Registration and Courses

Information for faculties and departments

Special Sessions is a unit within the Exams and Timetabling Department in the Office of the Registrar. It serves students and the University by administering "special" course offerings in the Spring and Summer terms, and evening classes during the Fall and Winter terms. 

By offering courses through Special Sessions, faculties and departments can create additional opportunities for their students beyond the Fall and Winter Terms, while limiting budgetary impact. 

Instructors, including Sessionals and graduate students, benefit from additional teaching opportunities, and students benefit by having increased options for their coursework, including several travel opportunities. 

Review the information below carefully and make sure to follow the correct procedure for reimbursements. 

Special Sessions funding schedule (September 1 – August 31)

Requests for funding has changed. Please familiarize yourself with the updated process. Please note that all communication for Special Sessions funding must go through your department contact.

Budget Submissions for Additional Support: Many courses are supported by revenue generated through tuition fees for Spring/Summer Term offerings and the Evening Credit Initiative (Fall/Winter). 

Fall and Winter terms:
Evening credit initiative is for the Fall/Winter terms only. Requests for funding must be submitted each year.

Deadline for Fall 2018/ Winter 2019 submission is April 2018; email requests can be sent to Any requests after the start of the term will not be considered. 

Evening classes eligible for Special Sessions funding must be high-demand, undergraduate required courses that have a daytime offering in the same term. 

Spring and Summer terms:
Departments considering offering courses that require additional financial support must ensure that additional funding is requested from Special Sessions. If this applies, please complete the Special Sessions Unique Funding Request Worksheet. Deadlines for requesting this funding is December 15.

Notes (applicable to all terms):

  • Courses requiring additional funding may need a higher minimum enrolment
  • Funding requests submitted after the above date may not be approved for full funding.
  • Requests for funding after the class has started will not be considered.
  • Not funded:
    • Alternate Delivery and cost recovery courses 
    • Project, thesis, practicum, and work experience classes.

Instructor reimbursement and assistant information

Note: Effective May 1, 2016, Reimbursement by Special Sessions will now be a separate and distinct process from the hiring or payment of an active employee. 

Employee pay must be processed through Human Resources Services (HRS) as you would any other regular, non-Special Sessions course. Employee pay for courses designated as Special Sessions must be in accordance with the applicable collective agreement. 

Special Session reimbursement to the department for instructor-related expense is based upon the parameters of teaching a one-term, ★3 course, the period of appointment, and the educational credentials of the instructor. 

All instructional appointment will be paid at Step 4 of the CAST salary scale, as follows, amounts are prorated to accommodate courses with non-standard units of course weight (e.g. ★1.0, ★4.5).




Step 4



  • Laboratory Assistant

    Normally the Laboratory Assistant helps set up, run, clean up and/or mark the lab work. Laboratory Assistants can be assigned to courses that have an approved lab component as part of their description.

    Reimbursement for a lab assistant includes marking for lab classes and is based on the approved hours and units of credit weight of a course. No provision exists for reimbursement of both laboratory and marking assistance for one course. (Exception: Due to the excessive workload involved, classes taught via the Internet that have approved laboratory components may also apply for a reimbursement of marking for the laboratory assistant.)

    Note: The Lab Assistant cannot be the same person as the Lab Supervisor. The Lab Supervisor is responsible and accountable for what occurs in the lab. Normally the Assistant's job is to help set up, run, clean up and/or mark the lab work.

    Course Approved Hours

    3-credit course

    6-credit course


    $525.64 basic plus $18.76 for every student in excess of 15

    $1,051.28 basic plus $37.52 for every student in excess of 15


    $1,051.28 basic plus $28.14 for every student in excess of 15

    $2,102.56 basic plus $56.28 for every student in excess of 15


    $1,576.90 basic plus $37.52 for every student in excess of 15

    $3,027.32 basic plus $75.04 for every student in excess of 15

    For courses with assigned seminar, clinic, or laboratory hours not represented in the chart above, use the formula listed above for lab supervisors to adjust the reimbursement amount. The enrolment minimum and per student amount should not be adjusted. (e.g., If the approved hours are 3-0-3/2, adjust the basic rate to be 1.5, and use the per student rate for 3-0-1.)

  • Laboratory supervisor

    The Laboratory Supervisor is responsible and accountable for what occurs in the laboratory. Lab Supervision is normally assigned to the instructor, but can be appointed to another individual.

