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Hallmark Program (Refreshed) Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The Hallmark Program provides high-achieving students, predominantly Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship recipients, with a three-year program of enrichment opportunities to enhance their educational experience, improve their employability and nurture a life-long relationship with the University.

(2) This Policy outlines the features of the Hallmark Program applicable to students who are accepted into the University and the Program from 2017 onwards. The Refreshed Hallmark Program offers elective subjects and co-curricular enrichment activities for high-achieving students who are recipients of the scholarships listed in the Hallmark Program - Eligible Scholarships. The aim of the Hallmark Program is to enhance their educational experience, improve their employability and nurture a life-long relationship with the University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) The Hallmark Program is open to commencing first year students who are recipients of the scholarships listed in the Hallmark Program - Eligible Scholarships.

(4) High-achieving second-year students may be accepted into the program each year from 2018 to provide non-scholarship holders an opportunity to participate.

(5) The Policy for students who were accepted into the Hallmark Program between 2014 and 2016 are the Hallmark Program Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) The Hallmark Program:

  1. enhances the attractiveness of the relevant La Trobe scholarships to high-achieving school leavers
  2. builds strong relationships between the University and the associated scholarship recipients, thus enhancing the likelihood that they will become actively engaged alumni
  3. provides personal attention to help program participants develop and realise their educational and career goals
  4. provides enrichment opportunities that develop leadership skills, employability, and professional and personal development.

(7) A Board of Studies comprising staff from the University’s senior executive group, College leadership teams, La Trobe Learning and Teaching, and Marketing and Recruitment provides strategic oversight of the Hallmark Program.

(8) Hallmark students are encouraged to attend activities outside the standard teaching period such as the first year orientation program and annual on-campus symposia.

(9) Students must maintain a weighted average mark (WAM) of 75 or above throughout the course to remain in the program.

(10) Students who transfer to another La Trobe course which precludes them from maintaining their scholarship can remain in the Hallmark Program. 

(11) The University provides students enrolled in the Hallmark Program with a range of benefits including, but not limited to:

  1. events specifically for Hallmark Program participants to enable networking, cohort building, and professional and personal development 
  2. academic mentoring each semester throughout their course of study
  3. opportunities to represent the University at national and international student leadership events, conferences and inter-university competitions
  4. internships with Research Focus Areas, University departments and external organisations
  5. support in applying for international study grants
  6. elective subjects in leadership development, internships and research skill development.
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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Governance

(12) Strategic oversight for the Hallmark Program is provided by the Hallmark Program Board of Studies. The Board of Studies is chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and reports to Academic Board through Education Committee. The Board of Studies has representation from the University’s senior executive group, College leadership teams, La Trobe Learning and Teaching, and Marketing and Recruitment.

Part B - Structure

(13) The Hallmark Program is predominantly a co-curricular program that provides high-achieving students with experiences and skills to complement their studies and enhance their employability. The foundation of the program is ongoing academic mentoring that guides students towards elective subjects and enrichment activities that will help them achieve their educational and career goals. 

(14) Activities organised by the Hallmark Program include an orientation program for incoming students, internship opportunities in the University’s Research Focus Areas and elsewhere, leadership development, opportunities to represent the University at national and international student forums and assistance in organising and funding international study and co-curricular experiences.

Part C - Application and Selection Process

(15) Students who receive a scholarship linked to the Hallmark Program, which predominantly will be the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship, are automatically in the Hallmark Program from the moment they accept their La Trobe offer. They do not need to complete an application process and are invited shortly after enrolment to attend the Hallmark Orientation and their first Hallmark academic mentoring session.

(16) There is a small second year intake each year. Selection of students to join the program at the start of their second year of university study is competitive and will take into account academic achievement (WAM of 75 or greater) and leadership potential. The selection process will include an invitation to eligible students, a written application and an interview. 

Part D - Hallmark Academic Mentoring

(17) All students in the Hallmark Program are invited to an individual academic mentoring session at the start of each semester of their undergraduate studies. The purpose is to help students develop educational and career goals and then guide them to curricular and co-curricular activities that will help meet their goals.

