Course Transition and Teaching Out Policy

Status


Last reviewed
Thu, 03 September 2015

To outline the process to be undertaken when varying a course structure or discontinuing a course.

Public
visibility
Approved on: 14 Oct 2013
Amended on: 21 Sep 2015
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Learning, Teaching and Research Committee

Approved by

Academic Board

Policy Contact: 
Secretary, Learning Teaching and Research Committee
Background: 

Course transition and the requirement to teach out a course becomes necessary with the reaccreditation of a course with a modified structure, or the discontinuance of a course previously offered by the College. Reaccreditation of a course usually involves new structures which respond to student and market demand, reflect the addition or removal of study disciplines, or reflect changes brought about by external registration agencies such as Christian Counsellors Association of Australian or The Psychotherapy and Counsellors Federation of Australia.

Course transition may also be necessary at the request of a student who elects to switch courses in order to better meet learning, vocational or career aspirations.

Course discontinuance may be the result of a significant change in student demand for the course, or a deliberate change in the strategic direction of the College’s learning and teaching program.

Purpose: 

To outline the process to be undertaken when varying a course structure or discontinuing a course.

Scope: 

This policy applies to all Higher Education courses offered by the College.

Statement: 

Disadvantage

This policy seeks to ensure that no student is unreasonably disadvantaged by a decision of the College to vary the structure of a course or discontinue offering a particular course of study. It also seeks to ensure that a student who switches courses gains the best possible advantage by the transition to the new course, and does not lose credits unnecessarily for prior studies successfully completed.

Decision to vary a course structure

The decision to vary the structure of an existing course may only be taken after the course variation has been thoroughly examined by the Program Co-ordinator responsible for the course, in consultation with the Director of Learning and Teaching and the Dean of Academic Administration. In some circumstances the decision to significantly vary the structure of an existing course may also require ratification by the Academic Board of the College. Major changes will always require the prior approval of the College’s regulatory authorities.

Importantly, any decision to vary the structure of an existing course must also detail:

  • The last semester in which a unit to be discontinued will be offered;
  • The first semester in which a new unit, or a replacement unit will be offered;
  • The arrangements that will apply if a student fails to complete a unit that was a course requirement prior to the variation (alternative unit option); and
  • The arrangements to be adopted to advise students and stake holders.

These details are to be reported to the Learning, Teaching and Research Committee in writing for the Academic Board to approve.

When making decisions on the approval of a course transition plan, the Academic Board will consider:

  • Legislative requirements;
  • Teach out requirements of regulatory authorities and professional bodies;
  • Teach out requirements of any formal partnership agreements; and
  • That there is no disadvantage to students.

Decision to discontinue a course

The decision to discontinue a course offering may only be taken after the discontinuance has been thoroughly examined by the Program Co-ordinator responsible for the course, in consultation with the Director of Learning and Teaching and the Dean of Academic Administration. The decision must be supported by a report, or reports, providing details of recent course enrolments and completions, unit enrolments and completions, student survey feedback, stakeholder feedback or market research.

Importantly, any decision to discontinue a course of study must also detail:

  • The last semester in which new students will be permitted to enrol;
  • The last semester in which existing students will be required to complete their studies. This must take into account student enrolment patterns (full time/part-time) and facilitate timely completion especially for part-time students.
  • The articulation arrangements that will apply if a student fails to complete the course in the designated period; and
  • The arrangements to be adopted to advise students and stake holders.

These details are to be reported to the Learning, Teaching and Research Committee in writing for the Academic Board to approve.

When making decisions on the approval of a teach out the Academic Board will consider:

  • Legislative requirements;
  • Teach out requirements of regulatory authorities and professional bodies;
  • Teach out requirements of any formal partnership agreements; and
  • That there is no disadvantage to students.

A course deemed to be in teach out status is still required to be accredited until all students have either completed or transitioned out of the course. The Academic Board may approve a request for an extension to accreditiation to be sent to the regulator for courses in teach out status.

Articulation to a new accreditation of the same course

In the event that a course is to be re-accredited, and the structure of the course is to be significantly changed, the Program Co-ordinator must provide at the time of the re-accreditation in consultation with the Director of Learning Teaching, an articulation strategy which clearly indicates what steps are to be taken to ensure that students do not lose credit for prior studies successfully undertaken in that course.

In the event that the re-accredited course is developed as a “set course”, that is, it does not make allowance for elective units, the Head of School must provide at the time of the re-accreditation, an articulation strategy which clearly indicates what steps are to be taken to ensure that students do not lose credit unnecessarily for prior studies successfully undertaken in the course.

In each case, the Registrar shall be responsible to transfer credits to the new course at the first available opportunity (the first semester in which the new course is offered) and to secure the prior approval of the Dean of Academic Administration if this is necessary.

The Registrar shall also be responsible to ensure that the students involved in articulation to a new accreditation of the same course are advised of the actions taken, or to be undertaken.

Articulation to a different course at the same level of study

In the event that a student elects to switch courses which are at the same level of study, the Program Co-ordinator responsible for the new course or the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Academic Administration shall devise a strategy which ensures that students do not lose credit unnecessarily for prior studies successfully undertaken in the previous course.

The Registrar shall be responsible to transfer credits to the new course at the first available opportunity (the first semester in which the new course is offered) and to secure the prior approval of the Dean of Academic Administration if this is necessary.

The Registrar shall also be responsible to ensure that the students involved in articulation to a different course at the same level are advised of the actions taken, or to be undertaken.

Articulation to a different course with a set structure (no elective choices)

In the event that it is necessary for a student to articulate to a different course with a set structure (lesser or no elective choices) or the same course has been re-accredited with a set structure or less electives, the Program Co-ordinator responsible for the course or the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Academic Administration shall devise a strategy which ensures that students do not lose credit unnecessarily for prior studies successfully undertaken in the previous course.

The Registrarshall be responsible to transfer credits to the new course at the first available opportunity (the first semester in which the new course is offered) and to secure the prior approval of the Dean of Academic Administration if this is necessary.

The Registrar shall also be responsible to ensure that the students involved in articulation to a new accreditation of the same course are advised of the actions taken, or to be undertaken.

Teaching out arrangements

It is essential that all involved students are advised of the discontinuance of a course in writing (letter or email). The reasons for the decision should be advised, as well as the options available to the student to complete their course of study.

In the event that the student cohort affected is small in number, it may be appropriate to also arrange a meeting with students in order to answer questions or offer course advice.

Students who have withdrawn from their course or are currently deferred should also be notified of the discontinuance, including the reasons for the discontinuance and the options available to them to complete their course of study.

Marketing material published on the college webpage may need to be revised to correctly inform current students and potential students of the course requirements.

Advice to partnering organisation(s)

In the event that the variation impacts an external organisation which is partnering with the college in the delivery of a course, the partner must also be notified in writing (by letter or email) at the earliest possible date of the intention to vary the course, the reasons for the variation, and the options available to the students studying with the partnering organisation.