Women & Gender Studies Institute

Advising & Appeals

Advising Process

The advising process at WGSI begins as soon as a potential student makes contact with the Institute. The potential student’s initial contacts with WGSI are usually with the Graduate Coordinator and the Graduate Administrator. Opening conversations and e-mails focus on whether the student is prepared for graduate study and whether supervision can be provided for the intended area of study. During the application process the conversation continues, usually expanding to involve professors whose research interests are similar to those of the applicant.

Incoming students will be provisionally assigned an Academic Advisor, chosen on the basis of supervisory expertise in the student’s stated area of scholarly interest.  Normally, students study with this Advisor throughout the year; either students or Advisors may initiate a change, if they believe this is in the students’ best interests. Normally, the student and Advisor would have the first conversation about effecting a change. One or both may then approach the Graduate Coordinator for assistance in effecting this change.

In the first weeks of the term, the student, the Academic Advisor, and the Graduate Coordinator will meet to work out the student’s individualized program of study.

Appeals

All students have the right to appeal academic and/or procedural matters.  All appeals must be directed in writing to the Graduate Coordinator. Matters not resolved at this level will be referred to the Director of the Department. Appeals rejected by the Director may be taken to the Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. See the SGS Calendar for further information.

In compliance with the Graduate Calendar, graduate course instructors must provide students with a grading outline at the beginning of the course. Any subsequent change to this outline by the instructor must be ratified by the students in the course.

If a student wishes to appeal a graduate course grade, s/he must begin by directing concerns to the course instructor who must respond in writing in a timely fashion. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached at this level, the student may initiate an appeal to the Graduate Appeals Committee by writing a letter to the Graduate Coordinator.

The Graduate Appeals Committee is a standing committee comprised of three graduate faculty plus one graduate student chosen for this purpose by the graduate students in the department. The chair of the committee will normally be the Graduate Coordinator. In a given case, any conflicts of interest should be declared and/or identified and committee members replaced as necessary.

Committee proceedings will normally be carried out in confidence. The identity of the appellant will normally not be disclosed to the committee. Confidentiality may be waived if the student or instructor in the appeal wish to present his/her case at a meeting of the committee. Committee decisions will be based on a complete case file. It is the appellant’s responsibility to provide the committee with all appropriate documents.

The committee will seek to arrive at a decision that accommodates the appellant’s request, if possible, providing that the academic integrity of the student’s program is not compromised. A detailed decision of the committee will be transmitted to the student in writing by the Director of the Institute, outlining the evidence considered by the committee, and how their decision was reached. This document will remain on file in the Graduate Office of the department.

The Graduate Appeals Committee is a standing committee comprised of three graduate faculty plus one graduate student chosen for this purpose by the graduate students in the department. The chair of the committee will normally be the Graduate Coordinator. In a given case, any conflicts of interest should be declared and/or identified and committee members replaced as necessary.

Committee proceedings will normally be carried out in confidence. The identity of the appellant will normally not be disclosed to the committee. Confidentiality may be waived if the student or instructor in the appeal wish to present his/her case at a meeting of the committee. Committee decisions will be based on a complete case file. It is the appellant’s responsibility to provide the committee with all appropriate documents.

The committee will seek to arrive at a decision that accommodates the appellant’s request, if possible, providing that the academic integrity of the student’s program is not compromised. A detailed decision of the committee will be transmitted to the student in writing by the Director of the Institute, outlining the evidence considered by the committee, and how their decision was reached. This document will remain on file in the Graduate Office of the department.