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CUPE Strike: FAQ for A&S Students

A FAQ for students regarding the strike by CUPE 3902 Unit 1

This website is being updated frequently. Please check back on a regular basis.

Last updated: May 6, 2015, 11:00 a.m.

Will I be able to graduate?

Helping students graduate on time is one of the Faculty’s highest priorities. The Dean’s Office is working with Chairs, Associate Chairs and instructors to figure out how best to support students. More information will be available over the coming week. Please continue to check this website for the most up-to-date information.

How will final marks be calculated?

Instructors will make every effort to mark student work so that a numerical grade can be calculated. In exceptional cases where that is not possible or where not enough work is available to be marked, instructors have a range of options, including the use of general letter grades (A,B,C, etc.) or Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR). If an instructor assigns CR/NCR, this will not count towards students’ 2.0 FCE maximum CR/NCR.

UPDATED: What options do students have?

Note:  these options remain in place even though the strike has ended (March 27, 11:06 a.m.)

For all courses offered this term (both S and Y courses), and even in cases where numeric grades will be available, students can elect Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) or choose to cancel (drop) a course  without academic penalty*.  The CR/NCR will not count towards students’ 2.0 FCE maximum.  The deadlines for both these options have been extended until Wednesday, May 20, 2015 after students have seen their final grades.  

* Exception: Students may not drop or use the CR/NCR option in a course in which there is an allegation of academic misconduct. If a student has selected CR/NCR in a course in which he or she commits an academic offence, the CR/NCR option will be revoked and the percentage grade will stand as the course grade. Similarly, if a student has dropped the course, it will be reinstated and the percentage grade will stand as the course grade. (updated April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

NEW: How do I let the Faculty know that I want to add/remove a CR/NCR or drop a course without academic penalty? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

To add or remove a CR/NCR, go to https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/. Read the rules outlined on the site carefully and follow the instructions. The deadline to make changes to CR/NCR is Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:59 EDT. You may change your CR/NCRs anytime up until the deadline.  As of the deadline, your decision is considered final and late requests to make changes will not be accepted.

To drop a course without academic penalty, see your College Registrar’s office by Wednesday, May 20, 2015 during office hours. Note that you will not be able to drop the course yourself on ROSI.  

NEW: If I previously selected CR/NCR in a course, will I be able to see my mark? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

Yes, you’ll be able to see your final grade on ROSI even if you previously selected CR/NCR. You can view your existing Y and S course CR/NCR options on https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/

NEW: If I now want to remove a CR/NCR, do I still have a choice of adding it back on after I see my mark? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

If you decide to remove the CR/NCR option (i.e. so that the numeric/letter grade will show on your record), go back to https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/ and remove by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2015

If you decide to keep the CR/NCR (i.e. so the final grade will be reported as CR or NCR), no further action is required as long as you hadn’t removed it earlier and it is still displayed on https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/. Your final grade on ROSI will be changed to CR or NCR after May 20.

NEW: How can I add or remove a CR/NCR or drop a course if the course is not offered by Arts & Science? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

To add a CR/NCR in an ARC or VIS course (offered by Daniels Faculty), you can do so on https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/.  To add a CR/NCR in courses offered by other divisions (e.g. UTM, UTSC, Engineering, etc.) go to your College Registrar’s office to add it by May 20 during office hours.

To remove a CR/NCR you previously added yourself on ROSI, you may do so on https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/ by May 20.  To remove a new CR/NCR that you recently added at your College, go back to your College to remove it by May 20 during office hours.

NEW: If I selected CR/NCR, when will my mark be changed to CR or NCR on ROSI? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

The Faculty will collect your CR/NCR information from https://apps.artsci.utoronto.ca/ and from your College on May 21. Your mark on ROSI will be changed by May 25.

NEW: Can I change my mind on whether to drop a course or to add/remove a CR/NCR option in a course after the May 20 deadline? (added April 1, 12:20 p.m.)

