This Calendar is effective September 1, 2002 - August 31, 2003
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10. Student Support Services

Introduction Info Centre
Learning Centres Services/Locations Learning Accreditation
Registrar Library
Comp. Services Help Desk Students Association
Alumni Relations Postal Service Interruption
Course Materials Production Returning Course Materials


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?

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.

Questions? Check Online

The University's IntelliResponse system responds to your typed-in questions quickly.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MT) Monday to Friday
Phone: (800) 788-9041 (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6111 (Other)
Fax: (780) 675-6437
Refer to the Schedule for important dates for closures.

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.

Learning Services

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

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

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.

Learning Centre Services/Locations

The learning centres, located in Athabasca (AU Central), Edmonton, and Calgary, are primary points of contact and sources of information for anyone interested in the academic programs and services of Athabasca University. Students can consult a variety of reference and learning materials, look at brochures about academic programs, and view informative and self-help booklets.

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.

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

Alberta Universities Writing Competence Test

Learning Centres offer the Alberta Universities Writing Competence Test that fulfills the writing skills requirement of some programs. Calgary-area students contact and write the test at The University of Calgary. All other students contact the Edmonton Learning Centre for more information.


Centre for Learning Accreditation

Athabasca University established a Centre for Learning Accreditation in 1996. This centre provides opportunities for students to gain credit for non-formal learning and workplace and labour training programs. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition refers to several methods of evaluating learning related to Athabasca University degree or certificates (view the Residency Requirements and Prior Learning Assessment table for a complete list of credits and programs).

One of the evaluation methods is Portfolio Assessment, which involves assembling evidence in a file, binder or dossier that illustrates to assessors how non-formal learning can count toward the credential being pursued. The portfolio materials are assessed by a trained team knowledgeable in the fields of study in the chosen program. Before creating a portfolio and submitting it to the Centre for Learning Accreditation for assessment, please contact the Centre or review the Web site.

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

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. Refer to Services for telephone numbers.

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.

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.

Financial Assistance

The Office of the Registrar provides information about financial aid and helps students apply for assistance (see 8.12.2. Financial Assistance).

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.

Course Materials

Course Materials Production maintains an inventory of materials and distributes them to students. Athabasca University is responsible for the cost of shipping course materials its students via Canada Post in Canada and airmail to international students.

Students have the option of paying for and requesting 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.

In addition to issuing course materials, the bookstore sells Athabasca University merchandise and books that are considered "recommended reading."

Returning Course Materials

Course Materials Production also receives returned course materials at the following address. Students are responsible for the shipping costs related to returning any course materials to Athabasca University.

Course Materials Production
Tim Byrne Centre
Athabasca University
4001 Highway 2 South
Athabasca, AB
T9S 1A4

Fax: (780) 675-6384

Library Services

Athabasca University Library serves its students through a collection of books and audio-visual materials, and online resources. The Library subscribes to approximately 60 electronic databases that provide bibliographic citations, selected abstracts, and the full text of selected journal articles in more than 5,000 journals.

Students who live overseas should expect to use online resources available through the Library's Web pages. Books, audio/visual materials, and student kits are not normally available to students who live overseas. Refer to the "Expect the Best - Service Standards for International Students."

Students living in North American can refer to "Expect the Best - Service Standards for Students."

Digital Reference Centre and Online Library Catalogue
Students may access the online catalogue of library materials (AUCAT), and online resources, such as journal databases, through the Library's Web page. In addition, students will find excellent instruction and help sheets on the Library's Web page.

Audio/Video Materials
Some Athabasca University courses include videotapes that are required viewing to complete the course. Other courses use videotapes to enrich the course content. Students who live outside of Canada 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.

Circulation Services
Students may request library materials by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, or through the AU Library catalogue. Students must provide their name, student ID number, address, phone number and the name and number of the course in which they are registered. 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.

Requesting Materials
Students may request materials and library assistance by contacting the Library Information Desk.

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
(800) 788-9041 (ext. 6254) (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6254 (Other)
Fax: (780) 675-6477

Using Other Libraries

Athabasca University Library participates in a number of reciprocal loan programs that provide for AU students, faculty, and staff to borrow materials from other libraries. While AU Library cannot guarantee the availability of materials at other libraries, and while fees for services or materials at other libraries may vary, students are encouraged to explore these options. 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.

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) (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6405 (Other)
Fax: (780) 675-6333

Ombuds Office

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
Phone: (800) 788-9041 (ext. 6199) (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6199 (Other)
Fax: (780) 675-6431

Athabasca University Students Association (AUSA)
(also referred to as Students' Union)

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 Learning Centre. AUSA publishes an electronic student newsletter, The Voice, and undertakes numerous duties throughout the year, including hosting "Meet Your Tutor" events and posting job listings on the Web site. 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 registration or reregistration. For noncredit courses, an equivalent credit rate is used. The equivalent credit rate is based on the regular contract period for a course. 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: (800) 788-9041 (ext. 3413) (Canada/US callers) or (780) 497-3413 (Other)
Fax: (780) 497-7003

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) (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6419 (Other)

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 (Canada/US callers) or (780) 675-6111 (Other)
Fax: (780) 675-6174 (do not mail any originals after postal service resumes)

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 (780) 675-6100 (other).

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

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