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Sociology Student Handbook

Contents (on this page)

 

 

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the right to search for truth, knowledge and understanding. The common good of society depends upon the search for knowledge and its free exposition. Academic freedom in universities is essential to both these purposes, in teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity.

The Department of Sociology as a community of scholars has a duty to protect and defend this search for knowledge and understanding by all who inquire, teach, and learn under its auspices. They shall be free to teach, to carry out scholarly research and creative activities and to publish the results thereof, and to discuss and to criticize both the University and the wider society it serves.

This statement affirms the position on academic freedom articulated by Article 11 of the Collective Agreement between Ryerson University and the Faculty Association and by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

 

Academic Misconduct / Plagiarism

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University Student Code of Academic Conduct. Please consult the Code of Academic Conduct for the definition of academic misconduct and the penalties associated with it.

More information and an Academic Integrity Tutorial are available on the Academic Integrity website.

Tip sheets on ‘How to Avoid Plagiarism’ and ‘Citing, Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing’ are available from the Writing Centre.

If you are at all unclear about what constitutes misconduct or plagiarism, please consult your course instructor prior to submitting your work.

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Academic Standing

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University policy on Undergraduate Grading, Promotion and Academic Standing.

The Ryerson University Website contains information about Academic Standings and when they are assigned

More information about Academic Standing is also available from the Ryerson Student Guide.

Please also see the sections of this handbook on Probation and being Required to Withdraw .

 

Accommodations for Compassionate Reasons

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University policy on Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals, sections P-IB3 and P-IB4.

Students might also find it useful to read the FAQs on the policy for Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals.

Students who require accommodations for compassionate reasons in one or more courses must provide the Sociology Program Administrator with appropriate documentation and an Academic Documentation Consideration Form. Your instructors will be advised that documentation has been received by the program, and it is up to them whether to provide accommodations.

Students who expect that they will require ongoing accommodations for compassionate reasons, such as in the case of an immediate family member's major illness, must contact the Sociology Undergraduate Program Director and provide them with appropriate documentation.

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Academic Consideration for Medical Reasons

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University policy on Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals, sections P-IB3 and P-IB4.

Students might also find it useful to read the FAQs on the policy for Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals.

If you require medical consideration in one or more courses, provide the Sociology Program Administrator with a completed Ryerson Medical Certificate and an Academic Documentation Consideration Form. Please be aware that many doctors will charge an additional fee for the completion of the medical form. Your instructors will be advised that documentation has been received by the program, and it is up to them whether to provide consideration.

Students who expect that they will require ongoing medical accommodations, such as in the case of a major or chronic illness, must contact the Sociology Undergraduate Program Director and provide them with appropriate documentation. A student with a mental health disability does not need to disclose a diagnosis statement in order to receive academic accomodation.

 

Accommodations for Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual Observance

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University policy on Accommodation of Student Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual Observance.

To request accommodations for Religious, Aboriginal or Spiritual Observances, complete this form and submit it to each of your professors within the first two weeks of each term: Request for Accommodation of Religious, Aboriginal or Spiritual Observance

More information on the procedures to follow for accommodations is available from the Ryerson Student Guide.

A useful list of FAQs and a yearly religious calendar are available from the Human Rights Services office. 

 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students who need academic accommodation support based on disability should register with Academic Accommodation Support (AAS). Once registered, the student must activate the sending of an accommodation letter via the online system used by AAS to each of their instructors outlining their approved accommodation(s) for each course. This should be done as early as possible, prior to a graded assignment, test or exam.

In some cases, arrangements related to a student’s accommodation needs may be made by the student’s Academic Accommodation Support Facilitator on behalf of the student. Students are not required to provide their personal health information or seek accommodation directly from their professors, course instructors or teaching assistants as it pertains to academic accommodation for disabilities.

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Appealing a Course Grade or Academic Standing

Students have the right to appeal their final course grade and/or their academic standing.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University policy on Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals.

Students might also find it useful to read the FAQs on the policy for Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals.

