Mental Health and Substance Use

2021/22 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1401
Community Services

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

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

COVID-19 and 2021-22 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 remote and 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.

Welcome

To the School of Community Services

The pursuit of post-secondary education is an important decision, and we are honoured that you have chosen a program at Conestoga in the School of Community Services. 

Here at Conestoga, you will learn from program teams who are dedicated to your success. These teams have extensive community services, academic and research experience. They will work with you as you develop the practical knowledge and theoretical skills required to launch your future career.

As part of your learning experience, we are proud to provide you with state-of-the-art learning facilities that include college-operated child and youth development centres, an on-campus EMS station and a high fidelity live fire training site. Through these facilities, you will have multiple opportunities to engage in active learning experiences that will build your skills and develop the critical thinking required to solve problems and help shape your successful future.

I invite you to plan for success from day one - know what is expected of you and what resources are available for you. Today marks the first day of becoming the professional you aspire to be.

I wish you all the best,

Goranka Vukelich, PhD
Executive Dean, School of Community Services

Steps to Your Success

 1. Use MyConestoga to Connect To:

  • Your Conestoga Email: Your official vehicle for all college communication.
  • eConestoga: Your resource for all course-based information.
  • Student Portal: Where you will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting.
  • Practicum Health Requirements: Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).

2. Know Your Academic Schedule And Plan Around It

  • Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
  • The Academic Year Critical Dates: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Plan around these dates to ensure you are here when you need to be--including the potential need to be present for the two weeks after the semester ends if you might need to complete supplemental work to allow you to continue to the next semester.

3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become

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

  • Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out expectations of student conduct for our community at Conestoga
  • Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents.
  • Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend To Enhance Success

Attendance for class, labs and field placement supports student learning and your experience as a future professional.

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

5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status

Make yourself familiar with what is expected of you, and if you have questions, ask.

  • 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. Refer to the Credit Transfer & PLAR​ website.
  • Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures. Please read and understand the Rights and Responsibilities website. 

Letter to Students

Dear Students,

Welcome to the Mental Health and Substance Use graduate certificate program. This new program has been carefully designed to prepare you to be a collaborator and a leader of positive change in an evolving inter-disciplinary, inter-professional and cross-sectoral field. This field is confronting significant challenges at the local, regional and global levels. The capacity of organizations, communities and systems to address these challenges will require individuals capable of engaging in the collaborative, solution-focused practice, involving complex issues and changing needs.

The program examines diverse perspectives and approaches to mental health and substance use. You will have opportunities to consider new perspectives, develop new skills and abilities, and apply your learning in the classroom and the community. Each of you will bring your unique background and set of perspectives to your studies. These perspectives will help you explore the subject matter of this program with your colleagues in ways that can be mutually beneficial, helping you to develop your own critical perspective on key issues informed by theory, evidence, and scholarship.

We wish you the very best in your studies.

Sincerely,

Goranka Vukelich, Executive Dean, School of Community Services
Mental Health and Substance Use Program Team

Program Overview

Program Description

The Mental Health and Substance Use graduate certificate program will provide future human and health service providers with the knowledge and applied skills needed to move into service and program planning, delivery and evaluation roles related to persons who experience mental health and/or substance use concerns. As providers in these sectors work increasingly across boundaries to address the complex and intersecting needs of these populations, students will learn how to examine and address service quality at the practice, program and system levels. Learners will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of community collaboration, public participation, social inclusion, and advocacy in their work with persons experiencing complex conditions. Integrative themes of self-determination, capacity building, resilience, recovery and empowerment will be examined from person-centred, community-based and population-oriented perspectives. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Assess the multi-level risk and protective factors to determine the potential impact on persons, communities and populations at risk for mental health and substance use problems
  • Adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards, including policies and best practices as they relate to mental health and substance use problems.
  • Integrate theory and empirical evidence to develop strategies to address service gaps and promote mental health and well-being for populations and people with complex needs.
  • Assess personal and inter-professional capabilities used to advance system and service improvements for populations at risk for mental health and substance use problems.
  • Design mental health and substance use policy, programs and services using population health planning frameworks to align with the needs of people with mental health and substance use problems
  • Reflect critically on the ideas, interests and institutions that influence societal responses to inform policy and programming decisions

