Enhancing Student Development Policy
The Student Development and Achievement Policy has been informed by the Quality Assurance Agency’s Quality Code for Higher Education (Chapter B4). The QAA’s Quality Code is the definitive reference point for all UK higher education institutions and sets out how academic standards are established and maintained and how the quality of learning opportunities are assured and enhanced.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Education policy and Enrolment agreement.
The College recognises that central to this policy is the College’s responsibility for the academic standards of the course and the quality of learning opportunities for students. This policy sets the framework of expectations within which the College seeks to enable student development and achievement before, during and after their period of study with the College by:
- putting in place appropriate strategies, policies, resources, practices and systems to ensure that students make a successful transition to study
- supporting and monitoring student progress and development while on the course programme to enable them to maximise their academic, personal and professional potential;
- ensuring that students who have completed their period of study and who have assessments to re-take are informed on all aspects of the reassessment process and appropriately supported.
Responsibility for this policy
Ultimate responsibility for the development of clear and effective processes and procedures associated with the quality assurance and maintenance of standards of academic provision and overseeing their application lies with the Academic Director and Executive Committee.
The College has in place, monitors and evaluates arrangements and resources which enable students to develop their academic, personal and professional potential.
Key aims and principles
The College ensures that students:
- Are appropriately supported in their academic, personal and professional development to enable them to achieve their full potential
- Are appropriately supported in transitions (with a particular focus on the transition to higher education for returning learners)
- Are aware of the support and learning opportunities available to them through Regional Support groups, Point location classes and personal tutorials
- Are enabled to understand the expectations placed on them by the College and the need to take responsibility for their own learning and development
- have an opportunity to input into the nature of the College’s support provision through the student consultative committee, personal tutorials and informal dialogue with members of the teaching staff.
In enabling student development and achievement the College applies the principles of fairness, inclusion and accessibility, taking into account the differing individual requirements of students, and the diversity of the student body.
Structure of the provision
The framework of procedures which follows has been organised to reflect the chronological student experience from pre-programme enrolment and study, through induction and in-course learning, to post-programme transition and/or re-sit support as relevant.
The College ensures that students receive accurate and timely information about their chosen programme of study and support and services available to them, including:
- clear indications of the levels of commitment required through estimated study hours (including class contact hours)
- information about projected timetabling patterns
- information about the requirements of pre-course study
- information about designated contacts for pre-course queries
- information about support and services available pre-course
- information on the procedure for entering into a learning contract for students with learning and disability support requirements
This information is designed to ensure that students have clear understanding of what to expect when they start and to ensure clear communication between students and the College.
The College ensures that its programme has a comprehensive and supportive induction week to enable students to feel welcomed as individuals by the College and to make a confident transition to their studies through:
- inclusion in all its induction processes of appropriate registration and information distribution procedures
- appropriate support through inclusion in peer networks, observation of final year students and in-class presentation from senior students
- inclusion of sessions in the induction week which explain the nature of the programme, the College’s expectations of student study, the resources accessible by students (especially Study Space) and the nature of academic and pastoral support available
- opportunities for students to meet and/or communicate with their personal tutors and to discuss any questions or concerns they may have
- provision for late starters which ensures that they are supported and informed and enabled to find their place on the programme with confidence
- opportunities for students to meet and /or communicate with each other
New students are introduced to their personal tutor early in the course and have six personal tutorials (3 face to face and 3 by email) in the first year. Students who require additional learning support are identified at interview and in induction week and directed to the learning support co-ordinator. The aim of this is to identify potential problems early on and to ensure that support is given.
The College ensures that on all its programmes students are supported and enabled to achieve their full academic, personal and professional potential through:
- high quality academic teaching, supervision and support provided by staff who are appropriately qualified, trained, supported and performance-evaluated
- appropriate academic and pastoral support
- clear information and guidance on assessment processes both summative and formative including guidance in class at the start of each year
- appropriate support and guidance on the development of learning and professional skills. This includes “feedforward” guidance on tackling assignments, individual feedback as well as general class feedback on assignments. The individual feedback highlights improvements that could be made which then inform future assignments and the general class feedback ensures that all students benefit from the guidance given. In the clinical phase this includes personal tutorials to discuss progress and identify areas of weakness.
