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Student Support Policy

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Manager – Policy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience and Employability)
Review Date 20 December 2026
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) This document provides an overarching framework for the governance and provision of academic and non-academic support services for students at La Trobe University in order to foster an environment where students are supported to achieve success in their studies.

(2) This Policy is published in accordance with the University’s obligations under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines 2023.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all academic and non-academic support services provided to students (including graduate research candidates)in award and non-award courses at La Trobe.

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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Oversight of the Student Support Policy  Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

Principles for Provision of Student Support

(4) The University provides a wide range of academic and non-academic tailored support services to support all students to achieve their aims in higher education.

(5) Academic staff and professional staff with appropriate responsibilities strive to identify students who may benefit from support using a range of mechanisms. Such students are referred to and encouraged to access appropriate support services, which may include services offered in the community where appropriate.

(6) All students are expected to actively participate in and manage their studies and to take advantage of the support services provided by the University, and in the community where appropriate.

(7) The provision of University support services is guided by a suite of specific university policies and strategies as outlined in this Policy.

(8) Support services are:

  1. designed to be both broad and targeted, and to address the academic and non-academic needs of the student body and specific cohorts: these include neurodiverse students, students with a disability, those suffering from a temporary illness or who have experienced family trauma or violence, First Nations students, or students with other forms of disadvantage
  2. informed by comprehensive data collection, predictive analytics, evidence-based practice and stakeholder consultation
  3. pro-actively communicated to students at critical points in their course including at admission, enrolment, orientation, pre-Census, and at all stages of academic progression, in addition to being permanently accessible via University webpages
  4. connected to appropriate community and public services
  5. regularly evaluated and reviewed
  6. overseen by University peak governance bodies.

Policies and Strategies

(9) The University outlines the governance and operations of its student support services through the following instruments:

Support Type Instrument(s)
Processes for assessing a student’s suitability to continue to undertake a subject, or to identify students at risk of not completing
Processes for supporting students that are identified as ‘academically at risk’ of unsuccessful completion
Processes to ensure:
students have access to support services including before Census Date
students are pro-actively offered access to support services prior to the Census Date where they:
- are assessed at risk of not completing
- have previously failed to successfully complete a subject
- demonstrate a low level of engagement
Processes for providing non-academic support to students, including mental health support
Processes for identifying students in need of targeted individual literacy, numeracy and other academic supports and how these supports will be delivered
Learning Resources and Support Policy (under development)
Peer Support Services
Learning Resources and Support Policy (under development)
Support from academic staff for ‘at-risk’ students, offering adjustments and referral to support services where required
Learning Resources and Support Policy (under development)
Critical harm response arrangements for students
Specific arrangements for:
First Nations students Indigenous Strategy
Students with disability
Universal Design and Inclusion Plan
Students who have experienced family and domestic violence
Students who have experienced aggravated or sexual assault
Students who have experienced traumatic events
Support for Students Policy is faithfully and fairly implemented, and errors, outliers and opportunities for improvement are identified and escalated QA Section of this Policy
Processes for accessing the provider’s staff who specialise in identifying the reasons why students are at risk of not successfully completing their units of study and can work with students to develop a plan to enable them to succeed

Quality Assurance and Reporting

Evaluation and Review

(10) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will oversee:

  1. the annual review of the Student Support Policy to ensure it remains fit for purpose and to identify any opportunities for improvement
  2. the periodic review of the delivery of student support services for efficiency, impact, accessibility and alignment with the Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines 2003.

(11) Review documentation and outcomes will be tabled for consideration at the Student Services Amenities Group (SSAG), before being considered by Education Committee, Academic Board, the Vice-Chancellor and the appropriate senior management group.

(12) The review will include an at-least annual report on the Student Advising Program.


