Academic Policy and Academic Standing

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Philosophy and overview

The Lincoln College experience is a holistic quality tertiary residential experience.  Lincoln College prides itself on being an inclusive and supportive living and learning environment.

Residents enter Lincoln at a time in their lives when they are actively forging their identity and place in the world. As such, we believe that a Lincoln academic experience should:

  • Establish respectful open discourse and behaviour as the first measure of an outstanding academic community
  • Work on the premise that knowledge is a continuum not a destination
  • Regard asking for help as a sign of wisdom and strength
  • Treat mistakes and failures as an initial opportunity for deeper learning within an academic framework
  • Embrace notions of transformation, exploration and discovery
  • Assist our residents to become creative, deep and engaged thinkers concerned for the world and its problems
  • Augment and complement, not repeat, University academic and professional development programmes
  • Offer our residents opportunities to develop communication skills, embrace leadership roles, solve problems, and gather and analyse evidence
  • Provide spaces for academic and policy debates
  • Encourage our residents to mentor and to teach others
  • Champion student innovation and thinking
  • Celebrate accomplishment
  • Value the uniqueness of the individual
  • Produce independent learners and critical thinkers responsible for their own life-long learning

In a changing world, adaptability, flexibility and cultural currency are crucial skills – living alongside residents who are from different cultures, studying different degrees, and have different habits and opinions broadens horizons and deepens understanding. A residential experience at Lincoln helps residents to formulate opinions, make thoughtful life choices and contribute in a respectful way to life beyond the University classroom.

Our Academic Programme (academic competencies) focuses on

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Independent learning
  • Transitional and general skills
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Specialised assistance when practicable
  • Decision making
  • Academic counselling
  • Peer-to-peer assistance
  • Learning styles

Our Professional Programme (personal competencies) focuses on:

  • Job readiness
  • Interview preparation
  • Career advice and information from alumni and professionals
  • Networking opportunities
  • Life skills
  • Time management
  • Teamwork and group dynamics
  • Confidence and courage

Because of this approach, our students and Alumni have the potential to become outstanding global citizens and thinkers.

Academic Components of the Residential Contract

Residents sign a Contract and Conditions for Admission before entering Lincoln, in which they make a range of academically related commitments, including:

  • Granting permission for the details of their academic record to be supplied to the College by their university for the period they are in residence at Lincoln College.
  • Remaining enrolled as a full time student during their period of residence at Lincoln College.
  • Undertaking to notify the Head of College immediately should their enrolment status, course load, or program, change for whatever reason.
  • Making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Acknowledging that the Head of College is authorised to impose conditions or not to readmit or to terminate the residency of any student who fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress or who ceases to be a full-time university student.

Academic expectations: New residents in College

New residents in College – regardless of their year level at university – are expected to attend and contribute to the transitional and general skills tutorials. New residents who are in their first year of a degree are expected to attend all relevant subject tutorials and workshops organised by the Lincoln College Academic Team.  Failure to do so may disadvantage you if you then have academic issues further down the track.

New residents often struggle with balancing the ratio of studying: partying: working. The Academic Team can help you find this balance, as can your Residential Advisor.

Residents are advised to notify their Academic tutor or the Dean of Students if they are concerned about their results. Students who have not self-identified their academic issues and concerns and who receive unsatisfactory results will be required to meet with a tutor or senior staff member to discuss their academic future and plans and may be required to show cause.

Academic success

Academic success and achievement will look different for each student. We expect each of our residents to achieve the best results that they can whilst enjoying a happy and healthy lifestyle.  Central to this is the expectation that:

  • Resident health and wellbeing is inextricably linked with academic success.
  • Residents are responsible for their own academic success through the development of skills and the appropriate attitude towards study
  • Students are expected to maintain a minimum standard of academic progress in accordance with university guidelines. Students are expected to maintain at least Passes (or equivalent) throughout their degree.

That said, as the College is a living and learning environment; we understand that sometimes the learning that comes from living is as valuable as the learning that comes from a degree. However, when a resident’s grades and behaviour  reflect a lack of academic intention and too much “living”, then the College will need to determine if the Collegiate environment is right for the resident and if the resident is right for the Collegiate environment.

The College also understands that sometimes students will struggle in particular areas of study such as maths, model making, or clinical practice. Provided that the student accepts the assistance offered, makes every effort to work on their weaknesses and challenges, stays engaged in the coursework, communicates honestly and regularly with their Lincoln College Academic Tutor or the Senior Staff, and makes academic progress, the student will be regarded in a positive light, and continued residence at Lincoln will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

When lifestyle impacts on academic results in a negative way, students will be counselled and given the opportunity to improve their academic results. Usually we will enter into a verbal or written undertaking with the student whereby they suggest and agree to a set of steps they will undertake to improve their academic results, including utilising academic resources more thoroughly, meeting a set number of times with their Academic tutor or a member of Senior Staff, and investigating alternative courses or degrees that may be better suited to them. Should their results not improve, and / or the agreed points of the undertaking not be met, the College reserves the right to not readmit the student in the following year or semester, or to suspend or dismiss the student.

