ASU President: Identity Policy, GPA Scale, Fall Break Updated

Good morning,

I hope everyone is enjoying a smooth start to the Winter Semester, but don’t worry Reading Week will be here before you know it!

The ASU feels it is important to communicate significant changes to all students. We are pleased to inform you of the following updates that are a result of the ASU’s strong advocacy efforts.

  1. Acadia University Identity Policy

A person’s identity is at the core of their personal experience. That is why the ASU has successfully advocated to the University to develop an Identity Policy that is being implemented that allows students to request an identity change to their student record at Acadia. All aspects of this policy should be in place for the middle of February.

This policy allows students to use their chosen identity for internal University communication and documentation by changing their chosen name on Acadia Central. This change would be reflected on:

Microsoft Office 365MS Office, including Outlook Email, OneDrive, SharePoint and other collaboration tools.
Acadia CentralStudent self-service portal for registration and other academic information.
AcornThe Moodle learning management system.
Axcess Identification CardStudent identification card issued by the Department of Safety and Security
EverBridgeEmergency notification system
The Hub Service PortalService management system used by Technology Services, Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts and the Business Office to track service requests
StarRezWeb application used by Residence Life
OrbisWeb application used by the Cooperative Education Office
NovanetVaughan Memorial Library integrated catalogue and library management system
PractimaxElectronic Medical Record system used by the Health Centre

This policy also allows students to alter their preferred name on official University documentation by consulting the Office of the Registrar ([email protected]). This change would be reflected on your:

TranscriptsPrinted Official Transcript and Electronic Unofficial Transcript.
Diploma or CertificateThe Diploma or Certificate issued by Acadia.
Verification LettersVerification of Enrolment and Verification of Graduation letters.
Tax FormsT2202As, T4s and T4As

The ASU is proud of this exciting new initiative that further demonstrates our commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity and to an accessible and supportive learning environment for all students. If you have any questions about this new policy please contact the Office of the Registrar.

  1. Updated GPA Scale
    1. a) The University Senate approved a new Grade Point Average (GPA) scale. The new scale, which comes into effect September, 2019 will be on a 4.33 scale, opposed to the present 4.0 scale (an ‘A+’ will now equate to a 4.33 and an ‘A’ will remain a 4.0 on university transcripts). This change will bring Acadia’s GPA scale in line with most other Canadian institutions, and will allow Acadia students to benefit from the full extent of earned grades at the highest level of assessment. Please note that this change is not retroactive and all grades earned before September, 2019 will be graded on Acadia’s existing 4.0 scale. The new grading scheme will simply be blended into a student’s record from September forward. The back of each official transcript will reflect the date of the change and corresponding grading schemes for ease of interpretation.
    2. b) Also, effective September, 2019 Acadia will be shifting to a true letter grading system. Presently grades submitted by professors, or via external transfer, are often submitted numerically and translated into letter grades. While students have been aware of their letter grades, their potentially submitted numerical grades did not appear on their transcript. These numerical grades were used to determine scholarships, bursaries, and awards and academic eligibility for Varsity Athletic teams. This change increases transparency and allows students complete information regarding their Academic standing.

The ASU is proud of these changes that will benefit students. Should you have any questions regarding these updates please contact the Office of the Registrar ([email protected]).

  1. Scheduling of Fall Break

The ASU has heard that students support a full week study break in the Fall Semester. At the same time, we have also heard concerns regarding the scheduling of the break. The ASU, compiled and distributed a survey via the Senate Timetable, Instruction and Examination Committee regarding the Fall Semester Study Break. The results of this survey, which was completed by 591 students and 122 faculty members, clearly supported a study break scheduled earlier than the second week of November. With the support of the ASU’s student Senators, the University approved a principle that will have a 5 day reading break during the last week of October/first week of November. Please consult the Acadia University 2019-2020 Calendar Dates for more information once they become available.

All the best for a great week.


George Philp