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Section C2 – MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee
Approved by the Faculty of Environmental Studies Faculty Council on May 17, 2012
Approved by Senate on October 25, 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(a) The MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee shall:
i. regularly review the graduate curriculum of the Faculty in terms of policy, curriculum structure, and course offerings;
ii. receive proposed course descriptions and course outlines from course directors and other faculty members;
iii. propose approval of course offerings for the consideration of the Committee of Instruction;
iv. relate the subcommittee's work on curriculum formulation and implementation to wider Faculty program development issues, e.g., faculty appointments, changing student profiles and needs, workloads, course evaluations, Faculty and University academic plans, changing academic environments, etc.
v. notify the Dean when part-time course directors at the graduate level are needed to meet curriculum requirements, and suggest the names of qualified candidates for these positions.
(b) All final actions of the subcommittee shall be subject to approval by the Committee of Instruction, which may refer any action back to the subcommittee for further consideration. The Committee of Instruction and the MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee may delegate its authority to the MES Program Coordinator or the Graduate Program Director to make decisions on proposed actions on MES Plans of study and on petitions concerning individual student programs.
(c) The Graduate Program Director or MES Program Coordinator will report on decisions on Petitions and Plans of Study to the MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee. These decisions will be subject to confirmation by the MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee.
(d) The subcommittee shall regularly present a report to the Committee of Instruction.
(a) Individual study activities undertaken by FES graduate students are normally supervised by FES faculty members. In special circumstances, persons from outside FES may supervise individual study activities, but only if they are appointed by the Dean or delegate as instructors in one or other of the approved individual activity courses.
(b) To make the case for an outside supervisor, it is necessary to demonstrate (1) that there is no suitable FES faculty member available to be the supervisor, and (2) that the person nominated is suitably qualified for appointment as an instructor, and (3) that the faculty advisor supports the request.
(c) If the nominee is in another Faculty at York and is already a member of the graduate faculty, such an appointment is generally straightforward, provided that the person is willing to be the supervisor (without additional remuneration).
(d) If the nominee is a faculty member in another university, documentation of their qualifications for the role of supervisor and their willingness to perform the role (without remuneration) must be provided with the application for registration in the individual activity.
(e) If the nominee is not in a university the student must provide a curriculum vitae and additional documentation that clearly demonstrates the nominee's qualifications to be appointed for the purpose, prior to submitting the application for registration in the individual activity.
(f) For the following courses, nomination of outside supervisors may occur in conjunction with application for registration in the course and the signature of the nominee on the registration form is taken as agreement by the nominee to perform the role of supervisor in conformity with FES academic regulations:
ENVS 5599 Readings in Environmental Studies
ENVS 6599 Individual Directed Study
ENVS 7599 Individual Directed Study
ENVS 8599 Independent PhD Research.
(g) For the following courses, a formal written agreement is entered into between the Faculty and the outside supervisor for the performance of the role under FES regulations. The nomination should be considered well in advance of the MES II to MES III examination so that the appointment may be considered by the Graduate Program Director prior to the examination:
ENVS 7798 MES Major Portfolio Independent Work
ENVS 7799 MES Major Project Independent Work
ENVS 7899 MES Major Paper Independent Work.
(h) For the following course, outside supervision will be considered only in rare circumstances and special negotiation and approval by the Graduate Program Director are required:
ENVS 7999 MES Thesis Research.
(a) Work in graduate courses in Environmental Studies is required to be completed by the student during the course period in the term in which the course is taken. Students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with FES academic regulations governing graduate courses, in which the conditions for the grade of 'Incomplete' are spelled out.
(b) It is the obligation of the course director to ensure that the requirements of a course can be completed reasonably during the course period as established in the academic calendar. All work in a course should be completed by the last day of courses. The last day of courses is set sufficiently in advance of the end of the term to provide adequate time for the course director to evaluate the students' performance and submit the grade report and evaluations before the deadline for submission of grades. It is the obligation of the students to arrange their individual work programs so that they can fulfil the requirements of the course as set forth in the course outline, as approved by the Graduate Program Director.
(c) Course directors are obligated to submit their grade reports by the date set for the purpose and not to delay the report because one or more students have not submitted their work. Course directors are required to report the grade of U (Unsatisfactory) for students who have not submitted their work by the due date and have not negotiated to be incomplete.
(d) There are times when students may wish to be incomplete in a course because they want to do additional work beyond that set forth in the course outline, and the course director may be amenable. In this situation, the appropriate procedure is to negotiate further enrollment for the additional work as part of the registration for the next term, rather than to be incomplete in the course.