    Course approved hours 3-credit course 6-credit course
    3-0-1 $555.04 $1,110.08
    3-0-2 $1,110.08 $2,220.16
    3-0-3 $1,665.00 $3,330.00

    For courses with assigned seminar, clinic, or laboratory hours not represented in the charts above, the following formula is applied:

    • Add the hours of instruction across all items (a, b, c) for a course
    • From that number, assign a maximum of 3 hours to the lecture hours (item a)
    • Assign the remaining number, to a maximum of 3, to the laboratory hours (item c)
    • Apply the approved rates

    For example:

    ★3 (0-0-6)

    0+0+6 = 6

    becomes 3-0-3

    ★3 (1-2s-0)

    1+2+0 = 3

    becomes 3-0-0

    ★3 (3-1-3/2)

    3+1+1.5 = 5.5

    becomes 3-0-2.5

    ★3 (0-10L-0)

    0+10+0 = 10

    becomes 3-0-3

  • Marking assistant

    Marking Assistants can be assigned only for courses that do not have a lab component. An instructor's entitlement to a marking assistant is also based on enrolment. Marking assistants can be assigned only when a course enrolment exceeds certain minima. If student enrolment is below these minima, the instructor's course reimbursement amount includes marking. An instructor can appoint him/herself to be the marker with consent from the teaching department.

    Course level 3-credit course 6-credit course
    100 to 499 $37.00 per student for every student in excess of 15
    $74.00 per student for every student in excess of 15
    500 and higher $38.68 per student for every student in excess of 12
    $77.36 per student for every student in excess of 12

Payments to Lab and Marking Assistants are not automatic. The Teaching Department must submit a reimbursement request each term.

Reimbursement for Special Sessions


Departments monitor class enrolment for courses that will be considered for Special Sessions funding. Departments can use the Enrolment Statistics report generated through Campus Solutions. 

Examinations and Timetabling will review the enrolment to determine if funding is still applicable; departments will be contacted if classes are low enrolled. Enrolment review dates are as follows:

Fall Term: mid-August
Winter Term: early December
Spring Term: mid-April
Summer Term: mid-June

Independent Study Course Rates: Instructors who supervise Independent Study courses above and beyond their normal teaching load will be reimbursed $155.42/student for a 3-credit course or $310.84/student for a 6-credit course.

Classes not funded: If the department decides to cancel a class, department personnel update Campus Solutions and allow for system-generated cancellation communications to reach students in an appropriate time frame.

Travel expense reimbursement

All Travel and Hosting Expense Reimbursement forms are processed at the teaching departments. 

Reimbursement for expenses submitted and approved through the unique funding request will be transferred upon receipt of a copy of the complete and approved travel claim, including a copy of the official receipts. Transferred dollar amounts will not exceed the preapproved estimates, but may be reduced to reflect actual total on travel claims that are submitted and approved.

The University has published insurance guidelines that should be reviewed by all travellers. Please refer to the UAPPOL website and direct any vehicle operators to review this information as well.

The teaching department must approve travel advances.

Travel related items that are not eligible:

  • Instructors on the University's payroll during Fall/Winter Term are not eligible to receive travel allowances from Special Sessions for courses taught on campus.
  • Travel/mileage expenses are not reimbursed for instructors who are commuting to the U of A campus (Edmonton).

Allowance rates

Special Sessions will reimburse based on the criteria as listed below. Reasonable additional expenses based on extenuating circumstances may be considered on an individual basis. Some travel expenses are not eligible.

All rates listed are in Canadian dollars. Remember to convert your claims to Canadian dollars using a currency converter.

Travelling by Air: The maximum reimbursement entitlement for air travel is calculated as follows. Calculations are based on the most direct route available.

  • ★3-credit course: Half the price of an advanced booked, round-trip excursion fare to a maximum of $1,180.
  • ★6-credit course: The full price of an advanced booked, round-trip excursion fare to a maximum of $2,360.

Note: Special Sessions will not reimburse cancellation, baggage, life insurance, extra baggage fees, passports, passport photos, visas, or administration fees for ticket changes.

Mileage: For instructors who are travelling to teach a class at an off-campus centre (outside the Edmonton region) or are visiting instructors travelling by personal car, Special Sessions will reimburse an instructor for mileage. Edmonton city centre is the point of origin.

For information regarding vehicle insurance coverage, please refer to Risk Management's website. The maximum reimbursement will be based as follows:

  • 3-credit course: Mileage at 50 cents per kilometre, to a maximum of 800 kilometres
  • 6-credit course: Mileage at 50 cents per kilometre, to a maximum of 800 kilometres

Note: Special Sessions will not reimburse ferry or road toll fees.

Living Allowances: U of A staff members (employees) cannot be reimbursed a living allowance, which is a taxable benefit. U of A employees must claim accommodation costs through Travel Claims, proving receipts when they are teaching U of A classes outside of the Edmonton area. 

Living allowance is in place to support visiting instructors (non U of A employees) coming to campus for less than 30 days. Living allowances of $448.66 for each week of instruction are reimbursed to departments when paid to visiting instructors.

Vehicle Pool: If an instructor is travelling to teach a class at an off-campus centre and does not wish to take their personal vehicle, a car may be secured through the University Vehicle Pool.

Per diems: Off-campus or visiting instructors are entitled to a per diem. The per diem rate in Canada is $60CAD per day ($15 for each of breakfast and lunch, $30 for dinner); $60USD per day in the USA ($15 for each of breakfast and lunch; $30 for dinner); and $85CAD per day ($20 for each of breakfast and lunch; $45 for dinner) outside Canada/USA.

Meal allowance approval is based on the class time/schedule.