The orientation process provides key information to new students ahead of their studies, both in written form for immediate and ongoing reference and forums where students meet with staff to receive information, ask questions, clarify uncertainties, and discuss concerns. Orientation information is provided at all campuses in line with the Sydney College of Divinity policy and the current Higher Education Standards. Where there are international students, the information provided will also meet the requirements of the current National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.
All new and returning students (international and domestic) should attend orientation at the beginning of every teaching period (semester or trimester), ahead of the first class, whether the delivery of teaching is face-to-face or online. Orientation forums will be face-to-face for face-to-face students and online for online students.
The orientation dates for all our teaching bodies in 2020 will be out in mid October 2019.
In accord with the SCD Orientation Policy, the orientation program will cover all the relevant information for a Sydney College of Divinity student.
Orientation information for students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) awards
Orientation information will comprise information about
(i) locations and contacts for the campus concerned, including contacts details for the Student Support Officer as the immediate point of contact;
(ii) academic matters including courses, units, and teaching arrangements; and
(iii) student services.
The information provided to domestic and international students during orientation includes (but not limited to)
- the relationship between the Sydney College of Divinity and the teaching body
- courses and course units, including the Course Unit Booklet
- majors, sub-majors, and specialisations
- requirements for attendance, progress, and completion
- online learning and the Learning Management System (LMS), including the necessity of keeping LMS login details for the exclusive use of the student and penalties for sharing these with any other person
- students-at-risk recognition and strategies
- academic mentoring available
- academic integrity, including advice about what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, and contract cheating and warning of the severe penalties attached
- communication of results
- access to the Sydney College of Divinity and teaching body handbooks
- academic appeals
- the faculty
- student feedback processes
- learning support
- support for gaining study and writing skills, noting that Studiosity is the only Sydney College of Divinity approved external study and writing skills support service
- library and IT support, including normal hours of availability
- after-hours support for physical and electronic access to the library, IT support, and Studiosity
- improvement in the use of academic and general English
- general support
- safety precautions
- dealing with and reporting critical incidents and other emergencies
- support staff with contact details, including for the student grievance process
- health and well being provisions and referrals
- disability support
- counselling and chaplaincy
- availability of financial support
- student amenities
- extra-curricular activities available
- careers and vocations
- personal support, including availability of individual pastoral care
- additional support for living and studying in Australia specifically for international students
- acculturation support
- accommodation, transport, and shopping
- Australian legal advice and referrals
- free intellectual inquiry and learning through discussion
- employment and workplace expectations
- any specific support staff for overseas students with contact details and explanation of their specific training and capabilities
Orientation information for students enrolled in postgraduate (research) awards
An orientation seminar will be held each semester for all newly enrolled students in the Graduate Research School, including overseas students. This may be a group session face-to-face, by Zoom video conference, or one-on-one depending on numbers and student availability.
The orientation program will cover the following issues:
- support services available to assist overseas students to help them adjust to study and life in Australia;
- relevant English language and study assistance programs;
- any relevant legal services;
- relevant emergency services;
- health and well-being services;
- the Sydney College of Divinity facilities and resources;
- complaints and appeals processes;
- requirements for progress in the research degree;
- the support services available to assist especially but not only overseas students with general or personal circumstances that are adversely affecting their education in Australia;
- services overseas students can access for information on their employment rights and conditions, and how to resolve workplace issues, such as through the Fair Work Ombudsman;
- establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with the Supervisor and Associate Supervisor;
- engaging the wider academic world beyond the Sydney College of Divinity through conference attendance and presentations.
It will also cover the specific requirements and expectations for research students within the Sydney College of Divinity, from thesis proposal development to final submission and examination of their thesis. There will be the opportunity to raise questions.