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Academic Progress Review Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy deals with the conditions and processes adopted by the University to assess the academic progress of enrolled students.

(2) This Policy sets La Trobe’s minimum standards for review of the progress of all coursework students enrolled at the University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to:

  1. all campuses 
  2. all coursework students in any award course in any College of the University
  3. all staff involved with academic progression processes

(4) This Policy does not apply to students enrolled for research degrees at the University, who should refer to La Trobe University’s Academic Progress Statute 2010 and the following policies and procedures: 

  1. Graduate Research Candidature Policy
  2. Graduate Research Progress Policy and Graduate Research Show Cause Procedure
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Every student, regardless of their enrolment or citizenship status, is entitled to the monitoring of their academic progress and supportive intervention communication where the student is at risk of unsatisfactory progress.

(6) The University recognises that early identification and support of students at risk gives them their best chance of academic success. 

(7) Reviews of students’ academic performance must be conducted in a consistent and equitable way.

(8) Colleges may set higher standards but must still ensure compliance with all statutory requirements.

(9) For the purpose of applying this Policy, progress in a course will be assessed over each Progression Period. 

(10) At the completion of each Progression Period, each College will take academic intervention action in accordance with the procedures outlined below. The intervention action will apply to each student whose performance is considered at risk or is deemed to be unsatisfactory through the tripping of defined triggers. The specific intervention for each student will take one or more of the below three forms of communication, according to the seriousness of the student being at risk of not achieving satisfactory academic performance in future Progression Periods. 

  1. Support communication
  2. Academic counselling support communication
  3. Activation of section 9 of the Academic Progress Statute 2010 

(11) Appropriate intervention communication will be sent to the affected students.

(12) The timing of intervention events will be tied to individual Colleges’ progression processes in relation to the relevant Teaching Periods. 

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Section 4 - Procedures

(13) A student will trigger an intervention communication when, in any given Progression Period, the student: 

  1. Stage 1 (Yellow status) – Subject Fail

    1. fails a subject for the first time other than a subject listed in Schedule A of the Academic Progress Review Procedures
  2. Stage 2 (Amber status) – At Risk

    1. fails for the first time any workplace-based subject as listed from time to time in Schedule A to the Academic Progress Review Procedures; or
    2. fails 50% or more of the sum of the credit points for which the student is enrolled in any given progression period; or
    3. fails the same subject/s in a course for a second or subsequent time; or
    4. fails to meet any conditions previously imposed on the student’s enrolment by the College; or 
    5. exceeds the maximum allowed period for attempting a course of study; or
    6. has an overall course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 0-49 (regardless of the most recent progression period WAM) within the currently admitted course.
  3. Stage 3 (Red status) – Unsatisfactory Progress

    1. fails for the second time any workplace-based subject as listed from time to time in Schedule A to the Academic Progress Review Procedures; or
    2. for the second time fails 50% or more of the sum of the credit points for which the student is enrolled in any given progression period; or
    3. fails the same subject in a course for a third or more time; or
    4. fails to meet any conditions previously imposed on the student’s enrolment by the College; or 
    5. does not meet the target date for completion of the course of study agreed at Stage 2 or Stage 3;
    6. has an overall course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 0-49 (regardless of the most recent progression period WAM) and one previous at risk (amber) status within the currently admitted course.

(14) All interventions should be conducted in a timely manner, ensuring no disadvantage to a student, and as soon as practicable after the completion of academic progress monitoring for the Progression Period.

Part A - Calculation and Impact of Time Limits

(15) Except where a College determines otherwise for a particular course, the maximum time for a domestic student to complete a course will be calculated by doubling the years required to complete the course on a normal full-time basis and adding one year. Exceeding the maximum period for a course will not trigger an automatic exclusion but will act as a flag for a College to negotiate with the student an agreed target date for completion.

(16) Holders of Australian student visas under the ESOS Act and National Code, are required to complete their degrees within the duration specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) unless certain circumstances apply. International students who choose to study at less than a 100% load in a particular teaching period, must ensure that they can still complete their course during the time specified on their CoE.

(17) For more details, please refer to the International Students - Completion within Expected Duration of Study Policy

Part B - Interventions

(18) The interventions the University must undertake at each stage are listed below. 

(19) A student may not be excluded before they have had Stage 2 academic counselling support communication and the opportunity to be involved in a progress review discussion. Should the student not take up the opportunity to participate in a progress review discussion at Stage 2, this will be taken into consideration in the decision on whether to exclude at Stage 3.

