Policy Academic Governance First Year Experience Coordinator Practice Guidelines

First Year Experience Coordinator Practice Guidelines

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These guidelines support the role and responsibilities of the First Year Experience Co-ordinator.

The First Year Experience Co-ordinators will:

  • be able to locate and explain the University’s academic policies and procedures or how to access administrative resources for policy interpretation in complex circumstances.
  • know when and how to refer students to learning support or other services or resources.
  • liaise with academic support and development services about ‘in program support’ for new students.


All first year coordinators.

Practice Guidelines

1. Develop students’ sense of purpose

The First Year Experience Co-ordinators will take a leadership role in coordinating, in collaboration with academic and general staff, activities for all commencing students that:

  • clarify their expectations of higher education and their expectations of being at JCU

  • provide clear and accurate information about the program in which they have enrolled,

  • clarify the purpose of the program and its career outcomes

  • encourage students to establish a career plan during their first year and

  • specify the requirements for satisfactory progress in the program

2. Provide Opportunities for Student Engagement

The First Year Experience Co-ordinators will implement strategies to foster student-student and student–staff interaction and encourage students to be active participants in their learning.

Strategies may include:

  • promoting the University’s Student Mentor Program

  • promote academic staff involvement in Orientation activities and co-ordinate course activities within the JCU Orientation program.

  • enhance in-course opportunities for mentoring of commencing students by industry professionals, academic staff and continuing students.

  • promote and/or co-ordinate social and professional development activities in collaboration with relevant student organisations and industry groups.

  • establish a student-to-student communication strategy, which covers formal student forums, informal opportunities for students to network face-to-face, on-line communication & mentoring.

3. Build Resilience

The First Year Experience Co-ordinators will work with students and staff to support students to become independent learners who are resilient when faced with expected/unexpected challenges.

Strategies may include:

  • Provide consultation with students especially around success, resilience, retention, academic progression and policy adherence

  • supporting new students to become self-managed learners

  • identifying critical  milestones for academic success and initiate student contact at these times

  • provide the first point of contact for provision of information regarding the degree program, courses, resources, degree related policies and procedures and referral to support services

  • liaise with the Course Co-ordinator and relevant Subject Co-ordinators about the inclusion of information, social/academic engagement and learning support activities within introductory courses to support transition.

  • encouraging students to develop their learning skills by accessing student workshops and online resources

  • identifying and congratulating high achieving students, outlining opportunities for extending their learning or to engage in peer support of fellow commencing students.

4. Promote Quality Teaching and Learning Experiences

The First Year Experience Co-ordinator will work closely with course co-ordinator and academic staff to support the inclusion of transition strategies across the degree program.

Strategies may include:

  • Engage with data (when available) on the first year student experience of learning, teaching and respond to such data, informing students of the actions taken in response to feedback.

  • promote horizontal and vertical alignment between subjects, assessment, assessment deadlines and teaching approaches towards intentional curriculum design across the degree program.

  • map assessment to monitor for appropriate variety and timing of assessment pieces.

  • collect feedback in both semesters to identify skill sets that require further development and promote the key learning resources that assure the quality of the student experience, e.g. Course Planners, Study Finder, Subject Outlines, LearnJCU and Teaching Evaluation instruments.

  • encourage consistent use of LearnJCU with regard to the availability and location of posted learning materials.

  • co-ordinate contributions from other teaching and academic support staff (Division Librarian, Learning Advisors, Counsellors, International Student Centre), as well as from peer mentors  in outlining their supports for academic success.

  • liaise with Indigenous learning coordinators to collect feedback regarding the accessibility of the program and to identify students that require further assistance.

  • facilitating teaching staff access to resources and developmental opportunities.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance

First Year Experience Co-ordinator Roles and Responsibilities

First Year Curriculum Design Principles (http://fyhe.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/5FYCPrinciplesProgramCoordChecklist_14Dec09.pdf)

Academic Promotions Policy (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor)


NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainLearning and Teaching

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Minor amendments - addition of first dot point in section 3; removal of reference to On Track Program in section 3; addition of first dot point in section 4; related documentation updated and Administration section added.

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer and Manager, Student Transitions and Careers


First Year Experience Co-ordinator