Program Map

Level Course Code
Course Name
Hours
1CON0101Conestoga 1011
1MNHL8300Mental Health in Society42
1MNHL8310Measuring the Impacts of Mental Health and Substance Use Problems42
1MNHL8320Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being Across the Life Course42
1MNHL8330Conditions that Elevate Risk42
1MNHL8360Evidence Based Interventions for Populations at-Risk42
1MNHL8400Preparing for Collaborative Practice42
1OHS1320Safety in the Workplace
14
   Total Credit Hours for this level  267
2MNHL8340Trauma-Informed Care and Services42
2MNHL8350Human Rights, the Law and Legislation42
2MNHL8370Examining Complexity in At-Risk Populations42
2MNHL8380Inter-sectoral and Cross-Ministerial Collaborations42
2MNHL8390Planning and Facilitating Program Evaluation42
2MNHL8410Capstone Knowledge Integration Project42
   Total Credit Hours for this level 252
   Total Credit Hours for this Program 519

Program Design for Your Cohort

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

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

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



Relationships

Your Program Team

Your program team includes faculty, staff and administrators who are committed to your success. If you have questions about your progress in the program, course work or field placement, please take the time to connect with them.

​Communication and Contact Information

Name Extension Email
Liz Oliveira, 
Program Assistant
Ext. 3426
loliveira@conestogac.on.ca​
​Mike Allegretti,
Coordinator
​Ext:3818
mallegretti@conestogac.on.ca
Chair,
Social Services and Specialized Programs 
​Ext. 3382

Goranka Vukelich, Executive Dean
School of Community Services
Ext. 3393 gvukelich@conestogac.on.ca

Contacting Faculty and Staff

Please note: For the Fall of 2021, in response to COVID-19, our program team will be working remotely. When contacting program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use e-mail or telephone. Your message should include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Course and level
  • Brief description of reason for contact
  • Telephone number where you can be reached

Student E-mail

All students are supplied with a College e-mail address. Use the College e-mail address only when communicating with faculty. Non-College e-mail addresses (e.g. Hotmail) are not acceptable. Students are expected to check their College e-mail regularly as most official communication will be via this method.

​Student Engagement

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC) made up of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. The Committee meets several times a year to discuss the direction in which that industry is heading and any improvements to keep the program current.  At the beginning of each year, the program will ask for student volunteers to participate. The students are important members of the committee and are expected to be present at the meetings. Students must prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Chair/Coordinator which will be presented at the meeting. Students are expected to be professional, dress in business attire and engage in discussions.

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative) is a club whose members strive to 'learn with, from, and about' each other. Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs at the Doon campus. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.

​​Student Feedback

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

Key Performance Indicators

All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of 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 5 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 44 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty menber 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 Absence

All class cancellations due to Faculty absences will be posted in the Student Portal. These notices in the Student Portal will be the only general notifications of class cancellations due to Faculty absences.

Although the formal notification comes through the portal, faculty may also elect to post an absences on eConestoga. 

Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

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

Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations

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

To subscribe:

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

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

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Program Standards for Professional Practice

Standards of Conduct can be found in the workplace, so it is not surprising that Conestoga College, and more specifically, the Mental Health and Substance Use program has standards of conduct.

In the event of a conflict between the Mental Health and Substance Use Student Handbook and the College Student Guide, the Student Guide will take precedence.

Students are required to adhere in respect to Academic Policies and Procedures as detailed in Standards of Conduct in Conestoga College's Student Guide for the current academic year as well as the Standards of Conduct specifically identified in this document.

Throughout their program of studies students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and apply themselves to academic achievement.

  • Students are required to uphold and promote the ethical standards of the program and the inter-professional field it supports.
  • Students are responsible to protect the integrity of the Mental Health and Substance Use program and the College community as a whole by identifying students who are dishonest and/or violate the standards.
  • To commit to completing the learning objectives with integrity.
  • To complete work that is your own - not plagiarized – please familiarize yourselves with College policies on academic integrity.
  • To commit to attendance of classes, labs, community experiences and field placement. When unable to attend, an attempt to communicate the reasons for failing to attend is expected.
  • To demonstrate professional behaviour while attending class, labs, community experiences and field placement as well as in program-related electronic communications.
  • To promote excellence, integrity and honesty.
  • To maintain service user confidentiality except when required by law or professional expectations.
  • To identify students who are violating ethical guidelines and standards.
  • To seek clarification from faculty or administration when unsure of any of these standards.

