Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy
Springfield College students are expected to be honest in all elements of the academic process, including coursework, use of College documents, and when serving as representatives of the College. Cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts, omissions, or falsifications in any connection with the academic process are violations of the Academic Honesty Policy (hereafter referred to as the Policy). Students found to be in violation of this Policy are subject to a range of sanctions, including, but not limited to, a reprimand, failing a course, and suspension or expulsion from the College.
The Practice of Academic Honesty
The information below is intended to help students understand the practice of academic honesty and potential offenses against the Academic Honesty Policy. Misunderstanding these practices or the Policy will not be accepted as an excuse for a violation of it. If a student is in doubt about how to practice academic honesty in a course or in conduct, he or she should consult with the course instructor, the chairperson of the department, or the dean of his, her or their school.
Academic Honesty in Course Exercises
A student’s name on any course exercise (which term shall include, but not be limited to, an essay, oral presentation, notebook, report, computer program, paper, quiz, examination, or any other assignment related to a course or internship) is regarded as assurance that the exercise is the result of the student’s own thoughts and study, stated in his, her or their own words, and produced without assistance, except as quotation marks, references, and footnotes acknowledge the use of printed sources or other outside help. In some instances, an instructor or department may authorize students to work jointly in solving problems or completing projects. Such efforts must be clearly marked as the results of collaboration. Where collaboration is authorized, students should make sure that they understand which parts of any assignment must be performed independently. Also, students are not allowed to present the same exercise previously or concurrently completed for another course, without the permission of the instructor(s) of the current course(s) in question. Students who perceive the possibility of an overlapping assignment should consult with their instructors before presuming that a single effort will meet the requirements of both courses. Withholding, removing, or destroying materials needed by other students for class exercises is also an offense against the Policy.
Use of Sources
In preparing assignments, a student is encouraged and often required to consult outside sources of information or opinion. All such sources should be listed in the bibliography/reference section. Commercial research or writing companies are not considered legitimate sources and their use, in whole or part, is cheating and constitutes a punishable offense. For citations, references in text are required for all specific facts that are not common knowledge. New discoveries or debatable opinions must be credited to the source with specific references to edition, page, or Web page even when the student restates the matter in his, her or their own words. Word-for-word inclusions, even if only a phrase or sentence, from the written or oral statement of someone else (including the Internet) requires citation in quotation marks and using the appropriate conventions for attribution. Paraphrasing or summarizing the contents of another’s work is not dishonest if the source or sources are clearly identified (author, title, edition, page), but such paraphrasing does not constitute independent work and may be rejected by the instructor. Graduate students and others presenting their own previously published documents must avoid issues of self-plagiarism. Students should be clear to appropriately reference their previous document and to create a new document that appropriately contributes and adds to their original work.
Laboratory Work and Assignments
Notebooks, homework, and reports of investigations or experiments must meet the same standards as all other written work. If any of the work is done jointly or if any part of the experiment or analysis is made by anyone other than the writer, acknowledgment of this fact must be made in the report submitted. It is dishonest for a student to falsify or invent data.
A piece of work presented as the individual creation of the student is assumed to involve no assistance other than incidental criticism from any other person. A student may not knowingly employ artwork, story material, wording or dialogue taken from published work, the Internet, motion pictures, lectures, or similar media, without full acknowledgment.
Examinations, Quizzes, and Tests
When completing examinations and quizzes, the student is required to respond entirely on the basis of his, her or their own memory and capacity, without any assistance whatsoever except such as is specifically authorized by the instructor.
Cheating on examinations and quizzes can take many forms including, but not limited to, using another individual to take an examination in ones place, bringing into the exam room unauthorized materials from which one gains assistance, appropriating an exam or exam materials without authorization, unauthorized or inappropriate use of technology, purposely missing an exam in order to gain an advantage, copying during an examination, improper collaboration or unauthorized assistance on take-home examinations, or other actions that undermine fairness reduce the objectivity of evaluation of student work.
