This Calendar is effective September 1, 2001 - August 31, 2002
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10. Student Support Services

Introduction Info Centre
Learning Centres Learning Accreditation
Registrar Library
Comp. Services Help Desk Students Association
Alumni Association Postal Interruption


Athabasca University's extensive student support services is one of its distinguishing features. Students who discuss an issue with a staff member and are likely to contact the University again, are asked to make note of that person's name. This can help considerably in follow-up discussions.

Take the self-assessment questionnaire Am I Ready for Athabasca University?

10.1. Information Centre

Information Centre attendants are Athabasca University students' point of contact for all enquiries. The attendants provide fast, efficient, front-line service to students, answering questions about admissions and registration; course and program offerings; delivery methods; fees, financial matters, scholarships, and awards; exam procedures and locations; course extensions, course materials, unofficial grades, status of refunds, transcripts, and tutor information; and convocation.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MT) Monday to Friday
Phone: (800) 788-9041 (Canada and U.S. callers) or (780) 675-6111
Web site: Ask AU
Fax: (780) 675-6437
Refer to the Schedule for important dates for closures.

10.2. Academic Centres

Athabasca University professors work within academic centres. These centres are grouped according to program and research areas. Refer to Services for undergraduate academic centre information.

10.3. Learning Services

Learning Services staff are responsible for the overall coordination of courses, tutors, professors, and students.

10.3.1. Learning Services Tutorial

Learning Services Tutorial administers tutoring workloads, leaves, introductory letters, and hours of tutoring among other duties. Enquiries about tutor availability, lost tutor letters etc., can be e-mailed to

10.3.2.  Learning Services Outreach

Learning Services Outreach works with cooperating institutions and special interest groups and the academic centres to assess needs, plan, implement, and evaluate the delivery of grouped-study courses and programs.

10.4. Learning Centre Services

The learning centres, located in Edmonton and Calgary, are primary points of contact and sources of information for anyone interested in the academic programs and services of Athabasca University.

10.4.1. Advising and Counselling Services

Advising Services helps students select courses appropriate to their program of study. Advisors also explain and acquire information about University requirements and procedures, assist students in applying for financial aid, and refer students to other resources.

Counselling Services helps students define their educational and career goals and assists them in choosing a program of study. Among other methods of assisting learners, counsellors can suggest ways for students to budget their study time, encourage those needing motivation to complete their academic requirements, or help students apply for financial assistance. For students already admitted to the University, Athabasca University has a convenient Online Counselling Appointment Request Form. If you are not yet an Athabasca University student, telephone Counselling Services at (800) 788-9041 (ext. 6723) for assistance.

10.4.2. Services for Students with Disabilities

Athabasca University makes every attempt to accommodate students who have permanent or temporary disabilities whether the disability arose before or after admission to the University.

Students indicate on the Undergraduate General Application Form, whether they have a physical, medical, learning, or medical disability that may affect their academic progress. If you are a prospective student with a disability, contact the Office of the Registrar and a Verification of Limitation Form will be sent to you. If, after admission, circumstances arise that qualify you to receive special services, contact the Coordinator, Access for Students with Disabilities, to discuss your situation ( (780) 497-3424 or e-mail

10.4.3. Alberta Universities Writing Competence Test

Learning centres offer the Alberta Universities Writing Competence Test that fulfils the writing skills requirement of the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science (Post Diploma) degrees. Calgary-area students contact and write the test at The University of Calgary. All other students contact the Edmonton Learning Centre for more information.

10.4.4. Resource Centres

Each learning centre has a resource centre where students can consult a variety of reference and learning materials such as: sample course materials; the Alberta Transfer Guide; course-related audio and videotapes; career planning, time management, and educational job search materials; the Library's online catalogue (AUCAT); Improve Your Study Skills: A Series of Seven Modules for Adult Students (available to students only); and Coping With Exam Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Guide for Adult Students (available to students only).

In addition to the Athabasca University Calendar and brochures about academic programs, learning centres distribute a variety of information and self-help publications developed for adult students in distance education.

