

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

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

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

Cell Phone Policy

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

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

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

Cowan Health Sciences Centre and Lab Spaces

Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all students

In order to maintain all labs as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn. This dress code aims to ensure the safety of the student, faculty and staff and prepare for the clinical environment.   The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.

All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab.

Dress Requirements

  • Lab coat, scrubs or clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean).
    • Note: the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning requires full clinical uniform to be worn as per BScN Handbook
  • Closed toe, closed heel shoes as per Occupational Health & Safety requirements.
  • Hair tied back, up and secured.
  • No rings, necklaces or dangling earrings
    • A pair of studs may be worn.
    • A plain wedding band may be worn
  • Nails should be kept neat and short; artificial nails and nail polish are not allowed.
  • No hats to be worn (exceptions related to the Human Rights Code).
  • No denim or sweat pants.
  • Nametags must be worn.
  • Scented products (perfume, scented aftershave, hair products) must not be worn.
  • Personal hygiene products such as deodorant should be used but unscented.
  • No gum chewing is permitted in clinical, lab or community settings.

Requests for accommodations of this policy (e.g. for religious or disability reasons) will be considered within the Conestoga College Policy or Human Rights framework.
Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper handwashing/hygiene is in effect.
While every effort is made to maintain a latex-free environment in the clinical learning centre, students must be aware that the centre and clinical placement areas are not latex-free environments.
**Please note: Lab practice expectations including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), will follow College policies and will be described and demonstrated in detail, at the semester start.

Uniform Standards

As a Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) student or Faculty member, it is important to present in a professional manner, particularly when in a clinical setting (community or health care institution). A professional demeanour and appearance are important in establishing effective working relationships with clients and colleagues. Given that most clients seen by the HIS are elderly, students should adhere to dressing in a manner that is respectful of their sensibilities. As a guest in any placement site providing clinical experience, it is important to always act and dress appropriately.

When students are at Field Placement locations, they represent the college and represent that Clinical Site to their clients. For this reason, individual clinical locations may have their own dress codes, to which students must adhere. Students should contact the clinical preceptor prior to arriving on their first day, to ensure that they comply with any required dress code. 

General guidelines for HIS laboratory and clinical placement sites include:​

  • Dress as required by the clinical site. This is usually semi-formal/business attire.
  • Long or short-sleeved dress shirt, golf shirt or similar; no collarless T-shirts; no logos on shirts. Dress or plain casual slacks, no jeans.
  • Shirts and pants must be high/long enough to cover the midriff, even when bending or reaching.
  • Some placement sites may require a lab jacket over a clean, unwrinkled blouse or shirt with a tie.
  • Clean, preferably light comfortable shoes with closed toes and heels.
  • Jewelry must be kept to a minimum and not compromise the safety of yourself or your clients. For example, consider wearing one pair of tiny studs in ears and nose and a plain band on the finger with no stones or etching. While at the clinical placement, all other facial piercing, including tongue piercing must be removed. Medical alert bracelets are permitted.
  • Hair length and style must conform to the rules of the placement site. It is expected that long hair will be tied back, off the collar and controlled securely. Hair colour should be of a natural shade.
  • Nails should be kept short and neat looking. Nail polish, if worn, must be clear or nude. Artificial nails are not permitted.
  • Scented products (perfume, scented aftershave) must not be worn.
  • No gum chewing is permitted in clinical, lab or community settings.
  • Faculty and/or Clinical Preceptors reserve the right to ask students who do not conform to the uniform policy to leave the clinical, community or lab setting. Time missed must then be made up by the student.

Access to HIS Laboratory (F-Wing 1F37)

The HIS lab is located in the lower level of the new F-Wing and is designed to be a place where students can hone their clinical skills. The HIS students are permitted access to the lab outside of traditional class time but must follow Conestoga College COVID-19 protocols.​ The students however are only granted access through the following channels:

  • Program Coordinator informs Security and F-Wing Manager of students permitted to use the lab.
  • Lab can be accessed using the student ONE Card.  Access is obtained by tapping the ONE card on the electronic pad outside the lab door.
  • Inform their program coordinator of their intention to use the lab by filling out the lab activities log.
  • Ensure lab is locked and maintained in good condition.
  • Will not perform any acts they do not have training or are not considered within their scope of practice. Students may not practice earmold impressions without a faculty member present.
  • A student cannot be in the Hearing Health Lab (1F37) alone.

There is no food or drink allowed in the HIS Lab.