- embracing and encouraging diversity
- appropriate learning support provision
- Library and Information Services and other learning resources, and guidance on the effective use of learning systems
- high quality advice, information, guidance and opportunities to develop employability skills
- good communication between the College and students
The College ensures enhancement of the learning experience with the provision of regional support groups and extra College-based point location practice classes which provide extra support and provide students with more opportunities to get more feedback on practical skills and allow students to meet students from other cohorts. In addition, clear two-way communication is encouraged through the staff-student Consultative Committee and personal tutorials as well as ad hoc discussions with tutors and personal tutors.
The College ensures that students are appropriately supported in all transitions subsequent to initial registration as a student, including provision of information and impartial advice on the implications of:
- leaving the programme
- progression to the next level
The College ensures that students who have completed their period of taught study with the College but have not yet passed the required modules because they have outstanding or failed assessments, are enabled to continue to study effectively and to understand what is required of them through:
- clear information on the implications of the relevant assessment regulations for their programme
- clear information on the reassessment procedures relevant to their programme
- appropriate access to online and hard copy study resources, including library access
- appropriate access to tutor support before re-sit examinations
With regard to alumni, the College ensures that students who have completed their period of taught study with the College are informed of and encouraged to take advantage of the Continuing Professional Development courses and graduate days available to them at the College
Responsibility, Monitoring and evaluation of the provision
Formal responsibility for monitoring and evaluation of this provision lies with the Academic Director and the Executive Committee.
Enhancing Student Development
Monitoring of student enhancement draws its sources from:
Student consultation and enhancement committee
Personal tutorial system
Regional support groups
Board of Studies
In addition our open door policy encourages students to give feedback to staff. All staff emails are given to students at the start of the course.
"I love the teaching at CICM, it is varied, interesting and extremely inspiring and the teachers all have a wealth of experience to draw on.”
“CICM was suggested by an acupuncturist I know and recommended for its high-quality tuition and professional approach. I knew I wanted to explore a degree course and after my open day experience I knew it had to be CICM.”
"I recently joined CICM and there are so many things I love about the place. The teachers are genuinely helpful and want us to do well. The place has a calm, harmonic feel and studying has already had a tangible benefit to my lifestyle and health."
"I was an electrician before I started studying acupuncture. It might not seem like it but there are overlaps between them, you look at a circuit and work out where the problem is coming from and then rectify it. The difference is with acupuncture I’ll help people to get better!"
"Since embarking on this course, I have been astounded every day by the passion that this subject has sparked in me. I realised very quickly that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. I can only describe it as finally finding my place in the universe and becoming part of something much bigger than myself."
"I wanted to become an acupuncturist as I prefer to use natural remedies which are in line with my faith and cultural background. I have witnessed the profound effects treatment can have on patients. CICM has an excellent reputation and I love the whole package here, especially the staff and supportive teachers."
"I appreciated the integrated style of TCM and the five elements as being the most profound way to reach and help people. This was the best possible start to a long acupuncture career that I could possibly wish for."
"My years at CICM will always hold a special place in my mind. It was like entering Hogwarts. The subjects are mind-expanding, the teachers and tutors really passionate and always keen to answer questions and give guidance. It has transformed me as a person and changed the way I see people, emotions, relationships, disease and health."
The teachers are really supportive and make every effort to tailor how they teach to suit the different styles of students. I like to question things and look at things from different angles - and the teachers have always supported me by being there to answer things by email after class, recommend further reading, or even being there to support me when I set up a Chinese medicine society for the college.
The course covers a huge range of topics, angles and perspectives, and whilst so much of it is new, unfamiliar and challenging at times- especially the 'hands on practical aspects- I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, or anywhere else I’d rather be doing it. CICM is a hub of connection, commitment and energy, and something I am honoured to be part of.
All of my teachers are practicing therapists with a library of information and experience to reinforce their words and the lectures. I have gained a lot of insight into myself and I often find myself reflecting on what we learned in class and applying it to life. I am recommending the course to everyone I know!
As I was in my late forties I was concerned that I was too old, however the Open Day dispelled any doubts that I had as the age range of students and staff spanned from 18 to 80. The beautiful building was a joy to explore and I felt immersed in the world of Chinese Medicine. It was a cocoon of learning in the heart of Reading and only ten minutes’ walk from the train station.