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Academic Progress Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) requires each student to progress through his or her course at a rate that will enable him or her to complete the course in a specified maximum time. This maximum time is intended to ensure the currency of the knowledge within the course and therefore professional suitability of graduates. Failure to complete within the specified maximum time shall lead to the expiry of a student's enrolment in the course. The University believes that all students have a right to know in advance of study in their course exactly what constitutes satisfactory progress in that course. To this end the University will specify a maximum completion time for each course, and will also provide support to students identified as being at risk of exclusion. This Policy sets out the requirements and procedures for satisfactory academic progress, for the exclusion of students who fail to progress satisfactorily and for the termination of enrolment for students who fail to complete in the maximum allowed time.

(2) This Policy applies to all study sessions that commenced from domestic session 1 in 2013. For sessions that commenced prior to domestic session 1 in 2013 please contact the Division of Student Administration for assistance in relation to academic progress matters.

(3) This Policy applies to all students of Charles Sturt University, studying in all modes, with the exception of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidate(s). The provisions of the Academic Progress Policy take precedence over other academic policies, except those that relate specifically to research higher degrees and except where processing of a policy-related matter would alter a student's academic progress status to make them no longer in breach of progress requirements.

Students Covered by Previous Exclusion Regulations/Policies

(4) Students who were excluded under the previous regulations/policies must complete the requirements of their exclusion.

Transfer From Another Course

(5) Where students transfer from one course to another, only subjects taken as part of the new course or subjects completed in and credited from the previous course/enrolment in that course shall be taken into account when applying the Academic Progress Policy.

Admission After Exclusion

(6) Where students have been admitted to a course having formerly been excluded from that course or another course, only the subjects taken after the most recent admission or subjects completed in and credited from the previous course/enrolment in that course shall be taken into account when applying the Academic Progress Policy.

Successful Appeal

(7) Where students have had their appeal against exclusion upheld, their academic record prior to the appeal will be taken into account for any future determination of satisfactory academic progress within that course.

Specific Arrangements With Partners or in Other Locations

(8) Where a partner to Charles Sturt University or a location in which the University is operating has academic progress requirements in addition to or at variance with the University's Academic Progress Policy, and the University has agreed to abide by these alternative progress rules, students and staff affected by the arrangement shall be notified of the alternative requirements.

International Students Studying On-Shore

(9) International students studying on-shore are not subject to the rate of progress requirements in the Academic Progress Policy. The rate of progress of such students is monitored and managed in accordance with the provisions of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Failure to comply with the rate of progress requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 may result in the cancellation of a student's visa as well as exclusion from the University.

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Section 2 - Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress

(10) Student academic progress will be evaluated using rules relating to course progression, key subjects, workplace learning components of courses, performance in each session of study, and satisfactory completion of Bachelor Honours subjects, where applicable. The specific satisfactory progress requirements applicable to a course shall be conveyed to students in course-specific information supplied at the time of their first enrolment in the course.

Rules for Determining Satisfactory Progress

Maximum Time - Undergraduate Courses

(11) Students in a course must complete the course within a maximum time of twice the standard time specified to complete that course, except in those undergraduate courses that have been identified by a Faculty as having a specific completion time in accordance with professional accreditation requirements.

(12) Where a course is offered in both full-time and part-time study modes, the default maximum time allowed for that course is twice the normal part-time course duration. Where a student has re-enrolled in a course, subjects may only be carried forward (e.g. as credit) from the previous enrolment(s) with the approval of the Course Director or Course Coordinator.

Maximum Time - Postgraduate Courses

(13) Postgraduate courses are exempt from the maximum time provisions of this Policy.

Rate of Progress

(14) A student shall have passed at least 50 percent of their subject points for which they have been awarded a substantive grade, in each session of enrolment in their course.

International Students Studying On-Shore

(15) International students studying on-shore are not subject to the rate of progress requirements in this Policy. The rate of progress of such students is monitored and managed in accordance with the provisions of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Failure to comply with the rate of progress requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 may result in the cancellation of a student's visa as well as exclusion from the University.

