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Excellence @ La Trobe

Academic Excellence @ La Trobe University

Accommodation Services offers a number of programs, events and activities to assist students in their academic development including the Textbook Borrowing Scheme, first year Academic Mentoring Sessions, SWOT Vac, Pearls of Wisdom, NET Program, and a Residential Education Coordinator (REC)- Academic Excellence (a member of staff) to provide one on one support to all residents.

The REC – Academic Excellence is a full time staff member dedicated to assisting residents with their academic progress. This staff member is available for one-on-one appointments with students on a needs basis, but also manages all of the academic support programs and services available to residents at each respective campus, including managing the development and supervision of the RA- Academic teams across the colleges.


Academic Excellence Coordinator – Kath Knott

Kath began at La Trobe at the beginning on this year and has already had a noticeable impact in the Academic Excellence space. Apart from being popular among the La Trobe residents, Kath has implemented a music, arts and culture program along with providing a genuine support for all residents with their studies.

“Hi my name is Kath Knott and I am the Residential Education Coordinator- Academic Excellence. My role is part of the wider Residential Education Team and offers a number of services to support you in your academic development including a Textbook Borrowing Scheme, first year Study Focus Groups (SFG’s), NET Program, SWOT-Vac, Pearls of Wisdom, course guidance, plus more…

As a full time staff member I am available for one-on-one appointments with students on a needs basis, and I manage all of the academic support programs and services available to residents at each respective campus, including managing the development and supervision of the RA- Academic teams across the colleges.

2017 will be my first year as the REC – Academic Excellence, prior to this role I was a Preventive Health and Engagement Officer, working to promote the health and wellbeing of young people in schools and sports clubs. In my spare time I enjoy netball and travelling, having been to New Zealand, Jamaica, Thailand, Indonesia, United States and Malaysia.

I look forward to being part of the Residential Education Team to provide you with the best opportunities to learn in a dynamic, inclusive environment to ensure you a career ready.”

– Kath Knott


Residential Assistants (RA) – Academics

An RA- Academic, also known as a Residential Assistant or Academic Mentor, is a student leader that is a later-year resident and has been selected to assist first-year residents with their academic studies and transition to university and college life, as well as floor and community coordination. There are RA- Academics from each Academic College (SHE- Science, Health and Engineering, and ASSC- Arts, Social Sciences, Commerce). RA- Academics have also been selected for more specific courses and areas of studies to make sure that they can assist residents with more tailored assistance to achieve the best results they can.

RA- Academic’s are also located across many of the floors, towers, annexes and wings of each college, along with the RA- Health and the RA- Social student leaders. They will assist with the events and activities that take place in these locations, as well as helping to foster, create and maintain an amazing community among the residents in the areas and colleges that they live.


Academic Mentoring Sessions

All first-year university residents are required to be involved in a course specific study focus group called ‘Academic Mentoring Sessions’. Academic Mentoring occurs on a regular basis and are organised and managed by a trained later year student leader RA – Academic, or Academic Mentors. Academic Mentors provide students with guidance throughout the year, covering such topics as:

  • Transition to University
  • Referencing
  • Study Skills specific to your course
  • Lectures & Tutorials
  • Exam Preparation
  • General Study Skills, such as time management
  • Course or Subject Content

Attendance at such sessions are compulsory and students who miss sessions in a semester are followed up with.


NET Program

The NET Program supports the academic development of students who have received a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 52 or below.

Students in this position are contacted prior to the commencement of the semester and notified of their compulsory involvement in the program. They are contacted by the Residential Education Coordinator- Academic and are then required to attend an initial meeting to assess what option in the program will be the most beneficial to the student to assist in them achieving their academic best in the following semester. Assistance is provided in general study skills, time management, motivation, and referral to other support programs and/or services.


Textbook Borrowing Scheme

We currently stock nearly 300 textbooks, most of which are on required reading lists of LTU degree courses. Any of these can be borrowed by groups of residents.

A textbook is required to be shared between small groups (of three). Requests can be made by completing the Textbook Request Form available from the Accommodation Services office. Those who wish to borrow books must provide their contact details, the names of two other students who also wish to share the book and the details of the book they require.

Books can be borrowed for the whole of the semester or length of the subject if more than one semester, if required, but you must request through the Accommodation Services office if you wish to borrow the book for the entire year.

Please note that not all requests are approved, but the office will make every effort to purchase the book provided it is on a required reading list, over $100.00 and at least 3 residents’ request the book. All names and details must be supplied.


Specialist Subject Tutoring

Accommodation Services offers access to Specialist Subject Tutors. These are students of excellent academic standing, who apply to be on-call to provide extra support for residents. Specialist Subject Tutors (SSTs) may be later-year students, or former residents, or other undergraduate or graduate students as identified by Accommodation Services. Tutors are paid at a casual rate (either in the form of a direct payment or rent credit). Up to three hours of free tutoring may be provided to students who request tutoring each semester. Forms to either be a Specialist Subject Tutor or request tutoring are both available in Accommodation Services office.



SWOT-Vac is the week that takes place before the exam period begins. During SWOT-Vac all residents are revising the information they have learnt from their classes throughout the semester. We know that studying for exams can be quite stressful, so to assist and support residents throughout this worrying time, Accommodation Services provides a range of different activities, resources and free food for all the residents to access and take full advantage off.


Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom is an event designed to provide student leaders, second and later year students with inspiration and motivation in their studies and to provide networking opportunities for all involved.

The event consists of three guest speakers who have achieved success through different pathways. Speakers share their stories of success, challenges and overcoming adversity to ‘make an impression’ on soon to be graduating students. By selecting speakers from a variety of backgrounds, we have an interesting mix of life lessons; good solid advice and a few pearls of wisdom about personal and professional journeys.

The night has limited number of offered tickets available and we provide those residents in attendance with food and beverages while they learn from the speakers, and later get an opportunity to network with them.

Pearls of Wisdom speakers (March 2017) – Shawn Walker – Director of Schools Engagement and Student Recruitment at La Trobe University, Georgia Atkin-Smith – PhD student currently studying in La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science and  is pursuing a career in scientific research with recent world-first findings into cell death, Rebecca Bailey – Biomedical Engineer, Austin Health and has had roles at both Royal Children’s Hospital (Acting Manager Biomedical Engineering) and Alfred Health. 



Music, Arts and Culture

Experience Melbourne’s thriving music, arts and culture scene through our range of events and activities. In 2017, we have supported residents attending events such as The Twelfth Night – Shakespeare Under the Stars and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Eva (Chisholm College) attending The Twelfth Night. Read her blog article here.


Academic Gala Dinner

Accommodation Services Academic Gala Dinner is held annually to recognize scholarship recipients and the achievements of our residential students.



Living at La Trobe is more than just a place to live. It’s an experience, a life-changer and a means to creating an incredible university experience.