Academic Dishonesty Policy
Responsibility for judicial matters of an academic nature is assumed by the Academic Standing Committee and the Academic Review Committee. The Academic Standing Committee handles matters pertaining to academic probation, academic dismissal, readmission and deviations from the academic curriculum of the College. The Academic Review Committee handles matters pertaining to academic dishonesty and student appeals of course grades.
Academic Fair Process
At Elizabethtown College, academic due process is understood to include the following student rights:
With Regard to Grading:
- To receive a specific explanation of the manner in which a course grade was determined.
- To appeal a course grade if the student believes that a grade was influenced by matters other than academic performance, class attendance and punctuality in submitting assignments.
With Regard to Academic Dishonesty:
- When penalized for academic dishonesty, to receive a written notification specifying the nature of the infraction and the recommended penalty.
- To request a hearing before the Academic Review Committee when found by a faculty member to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity and to receive a written statement from that board summarizing the findings of the board and its disposition of the matter.
- To request a hearing before the Academic Standing Committee when recommended for academic dismissal due to cheating, plagiarism or other violations of the standards of academic integrity.
- To inspect any information on file in the Office of the Provost (or its proxy) dealing with incidents of academic dishonesty attributed to that student.
Standards of Academic Integrity
Elizabethtown College assumes that students will act honorably. Students are expected to adhere to the Pledge of Integrity adopted by both the students and the faculty in 1995:
Elizabethtown College is a community engaged in a living and learning experience, the foundation of which is mutual trust and respect. Therefore, we will strive to behave toward one another with civility and with respect for the rights of others, and we promise to represent as our work only that which is indeed our own, refraining from all forms of lying, plagiarizing and cheating.
Reflecting commitment to the pledge, new students are expected to sign a pledge stating, “I pledge to be honest and to uphold integrity.”
Academic dishonesty – including cheating and plagiarism – constitutes a serious breach of academic integrity. Academic work is expected unequivocally to be the honest product of the student’s own endeavor.
Cheating is defined as the giving or receiving of unauthorized information as part of an examination or other academic exercise. What constitutes “unauthorized information” may vary depending upon the type of examination or exercise involved, and the student must be careful to understand in advance what a particular instructor considers to be “unauthorized information.” Faculty members are encouraged to make this definition clear to their students.
Plagiarism is defined as taking and using the writings or ideas of another without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism occurs most frequently in the preparation of a paper, but is found in other types of course assignments as well.
Other forms of academic dishonesty include (but are not limited to) fabrication, falsification or invention of information when such information is not appropriate. To knowingly help or attempt to help another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty is considered to be an equivalent breach of academic integrity and is treated as such.
Cases of academic dishonesty are reviewed individually and according to the circumstances of the violation; however, students who violate the standards of academic integrity can normally expect a grade of F in the course and/or possible dismissal from the College.
Procedures for Dealing with Cases of Academic Dishonesty
Instances Involving Course Work. The following steps are to be followed when dealing with instances of academic dishonesty involving course work:
Initial Conference. When an instructor discovers evidence of academic dishonesty, an informal conference is scheduled promptly with the student or students involved. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, this conference can take place via e-mail. If an instructor is unable to schedule a conference before grades are due, a grade of Incomplete for the course may be assigned in the interim. If the student confirms his or her academic dishonesty in the initial conference, then the procedure continues with the written notification step that follows.
Second Conference. If, in the informal conference, the student denies academic dishonesty but the instructor is satisfied that there is evidence of academic dishonesty, a second conference is scheduled with the student involved. In cases involving more than one student, either individual or group conferences may be appropriate depending on the particular circumstances of the case. This conference should include another faculty member selected by the instructor. The student also has the right to have a faculty member, another student, or a member of the Center for Student Success present as an observer. Due to the nature of this second conference, it should be scheduled as a face-to-face meeting.
Written Notification. If, following either the first or second conference, the initiating faculty member is satisfied that there is proof of academic dishonesty, the faculty member will – with the approval of the Department Chair or equivalent – give the accused student(s) written notification specifying the infraction and the recommended penalty. A copy of this notification is sent to the Associate Academic Dean. Should the Department Chair not be in agreement with the faculty member and the matter not be resolved at the Department level, both the faculty member and the Department Chair will give written notification with rationale to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Academic Dean will review the matter and recommend action and will inform the student in writing of the recommended action.
Reported Cases. Cases of alleged academic dishonesty reported by a student or students or College staff and not resolved by the instructor and Department Chair also may be referred to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Academic Dean will review the matter and recommend action and will inform the student in writing of the recommended action.
Academic Review Committee. The accused student(s) will have the alternative of accepting the recommended penalty or requesting a hearing before the Academic Review Committee. The request for a hearing must be presented in writing to the Associate Academic Dean within five days of receipt of the notice of information.
Dismissal. The Associate Academic Dean will review cases of academic dishonesty and exercise judgment as to whether a student found to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity should be recommended for dismissal from the College. If it is the Associate Academic Dean’s judgment that academic dismissal is appropriate, the Associate Academic Dean will notify in writing both the student and the Academic Standing Committee of his or her decision and the factors that influenced that decision.
Hearing. The student will have the option of accepting the Associate Academic Dean’s decision or requesting a hearing before the Academic Standing Committee. The request for a hearing must be presented in writing to the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee within five days of receipt of the Associate Academic Dean’s decision.
All forms of dishonesty in academic matters are violations of the Standards of Academic Integrity and are the concern of the Academic Review Committee. Inappropriate actions – for example, lying to College officials or forgery of an advisor’s signature – are violations equivalent to cheating and plagiarism in course work. Such dishonesty will be dealt with following the general procedures set forth above. Cases are reviewed individually and according to the circumstances of the violation; possible penalties include suspension or dismissal from the College.
For more information, see the College Catalogue Academic Policies page.