Course of Study Design and Development Policy
The purpose of this policy is to describe the guidelines for designing and developing a new Alphacrucis College (AC) course of study.
All Vocational and Higher Education (HE) awards
The development of new courses of study is overseen by the Development Committee as guided by the AC Strategic Plan. The Development Committee is a sub-committee of Academic Board. All new course design and development at AC conforms to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), is consistent with the academic standards of the College, and is intended to develop the graduate attributes of the College in all students.
Course design and development will follow the principles of:
• alignment with the AC Strategic Plan;
• integration of the AC Graduate Attributes. These are considered in developing the course rationale, course structure, course learning outcomes and subject outlines;
• conformity to the AQF, the HE Threshold Standards, the standards outlined by the relevant Agency (such as TEQSA or ASQA) and professional accrediting bodies (such as NESA), as well as any other relevant national or international protocols.
Responsible for implementation
Chair, Development Committee
All staff and students
Course of Study Design and Development Procedure
The Development Committee oversees the development of the design and application for a new course of study. To do this the following steps are generally undertaken:
A proposal for a new course of study must first be submitted to the Development Committee. This proposal should include:
• proposed course of study title;
• proposed start date;
• proposed rationale, including how the proposed course aligns to the Strategic Plan of the college as well as a description of how it will integrate the AC Graduate Attributes;
• viability of delivery, including demonstration of student and stakeholder feedback;
• proposed budget for the development of the course of study (including a list of staff to be involved).
2. Approval to proceed
If the proposal is accepted by the Development Committee, then it is sent to both Executive Committee and Academic Board for recommendation. If it is recommended by both Executive Committee and Academic Board, it will then proceed to the Council. It will then either be approved or not approved by Council.
For VET courses of study: after Council approval and required ASQA processes these may be added to the scope of offerings.
3. For HE courses of study: Course Development Committee appointed
If a HE course of study is approved by Council, the Development Committee will be tasked with overseeing the development of the course, according to the AC Course of Study template and guidelines. The Development Committee will appoint a Course Development Committee (CDC) which will usually include the Dean of Faculty, other relevant academic staff and at least one external member from a relevant field. A chair will also be nominated.
4. Design of course of study
The CDC is responsible to oversee the development of all elements of course design. This may include delegation of the development of components, such as the development of subject outlines, to staff outside the committee. Subject outlines will be externally peer-reviewed by an academic in the relevant field.
5. Review by External Review Committee
An External Review Committee (ERC) is appointed by the CDC as an ad hoc committee. It comprises external peers who are academic leaders and industry representatives for the field of study of the course being accredited. The ERC will provide feedback to the CDC who will review the course of study in light of this feedback. The completed Course of Study template will be sent to Development Committee by the CDC. The Development Committee will review the course of study and make a recommendation to Academic Board.
6. Approval by Academic Board
If the course of study is within AC's scope of self-accrediting authority:
Academic Board will appoint an Accreditation Review Panel to review the AC Course of Study document prepared by the CDC. This panel should include members of the Academic Board not involved in the course development, as well as at least one external academic and/or professional expert in the field (this could be one of the external members of the Academic Board if appropriate). The Panel will provide a report on the course of study to the full Academic Board. Academic Board will then make a decision to either:
• approve the course of study;
• request more information;
• approve the course of study subject to revisions; or
• reject the course of study.
If approved, the course of study will be listed on AC’s register of courses, an official announcement will be made, and marketing and delivery of the course can commence.
If the course is outside AC’s scope of self-accrediting authority:
Academic Board will review the AC Course of Study document prepared by the CDC. Once the Academic Board is satisfied of the quality of the Application it can be submitted to the relevant Agency using the appropriate application form and process.
No advertising or promotion of an award is permitted without appropriate disclaimers until official approval, or official sanction to do so, has been granted by the relevant Agency.
Double degree approval procedure
In order to provide maximum flexibility and opportunities for students, AC recognises the value of double degrees leading to the completion of two separate awards in minimum possible time. This does not require the accreditation of a combined course, but Academic Board may approve a structural model that permits two qualifications to be undertaken concurrently for a reduced total duration. The following criteria apply:
• there must be a clearly articulated pedagogical rationale for a double degree;
• the reduced total duration must allow for the student to meet the completion requirements and learning outcomes for each of the single degrees, including any professional registration requirements;
• where double degree components are at different AQF levels, students must complete the lower-level component first;
• students must meet the entry requirements of both component degrees;
• naming convention for a double degree is that the qualification names are separated by 'and';
• the reduced total duration must be at least two thirds of the normal combined duration of the component degrees.
For approval of a double degree, a proposal should be submitted to Development Committee. If Development Committee determines that the above criteria have been met, the proposal will be recommended to Academic Board for approval.