(18) Hallmark academic mentoring is aligned with University strategies which support student success and graduate employability. Hallmark staff work closely with the departments responsible for implementing these strategies to ensure the mentoring process is informed by and supports broader success and employability initiatives.

Part E - Hallmark Events

(19) Students accepted into the first year of the Hallmark Program are required to attend an orientation program at the Melbourne campus for two days in the week prior to the University’s Orientation Week (i.e. two weeks prior to the commencement of semester). 

(20) Two other Hallmark events are organised annually, exclusively for Hallmark students: a leadership symposium in the non-teaching week of semester one and an end-of-year research-focussed symposium.

(21) Hallmark students are invited to attend University public lectures and events with Hallmark staff throughout the academic year.

(22) Hallmark students enrolled at regional campuses are given financial assistance to travel to the annual Hallmark events held on the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus and are provided with accommodation on campus if needed. 

Part F - Internship Activities

(23) Opportunities for work integrated learning and exposure to multidisciplinary research are provided through internships for which Hallmark students are assessed as part of the elective Hallmark subjects.

(24) Where possible, internships are sourced for students in the University’s Research Focus Areas. Students may arrange their own internships with external agencies and organisations but all placements must be approved by the Hallmark Program Academic Coordinator prior to commencement.

(25) Each internship will run for a minimum of 35 hours.

(26) Where students undertake their internship at La Trobe University, the conditions of the internship must be consistent with those prescribed in the Work Experience Placement, Cadetship or Internship Procedure

Part G - International Experiences

(27) Through Hallmark academic mentoring, students are encouraged to have an international experience, either enrolling in a semester program or a short study program at an overseas university, representing La Trobe at a student conference or undertaking an internship with an overseas organisation. Hallmark students are referred to the LTI website for Overseas Short Programs for information about conditions, partner programs and opportunities that are supported by the University.

(28) Hallmark staff also assist Hallmark students in applying for additional financial grants for international study.

Part H - Students Representing the University

(29) Hallmark students have the opportunity to apply through the program for opportunities to attend national or international student conferences, leadership training and other activities deemed appropriate and relevant by Hallmark staff. Selection for these activities is usually a competitive process involving a written expression of interest.

(30) For most, if not all of these activities, the travel, accommodation and registration fees are paid for by the Hallmark Program.

(31) Hallmark students funded to represent the University at such events are required to sign an agreement before departure which covers conduct when representing the University and any requirements to report on the experience on their return. 

Part I - Research Focus Area (RFA) Collaboration

(32) The Research Focus Areas (RFAs) are integral to the success of the Hallmark Program. Their involvement may include guest speakers in elective Hallmark subjects, enrichment opportunities for Hallmark students in the form of invitations to RFA conferences or other events, and internships.

Part J - Weighted Average Mark (WAM) Monitoring

(33) At the commencement of each semester, Hallmark Program teaching staff advise students of the requirement to maintain a weighted average mark (WAM) of 75 or higher, and advise students about the process that is activated if students do not meet the required WAM.

(34) At the end of each semester the Academic Coordinator meets for academic counselling with any students not achieving the WAM requirement to identify any causes for the low academic performance and create an action plan to maximise the student’s potential for success. The student receives a copy of the action plan and has a follow-up meeting with Hallmark staff by week seven of the next semester.

Part K - Recognition of Hallmark Program

(35) Students who participate in a significant number of activities as part of the Hallmark Program have this recognised on their academic transcript. The minimum requirement to receive recognition on their academic transcript is:

  1. participating in the academic mentoring program throughout their degree 
  2. attending at least one of the three annual events each year organised exclusively for Hallmark students 
  3. passing one of the elective Hallmark subjects
  4. undertaking an internship
  5. successfully completing an international study program.
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Section 5 - Definitions

(36) Nil.

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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Academic Director, Learning Focus Area Hub.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Academic Director, Learning Focus Area Hub.