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Higher Education Students Academic Progression Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University recognises that whilst undertaking study, a student's academic performance may fluctuate due to a range of factors, placing the student at risk of losing their satisfactory academic standing.

(2) The monitoring of student progress is undertaken as a proactive, enabling strategy that aims for the early identification of students at risk and the implementation of flexible, practical and achievable strategies to assist students realise their learning potential.

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Section 2 - Compliance

(3) This is a compliance requirement under the:

  1. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021; and
  2. National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.
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Section 3 - Intent

(4) The intent of this document is:

  1. to facilitate the formal identification of students whose academic performance is less than satisfactory;
  2. to establish an intervention strategy for students at risk to ensure students are provided with access to appropriate support, resources and assistance; and
  3. to provide a clear procedure for the exclusion of students who continue to make unsatisfactory progress.

(5) These procedures apply to all domestic and international students enrolled in a Higher Education Award Course offered by the University. This does not include students enrolled in a non-award program or Higher Degree by Research programs.

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Section 4 - Relevant Definitions

(6) In the context of this document:

  1. College Dean means the Dean of the College (or delegate) in which the student is enrolled;
  2. Course means a program of study formally approved/accredited and which leads to an academic award of the University;
  3. Course Coordinator means the Coordinator (or delegate) of the course in which the student is enrolled;
  4. Exclude or Exclusion means that the student cannot enrol in a course at the same or higher level for the period of exclusion;
  5. Intent to Exclude Notice means a notice issued to a student informing the student that the University is excluding them from their course due to non-response to the Unsatisfactory Progress Notice or due to their student response not being accepted;
  6. Intermission means suspending or taking a break from studies while maintaining a place in the course;
  7. International student means a student of the University who holds an Australian student visa, and is enrolled in a CRICOS registered course at the University;
  8. Learning Management Plan means a plan that outlines the strategies the unsatisfactory progress student will adopt and the support services that the student will access. The outcome of the Learning Management Plan is to assist the student to improve their academic performance;
  9. Learning Success Plan means a plan that outlines the recommended strategies for the student to adopt and the support services to access. The outcome of the Learning Success Plan is to assist the Under Review student to improve their academic performance;
  10. Lecturer means the lecturer of a unit of study in which the student is or was enrolled
  11. Show Cause means when a student is making unsatisfactory progress in their studies, they are asked to provide justification why they should be allowed to retain a place in the course. This usually occurs following two (2) consecutive progression periods of unsatisfactory progress;
  12. Special circumstance means a situation which is an exception to the general rule, is beyond the student’s control, is not reasonably foreseeable and which prevents the student from engaging in a University activity e.g. accepting an international offer of a place, withdrawing from a unit prior to census date or cut-off date, completing the requirements for a unit of study or attending a scheduled examination. Examples may include sudden illness or disability; loss of employment; an inability to obtain a student visa; death of the student or a close family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child); natural catastrophe; or a political or civil uprising;
  13. Student has the same meaning that ‘Student of the University’ has in the Charles Darwin University (Student of the University) By-laws;
  14. Student Response means the student’s response to the Unsatisfactory Progress Notice where the student is given the opportunity to Show Cause;
  15. Under Review Notice means a notice issued to a student informing them that their academic performance is of a concern to the University and will require the student to follow a recommended Learning Success Plan to help them to improve their academic performance;
  16. Unit means the smallest credit-bearing component of a qualification that has been accredited. A unit may also be called a ‘module’, ‘subject’, ‘unit of competency’ or ‘accredited unit’;
  17. Unsatisfactory Progress Notice means a notice issued to a student about their unsatisfactory academic progress, which requires the student to respond in writing; and
  18. Working day means a day of the week, which is not an NT public holiday or a day of the week on which the University is officially closed.
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Section 5 - Procedures

Satisfactory Academic Progression

(7) All higher education (HE) units that are successfully completed are credited towards the total number of units required for a course, subject to the course curriculum documentation. A student must complete the official published requirements of a course before being eligible for the granting of a University award.

Formal Review of Academic Progress

(8) Students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their studies. The University regularly monitors student progression through formative assessment and feedback and employs strategies to assist students who may be at risk. The University will formally assess students' academic performance after grade release in Semester 1 and Semester 2 to determine whether they are making satisfactory progress and that appropriate intervention strategies are implemented as soon as progression issues emerge.

(9) Progression Period 1 includes Semester 1 and Study Period 1 of the current year and Study Period 4 and Summer Semester of the previous year.

(10) Progression Period 2 includes Semester 2, Semester 3, Study Period 2 and Study Period 3.

Under Review

(11) Students who fail the same unit or a previous version of the same unit twice and/or received fail grades in units that total half or more of the credit points attempted will be placed under academic review.

(12) The University will issue those students with an Under Review Notice by email to the students’ official University email address. The Notice will provide the student with references to sources of assistance where help can be sought to address academic issues for the next enrolled semester and a link to their Under Review Questionnaire It is the student’s responsibility to complete the questionnaire by the deadline stipulated in the Under Review Notice and to implement the Learning Success Plan that is generated after the questionnaire is completed, in their next semester enrolled.

(13) Student engagement with their Learning Success Plan will be taken into consideration in the next Progression Period, should the student’s performance continue to decline.

Unsatisfactory Progress

(14) Students who fail the same unit or a previous version of the same unit three (3) or more times and/or received fail grades in units that total half or more of the credit points attempted in both the current and previous progression periods assessed are identified as making unsatisfactory progress in their course.

