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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. Every student, regardless of enrolment or citizenship status, is entitled to monitoring of their academic progress and supportive intervention where the student is at risk of unsatisfactory progress. The University recognises that early identification and support of students at risk gives them their best chance of academic success. 

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) 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 

(3) 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

(4) This Policy sets La Trobe’s minimum standards for review of the progress of all coursework students enrolled at the University. Colleges may set higher standards but must still ensure compliance with all statutory requirements. 

(5) Every student, regardless of enrolment or citizenship status, is entitled to the monitoring of their academic progress and supportive intervention where the student is at risk of unsatisfactory progress. The University recognises that early identification and support of students at risk gives them their best chance of academic success. 

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

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

(8) At the completion of each Progression Period, each College will take academic intervention action in accordance with the Academic Progress Review Procedures. 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 of three forms, according to the seriousness of the student being at risk of not achieving satisfactory academic performance in future Progression Periods. 

  1. academic counselling letter 
  2. warning and course review  
  3. activation of section 9 of the Academic Progress Statute 2010 

(9) Appropriate notices of intervention action will be sent to the affected students.  

(10) 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

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

  1. Stage 1 – 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 – 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
    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 a subject 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. 
  3. Stage 3 – Unsatisfactory Progress:
    1. identified as Stage 2 or Stage 3, in the last enrolled progression period; or
    2. 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
    3. 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 
    4. fails a subject in a course for a third time; or  
    5. fails to meet any conditions previously imposed on the student’s enrolment by the College; or 
    6. does not meet the target date for completion of the course of study agreed at Stage 2. 

(12) 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

(13) 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.

(14) International students under the ESOS Act and National Code are required to complete their degree with 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, will have to make sure that they can still complete their course during the time specified on their CoE.

(15) If they do not complete within the expected duration of their course, La Trobe can only issue another CoE if (a) College agrees that there are compassionate or compelling circumstances and have in place an Agreed Progression Plan; (b) College adviser has previously agreed to a reduced study load as part of University's Intervention Strategy; or (c) student did not complete as the result of an approved deferment or suspension of your study.

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

Part B - Interventions

(17) The interventions that Colleges must undertake at each stage are listed below. 

(18) A student may not be excluded before they have had a warning letter 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.

Intervention stage
Intervention options
Stage 1 – subject fail
Fails a subject for the first time other than a subject listed in Schedule A
Academic counselling letter and follow up
Stage 2 – At risk
a) fails for the first time any workplace-based subject as listed in Schedule A; or
b) fails 50% or more of the credit points for which the student is enrolled in a given progression period; or
c) fails a subject in a course for a second time; or
d) exceeds the maximum allowed period for completing a course of study
Warning letter and progress review discussion
Stage 3 – Unsatisfactory Progress
a) fails for the second time any workplace-based subject as listed in Schedule A; or
b) 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
c) fails a subject in a course for the third time; or
d) does not meet the target date for completion of the course of study agreed at Stage 2.
Activate section 9 of Academic Progress Statute 2010.

Part C - Academic Counselling Letter

(19) The academic counselling letter 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. 

(20) A copy of the letter must be kept on the student’s file.  

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

Part D - Warning Letter and Progress Discussion

(22) The Stage 2 warning letter 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; and 

(23) 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; and 
  2. discussing with the student the possible reasons for the unsatisfactory performance and ways to improve his or her performance; and 
  3. providing the student with information about sources of academic help and other forms of support; and 
  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 the documentation of an ‘Agreed Progression Plan’ using a format determined from time to time by the University and published as part of the procedures. A copy of the ‘Agreed Progression Plan’ will be sent to the student and a copy placed on the student’s file. 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. 

Complaints and Grievances

(27) A student who has concerns following his or her interview with the Course Coordinator or College nominee should contact that officer in the first instance. If the student is unable to satisfy any concerns after this contact, the student may contact the relevant Head of School.

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

(28) 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

(29) 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. There are three Progression Periods within an academic year, defined as follows: 
    i)  Progression Period 1: 1 March – 30 June;
    ii) Progression Period 2: 1 July – 30 November; and,
    iii)Progression Period 3: 1 December – 28 (or 29) February.
    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.
  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.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – College Pro Vice-Chancellors; Executive Director, Student Services and Administration; and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellors (Coursework).
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).