Glossary of Terms

Admission

Acceptance of an applicant into one of the College’s programs.

Corequisite

A course that either is required to be taken concurrently with another course or has already been taken.

Course

A unit of study relating to a specific academic subject or discipline and identified by a course name and number.

Course Numbers

A system for identifying course levels. Courses numbered 10, 11, and 12 are high school courses, Grades 10, 11 and 12 respectively. Courses numbered 100-199 are first year university courses. Courses numbered 200-299 are second year courses. Courses with numbers beginning with 0 are non-credit.

Credit

A credit is a unit of value assigned to a course. Most University courses earn 3 or 4 credits. A normal course load for a full-time university student is 12-15 credits per semester. A full year of university studies is usually 30-34 credits. A High School course is normally 4 credits. A typical course load for a full-time high school student is 12-16 credits per semester. Senior Secondary graduation requires the completion of 80 (minimum) credits.

Non-credit courses (such as English 099) are not included when tallying the total credits required for completion of academic credentials (such as an Associate Degree or Dogwood Diploma) but will be assigned credits for fee assessment purposes and calculation of Semester GPA.

Directed Studies

Each semester the College offers a small number of (2nd year level UT) courses by Directed Study. These courses are open to students who have completed 30 credits and have a min Cumulative GPA of 2.3. Students on probation are not usually allowed to register in courses offered by Directed Study. DS courses generally meet for a minimum of 2 hours per week at a time that is mutually acceptable to instructor and students. DS courses will have no more than 7 registrants. Tuition fees are the same as for a regular course.

Full-Time Student

A student registered in at least three courses or a minimum of 9 credits in one of the College’s academic programs, or a student registered in the ESL program taking at least 25 hours a week of instruction.

Grade

The letter assigned is the evaluation of a student’s performance in a course.

Grade-Point

The numerical value assigned to a letter grade used in assessing a student’s academic performance, e.g. C=2.0 grade points. 

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

A measure of a student’s performance in all courses taken in a semester (Semester GPA) or in all credit courses taken at the College to the time of calculation (Cumulative GPA).

Note that Semester GPAs are based on all courses taken whether credit or non-credit. Semester GPAs are for internal purposes only.

Prerequisite

A specific requirement to be fulfilled before registration in a course, usually completion of another course.

Probation

A one semester trial period for students who have failed to achieve satisfactory academic standing or have been involved in a serious act of misconduct. A student on probation will not be permitted to continue at the College if improvement is not demonstrated.

Program

A selection of courses designed to fulfill an academic objective such as Senior Secondary completion or an Associate Degree.

Registered Student

A registered student is one who has completed the registration procedures for a specific semester. Continuing students must re-register each semester. Tuition fees must be paid in full at the time of registration.

Section

Since a given course may be offered at two (or more) different times in a given semester, all courses are identified by a section number related to the time at which the course begins and the days on which it meets. University-level course sections numbered 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 (etc.) usually meet on Mondays and Thursdays while sections numbered 9, 11, 13, 15 or 17 (etc) usually meet on Tuesdays and Fridays. Sections numbered XX1 usually meet Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Semester

An academic term of 14 weeks, during which time a registered student completes a course load. There are three semesters in a calendar year.

Transcript

A record of a student’s permanent record listing all courses taken at Columbia College.

Transfer Credit

Credit awarded by the post-secondary institution to which a student transfers university level courses.

Transfer Standing (TS)

Secondary level credit given for courses satisfactorily completed under another recognized jurisdiction.

Admission

Admission to the College is based on acceptance into one of the College’s programs. Admission to all academic programs is selective and is based on the College’s evaluation of the applicant’s probable success in undertaking studies at the secondary and/or post-secondary level. Students under the age of 15 are not normally admissible into any of the College’s programs. Acceptance into a specific program at the College does not guarantee subsequent advancement into higher-level programs. Such advancement is dependent on performance in the original program.

Possession of the minimum requirements does not establish the right of an applicant to be admitted. The College reserves the right to accept or reject any applicant and to limit the number of students accepted into any program.

Following acceptance into a program at the College, selection of specific courses to be taken (in the first semester) is made with the assistance of a Counsellor, and is subject to the College’s approval. (Students in Foundation Programs register with the assistance of a counsellor every semester.)

Course Loads

University Transfer Program

Students in the university transfer program normally take 12 or 15 credits per semester. Students may register in as many as six courses (18 credits or equivalent) without asking the permission of the Academic Board to take an overload. (No overload will be permitted in a student’s first semester.) Both Columbia College and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will view a (minimum) course load of 9 credits as “full time”. Students on probation are allowed to take a maximum of 12 credits per semester.

