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English Language Centre (ELC) Monitoring Student Progress Policy and Intervention Strategy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy ensures that all Macquarie University English Language Centre (ELC) students are monitored, assessed and informed regarding their course progress, and also outlines when and how an intervention strategy can be initiated for students at risk.

Background

(2) Under Section 19 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, registered providers must report students who have breached the course progress requirements.

(3) Under Standard 8 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, registered providers must systematically monitor all international students regarding their course progress, and must have an intervention strategy for students at risk of not making satisfactory course progress or of not completing their course within the expected duration as specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment.

Scope

(4) All ELC Students.

(5) This Policy needs to be observed by Teachers, the Academic Management Team and the Student Advisors.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) In keeping with Standard 8 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, it is the intent of the ELC that students will be supported throughout their studies and carefully monitored to maintain satisfactory course progress.

(7) Students identified by their teachers of being at risk will be advised of appropriate measures to help them improve their learning outcomes in order to make satisfactory course progress.

(8) Students who have failed two consecutive five (5) week periods of study or who have been deemed not yet competent in 50 percent of their completed enrolment will be deemed at risk, and will be referred to the Student Advisor or senior academic staff member to discuss their further needs.

(9) In keeping with Section 19 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, if, after the intervention and within a reasonable time period, a student does not make satisfactory progress or show adequate improvement, they will be reported through PRISMS.

(10) ELC students can access this Policy via the English Language Centre webpage, and will be advised of the Policy at the start of their enrolment and during orientation follow-ups.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Monitoring Student Progress

(11) Under Standard P3 of the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Standards 2018, all ELC students are initially placed in a class appropriate to their current language proficiency level. This level placement is decided according to the results of a university-accepted, internationally-standardised test (e.g. IELTS) or an ELC Placement Test.

(12) Students may also be assessed on arrival to confirm their proficiency level, and will be advised that if their level does not meet the level stated in the original offer, they may require more time to achieve their study goals.

(13) A Needs Analysis Form is completed for each student which includes details of the student’s start and end date and the desired study pathway. The initial class placement is recorded on this form.

(14) Under Standard P3 of the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Standards 2018, students’ special learning needs are identified as early as possible, and arrangements are put in place to address these needs, such as recommendations from the Teacher to see a Student Advisor or to attend other activities that are available such as Academic Workshops.

(15) All ELC students are assessed formally and informally during each five (5) week period of study. This five (5) week period is extended to a 10-week period of study for some University Entry Courses.

(16) At the start of each study period, students in all courses are given a Course Outline which indicates assessment requirements and what achievement is required for progress from one course or level to the next. An ELC student will be deemed to have achieved satisfactory progress at the end of each study period if they have:

  1. participated regularly during class;
  2. completed all scheduled course assessments, tests and activities to cover all macroskills; and
  3. demonstrated achievement in most learning outcomes.

(17) Students receive feedback for formative and summative assessment tasks through Task Evaluation Criteria sheets or Rubrics.

(18) In Week 5 of each period of study at the ELC, Teachers use the results of the student’s ongoing formal and informal assessment for that period to make a recommendation for the following study period, which is recorded on the student’s Needs Analysis Form.

(19) All ELC students have a formal consultation with their teacher at the end of each five (5) week study period. Students are notified of their progress and strategies to address underperformance are discussed. These suggested strategies are also recorded on the Needs Analysis Form.

(20) The Teacher notifies the Student Advisors or senior academic staff at any point during the five (5) week study period if the Teacher believes a student is at risk of not making satisfactory course progress. The Student Advisors or senior academic staff may contact the student either directly or via the Teacher and initiate counselling at this point to offer advice to the student to help them achieve their learning outcomes and maintain satisfactory course progress.

(21) If a student has failed overall in a five (5) week study period, or is deemed to be at significant risk in one or more of the macroskill areas, they will be given academic advice on how to improve, and will be reminded of the risk they face if they fail another course or level.

(22) When a student continues to be at risk of not making satisfactory course progress by:

  1. being deemed not yet competent in 50% of their completed enrolment, or
  2. having failed two consecutive 5-week periods of study (blocks), or
  3. by having failed 1 or more of the macroskills in two consecutive 5-week study periods,

    they will be referred to the Student Advisor or senior academic staff to discuss their further needs and to further implement the Intervention Strategy where appropriate.

(23) It will be at the discretion of the ELC if, in particular circumstances, the intervention strategy is to be initiated at an earlier point than the points outlined above.

(24) Monitoring of a student’s progress after the intervention strategy has been implemented will be conducted at five (5) weekly intervals or earlier if necessary. The student will be given fair and adequate time to show improvement, taking into consideration individual learning goals and needs. If the student fails to show significant improvement within a reasonable amount of time, they will be reported for lack of progress.

Intervention Strategy

(25) The intervention strategy will be made available to all staff and students, and will entail the following procedures:

  1. The student will be counselled regarding their progress by a Student Advisor or senior academic staff.
  2. Pathway options will be discussed with the student, and an intervention strategy will be tailored to best meet the student’s needs and study goals.
  3. It will be at the ELC’s discretion as to what type of intervention will be needed for individual students.
  4. The intervention strategy may include but will not be limited to:
    1. attendance at academic support workshops;
    2. additional tutoring;
    3. further counselling;
    4. a learning contract (student to receive and sign); and
    5. an extension of English language tuition requiring a change or repetition of level and / or a revised pathway of study.

(26) After the intervention strategy has been implemented, the student will be given fair and adequate time to show improvement in academic progress.

(27) If it is decided that the student has not made adequate academic progress, they will be notified of the ELC’s intention to report them through PRISMS.

(28) The student will be notified of this intention and its potential consequences during a counselling session, and this will be followed up immediately by written notice of the ELC’s intention to report them to the Department of Home Affairs. The notification of intention to report will inform the student that they are able to access the ELC’s complaints and appeals process as per Standard 10 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, and that the student has 20 working days to appeal.

(29) The ELC will report the student to the Department of Home Affairs at the conclusion of the appeals process unless the appeal is successful.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(30) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(31) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.