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

​​​Class Attendance

  • Students are encouraged to attend all theory, lab, simulation and practical-based classes. The faculty recognize from time to time students will face scheduling conflicts or may need to miss a class or lab. Students must make up any missed lab time, by attending additional labs throughout the semester. Students must participate in any assigned simulation learning events. All labs assignments and skills and assigned simulations must be completed in order to successfully pass laboratory based courses.   Students absent from class or lab place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning objectives stipulated by the program.
  • In a synchronous online virtual course, students are encouraged to be on time and keep their cameras on for the duration of the class. Students should follow the Student Expectations for Online Learning.
  • The Conestoga College Hearing Instrument Specialist program uses Simulation-based training to enhance clinical readiness. Each student must participate in their assigned simulated experiences prior to entering their clinical placements. Additionally, each student must demonstrate entry-level proficiency in the lab skills taught throughout the program prior to entering clinical placement.  

​​​Religious Holidays

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

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

It is your responsibility to:

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

Test Procedures

In-Person Theory Exams:

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

On-Line or Remote Theory Exams:

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

Importance of Test and​​ Presentation Dates

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

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

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

Assignment Policies

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

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

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

Submitting Assignments Outside of Class Time

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

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

Working Together on Group Assignments

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

Faculty Returning Tests & Assignments

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

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

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

General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work​

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

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

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

Practice Assignments

Similar expectations apply to the clinical experience. Clinical assignments must be completed competently and within the allocated time or other arrangements should be made with the instructor/clinical preceptor.

Practice assignments are a course expectation and must be completed at a satisfactory level for the student to be satisfactory in HIS practice.

Weighting of Courses

Students will find specific information regarding the allocation of marks for each semester or course in the student packages and course outlines.

Academic Progress Through the Program


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

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

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

Theoretical Standards
Standard Rationale

Standard 1

The student is expected to complete all course requirements.

The Ministry of College and Universities (MCU) and also, the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP) of Ontario set provincial educational standards that must be met by the HIS Program. Course requirements are completed in accordance with these standards.

Standard 2

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

 

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

Standard 3

The student must have completed all courses (including interdisciplinary studies courses) of all previous semesters in order to be promoted into the pre-graduate clinical consolidation (semester 4) 

​Pre-Graduate Clinical Consolidation (FPLT2160) provide students with the opportunity to integrate and consolidate all learning from previous semesters/courses in meeting the standards of practice. 

Practice Standards
Standard Rationale

Standard 4

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

 

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

Standard 5

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

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

Standard 6

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

 

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

Standard 7

Regular attendance at field placement sites is mandatory to achieve a "pass" in practice experiences.

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

Standard 8

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

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

Achievement

Students must attain a minimum 65% passing grade in all Hearing Instrument Specialist courses.

Course Add/Drop

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

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

Academic Probation

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

Reason for Student Progress Being Reviewed by Promotion Committee

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

Reasons for presentation at Promotion Committee Meetings include:

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

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

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

Clearance of Academic Deficiency

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

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

Supplemental Work

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

Criteria for Eligibility to Write Supplemental Examinations

  1. No more than two supplemental exams throughout the program and no more than one supplemental per course will be offered.
  2. For the purposes of determining supplemental eligibility, repeating a failed course counts as a supplemental in that course.
  3. The student must have passed at least one test/exam in the course.
  4. The student must have achieved a final course grade of 50% or within 10% of the required pass mark, whichever is the higher standard.  Therefore, for courses with 65% pass, the student must have achieved 55%.
  5. There must be no academic misconduct on record related to the failed course (e.g. plagiarism)
  6. A student who attains a course grade of less than 55% for a vocational course will not be offered a supplemental in that course.

In addition, the following will also be considered by the committee:

  • Attendance in class, lab, and practice experiences.
  • Previous academic history.
  • Current clinical practice performance.
  • Demonstration of professional behaviour.​

Students who are in jeopardy or those that could potentially be granted a supplemental exam opportunity are recommended to be available to take their supplemental exam the week following the final exam week in the given semester. The hearing instrument specialist program supplemental exams will take place the week following the exam week.

A supplemental exam is not remediation and is considered an opportunity to re-take an evaluation in order to prove competency. Students may be granted this opportunity on short notice. The HIS faculty recommends students in jeopardy continue to study until their grades have been posted.

NOTE:

  • A fee is to be paid to the Registrar's Office prior to completing the supplemental work.
  • If the student successfully completes the supplemental work for the course, the failing course grade will be upgraded to the minimal passing grade of 65% for the Program.

Discontinuance

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

Withdrawal

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

Program Transfer

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


Appeal

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

Readmission to the Program

A student who has withdrawn or been discontinued from the program may apply to be readmitted. Readmission is not guaranteed and is based on previous performance and seat availability in the desired semester.

