Professional Development Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures are for Professional Development courses other than Master of Education courses.

Academic Withdrawals and Refunds

To withdraw from a course, students must either withdraw online using WebAdvisor OR submit a letter of withdrawal to the attention of the Office of the Registrar (see IMPORTANT DATES tab for deadlines and tuition refund eligibility). The withdrawal date is considered to be the date the student withdraws using WebAdvisor or the date the withdrawal letter is received by the Office of the Registrar. A mark of “WDR” (Withdrawn) or “F” (Failed) may appear on a student’s academic record, depending on the date that the withdrawal request has been received. All course withdrawals are subject to a non-refundable $200 cancellation fee.

The Withdrawal Date is considered to be the date the student withdraws using WebAdvisor or the date the withdrawal letter is received in the Office of the Registrar. If a credit remains on a student's account after all fees are paid, a refund cheque will be issued. Refund cheques are generally processed 4 to 6 weeks after a student has withdrawn and are mailed to the permanent home address. Students will receive a tuition refund (less the applicable cancellation fee) up to the date specified on the Important Dates tab. Students who withdraw after the specified dates will not be eligible for a tuition refund.

Note: Failure to submit payment for a course, discontinuing attendance in classes, failure to login to an on-line course, failure to submit any assignments, notification to the instructor, or stopping payment on a cheque, do not constitute official withdrawal.

Academic Dishonesty

The University takes a very serious view of such offenses against academic honesty as plagiarism, cheating, and impersonation. Penalties for dealing with such offenses will be strictly enforced. The full Nipissing University Policy on Academic Dishonesty can be found here.

Associate Teacher Tuition Credit

Teachers who have served as Associate Teachers for Nipissing University’s Bachelor of Education candidates during their practica, are given tuition credit vouchers in appreciation for their support. If a teacher wishes to use the tuition credit voucher toward an Additional Qualification course, they must submit the voucher with their paper registration form in order to have the credit applied. Vouchers are non-transferable.

Assignment Submission Process

Individual assignments are to be submitted as directed within the assignment or as directed by the instructor.

Attendance and Mandatory Class Discussion/Participation

In order to be reported to the Ontario College of Teachers, all AQ/ABQ courses require a time commitment of 125 hours. Throughout the course, full attendance and regular class participation is required. This pertains to distance courses as well. If an exceptional circumstance arises and you absolutely must miss an onsite session, you must contact your instructor and notify them of your absence, in advance. Make up work will be required.

Online Courses

The Ontario College of Teachers requires that all AQ/ABQ courses require 125 hours of work by the student. Your online time must reflect what your attendance would have been in a face-to-face format. That means that you should plan on spending 10 to 15 hours of work per week on this course. Course instructors will be tracking and monitoring your time online as well as the quality of communications and interactions.

While flexible, participation in asynchronous course discussion is mandatory and participation must be active and ongoing throughout the course. Candidates are expected to be online every two to three days (at a minimum) throughout the course. It is not acceptable to wait until the last day to post. You need to provide time for others to respond to your posts. In order to get the most of your learning experience, it is important to contribute ideas and knowledge and actively engage with the course content. Discussion postings will not simply be evaluated on the number of postings you make. Your posts must be substantive, well constructed, and demonstrate your comprehension of the course material. You must be prepared to support your opinions with evidence from your readings or experience.

Students who do not meet the attendance and discussion requirements will not be successful in the course and will not be reported to the Ontario College of Teachers.


Auditing of Additional Qualification courses will not be permitted.

Course Hours

Six-credit courses (full courses) require a total of 125 hours of work.

Confirmation Of Registration

A letter of confirmation of registration will be sent to all email addresses on file, stating the course(s) into which you have been accepted and registered. The letter will also specify what additional documentation, if any, is required.

Course Cancellations

In the event that the University cancels a course, registered students will receive a full refund of their fees or may be placed in an alternate course if one was indicated at the time of registration. Refunds are processed in the Student Financial Services office.

Course Dates

Nipissing offers courses, throughout the year, in a variety of course formats. See Important Dates.

Course Extensions (Incompletes)

Please recognize that Additional Qualification courses involve a significant workload.

Extensions will generally not be granted except in truly extenuating circumstances. Course instructors are contracted to teach for a period of time specific to each course and will not be asked to instruct or mark past the closing date of the course.

University Policy on Incomplete Grades

In exceptional circumstances, a student may request consideration for an Incomplete grade (INC). Such requests must be submitted in writing, through the Instructor to the Dean, together with the reason and supporting documentation for the request.

Any student assigned an Incomplete grade must complete all course requirements within one month after the end of the course. If after that period the course is not completed or the Dean has not granted an extension, a grade of zero will be assigned to those components not completed.

In no way does this regulation supersede any deadlines for term work set by the instructor within the time span of the course.

Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are distributed to students in all courses. Although completion of the questionnaire is voluntary, students are asked to take the time to complete and submit this questionnaire. The data gathered from these evaluations is treated very seriously and allows the university to assess and improve courses and instruction. The questionnaires are anonymous and results are not shared with instructors until the final grades have been submitted. Evaluation results are processed and summarized one month following the completion date of the course so students should ensure that they are submitted within that timeframe. Comment sheets that are completed by students remain sealed and are viewed only by the instructor and are not viewed by administrative personnel. They are sent to the instructor once grades have been submitted.

Course Identification

Unless otherwise designated in the course description, a course whose fourth digit is 0 or 5 will have the value of six credits, and courses, whose fourth digit is a 1, 2, 6, or 7, will have the value of three credits.

Course Load

Course load is not restricted. Students who choose to take multiple courses simultaneously should make themselves aware of the workload that will be expected. Students will be expected to meet all course expectations and deadlines for each course.

