The reduced course load accommodation refers to reducing the number of courses per semester. Reducing a course load does not mean fewer assignments for a course.
Reduced Course Load as an Accommodation
Many students with disabilities find it necessary to take fewer courses per semester as an accommodation. The benefits of a reduced course load include:
- A more manageable workload
- More time to access necessary supports
- The ability to opt in to full-time benefits while taking less than a full-time course load
When the reduced course load accommodation is accessed, students must eventually take all courses in a program of study to graduate. Often, students who reduce their course load require an additional year or more to complete their program of study.
OSAP and Course Load Percentage
Students with permanent disabilities must maintain at least a 40% course load for OSAP purposes. If the student is accessing OSAP, and is concerned that the that the number of courses dropped will be below 40% of a full time course load, the student should see a Financial Assistance Advisor to determine course load percentage prior to dropping any course.
Students accessing the reduced course load accommodation must provide Accessible Learning Services with documentation that recommends a reduced course load. The student’s Accessibility Counsellor will assist with determining the type of documentation required.
How to Access the Reduced Course Load Accommodation
Once it is determined that a reduced course load is needed, the procedure below should be followed:
- The student meets with an Accessibility Counsellor and requests the reduced course load accommodations
- The Accessibility Counsellors reviews the student’s documentation to ensure that the reduced course load accommodation is supported. the Accessibility Counsellor will guide the student on how to obtain the required documentation
- The Accessibility Counsellor adds the reduced course load accommodation to the Student’s Accommodation Letter
- The student and Accessibility Counsellor determine the desired number of courses to drop per semester
- The student contacts the coordinator of their program to request a list of courses that can safely be dropped
- Based on the coordinator’s recommendation, the student drops courses through their MyMohawk Registration Menu
- Prior to each semester, the student will need to contact their coordinator to determine a list of courses that can be dropped for the currently registered semester
- When selecting courses, it is recommended that a student initially choose a full block of courses and drop courses when notified by their coordinator as to which courses can be dropped
How to Access the Tuition Fee Policy
Students who require a reduced course load as an accommodation for a permanent disability may be eligible for reduced tuition fees for the final courses needed to complete program.
What Students Need to Know About the Tuition Fee Policy
- To be eligible, a student must have a permanent disability and provide Accessible Learning Services with documentation that supports the need for a reduced course load as an accommodation. Documentation must have a specific statement that indicates the need for a reduced course load. The student’s Accessibility Counsellor will guide the student on documentation requirements for the Tuition Fee Policy
- The student is required to pay the same amount of tuition for a program as other students completing the same program in the typical duration of the program of study
- The student will be notified through MyMohawk email when eligible for the Tuition Fee Policy. Once eligible, the student is required to pay full fees for courses upon registration. An adjustment will be applied to the student’s account at least 3 weeks after the start of the semester. If a refund is applicable, a cheque will be issued and will either be mailed to the student’s address, or sent to the National Student Loans Services Centre (NSLSC) to reduce the student’s OSAP loan. The Tuition Fee Policy does not include Ancillary Fees
- The Tuition Fee Policy agreement covers the program in which the student is registered. Typically, this is the program listed on the Tuition Fee Policy Agreement form. If the student changes programs, a new agreement form must be completed, and the student’s eligibility will be re-evaluated from the start of the new program
- The Tuition Fee Policy does not cover courses that are withdrawn from or failed. Students are required to drop course(s) during the drop/add period, which is the first 10 days of the semester. Students should refer to the Important Academic Dates Calendar in MyMohawk for more information on drop/add dates for each semester
Completing Dropped Courses during your Program of Study
If a student takes courses previously dropped during the year over the summer, or through Continuing Education (i.e. online, evenings or weekends), the student is required to pay for those courses separately.
Once the student has paid enough tuition fees to equal the amount of tuition that would normally be charged for their FULL program, the student will be eligible for the Tuition Fee Policy for any courses still needed to complete a program.
If a student is considered part-time, the tuition amount and ancillary fees will be adjusted accordingly. This may result in the student taking longer to reach the threshold of full tuition.
Program of Study Changes
When a student has a reduced course load accommodation, it is likely that it will take them a longer duration to complete their program of study. Occasionally, programs are reviewed, and Ministry and/or industry standards may alter program and/or course requirements. Program Coordinators and academic areas are responsible for advising students of these circumstances. It is recommended that students on a reduced course load maintain contact with their academic areas (e.g., Program Coordinator, Student Success Advisor) each semester throughout the duration of their program of study to stay informed of any changes that may apply to them.
The Tuition Fee Policy and Course Load Percentages
- The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) have different definitions of full-time and part-time student status
- For OSAP, a student with a permanent disability is considered full-time for the purposes of receiving funding through OSAP if the student is taking no less than 40% of a full time course load
- Mohawk College uses the MCU definition and considers a student full-time if the student is taking 66% of higher of a course load, and part-time if the student is taking below 66% of a full-time course load
- Course load percentages are calculated based on the number of course hours a student is taking rather than the number of courses in a semester
- Students who are accessing a reduced course load may be considered a full-time student for OSAP purposes, but part-time under College’s definition
Calculating Your Course Load Percentages
- Your Student Success Advisor, Program Coordinator, and/or Financial Assistance Advisor can assist you with calculating your course load percentage
- If your Student Success Advisor and/or Coordinator is calculating your course load percentage, you will need to inform them of a. the number of courses you wish to drop for the semester; b. whether or not you can reduce your course load to a minimum of 40% as per OSAP requirements if you are student accessing OSAP. You are able to reduce your course load to 40% if you have submitted a Disability Verification Form as part of your OSAP application and OSAP has confirmed that your Disability Verification Form meets eligibility criteria
- If you are unsure of whether you have a Disability Verification Form as part of your OSAP file, you can login in to your OSAP portal to check, or speak with your Financial Assistance Advisor
Checking your OSAP Portal for Disability Status Approval
- Log onto Ontario.ca/osap
Click on Required Documents
- Scroll down to Approved Documents
Opting into Full-Time Benefits
A student accessing a reduced course load who is considered part-time using the College definition can opt in to full time benefits so that the costs of these benefits are part of the student’s tuition. Full-time benefits include access to the David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre, Student Health Insurance, and HSR Bus Pass. Instructions and timeline to opt out of the health insurance are located on the MSA website. The students Accessibility Counsellor will discuss the need to opt-in to benefits.
Have Questions? Need Assistance? Want to Book an Appointment?
We are here to help. Contact Accessible Learning Services by email at als [at] mohawkcollege.ca or by phone at (905) 575-2122.