To say that academic integrity is essential to the world of higher education is an understatement. This is why Bryn Mawr College strives to protect standards of integrity in all of their intellectual endeavors. Academic communities can only thrive when every member is fully committed to the principles of academic integrity. To ensure students reach their educational goals, Bryn Mawr College has enforced a number of rules that serve to preserve and maintain academic integrity in all scholastic endeavors.
Students who break these rules, knowingly or accidentally, will be accused of academic misconduct. Accusations of academic misconduct are serious and will be punished through the school's judicial system. Guilty determinations of academic misconduct have been known to jeopardize students' college careers and affect their professional lives down the line as well.
In this article, we'll address how Bryn Mawr College handles allegations of academic misconduct and why you need a student defense attorney to assist you through the process once accused.
Bryn Mawr College's Honor Code
Registration at Bryn Mawr College requires adherence to the college's Honor Code. Although these standards may seem intuitive, the concept of academic integrity is much broader than most students may realize. The following examples represent some basic types of behavior that are deemed unacceptable to the College:
- Cheating: using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information on an examination; altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for regrading; allowing another person to do one's work and submitting that work under one's own name; submitting identical or similar papers for credit in more than one course without prior permission from the course instructors.
- Plagiarism: submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source.
- Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information, data or citation; presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected.
- Obtaining an Unfair Advantage: (a) stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor; (b) stealing, destroying, defacing or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; (c) unauthorized collaborating on an academic assignment (d) retaining, possessing, using or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination
- Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: (a) providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above; (b) providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity; or (c) providing (including selling) class materials to websites that sell or otherwise share such materials – including homework, exams, and exam solutions, submitted papers or projects, as well as original course materials (for example, note packets, PowerPoint decks, etc.). In addition to violating Northwestern's policies on academic integrity, such conduct may also violate University policies related to copyright protection.
- Falsification of Records and Official Documents: altering documents affecting academic records; forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official University document.
- Unauthorized Access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems: viewing or altering computer records, modifying computer programs or systems, releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access, or interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information.
Bryn Mawr College's Procedure for Resolving Academic Misconduct
If a student or another member of the community (including members of the faculty) suspects that the actions of another student are not consistent with the academic aspects of the Honor Code, she or he should talk in person with the student who committed the alleged violation to determine whether or not a potential violation has occurred. If the confronting party is satisfied that no violation has occurred, no further action is needed. If, after the conversation, the confronting party still believes that a violation may have occurred, the confronting party should ask the confronted student to report herself/himself to the Honor Board (preferably in writing). This process of confrontation should be conducted in a completely confidential manner.
Both the confronting and confronted parties are to write separate statements explaining the circumstances as they perceive them. In ordinary circumstances, the statements should be submitted to the Honor Board within 72 hours after the confronted student and the Honor Board have made contact.
If the confronting party is a student, she or he may be represented during the hearing by the professor involved. At the hearing, the statements previously submitted to the Honor Board will be read by Board members before the arrival of the confronting and confronted parties. Both parties (confronting and confronted) may read all written statements.
In the hearing, the confronted student has the option to present for all testimony given. The student's dean is present during the entire hearing but does not have a vote in the final decision. The hearing is conducted in a formal manner. As soon as the hearing is over, the student is informed of the Board's decision by the Head of the Undergraduate College, or his/her/their designee from the Dean's Office, informs the professor of the confronting party.
Appeals of decisions of the Academic Honor Board may be made to the President of the College within one week of the conclusion of the hearing. Appeals may be only made in cases where the procedure followed is questionable. The appeal must be presented in writing. The President will review all materials from the hearing, and the decision of the Honor Board with respect to the complaint of the confronted student. The President will not hear new evidence. The President may uphold any decision of the Honor Board, reverse that decision, or call for a new hearing. Decisions involving separation and exclusion are automatically appealed.
Academic Integrity Attorney
An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today at 888-535-3686 for more information.