Richard Duggas teaching the finer points of sea kayaking in Nootka Sound.

COLT Program Policies

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COLT is committed to providing accurate information and guidance to prospective students to ensure they make informed decisions about choosing to take the COLT semester program. Entry assessment tools and admission requirements ensure students have the required language competencies and the basic knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve program outcomes.  Admission requirements may not be waived by either the student nor COLT.

COLT Statement of Purpose

The Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program is a dynamic semester designed to train high quality and well-rounded outdoor educators and guides.

Admissions Policy

Applicants are accepted on a first qualified basis, based on the date of application and receipt of a signed enrolment contract and deposit. Applicants will be assessed using criteria that includes application forms, an interview and reference checks. Applicants whose first language is not English will be assessed for language proficiency.

Language Proficiency Assessment Policy

Instruction at COLT is conducted in English. Students whose first language is not the language of instruction are screened for English language proficiency prior to acceptance into the program to ensure they have the language abilities necessary to safely and successfully complete the program. Language proficiency requirements are admission requirements and may not be waived by either the institution or the student.

The Language Proficiency Assessment is done through the following:

  • A thirty minute interview in English to assess verbal comprehension skills.
  • Review of the written application to assess written communication skills.

Student Attendance Policy

COLT is more than just a skills-based program and its success depends on the participation of all students to create a supportive learning environment. We recognize that COLT is a very demanding course and to maintain your health and energy level you may need to take an additional day off from time to time to look after your physical and emotional needs.

  1. Students are expected to attend the first day of the COLT semester. A student who is absent for the first two days of the semester, without written permission from the COLT Manager, will be considered to have withdrawn from the program and their space may be assigned to a waitlisted student.
  2. A student is expected to regularly attend lessons, lectures, participate in group debriefs, help during trip-prep days and go on field-based trips. Participation in any of these may be refused by the instructor for consistent lateness, failure to show respect for other students or for conduct that poses safety concerns for the student(s).
  3. A student is expected to attend a minimum of 85% of course time throughout the semester to obtain a COLT certificate. Where a certification course is offered, the attendance policy of the accrediting organization applies.
  4. If a student will be absent they should notify the COLT Manager or course instructor by email, in person or by written note passed on by another student.
  5. In the case of deficient attendance without cause, a student may, on recommendation of the COLT Manager and with the approval of the Executive Director or President, be withdrawn from a course.

Code of Conduct Policy

As a COLT student you are in a leadership development capacity and as such, need to display appropriate behaviour for the other students and guests who attend Strathcona Park Lodge and their programs.

  • Be safety conscious and follow safety procedures outlined by COLT instructors
  • Be health conscious. No smoking on any of the COLT programs during instruction or in the accommodation. No use of illegal substances or non-prescription drugs. No use of alcohol while on program time.
  • Show respect for others by employing respectful manners, language and appropriate humour. Refrain from behaviour that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual or group of individuals or creates an unwelcome environment.
  • Forming an exclusive relationship of two or more people tends to make others left out and can create a difficult group dynamic. We strongly discourage exclusively or becoming sexually involved with any other members of our group while you are on your COLT course.
  • Intimate relationships with COLT instructors are prohibited.
  • Bring an attitude of openness, honesty, compassion and humour.
  • Bring a learning attitude and approach, including cooperation with instructors and schedules.
  • Inform the COLT Program Manager prior to any absence from the program.
  • Show respect to the natural environment and show respect for all equipment and personal property, including SPL grounds.

Dismissal Policy

If the COLT Code of Conduct is not adhered to, then a student may be asked to leave the semester. Serious breaches such as the following may result in immediate dismissal:

  • Physical abuse, theft or non-accidental damage to COLT/SPL property
  • Endangering oneself or others by failure to abide by the safety guidelines laid down by COLT instructors while on program time or on COLT/SPL property
  • Behaviour displaying insubordination or refusal to cooperate with instructors and schedules
  • Behaviour displaying disrespect toward fellow students and the institution’s employees or guests
  • The use of non-prescription drugs or illegal substances while in attendance at COLT. Excessive use of alcohol at any time or any use of alcohol on program time
  • Flagrant disrespect of COLT Code of Conduct
  • Willful breaking of any civic, provincial or federal law

Grade appeal policy

COLT maintains a collaborative atmosphere where open discussion, frequent individual/group debriefs and ongoing student assessment is provided through regular verbal and written feedback throughout the semester. Upon completion of the program each student receives a written evaluation from the COLT Manager. While students do not receive grades in the COLT program, there may occasionally be disagreements about the feedback and assessment provided by instructors. In general, a student should take the following steps to address concerns about feedback they receive.

