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Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity is fundamental to a successful academic community. At Zane State College, every faculty member and student subscribes to the Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity as defined by the Center for Academic Integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility (http://www.academicintegrity.org). This Academic Integrity Policy addresses behaviors that are considered to be academic misconduct and establishes procedures to be followed when such behaviors and/or acts occur. Academic integrity is expected not only in formal class and coursework situations, including online courses, but in all college relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of college resources. Both students and faculty are responsible for supporting and adhering to the fundamental values of Academic Integrity.

Academic Misconduct

Failure to act in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy will be considered academic misconduct. The following statements outline infractions, which cannot be listed exhaustively for every case, that constitute academic misconduct. The Chief Academic Officer reserves the right to make final determinations of academic misconduct, especially for behaviors that are not listed here.

AIDING or ABETTING ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT: Providing material(s), information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated in this policy; or, providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.

CHEATING: Use and/or possession of unauthorized material or technology, such as portable electronic devices, audio recordings, notes, tests, calculators, or computer programs, during any written or oral work, including examinations, submitted for evaluation and/or grade; obtaining assistance from another person, with or without that person’s knowledge, on any written or oral work submitted for evaluation or a grade; furnishing another person with assistance or answers to any written or oral work submitted for evaluation or a grade; possessing, using, distributing, or selling unauthorized copies of any computer program and/or any written or oral work submitted for evaluation or a grade; allowing another person to do one’s work, written or oral, and submitting that work under one’s own name; taking an examination in place of another person; obtaining unauthorized access to the computer files of another person or agency, and/or altering or destroying those files; altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for regrading; submitting identical or similar papers for credit in more than one course without prior permission from the course instructors; aiding or assisting another student(s) in gaining an unfair advantage; completing another student(s) work for them and/or allowing another student(s) to use your work as their own; or, collaboration on assignments unless it is a team/group assignment unless permission is given by instructor.

DISHONESTY: Acts of academic fraud; attempt(s) by a student(s) to deceive an instructor; attempt(s) to hide or cover up information pertinent to student(s) coursework; or, falsification of records and or documentation.

FABRICATION: The falsification or inventing of any information, data, or citation in an academic exercise.

FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS AND OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS: Altering documents affecting academic records; forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official Zane State College document.

PLAGIARISM: Submitting another’s published or unpublished work, in whole, in part, or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, citations, or bibliographical reference; submitting as one’s own, original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material; submitting as one’s own, original work, material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators; or, obtaining another person’s work through purchase, or otherwise, and submitting it as one’s own.

OBTAINING AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE: Stealing, reproducing, circulating, or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor; stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; unauthorized collaborating on an academic assignment; retaining, possessing, using, or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work; or, undertaking an activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students’ academic work.

UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO COMPUTERIZED ACADEMIC OR ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS OR SYSTEMS: Viewing or altering computer records; modifying computer programs or systems; releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access; or, interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information.

Misconduct has NOT occurred when students:

  • have permission to work together on written or oral work, and all contributors are named.
  • receive assistance from instructors, teaching assistants, or staff members involved in the course.
  • share knowledge about technology specific jargon, or other language-specific information during the preparation of written or oral work.
  • engage in a general discussion about an assignment, the requirements for an assignment, or general strategies for completion of an assignment.
  • compare their solutions to an assignment in order to better understand the assignment overall.
  • engage in discussion about course content or strategies in preparation for an assignment or examination.
General Responsibilities of Faculty Member

The faculty member:

  • accepts responsibility for knowing and understanding the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • promotes academic integrity by making expectations clear on syllabi concerning assignments, examinations, homework, research, and group projects.
  • makes an effort to detect and prevent incidents of dishonesty and to report evidence of infractions.
  • displays academic integrity.
General Responsibilities of the Student

The submission of work for academic credit indicates that the work has been done by the student. Sources for all work should be acknowledged and truthfully reported by the student. The student:

  • accepts responsibility to read and seek understanding of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • accurately represents his or her work.
  • refuses to be part of another student’s academic misconduct.
  • does not use fraud or dishonesty to advance his or her academic position.
  • cooperatively works with faculty in mutual cooperation toward the implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • does not in any other manner violate the principle of academic integrity.
Academic Integrity Procedure

Incidents of academic violations (whether suspected or proven) are documented in the Maxient system. The procedure to follow for reporting violations of this policy are as follows:

1). Prior to reporting, the instructor collects the physical evidence. This may include original assignments, exams, email correspondence, etc.

