Academic Affairs

Board of Trustees Policy

SUBJECT:

Student Academic Code of Ethics

NUMBER:
3.3
DATE:
May 2011
SUPERSEDES:
Fall 2002

Purpose

In the pursuit of knowledge and higher education, members of the academic community, specifically students enrolled in credit and non-credit programs, at Montgomery County Community College must maintain a constant commitment to academic ethics. The College cultivates an environment that fosters critical thinking and learning, and in order to safeguard the integrity of the institution, students are expected to follow the policies of the College. Academic dishonesty violates the educational process and undermines the accomplishments of fellow students, while potentially damaging the College’s reputation. Therefore, it is expected that students adhere to an academic code of ethics by refraining from any form of academic dishonesty.

The Academic Code of Ethics and other college policies, such as the Student Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policy, create an integrated ethics policy for the College. Students who do not adhere to all codes are subject to the consequences outlined in each respective policy.

Policy

By enrolling at the College, students agree to abide by this Student Academic Code of Ethics and to understand what is considered academic dishonesty.

Assignments include, but are not limited to, hardcopy or electronic papers, homework, exams, laboratory exercises, projects, clinical experiences, and oral presentations.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following.

Intentionally Presenting Inaccurate Information or Forging Documents

  • Changing or inventing results, data, or conclusions for any assignment.
  • Changing or making up information or quotations that are passed off as authentic for any assignment.
  • Forging College personnel’s’ signature or information on any academic document.

Plagiarism

  • Presenting the work of another as one’s own (not citing a source).
    • Using ideas from any source without providing proper citation of the source. Improper citation consists of excluding a source or misrepresenting a source.
    • Copying or presenting material word for word from any source without using quotation marks and the proper citation of the source.
    • Copying and/or altering a few words from a source, to avoid exact quotation, without providing the proper citation of the source.
    • Rewording (paraphrasing) an idea found in a source without providing the proper citation of the source.
  • Submitting a student’s own single piece of work multiple times without instructor permission.
    • Submitting the same paper or assignment during the same term to two instructors without both instructors’ permission.
    • Submitting a previously graded paper, assignment, or speech to a different instructor without the current instructor’s approval.

Cheating

  • Cheating on exams and assignments.
    • Copying answers from another person or submitting another person’s work as one’s own.
    • Collaborating on any assignment that is supposed to be done individually.
    • Submitting as one’s own any course assignment created by someone else.
    • Using any unauthorized resources during an exam or while completing assignments. Unauthorized resources include, but are not limited to, notes, electronic devices, solution manuals, Cliff’s Notes or anything not permitted by the instructor or proctor.
    • Stealing, or having in one’s possession without permission, any exams, materials, or property belonging to faculty, staff, or another student.
    • Receiving the answers to exam questions or other assignments.
    • Having another person take an exam or a class for the enrolled student.
  • Aiding other students in cheating.
    • Doing another student’s assignment, excluding collaborative learning assignments or joint assignments approved by the instructor. Some examples may include, but are not limited to, doing a student’s assignment or writing or re-writing a major portion of a student’s assignment.
    • Giving a student answers to exam questions or to other assignments.
    • Taking an exam or a class for a student.

Consequences for Violations of the Code of Ethics

Options for dealing with academic dishonesty are at the discretion of faculty. Instructor-imposed consequences for the student may include one or more of the following.

  • Repeating the assignment with a grade penalty.
  • Receiving a failing grade for the assignment.
  • Receiving a lower course grade.
  • Receiving a failing grade for the course.
  • Receiving an XF grade for the course (a permanent notation of academic misconduct on the student’s transcript).
  • Other appropriate consequences.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost may impose additional consequences in extenuating circumstances. Before imposing consequences, the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost will consult with the faculty member and appropriate administrator/s. These consequences may include one or more of the following.

  • Being expelled from the student’s program.
  • Being expelled from the College permanently or for a limited period of time.

Students may follow the College’s appeal process if they dispute an instructor’s accusation of academic dishonesty. The Academic Progress Committee will then hear the appeal.

Procedures

The following process must be completed in consecutive order within the published parameters. Use of the Grade Appeal form is required.

Step 1: Instructor notifies student of violation.

The instructor will notify the student via the College’s course management system within two (2) business days* of discovering an Academic Code of Ethics violation.

Step 2a: Student and instructor hold a preliminary meeting.

The student has five (5) business days* after being notified of a violation to request a meeting with the instructor. This meeting must take place within five (5) business days* of the notification of the violation. The student should contact the instructor to schedule the meeting. Students should bring supportive documentation to this meeting.

Step 2b: Student, instructor, and dean/director hold a preliminary meeting.

If the student is unable to resolve the matter with the instructor, the student has five (5) business days* after the meeting with the instructor to request a meeting with the instructor and dean/director who oversees the course discipline. This meeting must take place within five (5) business days* of the request for a meeting. The student should contact the dean’s office to schedule the meeting. Students should bring supportive documentation to this meeting.

Step 3a: Student files appeal documents.

  • If the student is unable to resolve the matter with the instructor and dean/director, the student can ask for a formal hearing to appeal the violation and/or consequence of the violation. This must be done within two (2) business days* of the preliminary meeting. While filing an appeal, the student is entitled to remain in the course (unless in a clinical setting) with all student rights intact until the hearing is completed and a final decision is reached.
  • To request a hearing, the student must complete the Student Information and Step One (1) sections of the Grade Appeal form and email the completed form as a Word attachment with other supportive materials to the division dean who oversees the course discipline within two (2) business days* of the student, instructor, and dean/director meeting. Students may not present paperwork at the hearing that was not originally submitted during the appeal process; however, the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost may request additional documentation.

Step 3b: Instructor files appeal documents.

Once the Student Information and Step One (1) are received by the dean, the dean will ask the faculty member to complete Section Two (2) of the Grade Appeal form and email the completed form as a Word attachment with other supportive materials to the division dean within two (2) business days* of the request. Faculty may not present paperwork at the hearing that was not originally submitted during the appeal process; however, the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost may request additional documentation.

Step 3c: Dean files appeal documents.

The dean will complete Section Two (2) of the Grade Appeal form and email all forms as Word attachments along with the supportive materials to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs within two (2) business days* of receivingSection Two (2) of the Grade Appeal form from the instructor.

Step 4: Appeal hearing.

  • The Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will assemble an Academic Progress Committee to hear the violation appeal within five (5) business days* of the filing of the complete appeal packet. The Committee will be comprised of two full-time faculty members, a student representative, and an Academic Affairs administrator, none of whom will be from the division where the complaint originated except in the case of an English student accused of plagiarism.
    • Prior to the meeting, the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will electronically distribute to all involved parties the completed Grade Appeal form, including supporting paperwork.
  • At the hearing, the student and faculty will have an opportunity to further present their positions and address questions by the Committee and Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost. The student is permitted to bring one (1) guest to the hearing who will serve as an observer.
  • The Committee will have two (2) business days* from the end of the hearing to submit to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost a committee signed evidence-based recommendation.

Step 5: Final decision.

  • The Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost will review the appeal paperwork, hearing notes, and the Committee’s recommendation. Within five (5) business days* of receipt of the Committee recommendation, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost will send the written appeal decision to the student with copies to all parties involved. This decision is final.
  • The Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will destroy document copies associated with the Academic Code of Ethics appeal. A permanent record of the proceedings, including hardcopy of the final written decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, is kept in a confidential file in the Office of Academic Affairs.
* Business day is defined as day of College operation with classes in session (fall, spring, and summer) excluding weekends.
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