Student Success Policy Framework

Policy Number: SS-3206-2016
Policy Title: Student Success Policy Framework
Policy Owner: Dean of Students
Effective Date: November 16, 2016


Mohawk College supports positive learning experiences and academic success for its students. In doing so, the College is guided by two policy frameworks: ‘Student Rights and Responsibilities’ and ‘Student Success.’ These frameworks support a safe and respectful environment that maximizes opportunities for student success and uphold the rights and responsibilities of members of the Mohawk College community.

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision
  8. Specific Links
  9. References/End Notes

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy framework is to demonstrate Mohawk College’s commitment to fostering a supportive, healthy and inclusive college environment conducive to positive learning experiences and student academic success. This policy serves as a foundation of key terms, principles and rules that will be represented within student focused policies, procedures, and services at the College.


2. Application and Scope

This policy framework will be used to align all student focused policies and procedures and to guide the development of new programs and services at Mohawk College. For students, this policy explains Mohawk’s broad commitments to supporting student success.


3. Definitions

“Student Success” is a process and an outcome. As a process, success is experienced as student engagement throughout the college experience. As an outcome, success is defined by each individual student as the achievement of their academic, personal or career goals during college.

“Student Engagement” can be broadly understood in two ways: first the degree to which students are involved, integrated, and putting effort into social and academic collegiate experiences; and second, the degree to which faculty, staff and the college as a whole are creating programs, services and an overall environment to support student success. 1

“Healthy Campus Community” involves creating a campus that positively influences the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty. It is where the people, processes and spaces contribute to well-being and success for all. It is the words people speak; decisions that are made; actions that are taken, and the culture and systems that are created. 2, 3

“Experiential Learning” is the process of learning or developing skills and abilities through experiences in workplaces, or in environments that simulate workplaces, so that students can learn while doing. This could be a curricular or a co-curricular activity. Curricular experiential learning is often referred to as work-integrated learning (WIL) and may occur in partnership with employers to offer apprenticeship training, co-op placements, fieldwork, mentoring, and internships. Student jobs on campus, volunteering, capstone projects, applied research, study abroad programs, and service learning are also forms of experiential learning. 4, 5

“Curricular Activities” are directly related to academic course work and a Program of Study. “Co-curricular Activities” are not formally related to program of studies curriculum; however, they are linked to Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) and recognized by the College on the Co-curricular Record (CCR). Co-curricular activities are social, volunteer, leadership or recreational activities that are related to the college experience and are designed to support academic learning and student success.

“Universal Design for Learning (UDL)” is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. 6

“Inclusion” is a sense of belonging that helps us feel connected to society as a whole and engaged in our lives and the lives of those around us. “Social Inclusion” at Mohawk celebrates diversity more meaningfully, enriches curriculum and broadens the global perspective. This value can be understood only in relation to social exclusion, which is felt through the effects of marginality and inequity on people’s opportunities to contribute and to participate in their communities. 7

“Intercultural Competence” complements human rights as a catalyst for promoting a culture of peaceful and harmonious coexistence. 8 Intercultural competence is about communication and behaviour that is both effective and appropriate in intercultural interactions. It is a broad, complex learning goal requiring lifelong development for which no one will ever be fully interculturally competent. 9

“Program Promotion Status” refers to the process where, at the end of each term, a student is notified by the College of their academic status in their program of study, which is based on the weighted grade point average. This status determines whether a student can continue to progress to the next semester in their program of study, and it communicates any optional, important or required next steps for the student.


4. Principles

4.1 Safety and Respect

Creating an environment that is conducive to learning through progressive security operations, excellent facilities, and professional staff.

4.2 Social Inclusion

Fostering a community that engages, welcomes, supports, advocates for, and provides equal opportunities to a diverse student body and the College community.

4.3 Student Engagement

Fostering student engagement inside and outside of the classroom by offering opportunities for student involvement with peers, advisors, faculty, mentors, student leaders and the community in a wide variety of programs and services.

4.4 Reducing Barriers

Providing programs and services that limit academic, personal and financial barriers to student success and provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

4.5 Student Well-being

Fostered by a Healthy Campus Community, whereby support programs promote wellness in broad and holistic ways, including proactive outreach and responsive support when needed.

