Absences (Academic Consideration) and Academic Accommodations

The following information is provided for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) who require academic accommodations, or considerations.

Please refer to the comparison table at the end of this page.

Several forms listed here are fillable PDF files available on the Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) website. In case of discrepancies, the QSAS website should be considered as the most current one. All completed forms must be emailed to the Academic Accommodation Coordinator, Catherine Gurnsey, in the Faculty Office (Beamish-Munro Hall, Room 300). If you encounter any problems with accessing these forms (e.g., broken links, etc.), please contact Catherine at engineering.aac@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 78013.


Absences (Academic Consideration)

Academic considerations is an action taken by an educator in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance. Academic considerations are intended to minimize the impact of a serious or significant extenuating circumstance that is beyond a student’s control. Considerations may include but are not limited to: an excused absence, a brief reprieve from coursework, extended or deferred deadline, a modified schedule for assignments, labs, placements, projects, or comprehensive exams, a deferred exam or project, a medical leave of absence, an alternate assignment, a re-weighting of assigned marks, course withdrawal without penalty, or other considerations deemed appropriate by a Faculty or School Office.

Students are required to submit the following documentation, depending on the circumstances, for all absences that result in a student missing deliverables (tests, quizzes, labs, midterms, final exams). Do not submit forms to your instructors.

Different forms are required in different circumstances; please refer to the following categories:

Brief Absence
(up to 48 hours)

Extenuating Circumstances
(more than 48 hours, up to 3 months)

Absence for Significant Event
For university sanctioned events

  • Self-Declaration of Brief Absence

    This consideration applies to brief absences, due to unexpected acute illnesses or distressing events. This form should be used if you are unable to complete academic work (for marks) due to an unexpected illness (e.g. stomach flu) or distressing event (e.g. accident), and you anticipate being able to return to academic work within 48-72 hours. Download your form and follow the directions on the second page regarding submission. You do not need additional documentation for these brief absences.

    Self-declaration of Brief Absence form (PDF)

    This form should be emailed to Academic Accommodations Coordinator at engineering.aac@queensu.ca. Please do not come into the office when actively ill, please call Catherine Gurnsey at 613-533-6000 x78013 to be advised.

    Once your form is submitted and verified, an email will be sent to your instructor(s) notifying them that the Faculty Office has received appropriate documentation for your absence. You will be copied on this email notification and it is the student's responsibility to then contact the instructor to make up missed course work. Failure to do this may result in not getting credit for missed work. Note that all course outcomes must be fulfilled, as specified in the course syllabus.

    The Faculty Office will place all forms in your student file and make note of previous requests. In cases of more than one request, the Faculty Office may contact you to refer you to a student advisor or offer academic advice, as appropriate. If at any time you require information regarding on-campus resources (medical, personal, or other), please contact Catherine.

  • Request for Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances

    This consideration applies to extenuating circumstances, where you know that you will continue to experience impairments for a longer period of time (up to 3 months). This could include an extended, unanticipated illness (e.g., pneumonia, mononucleosis); a serious injury (e.g., concussion, broken bones); a required treatment (e.g., surgical procedure, significant side effects from a new medication); serious injury or illness to a significant other; bereavement; traumatic event; or other significant personal crisis.

    These extenuating circumstances may mean you are able to do some, but not all work.

    Request for Academic Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances - this form is completed by the student. When the student is applying for Request for Academic Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances (link below) they also must submit either A or B below:

    Verification of Personal Health Condition (A) - if your extenuating circumstances are due to a personal health condition, you can have this form completed when you meet with a health care professional and provide it as documentation to your Faculty/School Office.

    Verification of Confidential Extenuating Circumstances (B) - If your extenuating circumstances are not due to a health condition but you are not comfortable disclosing the specifics of the situation, then you can have a support professional at Queen's (the chaplain, sexual violence prevention and response coordinator, human rights office advisor etc), who is aware of your situation, complete this form.

    * Bereavement requests only require the Request for Academic Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances form and either the obituary or death certificate.

    Request for Academic Consideration for Extenuating Circumstances form (PDF)
    Verification of Personal Health Condition form (PDF)

    All documentation must be submitted together by email to the Academic Accommodation Coordinator in the Faculty Office (BMH Room 300) as soon as possible, engineering.aac@queensu.ca. Please do not come when actively sick. If you require any information please call Catherine Gurnsey at 613-533-6000 ext. 78013 to be advised.

    Once your request is submitted and verified, an email containing a memorandum will be sent to your instructor(s) notifying them that the Faculty Office has received appropriate documentation for your absence. Generic information about the duration of your absence and/or accommodation(s) will be included in the email. You will be copied on this email notification and it is the student's responsibility to then contact the instructor to make up missed course workFailure to do this may result in not getting credit for missed work. Note that all course outcomes must be fulfilled, as specified in the course syllabus.

