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Assessment and Teaching: Policy and Procedures on Review of Student Progress

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Approving Authority:

Council
Establishment Date:28 August, 1992
Date Last Amendment:9 November, 2011
Nature of Amendment:Amendment to definition of unsatisfactory progress (Clause 2), intervention strategy for at risk students (Clause 5) and Clause 7.2.
Responsible Officer: Director, Academic and Student Services

1

Purpose and Scope

1.1

The purpose of this Policy is to set out the University's obligations and expectations with respect to the review of student progress.

1.2

This policy applies to all students enrolled at the University in a course for one of the following awards:

  • Associate Diploma;
  • Diploma;
  • Advanced Diploma;
  • Bachelor (Ordinary and Honours) Degree;
  • Graduate Certificate;
  • Graduate Diploma;
  • Masters Degree by coursework (coursework component only); and
  • Professional Doctorate (coursework component only).

2

Definitions
at risk - a student will be deemed to be at risk of preclusion if: the student achieves a grade of Fail in 50 percent or more of the units attempted in the period under consideration; or the student achieves a grade of Fail in a topic in a course where the course rule contains a provision that failure in a topic on more than one occasion may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress; or the student's academic performance in a course is such that he or she may meet any other definition of unsatisfactory progress as outlined in the relevant course rule.

ESOS Act - the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

National Code - the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007.

unsatisfactory progress - a student's progress may be considered to be unsatisfactory if: the student has attempted 36 units or more with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or less and in the period under consideration has a GPA of 2.0 or less;* and/or and/or the student meets the definition of unsatisfactory progress outlined in the Rule governing the relevant course/s or specified for the topic/s. Topics for which a Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) has been recorded will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA.

*Note: transitional arrangements relating to the definition of unsatisfactory progress will apply until 31 March 2012. Refer to Clause 10 below.

relevant Faculty Committee - means the Faculty Committee or Committees with authority to undertake the responsibilities outlined in clause 9.1.

3

General

3.1

Students enrolled in a course can normally expect to complete that course in the format described by the University, provided they make satisfactory progress.

3.2

Where changes to a course are made during the normal period of enrolment, these will not disadvantage students.

4

Student Progress
The University is committed to assisting students to maintain satisfactory progress in their course. Accordingly, processes (refer clauses 5 and 6) have been put in place to ensure that students whose progress is of concern are identified at an early stage and that where necessary appropriate action is taken to assist them.

5

Intervention strategy for At Risk students

5.1

At the end of each semester the University will identify and notify students whose results indicate the risk of preclusion and employ the following intervention strategy:

(a)    students deemed at risk for the first time will be notified in writing and invited to attend academic counselling with a Faculty/School adviser (at risk notification 1);

(b)    students who are deemed at risk for a second or subsequent time will be notified in writing and advised that they are required to attend academic counselling with a Faculty/School adviser (at risk notification 2);

(c)    the written notification to students (at risk notification 1 and at risk notification 2) will include advice on the availability of academic support and counselling available within the University.

5.2

Faculty/School advisers providing academic counselling to students deemed to be at risk may recommend a range of strategies to assist students to improve their academic performance, including but not limited to: a recommended program of enrolment; a reduction in enrolment load for a specified study period, where appropriate; referral to student support services, as applicable.

5.3

Faculty/School advisers who have provided academic counselling must ensure that the recommended strategies are documented on an At Risk Student - Counselling record. A copy of the completed form must be provided to the student and the original placed on the student's file.

6

Unsatisfactory Progress
The University has set standards (based on a student's GPA and where appropriate individual course rules) below which students are generally considered to be making unsatisfactory progress. The actions resulting from the identification of students who fall into this category are designed primarily to assist students and should not be seen as punitive.

6.1

Review and Identification

6.1.1

At the end of each semester, Faculties will identify those students who are enrolled in their courses/topics whose progress is unsatisfactory.

6.1.2

Having reviewed the progress of such students, the Faculty may take one of the following courses of action. In each case, the reason/s for taking a particular course of action will be fully documented:
(a)    take no action (i.e. the student may continue their studies in the course in the normal way); or
(b)    ask the student to attend an interview with a Faculty advisor. The purpose of this interview will be:
•    to discuss the progress of the student;
•    and for the Faculty advisor to provide advice and assistance on mechanisms and services available to assist with improving the progress of the student.
If a student is unable to attend an interview, an alternative process will be put in place. Should the student fail to attend the interview or participate in an alternative process, the Faculty will reconsider the matter and take action in accordance with clause 6.1.2 c); or
(c)    ask the student to show cause why he or she should not be precluded from re-enrolling in the course or topic.

6.1.3

Where a course of study is administered by more than one Faculty, the relevant Faculty Executive Deans will establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure that the responsibilities outlined in clauses 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 are fulfilled.

