St. Mary’s 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.
For Further Information about Academic Misconduct visit To The Point (link)
Academic misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following acts:
Cheating involves dishonest conduct on work submitted for assessment. Specific instances of cheating include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting another student or receiving assistance from anyone to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments without the consent of the instructor.
- Using aids unauthorized by the instructor to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments.
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:
- 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or paragraphs from one or more sources that are the work or data of other persons (including books, articles, theses, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, lecture notes or tapes, graphs, images, charts, data, electronically based materials, etc.), without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.
- Closely paraphrasing ideas or information (in whatever form) without appropriate acknowledgement by reference to the original work or works.
- Presenting material obtained from the Internet as if it were the student’s own work.
- Minor alterations such as adding, subtracting, or rearranging words, or paraphrasing sections of a source without appropriate acknowledgement of the original work or works.
Falsification involves misrepresentation in an academic exercise. Misrepresentation includes, but is not limited to:
- Falsely attributing data or judgments to scholarly sources.
- Falsely reporting the results of calculations or the output of computer programs, or materials from other electronic sources.
- Presenting copied, falsified, or improperly obtained data as if it were the result of laboratory work, field trips, or other investigatory work.
Resubmissions of Work
Academic Judicial Board
Requests for a hearing by the Academic Judicial Board:
If the instructor believes that the matter warrants a review before the Academic Judicial Board (AJB), he or she may ask the Associate Dean of Academic Services to request the Academic Judicial Board to schedule a hearing on the matter. The instructor shall send copies of the request to the student and the Associate Dean. The copy going to the student shall be sent either by hand delivery, overnight mail, or certified mail (return receipt requested).
The student will also be notified by e-mail with notification that the mail has been delivered and read enabled (see G on p .23 in the To The Point) Handbook.
If, after review of the documentation and any prior records in the student’s file, the Associate Dean believes that the matter warrants a review before the Academic Judicial Board, he or she may also request the Academic Judicial Board to schedule a hearing. The Associate Dean shall send copies of the request to the student and the instructor. The copy going to the student shall be sent either by hand delivery, overnight mail, or certified mail (return receipt requested). The student will be notified by e-mail with notification that the mail has been delivered and read-enabled (see G on p . 23).
Appeal by the Student:
The student may appeal in writing an instructor’s process for decision of guilt or in-class penalty to the Associate Dean, who shall schedule a hearing on the appeal before the AJB. The student has ten days from the date the penalty letter was sent to make the appeal. The appeal must be sent either by hand delivery, overnight mail, or certified mail (return receipt requested). The student will also be notified by e-mail with notification that the mail has been delivered and read-enabled (see G on p . 23). Possible outcomes of such an appeal are outlined in section 4 .5 below.
The board shall then rule on the student’s innocence or guilt of academic misconduct if the instructor’s ruling was appealed by the student. All deliberations by the AJB shall be made in private, with only members of the AJB present, and their counsel, if any. All decisions of the AJB are made by a majority vote of those voting, with all members, including the hearing officer, eligible to vote. If a student is found not guilty of a charge of academic misconduct, he or she may not be tried again for the same instance of misconduct. If a student is found not guilty of academic misconduct, the AJB may recommend that the instructor remove any penalty that has been imposed. Because there may still be a dispute over the student’s grade or class standing, the AJB shall recommend a course of action for the instructor to take concerning the student. The recommendation shall be made in consultation with both the student and the instructor. The VPAA/Dean of Faculty of the college shall arbitrate any disputes that cannot be resolved in this manner.
If a student is found guilty of academic misconduct, mitigating circumstances may be taken into account when recommending a penalty. It is, however, the student’s responsibility to know the policies and definitions regarding academic misconduct. If appropriate, the AJB shall then recommend an alternate academic penalty to the VPAA, who plays the final decision-making role. The AJB may interview the student to learn of any possible mitigating circumstances before recommending any penalty. If the case was referred to the AJB at the request of the instructor or the Associate Dean, or if the student appeals her/his guilt and is found guilty, the penalty may range from simply upholding any penalty given by the instructor to expulsion from the College. In this case, the board may not recommend a penalty lighter than any imposed by the instructor. If the case was referred to the AJB because of an appeal of an in-class penalty by the student, the board may recommend that the faculty member consider a lesser penalty if deemed appropriate.
Research shows that students plagiarize:
- If they feel the assignment is too huge for them to manage;
- If they don’t have clear guidelines or models of excellent work;
- If they get minimal or no feedback on prior assignments;
- If they sense the professor is “out of it,” disengaged, or disorganized.
You can reduce plagiarism by:
- Not only allowing, but requiring students to use other sources prior to turning in their assignments—peer review, peer editing, writing center visits, meetings with librarians to discuss finding and citing sources;
- Giving students models of good papers, as well as models and examples of proper citation format;
- Making students turn in all drafts of writing assignments;
- Requiring that students turn in copies of the first pages of sources cited (not abstracts);
- Creating assignments that require individual analysis or evaluation, which make it harder to plagiarize;
- Asking students, early in the semester, to produce an in-class writing sample of several sentences or paragraphs.
Prevent cheating by:
- Calling for laptops down, all cell phones, iPods and listening devices off and out of ears during exams, quizzes, in-class writing assignments, etc.;
- Giving different tests to different sections—slightly vary questions or vary the order;
- Remaining present during significant portions of exams and quizzes;
- Using exams and quizzes that require critical thinking, analysis or evaluation, and individual reflection.
Steps to Reporting Academic Misconduct:
- Gather all evidence to support the allegation, such as photocopying similar exam answers, photocopying or printing excerpts from original documents that have been copied, etc.
- Faculty member may call the Dean of Faculty’s office or consult with the Associate Dean of Academic Services on possible actions to take without disclosing the student’s name. Faculty may also consult other colleagues without disclosing the student’s name.
- Fill out the Academic Misconduct Incident Form and make three copies.
- Confront and talk to the student about the misconduct, and give them a copy of the incident form. Keep a copy for your records.
Submit a copy of the form to the Associate Dean of Academic Services along with the evidence you have collected supporting the allegation.
For a more detailed reporting procedure and information, consult the Judicial Procedures for Academic Misconduct in “To The Point.”
Faculty need to document everything—even the informal interactions with students—with the Provost’s office.
- Faculty may consult with fellow faculty members or their department chairs to discuss how to handle alleged cases of academic misconduct but must not disclose the student’s name to anyone except the Provost or Associate Deans.
- Faculty are strongly encouraged to contact the Associate Dean of Academic Services or the Associate Dean of Faculty to discuss incidents of academic misconduct and discuss possible courses of action.
- Faculty may not disclose the student’s name to the Provost or Associate Deans during the consultation phase to determine if previous acts have been committed before assessing a penalty: any decision they make about assessing in-class penalties or requesting a hearing should be made without knowledge of a student’s prior history. If the Provost reviews the student’s records and decides further action is appropriate, he/she will request an Academic Judicial Board hearing.
- Faculty must speak with the student prior to formally notifying the Provost’s office by submitting.the academic misconduct incident form. If the student is notified in writing – for example, by giving them the form below, it may be in person, by certified mail or by email IF the faculty member labels it “highest priority” and turns on the “notification” option so when it is opened, the sender is notified.