Special Considerations Policy and Procedure

Special Considerations Policy and Procedure

Latest Amendment/Approval Date: September 2021

1. Purpose

1.1 The College is aware that a student may be affected during his/her studies by extenuating circumstances such as illness, personal loss, or disabilities which may affect his/her academic performance. This policy is designed to assist students to meet the academic requirements of their studies, despite those circumstances.

2. Definitions

2.1 For the purpose of this policy, the following definition applies:

Special Consideration means an arrangement that will allow a student to meet the requirements of the course regardless of any illness, personal loss, or disability which may affect his/her academic performance.

3. Scope

3.1 This policy applies to all students.

3.2 This policy is separate to the consideration of applications for withdrawal without academic and/or financial penalty, though such applications may be for the same set of extenuating circumstances listed in this policy.

4. Principles

4.1 Campion College is committed to providing its students with the best possible learning experience and learning environment, regardless of personal circumstances beyond their control which may affect their academic performances.

4.2 The College will seek to identify students who would benefit from the ongoing application of Special Consideration and will inform them of this option and facilitate its implementation.

5. Policy

5.1 Special Consideration is granted to those students who are unable to complete compulsory assessment tasks on time because of extenuating circumstances. These include, but are not restricted to:

  • A certified and disclosed physical disability;
  • Depression or mental health issues;
  • A learning difficulty;
  • Chronic illness; or
  • Longstanding family issues.

5.2 The following circumstances would not be considered grounds for Special Consideration:

  • Routine demands of employment;
  • Difficulties transitioning to student life and the rigours of academic work;
  • Normal levels of stress or anxiety associated with examinations, required assessment tasks or any aspect of course work;
  • Financial stress;
  • Demands of extra-curricular activities;
  • Difficulties reading, writing and understanding English.

6. Procedures

6.1 Requests for Special Consideration must contain:

  • The Special Consideration Request Form, including an explanation of the extenuating circumstances;
  • Relevant certification, including:
    • medical certificate;
    • medical report;
    • letter from an individual, not related, who can independently confirm the student’s extenuating circumstances.

6.2 If granted, one or more of the following may qualify as the conditions of Special Consideration, though some circumstances require unique approaches which may not be represented here:

  • Extensions: An extension may be applied for all written assessment items, excluding exams. Such extensions under Special Consideration should typically be for a length of time consistent across units of study, eg. seven days. Applications for extensions under Special Consideration need not be accompanied by documentation. However, a student must still apply to the lecturer for an extension on each occasion and according to all other standard procedures set out in the Assessment Policy & Procedures.
  • Extended examination times: For every hour of exam, a student with Special Consideration may be considered to benefit from an additional fifteen minutes of exam time.
  • Supplementary or Deferred Assessment or Examination: This may include either an exam at a later or earlier date to the scheduled exam, or a different form of assessment, as according to the conditions set out in the Assessment Policy & Procedures.
  • Leave of Absence: a brief period of time in which the student is excused from attending classes without being penalised. Special provisions may be arranged such as recording lectures or providing notes.
  • Attendance: a lowering of the compulsory attendance threshold from 80% to 60% (See Attendance Policy)

6.3 The certification or documentation or letter must explain the nature of the health condition or circumstance which adversely affects the student’s academic progress and the likely duration of the health condition or circumstances.

6.4 The certification or documentation or letter must explain the Special Consideration conditions that should be applied so that the student faces no disadvantage.

6.5 On this basis the College can decide whether to grant Special Consideration and the conditions of Special Consideration eg. extra time in exams; supplementary assessment; or extensions on written assessment items.

6.6 Also on the basis of the certification and/or documentation, the College may consider whether Special Consideration is to be applied temporarily or on an ongoing basis, i.e., for the duration of a student’s enrolment in the degree.

6.7 Special Consideration requests are assessed by the Dean of Studies who should apply the following criteria for determining whether to grant the request and, if so, whether it is granted temporarily or ongoing:

  • The impact on the applicant’s capacity to complete his/her studies;
  • The legitimacy of the applicant’s reasons for seeking Special Consideration;
  • The extent to which the circumstances leading to the request were beyond the applicant’s control and the extent to which the applicant may have contributed to the circumstances; and
  • Whether the Special Consideration would in any way unfairly advantage the applicant against other students.

6.8 The Dean of Studies must also ensure that Special Consideration would not more appropriately be redirected to processes such as reviews of marks or grades, or deadline extensions for one or more isolated assignments.

6.9 The Dean of Studies will keep a register of students with Special Consideration, available to all academics.

7. Roles and Responsibilities

7.1 The Dean of Studies is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy, as well as monitoring and reviewing its effectiveness.

7.2 The Teaching and Learning Committee is responsible for the regular review of the policy.

7.3 All academic staff must be aware of students with Special Consideration in their class and are responsible for implementing this policy.

8 References

8.1 In the most recent review of this policy in 2018, it has been benchmarked against the Special Considerations Policy of Charles Sturt University which is publicly available.