  1. Attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor with whom the issue originated;
  2. If the issue is not resolved, attempt to resolve the issue with the COLT Manager, or if they are the instructor, the Program Director;
  3. If still unresolved, submit your complaint in writing to the President who will make a final decision.

The COLT program includes industry certification courses accredited by third-party organizations. These certifications have assessment criteria established by their governing body that cannot be waived by the COLT instructor/examiner. In most cases the above process will help to resolve an issue related to certification. If the issue is not resolved the student should follow the appeals process established by the governing body.

Dispute Resolution Policy

  1. First, try to resolve the issue directly with the other party. If no resolution is forthcoming, proceed to the next step.
  2. Request a meeting with the CM to verbally discuss the issue and try to resolve the issue with the CM’s support. If no resolution is forthcoming go to the next step;
  3. Put your complaint in writing to the Program Director (PD). The PD is responsible for making a determination in respect of a student complaint. If the PD is absent or named in the complaint the President or Executive Director will make the determination.
  4. The PD will then request submission from all involved parties including witnesses. An investigation will be set up and a meeting will be conducted with all parties within 48 hours. A written decision will be completed by the PD within 48 hours after that. If no satisfactory resolution is found then;
  5. Submit a written complaint to the President of Strathcona Park Lodge. He will conduct an investigation similar to the above investigation and render a written decision within 48 hours. If this written decision is not satisfactory then;
  6. The parties involved will appoint an outside mediator/arbitrator within 48 hours. COLT will bear the cost of this mediation. The decision of the mediator/arbitrator will be binding to both parties.

Students may refer to the Private Training Act process for assistance.

 

Tuition & Refund Policy

COLT fees include separate charges for tuition and food & accommodation. To deliver the COLT program we begin incurring and committing significant expenses well before the program start date. Upon acceptance into the program we require a $2000 deposit, to be applied towards food & accommodation costs, to confirm your registration. A second deposit of $2000 for food & accommodation is due 45 days prior to the start of the program (March 17th for summer semester or June 26th for fall semester).

Tuition fees are due in full on the first day of the program along with the remainder of the food & accommodation costs. Naturally, we regret the receipt of any cancellations, but in most cases a portion of the course cost has already been allocated before your arrival. Tuition refunds are explained in the following table, while student food and accommodation payments are not refundable. We strongly recommend that you purchase medical and trip cancellation insurance to protect you in the unfortunate event that an injury or life events require you to cancel or withdraw from the program after registration.

Tuition fees are refundable as mandated by the Private Training Act. Food & accommodation costs are not refundable.

Circumstance Tuition Refund Entitlement
COLT receives a written notice of withdrawal from a student or an international student delivers a refusal of study permit:
No later than seven days after the effective contract date and before the program start date 100% tuition refund
Between the date the contract was signed and the start date of the program, where that period is less than seven days 100% tuition refund
More than seven days after the effective contract date, and at least 30 days before the program start date (until April 1 or July 11) COLT refund 90% of tuition
More than seven days after the effective contract date, and less than 30 days before the program start date (April 2-30 or July 12 – August 9) COLT will refund 80% of tuition
After the program starts, but before 11% of instruction hours have been provided (May 1-9 or August 10-18) COLT will refund 70% of tuition
After the program starts, and between 11% and 30% of instruction hours have been provided (May 10-28 or August 19 – September 6) COLT will refund 50% of tuition
After 30% of instruction hours have been provided (from May 29 or September 7) No refund of tuition
COLT delivers a notice of dismissal to a student:
Before 11% of the instruction hours have been provided (May 1-9 or August 10-18) COLT will refund 70% of tuition
Between 11% and 30% of the instruction hours have been provided (May 10-28 or August 19 – September 6) COLT will refund 50% of tuition
After 30% of instruction hours have been provided (from May 29 or September 7) No refund of tuition

Refunds owed to students must be paid within 30 days of the COLT receiving written notification of withdrawal and all required supporting documentation, or within 30 days of an COLT’s written notice of dismissal.