A student who has been out of the program for more than 12 months may be required to successfully complete theory and/or skill challenge testing.

Re-admission to the program will be dependent upon:

  1.  Re-application for admission.
  2.  Availability of seats in the semester.
  3.  Previous program performance - both academic and practical.
  4. Completion of requirements for re-admission, if any.

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

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

​​​Graduation

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

General Education Electives

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

​​​​Process for resolution of student concerns

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

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

 Additional Information for Students

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

  • Your Conestoga Student Guide provides detailed information about dropping courses. If you are planning to drop a course, you must do so within the time period. If you have missed that time period, please see the Program Coordinator and discuss 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 Hearing Instrument Specialist program, you may be eligible for a course exemption. (Please note that to receive an exemption, courses must have been completed within the past seven years and with a passing grade of 65%). If you would like to proceed with a request for exemptions, please contact your Program Coordinator for guidance. Please note that exemptions will not be processed until a student is registered in the Program. The exemption process will take some time (two-three weeks), and students should attend all scheduled courses until they receive the exemption as they will be responsible for all material covered in class should the exemption be denied.
  • If you feel you have acquired the knowledge and skill presented in a specific course (including placement) without taking that course in an academic institution, you may wish to investigate Prior Learning Assessment (PLAR). Please consult a Continuing Education Calendar, available on the Conestoga website, for details.

Work-Integrated Learning Experiences

​​​​​Student Consent Forms

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

Students are responsible for completing all of the required hours of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) placement to successfully complete this program. All financial costs related to WIL placement are the responsibility of the student., including transportation and relocation.

WIL Placement Requirements​

Students must complete mandatory work-integrated learning (WIL) health and safety requirements prior to student WIL experiences. Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for WIL experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:   

  • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS).  Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in WIL experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the agency's discretion; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date.
  • Standard first aid and CPR Level C.
  • Vaccination Note: Some placements may require verification of COVID-19 vaccinations prior to placement entry.

Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)

All students who participate in unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on WIL experience. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to WIL experience sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.

WSIB

Prior to your first WIL experience, you must electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) while you are on training WIL experiences. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your WIL experience.

Concerns Regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients

WIL experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment. These WIL experiences have been organized by your program in partnership with the organization where you are placed.

The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during the WIL experience.

A. Communication of General Concerns regarding Your Safety or The Safety and Care/Service for Clients

  1. Students will be provided with an Orientation to their WIL site on the first day of their WIL experience. The Orientation may include details of the WIL site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and /or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.
  2. If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:

a. The student must immediately report these concerns to the College individual associated with the WIL experience (Clinical Instructor, Faculty responsible for your WIL experience, WIL Supervisor).

b. The Clinical Instructor /Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss this concern with Site Management

c. For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Program Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact WIL site management to determine next steps.

Should facility policies require that WIL experience students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to WIL site management, the student should report to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer immediately afterward.

B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during a WIL Experience

  1. Should students experience a personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the WIL Employer and Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor. The WIL Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required. The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will notify the Program Coordinator and Chair and complete an Unpaid Work/Education Placement-Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the College's Occupational Health & Safety Office. Where necessary, the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.

C. Reporting of Student Involvement in Situations of Possible Injury to Clients during a WIL Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property

  1. Should students be involved in care/service situations where the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of the WIL site, this concern must be immediately reported to the WIL Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor. The faculty will discuss this immediately with the WIL site and ensure that an incident report is completed. the faculty must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform College officials accordingly.
  2. Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources/physical property at the WIL site, this concern must be reported immediately to the WIL Site and to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer. The faculty will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.

Guiding Principles and Policies for WIL Placement

Placement Site Locations

The clinical experience for the HIS Program students is FPLT2160, which occurs during Level 4 (4th semester). A mission of the HIS Program is to increase hearing health care accessibility. Students from the KW area will be strongly encouraged to complete their Pre-Graduate Clinical Consolidation in sites that are not within this area or strongly encouraged to locate their own practical experience. Additionally, students are encouraged to complete their practical placement outside of the province of Ontario. Students shall have a formal professional resume and cover letter completed prior to entering level three (year two) of the HIS Program. The WIL placement for the HIS student is an unpaid work experience.

Finances and Transportation

Finances and transportation issues are not taken into account in the assignment of placements. Students are responsible for independently arranging and financing any housing and transportation costs for placements. Students are advised that access to a car or relocation are requirements for WIL placements.

Some of the WIL placement locations are within the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, however, some placements are further away. There are no guarantees that all locations will be accessible by public transportation. All efforts are made to assist students by placing them in locations that will not put undue stress on them. However, all students should realize that they are responsible for arranging their own transportation and/or relocation to the facility to fulfill the WIL placement requirements.