Stage

Status

Communication or Intervention
Green Student has passed the subjects which they are enrolled in
No intervention or communication
Subject Fail (Stage 1) – Yellow Fails a subject for the first time other than a subject listed in Schedule A Support communication
At Risk (Stage 2)- Amber
Fails for the first time any workplace-based subject as listed in Schedule A; or

Fails 50% or more of the credit points for which the student is enrolled in a given progression period regardless of part time or full time enrolment; or

Fails a subject in a course for a second time; or

Exceeds the maximum allowed period for completing a course of study; or
Has an overall course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 0-49 (regardless of the most recent progression period WAM).
Academic counselling support communication
Unsatisfactory Progress (Stage 3)- Red
Fails for the second time any workplace-based subject as listed in Schedule A; or

For the second time, fails 50% or more of the sum of the credit points for which the student is enrolled in a given progression period; or

Fails a subject in a course for the third time; or

Does not meet the target date for completion of the course of study agreed at Stage 2; or

Has an overall course Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 0-49 (regardless of the most recent progression period WAM) and one previous at risk (amber) status within the currently admitted course.
Activate section 9 of the Academic Progress Statute 2010

Part C - Support Communication

(20) The support communication as a first intervention:

  1. encourages the student to seek out additional support;
  2. identifies, and provides contact details for, support available through University services; and 
  3. warns the student of the possible consequences of future unsatisfactory progress. 

(21) A copy of the communication must be kept on the student’s file.

(22) The University may follow up with the student by telephone and will keep a record of the discussion if they do so. 

Part D - Academic Support Counselling Communication

(23) The Stage 2 Academic Support Counselling Communication and progress discussion: 

  1. explains why the student is considered at risk of unsatisfactory progress;
  2. warns the student of the possible consequences of future unsatisfactory progress;
  3. requires the student to attend an Academic Progress Workshop; and
  4. requires the student to meet by a specified time with the relevant Course Coordinator or with any other person(s) nominated by the relevant College.

Meeting with Course Coordinator or College Nominee at Stage 2

(24) The objectives of the meeting with the Course Coordinator or College nominee are to provide a consistent and equitable approach to: 

  1. identifying problem areas that may be contributing to a student’s poor academic performance;
  2. canvassing strategies for improving the student’s chance of academic success; and 
  3. developing an Agreed Progression Plan. 

(25) The meeting with the Course Coordinator or College nominee at Stage 2 will review the student’s academic performance and will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, the following: 

  1. advising the student that they are considered at risk of not meeting the academic requirements for the next Progression Period;
  2. discussing with the student the possible reasons for the unsatisfactory performance and ways to improve their performance;
  3. providing the student with information about sources of academic help and other forms of support;
  4. identifying issues and setting an Agreed Progression Plan to address them; and 
  5. putting the student on notice that continued unsatisfactory performance will result in a requirement to explain reasons for failure and present a plan of action for improvement at a subsequent review. 

Agreed Progression Plan

(26) The outcome of the meeting with the Course Coordinator or College nominee at Stage 2 will document the ‘Agreed Progression Plan’ using a format determined from time to time by the University and published as part of the procedures.

(27) A copy of the ‘Agreed Progression Plan’ will be sent to the student and a copy placed on the student’s file.

(28) The plan will form the basis for recommended action and for reference if the student requires further support. It will also be available for referral during consideration of any future unsatisfactory academic performance by the student.

Part E - Activation of Section 9 of Academic Progress Statute 2010

(29) At the third or subsequent intervention, the College may activate processes outlined in Section 9 of Academic Progress Statute 2010.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(30) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Course Coordinator: the academic member of staff who is formally responsible for coordinating the teaching and administration of a specific course and who, for purposes of this policy, is responsible for intervention action when required. A College may nominate another member of staff to carry out this function in place of the Course Coordinator.
  2. Progression Period: the period of study at the end of which a student’s academic progress is formally assessed. A Progression Period may include more than one Teaching Period. Each subject enrolment will be allocated to a specific Progression Period according to the date of the last day of the Teaching Period in which the subject is offered. This allocation is irrespective of location or mode of delivery, and of the academic year in which the Teaching Period commenced. There are generally three Progression Periods within an academic year, defined as follows:
    1. Progression Period 1: 1 March - 30 June
    2. Progression Period 2: 1 July - 30 November
    3. Progression Period 3: 1 December - 28 (or 29) February
  3. Teaching Period: the period between the commencement and completion of delivery of teaching of a subject, as recorded in the Student Information System (SIS) upon enrolment.