4.6 Academic Success

Designing and delivering quality and relevant academic programs based on UDL principles that offer pathways for students to reach their career and academic goals.

4.7 Awards and Recognition

Recognizing, awarding and celebrating exceptional student achievement inside and outside of the classroom.

4.8 Student Persistence

Encouraging and supporting continuous learning, student persistence and program completion. From time to time students may request to withdraw, reduce their course load, take time away from school, or be provided with individualized accommodations. Mohawk will respect and review each request on its own merits and aims to support students in their decision making process.

4.9 Student Responsibility for Learning

Students are responsible for ensuring their own learning through responsible engagement in curricular and co-curricular activities.


5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Dean of Students, in consultation with the Vice President Student and Alumni Services and the Student Success Committee, is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy and initiating the review of the policy on a three-year cycle.


6. Rules

6.1 The College Community

All members of the Mohawk College community are responsible for supporting and fostering student success.

6.2 The College

The College is responsible for making this Policy Framework known and accessible to students and staff. The College is responsible for delivering high quality programs and academic support services, which comply with all relevant legislation, rules and the Minister’s (MTCU) Binding Policy Directives.

6.3 Student Success Committee

This policy framework, and the policies and initiatives that are designed to maintain the principles within this framework, will be monitored by a college-wide, cross-functional Student Success Committee, which will be co-chaired by designates of the Vice President, Student and Alumni Services and the Vice President, Academic. The committee will create a Terms of Reference to support annual departmental and college student success initiative planning, evaluation and reporting and provide bi-annual updates to the Mohawk Executive Group (or designate).

6.4 Departmental Student Success Plans (College)

Each manager/department will annually submit a plan to the Student Success Committee which will detail annual activities that support the principles of this policy framework.

6.5 Individual Student Success Plans (Student)

When requested, advisors and counsellors will work with students to create personalized action plans to help students achieve their academic goals. Programs and services will ensure that these plans (i.e. Confidential Academic Accommodation Plans; Academic Improvement Plans; Career Development Plans; Study Plans, etc.) comply with the principles of this policy framework.

6.6 Program Promotion and Academic Status Updates

Mohawk College is committed to a consistent, equitable and transparent process that facilitates students’ progression through their chosen Program of Studies (POS) to graduation. In accordance with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD), formerly MTCU, rules and guidelines, Mohawk will maintain policies and procedures related to progression and promotion. Central to this process is communication that students will receive at the conclusion of each semester to notify them of their overall academic performance and their Promotion Status and provide meaningful and appropriate advising services to students as required.

6.7 Compulsory Withdrawals

While the College aims to have all students succeed, the College has a right to require students who have not met minimum academic standards to withdraw, and if necessary, to deny readmission to a program or the College. The College will maintain and publish clear and transparent policies and procedures related to withdrawals and provide programs and services to help students transition to new educational opportunities within or outside the College.

6.8 Appeals

As detailed in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Framework, students have the right to appeal decisions made by the College. All appeal policies and procedures will be clearly detailed in one location to increase accessibility, understanding and awareness.


7. Policy Revision

7.1.Revision Date

November 2019

7.2. Responsibility

The Dean of Students is responsible for reviewing this policy every three years or earlier when required.


8. Specific Links


9. References/End Notes

  1. Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. J. (2005). Student success in college: creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  2. Simon Fraser University. (2015). Healthy Campus Community. Retrieved from on June 1, 2016.
  3. Mohawk College. (2014). A new vision for wellness: A timely strategic shift. Report on Mohawk’s mental health and wellness plan. on June 1, 2016.
  4. Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel. (2016). Building the workforce of tomorrow: A shared responsibility. Government of Ontario. Retrieved from on October 1, 2016.
  5. Academica Group. (2016). Taking the pulse on work-integrated learning in Canada. Business / Higher Education Roundtable. Retrieved from on October 31, 2016
  6. National Center on Universal Design for Learning at CAST. (2012). What is UDL. Retrieved from on June 1, 2016
  7. Mohawk College. (2012). A sense of belonging: Report on social inclusion at Mohawk College.
  8. UNESCO. (2013). Intercultural competency: Conceptual and operational framework. Retrieved from on October 31, 2016
  9. Deardorff, D. K. (2016). How to assess intercultural competence. In, Hua (Eds.) Research Methods in Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide. San-Francisco, Jossey-Bass.