Academic Progress Committee hearings
Follow the steps:
Preparation (approximately 4-6 weeks before hearings will commence) View
Before the APC hearing
1. The faculty Executive Officer will request that the Monash Student Organisations (MSO) provide a list of APC hearing panel student representatives at least four weeks prior to the commencement of the review period (i.e. in mid June for semester 1 and November for semester 2). The request must include a draft schedule of hearing dates and times to provide an estimated number of representatives.
2. Students will indicate on their My Academic Progress Response form their intention to attend an APC hearing and whether they permit their file (i.e. Student Snapshot) to be shared with their MSO or Student Advisory and Support (Malaysian students) if referred (which will appear in the faculty Student Snapshot report). Faculties may ask the student to confirm attendance at the APC later - see step 21.
3. The faculty Executive Officer will manage level 3 students who have indicated on their My Academic Progress Response form (section 1) that they wish to discontinue or request an alternative exit, as per usual faculty processes.
4. Based on the draft schedule, undergraduate MSOs will also begin to nominate Student Advocacy and Support Advisors (SASA) or a Student Advocate in preparation for potential upcoming hearings.
5. See a summary of the roles that MSOs play during an academic progress review period.
7. The Education, Policy and Projects team will provide campus Monash Counselling teams with dates for upcoming peak academic progress activity.
Organising the APC hearing View
Organising the APC hearing
8. Once a faculty has determined the students to be referred to a hearing, the Executive Officer will send a Notice of Hearing to students who submitted a My Academic Progress Response (draft student responses must not be considered as evidence). The notice will confirm the date and time of the hearing, panel members and documents to be considered (student snapshot), and must be sent using the set uniCRM template.
9. The hearing must not be scheduled within five days of sending the notice. The following should also be considered when scheduling a hearing:
- Timings: Avoid hearings after 5 pm, on Friday or on the day before a public holiday or shutdown period, where possible. If the hearing is online for an overseas student, consider their timezone and availability of support services (at the student’s location), avoiding hearings outside regular working hours. Consider when a student or panel member might have strict religious observance obligations.
- Location: Hold the hearing on the student's enrolled campus as much as possible.
- The number of hearings each day:
- Too many hearings in a day (e.g. more than six) may mean completion outside of working hours when some support services are closed. This could also be detrimental to staff and student representatives on the panel for the entire day.
- Adequate breaks must be scheduled between hearings.
- Allow time if hearings overrun, require brief adjournments e.g. to review documentary evidence provided on the day, request support from SASA, or resolve technical issues.
10. The faculty Executive Officer can provide the MSOs with the snapshot link at any point and must be done so as early as possible (even if all documentation has not been finalised or uploaded) e.g before or once the Notice of Hearing has been sent to a student, rather than waiting until the student has confirmed their attendance. The snapshot will continually update as new documents are added to UniCRM. The snapshot should include anything that the panel will use to form a decision, including:
- Study Statement (Note: this will need to be obtained from Callista and uploaded back into CRM)
- Information and correspondence from any previous academic progress periods including student responses to academic progress notices
- Any other correspondence within the faculty or to the student relating to academic progress (e.g. InPlace, email correspondence)
- Information and documents about related processes (e.g. academic misconduct, evidence of special circumstances including those provided as part of a Job-ready Graduate pass rate exemption request)
11. The faculty Executive Officer and MSOs should discuss how best to share APC information including students who have been referred to a hearing, dates and times, student snapshot links and how each other will communicate any changes (e.g. amended dates and times, change of MSO support person). This may be via the hearing schedule google doc supplied by MSOs, internal faculty spreadsheet for APC panel members or another method. Please consider that these may contain confidential information about students referred to a hearing that should be viewed only by those who need to see it, e.g. APC panel members and the MSO supporting the student. Access should be shared as appropriate.
Faculties should also make MSOs aware of hearing dates for students that:
- have not provided permission to release their details to their student association via their submitted My Academic Progress Response form (student file/snapshot must not however be shared with the MSO)
- have indicated they will not be attending the hearing even though they responded to their notice
- are not intending to bring a support person to the hearing or another person who is not a SASA. A SASA will still be on standby if the student requests their support on the day for example, where the APC Chair has strongly encouraged them to do so. Students will be encouraged to invite a SASA to support them rather than a family member or friend due to their greater awareness of the process.