No. As of the May 20 deadline, your decision is considered final and late requests to make changes will not be accepted. If you need advice, see your College Registrar's office as soon as possible and make your decision no later than May 20.

Can courses completed with a final status of CR be used to satisfy program requirements?

Courses (S or Y) completed this term with a final status of CR can be used to satisfy subject POSt requirements, and can be used to satisfy the 12.0 different FCE requirement between subject POSts for your degree. This provision will hold for these courses until students complete their degrees.

I am in first year and will be applying to a competitive POSt where marks in certain courses determine my eligibility. What’s going to happen?

Programs will base admission decisions on the best information available.  Where numeric grades in prerequisite courses are not available, programs  may consider performance in other courses in order to make informed decisions about students’ suitability to the program.

UPDATED: How will program admission be handled if I opt to take CR/NCR in a required course?

A student may also elect to take as CR/NCR a course that is required to meet a grade threshold for program admission.  In this case, the underlying mark assigned by the instructor will be used in the program admission process.  The numeric mark does not appear on the transcript; only CR appears for the course. These provisions will hold for students until they complete their degrees.

See the Economics Department web site for an explanation of how they will be handing these cases. (added March 27, 4:45 p.m.)

UPDATED: Will my application to graduate school or other subsequent study be affected if I opt for CR/NCR in courses this term? (updated May 6, 11:00 a.m.)

The Faculty’s policy regarding CR/NCR is that where a student has opted for CR/NCR in a course that is required to meet a grade threshold for program admission, the underlying mark assigned by the instructor will be used in the program admission process. This policy will apply to students applying for admission to a second-entry program (either the School of Graduate Studies or another undergraduate degree program) at the University of Toronto. While the transcript will show CR or NCR, the underlying mark assigned by the instructor can be accessed by U of T divisions and used where required for admission to a second-entry program. 

For students applying for admission to second-entry programs at other universities, please note that all University of Toronto transcripts for the 2014/15 academic year will include a comment about the extended use of CR/NCR this year, along with a link to a University of Toronto website containing more information about the labour disruption. If necessary, students can also request a Registrar’s Letter that will contain the same information as on the U of T website and explain that institutions may contact the Faculty of Arts & Science directly if the underlying marks associated with CR/NCR courses is required.  To request a Registrar’s Letter, please send an email to ask.artsci@utoronto.ca

Will the term be extended?

No. It is our expectation that courses will be completed by the end of term. Classes will end on April 2. Final exams begin April 8 and continue through to April 30.

Can instructors change the marking scheme?

The University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy allows instructors to change the marking scheme, provided a majority of students attending the class agree. Students must be given notice of the intent to change the marking scheme at least one class before the vote.

In exceptional circumstances, and only when the Provost has declared an academic disruption, an instructor can change the grading scheme without a vote.

UPDATED: Can my instructor weight the final exam at 75% or higher?

Under the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy, an instructor can propose a new marking scheme, including one that weights the final exam much higher than previously. Notice of the vote must be announced no later than the previous class. A simple majority of those students in attendance must vote in favour of the change for the proposal to pass. A marking scheme can also be changed without a vote if the Provost declares an academic disruption.

If students are uncomfortable or feel disadvantaged by a new marking scheme, they can elect to take the course for CR/NCR or ask to cancel (drop) the course  without academic penalty.  The CR/NCR will not count against the maximum 2.0 FCE.  The deadlines for both these options have been extended until after students have seen their final grade.  Precise dates will be posted on the A & S website shortly.

Will I be prepared for next year’s courses if I’ve missed three weeks of class?

Instructors are already thinking about how next year’s courses can be adapted and/or supplemented to make up for missed learning this term. That may take the form, for example, of a revised course syllabus, additional tutorial support and/or supplementary instruction.

I have assignments due based on material that I was never taught. What am I supposed to do?

Speak with your instructor or the undergraduate associate chair in the Department.

I’ve already reached my CR/NCR limit. What options do I have?

