Student Handbook

Academic Honesty

In the academic process, it is generally assumed that intellectual honesty and integrity are basic responsibilities of the student. However, faculty members should accept their correlative responsibility to regulate academic work and to conduct examination procedures in such manner as not to invite violations of academic honesty. Such violations consist mainly of cheating and plagiarism.

1.8.1 Definition (2011)
Cheating is defined as the unauthorized use or exchange of information by students or others for the purpose of achieving unfair advantage in the classroom or assessment process. Plagiarism is using someone else's work as if it were one's own, whether or not it is done intentionally. This includes, but is not limited to: using the exact language, using nearly the exact language, and using ideas without showing they originated in another's work. The work taken from another person or source (including publications, web sites, speeches, etc.) may be as little as an isolated formula, portions of a speech, a simple sentence, an idea, or as much as entire paragraphs, papers, or writings of professionals or other students; however, well-known, common knowledge is generally an exception. Omitting quotation marks when using language copied from another's work, failing to use citations for ideas or language taken from other authors, or failing to use one's own style of writing when summarizing and paraphrasing someone else's work constitute plagiarism. Any form of plagiarism is essentially an act of cheating. Specific concerns should be directed to your professor. The academic honesty policy pertains to all instructional delivery methods offered at the College, including but not limited to classroom and online instruction, and self-study.

Some examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:
  • Taking an exam for another student.
  • Having another student take an exam for you.
  • Paying someone to write a paper to submit as your own work.
  • Arranging with other students to give or receive answers by use of signals.
  • Arranging to sit next to someone who will let you copy from his or her exam.
  • Copying from someone's exam without his or her knowledge.
  • Writing a paper for another student.
  • Allowing another student to copy from you during an exam.
  • Obtaining answers, information, or material from a source (e.g. Internet) without appropriate citation.
  • Getting questions or answers from someone who has already taken the same exam.
  • Working on homework with other students when the instructor does not allow it.
  • "Padding" - adding items on a works cited page that were not used.
  • Unauthorized use of information stored in the memory of an electronic device (e.g., programmable calculator, cell phone) on a test or assignment. No information stored in any electronic devices may be used without explicit permission.
  • Altering or forging an official document.
  • Submitting the same paper for grading in two different courses without permission.
Note: Certain passages appearing in this section were adopted from those appearing in publications of the University of Indiana and other colleges and universities.

1.8.2 Disciplinary Action (2008)

(1) Cheating or plagiarism may be an individual transgression of one student unabetted by anyone else, or it may involve the complicity of others. All students who are involved in a group
action which makes cheating or plagiarism possible may be considered equally responsible for the transgression and may be subject to the same penalties as though they themselves had cheated or plagiarized.
(2) A faculty member who has evidence that a student is responsible for academic dishonesty shall initiate the appropriate disciplinary action. However, no penalty shall be imposed until after the student has been informed of the charge and of the evidence upon which it is based, and been given opportunity to present whatever statement or evidence the student desires in his/her defense.
(3) Thereafter, if the student is found responsible for academic dishonesty, the faculty member shall assess a penalty within the course, consistent with the magnitude of the transgression. Such penalty may consist of a warning, reduction in grade for the course, or a grade of "F" for the course.
(4) If a student who commits an act of academic dishonesty withdraws from the course and would have earned a grade of "F" due to the academic dishonesty, the instructor has the right to change the grade from "W" to "F." Such grade changes will be made by submitting an Academic Record Change Form to Registration and Records indicating the reason for the grade change as academic dishonesty. The student will be notified in writing by Registration and Records that the "W" grade has been changed to a grade of "F" due to academic dishonesty. Additionally, a faculty member must present the board hearing option to a student at the time the charges and evidence are discussed.
(5) Every case of academic dishonesty which affects a student's grade shall be promptly reported in writing to the appropriate department chairperson and Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities may initiate further disciplinary action in any case of repeated infractions, or in cases of complicity on a large scale. Such further disciplinary action shall be at the discretion of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and may result in college disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion. A record of the offense and the disciplinary action taken shall remain in the student's file. Please note that students who are suspended or expelled from the institution will be subject to a transcript notation, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
(6) To report a violation of academic honesty, faculty members are required to use the form on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities website, under "Policies and Procedures" within three (3) business days. It is expected that the faculty member will provide appropriate documentation regarding the infraction as an attachment to the form.

