Colleges in South Dakota have a reputation as schools of integrity to protect. However, they often overreach when they accuse students of cheating or committing academic misconduct. In these cases, you could be accused of academic misconduct – something that can impact your professional future – even though you have done nothing wrong.
Appointing a lawyer as your advisor in these situations can be the best move you can make.
Types of Academic Misconduct in South Dakota
While every college in South Dakota has its own rules about what constitutes academic misconduct – as well as about what happens when someone gets accused of it – all schools follow the same basic guidelines and prohibit the same basic set of activities. These include:
- Cheating on a test. All schools forbid the use of materials that have been prohibited from a testing environment, like notes or textbooks, as it would allow some students an unfair advantage over others.
- Plagiarizing a paper. Similarly, schools want to ensure that each student gets credit for their own work, but not for the work of others. Therefore, if you use someone else's ideas and pass them off as your own without citing to their original source, you could be committing academic misconduct.
- Forging official documents. Less common, but often more severe, are instances of academic misconduct where a student forges or alters official school documents, like their transcript.
- Distributing or destroying material. Academic misconduct often includes stealing and distributing academic materials, like upcoming tests or answer keys, or destroying other academic resources, like library books.
- Complicity in misconduct. Finally, many schools also prohibit being complicit in academic misconduct. In some colleges in South Dakota, this is confined to actively trying to cover up someone else's academic misconduct. In other schools, though, it can include merely knowing about misconduct, but failing to report it.
Unfortunately, when these rules are vaguely written, innocent behavior can begin to toe the line into academic misconduct. When schools deliberately write these rules in vague ways to prosecute novel ways of cheating, upstanding students can get in trouble.
Penalties for Academic Misconduct
When innocent students are implicated in academic misconduct charges, the penalties that can result are enough to put their professional future into jeopardy, even if the accusation is a trivial one: Severe instances of academic misconduct often lead to a student being expelled from college, while less severe allegations can cause a student to receive a written warning. These warnings, though, put a mark on a student's academic record that is often enough for an interested employer to choose another qualified candidate from the job pool.
Joseph D. Lento: Academic Misconduct Advisor Serving South Dakota
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense attorney who can serve as your advisor if you have been accused of academic misconduct in the state of South Dakota. Contact him online if you want to preserve your rights, protect your professional future, and show your school that you intend to vigorously defend against the accusations levied against you.
South Dakota colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's academic misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Augustana College
- Black Hills State University
- Colorado Technical University Sioux Falls
- Dakota State University
- Dakota Wesleyan University
- Globe University Sioux Falls
- Kilian Community College
- Lake Area Technical Institute
- Mitchell Technical Institute
- Mount Marty College
- National American University Ellsworth AFB Extension
- National American University Rapid City
- National American University Sioux Falls
- Northern State University
- Oglala Lakota College
- Presentation College
- Sinte Gleska University
- Sisseton Wahpeton College
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- South Dakota State University
- Southeast Technical Institute
- University of Sioux Falls
- University of South Dakota
- Western Dakota Technical Institute