Instructions for how to prepare an appeal are available from Enrollment Services and Student Records. Students planning an appeal may also find it helpful to attend a University 201 seminar. Additional information on filing an appeal can be found in the Ryerson Student Guide.

Note: To request the regarding of a single piece of course work (i.e. an assignment or test grade), please see the section of this Handbook on Regrading/Reassessment of Course Work.

 

Attendance

Individual course instructors determine whether class attendance will be used as a basis for grades, and if so, this should be clearly indicated in the course outline.

Typically, no more than 10% of the final grade should allotted to attendance alone. If grades are assigned for attendance, then course instructors must institute some process for recording student attendance.

Students who miss class carry the entire responsibility of learning what they have missed; obtaining notes, if desired, from others; doing required work; and in general fulfilling any obligations set forth in the class missed.

Missing classes, even for documented reasons, may result in lower grades, especially in course components related to participation and attendance.

Students may also want to consult the Student Guide section entitled "Your Learning Experience" for further information on expectations in the classroom. 

 

Auditing Courses

Undergraduate courses are typically not available for auditing.

If you wish to take a sociology course but do not want it to be included in your GPA, you may complete a GPA Adjustment Form to indicate that this course grade should excluded from your GPA.

GPA Adjustment Forms must be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services and Student Records before the final day to add a course in the term which you are taking the course that you want to be excluded.

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Class Participation

It is up to each individual course instructor to determine whether class participation will be used as a basis for grades. If so, the instructor will communicate in writing (usually in the course outline) their expectations about what constitutes class participation and the criteria that will be used for assessment.

Typically, no more than 10% of the final grade shall be allotted to class participation alone.

See also the section of this guide on Attendance.

 

Complaints

Students have the right to complain without fear of reprisal. The Department of Sociology encourages students who have complaints to follow the steps set out by Ryerson’s office of the Ombudsperson.

If you are unsure how to proceed, please contact either the Department Chair or the Undergraduate Program Director to find out more about your options.

For complaints related to discrimination or harassment, please see the section of this Handbook on Discrimination and Harassment.

 

Computers/Cell Phones in the Classroom

Cell phones must be turned off at all times in the classroom.

The use of computer and other technologies in the classroom is limited to their use for class purposes only (i.e. notetaking).

It is up to each course instructor to determine whether computers/laptops and other technologies are allowed in the classroom and when/how they may be used.

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Course Outlines

The Department of Sociology adheres to the criteria for course outlines set out in Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy.

Students will be provided with a course outline, either electronically on the University’s Course Management System or in hard copy, by or at the first meeting of every course. Please retain copies of your course outlines for your records; the Department does not typically provide additional course outlines to students.

In cases where there are multiple sections of the same course with variations in course delivery methods, grading and/or methods of evaluation, etc., the course outline will include at least a brief section/instructor-specific description.

 

Deadlines for Adding/Dropping Courses

The Department of Sociology adheres to the deadlines for adding and dropping courses established by the University Registrar which are published in the current University Calendar.

 

Deadlines for Submitting Course Work

On principle, the Department of Sociology maintains that the timely completion of course work is an integral part of learning.

Instructors have the right to stipulate final deadlines for acceptance of assignments, and to impose late penalties as they see fit; and are expected to notify students of these in advance. However, no assignment of any course value will be acceptable by any instructor after 5:00 p.m. on the final day of examinations for the semester in which the course ends, except in cases where an Incomplete (INC) grade has been assigned by the instructor.

Extensions on deadlines are entirely at the discretion of the instructor.

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Discrimination and Harassment

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University Policy on the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment.

The Department notes that given its focus and subject matter, course material may at times be challenging or controversial. The presentation of ideas that are deemed disturbing, irreverent or irrelevant does not constitute harassment.

Students who feel they may have experienced discrimination or harassment are encouraged to contact Ryerson's Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services.

 

Dropping off work (Department Dropbox)

Students may drop off work for Sociology professors by placing it in the Department of Sociology Dropbox, which is located to the left of the main door of the Department of Sociology on the third floor of Jorgensen Hall. The dropbox is not accessible on the weekend, as Jorgensen Hall is locked.

