Absences and Academic Accommodations

This section was created to help students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) understand and navigate the policies and procedures for requesting Academic Consideration and Academic Accommodation.

As an Engineering student, is important that you become familiar with FEAS Academic Regulations and Sessional Dates to ensure that you are able to complete all of the essential course and program requirements.

If you require any assistance or encounter any difficulty with your studies, you should contact your Academic Advisor.

For questions or assistance with requesting Academic Consideration or Acommodation, contact the FEAS Academic Accommodation Coordinator at engineering.aac@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000, ext. 78013


About Academic Consideration (Absences)

Queen’s University recognizes that students may have extenuating circumstances that temporarily affect their ability to fulfill their academic obligations and requirements. The institutional response to requests for academic consideration due to extenuating circumstances is based on the principle of good faith, wherein the university and instructors are requested to assume that student circumstances and documented requests are legitimate unless there is compelling evidence to suggest otherwise. Similarly, students are requested to assume that the university and instructors will provide academic considerations that are deemed to be in the best interest of the student, taking into account academic progress and essential academic requirements and standards. For more information, see the full policy.

While regulations are necessary to provide uniform standards for all students, we recognize that some students may encounter circumstances beyond your control that may affect your academic performance. Students who encounter such extenuating circumstances may request that certain regulations be waived.

More information about requesting Academic Consideration…


About Academic Accommodation

Academic Accommodations are classified as either long-term or short-term, depending upon the situation.

  • Long-term: Long-term physical or mental illness (e.g., hearing, visual, or mobility impairments, diabetes, cancer, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD/ADD, OCD, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.) Learning disability (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory or visual processing disorders, etc.)

  • Short-term: New unexpected onset of physical or mental illness lasting more than 48 hours, unexpected surgery/injury (concussion), serious extenuating circumstances

Long-Term Accomodation

Any Engineering student with a documented disability must register with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) for formal accommodations. If you are seeking academic accommodation, you will need to provide documentation with details about the functional impairments and limitations that result from the disability. You will have the opportunity to meet with advisors to discuss if and how these limitations create a barrier in the university academic context.

Short-Term Accommodation

Short-term academic accommodation (STAA) requests are processed by Queen’s Student Wellness Services (QSWS). The STAA form is issued to a student by a member of Student Wellness Services (SWS) who has assessed the student and determined what academic consideration and/or accommodation may be required in the short-term (usually no more than 3 months) or while the student is undergoing an assessment to determine if they need to register at QSAS for ongoing accommodations.

More infomation about requesting Academic Accomodation…


Differences between Academic Consideration & Accommodation

The table below summarizes the differences between academic consideration and academic accommodation. It includes descriptions and examples of the conditions that pertain to each situation.

 Academic ConsiderationAcademic Accommodation

Senate Policy

Academic Considerations for Students in Extenuating Circumstances (PDF, April 2017)

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (PDF, November 2016)

Objective

To provide consistent and fair academic considerations to students for a range of extenuating personal circumstances.

To provide appropriate academic accommodations for students with disabilities as part of the University’s commitment to accessibility and equity.

Definition

An action or actions taken by an instructor or Faculty Office in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance.

Examples of academic consideration:

  • Excused absence, deferral, extension, modified schedule for assignments, projects, labs, or placements, alternate assignment, re-weighting of term marks, permission for an incomplete grade, or course withdrawal without penalty.

Any adaptation that reduces or eliminates barriers to participation, which arise when a student with a disability interacts with the academic environment.

Examples of academic accommodation:

  • Extra time, different location, use of computer, adaptive technology, note-taking, alternate format (e.g., receiving textbooks in audio and/or electronic format), extensions.

Conditions

Extenuating circumstance beyond the student’s control, not to exceed 3 months

Chronic or ongoing physical health or mental health condition, or a learning disability.

Examples of Conditions

Students are allowed one reqest per term (up to 3 days) without documentation*:

  • Sudden illness or injury
  • Bereavement
  • Traumatic event
  • Family or personal crisis

Extenuating circumstances more than 3 days, second incident, or during final exam period.*

Acceptable documentation:

  • Verification of Personal Health Condition form
  • Confidential Extenuating Circumstances form
  • Obituary
  • Other letter from professional
  • Signed attestation

Conditions requiring a Letter of Accommodation (LOA):

  • Long-term physical or mental illness (e.g., hearing, visual, or mobility impairments, diabetes, cancer, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD/ADD, OCD, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.)
  • Learning disability (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory or visual processing disorders, etc.)

Conditions requiring Short-Term Academic Accommodation (STAA):

  • New unexpected onset of physical or mental illness lasting more than 48 hours, unexpected surgery/injury (concussion), serious extenuating circumstances

Responsibility for Authorizing Arrangements

The Faculty Office verifies documentation. Instructor works with student to determine and implement reasonable academic consideration.

Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) determines accommodation and provides LOA or STAA for instructors.

* Exclusions that are not covered by this protocol:
Students who do not feel they can meet academic requirements due to experiencing high levels of academic or exam-related stress should contact an academic advisor in their faculty/program, or Student Wellness Services at intake.wellness@queensu.ca or by phone 613-533-6000 ext. 74842.