6.2

Show Cause Procedures
The following procedures apply in the cases of students who are asked to show cause why they should not be precluded from re-enrolling in the course or topic (refer clause 6.1.2 c)).

6.2.1

Notification -
(a)    a) Students will be sent letters inviting them to show cause why they should not be precluded from re-enrolling in the course or topic. The letters will be sent to the student's nominated postal address by registered mail and University email account;
(b)    the letters will be in a standard format approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and
(c)    a student who receives such a letter may request an interview (as detailed in the letter they receive) to discuss their response to the letter. If requested, an interview must be granted.

6.2.2

Consideration and outcomes -
The relevant Faculty Committee:
•    will consider the case of each student who has been asked to show cause, taking into account any response received from the student. If a student fails to respond to a request to show cause, the Committee will either preclude the student from re-enrolling in the course or topic for up to five years or require the student to defer re-enrolment in the course or topic for one academic year (in accordance with the provisions of the ESOS Act and National Code, the deferral of enrolment provision does not apply to on-shore international students who are holders of a student visa); and
•    must determine which of the following courses of action (none of which may override any course-specific provisions, as approved by Academic Senate and outlined in course rules, that require the student to make an application for re-admission or for permission to re-enrol) is appropriate in each case:
(a)    take no action (which means that the student may continue their studies in the normal way); or
(b)    permit the student to continue study during the current and/or following semester in a restricted or contract program of enrolment, which may require a particular performance outcome as specified by the Committee;
(c)    or require the student to defer his or her re-enrolment in the course or topic for up to one year (in accordance with the provisions of the ESOS Act and National Code the deferral of enrolment provision does not apply to on-shore international students who are holders of a student visa), with either an automatic right to re-enrol in the course or topic after the period of deferment, or with permission to re-enrol after the period of deferment in a restricted or contract program of enrolment, which may require a particular performance outcome as specified by the Committee;
(d)    or preclude the student from re-enrolling in the course or topic for up to five years.
•    Students will be informed, without delay, of the Faculty's decision and the reasons for the decision. The notice of decision will be sent to the student's nominated postal address by registered mail and University email account. The letters will be in a standard format approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

6.3

Appeals against Outcomes of Review of Student Progress

6.3.1

A student who wishes to appeal against the decision of a Faculty in relation to unsatisfactory progress should, in the first instance, discuss the matter with the Secretary or the Chairperson of the relevant Faculty Committee.

6.3.2

A student who is not satisfied with the decision and who has new information which has not previously been considered by the relevant Faculty Committee, may make a written request for the decision to be reviewed (refer clauses 6.3.4-6.3.8).

6.3.3

A student who is not satisfied with the decision and who does not have any new information on which a review could be based may lodge an appeal direct to the Student Appeals Committee (refer clauses 6.3.9-6.3.13).

6.3.4

Requests for a review (refer clause 6.3.2) must be lodged with the Secretary of the relevant Faculty Committee within 10 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification from the Faculty about the outcome of the review of the student's progress.

6.3.5

The request should include the grounds on which the review is sought and details of the new information in support of the application.

6.3.6

Receipt of the request for review will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.

6.3.7

Students will be informed of the Faculty's decision and the reasons for the decision. The notice of decision will be sent to the student's nominated postal address by registered mail and University email account.

6.3.8

A student who is not satisfied with the outcome of this review may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee.

6.3.9

Such an appeal may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:
•    the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter; and/or
•    the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances; and/or
•     the penalty was too harsh.

6.3.10

Appeals to the Student Appeals Committee must be lodged with the Director, Academic and Student Services within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification from the Faculty as outlined in clause 6.3.7 (if an initial review as outlined at clause 6.3.2 has occurred) or clause 6.2.2 (if an initial review has not occurred).

6.3.11

The appeal must:
•    be accompanied by any correspondence which the student has received from the University in relation to the preclusion or restriction;
•    indicate the grounds for the appeal, the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation, and the action which the student has taken thus far; and
•    specify what outcome is being sought.

6.3.12

All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct will be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints Policy and Procedures.

6.4

Recording of Outcomes of Review of Student Progress

6.4.1

Preclusion from re-enrolment in a course or compulsory deferment will appear on the student's official academic transcript for the duration of that preclusion.

6.4.2

No other outcomes of a review of a student's progress will be recorded on the academic transcript.

6.4.3

Information on preclusions, compulsory deferments, restricted enrolments and contract enrolments will be entered into the Student Information System.

7

Re-Admission to a Course or Re-Enrolment in a Topic

7.1

After the expiry of the period of preclusion, a precluded student will have the right to re-enter the course or re-enrol in the topic concerned except where course-specific provisions, as approved by Academic Senate and outlined in course rules, require the student to make an application for re-admission.