Students in the University Transfer Program are required to register in an appropriate English course in each semester until English 099 and Writing Discourse 098 have been completed.

New students who are placed in English 100 (by LWA, IELTS or some other external test) are required to register in English 100 in their first semester, and are required to repeat this course if necessary until they pass it.

A part-time load (i.e. fewer than three courses) is only permitted for those University Transfer students who have successfully completed full-time programs at Columbia College in each of the previous two semesters. (Students should note, however, that they must be registered as a full-time student if they wish to accept off-campus employment.)

High School Programs

A full course load at the high school level normally involves completing 12 credits (3 courses) per semester, though strong students may be allowed to register in 16 credits (four courses). Students on probation are allowed to take a maximum of three high school courses per semester. Overloads are permitted for High School students only under special circumstances and require the approval of the Academic Board.

A part-time load (i.e. fewer than 12 credits) is only normally permitted for High School students at Columbia College if this will complete the requirements for their program.

Dispute Resolution

Grade Appeals

The only grades that may be formally appealed are final grades. Students are required to consult with the instructor and dean of the division before proceeding to a formal appeal. If a student chooses to formally appeal then he/she completes a “Formal Grade Appeal” form obtained from a Counsellor. A fee of $50 is paid, refundable if the appeal is successful. Once the appeal fee is paid the formal appeal process is initiated by the Counsellor. Such an appeal must be launched on or before the first Friday of the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken.

An Appeal Committee is struck by the Academic Board. a) If the appeal concerns the marking of the final examination only then the Dean of the appropriate division will appoint a qualified instructor (usually but not always from within the College) to reconsider the student’s final examination paper. A final judgement will be made within 30 days.

b) If the appeal involves more than the final examination then an Appeal Committee will be struck by the Academic Board and this Committee will make a final judgement within 30 days. All relevant course material in addition to, or other than, the final exam may be reviewed. To be eligible for review the material in question must be a physical item that was submitted and evaluated as part of the student’s final grade. The material must be in its original, as-marked form. Intangible items such as presentations and class participation are not eligible for review.

The decision of the Appeal Committee is final. The final grade that appears on the transcript will be the grade determined by the process outlined above; this grade may be higher, lower or the same as the appealed grade.

Fees and Refunds

In case of a question regarding fees or a refund of fees, the student should first contact the College Accounting Office. If the matter is not resolved within three working days, the student should appeal in writing to the Principal who will respond in writing or in person within one week.

Discipline

Disciplinary matters involving disruptive behaviour in the classroom are dealt with by the Academic Board after a complaint from an instructor is received. Other disciplinary matters – involving unacceptable behaviour outside the classroom – are dealt with by the Principal. Decisions made by the Academic Board or the Principal may be appealed to the Board of Governors, whose decision will be final.

A student being disciplined should contact a Counsellor for information on appeal processes.

Academic Policies

Academic policies are set by the Academic Board, and students wanting explanation of these policies should consult with a Counsellor. Students who wish to dispute a College academic policy, or its application, should address their concern in writing to the Academic Board, which will normally respond in writing within two weeks. This decision may be appealed to the Board of Governors.

Languages Canada has indicated a willingness to act as a final appeal option for students who have a dispute with the College. Students may contact Languages Canada at info@languagescanada.ca.

General Conduct and Attendance

Regular attendance is required of students in all classes, lectures, and laboratories. Students who miss a substantial number of classes in any course during the semester may be considered to be disruptive to the orderly functioning of the course and the Academic Board of the College may decide to bar them from attending future classes. The decision of the Academic Board is final and any refunds owing will be according to the refund policy.

Disruptive behaviour of any sort is subject to review by the Academic Board and may result in a student being denied access to the class in question while receiving a failing grade. In extreme cases, a student may be expelled from the College for disruptive behaviour.

A medical certificate stating that the student is too ill to attend class may be required when a student has been absent.

Students are expected to behave responsibly and to conduct themselves both inside and outside the classroom in a manner that shows respect for others and for College property.

Misconduct on the part of a student can result in the student being placed on probation and, in more serious cases, it can result in dismissal from the College.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities/Special Needs

It is the responsibility of students with a disability or special needs to contact the College at their earliest opportunity in order to inform the College of the nature of their disability/special needs and to provide the relevant medical or psycho-educational documentation from a specialist, so that a Counsellor and student can jointly determine the appropriate accommodation(s) for the student, and so that the Counsellor can inform the relevant Instructors of the accommodation(s) required.

