This policy has been developed to improve student success in their studies and ensure that the quality of student work is maintained. The key objectives of the policy are to provide improved management of student academic progress and improve student retention rates. The policy promotes the early identification of students who are not achieving acceptable academic performance to enable the provision of proactive assistance and to ensure such students are aware of the range of support services available to them at the College.
This document sets out the College’s commitment to identifying students at academic risk and the procedures to minimise or nullify the risk.
This policy applies across the College.
The College is committed to identifying students at academic risk, to verifying the circumstances contributing to the risk, and to providing support mechanisms to minimise or nullify the risk.
The College recognises that students for whom English is a second language have a disadvantage compared with students who have English as their primary language. The College, therefore, encourages such students to seek editorial assistance in the preparation of their papers, whenever English language assistance is needed.
The College recognises that students who have a reading or learning disability [such as dyslexia] may also have a disadvantage compared with other students. The College acknowledges that students who experience language difficulties, or who have a reading or learning disability can gain a secondary benefit from accessing editorial assistance, namely, the enhancement of their English written expression skills.
The College recognises that students may have personal issues or special circumstance resulting from recent life events or situations that may significantly inhibit their ability to study (e.g. natural disaster victim, life crisis, housing problems, relationship breakups, loss of employment, death of relative, etc.)
The College recognises that students may have additional, unanticipated responsibilities forced upon them through employment, ministry or altered parental responsibilities which significantly reduce their ability to study.
The College recognises the uniqueness of each student, and the consequent need for flexibility in determining interventions to assist students to achieve academically.
The College recognises that students may be at academic risk due to not satisfactorily completing tests mandated by accrediting or government agencies and will ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place at the earliest possible stage of a student’s learning experience.
The College will proactively seek, through a variety of measures, to identify students at academic risk, to ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place at the earliest possible stage of a student’s learning experience. Such measures will include student, lecturer and administrative staff education, and proactive monitoring of student progress through the academic standards committee activities.
Determining unsatisfactory course progress
The College shall monitor, record and assess the course progress for each student and for each unit of the course for which the student is enrolled.
The College defines potential indicators of academic risk as:
- failure to attend the first two scheduled classes for the unit of study
- failure to login to Moodle within 7 days of the commencement of the unit of study
- failure to submit the first assessment task for a unit of study
- lodgement of more than one extension request in a semester of study
- an incomplete result in more than 50% of the units attempted in any semester of study; or
- failure in more than 50% of the units attempted in any semester of study; or
- failure in a compulsory/core unit on at least two occasions; or
- failure to lodge at least 50% of the assessment tasks due for lodgement at the date when the progress check is undertaken; or
- failure to satisfactorily complete a test or tests mandated by accrediting or government agencies at the time expected by the College; or
- failure to meet any previously written conditions, restrictions or limitations imposed upon the student by the Academic Standards and Risk committee.
Procedure for verifying course progress
The College shall apply the definitions for “academic risk” during the delivery of a unit of study and against the results achieved by each student at the end of each study period, to determine the progress being made by each student.
Interventions for students at risk of failing
In the event that academic progress of a student becomes an identified risk, the Course Advisor of the student shall contact the student as soon as is practically possible to discuss the student’s progress.
The Course Advisor in conjunction with the Dean of Academic Administration shall:
- ask the student to explain the reasons for his / her unsatisfactory progress;
- offer assistance to the student to improve his / her academic performance; and
- if necessary, issue an official warning to the student, in writing, that his/her study progress is a matter of concern and may result in the termination of the student’s enrolment if satisfactory improvement does not occur.
The Course Advisor or the Dean of Academic Administration shall prepare a file note for the student’s file or a special arrangement, recording the relevant facts from the meeting and any interventions decided. In order to facilitate improvement in the academic progress of the student, the College shall:
- arrange any necessary pastoral care support in order to remedy the situation; or
- make arrangements for additional support or instruction to be provided by another suitable, qualified person; or
- investigate the issue(s) with a view to determining an intervention which will enable the student’s study progress to stabilise and return to a satisfactory level. Such interventions may include:-
- putting a special arrangement in place to allow extra time for the student to complete the required work for the unit/s of study,
- implementing a student support plan,
- requiring the student to complete all outstanding work before enrolling in further units of study;
- requiring the student to withdraw from one or more units of study in the current semester or undertake fewer units of study in future semesters of study;
- requiring the student to change to a lower level of study. e.g. degree level to diploma level;
- discontinuing the student’s studies with the College, subject to further review by the Dean of Academic Administration should the student request permission to return to study.
- contact the student after the interventions have been implemented to ensure that they have been effective and have achieved the required result.
Notification to students who fail to make a required appointment
In the event that a student fails to meet satisfactory progress or satisfactory course progress requirements, and also fails to undertake the recommendations of their course advisor, the College shall advise the student in writing of any restrictions proposed with respect to future studies. The notification shall include:-
- the reason why course progress is unsatisfactory;
- any restrictions proposed with respect to future studies; and
- the student’s right to access the Complaints and Grievances procedures within 20 working days of receipt of the letter of notification.
Progress check conducted at end point of each study period
At the conclusion of each semester of study, the Dean of Academic Administration shall:-
- confirm that all marks have been entered into the Student Management System and have been calculated;
- prepare a report on the academic progress of students; and
- arrange a meeting with the Academic Standards and Risk Committee to determine the outcome of:
- Interventions Required
- Adjustments to or removal of academic probation
Minimum point at which intervention strategies are implemented
The College’s intervention strategies shall be implemented for any student who is at risk of not meeting satisfactory course progress requirements. At a minimum, the intervention strategy shall be activated where the student has not participated in the unit of study prior to the census date or has failed or is deemed not yet competent in 50% or more of the units attempted in any study period or has not satisfactorily completed a test or tests mandated by accrediting or government agencies.
Reporting unsatisfactory course progress
If after investigation of the student’s circumstances, the provision of pastoral care support, additional support(s) and any other interventions deemed necessary the student’s academic progress is still unsatisfactory, the College shall:
- advise the student, in writing, of the College’s intention to apply restriction to his or her study; and
- advise the student that he or she is able to access the College’s Complaints and Grievance process; and
- advise the student that he or she has 28 working days in which to do so.
In the event that the student has chosen not to access the complaints and grievances processes within the 28 working day period, withdraws from the process, or the process is completed and results in a decision supporting the College, the study restriction shall be confirmed.
If there is concern or a formal complaint is received about the conduct of a student, the matter will be followed up and addressed by the Dean of Faculty. The student in question will be given the opportunity to explain his/her case and a decision as to what measures should be taken will be made by the Academic Board or an appointed subcommittee at a meeting convened for this purpose. The student will normally be offered pastoral care. In extreme cases of serious misconduct, a student may be expelled from the College, which means the cancellation of enrolment and all rights and privileges of being a student of the College, including the right to be on the College premises. In less extreme cases, a student may be suspended, which means the cancellation, for a specified period of time, of enrolment and all rights and privileges of being a student of the College, including the right to be on the College premises.
All outcomes of concerns or formal complaints of misconduct will be reported to the Academic Board and the Governing Board of the College