Expectations of Faculty:

  • Faculty will accept, fulfil, and enforce the professional standards of ethical practice.
  • Anyone who believes that a faculty member has violated these standards may confidentially initiate a complaint to the Program Chair.

Examples of Violations of Ethical Practice

It is expected by society, and by ourselves that professionals do not, and will not lie, cheat, or steal. To lie is "to utter falsehood with an intention to deceive" (Webster's Dictionary).  Lying is not only immoral but has the potential to be dangerous.

Unethical Behaviour in Such Circumstances Includes, But Is Not Limited To:

  • Reporting false client information
  • Lying about task completion
  • Intentional failure to identify breaks in procedure
  • Recording false data in a client's file
  • Intentional failure to report breach of policy or practice
  • Withholding information from/or providing false information to Faculty, Coordinators, Chairs or other College personnel

To steal is "to take or appropriate another's property, ideas, etc. without permission, dishonestly or unlawfully" (Webster's Dictionary). To steal is to perform a criminal act, punishable in the criminal courts of our country. To steal is to destroy the trust bond between client and social service worker, between student and student, and between student and Faculty.

Unethical Behaviour in These Circumstances Includes, But Is Not Limited To:

  • Unauthorized possession of examinations or answer keys
  • Theft from a client, peer, staff person or college personnel
  • Misuse of any client medication
  • Taking or misappropriating any supplies from a field placement setting

To plagiarize is "to take, pass off as one's own, the ideas, writings, etc. of another" (Webster's Dictionary). To plagiarize incorporates the immoral acts of lying, cheating and stealing.  It includes using someone else's material without giving them the credit. To copy a chapter from a book, an article, a paragraph, a sentence, a care plan, or someone's client study is to plagiarize.

Professionalism

Marks may be assigned within a course for professionalism.  Students should refer to individual course outlines for the specific requirements of each course.

Professionalism includes but is not limited to the following:

All students are expected to demonstrate professional/adult behaviour inside and outside of the classroom in the following ways: attendance, punctuality, appropriate classroom decorum, commitment, and respect.

Show respect…

  • For fellow students - every student has something valuable to offer to each course. Listen to what others have to say. Racist, sexist or inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.
  • For school property – please adhere to the College policy regarding food and beverages in classrooms.
  • For professors and guest lecturers - late arrival, unnecessary talking or disturbing behaviours in class (e.g. sleeping or misuse of electronic devices such as cell phones and laptop computer programs) are disruptive to the learning environment. Class disruptions are not allowed. Students responsible will be asked to leave.
  • For yourself – Attendance is critical to success and is a significant component of professionalism.  Responsible submission of all class assignments is expected.

Mental Health and Substance Use Professionalism

The learning environment is a professional environment. As such, we encourage students to act as professionals, as they would in the work environment. This entails being punctual, prepared, engaged and respectful both within and outside of the classroom. 

As students progress through the program and prepare for placements and careers, consistent improvement and attention to professionalism is expected. Grading will reflect increasing expectations of professionalism each year.

Policy Elaboration

The College affirms the following general principles of rights and responsibilities as guides for individual action within this community.

a) Each individual must accept responsibility for their actions and values, and for recognizing that such actions and values reflect upon the whole community. 
b) All persons must endeavor to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with respect for others and a thoughtful consideration for the needs of the academic community and society in general. 
c) The educational function depends upon honesty, integrity and respect for the preservation, communication and pursuit of knowledge. 
d) Each person is encouraged to learn and practice the art of thoughtfully examining issues, expressing views, both individually and as a group member, in a manner that is consistent with the educational purposes of the College. 
e) The College community recognizes the need for the development of personal ethics, and moral standards and philosophies. The members of this community should be committed to broad personal growth and development, realizing that each individual has both the freedom and the obligation to make ethical and moral choices and to accept the attendant responsibilities. 