    The Faculty Office will place all forms in your student file. If at any time you require information regarding on-campus resources (medical, personal, or other), please contact Catherine Gurnsey.

    This form should not be used if you are unable to meet academic requirements due to functional limitations related to an underlying disability or diagnosed health condition. Instead, you should register with Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) to discuss academic accommodations. This would include experiencing an exacerbation of an existing condition that had not previously required accommodation (e.g., Crohn's disease, diabetes, anxiety), or the new onset of a physical or mental illness (e.g., depression), or a recovery that is slower than anticipated (e.g., complicated grief, post-concussion syndrome, medical complications, post-traumatic stress).

  • Request for Excused Absence for Significant Events

    If you are participating in an event at the provincial, national or international level that is either a Queen's Varsity Athletics event or an event to which you were invited as a distinguished guest, you can complete a "Request for Excused Absence for Significant events" form for consideration. Please see the back of the form for submission information. This must be done at least two weeks PRIOR to the event, or as soon as practically possible. Submission of a request does not guarantee approval for the event.

    Request for Excused Absence for Significant Events form (PDF)

    *Due to the intensive nature of the FEAS program, the faculty cautions against time off for extended time periods, longer than 48 hours.

    For more information, read the Procedure for Academic Consideration for Students participating in Sanctioned Events or as Distinguished Guests (PDF).


Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are put in place to equalize learning opportunities and access to the academic environment for students with disabilities. A disability may include a temporary (e.g., a concussion or broken arm) or permanent (e.g., a learning disability) condition. The functional limitations resulting from a disability can at times intersect with the academic environment in a way that creates a barrier for students. Some examples of accommodations include extra time on exams, permission to use assistive technology for exams, or permission to audio record lectures.

Academic accommodations are approved by Queen's Student Accessibility Services. For an overview of the procedures and types of accommodations provided, please see the QSAS website.

Should you have any concerns, questions, or require information, the FEAS Academic Accommodation Coordinator is available to assist you in BMH Room 300, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, September to April. You may also email engineering.aac@queensu.ca or call 613-533-6000 ext. 78013.

  • Letter of Accommodation

    The process for submitting Letter of Accommodation is different for each Faculty. FEAS students do not submit letters to instructors.

    Students will submit their Letter of Accommodation and the 2 FEAS Academic Accommodation forms (one for fall term courses and one for winter courses), by email, to engineering.aac@queensu.ca, Catherine Gurnsey, Academic Accommodation Coordinator in the Faculty Office (BMH Room 300) within the first two weeks of the FALL term. This tells the Faculty Office that you wish to use your accommodations for the entire academic year. If you do not submit your letter to Catherine, you may not receive your accommodation(s). If you are awaiting your QSAS evaluation, please send an email to engineering.aac@queensu.ca and provide the date of your appointment. Your instructors will be notified via email that documentation will be distributed to them shortly. If you receive your letter any other time throughout the year, the process is the same; simply email your letter and the FEAS Academic Accommodation form(s) and we will process your new accommodations.

    FEAS Academic Accommodation Registered Course(s) form (PDF)
    (Remember to submit 1 sheet for fall courses and 1 sheet for winter courses.)

  • Short-Term Academic Accommodations

    The process for submitting a Short-term Academic Accommodation is different for each Faculty. FEAS students do not submit Short-term Academic Accommodation forms to their instructors.

    Students will submit their Short-term Academic Accommodation, by email, engineering.aac@queensu.ca to Catherine Gurnsey, Academic Accommodation Coordinator in the Faculty Office (BMH Room 300) as soon as it is issued to them. They will also submit a FEAS Academic Accommodation form with their courses for the current timeframe. This allows us time to distribute the new accommodations to your instructors as quickly as possible. If you do not submit your form to Catherine it may affect you receiving your accommodation(s).

    FEAS Academic Accommodation Registered Course(s) form (PDF)


Differences between Academic Consideration and 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

Queen’s University 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

Self-Declaration for Brief Absence (up to 48 hours)*:

  • Short-term illness (e.g., stomach flu)
  • Minor injury (e.g., sprained ankle)
  • Distressing event or other physical or psychological impairment

Extenuating circumstances (>48 hours to 3 months)*:

  • Extended illness (e.g., mononucleosis, pneumonia)
  • Serious injury (e.g., concussion or broken bones)
  • Required treatment (e.g., surgery or medication side effects)
  • Bereavement (e.g., loss of close family member)
  • Traumatic event (e.g., divorce) or other significant personal crisis

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.)

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 Letter of Accommodation and Short-Term Academic Accommodation for instructors to implement.

* Exclusions that are not covered by this protocol:

Students that are unable to meet academic requirements due to experiencing high levels of academic or exam-related stress should seek out supports and services from Student Wellness Services and contact Tess Grant, Occupational Therapist: 613-533-6000, ext. 75842 or tess.grant@queensu.ca.