The documentation in support of the request for accommodation must include a recent (within 3 years) formal diagnosis and must explain the nature and degree of the disability or special need(s). In addition, the documentation should indicate that some degree of academic accommodation is required.

It is preferable that the relevant documentation be acquired by the student prior to arriving in Canada, as appropriate diagnosis and recommendations for accommodation once in Canada may require considerable time and expense on the part of the student.

With this information, Columbia College can then take reasonable measures to accommodate these students. The College will do its best to ensure that such students have an equal opportunity to achieve their optimum performance. These measures include, but are not limited to, the following adaptations/modifications to classroom management and the delivery of course content:

– Preferential seating

– Alternative delivery of lecture material

– Distraction-reduced environment for tests/exams/essays

– Permission to record lectures

– Extended time (both in-class and outside class) to complete assignments, essays, tests, and exams

– Regular washroom breaks

Note: All costs related to diagnosis, obtaining documentation, and ensuring accommodation of the special need or disability are the responsibility of the student.

Plagiarism and Other Forms of Cheating

Plagiarism and other forms of cheating on course work will be treated as misconduct. Plagiarism, the presentation of another’s words, thoughts or inventions as one’s own, is regarded as a grave offense in all courses at Columbia College. Associated dishonest practices include the faking or falsification of data, cheating, or the uttering of false statements by a student in order to obtain unjustified concessions.

Students are asked to review the College’s “Cheating and Plagiarism Policy and Protocols” available from Student Services.

Students may not bring electronic devices (besides approved calculators), including cellphones, into an exam. Violation of this policy will be viewed as a form of cheating.

If an instructor believes that a student has plagiarised, the instructor contacts a Counsellor. Within one business day of receiving a plagiarism charge from an instructor, the Counsellor will email the student at their Columbia College email address, thereby initiating the 7 day appeal period. The email will advise the student of the charge being filed, the consequences of the charge, the right to appeal, and the necessity to see a Counsellor prior to returning to that particular class

Should a student be accused of cheating and/or plagiarism, he or she should contact a Counsellor immediately. The Counsellor will review the College’s “Cheating and Plagiarism Policy and Protocols” with the student and provide advice. Less serious matters may be dealt with informally with the consent of both parties. In more serious cases the instructor will recommend a penalty in accord with the College’s published protocols. This penalty may be appealed to the Cheating and Plagiarism Appeal Committee which will make a final decision on the matter.

A student expelled for plagiarism will be assigned grades of F on all courses take in that semester.

Records of plagiarism are kept in the student’s file. The student can apply to the Academic Board to have a record of plagiarism removed after 3 years following its entry date.

Probation

A student is placed on probation if their semester GPA falls below 1.7 in UT courses, or their average mark falls below 55% in high school courses. Students on academic probation are required to increase their next semester’s GPA to 1.7 or above (or 55% or above in high school courses) in order to remove the probationary status.

Students on academic probation for two consecutive semesters require permission from the Academic Probation Committee before they will be allowed to register for another semester. (Students seeking such permission should consult a counsellor.)

Students on academic probation for three consecutive semesters will not normally be allowed to continue their studies at Columbia College. Students may appeal to the Academic Board for special consideration if documented extenuating circumstances exist. (Students wishing to appeal should consult a counsellor.)

Students denied permission to register because of probationary status must, if they wish to return to Columbia College, reapply to Columbia College and show evidence of improved academic performance at another academic institution. (This will normally be a minimum of a “C” average on at least nine transferable credits.)

A student who is placed on probation for misconduct will be required to demonstrate satisfactory conduct and satisfactory academic standing (semester UT Program GPA of 1.7 or above, or 55% or above in High School courses) in order to continue studying at the College.

A student on probation is normally limited to a full-time load of 12 secondary credits (3 courses) or twelve university credits (or equivalent) per semester.

A student in a High School Program who is on academic probation must maintain full-time status by remaining in at least three courses. There are no limits on withdrawal from courses for a student in the University Transfer Program who is on academic probation.

Honour Roll

Each semester, full-time students in the University Transfer Program with a minimum course load of 12 credits and a semester GPA of 3.7 or higher, and full-time students in a High School Program with a semester average of 3.5 or higher will be placed on the College Honour Roll and receive Honour Roll Certificates.

