Trouble with your courses? Need to file an appeal? Not sure where to start?
You’re in the right place
Our academic advocacy team is here to support undergraduate and Law students in navigating the confusing university processes around appeals, grade standings, senate polices, and other bureaucratic processes that students sometimes need to follow. This page has all of the information you need to successfully navigate these processes, and how to get in touch with our team for additional support.
Always Make an Effort to Reach an Informal Resolution
The university expects students to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue themselves, before filing an official complaint or appeal. This means contacting your instructor to explain your situation to see if they can make accommodations with you directly. Many professors are very understanding and will support students when extenuating circumstances arise. Appeals tend to be less successful if the student was able to speak with the instructor but chose not to.
Filing an Appeal
There are different types of appeals depending on the situation you are facing, learn which appeal might apply to you:
A grade appeal is your opportunity to appeal a final grade in a particular course.
A standing appeal can be filed when you have a change in academic standing (ie. Required To Withdraw or Permanent Program Withdrawn).
An academic misconduct appeal is your opportunity to challenge a finding of academic misconduct or the penalty assigned for committing academic misconduct.
Fee appeals can be submitted on the basis of medical, compassionate, or procedural grounds usually within 6 months since the fees in question were posted to your account.
Retroactive or late course drop requests can be submitted to the Registrar’s Office if you have been affected by difficult or unforeseen personal circumstances (i.e. medical or compassionate ground).
Instructor or Course Complaint
If you have a concern about your instructor or course, you are encouraged to address the matter as soon as it arises to avoid further problems. You have the right to express your concern and should not be penalized because of a disagreement or complaint against your instructor. It’s a good idea to maintain copies of any correspondence such as emails that you have with your instructor or anyone else you may have contacted concerning your problems.
For concerns presented to the Program Chair/Director, or any persons at a higher level, it’s advisable to have a typed statement that documents the concern, indicating who you’ve been in touch with, what recommendations or strategies were advised, what worked or didn’t work, and what you are now seeking or proposing.
You will be more successful at the higher stages of a complaint or appeal if you can demonstrate that you did take steps to resolve the situation before going “above heads” but nothing was changed. Show that the step you are taking now is a last resort.
When possible, communicate your concern/issue directly to your instructor. If you feel uncomfortable about approaching your instructor directly, you can skip Step 1
Book with Our Academic Advocates
The TMSU Academic Advocates are only available through booking an appointment. Before you book your appointment please make sure you’ve done the following:
- Go through the information that might be relevant to your particular case on this page so your meetings with the advocate can be as productive as possible. There are a lot of valuable resources that can probably respond to most of your questions without the need to book an appointment.
- You’ve compiled all of your evidence, proof, or supporting documents to be ready for the meeting
Life happens and if you need to cancel that is perfectly fine, just make sure to free the time slot so we can help another student in need.
You can reach the academic advocacy team by emailing: email@example.com.
Your Rights as a Student
Every student at TMU has rights in and out of the classroom, and it is important you are aware of them especially if you are filing an appeal. Read and download the TMU Student Rights Statement here: TMU Student Rights Statement (Senate 2003)
Some key points of your rights as a student are explained in further detail below:
Opting Out of Turn It In
At TMU, you have the right to refuse to submit your work to Turnitin.com, even if your instructor requests you to do so. Turn it down, don’t turn it in! according to TMU’s guidelines, if you do not want your work submitted to Turnitin.com, you must notify your instructor by the end of the second week of class. You have to consult with the instructor to make alternate arrangements. Other arrangements may include anything from the submission of a draft or an annotated bibliography.
If you feel you are being discriminated against or harassed, you should consult with the Human Rights Services office of TMU. Everyone at the university should feel safe and be treated with dignity. If you feel you are being treated unfairly based on any of the protected human rights grounds – your race, ethnic background, age, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability, etc., you should check in with Human Rights Services for assistance: torontomu.ca/humanrights