1.8.3 Procedures for the Determination of Academic Dishonesty Via Board Hearing
Once a charge of academic dishonesty has been made and a board hearing selected, every means will be taken to guarantee "due process" to both the Respondent (student) and Complainant (the faculty member). Should the student dispute the facts constituting evidence of their alleged infractions(s), or object to the severity of the penalty, they may submit an appeal in writing to the Vice President of Student Services, within three (3) business days of the faculty member's decision, requesting a hearing before a Judicial Board. Such hearing shall be scheduled by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in partnership with Academic Services, within the following ten (10) business days after receipt of appeal. Extension of this date may be permitted by mutual agreement of all concerned. However, no hearing shall be held later than thirty business days after the close of the semester in which the case arose.

Up to five (5) business days prior to the hearing, the Respondent and Complainant shall receive hearing materials and the names of each committee member. The Respondent has the ability to ask for a replacement of one committee member. The Respondent and Complainant have the right to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice during the hearing. Involved parties should review the Student Code of Conduct Judicial Board Hearing information for the hearing process and procedures. Advisors serve as personal supports and are not active participants in the hearing.

Per the Student Code of Conduct, a Judicial Board will be convened. Each Board will consist of five voting and two non-voting members, comprised of:
(1) A Chairperson, who shall remain impartial throughout the proceeding; this person may be a member of the Academic Policies Committee and is not a voting member of the hearing. The
Chairperson is responsible for submitting the hearing board determination to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities who will inform the student of the decision.
(2) At least one but no more than two students, as appointed by the Student Government Association, approved by Student Services, and trained by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
(3) At least two, but no more than three faculty members, approved by both Student Services and Academic Services, and trained by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
(4) No more than two other members-at-large who can represent faculty, staff, or students, who are approved by both Student Services and Academic Services, and who are trained by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
(5) An Academic Services Representative or a Student Code of Conduct Officer, who shall remain impartial throughout the proceeding, but who may advise the Board.
(6) The five voting members of the Judicial Board will not consist of more than two students.
The student will receive a decision of the hearing board within three (3) business days by email and will have the option to appeal within three (3) business days of effective notice of a decision.

1.8.4 Appeal of a Board Hearing Decision
In following with the guidelines set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, the Complainant or Respondent may appeal a finding/sanction of a Judicial Board based upon the criteria listed below. All appeals for Academic Dishonesty are to be written to the Provost or a designee and must be submitted within three (3) days of effective notice of a decision. For just cause, the Provost may waive the three (3) business day requirement. The Provost and/or designee will review the appeal based upon the following:
(1) The written appeal must contain the reason for the appeal. Appeals must meet one of three criteria:
1a. New evidence exists, which was not presented at the hearing because it was not reasonably known to the student at that time, and which is sufficiently relevant such that it could alter the College Conduct Officer (CCO) or College Judicial Board's decision.
1b. The College's failure to follow its own processes and procedures.
1c. The sanction imposed was not appropriate in light of the evidence presented.
(2) The Provost or designee (appeals officer) may accept, reject, or modify the Judicial Board's decision or sanction.
(3) The appeals officer's or designee's decision is final.
(4) The Provost or designee will notify the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities of the final decision and provide the decision letter to be on file.

All information, including supporting evidence, decision letters, and appeals for academic dishonesty are to be kept on file in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office for six (6) years in accordance with item 10 (10401) of the Records and Retention Disposition Schedule CO-2 for use by counties, revised 2006.