Concordia: Your Grades Are on the Way

Updated: Deadline for Grade Submission Jan. 8

Concordia’s academic calendar states that grades must be submitted three days after the start of the winter semester, which means students should have all grades by the end of next week. Photo Michelle Pucci

This article has been updated to reflect new information.

With only a few hours before the winter semester begins Wednesday, many Concordia University students are still missing grades from the fall term.

Samantha, a fourth-year political science undergrad only has one grade out of the four classes she took last semester. She is missing two final grades and the exam grade for one of the courses, which runs through the fall and winter semester.

Samantha prefers not to include her last name out of fear her professors will downgrade her marks for speaking about the time-delays.

“I didn’t want to email [the professors] and start bugging them about it yet,” she said. “But I’m going back to class tomorrow. It’s strange going in without marks.”

Many other students have asked about the same issue on Facebook and Reddit.

“A lot of the poli-sci students are in the same boat right now,” Samantha said. “I’ve never gone into my first day missing most of my marks, and I’ve never seen so many people complaining about it as well online.”

Samantha is also on conditional standing after failing a special elective course last year and needs to get her GPA up to fulfill her department’s requirements. The course isn’t being offered again, she says, so she can’t retake the class to improve her grade.

“I’m registered for this semester, I’m going to class,” she said. “But if I happened to have failed a class or my mark goes below a two-point-something, then I’m still going to be on conditional.”

Late grade postings happen every year after the winter break, and the academic calendar states that grades must be submitted three days after the start of the winter semester. This means students could have all grades by Jan. 8, but they may only be posted next week.

“There is a difference between submitting the grades and posting them,” said Concordia’s spokesperson Chris Mota in an email clarification. “There is a time gap in between.”

Mota says it’s more realistic to expect the grades next week to allow for a departmental approval process, which can vary in time depending on the department.

According to Catherine Bolton, Vice-Provost of Teaching and Learning, the deadline is supposed to accommodate professors who use Scantron sheets—forms used in multiple choice exams and scanned by Concordia’s IT department.

When the university shut down on Dec. 22 for holidays, professors couldn’t access the calculated results, which they need to pick up from Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS).

These delays don’t happen at the end of the winter semester, because there isn’t a holiday break Bolton said. “In May, there’s no period when professors can’t get access to material being processed by IITS.”

Delays could also be for personal reasons. Bolton said a major factor in missing grades is illness, but sometimes teachers can’t get through all their exams because of heavy course loads.

“If students are anxious about their exams and grades, the best thing to do is to email the professor,” she said. “People get ill, family members get ill. There’s always a wrinkle.”

Compared to last year, Bolton says things are running smoother. In the 2014-2015 year, Concordia implemented its new Student Information System, which faced issues with registration and fee payments throughout January 2015. Professors began submitting grades in the SIS, and the process was “much slower.”

For students who still don’t have their grades by the end of next week, Bolton suggests contacting the program’s academic advisor and keeping any email correspondence and noting the dates they receive their grades if they appear after the final submission deadline.

Students with any scheduling or registration conflicts due to administration issues can ask for exceptions to the registration and drop deadline through the Student Requests committee in their faculty. The deadline to drop or add courses without penalty for the winter semester is Jan. 19.

If students feel they aren’t getting help from their academic advisor, Bolton also suggests contacting a student advocate, either through the Concordia Student Union’s Advocacy Centre, or the Student Advocate Program through the university.

“Time is short,” Bolton said. “You do have to wait until Jan. 8, but students should be checking and get any help as soon as possible.”

Correction: The article originally stated that student should receive their grades by Jan. 8. In fact, Jan. 8 is the deadline for professors to submit grades to the department. They could be posted in the following week.