Bachelor Honours Subjects

(16) A student shall pass at the first attempt (where 'attempt' does not include approved withdrawal from the subject) all subjects in an add-on bachelor honours year or subjects that are part of the honours component of an integrated honours course.

Workplace Learning

(17) A student shall meet required professional standards in the compulsory workplace learning components of their course, to the satisfaction of the Executive Dean of the Faculty.

Key Subjects

(18) A student shall pass each key subject in his or her course at no more than two attempts.

Failure to Enrol

(19) A student who fails to enrol in a session in which he or she was eligible to enrol shall be contacted by the Executive Dean as required by Enrolment Policy, section 16 and asked to indicate whether or not he or she wishes to continue in the course. A student who wishes to continue in the course shall be placed on leave of absence for that session and this leave shall count towards calculation of the maximum time allowed to complete the course.

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Section 3 - Reviewing Academic Progress

(20) A review of academic progress shall be conducted by the Division of Student Administration after the conclusion of each session. The rules for determining satisfactory academic progress shall be used to review student progress as follows.

Maximum Time

(21) Enrolment in each course of the University shall have a specified date for completion corresponding to the maximum time allowed for that course, as described in this Policy. A student who fails to complete their course within the maximum time allowed for that course will have their enrolment terminated by the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration, in consultation with the Course Director or Course Coordinator. Periods of authorised leave of absence count towards calculation of the maximum time allowed to complete a course. Students granted credit on entry to a course shall have their maximum time discounted on a pro rata basis.

Re-Admission after Termination of Enrolment

(22) If a student has his or her enrolment terminated for breaching the maximum time rule, he or she may apply immediately for re-admission. Application for admission to the same course or research program must be made on the prescribed application form and lodged with the Admissions Office, Universities Admissions Centre or Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre as appropriate by the closing date.

(23) Such applications will be decided by the Course Director or Course Coordinator or other delegated Faculty Officer who may:

  1. approve that the student be guaranteed an offer to the course or research program in the next intake; or
  2. place the student on one or more of the queues for the course to await his or her turn for an offer of admission; or rank the student for consideration of an offer through Universities Admissions Centre or Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre or, if the course or research program is a competitive online learning course, through the Admissions Office.

(24) The delegated Faculty Officer shall also determine what credit may be granted for subjects already completed by a student, on the basis of the currency of knowledge within the subjects.

Rate of Progress

(25) At the completion of each session of their enrolment in a course, a student who has not passed at least 50 percent of their subject points for which they have been awarded a substantive grade in that session will be notified by the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration that he or she is "at risk" of exclusion from the course. An at risk student who fails to pass at least fifty percent of their subject points for which they have been awarded a substantive grade in their next session of enrolment in his or her course shall be excluded from the course. Division of Student Administration shall notify the relevant Course Director or Course Coordinator of all students excluded pursuant to this clause.

Bachelor Honours Subjects

(26) A student who fails to pass at the first attempt (where 'attempt' does not include approved withdrawal from the subject) a subject in an add-on bachelor honours year or a subject that is part of the honours component of an integrated honours course, shall be excluded from the year or course. Division of Student Administration shall notify the relevant Course Director or Course Coordinator of all students excluded pursuant to this clause.

Progress Related to Workplace Learning

(27) Successful completion of workplace learning requirements may be specified at key points in a course and if specified, students may not progress until they have met those requirements.

Prevention of a Student from Commencing Workplace Learning

(28) A student may be refused permission to undertake workplace learning by an officer authorised by the Executive Dean of the Faculty when they fail to meet pre-placement requirements to an acceptable standard and where failure to meet the requirements is a risk to students and the public. This arises when the student:

  1. has failed prerequisite assessment items and/or subjects;
  2. has failed prerequisite workplace learning;
  3. may not have maintained currency of clinical/professional practice skills and knowledge;
  4. has failed to successfully complete necessary pre-placement preparation e.g., immunisations, police checks, or a first aid course;
  5. does not meet the requirements for success fully completing workplace learning as set out in the relevant course and/or subject documentation and any individual requirements that may be specified by the University pertaining to the placement; and
  6. has been identified as posing a risk to people in the workplace learning setting by spreading blood borne viruses or other infectious diseases.