Transcripts

Student Copy

The College generates a complete, up-to-date transcript for each registered student at the end of each semester. If the student is under the age of 19 and in a Foundation Program or ESL, then a copy of this transcript is also mailed to the student’s parents. Parents of students in the University Transfer Program who are under the age of 19 will not normally receive regular communications from the College on their son/daughter’s registration and performance. If parents have concerns about such matters, however, they are encouraged to contact Student Services, and they will be provided with more information.

In accordance with Canadian privacy laws, the parents of students over the age of 19 will not receive information concerning the student’s progress unless a consent form is signed by the student. (This may be done at his or her initial registration or as part of the application process).

Students may view their transcripts on the Student Portal and can print their own unofficial copies.

Official Copies

Upon the request of a student, official transcripts will be mailed directly to a university or college. Official transcripts will normally not be released to students directly. Official transcripts can be ordered online. For transcript ordering fees see pages 47-48.

Registration

Students must register each semester for the courses they plan to take in that semester. Each semester, prior to registration, students may choose to consult with a counsellor to review and plan their courses. Students in the University Transfer Program register online; High School students register in-person with a Counsellor. Students registering online will be given a specified time to log-on. Priority in registration is given to longer-term students, and newer students may find that preferred courses/sections are full when they come to register, and they may be placed on a Waitlist for their desired courses. The College makes every effort to provide an adequate selection of courses for students, and courses may be added to the timetable if there is sufficient demand.

Fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. Students are automatically enrolled in the Columbia College Medical Plan when they register.

Continuing students may register in the week following final examination week and are encouraged to do so since popular courses and times do fill up as registration proceeds. Registration for continuing students continues through the following weeks up to the first day of classes of the next semester.

Late Registration takes place during the first 5 days of classes, space permitting. A late fee will apply. Additional penalties will be assessed if tuition fees have not been paid in full by the fifth teaching day of the semester.

Repeated Courses

Students are not normally permitted to repeat a credit course more than twice.

Course Selection

Students usually register online. Counsellors are available to assist with course selection. (Course selection is subject to the College’s approval.) Students who have successfully completed a higher level course will not be permitted to register in a lower level course in the same subject area.

Course Changes: Add or Drop

Students may add, drop, or change courses up to the end of the fifth day of classes each semester. Courses dropped will not appear on the student’s permanent record.

Withdrawals

After the first week of classes, and up to the end of the first day of the tenth week of classes, students may withdraw from a course. The notation “W” will appear after the course name on the student’s permanent record. This course will not be considered when the GPA is computed. There will be no refunds on course withdrawals. Canadian immigration authorities may view withdrawals as changing a student’s status from full-time to part-time.

In the case of a Secondary student under the age of 19, the College requires the written permission of a parent (or guardian) before a course withdrawal will be permitted. Secondary students wishing to withdraw from a course must consult a Counsellor.

Failure to attend a course after registering for it does not constitute withdrawal, and will result in an F (or N, see page 6) grade on the student’s record. Withdrawals are not permitted from required English courses, and the right to withdraw from courses in some programs (such as the University Preparatory Program) is limited. Students who are retaking courses for the purpose of improving a passing grade may withdraw from these courses up to the last day of classes.

Students wishing to withdraw from a course should consult a Counsellor.

Semester Timetable and Course Offerings

a) The semester timetable is issued by the Registrar and will be available prior to the end of the preceding semester. The College reserves the right to make changes in the timetable at its discretion.

b) If the number of students registered for a course is insufficient to warrant it being offered, that course may be cancelled. Conversely, additional sections may be added to a course where it is warranted.

c) Late adjustments to the timetable may involve changing instructors. Students should note that when they register, they are registering to take a particular course/section rather than to take a course with a specific instructor.

Addresses

All communications mailed to students are sent to the local address provided by the student. All students are urged to assist the College in keeping the College’s records current, and to notify the College of any changes.

College Email

All students registered at Columbia College have an email account. Instructions on how to access College email are available on the College website.

It is vital that students check their email regularly for important information and updates. The College will not accept failure to check their email as an excuse for being unaware of College policies.

Student Portal

All current students and alumni have access to the Student Portal (student.columbiacollege.bc.ca), where they can edit their personal details and find information about their classes, view transcripts and see their final exam grades. Students can also find their T2202A tax form for the previous year on the Portal.

Identification Cards

All new students are issued a Columbia College student identification card after they register. The card provides the student with a College photo-ID and serves as a library card. Students are required to produce photo-ID during examinations and at some other times on campus. Each semester student ID cards must be re-validated.