(15) The University will issue those students with an Unsatisfactory Progress Notice by email to the students’ official University email address. The Notice will require the student to complete a written Student Response via a questionnaire to show cause as to why they should be permitted to continue in their course of study.

(16) The Student Response must be received by the Engagement and Progression Team no later than 1 August for Progression Period 1 or 15 December for Progression Period 2.

Student Response

(17) The Student Response to an Unsatisfactory Progress Notice must include the following information:

  1. The student’s perceptions of what issues impacted on their academic performance and how this impact was experienced.
  2. The student’s actions for overcoming these issues in order to improve academic performance, including contact with their lecturers as part of their Under Review Learning Management Plan.
  3. Support services the student has accessed to assist them to improve their academic performance.

(18) The Director Student Engagement may extend the deadline for the submission of a Student Response to show cause in cases of special circumstances.

(19) Pending receipt of the Student Response, the student will be encouraged to enrol or to remain enrolled in the next semester. Enrolment is conditional on acceptance of the Student Response and will be withdrawn if the response is not accepted or not received within the required timeframe.

Consideration of Student Response

(20) The University must decide whether to accept or reject the Student Response within ten (10) working days of receipt. In evaluating the Student Response, the relevant College Dean will consider the student’s:

  1. past academic performance;
  2. overall study load; and
  3. stage in their course.

(21) Substantial weight will be given to the student’s prior engagement with the University’s support services as outlined in their Learning Management Plan and/or Learning Success Plan to improve academic performance since the student was notified of their Unsatisfactory Progress and/or being Under Review.

Acceptance of Student Response

(22) Where the outcome of the consideration is to accept the Student Response, the student may be permitted to continue in their course of study under the conditions of a Learning Management Plan. A Learning Management Plan may include one (1) or more of the following:

  1. Prescribed units of study and/or maximum credit points of study.
  2. Indigenous Support Services.
  3. Consultation with an Academic Language and Learning Support Program Lecturer.
  4. Counselling.
  5. Disability Services.
  6. Careers and Employment Counselling.
  7. Intermission from the course for a period of six (6) months.
  8. Exclusion from a unit for a period of six (6) or twelve (12) months where the unit or a previous version of the same unit has been failed three (3) or more times.
  9. Other appropriate intervention strategies.

(23) The Engagement and Progression Team will action any changes to enrolment related to the Learning Management Plan and the student will be notified of the decision by email to the student’s official University email address.

Non-acceptance of Student Response

(24) Where the outcome of the consideration is to reject the Student Response, the student will be excluded from their course of study for a period of twelve (12) months. The Engagement and Progression Team will issue the student with an Intent to Exclude Notice on behalf of the relevant College Dean.

(25) The Intent to Exclude Notice will:

  1. include a summary of the rationale for the decision;
  2. inform the student of the University’s obligation to report the student’s exclusion to the relevant government authority if the student is the holder of a student visa. Not achieving satisfactory course progress will affect the continued issuance of a student visa; and
  3. inform the student that they have twenty (20) working days to appeal this decision through the Students - Academic Grievance Procedures; and
  4. be sent by mail and email to the student’s last known postal address and official University email address.

Non-response

(26) Where a student does not submit a written Student Response by the prescribed time, the student will be issued with an Intent to Exclude Notice by the Engagement and Progression Team, on behalf of the relevant College Dean.

(27) The Intent to Exclude Notice will:

  1. inform the student that they are able to request an extension to the response time to the Engagement and Progression Team under special circumstances only;
  2. inform the student of the University’s obligation to report the student’s exclusion to the relevant government authority if the student is the holder of a student visa. Not achieving satisfactory course progress will affect the continued issuance of a student visa; and
  3. inform the student that they have twenty (20) working days to appeal this decision through the Students - Administrative Complaints Procedures; and
  4. be sent by mail and email to the student’s last known postal address and official University email address.

Enforcing the Exclusion

(28) The exclusion will be actioned twenty (20) working days following issue of the Intent to Exclude Notice, unless a formal appeal is lodged.

(29) If the student appeals the decision, the student will remain enrolled and continue to progress in their course of study until the appeal is resolved. However, the University will caution the student that if their appeal is unsuccessful, the exclusion will take effect from the moment of that decision irrespective of the student’s course and unit enrolment status at the time of that decision.

(30) If the student is an International student, the University will notify the relevant government authority of the changes to the student’s enrolment status.

(31) If the student’s appeal is upheld, the Engagement and Progression Team will re-activate the progression process for the student and notify the student of the College Dean's decision.

Period of Exclusion

(32) Exclusion will be for a period of twelve (12) months from the effective date of exclusion.

(33) A student cannot enrol in a course at the same or a higher level for the period of exclusion, unless they already hold a place in another course.

Course Transfer and Alternative Exit Awards

(34) A student who has received an Unsatisfactory Progress Notice will not be eligible for internal course transfer unless the College Dean has considered their response and advised against exclusion. A student, who has appealed against a decision exclude them, will not be eligible for internal course transfer during the appeal period.

(35) A student may apply for an Alternate Exit award if it exists and if their completed unit enrolments satisfy the requirements for such an award.

Re-enrolment

(36) A student who wishes to apply for re-enrolment into a course after a period of exclusion must contact the Engagement and Progression Team or in the case of international students, International Services.

(37) The application will be considered in relation to the entry requirements and the overall demand for places in that course. Students will be re-enrolled into the current version of the course, considering that their previous version of the course may not be available. Where possible, credit will be transferred to the current course enrolment.