Current Teacher Candidates from other Ontario institutions

As a teacher candidate from other Ontario institutions you are welcome to take an AQ or ABQ with us.

Current Teacher Candidates from institutions outside Ontario

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate teacher candidates from outside of Ontario until an Ontario College of Teachers certificate has been issued.

If your situation is not addressed in the two paragraphs above, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or 705.474.3450 ext. 4600. We can provide you with guidance based on your unique circumstances.

Teachers who are not, or do not intend to become certified with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) are also welcome to contact us for information on eligibility.


Feedback on all assignments must be provided within 14 days of the submission deadline.

In all online courses, feedback on all assignments will be posted to the student’s inbox within 14 days of the assignment deadline. Weekly feedback on discussion questions and participation will be posted to the learner's inbox within 7 days of the end of the online week.

Finance Service Charges

Any student who issues a cheque for payment to Nipissing University, and whose cheque is returned to the University for any reason, will be subject to a service charge of $45.

An interest charge at the rate of 1.5% will be assessed monthly (19.56% effective annual rate) on all student accounts with balances outstanding after the relevant due date for fees incurred. Interest will not be waived for late payments.


Student grades in each course will be based upon the coursework and class participation. The course instructor will inform students of the basis of assessments specifying the relative weight of assignments, class discussion and participation, etc. All assignments (including discussion participation) must be completed to receive a final grade. The instructor is required to return all written work submitted for evaluation purposes. A minimum grade of 60%, in the course, is required by the Ontario College of Teachers, to be reported to them for entry on student’s certificate of qualification. Upon course completion, with a minimum grade of 60%, students who are certified teachers, and members in good standing, will be reported to the Ontario College of Teachers for the appropriate additional qualification or additional basic qualification.


Multiple sections and instructors may be established for courses based on anticipated enrolment and the established enrolment cap of 20 - 25 students for distance education courses and 36 - 40 students for on-site courses. Students are placed in courses in the order in which their registrations are received. Due to the volume of registrations received by the university, and the established enrolment caps, it is not possible for students to request a specific instructor.

Late Assignments

Students are expected to meet all assignment deadlines throughout the course. These commitments are just as important in online courses as they are in a face-to-face class. All assignments are mandatory and must be completed to be successful in this course.

If, due to exceptional circumstances, you find yourself unable to meet an assignment deadline, you are required to notify your instructor in advance. The course instructor will consider the reason provided and has the discretion to negotiate an assignment extension. A medical certificate may be requested. The instructor is not obligated to accept a late assignment if they were not notified in advance of the due date. Late penalties will be applied.

Assignments submitted after the due date may lose 5% of the maximum point value for each day late. Please be advised that if you wait until the last day of a module to post in the discussion board, full marks may not be granted because sufficient opportunity for other students to respond was not provided. Discussion posts are expected to be substantive and relevant. Specific information regarding discussion expectations is included within each course.

Learner Accountability (Online Courses)

Students are accountable for submitting all assignments on time, in the proper format, to the proper tool/location. The instructor may deduct points for improperly posted assignments.

No Extra Credit

There is no opportunity to earn "extra credit" in any Additional Qualification course. Course grades are based on completion of the required assignments and class participation only.

Release of Final Grades

Final marks are withheld from students who have an outstanding account at the University or Library, and such students will forfeit their right to appeal grades. In addition, reporting to the Ontario College of Teachers will be withheld for those students who are in financial arrears to the University, who have not submitted the required admission documentation, or who have not returned borrowed University course material. This could result in courses being ineligible for addition to a student’s OCT certificate.

Final grades will not be released by the university until after the official completion date for the course, even in situations where coursework has been completed prior to that date. Once approved by the Dean and verified by the Office of the Registrar, students can access their grades on WebAdvisor.

Reporting to The Ontario College of Teachers

Upon completing courses, with a minimum grade of 60%, students who are certified teachers, and members in good standing, will be reported to the Ontario College of Teachers for the appropriate Additional Qualification or Additional Basic Qualification. To be reported, students must have submitted all required documentation and must not be in financial arrears to the university. Students must provide an OCT registration number and a date of birth in order to have their course reported to the Ontario College of Teachers. The Ontario College of Teachers also recommends that students provide a SIN number.

Qualifications are reported in a batch upload to OCT usually within two to three weeks of the closing date of the course. Sufficient time is required for all grades for the session to be submitted by the instructors and to be verified by the Dean of Education. Qualifications will not be reported on an individual basis in advance of the batch upload nor will a qualification be reported until after the official closing date of the course. Students should inform the In-Service Education Office if the course does not appear on their Certificate of Qualification within three months of the official course completion date. Although rare, there are occasions when reports get missed. In those situations, it is possible to manually send the report to the Ontario College of Teachers.

Transcript Of Records

A transcript-processing fee is included in the course registration fee for AQ courses and one official transcript will be mailed to students once the report has been sent to the Ontario College of Teachers. Requests for additional official transcripts must be made through the Office of the Registrar. The fee for a transcript is $15, payable before the request is processed. Transcripts must be requested in writing or in person; telephone requests will not be accepted.

Waiting List Policy

Course enrolment limits are of two basic types:

  • The first type is simply the capacity of the lecture room/classroom in which the class is scheduled to meet and can only be increased by relocating, if possible, to a larger room.
  • The second type is one that has been approved by the Dean of Education for pedagogical reasons. Approval is required from the In-Service office in order to raise the limit.

Students who attempt to register for a course and discover that it has reached full enrolment may, if they desire, be placed on a waiting list that will be established by the Office of the Registrar. Students will be placed on the list on a first come – first served basis. If a space becomes available, the vacant position will be offered to students in the order in which they appear on the list. Students who are not on the waiting list will not be offered a position in the class.​​