Discontinuation of Workplace Learning at any Time

(29) Where the continuation of workplace learning is deemed to place any person or the good reputation of the University at risk of significant harm, an officer authorised by the Executive Dean of the Faculty may fail the student immediately, not withstanding any other provision of the clauses on workplace learning. If failure is invoked by an officer authorised by the Executive Dean of Faculty prior to the end of the placement, the student shall not complete the remainder of the workplace learning program.

(30) A student will not normally be withdrawn from compulsory workplace learning on the grounds of failure to meet expected standards of professional performance/competency unless there is an identified risk to clients or the work and/or substantial efforts at remedition have not resulted in the deficiencies being addressed.

(31) A student, who is failing to meet the required professional standards of competency and/or conduct in the workplace learning components of their course, shall be notified in writing by the Faculty as soon as possible that they are at risk of failing the placement, the subject and being excluded from the course. The Faculty shall also advise the student to consult his or her supervisor and University Liaison Officer.

Exclusion Following Failure of Workplace Learning

(32) Should a student fail a workplace learning component of his or her course, he or she shall either repeat this component of the course, the associated subject or, in exceptional circumstances, be excluded, as determined by an officer authorised by the Executive Dean of the Faculty.

(33) Students appealing against exclusion for failure of workplace learning shall be permitted to re-enrol in the subject whilst the appeal is being heard, although the appellant shall not attempt the workplace learning component until the appeal determination is resolved, with the relevant staff member responsible for administering the subject to be informed of these students by the Faculty Office.

Key Subjects

(34) Key subjects shall be identified by Faculties as those subjects in which repeated failure by a student indicates that he or she is unlikely to master the knowledge and or skills necessary to successfully complete the course.

Approval of Key Subjects

(35) Key subjects shall be identified in course and subject approval documentation, for approval by the relevant Faculty committee(s). Any change to this identification through course modification, review or other change process shall not be applied to students currently enrolled in the course.

Guidelines for Course Directors or Course Coordinators

(36) When recommending subjects as key subjects within a course, Course Directors or Course Coordinators shall consider:

  1. that it may be appropriate to evaluate progress at different stages within a course;
  2. that a student should not normally be at risk of exclusion for failure of a key subject if he or she has completed more than 5/6 of the subjects in the course; and
  3. normally a course would have no more than six identified key subjects, predominantly in the first and second years of study in the course.

Failure of a Key Subject

(37) A student who fails a key subject in his or her course shall be notified by the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration that he or she is "at risk" of exclusion and that a second failure in this subject will result in the student being excluded from the course. This notification shall also advise the student of the requirement that he or she contact relevant support staff, such as the Course Director or Course Coordinator, and/or staff from the Office for Students, the Student Association and Division of Student Administration. Upon a second fail of the same key subject, a student will be excluded from his or her course. Division of Student Administration shall notify the relevant Course Director or Course Coordinator of all students with double-fails of a key subject in a course.

Re-enrolment in Key Subjects

(38) A student, who has failed a key subject for a second time, may not re-enrol in the subject without the permission of the Course Director or Course Coordinator for his or her course, after any successful appeal.

Identification of Key Subjects

(39) All courses shall have subjects identified as 'key subjects', unless a Faculty has made a case to the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee for their absence. These subjects will be identified as key subjects in the University Handbook, the subject outline and in all course and subject documentation relating to the course.

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Section 4 - Delayed Determination of Academic Progress

(40) A decision regarding a student's academic progress under this Policy may be delayed until subjects graded Supplementary Examination (SX), Additional Assessment (AA), Additional Examination (AE), In Progress (IP) or Grade Pending (GP) are converted to substantive grades, or because of a late change to a grade, or where the publication of grades has been delayed, or because of administrative delay or error.

