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Assessment - Academic Progress Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy by stating how the academic progress of domestic and international coursework students will be monitored and how students who are not meeting satisfactory progress requirements will be supported and assisted.

Scope

(2) This procedure applies only to students enrolled in coursework courses, and to staff.

(3) The Higher Degree by Research Policy states academic progress requirements for higher degree by research candidates.

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Section 2 - Policy

(4) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy and should be read alongside it.

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Section 3 - Procedure

(5) Student Administration will review all students’ academic progress after each teaching period. 

(6) Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress as stated in the Assessment Policy. Where satisfactory progress is not maintained:

  1. the Assessment Policy states the three stages of academic progress for students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress, the process for students at each stage of academic progress is stated below
  2. international students may be at risk of breaching their student visa requirements and/or need to apply for an extension of their confirmation of enrolment (COE) as set out in the Enrolment Policy, and
  3. Commonwealth assisted students may be at risk of losing access to Commonwealth assistance, as set out in the Enrolment Policy and Enrolment and Fees Procedure.

(7) Separate to any outcomes of this procedure, and in line with section 36-13 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, a Commonwealth assisted student who commences a course on or after 1 January 2022 will not be eligible for Commonwealth assistance if they:

  1. are enrolled in a bachelor degree or higher and attempt eight or more subjects (including awarded credit) but do not successfully complete at least 50% of those subjects, or
  2. are enrolled in an award course lower than a bachelor and attempt four or more subjects (including awarded credit) but do not successfully complete at least 50% of those subjects.
Commonwealth assistance can be reinstated if the student later meets the criteria as outlined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Detailed criteria for deciding a student’s academic progress stage

(8) Student Administration will apply the criteria in the table below to identify students whose academic progress is unsatisfactory. There are more detailed versions of the criteria for academic progress monitoring stated in the Assessment Policy.

  1. A student who meets a criterion will be subject to the actions indicated in the table.
  2. In applying these criteria, subjects with FNS (fail non-submission) grades are counted as failed subjects.
  3. In applying these criteria, awarded credit is counted as a successfully completed subject.
Academic progress criterion Actions
a. The student’s enrolment in a coursework course has continued past the maximum time for completion of the course stated in the Course and Subject Design (Coursework) Procedure. Students will be advised that they are at stage three – considered for exclusion.
b. The student has failed one of more subjects in their course.
After the student fails any two subjects in a course (or one subject in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course), they will be advised that they are at stage one – support offered. 
After the student fails any four subjects in a course (or two subjects in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course), they will be advised that they are at stage two – support required. 
c. The student has failed more than 50% of their attempted subjects.
After they have attempted eight or more units of study in a bachelor level or higher course (or four or more units in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course), the student will be advised that they are at stage three – considered for exclusion.
d. The student has failed workplace learning requirements that are specified as necessary to progress further in the course. The student may not enrol in further subjects in the course until they have passed these requirements. See also the processes for refusing a student permission to go on workplace learning in the Assessment Policy.
e. The student has failed a subject more than once.
When a student fails a subject twice, they will be advised that they are at stage two – support required. 
When a student fails a subject a third time, they will be advised that they are at stage three – considered for exclusion. 

Matters that will be considered in academic progress decisions

(9) A student’s whole academic record in the course will be considered in a decision whether the student’s academic progress is satisfactory and in any decision on whether to exclude the student, including:

  1. subjects the student completed before any previous exclusion from the course, even if the student appealed against the exclusion and it was overturned,
  2. any previous exclusion of the student from any Charles Sturt University course for unsatisfactory academic progress,
  3. where a student has been assessed as being at an academic progress stage in a course and transfers to a different course, the academic progress stage will not carry over.

Delayed assessment of academic progress

(10) Assessment of a student’s academic progress and any resulting process or decision may be delayed until:

  1. grades for additional assessments, additional exams, deferred exams, assessments still in progress or pending grades have been converted to achievement grades
  2. review or change of grade processes have been completed, or
  3. late grades have been published.

Process at each academic progress stage

(11) All actions in the processes in this section will be recorded in the University's centrally managed system.

  1. Staff interacting with students as part of academic progress management will attach those communications, or notes of them, to the student’s record in the system.
  2. Where students seek support from a central service to improve their academic progress, the service will record that fact in the system.