The College measures the overall academic success of the College through several means:

  1. Are students able to set and achieve their own academic and career goals?
  2. Are the students provided with adequate resources to assist them achieve those goals?
  3. What do the pass rates, student surveys, quality of our tutor pool, focus groups, course completion and resource usage tell us about the academic success and needs of our students?

The College provides the following resources each year to the Academic Programme:

  • Dean of Students
  • Academic Coordinators,
  • Academic Tutors,
  • Academic resources including a computer suite, clinical practice room, music rooms. A 24/7 library is stocked with current textbooks and students are able to request books be purchased if there are four or more of them in their course.

Students may request specific topic tutorials and assistance; however, external expertise may not be available unless there are a minimum of four students who need the assistance.

Academic excellence and merit:

The College rewards merit and academic excellence through scholarships and prizes. The College is proud of the achievements of its residents and enjoys publicising these in the College newsletter Lincoln Line, our website and other media.

The academic benefits of Collegiate life include:

  • Peer to peer learning and support
  • Other people are experiencing what you are experiencing
  • Senior students to assist younger students
  • Dedicated tutorials for your area of need where possible
  • A focus on transitional and general study skills
  • A dedicated Academic Tutor who follows your academic path and regularly touches base
  • Academic senior staff who follow your results and give guidance and counsel
  • Alumni networks for placements, experience and advice
  • Industry dinners and Academic panels that expose students to the possibilities within their career path, and introduce them to Alumni networks
  • Learning to be accountable for your own goals and work
  • Increased resilience

Degree changes, load adjustments and career advice:

The College understands that sometimes our residents are undertaking a degree to which they are not suited or that they are using as a springboard to another degree. We also understand that sometimes for reasons such as finance, health or crises, residents may not be able to uphold a full study load.

Consequently we advise residents to approach the Academic Team earlier rather than later for advice and assistance about degree change options, career advice and referral to University or other staff.

Students wishing to transfer courses, alter their academic load or change Universities must in the first instance confer with the Dean of Students or their Academic Tutor. Then they must seek written permission from the Head of College to stay in College if they wish to change their enrolment.

How do we measure overall College academic success?

Are students able to successfully reach their educational goals – do they have educational goals?

Are we providing efficient and needed services to assist student achievement?

Measures: pass rates, surveys, course completion, and successful transfers.


Academic standing

Academic Standing is a phrase used by universities that refers to the way in which the student is viewed by the University in terms of their academic competencies and progress – are they getting on with the job of passing subjects in their degree and moving toward graduation or are they struggling, failing topics and not turning up for classes?

Lincoln College is a residential college affiliated with the University sector and therefore the expectation is that all of its resident students will be of good academic standing within their tertiary institution. The College places extra considerations on the term “good standing”. Residents of the College are expected to make academic progress, participate fully in the College Community and support their fellow residents in their academic endeavours through ensuring a safe, appropriate and happy study environment.

The College requires that all resident students agree that their academic transcripts and results are made available to the College during their residency. Medical and Dentistry students and other students who are given a “banding” must make available to the College their banding results at the end of each semester; the Head of College’s EA is responsible for collating these results and the Assistant Coordinator (Health Science) may make additional observations on the results before they are considered final.

While students are ultimately responsible for their own learning and academic success, the College puts in place levels of assistance, intervention and support to ensure that resident students have an increased opportunity to meet the academic standards set by the universities as they progress towards degree completion.

The main measure to determine a student’s academic standing is the Grade Point Average (GPA) – although this measure does not apply to some degrees such as Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health. The GPA is a numerical index that summarises academic performances and ranges from a minimum of zero to seven (0-7). The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia all use this scale.  Most universities determine that to remain in good standing a student should achieve a GPA minimum of 2.8 per semester. The College adheres to this.

