Academic Misconduct and Probation

St. Mary's College of Maryland is committed to the ideals of honesty, personal integrity, and mutual trust. Academic integrity is a responsibility of all students, members of the faculty, and administrative officers. All students are expected to uphold the highest ideals of academic integrity throughout their career at St. Mary's. The following policy has been adopted for fair judgment in cases of suspected academic misconduct. Students who commit acts of academic misconduct (see “Definitions of Academic Misconduct” below) are subject to in-class penalties imposed by the instructor and to a hearing before the Academic Judicial Board with possibilities of additional penalties. (See the “Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities” included in the student handbook, To the Point, distributed each year to every St. Mary’s student through the Office of Student Development.) The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is also located on the College web site at www.smcm.edu/stuhandbook.

DEFINITIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

Academic misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following acts:

1. Cheating

Cheating involves dishonest conduct on work submitted for assessment. Specific instances of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Assisting another student or receiving assistance from anyone to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments without the consent of the instructor.
  2. Using aids unauthorized by the instructor to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments.
2. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of appropriating and using the words, ideas, symbols, images, or other works of original expression of others as one’s own without giving credit to the person who created the work. If students have any questions regarding the definition of plagiarism, they should consult their instructor for general principles regarding the use of others' work. Among sources commonly used for documenting use of others’ work are the style manuals published by the American Psychological Association, the Council of Biology Editors, the Modern Language Association, and Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers. The final authority concerning methods of documentation is the course instructor. Specific instances of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Word-for-word copying of sentences or paragraphs from one or more sources that are the work or data of other persons (including books, articles, theses, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, lecture notes or tapes, graphs, images, charts, data, electronically based materials, etc.), without clearly identifying their origin by appropriate referencing.
  2. Closely paraphrasing ideas or information (in whatever form) without appropriate acknowledgement by reference to the original work or works.
  3. Presenting material obtained from the Internet as if it were the student's own work.
  4. Minor alterations such as adding, subtracting, or rearranging words, or paraphrasing sections of a source without appropriate acknowledgement of the original work or works.
3. Falsification

Falsification involves misrepresentation in an academic exercise. Misrepresentation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Falsely attributing data or judgments to scholarly sources.
  2. Falsely reporting the results of calculations or the output of computer programs, or materials from other electronic sources.
  3. Presenting copied, falsified, or improperly obtained data as if it were the result of laboratory work, field trips, or other investigatory work.
4. Resubmission of work

No student may turn in work for evaluation in more than one course without the permission of the instructors of both courses.

ACADEMIC STANDING

At the end of each semester and summer session, the Office of the Registrar evaluates every student’s record to determine his or her academic standing.

  1. A student whose cumulative grade-point average is 2.00 or higher is in good academic standing.
  2. A student who earns a grade-point average of less than 2.00 in any single semester is given an academic warning, which will appear on the grade report.
  3. A student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.00 is either placed on academic probation or is dismissed from the College, as specified in the sections below.

Non-degree-seeking students are expected to maintain the following cumulative GPA based on coursework taken for grade (A-F) at St. Mary’s College of Maryland as indicated below:

Credits (includes St. Mary’s credits only)

Minimum GPA

8-28 credits: 1.5

29–56 credits: 1.75

57 and above: 2.0

Non-degree-seeking students who fail to meet the criteria for good academic standing as outlined will be sent a warning letter and placed on academic probation. After being warned, if students do not maintain good academic standing in any subsequent term, their enrollment will be permanently discontinued.

ACADEMIC PROBATION

A student is placed on academic probation if his or her cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.00. When a student is placed on academic probation, the Office of Academic Services will send the student (and his or her advisers) a letter defining the terms of the probation and indicating what constitutes satisfactory progress toward removal of the probationary status. Satisfactory progress includes achieving a minimum 2.00 semester grade-point average and meeting the other requirements in the letter. A student remains on probation until the cumulative grade-point average reaches 2.00.

Probationary status is indicated on the permanent record as well as on the grade report. A student on academic probation may not register for more than 16 credit hours for any regular semester during the term of the probation. In addition, the following extracurricular programs are available only to students in good academic standing: varsity sports, campus media, student government offices, student club offices, drama productions, and music ensembles. (Music ensembles and drama productions are not prohibited to those students on academic probation who are taking them for credit as part of their academic load of 16 or fewer credit hours.)

ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

If a probationary student fails to make satisfactory progress, that student will be dismissed. Students will be evaluated for dismissal after each semester. Students who are dismissed will not be permitted to register for credit courses either as a degree or non-degree-seeking student (through the Continuing Education Program).

Appeal for exemption from dismissal may be granted by the assistant vice president for academic services in unusual circumstances and following consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. Students whose appeals are granted will be re-admitted to the College for a period not to exceed two semesters on a provisional basis. If students fail to attain the minimum GPA for retention and they fail to comply with the conditions specified in the letter allowing them to return to the College, they will be dismissed at the end of the provisional period. Students receiving financial aid and/or scholarships from the College must meet the minimum required academic performance and enroll in the minimum number of credit-hours required for retaining their aid and/or scholarships.

Students who have been academically dismissed from St. Mary’s may apply for re-admission after one year by writing to the Academic Policy Committee no sooner than the end of the second semester after their dismissal. The application for re-admission should include the following information: educational goals; past academic difficulties and steps taken to address these difficulties; plans for ensuring future academic success; and transcripts of academic work taken at other institutions during the period following dismissal. Academically dismissed students who wish to continue their education at St. Mary’s should remove deficient grades by taking courses elsewhere until their cumulative GPA at St. Mary’s is at least 2.00. (See Computation of Grade-point Average.)

In evaluating an application for re-admission, the Academic Policy Committee will consider evidence of the student’s growth and maturity that will indicate the student now has an increased probability of being academically successful. Re-admission of dismissed students is not automatic and will be granted by the assistant vice president for academic services in consultation with the Academic Policy Committee only in cases where the student is clearly capable of fulfilling the rigorous requirements of the honors college curriculum. Students who are re-admitted to the College will be permitted to attend as degree-seeking students or to register as non-degree-seeking students through the Continuing Education Program. A student re-admitted after being academically dismissed will be placed on a status of provisional admission for two semesters after re-admission. Re-admitted students must meet with the assistant vice president for academic services to discuss their academic plans, and must meet all of the conditions specified in their letter of re-admission, or face dismissal at the end of the provisional two semesters if they have not attained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Any student who has been re-admitted and whose record following re-admission leads to a second dismissal will be ineligible for further re-admission.