Academic Scheduling Policy

Policy Number: SS-3107-2008
Policy Title: Academic Scheduling
Owner: Registrar
Approved By: Senior Leadership Team
Effective: December 17, 2008
Links to Other Policy:


Mohawk College is committed to the design, creation and publication of student and faculty timetables. It is understood that the quality of timetables and the quality of education are related and impact the overall experience of our students. The preparation of Postsecondary and Apprenticeship timetables involves a team of academic and support staff working together. The manner in which all stakeholders discharge their duties is critical to the quality and timeliness of the final schedules.


This policy establishes a framework to support the creation of program, student and faculty timetables.


This policy applies to Postsecondary, Apprenticeship and Continuing Education timetables and examination schedules for all four major campuses.


Policy Statements

  1. The creation and publication of timetables is a centralized activity within the Registrar’s division. Exceptions are at the discretion of the Registrar.
  2. The “Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines” have been established to directly and positively affect the quality of education through the creation of quality timetables. Therefore, these procedures and guidelines must be adhered to by all parties involved in the preparation of timetabling information or the scheduling of timetables.  Exceptions to the procedures and guidelines will only be made in extenuating circumstances, in consultation with the Associate Registrar and the appropriate Associate Dean.
  3. It is understood that constraints placed on the timetable have an overall impact on the quality of the schedules.  Any constraints imposed on the schedules will only be made when considered necessary by the Associate Dean for pedagogic reasons or faculty accommodation as approved by HR, Staff Services.
  4. The creation of quality timetables is a collaborative effort requiring all parties to meet the annual pre-established deadlines for various processes, including review of the program of studies, the input of information regarding academic workload and timetabling requirements into the approved corporate Standard Workload Form (SWF) Planning Tool, and publication of preliminary and final schedules.
  5. It is important to minimize the number of changes to the timetables.  Therefore, providing that the “Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines” have been followed in the creation of the schedules, changes will only be made to correct errors or omissions, or when unavoidable events occur, such as faculty reassignment or the addition or elimination of class sections.
  6. The “Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines”, and the annual pre-established deadlines for all activities impacting scheduling, will be reviewed by the Timetable Committee on an annual basis.



The Registrar is responsible for monitoring this policy according to the schedule established by Corporate Services or more frequently in response to feedback from the college community.


Policy Revision Date




Specific Links


Appendix A - Procedures for the Implementation of Policy CR

P1. Scheduling Guidelines

P1.1 Postsecondary

Academic timetables for faculty and students will be scheduled as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday between 0800 and 2200 hours
  • Friday between 0800 and 1800 hours
  • A one-hour Common hour will be maintained at each Campus

Deliveries will be scheduled in the following manner:

  • 3-hour courses will be scheduled as: 2 x 1.5 hour sessions, or 3 x 1.0 hour sessions
  • 4-hour courses will be scheduled as: 2 x 2.0 hour sessions or 4 x 1.0 hour sessions.
  • 6-hour courses/labs will be scheduled as 2 x 3.0 hour sessions, with a minimum of one day in between (unless otherwise specified with appropriate rationale.)

Note: Situations such as Clinical require a different approach.

P1.2 Continuing Education

Continuing education will have space priority on Mondays through Fridays from 1800 to 2300 hours, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays.

P1.3 Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship activity will be constructed in conjunction with postsecondary and continuing education space requirements.

P1.4 Community Training Solutions and Job Centre and Ancillary Services

This activity will be accommodated once priorities for postsecondary, continuing education and apprenticeship have been met.

P2. Postsecondary Timetables

P2.1 Academic Block Timetables

These will be scheduled as follows:

  • A span of no more than 9 hours in a given day including travel time
  • No more than 5 hours of consecutive instruction, regardless of content, in a given day.
  • No more than 4 consecutive single hours of instruction and no more than 6 single hours of instruction in a given day
  • A maximum of 8 scheduled hours in a given day
  • Where possible, a student will have no fewer than 3 hours of classes in a given day
  • Where possible, a student will have gaps of no more than two hours.
  • A break of at least 30 minutes between 1000 and 1400 hours
  • Travel between campuses will be kept to a minimum. Sufficient travel time will be scheduled if travel is required as follows: 1.5 hours for 6 – 20 kms and 2 hours for 21+ kms

Students who move from their pre-scheduled block timetable or create their own schedule through the special timetable process will be permitted to deviate from these guidelines at their own discretion.

In addition, the above guideline - “gaps of no more than 2 hours” -  may not apply if classes are scheduled on less than a 5-day week. Other guidelines, as stated above, will apply.

P2.2 Faculty Timetables

The spirit of the Collective Agreement for Academic Employees will be respected as follows:

  • A span of no more than 8 hours in a given day will be scheduled.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that the first scheduled hour of the day will not be assigned less than 12 hours after the end of the previous day.