Respectful and fair treatment of students policy

COLT is committed to providing a living and learning environment that promotes the respectful and fair treatment of all students; free from discrimination, bullying and harassment. Discrimination violates the fundamental rights, personal dignity and integrity of individuals or groups of individuals and may require remedial action by COLT.

The definition of bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a ‘person’ towards an individual that the ‘person’ knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that individual to be humiliated or intimidated. A ‘person’ includes any individual, whether or not they are a fellow student, workplace party, such as an instructor, supervisor, member of the public, client or anyone a student comes into contact with at COLT.

Inappropriate conduct or comment is any form of communication or behaviour that is unwelcome and likely to result in an uncomfortable or hostile environment, including communication or behaviour that is demeaning, embarrassing, humiliating, insulting, intimidating, isolating or exclusionary. Examples may include name-calling, offensive jokes and gestures, display of signs or objects that single out an individual/s.

Harassment and bullying is often repetitive. Harassment and bullying may arise from an imbalance or abuse of power, an individual’s personal style of communication, competition for title or resources or a personality conflict between two or more individuals. Harassment and bullying may be a form of discrimination on grounds prohibited by the BC Human Rights Code, which include race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex (includes pregnancy, breastfeeding and sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, or age. Harassment and bullying may be criminal, under CCC section 264, Criminal Harassment.

Sexual harassment is legally defined as any comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation. One of the challenges with this is that ‘appropriate’ behaviour is an individual value judgement. It is important to articulate your boundary for ‘appropriate’ behaviour, identify intent and ask for respect.

It is the responsibility of COLT and its employees and students to create and maintain a culture that recognizes bullying and harassment as unacceptable behaviour and where everyone can realize their full potential.

At all times, students will treat others with respect and dignity, ensure they do not harass, ensure they do not condone harassment or an environment where harassment can occur, actively contribute to a supportive, comfortable, productive and harassment free environment, apprise others of the acceptable standard of behaviour, ensure others are aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding harassment, ensure that others do not suffer from harassment, take early action to deal with behaviour that may become intimidating or offensive, intervene if any person’s conduct is intimidating, hostile or offensive or adversely affects performance, health or satisfaction and report all known or observed harassment.

If you experience or observe bullying and harassment, report the incident to the COLT Manager, the Program Director or the Executive Director. On receiving a harassment complaint a person or persons duly authorized by COLT will investigate the complaint by interviewing the complainant, subject of complaint, those involved and/or witnesses, make a determination of what happened, consult (if necessary) with any expert or source on harassment and recommend a course of action.

Upon coming to or receiving the outcome of an investigation, COTL or duly appointed person will inform the complainant and subject of complaint of the outcome of the decision, take action to stop harassment by conciliation, counselling, reminders, removal of person/s (as appropriate), other action (as appropriate), restore a harassment free environment by clarifying rules, providing or allowing accommodations, educating.

No person will be penalized for making a complaint in good faith. This policy will apply whether or not the harassment also falls under another jurisdiction, such as the Human Rights Code, Criminal Code or other organization’s policy.

This policy is not intended to cause undue hardship to COLT or its students or compromise mandates, goals or activities such as safety, imparting skills and knowledge, testing and recognition of competence and performance or any reasonable action on the part of COLT relating to the delivery of educational objectives.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

COLT is committed to the prevention of and appropriate response to sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes the following.

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Indecent exposure
  • Voyeurism
  • The distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video of a person to one or more persons other than the person in the photograph or video without the consent of the person in the photograph or video and with the intent to distress the person in the photograph or video
  • The attempt to commit an act of sexual misconduct
  • The threat to commit an act of sexual misconduct

Making a report or complaint about sexual misconduct:

If you experience or observe bullying and harassment, report the incident to the COLT Manager, the Program Director or the Executive Director.

Responding to a report or complaint of sexual misconduct:

On receiving a harassment complaint a person or persons duly authorized by COLT will investigate the complaint by interviewing the complainant, subject of complaint, those involved and/or witnesses, make a determination of what happened, consult (if necessary) with any expert or source on harassment and recommend a course of action.

Practicum Policy

After successful completion of the COLT program, students may apply for a 3-5 week practicum placement with the outdoor education programs offered by Strathcona Park Lodge. Applications for practicum are made at the end of the COLT semester to the SPL Chief Instructor and awarded based on the number of spaces available and recommendation from the COLT Manager. Practicum is unpaid but room and board are provided. Practicum is only available to COLT graduates.