Arrangements for students transitioning to new courses
- Guiding documents
- Further planning
A vital part of the implementation of New Courses 2012 is the need to provide clear and smooth transitional arrangements for students who are already enrolled in existing UWA undergraduate courses and wish to transfer to one of the new courses. Many students will want to remain with their current degree enrolment, and must be supported in that choice, but others will want to transfer.
However, the situation will differ from one course and faculty to another. In some cases it will not be practicable for students to move to a new course; in other cases it may be desirable. Accordingly, faculty-specific transition plans are being developed within a framework approved by Academic Council.
1. Guiding documents
Academic Council has previously discussed and approved by two reports that are particularly relevant to the transition process:
1.1 Student Transition Working Party Report.
Endorsed by Council in November 2010, this report was based on extensive consultation with representatives from every faculty. It outlines a series of recommendations covering principles and procedures, and gives guidance to faculties on how to manage the transition process, how to ensure compliance with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, and how to identify particular student needs. The report can be found in the staff section of the NC2012 website: http://www.newcourses2012.uwa.edu.au/staff/reports
- 1.2 Transitioning students: Flexibility in the application of NC 2012 course rules.
This paper was developed in response to questions raised about the extent to which the course requirements for students transitioning from one of UWA's current undergraduate degrees into an NC2012 undergraduate degree can be interpreted flexibly. The paper was considered by several groups and committees before being endorsed by Council in April 2011. A copy of the report can be found on the Academic Council website (Attachment W): http://committees.intranet.uwa.edu.au/acaboard/academic_council_from_2010/agendas/2011/6_april
Anyone wishing to understand transition arrangements should be encouraged to read these reports in the first instance, as they offer solutions to a range of questions and provide relevant support to assist staff in advising current students of their options.
2. Further planning
- 2.1 Workshops
Several workshop sessions have been held recently with faculty representatives (most recently a meeting of the Information Network group comprising about 50 people) to discuss various aspects of transition planning in more detail. Matters raised included the process for decisions on advanced standing for international student applications; difficulties posed by discontinuation of some majors for students who fail units or seek leave; cross-faculty study plans for combined course students; the ability to count bridging units as electives; and altering some progression rules.
- 2.2 Transition models
Broadly sketched, four transition options are emerging:
- nearly business as usual (the predominant model for international students and those in the latter stages of a course);
- students stay enrolled in an existing course but take advantage of elements of a new course (predominant model for those still in early stages of a 3-year course at the end of 2011);
- students transfer to one of the NC2012 degrees (applies particularly to current first-year students who are keen to acquire both an undergraduate degree and a postgraduate professional degree - e.g. current B.Eng students);
- students complete combined course studies on an agreed basis (faculties should work together to provide individual study plans for all who enrolled in combined courses in 2011).
2.3 Faculty plans
Almost all faculties have now provided their transition plans, as required by Academic Council's endorsement of the Student Transition Working Party recommendations. These plans are currently being reviewed by Student Services, and the Implementation Committee will soon receive a report on progress with these plans.
2.4 Website information
A consolidated repository of various items of information relevant to managing transition, drawn mainly from the various sources mentioned above, will soon be developed and placed on the staff section of the NC2012 website.
Winthrop Professor Ian Reid
Senior Academic Reviewer