Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

Policy Procedures Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure

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Intent

This procedure outlines the eligibility criteria and process for awards of recognition that acknowledge and promote student academic excellence.

Scope

This procedure applies to James Cook University students who are eligible to receive an award of recognition and to staff involved in the award process.

Definitions

The definitions used in this policy are found in the: Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching & Course Management chapters of the Policy Library

Introduction

To acknowledge and promote student academic excellence, each year the University shall present the following awards of recognition as approved by Academic Board:

Title of Award

Responsibility

Purpose

University Medal

University

For outstanding academic achievement in both coursework studies and research undertaken at undergraduate level

Academic Medal (Masters Coursework)

Academic Divisions

For outstanding academic achievement in coursework studies at a Masters level.

Academic Medal (Bachelor Honours)

Academic Divisions

For excellent academic achievement in both coursework studies and research undertaken at undergraduate level

Academic Medal

(Bachelor Coursework)

Academic Divisions

For excellent academic achievement in coursework studies undertaken at undergraduate level

Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis

Dean Graduate Research

For a candidate whose higher degree by research (doctoral or masters) thesis was judged to be passed ‘cum laude’

Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence

Graduate Research School

For demonstrated excellence in a research higher degree where the candidate has been commended by their independent examiners for substantial contribution to their field of research

Indigenous Academic Excellence Award

Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy

For Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have demonstrated academic excellence and/or perseverance and commitment to their studies

Letters of Commendation

Academic Divisions

For students who have achieved a minimum GPA of 6.00 calculated over all subjects undertaken during the previous calendar year, and having completed at least 12 credit points of study during that calendar year

Procedures

1. Awarding of a University Medal

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria and procedures for the awarding of the University Medal.

Scope: Students graduating with JCU Bachelor Honours awards of the University.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a University Medal, a student must:

  • be a graduand of a JCU Bachelor Honours award, where the honours research component is at least 6 credit points;
  • have received a first class level A honours rank;
  • have obtained a minimum overall GPA of 6.5 calculated for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above, unless nominated by the  College Dean, under the provisions of clause 1.b.iv.
  • have completed at least half of the credit points required for the combined pass degree and honours components of the award (excluding level 1) at JCU or through cross-institutional study approved by JCU (Note: graduates from a graduate honours course who did not undertake the relevant undergraduate degree at JCU are not eligible for a University medal);
  • not have exceeded the prescribed maximum time to complete the degree course;
  • be recommended for a medal from the appropriate Dean on behalf of the College; and
  • have upheld the principles and values of professional behaviour and not been found to have breached the Student Code of Conduct.

b. Procedures for Identification of Nominees and Processing of Nominations

i. The Senior Academy Liaison Coordinator will advise the Examinations Office of students who have received first class, level A honours.

ii. The Examinations Office will calculate the GPA for each of these students.

iii. The Examinations Office will send a list of relevant students, and their GPA, to each of the College Deans and/or Academic Divisions for confirmation that these students are eligible to be nominated to receive a University Medal.

iv. The College Dean and/or Academic Division will consult the relevant Academic Head regarding the list of potential recipients and the Academic Heads shall be invited to nominate any student who has not achieved the minimum GPA of 6.50, but who they wish to nominate.

  • In making a recommendation for the award of a University Medal, the College Dean and/or Academic Division may take into account the grades obtained, the character of the student, or any other relevant factors or circumstances.
  • The College has the responsibility to confirm that the students are eligible for an award where the honours research component is at least 6 credit points.
  • The Academic Board regards 6.50 as the GPA below which a candidate would not normally be considered eligible – circumstances which would merit consideration of a candidate with a lower score would include clear evidence of outstanding performance. Outstanding performance could be determined by:
    • the excellence of candidate relative to a large cohort;
    • outstanding achievement under adverse circumstances;
    • excellence of results for subjects for which advanced standing has been given; and
    • distinguished professional performance eg in a practicum.
  • The recommendations submitted to the Chair, Academic Board and the Chancellor will include the GPA and the academic record of the nominee. For students who have not obtained a minimum overall GPA of 6.50, a justification for the award of a medal must be included. Where a division does not wish to nominate a student for the award of a University Medal on the basis of inappropriate conduct, who otherwise meets the eligibility criteria for the award of the medal, the College Dean must clearly document the reason for this recommendation and provide this to the Chair, Academic Board and the Chancellor.