Confirmation of Placement Times, Dates and Location

Every effort will be made to confirm placement location as well as times as early as possible. Given the limited number of placements, students must be prepared for changes even up to a few days before the placement starts.

Student Responsibilities

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

  • Satisfactorily completed all required courses in the Hearing Instrument Specialist curriculum.
  • Met pre-placement health requirements, including OHS 1320 - Safety in the Workplace.
  • Completed all required WSIB insurance forms.
  • Completed the Vulnerable Sector Police check, which will be administrated from the Workplace-Integrated Learning (WIL) Document Services department and must be completed prior to beginning their clinical rotation.
  • Complete First Aid and CPR training.

Students may be expected to comply with other requirements that may be asked in certain settings, such as criminal reference checks.

WIL Placement Preparation Sessions

These in-class sessions will be scheduled throughout the term and prior to the start of the first WIL placement. Additionally, the Career Services department is a valuable resource for students learning how to properly craft a resume or cover letter. These sessions will address the following:

  • How to write an introductory letter to the facility
  • Student obligations with respect to attendance, professional behaviour, dress code and confidentiality
  • Performance goals and learning objectives
  • Method of evaluating student performance
  • Facility Evaluation
  • Tips on communicating with on-site or off-site supervising therapists

Withdrawal from Placement

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

WIL Placement Evaluations

An evaluation of progress mid-way should be conducted by the preceptor in writing and verbally. Strengths and weaknesses are identified and suggestions are made to help students achieve their goals. The student and/or the preceptor will report unsatisfactory student performance immediately to the Program Coordinator. Problem areas will be identified, suggestions for improved performance will be outlined, and alternative solutions will be explored towards the goal of improved performance during the remainder of the placement.

WIL Placement Grades

Final WIL placement grade is pass/fail.

Safety in the Hearing Instrument Specialist Lab

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe work and study environment. Over half of the courses in the HIS Program will require the use of the HIS Laboratory which provides a controlled learning environment in which students develop skills related to client care prior to applying these skills safely in various practice settings. It is the student's responsibility to follow guidelines for safety once they have been taught.

  • Maintaining the lab environment is critical for its effective usage. Please be sure to wash hands thoroughly before and after using any piece of lab equipment on your fellow students. Students should use proper PPE as identified by the College. Clean up after using the lab equipment. Put all supplies back in the places where they each belong.
  • Purses, money, coats, knapsacks, and extra books are to be left in your lockers. Avoid leaving these personal items in the lab. The College is not responsible for the loss of these items.
  • Students are responsible for the replacement of deliberately damaged equipment in the lab or at clinical placement sites.
  • Due to safety considerations, students will not be allowed in the HIS lab without an additional​ classmate or the presence of a Faculty member from the HIS Program. Any additional lab access wil be subject to any Public Health restrictions.
  • Some lab equipment is intended to be signed out and taken home by students for their individual practice. Sign-out sheets for this purpose will be provided. Students can sign out a piece of lab equipment provided an instructor witnesses and signs the sheet along with the student. In this way, lab equipment can be easily tracked for safekeeping. All materials borrowed by instructor and students for use outside the lab must be signed for and returned to the lab in good condition within the specified time.
  • Hearing Aids may not be removed from the lab.
  • Lab equipment that can be signed out includes:
    1. Portable audiometers,
    2. Handheld otoscopes,
    3. Hearing Aid Manufacturer Fitting Software.
  • Students must not perform earmold impressions or any form of cerumen management without the proper supervisor of a faculty member.

Safety is Ensured by Adhering to Rules & Regulations in the HIS Lab

The HIS field of practice involves testing of hearing (audiometry), appropriate referrals (to an Audiologist or Physician), and subsequent fitting of hearing aids or assistive listening devices. As such, the same field of practice presents with very few clinical situations that call for alarm or emergency action. Below, however, are a few items to consider:

  • Food and beverages and smoking are strictly forbidden in the laboratory.
  • Eye protection must be worn when grinding or buffing hearing aids (Starkey Workstation)
  • Hair and loose clothing must be secured prior to working near the Starkey Workstation and grinder.
  • All instances of borrowing of portable audiometers and otoscopes and Dremel drills are to be recorded in the Laboratory Notebook. It is understood that the length of borrowing time is one week unless otherwise arranged by the lab instructor.

It is expected that individuals will conduct themselves in a professional manner in the laboratory setting. This includes arriving on time and prepared for the laboratory session, maintaining a clean and organized workplace, returning materials and equipment when not in use, exercising caution when working with hazardous materials and/or equipment, and being considerate of other students.

