When a pass is not a pass
McNaught, K. (2011). When a pass is not a pass. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 5 (1).
Following the establishment of an Academic Enabling and Support Centre in January 2010, collegial interactions focused on issues around student performance in their core discipline-specific literacy units, and the University of Notre Dame’s (Fremantle campus) support mechanisms, both proactive and reactive. To begin the process of examining the potential relationship between performance in an academic literacy unit and coursework progress, a case study of student performance in, and beyond, a core literacy competency unit in the School of Health Sciences was undertaken. Results revealed that low performance in a core literacy unit was related to poor course progress; however, the use of ATAR scores as predictors of student success was problematic. This case study led to immediate actions which changed practices within the University, and these are more broadly applicable and of interest to the higher education sector. The results in this study are the beginning of parallel studies at this University, and will become the basis for a longitudinal study on the target group identified. Finally, this study provides a shared commitment to the importance of academic literacies for their capacity to shape how students learn, and how students achieve success.