Processing Cases of Delayed Exclusion

(41) Should, following one or more of the events described above, a student be identified as liable for exclusion as provided for in Section 3 and wishes to appeal against that exclusion in accordance with this Policy, the student shall have 10 working days from the date of notification of exclusion in which to lodge an appeal.

Effective Date of Delayed Exclusion

(42) Students subject to this section who fail to appeal shall be excluded immediately the Executive Dean confirms their exclusion. That is, the period of exclusion shall be deemed to have commenced from the start of the session in which exclusion is confirmed and the student's enrolment in that session shall be cancelled and any tuition fees shall be refunded or any Commonwealth Student Contribution liability shall be cancelled.

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Section 5 - Conditions of Exclusion

Notification of Exclusion

(43) The Executive Director, Division of Student Administration shall write to all students whose academic progress violates the requirements of this policy, notifying them of their exclusion. Notifications shall be sent electronically to the student's Message Centre, which allows the receipt of the notification to be verified by the University. The notification shall:

  1. specify the clause or clauses, under which the student is being excluded;
  2. specify the deadline to appeal to the relevant Faculty; and
  3. provide students with information pertaining to the preparation of an appeal.

Completion of Assessment Tasks

(44) A student who is excluded in accordance with the provisions of this Policy shall not be permitted to complete any assessment tasks in any subjects that they were enrolled in at the time of the exclusion.

(45) Period of Exclusion

First Exclusion from a Course or Research Program

(46) Exclusion from a course or research program shall be for a period as specified below:

  1. for failure of workplace learning or compulsory requirements which involve assessment of the student's professional competency and/or suitability - one, two or three years as deemed appropriate by the Executive Dean of Faculty;
  2. for failure of other grounds in Section 2 - two years.

(47) However, the Faculty may, when deciding appeals and depending upon the circumstances of the case, reduce the period of exclusion to be imposed on a student facing exclusion.

Subsequent - Exclusion from All Courses or Research Programs

(48) For exclusion for a second or subsequent time from the same course or research program, or for exclusion from two or more courses or research programs - five years from all courses or research programs.

International Students Studying Onshore

(49) International students studying onshore who are excluded under the rate of progress provisions of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 will have their visa cancelled in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and will be excluded from the University.

Admission After Exclusion

To The Same Course or Research Program

(50) Students excluded from a course or research program may re-apply for admission to that course or research program. An application for admission lodged under this clause may be lodged before the period of exclusion has elapsed to meet University or other closing dates but admission, if approved, shall not be effective until the period of exclusion has elapsed. Admission is not automatic; such applicants will be considered with all other applicants.

(51) Students should provide evidence that the circumstances operating at the time of exclusion no longer apply and/or that they have taken action during the period of exclusion to improve the likelihood of success in the course or research program.

To a Different Course or Research Program

(52) Students excluded for a first time from one course or research program may apply immediately for admission to another course or research program at the University. Admission is not automatic; such applicants will be considered with all other applicants.

(53) Students should provide evidence that the circumstances contributing to their exclusion from the course or research program will not affect their performance in the new course or research program.

Procedures for Admission

(54) Application for admission to the same course or research program or for admission to a different course or research program after exclusion must be made on the prescribed application form and lodged with the Admissions Office, Universities Admissions Centre or Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre as appropriate by the closing date.

(55) Such applications will be decided by the Course Director or Course Coordinator or other delegated Faculty Officer who may:

  1. approve that the student be guaranteed an offer to the course or research program in the next intake; or
  2. rank the student for consideration for an offer through Universities Admissions Centre or Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre or, if the course or research program is a competitive online learning course, through the Admissions Office; or
  3. validate the student as ineligible for admission if the student has not provided the evidence required in clauses 51 and 53.

