June 28, 2019

Academic Advocacy and Support

Important note: Due to the COVID-19 campus closures, our Academic Support and Advocacy program continues to be available remotely via phone and email. We are here to support you while you navigate online courses, assignments, accommodations and changes to academic policies! If you have any questions, you can email advocacy@apus.ca. 

The APUS Academic Support and Advocacy program supports part-time students by:

  • Keeping students updated on upcoming university deadlines
  • Hosting academic support workshops and peer study groups
  • Encouraging self-advocacy and self-empowerment for part-time students

Individual Support

There may be a time during your academic journey where you encounter some issues and you’re not sure what you should do. 

The Academic Advocacy Coordinator helps APUS members identify U of T policies relevant to their academic issues and provides a confidential environment to discuss possible solutions and referrals when appropriate.

Individual Support is available by appointment only

Fill out our intake form here. You can expect a response within 24-48 hours. 

What Can the Academic Advocacy Coordinator Do For You?

  • Listen to your concerns and provide a confidential environment
  • Discuss possible solutions pertaining to your issue 
  • Provide support in preparing petitions or appeals
  • Refer to additional resources or services available on campus

What Can the Academic Advocacy Coordinator NOT Do For You?

  • Act as a direct advocate  
  • Provide legal advice
  • File or complete a petition or appeal on your behalf
  • Provide refunds or compensation 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to fill in the intake form?

It is encouraged that students fill out the intake form in order for the Academic Advocacy Coordinator to assess the situation and prepare an appropriate response. While some issues can be resolved via email or phone-call, it may be necessary that a student has to meet with the Academic Advocacy Coordinator in person.  

If you feel your situation is urgent and requires immediate attention, you can also email advocacy@apus.ca directly. Please note that there still may be a delay in follow-up. 

What do I need to bring with me for my appointment? 

Upon completion of the intake form, the Academic Advocacy Coordinator will follow up within 24-48 hours. While it may not be necessary that you bring additional documentation with you, you may receive advice on documents that you should start to prepare. 

Do I need to file a petition? 

If you are dealing with an issue that involves Faculty rules and regulations or matters that go beyond the classroom, a petition is the way to go. 

The most common petitions filed are regarding term work, deferred exams, withdrawal without academic penalty and suspension. 

If you are dealing with an internal issue, such as a complaint about an instructor or assignment marks, we can discuss strategies on approaching your T.A or instructor and what additional steps may need to be taken.

What’s the difference between a petition and an appeal?

A Petition is the first request to make an exception to the normal rules and deadlines established by your Faculty/Division.

An Appeal is the Second Request, which means your petition was refused. If you think you have further information to support your request, this would be the time to make an appeal. 

What documentation do I need for a petition?

Any documentation that can verify the facts of your case, but the more “professional” the person providing the documentation is, the better it is for you. 

Please note, U of T will only accept the Verification of Student Illness and Injury Form if you plan to submit medical documentation. 

Do I have to appear in front of the Petitions Office to argue my case?

This is not necessary, unless your case goes to the Appeals Board for a final resolution. At that point, you would be able to go and speak for yourself if you wanted. 

Can I get a refund on my tuition fees?

The University of Toronto sets the Tuition Refund Schedule, outlining how much you will receive if you drop a course by the deadlines set within this schedule. 

Under most circumstances, it is unlikely that you will receive a refund, should you choose to drop a course after the last date for refunds. Currently, there is no fees appeal mechanism to advocate for a refund. 

What is the Grading Practices Policy and can I use it to file a petition?


The Grading Practices Policy allows for a course to be dropped after the Drop Date if a student has not received at least one piece of term work which is part of a student’s performance (ie. an essay, lab report, test). 

How long does it take to get a decision?

Petitions are usually resolved within 90 days of receipt, but it is dependent on your individual case.