v. The nominations will then be considered by the appropriate College Dean and/or Academic Division as soon as practicable in accordance with clause 1.b.iv above.

vi. The College recommendations for the award of University Medal will be submitted to the Chair, Academic Board and the Chancellor for approval on behalf of Academic Board and Council, as soon as practicable and where possible in sufficient time for the recipients to be confirmed in time for the medal to be awarded at the relevant graduation ceremony.

vii. In considering recommendations from the Colleges, the Chair Academic Board and the Chancellor shall maintain, as far as possible, uniformity of practice.

c. Grade Point Average

i. The GPA will be calculated in accordance with Grade Point Average (GPA) – JCU, to two decimal points.

ii. The GPA is calculated on the results obtained for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above;

iii. Calculation of the GPA will exclude results of any ungraded subjects.

2. Awarding of Academic Medal (Master Coursework)

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria and procedures for the awarding of the Academic Medal (Master Coursework).

Scope: Students graduating with a Master (Coursework) award of the University.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive an Academic Medal (Master Coursework), a student must:

  • be a graduate of a Master Coursework award;
  • have obtained a minimum overall GPA of 6.50 calculated for all subjects undertaken, unless nominated by the College Dean, under the provisions of clause 1.b.iv
  • have completed at least 18 credit points or half of the credit points required for the award, whichever of the two is greater, through study at JCU; and
  • not have exceeded the prescribed maximum time to complete the course.

b. Procedures for Identification of Nominees and Processing of Nominations

i. The Examinations Office shall identify potential nominees and calculate the GPA for each of these students, in accordance with clause 2.c below.

ii. The Examinations Office will send a list of relevant students, and their GPA, to each of the College Deans and/or Academic Divisions informing them that these students are eligible to be nominated to receive an Academic Medal (Master Coursework).

iii. The recipients of the Academic Medal (Master Coursework) shall be finalised by the appropriate College Dean and/or Academic Division as soon as is practicable.

iv. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals (Master Coursework) for noting by the Academic Board and Council.

v. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals to Ceremonies for the casting of the medals.

c. Grade Point Average

i. The GPA will be calculated in accordance with Grade Point Average (GPA) – JCU, to two decimal points.

ii. The GPA is calculated on the results obtained for all subjects.

3. Awarding of Academic Medals (Bachelor Honours)

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria and procedures for the awarding of an Academic Medal (Bachelor Honours).

Scope: Students graduating with a first class Bachelor Honours award of the University, where the Honours research component is worth at least 6 credit points.

Exceptions: Academic Medals (Bachelor Honours) will not be awarded to students who are recipients of a University Medal for that course.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive an Academic Medal (Bachelor Honours), a student must:

  • be a graduate of a Bachelor Honours award, where the honours research component is at least 6 credit points;
  • have obtained a minimum overall GPA of 6.00 calculated for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above;
  • have obtained first class level A or B honours rank; and
  • not have exceeded the prescribed maximum time to complete the course.

b. Procedures for Identification of Recipients

i. The Senior Academy Liaison Coordinator will advise the Examinations Office of students who have received first class, level A or B honours.

ii. The Examinations Office will calculate the GPA for each of those students, in accordance with clause 3.c below.

iii. The Examinations Office will send a list of relevant students, and their GPA, to each of the College Deans and/or Academic Divisions informing them that these students are eligible to receive an Academic Medal (Bachelor Honours).

iv. The recipients of an Academic Medal (Bachelor Honours) shall be finalised by the appropriate College Dean and/or Academic Division as soon as practicable.

v. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals (Bachelor Honours) for noting by the Academic Board and Council.

vi. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals to Ceremonies for the casting of the medals.

c. Grade Point Average

i. The GPA will be calculated in accordance with Grade Point Average (GPA) – JCU, to two decimal points.

ii. The GPA is calculated on the results obtained for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above;

iii. Calculation of GPA will exclude results of ungraded subjects.

