OS3 can help students understand academic policies and their impact on a student.
For Further Information about Academic Misconduct visit To The Point
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or paragraphs from one or more sources that are the work or data of other persons (including books, articles, theses, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, lecture notes or tapes, graphs, images, charts, data, electronically based materials, etc.), without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
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 Faculty 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 Faculty 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 Faculty 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.
Academic Policy Committee
The Academic Policy Committee is charged with monitoring, revising and updating academic policies. It includes four faculty members, a student representative, the Registrar, and the Office of Student Support Services. The committee meets approximately every other week during the academic year, and deals with petitions for exceptions to academic policies; revises policies and procedures as necessary; and otherwise addresses issues related to issues of academic policy.
Students might petition the Academic Policy Committee to:
- Study abroad or do an internship with a lower-than-allowable GPA
- Add or withdraw from a class after the deadline
- Use an independent study or non-credit experience to satisfy their ELAW requirement
- Complete more than 6 out of their last 36 credits away from St. Mary’s
- Be reinstated as a student after being academically dismissed
- Request an exemption from any other policy in the Academic Policies section of the college catalog
Students wishing to petition for an exception should write a letter addressed to the Academic Policy Committee following the template instructions. Submit it to the Registrars Office.
Academic Probation & Dismissal
When a student is placed on academic probation, the Registrar will send the student (and his or her advisors) 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.
A student on academic probation may not register for more than 16 credit hours for any regular semester during the term of the probation.
Extracurricular programs unavailable to students on academic probation:
- 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)
At the beginning of the semester, students on academic probation are required to complete an academic success plan, in consultation with their advisor. After meeting with their advisor, they must meet with an advisor in Student Support Services. Depending on what areas are targeted for improvement, we may suggest regular meetings with us, appointments at the Writing Center, work with a peer mentor, or other strategies.
One of the requirements for graduation from St. Mary’s is that students earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
To avoid academic dismissal, Student Support Services monitors your progress throughout your time at the college. Students whose cumulative GPA slips below 2.0 are placed on academic probation. If you do not raise your GPA over 2.0 by the end of the following semester — or if you fall below 2.0 in a subsequent semester — you run the risk of dismissal.
Students will not automatically be dismissed due to a low GPA. If you are showing steady improvement, the probationary period may be extended. If not, you may expect to receive a dismissal letter from the office of the Registrar after the second semester with a low GPA. Letters will be delivered by e-mail and US mail. It is your responsibility to check your grades, check your mail, and acquaint yourself with your status.
Students who are dismissed but feel they would benefit from a second chance have the right to appeal their dismissal. Instructions for doing so will be contained in the dismissal letter from the Registrar.
If you accept your dismissal, but after a period of 1–3 years wish to return to the college, you may contact the Office of Student Support Services to discuss how your situation has changed, and make the case for your readmission. Students who have been absent for more than three years and are interested in re-enrolling must re-apply through the Office of Admissions.
At any time after your dismissal, we would be happy to speak with you about your academic situa on, and make recommendations for how to prepare yourself for an effective and successful return to the college at some point in the future.
In accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), disclosure of student information, including financial and academic, is restricted. Release of information other than “directory information” to anyone other than the student requires a written consent from the student. The College may release “directory information” without prior written consent from the student. St. Mary’s College considers the following to be directory information: student’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, photographs, date and place of birth, year in college, parents’ names and addresses, prior educational institutions attended, dates of college attendance, degrees, scholarships, awards received, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
The “Notification of Rights” appears in To the Point, the student handbook.
- Student Information Release Authorization Instructions
- Student Information Release Authorization – FERPA Form
FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff members play a key role in the protection and integrity of student records. It is incumbent upon them to maintain, report and make available information included in student educational records in compliance with the requirements of FERPA.
Guidelines for Faculty & Staff
- Requests for information from the educational record of a student should be referred to the proper educational record custodian.
