Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct undermines the purpose of education. Such behavior is a serious violation of the trust that must exist between the faculty and students in order for the College to nurture intellectual growth and development. Academic misconduct can generally be defined as all acts of dishonesty in an academic or related matter. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following categories of behavior:

Cheating: use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, study aids, the answers of others, or computer-related information.

Plagiarism: claiming as one’s own the ideas, words, data, computer programs, creative compositions, artwork, etc., done by someone else. Examples include improper citation of referenced works, use of commercially available scholarly papers, failure to cite sources, or copying another's ideas.

Fabrication: presenting as genuine falsified data, citations, or quotations.

Abetting: helping another student commit an act of academic dishonesty. Allowing a fellow student to copy quiz/examination answers or use one’s work as his/her own are examples of abetting.

Misrepresentation: falsification, alteration, or misstatement of the contents of documents, academic works, or other materials related to academic matters, including works substantially done for one class as work done for another without receiving prior approval from the instructor.

In the event of suspected academic misconduct, the following procedure will be followed:

  • Upon reaching the conclusion that academic misconduct may have occurred and that action is warranted, the instructor will inform the student of the charge within two (2) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and official College holidays. The student has the right to hear the instructor's reasons for making the charge, to inspect all relevant evidence in the instructor's possession, and to respond to the charge. Based on the student's response and all the evidence, the instructor will determine if a penalty is appropriate. If a penalty is deemed appropriate, the instructor will inform the student of the action to be taken. If the student is not in agreement with the findings or the penalty, the instructor will provide the student with a written statement of the action taken and the basis for that action. A copy of this written statement will be sent to the Campus Division Chair on the campus where the course was taught or the College wide Division Chair for Distance Education for courses taught via Distance Education (web-based, hybrid, or IITS).
  • Within five (5) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and official College holidays, of this notification, the student may appeal the instructor's decision by letter to the Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education, as appropriate. The Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education, as appropriate, will take testimony from the student, the instructor, and all appropriate witnesses within five (5) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and official College holidays, and make a decision. If the Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education, as appropriate, reverses the finding of academic misconduct, the instructor must re-examine the work in question and assign credit without prejudice. In the event that the Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education is the instructor, the appropriate Collegewide Dean will replace the Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education in the appeal process. The decision is final except for those cases in which the grade for the course is an “F.”
  • In those cases where the final decision concerning an academic misconduct charge is an “F” for the course, the instructor will send a letter to this effect to the student and to the Campus Division Chair or Collegewide Division Chair for Distance Education, as appropriate, on the campus where the course was taught. If the student chooses to appeal the grade of “F” to the appropriate Collegewide Dean (Academic Transfer, Career Technical, or Health Sciences), the student must submit a letter of appeal. All evidence and other information used to determine academic misconduct will be forwarded to the appropriate Collegewide Dean.