Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion and Fabrication
Policy V.5001.B, Classroom Behavior
Code of Academic Integrity and Honesty
Integrity is one of the core values at San Jacinto College. As such, students are expected to exhibit honesty, integrity, high standards, and freedom from lies and fraud in their academic work. Personal integrity is important in all aspects of life and students must conduct themselves in an ethical manner both in and out of the classroom. Incidents of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students guilty of such conduct are subject to disciplinary consequences.
Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion, and Fabrication
The College provides the following institutional guidelines concerning cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and fabrication for the information of all students enrolled in any course offered by San Jacinto College. Gaining knowledge and practicing honesty go hand in hand. The importance of knowledge properly gained is reinforced by the grading system; therefore, the College emphasizes honesty fully practiced by establishing rules against cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and fabrication. Any act of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication in any degree subjects a student to the disciplinary procedures listed below.
Students are expected to be completely honest in all phases of their work and must adhere to the guidelines provided by their faculty members for completing academic work.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- dishonesty of any kind on examinations, assignments, or program requirements;
- unauthorized possession of examinations or unapproved notes or sources at any time, whether used or not;
- copying or obtaining information from another student during an examination or performance of a lab skill or competency;
- claiming as their own work any portion of academic work that was completed by another student;
- using materials not approved by their faculty member when completing an assignment or exam;
- presenting the same work for more than one course without obtaining approval from the course faculty member;
- alteration or falsification of course or academic records; and
- unauthorized entry into or presence in any office.
Documenting the use of others’ work is important because it recognizes the original author’s effort, establishes the student writer’s credibility, and supports the audience’s future research. Plagiarism is offering the work of another as one’s own, intentionally or unintentionally, without proper acknowledgment. Students who fail to give appropriate credit for ideas or material they take from another, whether a fellow student or a resource writer, are guilty of plagiarism (i.e., stealing the words or ideas of another).
The College may contract with companies or organizations that provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive students’ work for the purpose of comparing the students’ work with a reference database. Students enrolling at San Jacinto College agree as a condition of their enrollment that their work may be submitted to such companies for the purpose of plagiarism detection and that the company may retain a copy of the work for plagiarism-detection purposes. Such companies will not copy, use, or distribute the students’ work.
Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- using the ideas and or words of another person, without giving that person appropriate credit;
- representing another’s artistic or scholarly works (i.e., musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.) as your own;
- submitting a paper purchased in whole or in part from another person or other sources, including the internet;
- copying computer programs or data files belonging to someone else; and
- using undocumented Web sources.
Learning is an active process for all students; completion and submission of original work is essential to the learning process. Collusion is unauthorized collaboration in preparing any work offered for credit. Therefore, students should take reasonable precautions to protect their work from being compromised.
Collusion includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, sharing, transporting or soliciting, in whole or in part, any information or materials to be submitted as a student’s own work,
- impersonating another student for the purpose of taking a course, any academic work, or exam,
- providing unauthorized access to course materials, and
- agreeing with one or more persons to commit any act of academic dishonesty.
Fabrication is all experimental data, observations, interviews, statistical surveys, and other information collected and reported as academic work not authenticated.
Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- falsifying the results obtained from research or laboratory experiments,
- presenting results of research or laboratory experiments without the research or laboratory experiments being performed, and
- changing answers or grades after an academic work has been returned to the student.
Responding to Violations
Faculty have the responsibility to initiate disciplinary action in response to violations of the rules regarding academic honesty. A faculty member is responsible for investigating these violations, which include, but are not limited to, collection of any evidence of cheating at the time it occurs and discussions with the student and witnesses. A student may not withdraw from the course during the investigation of an incident of academic dishonesty or when a course grade of F has been imposed. Should a student withdraw from a course related to the instance(s) of academic dishonesty (during the academic dishonesty investigatory process) the College reserves the right to reinstate the student in the class. The College will maintain a record of any imposed penalty or disciplinary action. These violations of academic dishonesty are also communicated with respective Department Chairs/Program Directors, and Deans.
If, in the judgment of the faculty member, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication has occurred, he or she may assess one of the following penalties:
- failure of the assignment by the faculty member,
- requirement for the student to redo the test or assignment,
- reduced grade on the assignment by the faculty member,
- failure of the course; the student may appeal the grade through the Grade Appeal process (see Complaint Procedure 100 found in the Catalog or Student Handbook),
- recommendation for suspension from the College or dismissal from a program, which is submitted to the Provost (A suspension notation from the College may be placed on the student’s transcript, if appropriate.), or
- submission of other penalty or action recommended by the faculty or program.
The faculty member will notify the student of his or her decision concerning the student’s grade. The College may recommend other disciplinary action if code of student conduct violations have occurred. If a student will not meet with the faculty member or if notification cannot take place because of a student’s unavailability, failure to respond, or incorrect contact information, the process proceeds as specified. The Provost must review a recommendation for suspension or dismissal. If necessary, the Provost will convene the Academic Appeals committee.
The faculty member will prepare an online Academic Dishonesty Incident Report (www.sanjac.edu/academic-dishonesty) for the Provost, the Dean, Department Chair, and/or Program Director. The report indicates the nature of the incident, student identifying information, and the proposed penalty. The Department Chair will generate a decision letter to the student that will include the proposed penalty and the student’s appeal rights.
A student may appeal a proposed penalty made by a faculty member. The student shall initiate the appeal process within five (5) working days following the communication of the proposed penalty. The procedures for appealing a proposed penalty are:
Student meeting with Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee: Within five (5) working days after receiving written notification of the proposed penalty via email (or first-class mail when necessary), a student may request a hearing before an Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee. The student must submit a written request directly to the respective campus Provost either via email or with a mailed letter. A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. An email will be deemed to have been received on the second day after the sending of the message.
The committee will consist of one full-time faculty member to be named by the student, one full-time faculty member to be named by the faculty member, and one full-time faculty member to be named by the Provost. The Provost will request that the student and faculty member submit the name of their nominees within five (5) working days after notification of all parties involved. Upon receiving the names of those nominees, and the Provost appointing a third faculty member to the committee, the Provost will set the time, date, and place of the closed hearing and notify all parties. The Provost will appoint a separate faculty member to serve as the chair of the appeal committee. This will be done within five (5) working days after having received the names of both nominees. A student may present written evidence relevant to the appeal and may also be accompanied by an advisor. The student’s advisor may attend the appeal meeting and confer with the student but may not cross-examine other participants. The student may have a maximum of two (2) persons (faculty member and advisor) in the room at the appeal committee meeting. Furthermore, an advisor may not be a witness in the matter.
The Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee may request information from the faculty member, student, and/or other persons familiar with the matter. The College retains the right to have legal counsel present at the appeal meeting but the attorney may not cross-examine other participants.
The student’s appeal will be dismissed if the student fails to correspond with the Provost’s Office within ten (10) working days of the last communication with the student.
In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself at the appeal meeting because of his or her disability, the College, as a reasonable accommodation to the student, will permit the student to be represented by an advisor at the meeting. If the student is represented by legal counsel, then the College also may be represented by legal counsel.
Within five (5) working days after the appeal meeting, the Provost will notify the student and the faculty member in writing of the committee’s findings regarding the approval or denial of the appeal. The decision of the Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee is final.