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Associate Degree Course Advisory Committee Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The Award Courses and Units Approval Policy stipulates that the process for the approval of a new course proposal, and the process for approving a major variation to an existing course, requires "Completion of a Full Course Proposal (including a report providing external perspectives, supported by evidence, on the merits of the proposal)."

(2) In considering proposals for new Associate Degree courses, or for substantial variations to existing courses, there must be a process to obtain external feedback on the proposals. A "Course Advisory Committee" is one way to achieve this.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The principal function of the Course Advisory Committee is to provide advice on the relevance of courses to prospective students, the community, to industry, and to appropriate professional bodies, adopting open and transparent processes. The Committee may also facilitate networking with business, industry and community figures to leverage consultancy ventures, foster support and attract donations for scholarships, provide opportunities for research collaborations, and provide vocational experience for student placements.

(5) A Course Advisory Committee may be established to provide advice over a considerable period - from inception of a particular course, through to the course being offered to students.

Membership

(6) The majority of members of the Committee must be external, for example, community members and relevant industry professionals, and may include members of the teaching staff of other institutions.

(7) The internal members should include:

  1. from Western Sydney University The College: Academic Director, relevant Head of Program, member/s of staff teaching in the award area and, following the first offering of the award, a student of the award;
  2. from the University: relevant Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) or nominee, relevant Dean (s) of School or nominee(s), relevant Directors of Academic Program.

(8) The Chair will be an external member of the Committee.

(9) The term of office for members will be two years. Consecutive terms will be permitted.

Terms of Reference

(10) The purpose of the Committee is to act in a consultative and advisory role in the Course Proposal stage for new and revised Courses or at other times to participate in the quality improvement processes of continuing courses.

(11) The Course Advisory Committee will:

  1. provide advice on the relevance of the content of the program, the method of presentation of the program and possible future developments;
  2. advise on relationships between the area and relevant professional, community groups and employers;
  3. be invited to comment on relevant course reports and surveys;
  4. review the course when variations are required;
  5. advise on the direction and scope of the research and development, consulting, continuing education and other community related activities associated with the program area, including identifying emerging needs and opportunities.

(12) The Course Advisory Committee will meet at least once a year face-to-face. There is no specific maximum number of meetings set and the Committee is free to meet as often as it considers necessary. Minutes must be taken for each meeting whether held face-to-face or via electronic technology.

(13) Quorum is 50% of the membership and the majority of those present must be external members.

Other Sources of External Advice

(14) The University recognises that an external committee is not the only way to obtain evidence, information, external views, and feedback on courses and course proposals.

(15) Other sources of information include:

  1. the Student Feedback on Unit survey covering the student experience of each unit;
  2. Commencing Student Surveys, Student Exit Surveys;
  3. other surveys, including the University Employer Survey, and survey of non-returning students may be included or other specifically commissioned surveys or research.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Appointing the Course Advisory Committee Members

(16) The Academic Director Western Sydney University The College will be responsible for the establishment of the Course Advisory Committee.

(17) In establishing a Course Advisory Committee, the Academic Director Western Sydney University The College will:

  1. in consultation with the relevant Western Sydney University The College Associate Director (or equivalent) and the relevant Western Sydney University The College Heads of Programs, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) and/or Deans of Schools, appoint the members of the Committee.
  2. appoint an external chair; that is, an individual who is not employed by the Western Sydney University The College or the University;
  3. arrange the Committee's administrative support.

Reporting

(18) The Course Advisory Committee will report on a new course for approval as per the policy. The Course Advisory Committee's reports will be referred to during the course approval process by the relevant approving committees, as part of the consideration of the course proposal.

(19) An annual report of the Committee should be provided to the Western Sydney University The College Academic Committee.

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Section 5 - GUIDELINES

(20) Nil.