For personal safety, make note of fire escape routes, the location of fire extinguishers.

Lab Resources (Current at time of publication)

  • Five sound booths with audiometers for hearing testing or audiometry.
  • Four portable audiometers intended for individual student practice.
  • Five tympanometers.
  • One otoacoustic emissions system.
  • Two video otoscopes.
  • Five real ear (probe tube) measurement systems.
  • Five laptop computers and two desktop computers for simulated audiometry and hearing aid manufacturer fitting software.
  • One document camera for hearing aid troubleshooting and repair service.
  • One hearing aid repair workstation.
  • Earmold material, syringes, oto-blocks, and ear lights (three).
  • Various "consumable" supplies (ER-3A ear tips, BTE earmold tubing, batteries, etc).

Lab or Psychomotor Skills for HIS Program

For the HIS Program, the purpose of lab training is to train students how to perform specific psychomotor skills which are found in HIS clinical settings. The purpose of class labs is not specifically to add experience to the ability to perform these skills. It is expected that further experience and consequent speed at performance will be accrued in the clinical placement (FPLT2060) of the HIS Program. Before specific skills can be assigned and performed in a clinical setting, however, satisfactory performance in the lab setting must be achieved. This guide is intended to clarify the expectations teachers have of student's performance of laboratory/psychomotor skills.

Criteria for Lab/Psychomotor Skills

In order to be considered satisfactory in the performance of psychomotor skills, students must meet certain criteria. Some criteria are appropriate for all skills, and some are more specific to a particular skill. The following are criteria for all psychomotor skills:

  • Be prepared to discuss the principles for any of the actions performed, at teacher's request.
  • The procedure must be carried out in an organized logical sequence and accomplish the goal.
  • The procedure must be carried out in a reasonable amount of time (according to specific criteria).
  • Principles relating to the comfort and safety of the client must be followed.
  • The student must demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour and communication skills.
  • The student must be able to demonstrate the ability to complete all laboratory skills prior to being able to enter a student placement site. 

Student's Responsibilities Regarding Psychomotor Skills

  • To know what equipment is required to carry out the skills and how to handle it correctly.
  • To bring all required forms/lab manuals to the lab (evaluation forms, chart forms, etc.).
  • To ask the teacher for assistance as necessary.
  • To practice the laboratory technical skills in the lab outside of regularly scheduled lab/class time.
  • To restore the lab and/or the equipment to its former position following use.

Occupational Health & Safety Office General Information

This department is available to students, staff and faculty. The objectives of this department are to:

1.         Monitor the health status of personnel and maintain health records.
2.         Provide health teaching and health counselling.
3.         Promote a healthy and safe work and study environment, thus reducing absenteeism.

Each student must have Health Insurance coverage and/or an Ontario Health Card.

Accident /Incident Reports

A college Unpaid Work/Education Placement Accident/Incident Report is to be completed with accuracy by the Program Coordinator with the student at the time of the accident/incident. The Report is to be forwarded to the Occupational Health and Safety Manager within 24 hours of the Accident/Incident. The Hospital Report must also be filled out in accordance with hospital/agency policy.

Students are covered by College Insurance.

Lack of Compliance to Health and Safety Regulations

Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner will be asked to leave the HIS Lab.

Part Time Work

While students are enrolled in the HIS Program:

  • Assigned functions and responsibilities within any clinical placement site in which they are employed will not be recognized by the College in any form or fashion.
  • The College does not assume responsibility for student performance while they work part-time in a clinical placement site.
  • Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College logo.
  • Students should realize that historically students who work a lot of part-time hours are less successful in the program.
  • If a highly contagious outbreak occurs and a student is employed in a health care agency, their employment hours and/or clinical placement hours may be directly affected dependent on the clinical placement site's Infection Control Policy.

Transportation and Parking

It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for transportation to scheduled practice experiences. ALL students will be placed in a variety of agencies. Car-pooling is recommended.

Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for parking at the College or clinical agencies and for the payment of parking fees.

Information regarding parking will be presented during orientation sessions. ​

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

Program Revision Log
​ ​​Last Revised By Whom
June 18, 2015 Paul Finch
June 26, 2015 Jillian Grant
May 20, 2016 Paul Finch
May 30, 2016 Nicole Dorscht
​June 9, 2017 ​Jillian Grant
​June 1, 2018 ​Wendy Dunbar
​July 8, 2019
​Julia Rodricks
​July 13, 2020
​Beth Davidson
​July 9, 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.

Hearing Instrument Specialist