4. Awarding of Academic Medals (Bachelor Coursework)

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria, and procedures for the awarding of an Academic Medal (Bachelor Coursework).

Scope: Students graduating with a Bachelor award of the University.

Exceptions: Academic Medals (Bachelor Coursework) will not be awarded to students who are recipients of a University Medal or other Academic Medal for the same course.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive an Academic Medal (Bachelor Coursework), a student must:

  • be a graduate of a Bachelors award (this includes Bachelor courses with in-course honours); and
  • have obtained a minimum overall GPA of 6.00 calculated for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above; and
  • not have exceeded the prescribed maximum time to complete the course.

b. Procedures for Identification of Recipients

i. The Examinations Office shall identify potential nominees and calculate the GPA for each of these students, in accordance with clause 4.c below.

ii. The Examinations Office will send a list of relevant students, and their GPA, to each of the College Deans and/or Academic Divisions informing that these students are eligible to receive an Academic Medal (Bachelor Coursework).

iii. The recipients of the Academic Medal (Bachelor Coursework) shall be finalised by the appropriate College Dean and/or Academic Division as soon as is practicable.

iv. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals (Bachelor Coursework) for noting by the Academic Board and Council.

v. The College and/or Academic Division shall forward the names of the recipients of Academic Medals to Ceremonies for the casting of the medals.

c. Grade Point Average

i. The GPA will be calculated in accordance with Grade Point Average (GPA) – JCU, to two decimal points.

ii. The GPA is calculated on the results obtained for subjects undertaken at level 2 and above;

iii. Calculation of the GPA will exclude results of any ungraded subjects.

5. Awarding the Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research (Doctoral or Masters) Thesis

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria and procedures for the awarding of a Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research Thesis.

Scope: Students graduating with a Higher Degree by Research award.

Definitions: The word "Medal" in this section of the procedures means a Medal for Excellence for a Higher Degree by Research Thesis.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

A Medal shall be awarded to a research higher degree candidate who satisfies the following conditions:

  • whose higher degree by research thesis was recommended to be awarded ‘cum laude’ independently recommended by two external examiners;
  • who meets the conditions specified in the HDR examination procedure; and
  • for whom this recommendation was supported by the Advisory Panel of the Candidate, and the Dean of the Candidate’s College, who must meet to provide advice to the Dean, Graduate Research to consider the recommendation.

b. Procedures for Identification of Recipients

i. The Graduate Research School shall forward the names of the recipients of Medal(s) for noting by the Academic Board and Council.

ii. The Graduate Research School shall forward the name(s) of the recipient(s) of Academic Medal(s) to Ceremonies for the casting of the medals.

6. Presentation of Medals

a. The casting and procurement of University and Academic Medals are the responsibility of Ceremonies but must conform to designs approved by the Awards and Ceremonies Committee.

b. Recipients of the University and Academic Medals shall have the option:

  • to be presented with the medal at the relevant ceremony;
  • have the medal be sent directly to them; or
  • made available for collection at the Student Centre.

7. Awarding the Dean's Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria for, and provide procedures to manage, the issuing of, Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence.

Scope: Those awarded a James Cook University research doctorate or research masters degree in the previous calendar year.

Definitions: The word "Award" in this section of the procedures means the Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence, a HDR candidate must:

  • have been awarded a James Cook University research doctorate or research masters degree in the previous calendar year; and
  • have been nominated for the Award by the Dean of the College in which they were enrolled, or if a student was enrolled across more than one College, the nomination is to be endorsed by all relevant Deans of College.

Note, this procedure does not include candidates who received their award cum laude, as this award is dealt with in a separate procedure.

b. Procedures for Identification of Recipients

i. Each year, the Dean, Graduate Research will invite College Deans to submit nominations for the Award from a list of eligible candidates provided by the GRS.  The list will include all candidates for whom all examiners recommended the thesis be accepted with changes to the satisfaction of the Dean of College.

ii. The nomination must address some or all of the following criteria:

  • international recognition of the research work;
  • impact of the research (actual and potential);
  • publications or other outputs (e.g. creative works); and
  • any other recognition of the research quality.

iii. The nomination must be endorsed by all relevant College Deans and the nominee’s Advisory Team.