Stage one – support offered

(12) Where Student Administration identifies a student as being at stage one – support offered, the following process will occur:

  1. Student Administration will publish the list of students in a central university system and notify the relevant stakeholders of its availability.
  2. The student will be informed in writing:
    1. that they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress (including the relevant criterion at clause 8) and are now at the first stage of academic progress management, where they are being offered support
    2. of support services available, at no cost, that may help them address any issues that are impeding their academic progress, and
    3. if the student is receiving any type of Commonwealth assistance, that they have lost or are at risk of losing their Commonwealth assistance.

Stage two – support required

(13) Where Student Administration identifies a student as being at stage two – support required, the following process will occur:

  1. Student Administration will publish the list of students in a central university system and notify the relevant stakeholders of its availability.
  2. The student will be informed in writing:
    1. that they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress (including the relevant criterion at clause 8) and are now at the second stage of academic progress management, where they are required to create an academic progress plan appropriate to their circumstances
    2. of support services provided by the University, at no cost, that may help them address any issues that are impeding their academic progress, and how they can best access University support services, and
    3. if the student is receiving any type of Commonwealth assistance, that they have lost or are at risk of losing their Commonwealth assistance.

Stage three – considered for exclusion

(14) Where Student Administration identifies a student as being at stage three – considered for exclusion, the following process will occur:

  1. Student Administration will publish the list of students in a central university system and notify the relevant stakeholders of its availability.
  2. The student will be informed in writing:
    1. that they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress (including the relevant criterion at clause 8) and are now at the third stage of academic progress management, where they will be considered for possible exclusion,
    2. that they have 10 calendar days from the date of the notification to make a written submission (‘show cause’) providing reasons why they should not be excluded,
    3. of support services, including student advocates, who can help them through this process, and
    4. if the student is receiving any type of Commonwealth assistance, that they have lost or are at risk of losing their Commonwealth assistance.

Exclusion decisions

(15) Where a student at stage three submits a written ‘show cause’ response, Faculty Administration will collate all relevant information for the student and forward the student’s response to the relevant Course Director, who will make a recommendation to the relevant Deputy Dean for consideration and determination:

  1. This process will normally be timed so the exclusion decisions are made before the census date in the teaching period immediately after the one in which the students met the unsatisfactory academic progress criteria.
  2. Where, however, students’ results have been delayed, the Deputy Dean's decision may also be delayed. 
  3. The Deputy Dean of each faculty will consider the student’s ‘show cause’ response, other information provided and the Course Director’s recommendation and, as authorised by the Assessment Policy, will decide either:
    1. to exclude the student for the default exclusion period or a longer period if appropriate (see clauses 18b. and 19b.), or
    2. not to exclude a student where:
      1. there is evidence to support a decision that the student has a reasonable chance of success, and 
      2. the Deputy Dean considers that the student will have a reasonable chance of success.

(16) Students will progress directly to exclusion and will not be considered by the faculty or Deputy Dean (unless there are extenuating circumstances) if they do not, in stage three, submit a written ‘show cause’ response. 

(17) Late ‘show cause’ responses will be considered by the faculty on a case-by-case basis where the student has demonstrated that circumstances beyond their control prevented them from submitting the response on time.

Finalisation of decisions

For domestic and non-resident students

(18) Where a domestic or non-resident student is identified for exclusion under clause 16 or 17, the following process will occur:

  1. The faculty Deputy Dean will provide their final decision to Student Administration via the University's centrally managed system.
  2. The student will be excluded from all award courses at the University for a default period of one year, unless the faculty advise a longer period is appropriate for individual cases.
  3. Students will be advised in writing of:
    1. the decision on the evidence provided in their ‘show cause’ response and the exclusion decision
    2. their right of appeal, the grounds of appeal and the timeframe within which they must submit the appeal for it to be considered, and
    3. for Commonwealth assisted students, the change in their fee and their options for accessing Commonwealth assistance after their period of exclusion.
  4. The exclusion will not be finalised: 
    1. until the appeal period has expired, or
    2. if the student submits an appeal or complaint within the advised timeframe (and provides evidence of the submission), until the appeal or complaint process is complete.
  5. Subject to subclause 18d., students will be excluded, any current or future enrolment will be removed and relevant fees will be refunded or Higher Education Contribution Scheme or Higher Education Loan Program debt will be cancelled.
  6. Students who have been excluded from a course and who later wish to resume studying the course must apply for readmission on the same basis as any other applicant. The Admissions Procedure states the conditions on which students who have been excluded from a course may be readmitted to the course or may be admitted to a different course, including an assessment of eligibility for Commonwealth assistance.