- Private notes of a faculty/staff member concerning a student and intended for the faculty/staff member’s own use are not part of the student’s educational record, provided they are kept separate from the student’s educational records. Only those individual student records that are necessary to fulfill professional responsibilities should be kept. Private records of faculty/staff and ancillary educational personnel are to be kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not to be accessible or revealed to any other person, except a substitute.
- Requests for information from the educational record custodian must not be made without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so.
- Student scores or grades may not be displayed publicly in association with names, social security numbers or other personal identifiers. Some other code known only to the instructor and the individual student may be used to post grades/scores.
- All papers or lab reports containing student names and grades should be secured. Students should not have access to the scores and grades of others in the class.
- Factual information regarding grades and performance in an educational record may be amended when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate or misleading.
- Student educational record information is not to be shared, including grades or grade point averages, with other faculty or staff members of the University unless their official responsibilities identify their “legitimate educational interest” in that information for that student.
- Information from student educational records, including grades, grade point averages, and letters of recommendation should not be shared by phone or correspondence with parents or other parties outside the institution, without written permission from the student.
- Information from medical, psychiatric, or psychological reports; records from law enforcement officials on or off the campus; or notes of a professional or staff person which are intended for that individual alone are not to be included in a student’s educational records or made available to him/her, or to a third party.
- FERPA enforcement may include sanctions as severe as the withholding of federal funding.
- The grade assigned may reflect discrimination of some sort on the part of the professor.
- The grade assigned reflects a computational error.
- The grade assigned is related to an allegation of academic misconduct which is proceeding through the Academic Judicial Board system. (If an instance of alleged academic misconduct has been handled informally, and the student wants to appeal, that appeal must proceed through the Academic Judicial Board system.)
The procedure for filing a grade grievance or other related academic complaint is as follows:
A. A student with a complaint should, where appropriate, first try to reach agreement with the faculty member. Informal conversation about the assignment and grade in question between the student and the professor is the first step in the grade grievance process.
B. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the conversation, or if the faculty member does not respond to requests for such an informal conversation, the student then submits a written statement expressing concern about the grade to the chair of the faculty member’s department, with a copy to the professor. In the case of individual assignments, such statements must be made within 10 business days of receipt of the grade in the case of individual assignment. In the case of overall course grades, such statements must be made by the end of the fourth week of the following semester in the case of overall course grades. The department chair will attempt to mediate the complaint as outlined in C below. ** (See note.)
C. Within 10 business days of receipt of the student’s letter, the chair will solicit the faculty member’s point of view, in writing, about the grade and the criteria on which it was based. The chair may decide to render a decision based on the written communications or may call the student and faculty member together for a meeting to discuss the issues, after which the chair will render a decision to both the student and faculty member in writing.
D. If either the student or faculty member is dissatisfied with the chair’s decision, the dissatisfied party can make a request, in writing, within 10 days of receipt of the chair’s decision, with a copy to the other party, to the associate dean of faculty, who will seek counsel from the Academic Policy Committee. The Academic Policy Committee members will consult all parties concerned and then vote either for or against the recommendation of the department chair and will inform the associate dean of faculty, in writing, of their advice and the reasons for it, after which the associate dean of faculty will render a decision to the parties in question.
E. Final authority rests with the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty of the College in the event that either the student or faculty member is not satisfied with the response given by the associate dean of faculty in consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. A written appeal to the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, which must be copied to the other parties involved, must be made within 10 business days following receipt of the associate dean of faculty’s decision, and the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty will render final judgment within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal, in writing, to all concerned individuals.
F. Parents, family members, and attorneys are not permitted to attend any grade appeal conferences.
G. If a grade appeal involves alleged academic misconduct, the grade appeal should be heard after the Academic Judicial Board has reached a decision about the alleged infraction.
**Note: In the event that the faculty member in question is the department chair, the associate dean of faculty will substitute for the chair in step C.