Internships or Fieldwork
Students involved in community projects, practica, independent studies, or fieldwork experiences related to their academic program should be aware that their behavior is a reflection of themselves and the College; their behavior related to such experiences should be appropriate and professional and is subject to this Policy. Violations of this Policy in such circumstances include, but are not limited to, misrepresenting oneself, misrepresenting the College, misusing a position of authority, or failure to honestly report the results of their experience or research.
In writing and compiling a learning portfolio, including a prior learning portfolio (only for selected programs that accept prior learning), the student must submit only his, her or their own written work, identify any sources used (see “Use of Sources” above), and ensure that all information included is accurate. Violations of this Policy include, but are not limited to, failure to submit original work (e.g., uncited passages from published materials, including any part of another student’s portfolio or claim), falsification of any information or source, or forgery of any letter of documentation. Sharing or exchanging claims for credit with another student for any purpose, including their use as examples or models, is also not permitted; both students involved in such an incident will be considered in violation of this Policy.
College Documents and Records
Any misuse of official College documents connected with the academic process constitutes a violation of this Policy. Such documents include, but are not limited to registration forms, change of schedule forms, applications to change majors, grade report forms, applications for internships or fieldwork, transcripts, and diplomas. Misuse of such documents includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized alteration of a form, forging of signatures, misrepresentation of personal or academic information requested, or gaining access to a recommendation (without permission) once rights have been waived. Any falsification of records or routines for grading is also dishonest, whether before or after graduation.
Procedures for Suspected Violations of the Academic Honesty Policy
A student, faculty, or staff member who suspects a student of violating the Academic Honesty Policy is urged to report the incident to the instructor of the relevant course, or if the incident is not related to a course, to the Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs (AVPAA).
A. Course-related Violations
1. All suspected violations of the Academic Honesty Policy related to coursework shall be dealt with initially by the instructor of the course in which the alleged offense occurred. The instructor is responsible to investigate the allegation and determine whether a violation of the Policy occurred. If the student is found to be in violation of the Policy, the instructor must document the incident and evidence, write a letter of sanction, and meet with the student to discuss the incident and sanction. The letter of sanction should include:
- A brief explanation of the violation.
- Identification of the sanction.
- An explanation of the appeal process.
- A statement that “a report of this incident and my sanction will be forwarded to the Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs and may be subject to further action.”
2.If the student is found to be in violation of the Policy, the instructor may penalize the student with one of the following course-related sanctions.
- Reprimand - The student will be allowed to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment. Responsibility for evaluation of the student’s work in the course continues under the authority of the course instructor.
- Loss of credit in the exercise - The student will forfeit all or partial credit for the exercise, at the discretion of the instructor. The student may be required to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment, with proportion of credit awarded at the discretion of the instructor. The student will be allowed to continue in the course.
- A grade of “F” in the course - The student will no longer participate in the course, and the instructor will assign a grade of “F.”
Note: Any accusation of a violation of this policy must be investigated and acted upon by the instructor-no student may withdraw from a course to avoid investigation or adjudication. If it is determined that a violation occurred and the student wishes to withdraw from the class, he or she may only do so with the instructor’s approval (and within the withdrawal period).
3. Within five business days of meeting with the student and imposition of the sanction, the instructor must forward documentation of the incident and a copy of the sanction letter to the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA).
4. The AVPAA serves as the central repository for all reported violations of academic integrity. Upon receipt of any report, the AVPAA shall notify the student that the violation and sanction report has been received and will be kept on file.
5. In case of an egregious violation, as determined by the AVPAA, or a history of previous violation against the Policy, the AVPAA may initiate additional action by referring the case to the Academic Integrity Committee. The AVPAA has 60 class days from being notified of a violation and sanction to make such a referral and will notify the student of the referral.
a. If a case is referred to the Academic Integrity Committee for additional action, the Committee has 60 business days (following a referral from the AVPAA) to schedule a hearing with the student. Following the hearing, the Committee will make a decision regarding whether one of the following sanctions should be imposed, above and beyond sanctions that may have been imposed by the instructor(s).
Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the Committee based upon the circumstances of the case.
Expulsion - The student may be expelled from the College and will not be eligible to return to the College.
Suspension - The student will be suspended from the College for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two semesters. The student may be restricted from transferring in courses taken elsewhere during the suspension.
Academic Honesty Probation - The student would receive a notification that he or she is on academic honesty probation; any additional incidences may result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
b. The decision of the Academic Integrity Committee will be communicated to the student in writing by the AVPAA, with copies to the instructor, advisor(s), the appropriate dean(s) and the Provost and Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
B. Non-course-related Violations & Violations Identified Following Degree Conferral
Alleged violations of the Policy related to misuse of College documents or other charges not related to courses and alleged violation of the Policy by a student whose degree was already conferred should be reported directly to the AVPAA, who will conduct an investigation.
If evidence of a violation is found the AVPAA will:
1. in the case of non-egregious, first time violations, provide a letter of sanction to the student that will provide documentation of the violation and be kept on file.
2. if a current student, in the case of egregious violations, as determined by the AVPAA, the AVPAA will make a decision regarding whether one of the following sanctions should be imposed.
a. Academic Honesty Probation - The student would receive a notification that he or she is on academic honesty probation; any additional incidences may result in suspension or expulsion from the College.
b. Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the AVPAA based upon the circumstances of the case.
c. Expulsion - The student may be expelled from the College and will not be eligible to return to the College.
d. Suspension - The student will be suspended from the College for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two semesters. The student may be restricted from transferring in courses taken elsewhere during the suspension.
The student will be notified of any action taken by the AVPAA and may appeal the decision of the AVPAA (see Appeal Process)
- for a student who has graduated, in the case of egregious violations, as determined by the AVPAA, that may warrant a degree revocation the matter will be referred to the Academic Integrity Committee to consider a recommendation to the Provost that the student’s degree be revoked or other appropriate sanction. The decision of the Provost in such a case is final.
Students may appeal any decision or sanction for a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy made by either a faculty member or the AVPAA. To do so the student must notifying the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs no later than ten business days following the notification sent to the student. The AVPAA will refer the appeal to the Academic Integrity Committee for consideration. The decision of the Academic Integrity Committee will be communicated to the student, instructor, the appropriate dean(s) and the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs. The decision of the Academic Integrity Committee is final.
In the case of sanctions applied by the Academic Integrity Committee, students may appeal any decision or sanction for a violation of the Policy taken by that Committee by notifying the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs no later than ten business days following the notification sent to the student from the Committee. The appeal will be forwarded to the Provost for consideration. The decision of the Provost is final.
Academic Integrity Committee
The Academic Integrity Committee is empowered to:
Consider a student’s appeal of an instructor’s findings of academic dishonesty or an instructor-imposed sanction.
Consider a student’s appeal of the AVPAA’s finding of academic dishonesty for a violation of the Policy relative to College documents or other offense not related to a course.
Hear charges of repeated violations of the Policy.
Hear charges of an egregious violation as determined by the AVPAA, for a student who has graduated, to consider a recommendation of degree revocation to the Provost.
As part of its deliberations, the Committee may consider a student’s prior violations of the academic honesty policy.
The Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs will also convene the Committee at least once an academic year to provide a report on the number and severity of all policy violations. The report shall be distributed to the Provost and to the school Deans for additional distribution at the school level.
The Committee shall consist of a total of eight faculty members, two from each of the College’s schools. The dean of each school will appoint two faculty members to represent his, her or their school. The faculty members appointed should provide representation for both the undergraduate and graduate level. The AVPAA will chair the committee as an ex-officio (non-voting) member.