Academic Integrity

Students at Clarkson College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors. The Clarkson College Mission includes the expectation of high standards in ethical behavior as well as in scholarship. Academic integrity is an integral component of the Clarkson College Mission and Values. The College seeks to foster respect (for self and others), truth in honest achievement and positive relationships among stakeholders in our academic community.

 Academic dishonesty includes any form of cheating and/or plagiarism which results in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own. Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or other forms of academic dishonesty corrupt the learning process and demean the educational environment for all students.  

Definitions of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  1. Fabrication: Making any oral or written statement, which the individual knows, or should have known, to be untrue. Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
    1. Making a false statement to faculty, Clarkson College employee(s), fellow students or clinical agency personnel.
    2. Altering records or other academic materials.
  2. Cheating: Giving or receiving, offering or soliciting information on any examination, quiz, or other assignment, not authorized by the instructor. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
    1. Copying from another student’s paper.
    2. Use of unauthorized aide/materials during examinations, quizzes or any other assignment.
    3. Collaboration with another student without instructor approval on any examination, quiz, nursing care plan, computer or laboratory work, or any other assignment. Collaboration includes the exchange of materials or ideas verbally or non-verbally.
    4. Buying, selling, possessing, soliciting, transmitting, or using any material purported to be the unreleased contents of any assignment, including examinations and quizzes.
    5. Bribery or solicitation of any person to obtain or to provide any information relating to examinations, quizzes or other assignments.
    6. Substitution for another person during an examination or quiz.
  3. Collusion: Working together with another person with an “illegal” or “deceitful” purpose in the preparation of work which an instructor expects to be accomplished on an individual basis.
  4. Plagiarism: To steal or pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own, without crediting the source. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
    1. Quoting word for word from a source without using quotation marks, footnotes, reference, or bibliographic citation.
    2. Summarizing and paraphrasing ideas without acknowledging the source.
    3. Submitting work for credit which has not been written by the student, including, but not limited to material from an on-line source, papers written by another person, or buying a paper from a commercial source.
    4. Submitting, without prior permission, academic work that has been previously submitted in identical or similar form.
  5. Failure to Report: When behavior suspicious of an Honor Code violation is not brought to the attention of the faculty for investigation.
  6. Misrepresentation: “Providing false information to an instructor concerning an academic exercise” (Hollinger & Lanza-Kanduce, 1996). Examples of misrepresentation include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
    1. Giving a false excuse for missing an examination, quiz or assignment deadline
    2. Falsely claiming to have submitted a paper or assignment.
  7. Sabotage: “Consists of actions that prevent others from completing their work” (Stern & Havlicek, 1986). Examples of sabotage include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
    1. Disturbing someone’s lab experiment or project.
    2. Moving materials from a reserved reading file so that others cannot use them.
       

Faculty Responsibility:

Because academic honesty is of vital concern to the faculty and because each discipline may raise its own specific set of issues, all faculty members are required to discuss the issue of academic integrity in their classrooms and to explain how the College policy applies in each of their courses. Faculty that have specific outcomes/consequences for incidences of academic dishonesty related to specific assignments in their courses are strongly encouraged to provide this information to their students within the course syllabus.

Student Responsibility:

At a minimum, the College expects the student to complete any assignment, exams, and other academic endeavors with the utmost honesty, which requires the student to:

  • Acknowledge the contributions of other sources to their scholastic efforts
  • Complete assignments independently unless otherwise instructed
  • Follow instructions for assignments and exams, and observe the standards of academic discipline
  • Avoid engaging in any form of academic dishonesty on behalf of the student or another student
  • Ask the faculty if there are any questions regarding academic honesty

Students found guilty of violating the Academic Integrity policy may face academic sanctions by the faculty for the course. Possible sanctions faculty may impose include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Loss of credit on the assignment/exam
  • Have the student redo the assignment
  • Lower the student’s grade for the assignment
  • Lower the student’s grade for the course
  • Fail the student in the course

Academic Integrity Violation Procedure

Incidents of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students suspected of such conduct are subject to disciplinary measures as outlined below. Faculty and students involved in the academic integrity issue will be held to the strictest guidelines of confidentiality in all matters pertaining to the issue. 

Step 1:     The faculty member notifies their program director (or designee) of the alleged academic integrity issue. The faculty member must complete the Academic Integrity Conference Form. The burden of proof rests with the faculty. 

Step 2:     Faculty contacts the student regarding the alleged violation to the Academic Integrity policy and schedules a meeting with the student to take place within five (5) business (not including holidays and/or semester breaks) days of when the occurrence was identified. The faculty advises student to bring all supporting evidence to the meeting with the faculty. 

Step 3:     Faculty discusses the issue with the student, and the student completes and returns Part II of the form to faculty within one (1) business day of the meeting, attaching any additional evidence as needed. 

