Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) encourages students to maintain ethical standards that serve them both on-campus and in their day-to-day lives. The university's honor code reflects its commitment to fostering accountability and integrity, with a low tolerance for academic misconduct and ethical violations.
While SNHU offers multiple resources for students seeking help, ignorance of a rule or part of the honor code doesn't guarantee leniency or constitutes a defense. Without the right guidance and an effective strategy, students risk losing academic privileges and even permanent removal from SNHU.
An academic advisor with a thorough understanding of administrative procedures helps students seek justice when they commit an act of academic misconduct. Whether the violation was a mistake or completely false, a student must have a defense strategy that improves their chances of a favorable resolution.
Without an advisor's help, students can face harsh penalties like repeating the semester or delaying graduation.
Interpreting SNHU's Academic Honesty Policy
Academic misconduct, according to SNHU, is the deliberate transgression against its policies to gain an unfair advantage. The SNHU Student Handbook contains a thorough description of these policies and procedures when students commit a violation.
Students who engage in academic misconduct or dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions. While they have a right to appeal if the sanctions include suspension or permanent dismissal, the process is stressful. It wreaks havoc on a student's reputation, self-esteem, and social standing.
Some of these policies include:
Altering Data or Documentation
Altering data is when students fabricate data from their research assignments and present it as accurate information. Modifying documentation is when students submit documents with altered grades or data, such as transcripts or certifications.
Dishonesty in Written Work
SNHU prizes academic integrity and accountability, which extends to essays, assignments, and other written work. The university prohibits students from using an essay-writing mill or letting other students write their papers.
Misuse of Electronic Devices
The unauthorized use of tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices to cheat is a severe offense. Students do this by using their phones to take pictures of exams or use their devices to access confidential data and share that information with others.
Students who ask a peer or unauthorized individual to take a test for them or those who submit previous work as new and original are committing acts of misrepresentation.
When students use others' work and fail to cite or use another person's ideas without giving credit, they engage in plagiarism. Changing the wording or summarizing it into one's own words is still a form of dishonesty without citing the original creator.
When students submit an old assignment, research paper, or information as recent to a different professor, it is self-plagiarism.
Any unethical means that students use to improve their grades and have an academic advantage over their peers. These actions include sneaking notes into a test or storing them on devices, getting the answers to an exam before release, copying answers from peers, and allowing others to cheat.
Other, less-known forms of cheating include preventing a peer from getting a good grade by obstructing their work.
Some students engage in wide-scale cheating attempts by forming cheating rings. Peers collaborate by exchanging test answers or resources to cheat. Any act that includes a plan to cheat with other students is a form of unauthorized collaboration.
These violations don't fall under a specific category but are still severe enough to warrant an investigation or hearing. These violations include:
- Stealing the answers to tests and quizzes
- Using websites that facilitate cheating
- forging university documents or signatures
- Offering bribes to university employees
- Deliberately reporting a false violation
Academic Integrity Process
If a professor believes that a student violated the policy, they alert the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct. Professors must also speak to the student and relay their concerns.
Professors have the first word when it comes to reporting. If the violation wasn't severe, the professor uses this event to work with the student and avoid similar future actions. On the other hand, serious offenses that a professor believes require sanctions require filling out an Academic Integrity form.
The Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Manager receives the form and the university checks for previous offenses. The investigation process commences as per the Student Organization Conduct Standards process.
Investigation Process and Hearing
The investigation process starts after the Executive Director of the Community Standards and Student Support receives an incident report and refers it to the Director of Student Involvement.
The incident undergoes a thorough review. The Offices of Student Involvement interviews witnesses, student organizations, advisors, professors, and other persons involved in the case to determine fault.
SNHU may resort to a hearing, meeting, or other communication form depending on the investigation's outcome.
Unless there are criminal charges, students cannot bring a legal advisor to the hearing. However, an advisor can still assist the student externally by gathering witness statements and evidence to help with student defense.
Penalties for engaging in academic misconduct depend on the current incident and the student's history at SNHU. Some sanctions include:
- An official warning and reprimand
- Reduced grade or F on a course
- Behavioral contract and educational letter
- Probation and reduced standing
- Loss of privileges
- Permanent Dismissal
Those who believe that the hearing or investigation process was not fair can appeal the decision once. Additionally, students who have new evidence to corroborate their claims may also receive approval to review their case.
The Lento Law Firm for Academic Misconduct Defense
It's crucial to work with an advisor that understands the stakes and works aggressively to clear your name of academic misconduct charges. Advisor Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience effectively helping college and university students receive justice from their panels nationwide.
Your degree and academic future are at stake – don't wait until it's too late to change the panel's decision. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today for an expert and confidential consultation at 888-535-3686.