The California University of Pennsylvania is a college that emphasizes how important academic integrity is to the preservation of the intellectual community. Students who are accused of violating the university's rules that maintain academic integrity will be accused of what's known as “academic misconduct” - an allegation that puts your academic and professional career in jeopardy.
As a college student at the California University of Pennsylvania, it's easy to get overwhelmed. You'll be assigned tons of homework, exams, projects, and presentations, leaving you to either sharpen your time management skills and adapt or struggle with completing it all. Unfortunately, the struggle to keep up with studies is the number one culprit behind academic misconduct charges.
In this article, we'll address how California University of Pennsylvania defines and handles academic misconduct, as well as why you need a student defense attorney to represent you throughout the school's processes.
California University of Pennsylvania's Academic Honesty Policy
Academic misconduct is any action that doesn't align with the California University of Pennsylvania's academic integrity policy. Since this definition leaves much room for interpretation and there are multiple ways to constitute academic misconduct, the school gives some concrete examples of this behavior.
Academic impersonation: having another individual complete an assignment or exam for the student.
Cheating: the use of unauthorized materials, information, ideas, study aids, etc., in any academic exercise. May include, but is not limited to:
- Copying answers from another student's exam
- Using notes, books, or other resources for an exam when not expressly permitted to do so
- Using electronic devices when not expressly permitted to do so
- Fraudulently obtaining or sharing an exam
- Submitting a term paper or other assignment written by someone else
- Plagiarizing the work of others
- Submitting the same term paper or other assignment to more than one instructor without obtaining prior permission to do so
- Having someone else take an online course or online exam for you
Conference: communication between two or more people. May be in person, by telephone or VOIP, in writing, or through videoconferencing or other internet-based meeting technologies
Digital violations: the following acts are violations of academic integrity when done to benefit a student's own (or others') academic record:
- Digital privacy and privacy violations: the willful violation of copyright laws through unauthorized sharing of information; use of material found online without proper acknowledgment of the source; interference with others' use of shared sites, etc.
- hacking/cracking: seeking out weaknesses or breaking security in a computer network or system for personal gain or sabotage
Dishonesty in publication: intentionally submitting/publishing inaccurate information.
Fabrication: the falsification or invention of any information or citation in academic work.
Improper research practices: falsifying data, research procedures or protocol, violation subject confidentiality, or in any other way conducting research in an improper manner.
Misrepresentation of academic record: falsifying, tampering with, or creating records such as transcripts, diplomas, verifications of enrollment; failure to report previous academic work when applying.
Plagiarism: the representation of the work of another as your own, without proper credit and/or citation. Every statement, image, or data that is not your own must be cited. Sources must be given regardless of whether the material is quoted directly, paraphrased, or summarized in the student's own words.
Signature: signatures may be obtained via email or mailed letter, and may be either digital or by hand.
California University of Pennsylvania's Procedure for Addressing Academic Misconduct
An instructor who believes a student has violated academic integrity has an obligation to hold a conference with the student to discuss the charge before assigning a penalty. This conference, and all conferences mentioned hereafter, may take place in person, or in the case of a distance education student, it may be by email, video conference, phone, or other appropriate method.
If the instructor decides that the situation warrants no penalty, the matter is concluded. If, after communicating with the student, the instructor believes academic integrity has been violated and assigns a penalty to the student, the instructor must prepare a written record. Charges of violating academic integrity will be adjudicated in this manner:
- The instructor will hold a conference with the student to discuss the charge and will prepare a written record (on the Academic Integrity form) of the conference to be read and signed by the student and the instructor. The instructor keeps a copy, the student keeps a copy, and the instructor sends a copy to the Office of Academic Success to be placed in the student's permanent record.
- If the conference with the instructor is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may appeal to the department chair within 10 working days. The department chair will then hold a conference with both the student and the instructor and will also prepare a written record (on the Academic Integrity form) of the conference to be read and signed by the student, the instructor, and the chair.
- When the Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee receives the appeal from the Dean, he/she will immediately contact the student to arrange for a conference hearing
- At the beginning of a conference hearing, the Chair will introduce those present and see that arrangements have been made for keeping an accurate record of the proceedings. If the student fails to appeal and does not submit an acceptable excuse to the Chair within 48 hours of the conference hearing, the student forfeits the opportunity for a hearing, and the professor's initial recommendation will stand. If the professor fails to appear and does not contact the Chair within 48 hours of the conference hearing with an acceptable excuse, the case will be dismissed, and the professor's penalty eliminated.
- The faculty member will then present his/her case to the Academic Integrity Committee. Next, the student will present his/her case. Either party may have witnesses available. These witnesses will remain outside the conference hearing room (or offline) until their testimony is requested.
- Within 10 working days, the Chair will submit the Academic Integrity Committee's decision and recommendation to the Provost, to the student, and to the Office of Academic Success.
List of Sanctions
Any of the following sanctions may be applied: written disciplinary reprimand, a make-up assignment or examination, lower grade or failure on the assignment or exam, failure in the course, suspension from the university for a defined period, withholding or rescinding a degree, retroactive failure of the course.
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 for more information at 888-535-3686.