Academic Integrity Policy
The mission statement of Central College charges us to “promote the sensitivity to and appreciation of values essential for students to become effective citizens” at the local, national and international levels. These values include mutual respect and justice. Mutual respect for our colleagues and ourselves requires that we perform our work with integrity. Justice requires not only adherence to a process that upholds Central College’s standards of academic integrity, but also the creation of an atmosphere of intellectual safety where individuals know their work is secure from being copied by others or abused in any way. An academic community with a high degree of integrity is essential if Central College is to succeed in its mission and sustain an academic center whose scholarship and graduates are valued.
Integrity in academic performance is about much more than grades earned; it is about how individual members of the academic community have earned their grades. Because you are responsible for and accountable to upholding these standards of integrity, this guide is provided as a resource.
A key component of academic integrity involves taking on the responsibility of being honest in the production of our work as scholars. Academic honesty requires that we do not plagiarize, engage in inappropriate or unauthorized collaborations, cheat, aid others in being academically dishonest, or engage in other activities that are dishonest such as misusing technology or other college resources. Each of these violations of academic honesty threatens the overall integrity of Central College, and all members of our academic community. Thus, these violations cannot and will not be tolerated.
Students should avoid:
- Plagiarism and/or misuse of ideas from other sources:
*Deliberately representing the work of someone else as your own work. This can include:
*Using the ideas, text, formulas, images, or other materials produced by someone else and not acknowledging them as the source; or
*Cutting and pasting the work of others into your assignments without acknowledging the source of this material. This includes material taken from the web or Internet as well as from books, journals, and mass media.
*Failing to provide proper and complete identification of sources for material incorporated into your own work whether text or graphics. This can include:
*Not including proper within text citations and/or proper footnotes or endnotes, or
*Not including a full citation on the reference page for each and all sources used in producing your work.
*Working in teams or groups without the instructor’s knowledge or permission.
*Turning in the same or very similar paper for multiple assignments without the knowledge and permission of each instructor involved.
- Cheating. This can take many forms, including:
*Copying homework or test answers/responses from other students and turning it in as your own work;
*Use of personal electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, calculators), without the instructor’s permission to gain an advantage on an exam or course assignment;
*Using unauthorized materials on an exam or assignment;
*Presenting others’ work as one’s own;
*Obtaining work or unauthorized assistance from another student;
*Obtaining work or unauthorized assistance from another source ; or
*Failing to report miscalculations in grading.
- Facilitation of dishonest academic activity, such as:
*Use of technology (e.g., cell phones, the Internet) to assist another student in gaining an illicit advantage on an exam or course assignment without the instructor’s permission;
*Doing work for or providing work to another student who misrepresents this work as being his or her own;
*Assisting another student to earn a grade that is not by that student’s own efforts;
*Failure to report cheating or other dishonest acts by others;
*Allowing others to view your work during exams or assignments, including leaving materials on a public access hard drive or other media;
- Improper use of technology, such as:
*Using technology in ways that violate copyrights.
*Downloading copyrighted material from the Internet to avoid purchasing of the same material, i.e., music songs or video material.
*Cutting and pasting material from the Internet into your own work without proper acknowledgement of the source(s).
*Sharing electronic files of copyrighted material with others and not having permission from the copyright holder.
- Falsification of credentials or grades, including:
*Presenting false credentials.
*Altering or forging official university documents and/or files.
Responsibilities for maintaining standards of academic integrity
Each member of the Central College community is responsible and accountable for maintaining these standards of academic honesty in order to maintain the integrity of the college and the degrees it confers.
Instructors are expected to:
- Model academic integrity in their own work and in the classroom;
- Provide clear explanations in course syllabi of general and course-specific policies regarding academic integrity and the consequences for violating those policies, and discuss these policies in class;
- Create an environment conducive to rigorous, honest inquiry and learning;
- Monitor academic projects and exams to ensure that the work is the student’s own;
- Report and act on any suspected dishonesty in a timely fashion; and
- Maintain confidentiality regarding cases of suspected dishonesty.
Students are expected to:
- Approach their work ethically and honestly; submit only their own work, and properly credit the work of others;
- Become familiar with college policies;
- Ask for clarification of general or course-specific guidelines regarding academic integrity; and
- Actively discourage and avoid facilitating other students’ acts of dishonesty.
Administrators are expected to:
- Ensure that policies governing incidents of reported dishonesty are followed and
- Maintain fairness in the disposition of sanctions.
Procedures for violations of academic standards of integrity
In a case of perceived academic dishonesty, the instructor will collect evidence documenting the violation and arrange to meet with the student to discuss the incident as soon as possible. When a student is observed cheating on a test, the instructor will take custody of the evidence and confront the student as soon as possible.
The instructor of the course will determine the course penalty in consultation with their department chair (or senior departmental colleague). Depending on the nature of the offense, the penalty in the course may take the form of additional work or reassignment, failing the project or test, or failing the course.
For every discovered integrity violation, instructors will file an academic integrity violation report with an academic associate dean (or designee named by the VPAA) along with copies of evidence collected. The report will include a description of the offense, the action taken by the instructor and confirmation that a department chair (or senior colleague) was consulted in this process.
After review by an academic associate dean (or designee named by the VPAA), an institutional sanction may be imposed. Students will receive a letter restating the course penalty and, if applicable, the institution’s sanction or warning, and a copy will be placed in the student’s file. Records of academic integrity violations will be kept in the academic associate dean’s office permanently. For a first offense, a student will typically receive a letter of warning. Repeated offenses may be grounds for suspension or dismissal from Central College. Serious violations may result in dismissal.
Students who wish to appeal the penalty imposed by the faculty member and/or the institutional sanction must send a letter to the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) and dean of the faculty (or designee). All appeals should be submitted within two weeks of being notified of a decision.
Those involved with cases of academic integrity violations will maintain strict confidentiality and follow the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act as it applies to the release of information in student records.
Information on academic integrity
Further information about plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity is available on the Geisler Library home page under the heading “Copyright and Academic Integrity.”