Academic Scheduling Policy

Policy Number: SS3107-2008
Policy Title: Academic Scheduling
Policy Owner: Registrar
Effective Date: December 2008
Last Revised: August 23, 2023

On this page:

1. Purpose

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 students. The preparation of Postsecondary and Apprenticeship timetables involves a team of academic area and Academic Scheduling working together. The manner in which all stakeholders discharge their duties is critical to the quality and timeliness of the final schedules.

2. Application and Scope

This policy establishes a framework to support the creation of program, student and faculty timetables and applies to Postsecondary, Apprenticeship and Continuing Education timetables and examination schedules for all campuses.

3. Definitions

“Academic Manager” means the managerial employee who performs administrative duties with oversight of academic activities in each Department or School. The Academic Manager may assign part or all responsibilities for discharging the duties of this policy to an alternative administrator or designate (e.g., Program Manager) as required.

“Constraints” means the reasons why a delivery cannot take place at a certain time or in a certain location, why a delivery must be in a specific room and/or when a particular or group of Instructors are not available to teach.  

“Registrar” means a senior managerial employee within an academic institution who oversees the management and leadership of the Registrar's Office.

“Scheduling” means action of producing a coordinated timetable that is equitable, effective and student focused and that will maximize the efficient use of the College’s learning and teaching resources.

“Standard Workload Form” means is a standardized and objective way to assign, measure, and monitor the workload of academic staff (also referred to as SWF).

“Timetable” means the published version of the schedule of course offerings.

4. Principles

  • The College’s “Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines” have been established to directly and positively affect and impact the quality of education . 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 Registrar and the appropriate Academic Manager.
  • 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. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Registrar is responsible for monitoring this policy and ensuring compliance.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 Strategic Enrolment Management

The Strategic Enrolment Management process will provide all relevant data regarding enrollment projections as the primary source for identifying workloads to be assigned.

6.2 Facilities Planning and Property Services

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.

6.3 Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office 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 Office and the Academic Schools will collaborate regarding any deviation from a 5-day scheduling process.

6.4 Academic Managers

  • Academic Managers 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 Academic Manager, will ensure that Programs of Study are updated according to the POS Policy identified by the Registrar’s Office. 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 Academic Manager or designate only, and not directly with the Academic Scheduling Department.

7. Rules

  • Academic timetables for faculty and students will be scheduled in line with the Academic Collective Agreement.
  • The creation and publication of timetables is a centralized activity within the Registrar’s Office. Exceptions to internal timelines supporting the creation of the schedules are at the discretion of the Registrar.
  • 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 Academic Manager for pedagogic reasons or faculty accommodation as approved by HR.
  • It is important to minimize the number of changes to the timetables.  Therefore, providing that the College’s “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.
  • The College’s “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, as per the terms of reference within the Campus Master Plan.

8. Policy Revision Date

8.1 Revision Date

August 2028

8.2 Responsibility

The Registrar will be responsible for reviewing this policy every five (5) years or earlier as required.

9. Attachments

Appendix A - Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines

10. Specific Links

AS-2007-2016 Academic Hiring (Degrees) Policy

AS-2004-2007 Program Curriculum Policy

SS-3003-2008 Program of Studies Policy

AS-2000-2013 Program Quality Policy

Faculty Collective Agreement (link unavailable)

Appendix A - Scheduling and Timetabling Procedures and Guidelines

P1. Scheduling Guidelines

P1.1 Postsecondary

Academic timetables for faculty and students will be scheduled in line with the Academic Collective Agreement  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 the Fennell and Stoney Creek Campuses.

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 generally have space priority on Mondays through Fridays evenings, 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 Other Activities

This activity will be accommodated and supported 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 terms of the Collective Agreement for Academic Employees will be followed as such:

  • A span of no more than 8 teaching hours in a given day will be scheduled for individual teacher, without prior written approval by the teacher.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that the first scheduled teaching hour of the day will not be assigned less than 12 hours after the end of the previous day.

A faculty member’s 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.
  • Following the medical accommodation process, medically supported and approved accommodation will be communicated to the Academic Manger and the Academic Scheduling Department within the published scheduling timelines.
  • Clinical and field placements.
  • Approved Coordinator duties.

Human Resources will communicate approved medical restrictions for faculty to Academic Scheduling. The Academic Managers 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 and Partnership programs with other institutions may require adjustments to the normal scheduling guidelines pertaining to the faculty collective agreements.

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 Academic Manager 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 Academic Scheduling department will use discretion to schedule Continuing Education courses held during the day, assuming that facilities are available.

P4. Apprenticeship Schedules

Apprenticeship activity is pre-determined 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 Modified Workload Arrangements do not exist.

P5. Other Activities

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 reviewed by the Academic Scheduling Department, however final confirmation is not provided until postsecondary and/or continuing education activity has been finalized for the term.