Support for Students Policy Framework

Fact box

Purpose

This policy outlines the systems and processes at Alphacrucis University College (AC) in relation to the notification, identification, and provision of student support services throughout the student life cycle. It provides information on how students are:
• Notified of available support services
• Identified as in need of support services
• Provided with appropriate support services in a targeted and timely manner

Scope

This policy applies to all AC students, on campus and online; staff, academic and professional; as well as AC governing bodies.

Policy

The provision of holistic support, academic and wellbeing, throughout the student life cycle, to enhance both the quality of educational experiences and outcomes, is essential to achieving the Mission of AC to “equip Christian leaders to change the world”.

The AC Cultural Value of ‘Health’, a commitment to the health of our community and its members, also informs the importance placed upon pastoral care of students.

Therefore, AC is committed to ensuring our students are provided with the support and resources required through their candidature to assist them to progress in the subjects in which they are enrolled and complete their course of study in a timely manner.

Supporting guidelines

This policy is guided by the following principles –
• integrating student support services into the mainstream curriculum, to build independent learning capacity and agency, increases the likelihood of student engagement with these services, and overall student participation and attainment.
• students are ultimately responsible for seeking support to assist them to complete their course of study, while being actively supported by AC staff within a supportive environment.
• all staff are responsible for supporting students throughout their enrolment at AC, with some staff allocated specific responsibilities in relation to providing support in a targeted and timely manner.
• timely student support intervention can often prevent a student need escalating.
• the efficacy of student support services will be reviewed annually by the appropriate stakeholders under the auspices of the appropriate governing body.

Definitions
Intervention – targeted action taken to provide support to students to improve their academic performance and/or wellbeing
Support Services – systemic, coordinated assistance provided to students identified as requiring additional aid to complete their course of study in a timely manner

Responsible for implementation

Learning and Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

Vice President and Provost
Director, Learning and Standards
Director, Quality Assurance and Standards
Director, Student Support
Director, Student Administration
Director, Academic Analytics and Projects
Heads of School

Related legislation

Higher Education Standards Framework (2021)
Higher Education Support Act (2003)
Higher Education Provider Guidelines (2023)
Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines (2023)
National Code (2018)
Privacy Act (1988) {Australian Privacy Principles]
TEQSA Compliance Report 2022
TEQSA Guidance Note: Monitoring and Analysis of Student Performance
TEQSA Guidance Note: Staffing, Learning Resources and Educational Support


Procedures

Identification of students-at-risk, including assessing students’ suitability to continue study

Ongoing collection and analysis of the following student and course performance data sets facilitate the identification of non-engaged students and students-at-risk of failing to progress in their course of study:

  • Learning Management System analytics reports
  • Rates of attrition and progression reported to AC governance bodies
  • Cohort tracking via the above reporting
  • Subject evaluations, mid-semester and end-of-semester, via the LMS
  • Internal moderation activities – curriculum, teaching, and assessment
  • External moderation of assessment
  • Lecturer feedback regarding attendance, engagement, and assessment performance
  • Student Representative Council feedback
  • Feedback from student representatives on AC governing bodies
  • Student satisfaction surveys
  • Focus group feedback
  • Annual Course Reports
  • Subject and course reviews
  • Academic Misconduct Register
  • Student complaints and grievances
  •  
  • Faculty referral
  • Student self-referral
  • Studiosity reports
  • Library analytics reports
  • Wellbeing Centre reports
  • Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching data
  • The above data sets are collected by the key stakeholders nominated in this policy. These stakeholders table various reports for analysis at their respective team meetings and relevant governing body meetings.

Notification of student support services

The following student support services are available to students throughout their candidature:

  • Faculty advice and consultation
  • Academic skills support via Studiosity
  • Library Services
  • Digital Learning Services
  • IT Services
  • Disability and Equity Support Services
  • International Student Services
  • Counselling and Wellness support via the Wellbeing Centre
  • Chaplaincy Services
  • Peer support

 

Students are notified of support services and how to access them via the following avenues:

  • AC website
  • Student Support Team
  • Email communication
  • SMS communication
  • Orientation program
  • Learning Management System (LMS) tiles and pop-ups
  • Subject outlines
  • Subject handouts
  • Lecturer communication

Provision of support services to non-engaged students and students-at-risk

Analysis of data sets facilitate the implementation of evidence-based strategies in relation to the provision of support for students, particularly non-engaged students and students-at-risk of failing to progress in their course of study, through the appropriate support services:

  • All staff are encouraged to be proactive in relation to being alert to ‘signs’ indicating a student or student cohort requires additional support services. Staff are trained in relation to referring students to the appropriate internal support services. Specialist staff have training in referring students to the appropriate external support services.
  • Monitoring and review of attendance data and LMS analytics data by faculty prompts early intervention strategies. Lecturers meet with identified students to discuss the factors contributing to low attendance and/or engagement with the LMS. An intervention plan to improve student attendance and engagement with learning, agreed to by the student and lecturer, is implemented and monitored by the relevant lecturer. Further intervention, potentially requiring an escalated response by faculty, may be actioned as appropriate.
  • Assessing students early in a teaching period, based on the principle and benefits of formative assessment, provides data in relation to identifying students in need of targeted intervention. Lecturers meet with identified students to discuss the factors contributing to low assessment performance. An intervention plan to improve student assessment performance, agreed to by the student and lecturer, is implemented and monitored by the relevant lecturer. Further intervention strategies are detailed in the Course Progression Policy.
  • Monitoring and review of breaches of academic integrity, documented in the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Register, identify students-at-risk of failing to progress. Initially, an educative approach to building an ethical culture to support student formation is pursued. However, detection of breaches prompts an appropriate response as detailed in the AC Academic Integrity Framework.
  • Monitoring and moderation of grades, at both School level and by the Internal Grades Monitoring and Moderation Committee, identifies students requiring additional support services. The Course Progression Policy guides an appropriate response from the relevant AC stakeholders.  
  • Providing continuing support services to identified students throughout their candidature will be overseen by the relevant specialist staff.

 

*Confidential records of support services provided to students are maintained in the Student Management System by the Student Support Services Team in consultation with faculty and other stakeholders.