Being accused of academic dishonesty can be incredibly scary. You have worked so hard to get into college, taken the tests, written your essays, and spent countless days waiting for your admissions letter. When you are dreaming of attending college, you never imagine your dream being ripped away in an instant. At California State University – Dominguez Hills, students are encouraged to work with attorney-advisors from the moment they learn of the accusations. Attorney-advisors, like those at Lento Law Firm, have spent years helping students in similar situations. They know how to gather evidence, question witnesses, and create a strategic defense that is sure to garner you the best possible outcome for your case. You deserve to graduate from the college of your choice. Call our offices today.
Academic Misconduct at California State University – Dominguez Hills
California State University – Dominguez Hills is dedicated to preserving a safe and healthy living and learning environment. As such, students are given a particular code of conduct they are expected to familiarize themselves with at the beginning of each school year. This code of conduct describes the actions students are allowed to take, as well as any prohibited actions the university hopes they stay away from. It also puts students on notice that any misconduct will be adjudicated in a specific way.
While academic misconduct differs from school to school, most schools in the United States define it as any actions that give a student an advantage over another student without the express permission of the university. At CSU – Dominguez Hills, academic misconduct includes:
- Cheating: intentionally using, or trying to use, unauthorized materials on an exam, paper, or other academic exercises
- Multiple submissions: submitting all or portions of the same work for different courses without permission
- Plagiarism: using another's ideas, words, or results without giving them credit
- Giving or receiving assistance without the instructor's permission
- Forging or altering a university document
California State University – Dominguez Hills Academic Dishonesty Procedure
When a faculty member becomes aware or suspicious of academic misconduct, they alert the vice president for Student Affairs and the Student Conduct Administrator of the matter. The faculty member will meet with the student to discuss the incident. If the student confesses to committing such behavior, the faculty member will have to institute certain sanctions. Generally, these sanctions will include a lower or failing grade on the assignment or a lower or failing grade in the course.
If you decide to dispute the faculty member's sanctions, an investigation will be launched into the incident. The investigator will meet with you and the faculty member and determine whether a hearing is appropriate. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present relevant evidence and witness testimony to argue your point of view. The decision-maker will review the information and determine whether you have, in fact, committed an act of academic misconduct. They will also determine additional sanctions, if necessary. These sanctions might include:
- Loss of financial aid
- Educational and remedial sanctions
- Denial of access to campus
- Disciplinary probation
- Administrative hold
- Withholding degree
Appealing an Academic Misconduct Decision at California State University – Dominguez Hills
Students have the opportunity to challenge the decision-maker's determination on academic misconduct. Appeals must be made in writing within ten working days after the date of the decision letter. The appeal can only be based on one or more of the grounds listed below:
- The outcome of the hearing is not supported by substantial evidence
- There is a prejudicial procedural error that impacted the hearing outcome to such a degree that the hearing does not comply with the university's Executive Order
- There is new evidence available now that was not reasonably available during the hearing and will affect the outcome
- The sanction imposed is disproportionate to the alleged conduct
Once the appeal is received, the university will review the issues and evidence raised. This review will be limited to the issues and evidence raised and identified at the hearing unless new evidence becomes available after the hearing and is part of the appeal.
After reviewing the appeal, the university will either decide to uphold the hearing decision, revoke the hearing decision, and dismiss the case or amend the decision in some way. Generally, the appeals process takes about thirty working days after the written appeal is received to conclude.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
If you are accused of academic misconduct, it will have several long-term consequences that go beyond the bounds of the immediate sanctions imposed. For example, prerequisite courses are incredibly important to pass prior to getting to take the required courses of your major. If you are forced to fail a prerequisite course, you will have to retake it when it is next available. If this course is only available once a year, you might have to push off your graduation date. Additionally, if you are found responsible for academic dishonesty and punished with expulsion or suspension, those sanctions are noted on your transcripts. This means that when you apply to another college to finish your degree (if you are expelled) or you apply to graduate school to continue your education, you will have to explain the incident to any admissions advisor who inquiries into it.
Education attorneys are there to help students navigate these complex proceedings to ensure the best possible outcome for the issue. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unmatched experience fighting for students accused of academic misconduct. They have spent their professional careers helping students preserve their dream of graduating from college by gathering evidence, questioning witnesses, and creating strategic defenses. You don't have to figure this out alone, the Lento Law Firm can help. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule your consultation.