While most students at Lincoln will find themselves in good academic standing, some may encounter the following categories that will affect their ability to remain at University or at Lincoln:

At risk; critical failure; unsatisfactory progress, academic dishonesty

At risk students –

“At risk” students are those students identified by the College or the University at risk of preclusion from their courses if:

A student achieves a grade of Fail in 50 percent or more of the units attempted in the period under consideration


If the student achieves a grade of Fail in a topic in a course where the course rule contains a provision that failure in a topic on more than one occasion may constitute prima facie (automatic) evidence of unsatisfactory progress 


The student’s academic performance in a course is such that he or she may meet any other definition of unsatisfactory progress


A student conducts a ‘Withdraw Not Fail’ on more than one subject for two or more semesters. Withdraw Not Fail is a step a student can take to avoid registering a fail on their transcript, and is advisable if they feel they are not going to pass their course; a WNF does not count towards a student’s GPA. It is, however, something that needs to be monitored as a sign of disengagement, especially if it occurs repeatedly, as it will also mean students are unlikely to complete their degree in a timely manner. Students are expected to maintain a full-time equivalent (FTE) load while they are enrolled at Lincoln College, unless they receive express permission from the Head of College, and a student who performs a ‘WNF’ on a number of subjects is not maintaining a FTE.


Critical failure: A student will be considered to have achieved a “critical failure” where the failure of a particular subject:

  • Prevents them from continuing in their degree;
  • Prevents them from carrying a full time study load in the following semester;
  • Results in a requirement to repeat a full year of study; or
  • Has other implications for the students ongoing progress in their studies.

Students who have achieved a critical failure must meet with the Dean of Students to agree a plan for their studies the following semester, and may be placed on Academic Probation. Once a plan has been agreed, the student must seek written permission from the Head of College to stay in College under this study plan.

Unsatisfactory progress: A student’s progress may be considered unsatisfactory if the student has attempted a prescribed number of units with an overall GPA of 2.8 or less; Unsatisfactory Progress for students in programs which do not use the GPA, such as the  Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) academic programs is determined as per University of Adelaide Academic Policy, excerpted below.

“Exception: students in the Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) academic programs

  1. d) A student in the MBBS, BDS or BOH program is deemed at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress if they fail a Year Examination.
  2. e) A student in the MBBS, BDS or BOH program is deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress if they twice fail a Year Examination, which may or may not be consecutive.” (University of Adelaide Academic Policy)

Students “at risk” may not be eligible for readmission to the College. This will be determined by the Academic Committee who may take into account information presented by the resident regarding mental health issues, physical illness, extraordinary life events or other factors contributory to the student’s ‘at risk’ status in making such determinations, and may set conditions for the student’s continued residence at the College. Input from the Assistant Coordinator (Health Science) will also be invited where relevant. The decision of the Academic Committee may be appealed to the Scholarship, Bursaries and Awards Committee, whose decision is final.

Students must make satisfactory progress towards the timely completion of their course and maintain a satisfactory academic standard to be allowed to continue their studies and reside in the College.

Academic dishonesty

Students found guilty of academic dishonesty by their University may not be readmitted to College. Academic Dishonesty is also recorded on a student’s permanent record at their university.

Academic dishonesty, in a nutshell, means that a student has submitted work that wasn’t their own, as their own work. New students often fall into this trap whilst they are learning how to reference work appropriately. Other ways that students can be accused of academic dishonesty are: by submitting group discussion work as the work of one student; or by colluding with other students on pieces of work. The College runs tutorials on referencing and how to avoid academic dishonesty throughout the year. As ignorance is not an excuse for academic dishonesty, new residents or those unsure of the required standards, should attend them.

The categories outlined above may lead to one of the following:

Academic Probation

Academic probation is a condition assigned by the University and upheld by the College. It is the result of a long term pattern of behaviour and poor academic results. A resident student however may be subject to Academic Probation by the College even if they are not on Academic Probation at University. Academic Probation takes the form of a behavioural contract signed by the resident as a condition of continued residency in College. The probation requirements of each resident will be decided by the College’s Academic Committee on an individual basis, but will usually involve the requirement for a significant improvement in both attitude to study (such as attending all university lectures and tutorials) and resulting grades (such as passing all subjects taken in a semester). Students on probation will also be expected to attend academic sessions at the College such as tutorials, drop-ins and workshops. They will usually be required to have regular meetings with the Dean of Students or other Senior Staff members as assigned by the Head of College and may be required to meet with relevant lecturers and other staff at university as recommended by the Academic Committee. Students on Academic Probation must also be free of report for any disciplinary incidents.

Show Cause

Where a student has not made satisfactory academic progress, or has demonstrated inconsistent academic results (including multiple WNF’s) alongside unacceptable or problematic behaviour, they may be asked to show cause as to why they should continue to reside at Lincoln College.

If a student receives a “show cause” letter from their university or tertiary institution they must show this letter as soon as is practicable to a member of the College’s Senior Staff.

Academic Dismissal

Academic dismissal is the end result of a pattern of receiving grades that are below the university’s standards for good academic standing (GPA of 2.8 or better) OR the failure of the resident to comply with other policies such as Academic Integrity/Dishonesty

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