Student electives policy
Intent and objectives
To give students the right and responsibility to adapt their RMIT programs to their own interests, aspirations and learning needs.
1. To provide space in RMIT undergraduate programs for courses chosen by students, including, but not restricted to, vocational courses;
2. To provide academic and administrative systems which facilitate students enrolling in, having a positive experience of, and successfully completing courses chosen from across the University; and
3. To provide support for free student choice in respect of Student Electives, including provision of information on courses available across the University.
This policy applies to all Higher Education undergraduate programs.
1. Inclusion in all undergraduate programs - minimum requirements
The minimum requirements for the inclusion of Student Electives in undergraduate programs are as follows:
- all three year (or less) undergraduate programs (with the exception of double degrees or dual awards (HE/TAFE)) and all four year (or more) undergraduate programs which include a full year of work experience or industry placement - a minimum of 24 credit points of Student Electives;
- all other four year (and above) undergraduate programs (with the exception of double degrees) - a minimum of 36 credit points of Student Electives;
- double degrees or dual awards (HE/TAFE) - a minimum of 12 credit points of Student Electives; and
- associate degrees – a minimum of 12 credit points
2. Application for a program to be exempted from the minimum requirements or to have them varied
A Portfolio seeking to have a program exempted from the minimum Student Elective requirements set out above may make application to Policy and Programs Committee for an exemption. The application may form part of the program renewal or approval documentation or may be a separate document. It should take the form of a letter setting out in detail the grounds for the request. Policy and Programs Committee may approve the application, reject it, or, in some cases, decide that the problem can be overcome by setting some restrictions on student choice of electives.
3. Criteria for student electives
a). All courses must be 12 credit points.
b). Only undergraduate courses can be offered as Student Electives.
c). Courses with pre-requisites and co-requisites can be offered as Student Electives.
d). Courses that have restrictions on the number of enrolments can be offered as Student Electives.
e). A minimum threshold enrolment of 25 students. The University reserves the right to not offer courses that fail to meet this threshold.
4. Grouping and exclusion rules
Academic units which offer courses may set rules about who is permitted to enrol in the course.
Anyone who becomes aware of possible overlap between courses should draw it to the attention of the relevant Program Leader(s), who may then set rules in order to prevent students from enrolling in overlapping courses. If the courses concerned do not form part of a program, or if there is a dispute about the extent of overlap, the matter should be referred to the Student Electives Coordinators of the Portfolios concerned.
Exclusion rules should appear on the Course Guide of the course concerned.
5. Protecting and promoting student choice of electives
5.1. No direction of students in regard to student elective choice
Staff must not specify certain courses which students should take as their Student Electives, nor direct a student to enrol in a particular Student Elective. They must not present the choice before the student in a loaded way, for example, “If you don’t take this particular course as a Student Elective, you will not be employable in the industry”. There should be a clear distinction between marketing an academic unit’s electives as effectively as possible to all eligible students, and providing unbiased information and academic advisement to students in the unit’s programs.
5.2. Not in first year of the program
In order to realise the purpose of Student Electives, and to enable students to make informed choices, it is strongly recommended that program designers do not place the Student Electives in the first year of the program.
5.3. Strategies for maximising student choice in off-shore programs and on smaller campuses
This policy applies equally to all undergraduate programs but it is recognised that there are practical difficulties in offering a wide range of electives in off-shore programs and on smaller campuses.
In order to overcome these difficulties, there needs to be excellent communication and coordination between academic units and external partners of the University and students. Full use should be made of flexible modes of delivery. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to have choice of Student Electives by class consensus, rather than individual choice.
6. Monitoring the policy
In order to realize the purpose of Student Electives, and to prevent student choice being constrained, the operation of Student Electives will be monitored through the annual reporting of data on student course preferences. The statistical data may be supplemented by surveys or focus groups, exploring the factors which lead students to choose the Student Electives they do.
7. Coordination and information
The Academic Registrar shall be responsible for the collection and publication of information on Student Electives as part of the enrolment process.[Next: Supporting documents and information ]