(56) A student who is admitted to a course or research program after they have completed a period of exclusion, in accordance with the provisions of this Policy, and who wishes to complete any assessment tasks in a subject(s) from a previous session in which they were granted a Grade Pending (GP) shall be required to enrol in the subject and pay any associated fees.

Study While Excluded

(57) A student excluded from a course, while excluded, shall not undertake study of any subjects that may later contribute to the requirements of that course.

Exclusion and Cancellation of Enrolment

After Appeal to the Faculty

(58) Students whose appeal was unsuccessful, shall have their enrolment cancelled upon confirmation of the Faculty decision. Where students did not appeal, their enrolment shall be cancelled at the expiration of the timeframe in which students can lodge their appeal.

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Section 6 - Appeals Against Exclusion

(59) Students may appeal against their exclusion under the Academic Progress Policy.

(60) Appeals shall be directed to the Faculty according to the procedures determined by the Division of Student Administration, conveyed in their notification of exclusion to the student.

(61) Appeals for academic progress shall be decided by the Executive Dean, or Deputy Dean, or Associate Dean, Academic.

(62) The Executive Dean/Associate Dean may authorise other members of the Faculty to investigate academic progress cases and provide them with recommendations for decision.

(63) Ignorance of academic policies shall not normally be sufficient grounds for upholding an appeal.

Grounds for Appeal to a Faculty

(64) Students appealing their exclusion to a Faculty may do so on any grounds, including:

  1. that the grounds for exclusion set out in Section 2 have been incorrectly applied, and/or the procedures in Section 3 have been incorrectly followed; and/or
  2. that there were factors outside the student's control which contributed to his or her failure to meet the required academic standard and/or rate of progress to date, and that those factors are unlikely to operate in the future. An appeal based on this ground shall be presented in accordance with clauses 63 and 64; and/or
  3. that there was a conflict of interest that contributed to the decisions that led to the student's exclusion.

(65) Note that a change of address, name or other personal detail of a student shall not be considered as grounds for appeal. It is the responsibility of students to notify Division of Student Administration of such changes as soon as they come into effect. Student appeals may also address any penalty that may apply under this policy if their appeal is not upheld.

Processing of Appeals

Timelines

(66) A student appealing his or her exclusion imposed under this Policy shall have 14 days from the date of notification of exclusion in which to lodge their appeal. The Executive Dean, or Deputy Dean, or Associate Dean, Academic shall then decide the appeal within 14 days of the deadline for submission.

Associate Degree in Policing Practice

(67) A student enrolled in the Associate Degree in Policing Practice appealing his or her exclusion imposed under this Policy shall have 14 days from the date of notification of exclusion in which to lodge their appeal. The School of Policing Studies shall then have 28 days from the appeal deadline to gather all related evidence upon which an informed decision can be made, after which the School of Policing Studies Student Exclusion Appeals Committee shall have seven days to hear the matter and provide a recommendation of the outcome to the Executive Dean. The Executive Dean shall then have seven days to review the recommendation from the School of Policing Studies Student Exclusion Appeals Committee and provide a decision to Division of Student Administration.

Appeals and Enrolment

(68) A student appealing his or her exclusion from a course may, provided he or she has appealed within the required time, remain as an enrolled student in that course until the appeal is decided. (refer to clause 33 for workplace learning requirements in relation to enrolment in workplace learning subjects whilst an appeal is being considered.)

Late Appeals

(69) A late appeal against exclusion shall only be heard at the discretion of the Executive Dean, or Deputy Dean, or Associate Dean, Academic. However, an appeal that is late as a result of delayed exclusion (refer to Section 4) shall be heard by the Faculty.

Interviews

(70) A Faculty is not required to offer students the opportunity to be interviewed in the hearing of their appeal. Where that opportunity is given, the Faculty shall use the principles of procedural fairness in the conducting of interviews, and consult the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs where required for advice as to how to proceed.

No Variation of the Conditions Permitted

(71) No variation of conditions listed in Sections 5 and 6 shall be approved for a student or a group of students.