12. The faculty Executive Officer will check whether a student subject to a hearing has an alternative exit option for their course should they request one prior to or at the hearing.
13. Prior to the hearing, the executive officer will consult with the non-managing faculty to determine if the student's progress would allow them to complete a single degree, and if so, if the dean of the non-managing faculty would allow the student to transfer with or without conditions.
14. Faculties can run the Disability Support Services (DSS) Alternative Arrangements for Assessment report in Moodle to review whether a student subject to a hearing is registered with the DSS and has received appropriate arrangements or adjustments for their disability.
15. Consider any other factors that should be provided to support the student including requesting an AUSLAN interpreter or physical access requirements (see Students with Disability and the Academic Progress Process.ppt).
Before the APC hearing View
Before the APC hearing
16. The faculty Executive Officer will continue to upload all documents to be used by the APC to UniCRM so that they appear in the student snapshot and the student can respond (see step 10).
17. The faculty Executive Officer will add all panel members to CRM to access the snapshot (pages 14-15) if they haven't already been pre-arranged access by the Education Policy and Projects team. The Education Policy and Projects team will add MSO staff to UniCRM (please add student IDs and which MSO to your register) however the faculty Executive Officer will send the link.
18. The faculty Executive Officer will add the student snapshot link to their internal hearing schedule for panel members.
19. The faculty Executive Officer will send the student snapshot links to the appropriate MSO (see step 11) for sharing with the sutudent's support person once assigned.
20. The faculty Executive Officer will send the student snapshot link to the students who have indicated that they will attend at least two working days before the hearing to provide a written or oral response to these documents.
21. The faculty Executive Officer may wish to email or phone the student to confirm their attendance and if they will be bringing a support person with them to the hearing (as per faculty processes). The Executive Officer will inform the MSO of any changes.
22. The faculty Executive Officer will monitor for and manage any communication from the student prior to the hearing including:
- objections raised against any panel member
- electing not to have a student member on the committee
- receipt of documentary evidence
- details of a student support person that’s outside of the standard list of support persons)
- management of course transfers, course discontinuations or requests for an alternative exit
Considerations and best practice when convening the hearing remotely include:
1. The reliability and quality of the connection with the student – where issues with the quality of the connection arise during the hearing, the matter should be adjourned until the issue can be resolved or the student can attend in person (not during COVID-19 period) - see Adjournments.
2. Provide instruction at the start of the meeting should you lose connection during the meeting.
3. Conduct using a Monash Approved IT Service, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or a direct phone call. Before joining, make sure panel members have downloaded or updated Zoom to the latest version. If unfamiliar with the IT system, familiarise yourself with any features you may need to use on the day – mute/unmute microphone, stop/start video, chat, etc. Make sure your camera and microphone are in working order. For students based in China, a hearing via Zoom will require the meeting participant to download their app or Zoom Web Client.
4. Log in early and consider whether additional time will be needed to allow for set up and any technical issues which may arise during the course of the hearing, which may include a test run with the student.
5. All panel members to have your video on.
6. Ensure the meeting room is in a quiet space without interruptions and background noise.
7. Try to avoid talking over or at the same time as other participants.
8. Be mindful of minimising distractions e.g. by turning off your mobile phone and closing other windows on your computer.
9. The student’s health and wellbeing during the hearing.
10. The student’s access to a support person before, during and after the hearing. If no support is available, provide the student with contact details for support, counselling team or on-call mental health nurse (where available)
Hearing day View
23. The faculty Executive Officer will bring a list of all panel members and students’ mobile phone numbers in case they do not show or drop off (if an online hearing).
24. The faculty Executive Officer will manage any absences or personnel changes on the day:
- Chair or faculty panel member - contact the backup member (if there is one). The Chair will advise the student at the beginning of the hearing and ask if they object. If the student has an objection they can request an adjournment for the chair to consider whether there is a reasonable reason for the objection. The panel cannot continue without a two-thirds of members quorum including the chair.
