Course of Study Review Policy

Fact box

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that a course of study currently accredited by Alphacrucis College (AC) is reviewed on a regular cycle to guarantee quality learning and teaching standards, and to define a process for changes to existing courses of study.

Scope

All courses of study

Policy

All accredited courses of study are to be reviewed on a regular cycle. This ensures that all accredited courses are delivered with consistent academic standards and that accredited courses reflect the values of AC as outlined in the Strategic Plan.  Any changes to an existing course of study must be implemented by following the procedures outlined below.

REGULAR COURSE REVIEW MECHANISMS

Each accredited course of study will be reviewed in the following ways:

1. Annual Report

An Annual Course Report of each course of study will be submitted by the relevant Program Director to the Vice President Academic. This will be included in the Vice President Academic’s AC Annual Academic Report. The annual report is a review of the performance of the previous year and will generally include information such as:

• enrolment data for the previous year;

• performance data (such as attrition, progress and completion rates);

• student feedback;

• staff feedback;

• industry feedback;

• any approved changes, such as amendments to subject outlines approved by the Learning & Teaching Committee (including external referencing if required);

• improvement plan for the upcoming year;

• evidence of implementation of previous improvement plans;

• budgetary considerations.

The AC Annual Academic Report prepared by the Vice President Academic will be reviewed by the Academic Board. This allows for the ongoing monitoring of performance and improvement of the course of study.  The implementation of any recommendations for improvement to the course of study arising from this annual report will be overseen by the Academic Board and its subcommittees.

2. Comprehensive Review

Where a course of study lies within AC’s scope of self-accrediting authority, the course of study will undergo a comprehensive review on a regular cycle of approximately five years. This will be overseen by the Development Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

3. Additional Review

In certain circumstances, for example in response to market demand, an additional course of study review may be undertaken. In this case, a proposal for a course of study review outside the regular cycle must be submitted to the Development Committee. This proposal should include a clear rationale for the additional review of the course of study. If accepted by the Development Committee, this additional review will then be overseen by the Development Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

4. Reaccreditation Review

Where a course of study lies outside AC’s scope of self-accrediting authority, a comprehensive review will be conducted as part of the reaccreditation application process. This will be overseen by the Development Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

5. Other Review Mechanisms

Other mechanisms for review of a course of study may be implemented from time to time. These may include:

• Industry Advisory Groups. The task of the Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs) is to provide industry feedback on the College’s operations and training and educational products and services. The IAGs may provide feedback on a specific course of study being offered currently by the College;

• Minor Reviews. On occasion, there may be minor reviews to a course of study e.g. progression rules, adjustments to minors and/or majors. In the case of a minor review, a proposal is tabled at Development Committee for recommendation to Academic Board. The procedures below are not required.

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Development Committee

Key stakeholders

All faculty and students


Procedures

Course of Study Review Procedure

Reviews of existing courses of study will usually follow the AC Curriculum and Assessment Quality Assurance System which outlines scheduling details. Procedures are outlined below:

1. Appointment of Course Review Committee

Development Committee will appoint a Course Review Committee (CRC). Members of the CRC will usually include the Dean of Faculty, other relevant academic staff and at least one external member from a relevant field (or two external members, one academic and one practitioner, for a reaccreditation review). The purpose of this committee is to review the course of study according to the guidelines of the policy. A chair will also be nominated.

2. Review of course of study

The CRC will conduct a review of the course of study, including consideration of the following information as relevant:

• annual reports;

• other performance data (such as any outcomes of external moderation of grades); student feedback (including feedback from completed subject evaluations, student experience surveys, and other student surveys);

• staff feedback;

• other stakeholder feedback;

• feedback from the professional accreditation body (if applicable);

• external referencing e.g. benchmarking;

• how the future delivery of the course aligns to the strategic direction of the College.

From this review, recommendations are made by the CRC as to improvements to the structure, delivery, student learning, graduate outcomes and course management of the course of study. These reviews and recommendations are presented as a Comprehensive Review Report and tabled at Development Committee for consideration and then tabled at Academic Board for approval.

If these recommendations require a substantial change to the course of study, the CRC will be tasked with overseeing the development of a Proposal for Course Modification. 

For a course reaccreditation, the CRC will be tasked with drafting a Reaccreditation Application.

3. Review by External Review Committee

In the case of a Comprehensive Review or a Reaccreditation Application for a higher education course of study, an External Review Committee (ERC) is appointed by the CRC. It comprises external peers who are academic leaders and industry representatives for the field of study of the course being reaccredited. This committee is an ad hoc committee appointed by the CRC to review the Comprehensive Review Report or Reaccreditation Application developed by the CRC, to ensure that the course design and components are robust and withstand external scrutiny. The ERC will provide feedback to the CRC to review in light of this feedback.

4. Final recommendation by Development Committee

The completed Comprehensive Review Report, Proposal for Course Modification (if required) or Reaccreditation Application will be sent to Development Committee by the CRC. The Development Committee will review and make a recommendation to Academic Board.

5. Approval by Academic Board

In the case that the course being reviewed lies within AC’s scope of self-accrediting authority, the Academic Board will review the Proposal for Course Modification and take necessary action.

In the case that the course being reviewed lies outside AC’s scope of self-accrediting authority, the Academic Board will review the Reaccreditation Application and, once satisfied, task the Development Committee to submit a Material Change Notification or Reaccreditation Application to the relevant Agency.