2000-2-2Post-Secondary Timetabling

Responsible Executive:
Vice-President, Student Success & Campus services
Policy Sponsor:
Issue Date:
September 24, 2018
Supersedes Date:
October 09, 1997
Last Review:
September 24, 2018
Last Revision:
September 24, 2018

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Lambton College is committed to developing timetables that prioritize student success, while balancing the optimization and efficient use of College human and physical resources.


  1. The academic concerns of the students (i.e. the teaching-learning process) are paramount in any timetabling process. Academic delivery must take precedence over any activity. Events that affect a substantial part of the College must be approved by the Vice President Academic.
  2. The concept of "timetabling the campus" must be followed. That is to say, unless there are compelling reasons for assigning dedicated space, rooms and time must be allocated in the most efficient manner. Examples of compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, specialized lab equipment and specialized software.
  3. Rooms will be allocated to accommodate the various delivery modes and section sizes.
  4. During any periods of campus disruption (e.g. the addition or remodelling of classroom spaces), attempts will be made to timetable so that noise, etc. will not disrupt classes.
  5. Constraints and restrictions on the timetable impact the quality of the timetables and student success. Only necessary constraints will be imposed on a timetable and only when approved by the appropriate Dean.
  6. The stability of the timetable is important, and changes should be minimized. Requests to make a timetable change must be approved by the Dean before submission to the scheduling office.
  7. In cases in which there are unresolved conflicting requests, the Registrar will make the final decision.
  8. Creating quality timetables is a collaborative effort requiring all parties to meet the established deadlines for various processes.
  9. Double booking of space is not an acceptable practice. The Dean’s office will submit those exceptions that have been approved with their timetabling submissions.
  10. Common hours (e.g. hours allocated for program meetings, student meetings, etc.) will be scheduled after timetables are completed. The scheduling staff may complete meeting requests, or the department may determine the time and request meeting space from scheduling staff.

The Process

Scheduling software is used to automate and efficiently deliver academic schedules, validate against the student information system, generate course sections essential to course registration, produce grade reports, and provide statistical reports.

  1. Timetabling will be undertaken one term at a time.

Timetabling Schedule

Timetabling tasks, responsibilities and deadlines
Enrolment ProjectionsRegistrarJan 22Oct 1Jan 29
Program Designation & Scheduling Requirements FinalizedAcademic Offices, Scheduling OfficeMay 11Nov 16Feb 9
Timetables Issued to DepartmentsScheduling OfficeJun 8Dec 10Mar 2
Timetables Released to FacultyScheduling OfficeJun 15Dec 13Mar 8
Adjustment Request DeadlineAcademic OfficesJun 29Dec 18Mar 16
Timetable PublicationScheduling OfficeJul 13Dec 21Mar 29

Timetabling Responsibilities 

  1. The Deans have overall responsibility for ensuring that all data required from the academic departments are provided to the Registrar’s Office by the specified deadlines, as well as approving constraints and timetable changes.
  2. The Registrar will construct, publish and distribute the College timetables in accordance with the guidelines and the timetabling schedule. The Registrar will discuss with the Deans any situation that does not comply. The above schedule outlines the key milestones in the process. In the event of extenuating circumstances that impact the achievement of a milestone by the specified date, the Registrar or designate shall inform impacted stakeholders.

Timetabling Guidelines 

  1. Specific timetabling requirements must be approved by the appropriate Dean.
  2. The guidelines to be followed in the construction of the timetables are below.
Class Timetables 
  1. For courses that are common to all students in a given program, whenever possible, those students shall not be scheduled for:
    1. a span of more than eight hours in a given day;
    2. more than four consecutive single one-hour classroom presentations nor more than five consecutive instructional hours, regardless of content, in a given day;
    3. more than seven classroom hours, regardless of content, in a given day;
    4. less than three hours of instruction in a given day.
  2. Students who move from their cohort block timetable may deviate from these guidelines.
Faculty Timetables 
  1. Assuming no constraints are submitted, a faculty member shall not be scheduled to teach courses for:
    1. a span of more than eight hours in a given day;
    2. more than four consecutive single hours of any type in a given day nor more than three consecutive single hours in different courses in a given day;
    3. more than six class contact hours in a given day unless the faculty member is scheduled for four or less contact days per week.
  2. Faculty constraints present timetabling challenges and conflict with the optimization of timetables for students. Therefore, constraints that do not fall within the list of acceptable constraints or accommodations cannot be addressed.
  3. Acceptable constraints include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Part-time faculty with specialized expertise but limited availability
  • Documented religious observance
  • Documented medical restrictions, which must be communicated to and approved by Human Resources. Only the timetabling impacts of the restriction will be communicated to the appropriate Dean and the Scheduling Office.
  • Approved duties within the SWF, including but not limited to Coordinator duties, committee work, etc. will be taken into consideration after the academic timetable is built
  1. All non-medical timetabling constraints must be communicated to the Registrar’s Office by the stipulated deadline. Medical constraints must be approved by Human Resources while all other constraints must be authorized by the Dean.
Lunch Breaks 
  1. A one-hour lunch period shall be scheduled for faculty to begin at 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
College Hour 
  1. A consistent one-hour period (College Hour) shall be scheduled for faculty and students. Students and faculty will not be scheduled during the College Hour.
Room Restrictions 
  1. In consultation with the Registrar, the Deans will identify instructional space as general classroom, specialized but generally usable under certain conditions or unsuitable for general use.
  2. Priority use of a room will be provided where necessary.
  1. In cases where faculty or students must travel between campuses, travel time will be built into the timetable. Minimizing such travel will be a timetabling priority objective.
Distribution of Course Delivery Times 
  1. The meetings of a given course will be distributed over the week as evenly as possible.
  2. Unless specified to the contrary, it will be considered acceptable to timetable different types of meetings (lecture, lab, etc.) on the same day.
  3. Student timetables should be compact to minimize large gaps between classes.
Timetable Structure 
  1. The timetable will be constructed using a ten-period day commencing at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday inclusive.

Timetable Changes 

  1. Prior to the issuance of the official timetables, a period of time will be allocated to problem-solve and fine-tune the timetables. Efforts should be made to keep changes to a minimum.

Order of Priority - Timetable Changes

High Priority Changes 
  1. The following will be considered high priority reasons for timetable changes.
  • Room changes where enrolment exceeds room capacity
  • Addition or deletions of course sections
  • Timetable conflicts for students or faculty
  • Changes in faculty assignments
  • Errors or omissions that have been identified
  1. High priority changes must be identified prior to the start of the semester wherever possible, and must be accommodated first.
Low Priority Changes 
  1. Low priority changes include change requests to improve student or faculty timetables.
    1. All students affected by such requests must have agreed to the request in writing before the change will be made.
    2. Student signatures must accompany the schedule change request when submitted to the Dean’s Office.
    3. Any student concerns with proposed changes can be submitted to the Dean within five business days of the change request submission.
  2. Low priority changes will be accepted during the first week of the semester only and will be processed as space and staff time permit.
Deadline for Timetable Changes 
  1. Timetable change requests will not be accepted after the first week of any academic term.
Implementation of Changes 
  1. In all cases involving authorized changes, no timetable changes are to be undertaken until the Registrar’s Office has completed the change and notified the faculty and students.
  1. Faculty are to communicate solely with their respective Dean when a timetable change is desired and are not to communicate with the Registrar’s Office.
Request Forms 
  1. All timetable changes must be recorded on the appropriate form to preserve the integrity of the database.

For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489

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