- Student panel member - contact the MSO and request a backup. If no one is available, inform the student at the beginning of the hearing. The hearing can proceed if the student under review agrees to the hearing being held in the absence of a student member otherwise adjourn all applicable hearings.
- MSO support person - the relevant MSO will inform the faculty Executive Officer however as per step 17 the new support person should already have access.
25. The MSO will contact students who have provided permission to release their details, to explain how the hearing will run, answer any process questions, and offer to support them at the hearing (if not already granted).
26. A student who has indicated they will attend the hearing (through their My Academic Progress Response form) but has not confirmed attendance according to requirements in the Notice of Hearing must still be allowed to join the hearing - however, a small adjournment may be required for the MSO to be contacted.
27. All APC panel members are recommended to join the meeting 10-15 minutes prior to the arrival of the first student, so the Chair can provide a briefing (and test IT if required).
28. Proceed with the hearing as per the following guidance:
Following the hearing View
Following the hearing
29. The faculty Executive Officer will send the student an email using the set UniCRM template outlining the decision and including:
- any enrolment conditions or recommendations made to the student
- the rationale for the decision
- any important considerations (e.g. the student’s entire record as at the time of the decision including units in teaching periods following the one in which the APC process was initiated)
30. The following will be actioned in UniCRM. Refer to the videos and user guide for help.
- The faculty Executive Officer will upload a copy of the signed record hearing sheet within 3 days (where possible) and respond to a student’s request for a copy within 5 working days
- Add all of the panel’s enrolment conditions and/or recommendations by the deadline provided by EPP for the upload to Callista
- Update the enquiry status and close by the deadline provided by EPP for data to be reported on.
- 31. Following the 20-working days to appeal an exclusion or apply for reconsideration by the Dean, the faculty Executive Officer will finalise the UniCRM enquiry and action any exclusions in Callista as per the Callista training guide.
31. Faculties should be sensitive to the wellbeing of staff in attendance and provide ‘Check-in’s’ and debriefs with staff involved and the provision of resilience training. Staff can also access support through the Monash Employee Assistance Program.
32. All panel members, including student representatives, should be provided opportunities to suggest improvements, and seek support.
Managing students eligible for an alternative exit View
Students who have triggered risk level 3 and have met the requirements for an alternative exit award, must be informed of this option in a timely manner and if possible, before an academic progress hearing where they may be excluded.
Once a student has been excluded by an APC, they are not eligible for an alternative exit award. The risk of a complaint is minimised where the faculty can demonstrate that appropriate steps have been taken to ensure eligible students have been made aware of the alternative exit award option before a decision to exclude is made.
Appropriate methods for advising students they may be eligible for an alternative exit includes:
- A standard statement included in all risk level 3 notices of unsatisfactory academic progress
- A statement included in the referral to hearing notice
- During a hearing or meeting where the student’s ongoing enrolment will be discussed, including an APC hearing or course progression meeting (see below)
- My Academic Progress Response tool (sent to students triggering a risk level three criteria)
- Student Academic Progress policies and procedures
- Handbook entries for all courses with an alternate exit option
- When seeking advice from the student association
- Student Academic Progress website. Process for students referred to an Academic Progress Committee hearing
- All students referred to a hearing who have submitted My Academic Progress Response will be sent a notice of hearing. For students who have met the requirements for an alternative exit, the notice must include that they are eligible, how to apply and details of the award.
- During the hearing, the student must also be given the opportunity to request an alternative exit (in addition to discontinuation or course transfer).
- The opportunity should be:
- at the beginning of the hearing before deliberations begin; and
- following the brief adjournment for the student to consider their options with their support person before a decision is made by the panel.
- Students referred to a hearing in absentia will not receive any further communication to inform them that they are eligible for an alternative exit in addition to the standard information in the risk level 3 notice.
- The student will need to proactively take action to request the alternative exit award by contacting their managing faculty.
An alternative exit cannot be requested or granted once a decision has been made by a panel to exclude the student from that course (Vice-Chancellor Regulations, 11(a)). This includes:
- whilst still awaiting the outcome of an appeal as the student’s status is still that of an excluded person (Vice-Chancellor Regulations, 11(a)).
