St. Lawrence College's Vision Statement describes the central focus of the College and sets a framework for guiding the development of policy, strategies, plans, programs and goals. The College's vision is to "inspire a passion for lifelong learning" by creating a learning centred environment that celebrates quality and excellence. We are committed to continuously enhancing the quality of education that we offer to our students.
Academic Policies at St. Lawrence College ensure that protocols for grading, advancement and related academic elements are established, reviewed and publicly communicated. Students affected by academic decisions have a right to have those decisions reviewed through the Student Academic Appeal Procedure.
Academic Council provides a forum for raising and addressing academic issues. With the Vice-President Academic, it oversees, plans, and reviews college-wide academic changes, policy, procedures and directions. Issues of impact for Council may include:
- admissions and assessment polices
- grading, evaluation and transcript practices and policies
- program development
- student preparedness
- College program standards
- overseeing processes relating to student rights and responsibilities and academic appeals
- performance indicators and program review
- modes of teaching and learning, and
- academic needs and priorities.
Academic Council provides decisions, recommendations and advice to the President on issues affecting teaching and learning at St. Lawrence College.
Roles and responsibilities
Members advise, make decisions and recommendations with the best interest of St. Lawrence College in mind. Although they bring the perspective of different groups to Council, they are not expected to be representatives of those groups. Members serve as part of their professional contribution to St. Lawrence College. Council members are most successful when they participate actively, communicate with others and provide a means for information to reach Council. It is expected that all members will be supportive of decisions made by Council.
Additional member responsibilities:
- clearly identify themselves and be accessible to their peers, to encourage input from their peers, and to keep them abreast of major academic issues;
- participate fully and willingly in all meetings of the Academic Council and any committees to which they may be assigned by the Chair or otherwise;
- report Academic Council's decisions to their peers.
The Council shall consist of 17 voting members, as follows:
- Academic staff members (8 members, representing each campus and each school)
- Administrative staff (4 members including the Vice-President Academic, the Registrar, Academic & Research Services Manager, Dean, or Executive Campus Director. These members shall serve as ex-officio. Ex-officio members are individuals who serve on Academic Council by reason of their position. They have full voting rights. Ex-officio members are not eligible to be elected Chair of Academic Council)
- Support Staff (2 members)
- Students (3 members, each from Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston)
The President and Vice-Presidents may attend Council as resource representatives. Council may request other resource representatives to attend as the need arises, e.g. Executive Directors or Deans.
Chair's role and responsibilities
The Chair is responsible for calling scheduled and special meetings of Academic Council, the agenda and the record. The Chair, or designate, is expected to provide efficient and effective leadership within a collegial and open environment. The Chair sets agenda items with the Vice President Academic and input from the membership. The Chair is responsible for membership and appropriate membership changes.
Elections/Terms of office
Elections shall be conducted during the spring of each year as required with the representative-elect assuming office at the first regular meeting of Academic Council in September.
All elected voting members of Council may serve a term of two years. Members can be re-elected to serve an additional two years. No members shall serve more than four years on Academic Council.
Annually during the spring of each year, the Council shall elect a Chair from amongst its members. Term of office is one year and can be renewed.
Academic Council meets monthly excluding July and August and when special meetings are called by the Chair. In order for business to be conducted, there must be representation from each of the campus locations.
Fifty per cent of the members plus one, excluding vacancies, shall constitute a quorum. Academic Council meetings are open. Reports and motions for the agenda must be distributed to the members one week before the meeting to provide sufficient preparation for discussion and action. All reports and requests for decisions and action must include clearly stated motions and recommendations. These should be finalized with the Chair before the motion is brought to Council. Voting is the basis for decision-making. Observers and presenters are welcome and will be acknowledged by the Chair. Appropriate times for observers' comments will be determined by the Chair. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.
The Office of the Vice-President Academic provides Secretarial support for Academic Council. Documents of record are posted on the St. Lawrence College website. They are also available from the Secretary.