For international student visa holders

(19) Where an international student visa holder (international student) is identified for exclusion under clause 16 or 17, the following process will occur:

  1. The faculty Deputy Dean will provide their final decision to Student Administration via the University's centrally managed system.
  2. The international student will be excluded from all award courses at the University for a default period of one year, unless the faculty advise a longer period is appropriate for individual cases.
  3. International students will be advised in writing of:
    1. the decision on the evidence provided in their ‘show cause’ response and the exclusion decision,
    2. their right of internal and external appeal, the grounds of internal appeal and the timeframe within which they must submit the appeal for it to be considered,
    3. the need to contact immigration.
  4. The exclusion will not be finalised until:
    1. the internal appeal period (as advised at 19c) has expired, or
    2. if the international student submits an internal appeal or complaint within the advised timeframe and provides evidence of the submission, until the appeal or complaint process is complete, or
    3. if the international student lodges an external appeal within the advised timeframe (and provides evidence of the lodgement), the external appeal process is complete.
  5. Subject to subclause 19d., if the decision to exclude is upheld, the international student will be excluded, and the University will ensure that any current or future enrolment will be removed and relevant fees will be refunded.
  6. The enrolment cancellation and the reason will be recorded in the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS). Immigration will then have access to information related to the cancellation of the student’s confirmation of enrolment (COE).
  7. International Students must be advised to contact the government department responsible for immigration to understand the effect the cancellation of their enrolment and COE will have on their student visa.
  8. International students who have been excluded from a course and who later wish to resume studying the course must apply for readmission on the same basis as any other applicant. The Admissions Procedure states the conditions on which students who have been excluded from a course may be readmitted to the course or may be admitted to a different course.

Management of academic progress in deliveries with third parties

(20) For Charles Sturt University students enrolled in courses or subjects delivered in partnership with third parties:

  1. Charles Sturt University staff, led by Student Administration, will collaborate with partner staff to confirm the engagement of student’s adherence with their academic progress plans, and
  2. Student Administration will assess students’ academic progress, the Deputy Dean will make exclusion decisions and (where relevant) Student Administration will update international students’ record on the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).
  3. The student will be informed of the decision in writing.

(21) The partner institution or organisation is required to keep records of its interventions to support students and forward copies of these records to University staff (in accordance with the Privacy Management Plan) as required. 

Suspension of a student from workplace learning

(22) The Student Misconduct Rule authorises certain officers of the University to issue an order to suspend a student from an activity where there would be risk of harm to persons or the University’s reputation if the student continued in the activity. A suspension order can be issued suspending a student from workplace learning, including external workplace learning. Such a suspension may impact on a student’s academic progress.

(23) The Student Misconduct Rule states in detail the scope and effect of suspension orders and the processes in relation to them.

Appeals and complaints

(24) Where a student wishes to appeal an original decision made under this procedure, or has a complaint about their treatment, quality of service or the conduct of staff, the following policies apply:

  1. University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure
  2. Complaints Management Policy and Complaints Management Procedure

(25) The University Student Appeals Procedure sets out the notification of the external appeal avenue that will be provided to international students, in accordance with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(26) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(27) This procedure uses terms defined in the Assessment Policy, as well as the following:

  1. Domestic student – a student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or holds an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
  2. International/overseas student – a student who is not a domestic student at the time of the relevant study, who is studying within Australia on a temporary student visa.
  3. Non-resident student – all students who are not classified as ‘domestic’ or ‘international/overseas’ as defined in this policy in relation to their visa/citizenship and location status. Non-residents include: any student enrolled in a non-domestic course (including Australian domestic students studying overseas in a course delivered by an offshore partner institution); non-domestic students studying on campus within Australia while on any temporary visa other than the student visa; and non-domestic students who are studying in a domestic course that is delivered entirely online, where they do not need a student visa for their enrolment.