Professional Appearance

Appropriate dress is expected in all classes of the Mental Health and Substance Use program, as this helps you explore and adapt to the norms of most of the careers students aspire to enter following graduation.  During special events (e.g. field trips, agency visits, etc.) as well as guest lecturers, students are expected to dress in a professional manner. Neat, professional casual appearance is an important part of the day-to-day work world for which students are preparing. 

Ear buds:  Listening to recreational music/materials during class is prohibited.

General Dress Code Policy: In general, students should always be dressed appropriately for class. 

Guidelines for Student use of College Facilities

When you are at the College, please remember that you are also sharing space with other students, staff, and community members. It is essential that we all work together to make all feel valued, respected, and safe. When you are in this space, please consider the following:

  • Be mindful of your language, both choice of words and tone.
  • Be considerate when walking through the halls and make every effort to minimize noise. This is especially important during class times.
  • Be respectful of all individuals.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Integrity information and expectations. Please follow the link http:/lib.conestogac.on.ca/academic-integrity.

Copyright – What Students Need to Know

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

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

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

Cumulative Copying

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

You cannot copy or scan the following:

  • Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use
  • Instruction manuals
  • Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints
  • Advertisements
  • Business cases
  • Full Textbooks
  • Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list
You can find all of this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.

Safe Practice

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

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

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

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

​Student Protection Acknowledgement

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

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         
  • Academic 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
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure

Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, 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 Social Media and Cell Phones

To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, outside of children's play areas (indoors/outdoors) and during formal break time in field placement.

As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including Social Media.

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

  1. Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
  2. Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  3. Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  4. Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
  5. Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  6. Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
  7. Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
  8. Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  9. Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others. 
Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences:
  1. Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities
  2. Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites 

 

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

Religious Holidays

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

It is the responsibility of the student to:

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

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


Test and Evaluation Procedures

General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work

In the Mental Health and Substance Use program, there are continuous requirements for written work in a variety of formats (papers, assignments, forms and plans, handouts, etc.). It is expected that all students will meet the standard of English required within our profession. Students may be referred to the Learning Commons to help them improve the quality of their written work.

General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work

For specific course requirements, refer to the Course Outlines and Evaluation. If you are still not clear about course requirements, discuss with individual Faculty. Students are required to use spell-check and grammar-check to assist with the editing of written work. The Learning Centre will be an invaluable resource to students who require assistance in organizing and writing an assignment with correct spelling and grammar. 
Unless otherwise indicated by professors, generally, assignments should be:

  • Word processed.
  • Double spaced and 1 sided.
  • Submitted using font size of 12, if word processed and proper margins.
  • Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check).
  • Handed in  with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted;
  • Electronically uploaded to the appropriate eConestoga course  drop box on the designated due date, unless otherwise indicated by professor;
  • Handed in using the APA@Conestoga (https://apa.conestogac.on.ca/) formatting, citing, and referencing.

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

Steps to Follow to Submit Assignments Outside of Class Time

Assignments are to be submitted electronically to the appropriate eConestoga course drop box on the day they are due. If circumstances require that an assignment be submitted outside a scheduled due date, please alert your faculty member by email and follow through on the submission of your assignment as per faculty instructions.

Deadlines

Students must meet the deadlines for all course assignments. Penalties may be assessed for a late submission. Students should refer to individual course outlines for the specific requirements of each course.

Testing

Tests are to be written at the times scheduled by the professor/instructor, the program and the College. Unauthorized absence from a test will result in a grade of zero for that test. Authorized absence from a test must be arranged with the Professor/instructor prior to the scheduled test date, and the rescheduling of such tests is at the discretion of the Professor/instructor. Students who arrive late for a test may be refused admittance to the test room.

Test Results

Test results will be posted on the Student Portal or otherwise communicated as soon as possible after a test. Tests will not normally be returned to students, but students may arrange with their Professor/instructors to see and discuss their test results. Students should consult with their Professor/instructors for details of the review process. Such reviews should be conducted within two weeks of the posting of test results. 
It is the students' responsibility to check their marks on any test or assignment and raise any issues within two weeks of the posting. If you have no grade posted for a given test, go see the faculty member in charge of that course to find out why it wasn't posted. Do not wait until the end of the semester to check why you're missing grades.