7.2

Normally, a precluded student will not be considered for admission to a course in the same discipline as the course from which he or she has been precluded until the expiry of the period of preclusion. Such courses to be determined by the relevant Faculties and published on the University's website. A precluded student who wishes to apply for admission to a course in a different discipline from the course in which he or she has been precluded, may do so in the normal way. A student who is admitted to another course and, as part of that course, wishes to re-enrol in a topic from which he or she is currently precluded, must apply for permission to re-enrol in the topic in accordance with clauses 7.4 and 7.5.

7.3

A student who has been precluded from re-enrolling in a course or topic will not normally be re-admitted to the course or be allowed to re-enrol in the topic before the expiry of one academic year since the effective date of the preclusion.

7.4

Subject to clause 7.3, a student who is precluded from a course or topic and who wishes to be re-admitted to the course or re-enrolled in that topic before the preclusion period expires must submit an application to the relevant Faculty Committee. Applications must be lodged with the Secretary of the relevant Faculty Committee by the deadline specified and should include comprehensive information regarding why the student considers, as appropriate, that:
(a)    a pass result could now be achieved in the topic; or
(b)     progress in the course will be satisfactory in the future.

7.5

After considering an application the relevant Faculty Committee may take one of the following courses of action:
•    the student is not re-admitted to the course or not permitted to re-enrol in the topic; or
•    the student is re-admitted to the course with a restricted or contract enrolment; or
•    the student is re-admitted to the course without restriction or is permitted to re-enrol in the topic. However, enrolment in any topic is dependent on a student being able to meet appropriate prerequisites for the topic.

7.6

Students will be notified of the outcome of their applications as soon as possible and provided with the reasons for the decision.

8

Appeals against Outcome of Application for Re-Admission to a Course or for Re-Enrolment in a Topic

8.1

A student who wishes to appeal against the decision of a Faculty on his or her application for re-admission to a course or re-enrolment in a topic should, as soon as practicable, discuss the matter with the Secretary or Chairperson of the relevant Faculty Committee.

8.2

A student who is not satisfied with the outcome may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee. Such an appeal may be made on one or both of the following grounds: the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter; and/or the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances.

8.3

Appeals to the Student Appeals Committee must be lodged with the Director, Academic and Student Services within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification about the outcome of the application.

8.4

The appeal must: be accompanied by a copy of the letter which the student has received from the Faculty; indicate details of the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation; and specify what outcome is being sought.

8.5

All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct will be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints and Procedures.

9

Assessment of Student Progress

9.1

The relevant Faculty Committee will have responsibility for:
(a)    assessing cases of students who have been asked to show cause under clause 6.2, and
(b)     considering applications for re-admission to a course or re-enrolment in a topic under clause 7.

9.2

Where a course of study is administered by more than one Faculty, the relevant Faculty Executive Deans will ensure that the responsibilities outlined in clause 9.1 are fulfilled.

9.3

The relevant Faculty Committee will:
(a)     include no less than two academic staff members of the Faculty;
(b)     include a student member who will normally be from the Faculty;
(c)     be appointed by the Faculty Executive Dean (or delegate). The student member will be appointed after consultation with the President of the Flinders Campus Community Services Student Council;
(d)     include a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson appointed by the Faculty Executive Dean (or delegate) from amongst the academic staff members;
(e)     have a quorum of no less than 50% of the total membership;
(f)     have alternatives for each of the staff and student members of the Committee appointed by the Faculty Executive Dean (or delegate). An alternate will sit on the committee as a full member when the respective member is unavailable;
(g)     not allow a student whose progress is under review to sit on the committee at the meeting at which his or her case is being considered;
(h)     be entitled to invite any member of the University to advise it on aspects of any case before it; and
(i)     determine its own operating procedures to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of students.

10

Transitional provision

10.1

The following definition of "unsatisfactory progress" will apply to the identification of students under clause 6.1, where the process for identifying students whose progress is considered to be unsatisfactory takes place prior to 31 March 2012:

a student's progress may be considered to be unsatisfactory if:

•     the student has attempted 36 units or more with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of less than 1.33 and in the period under consideration has a GPA of less than 1.33; and/or

•    the student meets the definition of unsatisfactory progress outlined in the Rule governing the relevant course/s or specified for the topic/s.

Topics for which a Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) has been recorded will be excluded from the calculation of GPA.

10.2

This transitional provision lapses on 1 April 2012. Note: from that date the definition of "unsatisfactory progress" set out in clause 2 will apply to the assessment of the academic progress of all students enrolled in courses leading to the awards specified in Clause 1.2, including those students who commenced their enrolment on or prior to 31 March 2012.