(13) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will report annually to the Commonwealth Government on relevant matters as required.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(14) For the purposes of this Policy:

  1. academically at-risk: a description applied to students who exhibit indicators, such as low grades, low levels of engagement, impact from significant life events or other challenges, indicating that they may struggle academically and may benefit from targeted support and intervention measures to enhance their educational success. At risk indicators include where a student: 
    1. reports significant life circumstances that are impacting their capacity to study
    2. belongs to a cohort identified as benefitting from additional support
    3. fails to engage with academic learning, as evidenced by failure to engage with the Learning Management System or assessment
    4. fails an early assessment item in their subject
    5. fails one subject for the first time other than a workplace-based subject
    6. fails for the first time any workplace-based subject
    7. fails 50% or more of their enrolled credit points for the first time
    8. fails the same subject in a course for a second time, or
    9. looks likely that they will not complete their course within the maximum period of study
    10. withdraws from all subjects for any one progression review period after the Census Date.
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Section 7 - Authority and Associated Information

(15) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(16) Associated information includes:

  1. Student Support Policy, Help and Support
  2. the Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines 2023.
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Section 8 - Schedule of University Support Services

Academic Support Services

Service Description How to Access
Orientation La Trobe’s comprehensive Orientation Program is designed to support students’ transition to university studies and foster a sense of belonging with their peers and the institution.
Peer Learning Advisors (PLA) Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs) are experienced La Trobe students specially trained to help others with navigating study and assessments. PLAs come from many different discipline areas and offer support at every campus and online.
Discipline Hubs The Discipline Hubs connect students with expert tutors who provide support in maths, science and coding skills.
Academic Skills and Language Advisor and Online Chat Service   Individual support with study skills, assignment planning and writing skills   
On-Demand Academic Skills Workshops Assist students to develop their skills in writing assessments, referencing, and time management.
Library and subject support services   Assistance in navigating referencing and information and identifying assessment and research questions

English Language Support    
LMS Modules to assist students for whom English is a second language develop their vocabulary and learn about academic culture and expectations in Australia
Dedicated research skills programs and support The Graduate Research School's Research Education and Development (RED) team supports and assists La Trobe graduate researchers in:
- quality research practices
- strategies for success in research publication and funding
- insight into researcher career paths and industry sectors
- practising excellent research communication skills.
Library Researcher training Workshops and training for researcher skills.
Graduate Research School Candidature lifecycle support and advice to all graduate research students.
Academic Integrity Training  A compulsory Academic integrity Module introduces students to La Trobe's values and its academic integrity standards so they are informed about how to avoid plagiarism and academic misconduct.
Student Advisors The Student Advising team provides students with individualised support for their studies. Ask La Trobe
Indigenous Student Services Indigenous Student Services aim to ensure the delivery of the highest quality services to Indigenous Australians as prospective and current students as well as alumni.
Indigenous Academic Enrichment Program (IAEP) Under the IAEP an Indigenous Australian student may access up to 2 hours per week per subject (during the teaching period) to a maximum of 8 hours as approved through their application.

Non-Academic Support Services

Service Description How to Access
Counselling and Mental Health Support A broad range of free counselling and other support services.

Safer Community Service Safer Community is a free, confidential support service for students experiencing concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour.
Multifaith Spiritual Wellbeing  Support for faith based matters.
LGBTQIA+ Health and Wellbeing Service LGBTIQA+ community support.
Legal Service Legal assistance is free, confidential and available to currently enrolled students.
AccessAbility and Inclusion For students who need Reasonable Adjustments and other support to successfully complete their studies.
Men’s Health and Wellbeing Service  Support for the mental health and wellbeing of male and male identifying students at La Trobe.
Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Service The Indigenous counselling service is a safe space that provides culturally appropriate and sensitive support for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying at La Trobe University.
Wellbeing Check-In Wellbeing Connect provides support for students to manage their own wellbeing and reach their goals.
Financial Counselling Free financial counselling for students.
Scholarships La Trobe offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support students’ success and ongoing participation in their studies.
Indigenous Student Services Indigenous Student Services aim to ensure the delivery of the highest quality services to Indigenous Australians as prospective and current students as well as alumni.
La Trobe Leaders The La Trobe Leaders Program provides opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills through welcoming incoming students, mentoring peers and participating in a range of engagement activities held on campus throughout the semester.
Student Excellence Academy The La Trobe Excellence Academy provides additional opportunities for students who demonstrate excellence across a range of streams (e.g. entrepreneurship, academic, sporting). These includes mentoring, industry connections and seminars.
Orientation La Trobe’s comprehensive Orientation Program is designed to support students’ transition to university studies and foster a sense of belonging with their peers and the institution.
Student Events The University provides an engaging and vibrant suite of events throughout the year, enabling students to connect with peers and build their sense of belonging with La Trobe.