Authorized Resources

The following resources are required in test situations: student ID cards, pencils, pens, and erasers. A Faculty member may authorize specific resources for a test. All other resources are considered unauthorized and must be stored in student lockers or an area of the test room designated by the Professor/instructor.

Ethical Conduct during Evaluations

In test situations, students must do their own work with integrity. The use of unauthorized resources, unauthorized collaboration, and copying are serious offences. 
See Conestoga College Student Guide for violations of Academic Offences Procedure.

Grading System

Students must attain a minimum 60% passing grade in all Mental Health and Substance Use courses. The College uses numeric, alpha and grade point average (GPA). An incomplete is submitted as an "I". Incompletes change to failures if the terms of the incomplete are not met within the stipulated time.

Late Policy

It is expected that students will submit all assignments on time, on the date they are due, as per instructions of the course faculty.

Assignments that are received past the due date will be subject to the following deductions:

  • 1 to 3 days late - 10%
  • 4 to 6 days late - 20%
  • 7 to 10 days late - 30%
  • 11 to 15 days late - 40%
  • 16 to 20 days late - 50%
Assignments that are received more than 20 days late will receive a mark of 0, will be reviewed and offered feedback.
Students experiencing extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from meeting assigned due dates may have the opportunity to negotiate a different due date providing they meet the following conditions:
  • They discuss their circumstance with the course faculty at least 3 business days prior to the due date
  • They negotiate a new due date that is mutually agreed upon.

Professionalism

Marks may be assigned within a course for professionalism. Students should refer to individual course outlines for the specific requirements of each course.

Professionalism includes but is not limited to the following:

All students are expected to demonstrate professional/mature behaviour inside and outside of the classroom in the following ways: participation/engagement, punctuality, appropriate classroom decorum, commitment, and respect.

Professionalism Grading: If a student obtains two or more zeros in any of the categories in a professionalism grading rubric, an overall grade of zero for professionalism may be assigned.  This grade may also be assigned for serious behaviours or conduct that overrides other professionalism categories.

Working Together on Group Assignments

Students will often work with their fellow peers on various 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 course Professor for assistance prior to the due date.

Faculty Returning Tests and Assignments

In order to support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Individual Faculty will inform students in class how/when tests and assignments and/or marks on them will be returned. Please note that some tests will be returned to students and some may be retained by Faculty. Under no circumstances are students to enter the offices of Faculty or look through papers on a desk without a Faculty present. Students who have questions about 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.
  • Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment.

Academic Progress Through the Program

Each program has very clear guidelines about how students successfully progress through their course of study. These guidelines are found in this program handbook. They include information about what may happen should you fail courses or field placement, how you could recover these courses, and what your options may be if recovery is not possible. We encourage you to review these guidelines in order to understand them. If you have any questions about them, please connect with a member of your program team. Remember, we are all here to help.

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

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

Academic Standing and Promotion

The Conestoga Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. Each student is provided with this annual publication early in the semester each academic year. The Conestoga Student Guide is also available on the College web site.

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/Academic Advisor prior to dropping a course.

Special Timetables/Adding Dropped or Failed Courses

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

Failed Courses

A failing grade for this program is generally anything below a 60%. Should you be unsuccessful in achieving a passing grade, your course may be available through Continuing Education or on-line through OntarioLearn. Faculty approval must be obtained prior to re-taking the course to ensure equivalency. 

Clearance of Academic Deficiency/Supplemental Opportunities

Students who have failed a course and who are eligible may receive an opportunity for a supplemental evaluation. Following the end of semester, eligible students will be invited for a supplemental opportunity. If a student does not respond to this invitation or is unavailable at the specified date and time, the student forfeits the supplemental opportunity for the course. For more information please visit the College Policies, Procedures, Practices and Guidelines webpage then click on the Academic Administration side tab and search for the document entitled Clearance of Academic Deficiency. 

To be eligible for a supplemental opportunity, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. A final course grade within 10% of the passing mark of the course and no lower than 50%.
  2. No academic offences in the course.
  3. Evidence of passing at least one evaluation in the course.