(e) In rare circumstances, the course director may allow a student to be incomplete in a course, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director. In such situations the student must submit a formal petition to be incomplete in the course, with the endorsement of the primary faculty advisor and the course director. The petition must be attached to the grade report submitted by the course director and must contain a proposed date for completion of the outstanding work. If the student does not submit the work by the deadline approved by the Graduate Program Director, the course director is obliged to report the grade of U (Unsatisfactory).
(f) Because incomplete work carried over into the next term represents an overload of work, students who are incomplete in two or more courses are required to withdraw registration in the incomplete courses and register again for the courses in the current term.
(g) Students with incomplete course work are not permitted to advance from MES II to MES III.
(a) The MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee shall consider and make decisions on proposed actions on MES Plans of Study and on petitions concerning individual MES student programs, on behalf of the Committee of Instruction.
(b) The Committee of Instruction and the MES Program and Curriculum Subcommittee may delegate its authority to the Graduate Program Director or the MES Program Coordinator to make decisions on proposed actions on MES Plans of Study and on petitions concerning individual student programs. The Graduate Program Director or the MES Program Coordinator will report on such decisions to the MES Program and Curriculum Committee. Such decisions will be subject to confirmation by the MES Program Subcommittee.
(c) Upon the written request of the student involved or of any faculty member, the decision of the subcommittee regarding a petition or a proposed action on a Plan of Study will be set aside and the matter referred for a substitute decision by the Committee of Instruction.
(d) Where a matter is referred by a student or faculty member for substitute decision by the Committee of Instruction, the Committee of Instruction may refer the matter to the subcommittee for further information and recommendation, but not for decision.
(e) The subcommittee may refer any matter to the Committee of Instruction for discussion or decision or for both.
(f) Decisions of the subcommittee will be made by majority vote of the voting members.
(a) Each term, it is important that all graduate students register before the deadline for registration so that course enrollment lists can be provided to course directors and the status of graduate students confirmed.
(b) MES students who have been required to have General Examinations before registration, but who have not had the examination by the deadline for registration, will not be allowed to register and will thereby be withdrawn from the Faculty.
(c) In most cases, the required General Examination will have been held and the revised Plan of Study in proper form will be in the student's dossier along with the completed green action form. However, there will be some situations that require special attention, as follows:
i. If the student has provided the required revision to the Plan of Study but the General Examination cannot be arranged before the deadline for registration, the advisor should complete a green action form setting a new date for the general examination. If (and only if) the action sheet and the revised Plan of Study are in the dossier, the student will be permitted to register.
ii. If the student has provided a draft revision to the Plan of Study which satisfies the advisor that enough progress has been made to anticipate a general examination in the near future, the advisor should complete a green action form setting a new date for the General Examination. If (and only if) the action sheet and the draft Plan of Study are in the dossier, the student will be permitted to register.
iii. If individual circumstances indicate that a revision to the Plan of Study is not after all appropriate at this time, the advisor should complete a green action form explaining the particular circumstances and setting new dates for revision to the Plan of Study and for the General Examination. Further consultation may be required before the student is permitted to register.
iv. If the student has not made adequate progress in revising the Plan of Study, the advisor should not sign the registration forms and should complete a green action form calling for a Dean's General Examination to determine the status of the student in the MES program.
Responsibilities of students
(a) Each term, students scheduled to complete their MES programs in that term are sent a memorandum by the Office of Student and Academic Services setting forth the steps to be taken by the student, and a copy of this memorandum is provided to every faculty member. The OSAS uses the expected date of completion as recorded on the last action report on the Plan of Study. If that date changes, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that a new action report is completed by the primary advisor.
Responsibilities of faculty members
(b) Students who are scheduled to complete the MES program in the current term are required to submit their applications for award of the MES degree, along with supporting documentation, by the last day of the penultimate month in the term. As soon after that date as possible, the advisor is expected to review the material submitted by the student and to complete the appropriate section of the application form, confirming whether the Final Examination may be scheduled.
(c) If the student is not in a position to submit the required material by the deadline or has decided not to complete the program as scheduled, the Plan of Study is no longer in effect and any residual credit previously awarded is automatically rescinded. It is the responsibility of the advisor to arrange the necessary General Examination to consider a revised Plan of Study with a new completion date.
(d) In some instances there may be no substantive change in the Plan of Study other than a change of completion date. In those cases, the faculty advisor may consider that a formal General Examination is not needed, in which event the advisor should complete and submit to the OSAS the green action form establishing the new completion date.
(e) In other cases, substantive revision to the Plan of Study will be needed, in which event the faculty advisor is expected to convene a General Examination to consider a revised Plan of Study.
(f) Action on the Plan of Study should be taken by the advisor as soon as the student indicates that the program will not be completed as scheduled, and action must be taken for approval by the Committee of Instruction prior to registration for the next term.