10.5. Centre for Learning Accreditation

Athabasca University established a Centre for Learning Accreditation in 1996. The centre provides opportunities for students to gain credit for non-formal learning and workplace and labour training programs. Several methods from many areas of learning are being developed to provide students with a variety of routes for credit assessment.

Director, Centre for Learning Accreditation
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca AB T9S 3A3
Phone: (800) 788-9041 (ext. 6481) or (780) 675-6481.

10.6. Office of the Registrar

Services from the Office of the Registrar are obtained by telephone, mail, fax, or in person at the University's central office in Athabasca. Some services may be requested using e-mail. Refer to Services for telephone numbers.

10.6.1. Admissions and Evaluations Services

Admissions and Evaluations Services admits students to the University, enrols them in specific programs, evaluates transfer credit, and monitors courses for application to undergraduate degree university certificate or diploma programs.

10.6.2. Registration Services

Registration Services processes course registrations, withdrawals, extensions, financial aid applications, etc. Because of the need for signatures on these documents, students cannot request these services by e-mail.

10.6.3. Financial Assistance

The Office of the Registrar provides information about financial aid and helps students apply for assistance (see 8.7 Financial Assistance).

10.6.4. Academic Records and Examination Services

Academic Records and Examination Services handles requests for transcripts, ensures final grades are sent to students, records final grades in the student's academic record, and distributes and supervises exams.

10.7. Course Materials

Course Materials Production maintains an inventory of materials and distributes them to students. Athabasca University is responsible for the shipping costs, by Canada Post regular mail, of course materials to its students living in North America. International students living overseas will receive their course materials by airmail. To allow ample time for shipping, these students are assigned course start dates that begin two months later than those of North American students.

Course Materials Production determines the most time-and cost-effective shipping methods for students living abroad. It make take two to three weeks for students in Canada to receive their materials, up to four weeks for students in the US and Mexico, and more than one month, for students living abroad.

Students have the option of paying for and rquesting other methods of delivery and may make special courier requests by using Visa®, MasterCard® or American Express® payment. All prepaid courier costs will entitle the student to receive the University's special courier rates. Special rates do not apply to collect charges.

10.8. Library Services

Athabasca University Library serves its students through a collection of approximately 130,000 volumes of books and audio-visual materials, and nearly 800 journal titles. In addition, the library subscribes to approximately 40 electronic databases that provide bibliographic citations, selected abstracts, and/or the full text of selected journal articles.

Electronic resources may be accessed through the Library's Web page. Students may request materials and library assistance by contacting the Library Information Desk.

Athabasca University Library cannot guarantee the availability of materials or fees for services or materials at other libraries. Most library collections are available for in-house use at no cost, and according to each library's policies and procedures.

Athabasca University Library can help students identify which library service is nearest them.

10.8.1. Library Circulation Services

Students may request library materials by mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail. Students must provide their name, student ID number, address, phone number, and the name and number of the course in which they are registered. Specify the materials requested or provide a brief description of the subject or essay for which the materials are required.

The Library normally sends the requested materials by mail to the home address, with a pre-addressed card for return to the Library. Arrangements can be made for courier delivery to one of the Athabasca University Learning Centres. Reasonable attempts are made to provide library services to students living outside Canada.

10.8.2.  Online Library Catalogue (AUCAT)

Students may access AUCAT, the online catalogue of library materials, at one of the learning centres or through the Library's Web page. Information about Athabasca University Library, the online catalogue, and services to Athabasca University students is also available on the Web.

10.8.3.  Course Video Component

Some Athabasca University courses include videotapes that are required viewing to complete the course. Other courses use videotapes to enrich the course content. Students should contact Athabasca University Library before they register in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Some courses have required viewing that is broadcast throughout Alberta on ACCESS, The Education Station. Students who are unable to view the television broadcasts in their area may borrow videotapes from Athabasca University Library.

Note: Books, audio/visual materials and student kits are not available to students who live outside North America. Refer to "Expect the Best - Service Standards" (scroll down to "About AU") for information regarding the level of service that you may expect as an Athabasca University student. 12/20/01. EC.