A faculty member’s postsecondary schedule will be constructed using the following guidelines:

  • A maximum of 4 consecutive instructional hours in a given day
  • A maximum of 3 consecutive single instructional hours in a given day
  • A maximum of 6 class contact hours  in a given day
  • A break of at least 1 hour between 1000 and 1400 hours

Where travel between campuses is required, sufficient travel time will be scheduled if travel is required as follows: 1.5 hours for 6 – 20 kms and 2 hours for 21+ kms

P2.3 Faculty Accommodations

Faculty accommodations present scheduling challenges and can create results that are less than desirable for faculty and students. Therefore, accommodations for full-time faculty which do not fall within the list of acceptable accommodations can not be addressed.

Acceptable faculty accommodations include but are not limited to the following:

  • Part-time faculty with specialized expertise and limited availability. Attempts will be made to assign faculty to the existing timetable to reduce the impact on students who may have already registered rather than developing an alternate timetable to accommodate the full-time or part- time faculty.
  • Religious observance.
  • Membership on the Board of Governors, Mohawk College Council and other committees as may be identified in the Collective Agreement.
  • Documented medical restrictions. The medical restrictions must be communicated to HR, Staff Services by the faculty member. Only the timetabling impacts of the restrictions will be communicated to the appropriate Associate Dean and the Academic Scheduling Department within the published scheduling timelines.
  • Clinical and field placements.
  • Approved Coordinator duties.

HR Staff Services will communicate approved medical restrictions for faculty to Academic Scheduling. The Associate Deans will submit all other approved faculty restrictions along with timetable requirements  to the Academic Scheduling Department at the beginning of the scheduling process each semester. Academic Scheduling will provide specific scheduling deadlines for the next year’s academic cycle by July 1.

Collaborative programs with other institutions may require adjustments to the normal scheduling guidelines pertaining to the faculty collective agreement.

P2.4 Timetable Changes

Changes to preliminary or final timetables will not be accommodated unless:

  • They address faculty workload changes.
  • Classrooms or spaces are inadequate.
  • Errors or omissions have been identified.

The Associate Dean must approve all change requests.

P3. Continuing Education Timetables

Rooms are scheduled for each term by the Academic Scheduling Department. Courses and room requirements are identified through the Continuing Education Catalogue download. Academic Scheduling staff will adjust room assignments to maximize course registrations.

The Coordinator, Academic Scheduling will use discretion to schedule Continuing Education courses held during the day, assuming that facilities are available. Due consideration will be given to the effect on the quality of regular day timetables when this is done.

P4. Apprenticeship Schedules

Apprenticeship activity is pre-scheduled according to Ministry direction for classroom instruction. Apprenticeship schedules will be constructed in conjunction with postsecondary and continuing education space requirements.

The normal scheduling guidelines for postsecondary activity do not apply to apprenticeship activity. Faculty guidelines according to the collective agreement will be followed where local agreements do not exist.

P5. Community Training Solutions and Job Centre and Ancillary Services

It is understood that Corporate and Community Training Solutions and Ancillary Services activity are significant revenue sources and important to the community we serve. In addition to the dedicated space reserved for this activity, every effort will be made to accommodate additional requests, space permitting. Requests will be accepted by the Academic Scheduling Department up to one year in advance
of the activity, but confirmation is not possible until postsecondary and/or continuing education activity has been finalized for the term.

P6. Responsibilities

The timely completion of a student-friendly schedule is dependent on the manner, timeliness and efficiency of those involved in the scheduling process. All participants in this process must adhere to the published scheduling timelines.

The Scheduling and Timetabling Committee, chaired by the Associate Registrar, Academic Scheduling, will include representation from Academic Scheduling, academic areas, Facilities Planning and Property Services and Strategic Enrolment Management. This Committee will oversee the development and adherence to the annual critical path and the Timetabling and Scheduling Guidelines as well as the impact of the designation of academic space.

The Strategic Enrolment Management Department is responsible for providing all relevant data regarding enrollment projections as the primary source for identifying workloads to be assigned.

The Facilities Planning and Property Services Department is responsible for providing all relevant data regarding physical space allocation, ensuring that room utilization is maximized, as well as ensuring that all classroom and learning spaces are adequately prepared for the educational activity assigned to them.

The Registrar’s Division is responsible for maintaining the Programs of Study, as identified by the Academic Schools, on the College’s corporate information system, preparation of the annual process critical path; and timely construction, publication and distribution of the timetables. The Registrar’s Division and the Academic Schools will collaborate regarding any deviation from a 5-day scheduling process.

Associate Deans will identify faculty who require accommodation and/or approved leaves of absence to the Academic Scheduling Department.

The Academic Schools, under the direction of the appropriate Associate Dean, will ensure that Programs of Study are updated annually according to the schedule identified by the Registrar’s Division. They will identify complete timetable requirements, using the corporate timetable and SWF planning tool, and approved faculty restrictions, in writing, to the Academic Scheduling Department. When changes to the initial requirements are unavoidable, amendments will be communicated immediately.

The Academic Schools are responsible for the comprehensive review of preliminary timetables and will report errors and omissions.

Faculty members will communicate all timetabling issues through their Associate Dean or designate, and will not deal directly with the Academic Scheduling Department.