The Washington, D.C. region is now home to 20 institutions for postsecondary education. Colleges and universities have expectations regarding academic standards and student conduct. The administration is responsible for drafting written procedures that are followed when a student is alleged to have violated the rules. Those accused have an opportunity to answer these claims in a hearing and may face penalties and sanctions if the allegations are supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Students should consult an attorney when they initially face these allegations. This is even more important for those who have already been unsuccessful in defending themselves and must appeal. The Lento Law Firm has years of experience as an Academic Appeal Advisor.
Acts of Academic Misconduct
There are many examples of academic misconduct in postsecondary institutions. A student may face accusations of plagiarism for taking credit for the work of another party without citing the source. Students may be accused of academic dishonesty by cheating on an exam or assignment or collaborating with others to do so.
Commonly Imposed Sanctions
- They may be assigned a failing grade for an individual exam, assignment or for the course
- A period of disciplinary probation may be imposed
- The student may be removed from a particular honors, professional or graduate program
- A suspension from the school may be imposed
- Expulsion from the school may be imposed
If a student is found to be in violation, most institutions have a specific procedure for appeal which must be followed. At American University in Washington D.C., for example, a student must submit a written request for an appeal to the Provost within a period of 10 working days. The grounds for an appeal may include:
- New evidence that could have an impact on the outcome has been discovered
- That the outcome of the matter was affected by some failure to adhere to written procedure
- That the penalties (sanctions) imposed are excessive
The Provost may confirm the ruling, make a modification or have the matter re-assessed according to their instruction.
Student Records & Transcripts of the Violations & Sanctions
When a student feels that documentation relating to their academic conduct will be detrimental to their future, an appeal should be strongly considered. Many institutions document all disciplinary actions as records of conduct and also add them to transcripts. These records may be retained indefinitely. A release authorization is generally required for those seeking access. Some schools will grant a student clemency and remove records of expulsion from their transcripts.
Benefits of Having an Attorney as an Appeal Advisor
Often students accused of acts of academic misconduct underestimate the potentially negative consequences. In retrospect, the student may recognize that they should have sought legal counsel. Retaining an experienced attorney for your appeal will be the first step. Your attorney will compose a document that effectively challenges the ruling. When your attorney objectively reviews the facts and process that led to the decision they may find evidence suggesting your rights were not appropriately considered. The attorney may conduct negotiations that could resolve the matter in a way that is mutually acceptable to all parties.
Lawyer Represents Students as an Academic Appeal Advisor in Washington D.C.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively defends college and university students accused of misconduct in Washington D.C. You may have a limited time to appeal a disciplinary action, so contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- Corcoran College of Art and Design
- Gallaudet University
- George Washington University
- Georgetown University
- Howard University
- Potomac College Washington
- Trinity Washington University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Phoenix - Washington DC Campus
Regrettably, an academic misconduct finding of responsibility can derail an accused student's academic and professional goals and some students and parents do not recognize this concern until it may be too late. If a student is found responsible for academic misconduct charges, in addition to the short-term consequences such academic and disciplinary sanctions, there will be long-term consequences. Internships, graduate school opportunities, and employment opportunities can all be adversely impacted by a finding of responsibility.
For these reasons and more, it is critical to properly address such concerns as early as possible in the disciplinary process. There are times, however, that it necessary to appeal an adverse outcome, and Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unparalleled experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at universities and colleges in Washington, D.C., and throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an academic misconduct advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Washington, D.C., and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected at all stages of the academic misconduct disciplinary process, including the appeal stage - Contact National Academic Misconduct Advisor Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.