Procedure

  1. Eligible student will be contacted by the program and will be provided details of the supplemental process.
  2. Student will receive a Supplemental Authorization and Terms Form (RO479) which they will bring to and pay an additional fee at the Registrar's office. Receipt of this payment will be brought to the supplemental process.
  3. Student completes supplemental work (test or assignment) in accordance with the times and dates communicated.
  4. Supplemental work is assessed, and the final grade is posted.
  5. If successful in completing the supplemental work for the course, the failing course grade will be upgraded to the minimal passing grade for the course.

Community Service Students in one-year certificate, one-year graduate certificate and two-year diploma programs may receive up to a maximum of two (2) supplemental evaluations while in the program.

Academic Probation

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

Discontinuance

Students who have not successfully participated in the requirements of their academic probation, who have failed to meet the standards set out in the Conestoga Student Guide and/or the Mental Health and Substance Use Program Handbook involving academic dishonesty, student responsibilities, or unacceptable behaviour, attitude or conduct or have failed 50% or more of their courses may be discontinued from the Program. Students who have been discontinued from the Program will not be considered for re-entry to the program for a minimum of one semester and/or until they have worked with the program coordinator to develop a written learning contract to support their academic and non-academic success.
Students can be discontinued according to the following reasons:

  • For failure to meet academic program standards by failing 50% or more of their courses in a full semester or academic year.
  • For violating documented ethical standards of practice.
  • For inappropriate behaviour that jeopardizes the study or safety of other students.
  • Failure to meet placement health requirements to secure acceptance at any prospective placement host agency.

Procedure

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

Withdrawal

Students not planning to return to the Mental Health and Substance Use program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available from the Program Coordinators, the Registrar's Office, or on the College website.

Program Transfer

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

Appeal

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

Readmission to a Program

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

Students applying for readmission to Level/Semester one must do so through Ontario Colleges. Students applying for readmission to a level beyond Level/Semester one must do so using a Conestoga College Program Application Form. Applicable fees will be charged. 

The application for readmission will be reviewed based on the student's academic eligibility, program readmission requirements, and space availability. The student will be informed in writing of the decision.

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

Administrative Fees

The College requires that appropriate forms be completed and that an administrative fee be paid at the Registrar's office. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that such forms are completed and fees paid. For example, you must pay a fee for a supplemental assignment prior to writing the supplemental.

Graduation

Students must pass all program courses and be a student in good standing with the college in order to be eligible to graduate. If you do not make up failed courses, you will not graduate. 

​General Education / Interdisciplinary Electives

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

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

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

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



 

Work-Integrated Learning Experiences

​Student Consent Forms

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

Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)

Because students may be involved in field trips and periodic visits to community agencies involved with capstone projects, all students in this program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to the start of the second (Winter) semester (Level 2).  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 placement sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.


Student Awards

Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available to our students through the partnerships we have established with local business and industry leaders. To be considered for an award, complete the General Application available through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts in the fall semester (Deadline: First Friday in October) and winter semester (Deadline: First Friday in February). Visit the Student Financial Services on Conestoga's website.

Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours

​​​Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga has developed an academic delivery plan for the Fall 2021 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. 

Some programs will be delivered in a hybrid format (a combination of remote and on-campus learning). Other programs will be delivered in a remote format only. Courses in which remote delivery is not possible will be offered entirely through on-campus delivery.

For the Fall, only students who have classes scheduled on campus will be pre-approved to be on-campus. Students need to complete a mandatory pre-approval process before they can attend their class.  Students who do not have scheduled activity are not permitted on-campus. Support services for students will continue to be available remotely.

College Hours

For the Fall 2021 semester, to support physical distancing on campus, full-time courses at Conestoga are delivered Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Effective January 2022: 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 Less than 20%

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

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

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

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

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

  • Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate. During the pandemic, on-campus Test Centres will be closed.
  • Students will complete any necessary forms. 
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Program Handbook Revision Log

​​DATE
​NAME
​June 22, 2018
​Jaymie Wilson-Neil
​July 9, 2019
​Julia Rodricks
​August 19, 2020
​Ashitha Jacob
​July 29, 2021
​​Liz Oliveira

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.

Mental Health and Substance Use