According to Drexel University's code of conduct, all students are expected to uphold the highest values of academic integrity. Any actions that fall below the realm of these standards is considered academic misconduct. The policy proceeds to list potential breaches of academic integrity, including plagiarism, cheating, and fabrication.
Drexel University defines plagiarism as the “inclusion of someone's previously documented words, ideas, or data in one's own new and original work.” Essentially, if a student tries to pass off another person's work as their own, their actions are constituted as plagiarism. A couple examples of plagiarism are (but are not limited to) the following.
- Using another person's opinions, concepts, or theories, even if it is completely paraphrased in one's own words, without acknowledgment of the source.
- Submitting previously submitted work for credit without the approval of an instructor.
- Collaborating on an assignment or sharing files and/or programs, and then submitting individual copies of the assignment as one's own work.
- Quoting another individual's words, sentences, or paragraphs without giving them acknowledgment.
According to Drexel University's code of conduct, cheating is an act or attempted act of deception for one's own academic merit. Essentially, cheating occurs when a student misrepresents their work for an academic evaluation. Examples of cheating are (but are not limited to) the following.
- Copying from another student's test during an exam.
- Allowing another student to copy from your exam, paper, test, quiz etc..
- Collaborating on a project without authorization from an instructor.
- Using unauthorized materials, like notes, formula lists, calculators, or cell phones during an exam, or to complete coursework.
- Taking an exam for someone else, or permitting someone else to take an exam for you (a stand in).
In the book, fabrication is referred to as the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings. The code of conduct accordingly lists several common examples of fabrication seen on campus.
- Using information in an assignment but not referencing the correct source.
- Citing sources in a works-cited list that have not been used in the academic project.
- Submitting a paper, lab report, theses, or other academic work with falsified, invented, or fictitious data or evidence.
- Other forms of scientific misconduct.
Drexel University encourages all members of the community to report any suspected violations involving academic misconduct. It's important you remember that colleges and universities are academic institutions that thrive on academic integrity. Instructors are workers in academia who value independent thought and authenticity, and will not hesitate to report students who they suspect are submitting works contrary to these principles. Instructors and institutions will take academic misconduct charges incredibly serious. You should too.
Before an instructor files a complaint based on their suspicions, he or she will meet with you. A discussion entailing an explanation from you, and their intentions to submit a complaint will ensue. This is supposed to be a “confidential” meeting. If your explanation does not suffice in the eyes of an instructor, he or she will notify you that they plan on proceeding with the process. You will have to choose one of two options: admitting to the violation or challenging the violation.
Admitting the violation
For some students, admitting the violation (even though they maintain the belief that they're innocent) is an attractive option. Having an adversarial relationship with the school or an instructor is a battle that many students feel they can't win, so they succumb to the pressure of choosing the easy route. Once you make this choice, your instructor will come up with an appropriate sanction for you. It's important you remember, that this decision will be based on the nature of these allegations, your history of committing violations (if any), and many other factors.
Challenging the violation
If you disagree that the violation occurred, an extra phase in the process will ensue. The instructor will be required to meet with a department head, who will make the final judgment. If it has been determined that an academic integrity infraction has occurred, the faculty head and your instructor will come up with appropriate sanctions.
All students have the right to an appeals process if they believe that they have been wrongly accused or sanctioned. An appeal is a request for a school to review a decision it made based on the reasonable grounds provided by a student. At Drexel University, an appeal must be submitted in writing and receiving within seven days of the sanction notification. A student defense attorney can help you effectively establish grounds for an appeal.
Pennsylvania Student Defense Attorney
For students who may be facing sanction that include a program withdrawal, suspension, or expulsion as a result of academic misconduct should retain an attorney. Joseph D. Lento has over 15 years of experience helping people in these circumstances prevail, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.