All work dropped in the dropbox must clearly show the name of the professor and the course and section that the assignment is for, otherwise it will not be delivered.

The dropbox is typically emptied twice a day (morning and evening), and work is stamped with the date it was received.

Students are required to keep a copy of all work submitted to the dropbox.

 

Email & Online Services

The Department of Sociology adheres to the Ryerson University Email Policy.

Students are required to use their @ryerson.ca email address for communicating with instructors and all other official communication with the university. You are responsible for checking this email account regularly. Email communication should be professional in tone and on topic.

Please follow these instructions for activating your Ryerson Email account and other online services.

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Evaluation in Courses

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for evaluation set out in Section 2.2 and Section 2.3 of Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy.

Sociology courses will normally include at least one written evaluation component. The format of this written evaluation may take a wide variety of forms, including but not limited to: essays or written assignments completed out-of-class, short-answer or essay questions on tests or exams, in-class writing exercises, reflexive writing activities, or discussion board or blog posts.

 

Evaluation During the Last Week of Term

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for the scheduling of test, examinations and assessments set out in Section 2.4 of Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy.

In the Fall and Winter semesters, the last week of classes and the subsequent Saturday and Sunday before the examination period are to be free of all tests, examinations or major assignments or assessments. There are a limited number of exceptions to this policy, which are listed in Section 2.4.2 of the Course Management Policy.

 

Films and Videos in Class

Films are shown in class for academic and pedagogical purposes. Visual material may be rich in sociological insight or useful for stimulating discussion.

In cases where the content of the film may be highly sensitive, announcements are made prior to screening so that students who are concerned about the content need not attend or may leave.

 

Fresh Start Program

The Fresh Start program is designed for students who have been 'Required to Withdraw' from their program of study. Visit the Fresh Start website for more information about the program.

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Group Work in Courses

The Department of Sociology acknowledges the importance of working with others as part of the educational experience.

Normally, group work will not exceed 30% of a course grade; the remainder of the course work will be individually assessed. In some courses, the instructor may provide the opportunity for students to opt for having a higher proportion of their course grade earned through group work.

Students who experience difficulties in group work should contact their course instructor as soon as the difficulties arise and as far as possible in advance of the project or assignment deadline.

Students who experience difficulty working in groups are encouraged to read the information on group work provided by The Learning and Teaching Office.

 

Incomplete Grades / Incomplete Courses

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for assigning ‘Incomplete’ grades set out in Section 2.2.2 of Ryerson University’s Policy on Undergraduate Grading, Promotion and Academic Standing.

Please note that students must petition their instructor to receive an INC grade within 3 working days, or as soon as reasonably possible, of the missed final examination or final assignment deadline. Supporting documentation (e.g. Ryerson Medical Certificate) must be provided.  Instructors awarding an INC grade must provide the student, within 7 working days, with a written statement
of outstanding work to be completed and the date by which it must be completed (or the date of the alternate final examination).

Incomplete grades must be cleared no later than three months after the submission of the INC grade

 

Late Submission of Course Work

The Department of Sociology considers the timely completion of work to be essential to learning in courses.

Instructors have the discretion to assess late penalties for work that is not submitted by the assigned deadline. Late penalties should be clearly announced prior to the assignment deadline and should be consistent for all students.

Instructors may also elect not to accept late assignments. If this is the case, this should be clearly announced prior to the assigned deadline.

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Liberal Studies Courses

Liberal Studies Courses are specifically designated courses which include a substantial writing component.

Students are encouraged to consult the Liberal Studies Website and review Liberal Studies FAQ for more information.

 

Make Up Tests and Exams

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for make-up tests, examinations and assignments set out in Section 2.2 of Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy.

 

Missed Examinations or Tests

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for student accommodations set out in Section V of Ryerson University’s Examination Policy.

Students are encouraged to follow the procedures for missed exams set out by the Office of the Ombudsperson.

 

Non-Academic Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with Ryerson University’s Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct.

Students who engaged in disrespectful or disruptive behavior may be asked to leave a classroom or office area. Failure to do so may lead to intervention by Ryerson Security Personnel.