Step 4:     At the meeting, the faculty member documents what disciplinary actions will be taken. Disciplinary action will be at the discretion of the faculty. Faculty informs student of their right to due process and timeline. *

Faculty member then forwards a copy of the form along with the evidence to those designated at the bottom of the form. 

If the student fails to meet with the faculty member within the forementioned deadline or return the form with signature within 24 hours, the standing decision is final.                              

*If Academic Integrity violations occur within one week of graduation, the VPAA will design an appropriate due process timeline

Step 5:    Upon completion of the Academic Integrity Violation Procedure, the VPAA will forward the appropriate completed documents to the following people:

  • Program Director and Academic Advisor–Academic Integrity Conference Form with supporting evidence and Sanction letter from VPAA
  • Registrar-Sanction letter from VPAA
  • Student – Sanction letter from VPAA

Step 6:     The office of the VPAA will maintain a record of student violations to the Academic Integrity policy and make appropriate sanctions to students who are found to be in repeated violation of the Academic Integrity policy. In addition, the VPAA will review and track issues of academic integrity, and report data and trends of academic integrity to the college community.

Step 7:     The faculty will refrain from assigning a final course grade for the student until the academic integrity issue is resolved. If the course concludes before resolution, the faculty will assign a grade that reflects faculty's decision post-violation, which will align with the results section of the Academic Integrity Conference Form.  Note that, in the event of an overturned violation due to appeal, a grade change form must be submitted within one semester following completion of the course

Sanctions

In the event a student is found guilty of violations to the Academic Integrity Policy, the VPAA will provide documentation to the student regarding their level of violation:

  • First violation: Warning
    • The office of the VPAA will send a letter to the student informing them of the Academic Integrity violation and possible consequences of future violations to the policy.
    • At this level the student must meet with the program director to discuss the Academic Integrity policy and remediate as appropriate.
    • The program director must document what remediation was given.
    • If the violation is substantiated, the student is not eligible for the Academic Excellence Award.
  • Second violation:  Academic Integrity Probation
    • The office of the VPAA will send a letter to the student informing them of the Academic Integrity violation and possible consequences of future violations to the policy. The office of the VPAA will notify the Registrar.
    • The student is placed on Academic Integrity Probation.
      • A student is placed on Academic Integrity Probation for their second violation to the Academic Integrity Policy. A notation is placed in the student’s file to serve as an alert to the student that their academic behavior is unacceptable and to impress upon them the importance of giving serious attention to their academic integrity behavior in order to continue to be a student at Clarkson College.
      • The student will remain on Academic Integrity Probation until graduation.
    • At this level the student must meet with the program director to discuss the Academic Integrity policy and remediate as appropriate.
    • The program director must document what remediation was given.
    • Third violation: Dismissal from the College
      • The office of the VPAA will send a letter to the student informing them of the Academic Integrity violation and dismissal from the College.
      • Three violations to the Academic Integrity policy will result in the student being dismissed from the College by the VPAA.

Academic Integrity policy violations that involve substantial dishonesty, pre-meditation, and disregard for the Academic Integrity policy may warrant a more severe sanction regardless of prior violation.

Due Process

Academic integrity issues should be resolved at the lowest level possible. However, when a student disagrees with a faculty member regarding the issue of academic integrity, the student has fourteen (14) business days to submit an appeal in writing to the VPAA. If the student fails to meet the above deadline for appealing a decision, the standing decision is final. The VPAA will convene the Academic Integrity Committee to review the appeal within fourteen (14) business days of the request.        

Academic Integrity Committee

The Academic Integrity Committee‘s purpose is to serve as an appellate board. The membership of the Academic Integrity Committee will consist of the following: the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the Vice President of Operations (VPO) will be the co-chairs and non-voting members of the Academic Integrity Committee. The co-chairs will de-identify the dispute to maintain confidentiality. The co-chairs will convene five (5) members of the academic community for the Academic Integrity Committee. The co-chairs convene administration, faculty, and students that are deemed to not have any conflicts of interest with regards to any part of the dispute. Members of the Academic Integrity Committee will be held to the strictest guidelines of confidentiality in all matters pertaining to faculty and students. The committee will consist of the following:

  • 1 academic dean or program director/coordinator (if necessary) who is outside the student’s major or minor
  • 2 faculty members selected by the Faculty Senate President who teach outside the student’s major or minor and who have had at least two full time semesters’ employment;
  • 2 students selected by SGA who are enrolled outside the student’s major or minor and who have earned at least 24 semester hours at Clarkson College;

The Academic Integrity Committee’s decision is final. There is no appeal to this process.

The student’s program director, course program director and/or dean, and faculty will be notified of the decision of the Academic Integrity Committee by the chair within five (5) business days of the decision. The chair of the committee will notify the student of the decision of the committee by certified letter.