Students may choose the CR/NCR option for both Y and S courses running this term even if they have already reached the 2.0 FCE CR/NCR limit.

I did not attend classes that were being held during the strike because I did not want to cross picket lines. Will I receive special accommodation in my courses?

Students have been clearly advised via our FAQs and advising staff that they have remained responsible for course material and for fulfilling course requirements. Thus, special accommodations will not be offered to individual students on the sole grounds that they chose not to cross picket lines. Instead, the Faculty is taking a generally flexible stance on students’ timelines for electing to take CR/NCR or withdrawing from a course without penalty.

Students who require accommodation for other reasons should contact Accessibility Services or Test and Exams Services.

UPDATED: Are final exams going ahead as planned?

Yes, exams are going ahead as previously scheduled.  The exam period runs from April 8 through April 30.  In some courses, marking schemes may have changed and final exams may be worth more or less marks; the length and/or the format of the exam may have been modified; or the exam may have been cancelled.  Students will be notified of any exam cancellations.   

I wrote a Deferred Examination during Reading Week in February. Will it be marked?

Ensuring that you progress in your degree program is one of the highest priorities of the Faculty. Every effort will be made to ensure that deferred exams are marked. In instances where that is not possible, instructors have a range of options they can use to award credit without having to assign a specific percentage grade. These include CR/NCR, general letter grades (A,B,C, etc.) and Aegrotat Standing (AEG). With AEG, students receive credit for the course even though a final examination was missed for medical or similar reasons. No grade is assigned and AEG is not counted towards cumulative GPAs.

UPDATED: I am confused about the best options for me: CR/NCR or cancelling (dropping) a course. What should I do?

The best thing you can do in these circumstances is to ask your college registrar’s office for an advising appointment.  Registrar’s staff can review your educational plan and assess your financial situation, and help you figure out the best way forward.

Course instructors, or department representatives in courses now without instructors, will be communicating to students in their classes over the coming days concerning any changes they feel are required to enable students to successfully complete the term.  It is important that students check their e-mail regularly for information, attend class or participate in any announced meetings as appropriate to ensure they understand the measures that are being considered to complete courses. 

Students should wait to make any final decisions about courses until after the plan for each course has been fully communicated.

NEW: What is a declaration of academic disruption in a course and how does it work? (updated March 30, 4:20 p.m.)   

Under the Policy on Academic Continuity, a declaration of an academic disruption in a course indicates that the academic operations in that course will not proceed as normal, and that changes may be made in areas such as course requirements and modes of evaluation.  Declarations will be made on an individual course-by-course basis as needed for Faculty of Arts & Science Y and H courses offered during the 2015 Winter term.  

Instructors have primary responsibility and authority to make changes to their courses. It is expected that the initial request for a declaration in a course will be made by the instructor in consultation with the unit head. Requests will be submitted to the Dean’s Office via the head of the department or other academic unit offering the course.  Final approval will be at the Provostial level. These requests will be expedited by the Dean's Office, and the Provost's Office will turn them around quickly. The Dean's Office will maintain a record of all approved declarations.

NEW: What are some examples of the kinds of changes that could be made under the declaration of an academic disruption? (added March 30, 2:30 p.m.)   

One example would be where a change to a marking scheme is deemed necessary to ensure students are fairly assessed, but without sufficient time for a class vote as required by the Grading Practices Policy.   Another example, which will be relatively rare, would be where there is a very limited ability to obtain and mark student work. In this example, a change in grade scale may be required.  This might mean offering students a general grade (A/B/etc.) or Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR), rather than the normal refined grade (A+, A, A-) plus numeric mark. 

NEW: When and how will students know if they are in a course that is subject to a declaration of academic disruption? (added March 30, 2:30 p.m.) 

If feasible, the instructor will discuss the need for such a declaration with students. As soon as possible after the declaration has been approved, the instructor or the department will inform students, via Blackboard or email, of the reason for the declaration and of the changes that will be made to the course under this provision. 

 
More FAQs can be found on the Provost’s website located here.