10.8.4. General Information

Telephone access to the Library Information Desk is provided 24 hours a day. The Library is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Athabasca callers 675-6254
Edmonton callers 421-8700
Calgary callers 263-6465
Alberta, Canada, and the United States (800) 788-9041 call toll free (ext. 6254)
Fax: (780) 675-6477

10.9. Computing Services Help Desk

Help Desk attendants assist students with the use of computing resources throughout their studies at Athabasca University. The University's standard computing platform is the IBM-compatible computer. Some courses support other hardware and software platforms and have more specific requirements. These are noted in the online course syllabus. Help Desk attendants offer limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms.

Open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT, Monday to Thursday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday
(800) 788-9041 (ext. 6405) or (780) 675-6405 Canada/US
1-(780) 675-6100 Other
Fax: (780) 675-6333

10.10. Office of the Ombuds

If, after going through the regular channels, students encounter a situation that they feel has not been resolved to their satisfaction, they may contact the Ombuds Office. The Ombuds Office has two powers: the power to investigate and the power to recommend. Ombuds Office staff will assist students in solving problems or complaints through informal negotiation.

Staff and Student Relations Coordinator
(800) 788-9041 (ext. 6199)

Fax: (780) 675-6431

10.11. Athabasca University Students Association (AUSA)

Athabasca University Students' Association (AUSA) is an organization of student volunteers governed by an elected student council of up to nine students. Offices and support staff are located in the Edmonton and Calgary Learning Centres. AUSA publishes an electronic student newsletter, The Voice, from the Calgary office and undertakes numerous duties throughout the year, including hosting "Meet Your Tutor" events and posting job listings at both Learning Centres. AUSA invites all Athabasca University students to get involved. Your input and articles are welcome.

Fees are rated per credit and are paid through course registrations or reregistrations. For noncredit courses, an equivalent credit rate is used. The equivalent credit rate is based on the regular contract period for a course. For a six-month regular contract period, the equivalent credit rate is three credits; for a twelve-month regular contract period, the equivalent rate is six credits. Refer to Section 8. Students' Association and Alumni Relations Fees.

Athabasca University Students Association (AUSA)
Athabasca University Learning Centre - Edmonton
3rd Floor, North Tower
10030-107 St. NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E4
Phone: Edmonton Office (800) 788-9041 (ext. 3413) or
(780) 497-7000
Fax: (780) 497-7003
Phone: Calgary Office (Student newspaper: The Voice) (800) 788-9041 (ext. 2905)
Fax: (403) 298-2922

10.12. Athabasca University Alumni Relations

All students who graduate from AU become alumni of the University. The AU Alumni Relations Program is committed to supporting AU, to facilitating lifelong learning opportunities, and to providing services for alumni.

A per-course fee to operate the alumni program is paid as part of your Athabasca University course registration.

Refer to Section 8. Students' Association and Alumni Relations Fees.

Athabasca University Alumni Relations
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3
Phone: (800) 788-9041 (ext. 6419) or (780) 675-6419

10.13. Postal Service Interruption

In the event that Canada Post mail service is disrupted due to a strike or work slowdown, Athabasca University posts daily instructions on its Web site to help ensure students' education continues. It may be necessary to phone the Office of the Registrar to request that an adjustment be made to course contracts based on the length of the postal disruption. Please follow these procedures.

Phone: (800) 788-9041 or (780) 675-6111
Fax: (780) 675-6174 (do not mail any originals after postal service resumes)
Web site: Ask AU

To Receive and Send Materials

Clearly label all materials being sent to the University. Talk with tutor(s) about alternatives (e.g., e-mail, fax) for sending and returning assignments.

Canadian Students

Course materials and registration documents, library materials, and other written items can be picked up at Athabasca Central or at Edmonton and Calgary Learning Centres for those living in close proximity. Students may also use any provincial government courier location (usually government departments, agencies, boards and commissions) or post-secondary institutions. Contact an Athabasca University Learning Centre to determine the closest location.

International Students

To discuss the necessary arrangements, phone (800) 788-9041 (Canada/US callers) or 1-(780) 675-6100 (outside Canada/US).

To Make Examination Requests
Examination Services will discuss alternative arrangements for writing exams.

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