2). The instructor will contact and inform the student that there is evidence indicating that an act of academic misconduct involving that student may possibly have occurred.

3).  Before meeting with the student, the instructor will consult with the appropriate Dean to discuss the range of possible academic consequences that may be appropriate, recognizing that the final determination will not be decided upon without first giving the student the opportunity to offer an explanation. The Dean will check the student’s record for prior academic integrity violations at this time and report findings back to the instructor. If none are found, the process will continue with step 4.  If a violation occurred previously, go directly to step 10.

4). The instructor will meet with the student to allow the student to review the evidence and provide a verbal and/or written explanation. NOTE: If a physical meeting is not possible, this step may take place by phone, email, WebEx, etc. The instructor should document and summarize conversations in writing.

5). After hearing the student’s explanation, the instructor makes one of the following determinations:

a. No academic dishonesty has occurred. In this case, no further action is needed.
b. Academic dishonesty has occurred, but the instructor believes it was unintentional, stemmed from lack of knowledge, or for some other reason believes there was no intention to deceive on the part of the student. In this case, the instructor would move to step 6 and file a Maxient report, indicating the specific conversation and document that no further discipline is needed.
c. Intentional academic dishonesty has occurred. In this case, proceed to step 6.

6).  The instructor will file the Academic Integrity Reporting Form in the Maxient system. The steps to file the report are as follows:

a. In MyZSC, access the link “Report an Incident/Complaint” under Quick Links in the left sidebar.
b. Select “Submit report for Academic Integrity Violations.”
c. Complete the instructor information at the top of the form.
d. For the section entitled “Involved Students,” provide student name, role, and student ID number. Note that multiple students can be reported in this area.
e. Under “Incident Information,” complete all prompts and provide as much detail as possible regarding the violation.
f. For the “Supporting Documentation” section, attach any documentation related to the incident, including summarized conversations.
g.  Submit the report.

7). Upon submission, the report is sent to the Provost. The Provost forwards the report to the appropriate Dean without review.

8). The Dean of the department receives the report and reviews the evidence. If the instructor deemed that academic dishonesty occurred but was unintentional, the Dean simply reviews the report and closes the record.  The Dean will then formally notify the student that an incident has been recorded by certified mail delivery and electronic mail to the student’s college email account within five (5) business days. If intentional academic dishonesty has occurred and the instructor and Dean agree regarding the consequence, the Dean will formally notify the student of the consequence via certified mail delivery and electronic mail to the student’s college email account within five (5) business days. The Dean will note the decision in the Maxient system, indicating completion of the record.

9). If the faculty member and Dean are not in agreement regarding the consequence, the Provost will be consulted collectively by the instructor and Dean. If necessary, the Provost will make the final decision within five (5) business days of meeting and formally notify the student of the consequence via certified mail delivery and electronic mail to the student’s college email account. The Provost will document the final decision in the Maxient system, indicating completion of the record.

10). If there are prior academic integrity violations, the instructor will be asked to document the current violation in Maxient. The Dean will then provide additional documentation in Maxient and assign the appropriate consequence.  The student will meet with the Dean to discuss the potential violation. The Dean may ask for the instructor’s assistance, if needed.  Once the Dean determines academic dishonesty has occurred, the Dean formally notifies the student of the consequence via certified mail delivery and electronic mail to the student’s college email account within five (5) business days.  At this time, the Dean closes the case in Maxient.

11). If a student requests a hearing, procedures will be followed as outlined under the Student Code of Conduct, “Hearings and Appeals” section.