- retrospectively, if a student successfully enrols in another course at a later date.
- Only if the student’s appeal is upheld and they return to being a student, can they be granted an alternative exit if they have met the requirements.
- The Dean must grant a student an alternative exit where the student meets the requirements published in the Handbook for the year the student commenced the course. There is no discretion to not award an alternative exit where the student has met the requirements. The exception is students subject to disciplinary processes.
Students subject to pending disciplinary proceedings or appeals (as per those outlined within Council Regulations, Part 7), cannot be granted an alternative exit, unless directed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University
Wellbeing support for students and staff View
- Listen to discussion about mental health considerations
- Listen to discussion about managing students with disability
At the beginning of the meeting:
- Check where they are physically located (perhaps check Callista for their registered address beforehand and ask if this is where they are).
- Check if you have their current mobile phone number.
- Talk about what you will do if the call drops out or you (or they) encounter other technical problems “I will call you on your mobile within 5 minutes if the connection cuts off”.
- Make sure that the conversation is private. Ask to move to a more private area if they need to.
- Ask them to keep the camera turned on. If not or you’re talking on the phone, let them know that it may be more difficult for you to pick up on cues because you can’t see them. Let them know you may need to be more direct in asking about how they are feeling. Ask them to tell you if the conversation becomes too distressing.
Listening and communicating non-judgmentally (“Providing MHFA in the time of social distancing” handout):
- Ask questions that show that you genuinely care and want clarification about what they are saying.
- Check your understanding by re-stating what they have said and summarising facts and feelings.
- Listen not only to what they say but how they say it by paying attention to their tone of voice.
- Use minimal prompts, such as “I see” and “ah” when necessary to keep the conversation going.
- Be patient, particularly when the person may not be communicating well, may be repetitive or may be speaking slower and less clearly than usual.
- Do not be critical or express your frustration at the person.
- Try not to interrupt the person when they are speaking.
- Talk slowly, gently, simply and firmly
- Check information
- Reinterpret information
- Move from the personal to the facts
- Choose positive words
- Be fair, just and reasonable
- Be clear on what you can and cannot do
- If the student is present and at immediate risk, do not leave them alone
- Make sure that you debrief by talking the situation through with a colleague, line supervisor or counselling service
- Document your interaction with the student
How can you tell if someone is “distressed’?
- Understand that a strong emotional reaction can be a normal response.
- Distress might be observed in a visible fashion (eg. crying) or subtle/absence or expression (eg. shut down).
- Validate their reaction to the distressing news (ie exclusion) and express concern. Encourage them to get professional help. Sometimes it might help to get someone to walk the student over to the Health Service.
If the student becomes highly distressed or in crisis
- If there is a risk of harm to themselves or others, you may need to contact emergency services. (If they are not in Australia, refer to the next section.)
- If using video calls, have your phone close by so that you can easily contact emergency services if you need to. Or ask someone else (eg. colleague, another panel member, APC Executive Officer) to make the phone call. How to connect the distressed student with the service:
- If the student is in Australia
- If they are at the immediate risk to harm themselves or others Call 000 and notify Safer Community Unit (+61 3 9905 1599 during business hours)
- If unsure, consult with Safer Community Unit (+61 3 9905 1599 during business hours) or Monash Security (+61 3 9905 3333)
- Call University Health Service (+61 3 9905 3175 at Clayton) and ask to speak to a “triage nurse” who will connect the student with mental health nurse, counsellor or GP. Please provide as much information as possible, including if the student expressed risk to themselves (ie. Suicide).
If the student is overseas
- If the student is at immediate risk, advise them to contact their local emergency services (eg. Ambulance) or take themselves to the emergency department in the hospital.
- If the student is unwilling to call the local emergency services, contact Safer Community Unit (+61 3 9905 1599 during business hours) or Monash Security (+61 3 9905 3333 after hours)
- If the student is not at immediate risk, provide them the telephone counselling service (24/7) information: From Malaysia: 1800 818 356 (toll free) From Italy: 800 791 847 (toll free) From elsewhere: Students +61 2 8295 291