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New end‑of‑term supports for students

Posted by Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting) Verity Turpin; Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting) on November 25, 2020 in News


To:                   Dalhousie students

From:               Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)
                         Verity Turpin, Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Date:               Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Re:                   New end-of-term supports for students

Dear Students,

As you prepare for the final weeks of the term, we wanted to acknowledge the challenges many of you have been facing. Over the past number of weeks, you have provided feedback through various surveys, town halls and open discussion forums. We appreciate the frank and candid responses and, as a result of your feedback, we have implemented a number of supports that have been approved by the Dalhousie Senate:

  • For the 2020–2021 academic year, students have the opportunity to withdraw from courses with a W (Withdraw) until the last day of classes: December 8, 2020 for fall term and April 8, 2021 for the winter term.
  • For the fall 2020 term, faculty are allowed to review their assessments and course guidelines to mitigate factors outside of students’ control, and implement changes as needed in their syllabi for this academic term.
    • Note: This means instructors may consider a variety of adjustments that would benefit students. Any changes will be communicated to all students in the course.
  • A PASS/ILL grading option will allow students to voluntarily have their grades converted from standard letter grades to a grade of either “PASS” or “ILL.” This option will be offered in the fall and winter terms of the 2020/21 academic year. Full details on how this applies to specific programs and Faculties will be communicated to students through their Faculty Deans or Associate Deans Academic.

Financial bursaries are also available to address some of the additional financial burdens that many of you are still facing. If you require financial assistance, please contact awards@dal.ca.

We know that shifting to online learning has not been easy. Your mental health and wellbeing is important and we hope these supports will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety we know many of you have encountered this term. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your instructor or connect with our mental health supports. Good2Talk is a telephone and texting counselling service available for students 24/7/365. You can also reach out to Student Health & Wellness for access to same-day counselling (via telephone), Dal’s social worker, or our other online resources. If you are studying outside of Canada, you can access confidential counselling through the Remote Study Health Program. Learn more about resources available to you at www.dal.ca/mentalhealth.


Dr. Frank Harvey
Provost & Vice President (Acting)

Verity Turpin
Vice Provost, Student Affairs (Acting)

Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people. We also acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.