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Probation (Academic Standing)

As per Section 2.4.2 of Ryerson University’s Policy on Undergraduate Grading, Promotion and Academic Standing, students with a a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 1.00 to 1.99 are assigned a probationary standing.

Students who receive a probationary standing are encouraged to consult the Faculty of Arts FAQ on Probation and the information on Probation developed by the Student Experience Centre.

Students might also find it useful to consult the section on academic standings in the Ryerson University Student Guide.

 

Recording in the Classroom

The Department of Sociology understands classroom presentations, including lectures, overhead/powerpoint slides, and distributed material to be the intellectual property of the instructor.

Students must obtain written permission from the course instructor (or any classroom speaker) prior recording classroom content in any way. This includes all forms of audio and video recording, including photographs.

Students must obtain written permission from the course instructor to redistribute classroom recordings in any way, including posting to internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

Instructors will announce when classrooms are being recorded so that other students are aware of the recording.

Recording classrooms or instructors or redistributing classroom recordings without written permission from the instructor will be treated as a violation of the University’s Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct.

 

Re-Grading / Reassessment of Coursework

The Department of Sociology adheres to Section IC of the Ryerson University policy on Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals.

Requests for regrading/reassessment must be made to the course instructor within 10 working days of the time when the work is returned to students or the grades for it are posted.

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Required to Withdraw (Academic Standing)

As per Section 2.4.3 of Ryerson University’s Policy on Undergraduate Grading, Promotion and Academic Standing, students will be required to withdraw from their program for any one of the following reasons:

  1. a CGPA of less than 1.00 (except students enrolled for their first semester);

  2. a term GPA below 2.00 while on probation;

  3. violation of any approved Department/School standing variation;

  4. violation of a Probationary Contract (including unauthorized changes to the contract or failure to negotiate a Probationary Contract)

Students who receive a RTW standing are encouraged to attend a ‘Back on Track’: Probationary Workshop to learn more about their standing.

Students might also find it useful to consult the section on academic standings in the Ryerson University Student Guide.

Students may also want to investigate participating in the Fresh Start Program.

 

Return of Assignments and/or Examinations

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for feedback on student performance in a course set out in Section 2.2 of Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy.

Instructors are expected to grade and return student work with reasonable promptness. To enable students to assess their progress in a course, some graded work should be returned to the student prior to the final deadline for dropping courses without academic penalty.

 

Submitting Student Work

The Department of Sociology does not accept student work by fax or by email. Individual instructors may choose to accept assignment by email; this is entirely at the discretion of the instructor.

If it is allowed by their professor, students may hand in work outside of class time by placing it in the Department of Sociology Dropbox.

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Transfer Credits

Sociology students who have taken courses at another university are encouraged to have them assessed in order to determine whether they can be applied to their Ryerson degree.

Please follow the university procedures for having transfer credits assessed.

Please also see the section on Transfer Credits in Ryerson’s Student Guide.

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Transferring to Another Program

Sociology students who want to transfer to another program in the Faculty of Arts can do so at the end of their first year. In order to transfer to another program, you must take a pre-requisite course (typically the introductory course) and have competitive grades.

Please contact the Sociology Program Administrator for information on the courses required to transfer to each program and to obtain a Program Transfer form. Applications for transfer are typically due on February 1st of each year, for transfers beginning the following September.

Students who want to transfer to another program outside the Faculty of Arts must apply to transfer. Please see the instructions, criteria and deadlines for transferring programs in the Ryerson Student Guide.

 

Turnitin.com

Some instructors in the Department of Sociology use turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarized work. It is up to each individual course instructor whether they will use turnitin.com.

As per section 4.3 of Ryerson University’s Course Management Policy, students who do not want their work submitted to turnitin.com must consult with the instructor to make alternate arrangements by the end of the second week of classes.  

 

Withdrawing from University / Dropping Out

Sociology students who are considering voluntarily leaving the program should speak with the Program Administrator or the Undergraduate Program Director before they stop attending classes.

More information on Withdrawing from university is available from the Ryerson University Student Guide.

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