iv. The nominations will be considered by the Research Education Sub-Committee Executive who will rank all nominees on merit only on the basis of:

  • external examiners’ reports (50%); and
  • nominations which address some or all of the criteria in Clause 7.b.ii above (50%).

v. It is intended that no more than 10% of students who have been awarded a research doctorate or research masters degree in the year under consideration will receive this Award.

vi. The Research Education Sub-Committee Executive will forward their recommendations for recipients of the Award to the Dean, Graduate Research.

vii. The Dean, Graduate Research will determine the recipients of the Award.

viii. The recipients of the Award will receive a letter of recognition from the Dean, Graduate Research.

ix. The Graduate Research School will publish the list of recipients on their website.

8. Indigenous Academic Excellence Award

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria for, and provide procedures to manage, the issuing of, Indigenous Academic Excellence Award.

Scope: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at James Cook University.

Definitions: For the purposes of these procedures, the word ‘Award’ means the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible to receive an Indigenous Academic Excellence Award a student must:

  • have identified as  Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in the university’s Student Management System;
  • be currently enrolled fulltime in an undergraduate degree; and
  • have been nominated for the Award by the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy.

b. Procedures for Identification of Recipients

i. Each year the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy will invite Managers of Indigenous Student Support Programs and Head Indigenous Student Support Services to submit nominations for the Award from a list of eligible candidates.

ii. The nomination must address some or all of the following criteria:

  • excellence in Academic results; and/or
  • demonstrated perseverance and commitment to their studies

iii. The nominations will be considered by the Indigenous Education and Research Centre Executive who will rank all nominees on merit only on the basis of nominations which address some or all of the criteria in Clause 8.b.ii.

iv. It is intended that no more than 10% of students who meet the criteria for the Indigenous Academic Excellence Award in the year under consideration will receive this Award.

v. The Indigenous Education and Research Centre Executive will forward their recommendations for recipients of the Award to the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy.

vi. The Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy will determine the recipients of the Award.

vii. The recipients of the Award will receive a letter of recognition from The Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy.

viii. The Indigenous Education and Research Centre will publish the list of recipients on their website.

9. Awarding of Letters of Commendation

Intent: To state the eligibility criteria and procedures for the issuing of Letters of Commendation.

This section applies to students enrolled in undergraduate awards and postgraduate coursework awards.

a. Criteria for Eligibility

A College Dean and/or Academic Division may choose to issue a Letter of Commendation to students who have:

  • completed at least 12 credit points of study during the calendar year; and
  • obtained a minimum GPA of 6.00 calculated over all subjects undertaken during the calendar year.

b. Procedures for the Issuing of Letters of Commendation

i. The Examinations Office shall identify all students who are eligible to receive a Letter of Commendation and shall send a list of the relevant students and their GPAs to College Deans and/or Academic Divisions.

ii. Where the College Dean and/or Academic Division elects to issue Letters of Commendation, the College and/or Academic Division shall produce the letters.

iii. The letters shall be signed by the College Dean and/or Academic Division.

c. Frequency of Issue of Letters of Commendation

Letters of Commendation are issued at the completion of Teaching Period 2 after all results for the calendar year have been finalised.

Related policy instruments

Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy

Coursework Award Finalisation, Conferral and Issuance Procedure

Grade Point Average (GPA) - JCU

Schedules/Appendices

Nil


Administration

Note, printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Version no

18-1

Date for next Major Review

16/05/2021

Revision History

Note, a minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

Approval date: the date the Policy Sponsor approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment.

Implementation date: the date the procedure was published in the Policy Library and is the date the procedure takes effect.

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

18-1

16/05/2018

24/05/2018

Procedural information added due to disestablishment of the Recognition of Academic Excellence Policy and establishment of the Award Finalisation and Graduation Policy.  Rationalisation of HDR award procedures

Manager, Student Finance and Examination

17-1

16/03/2017

17/03/2017

Existing procedure reviewed and removed from the Recognition of Excellence Policy into this procedure template in accordance with the Policy and Delegation Framework associated procedures.

Director, Student Services

Keywords

Academic excellence; award of recognition, University Medal