Attorney for Dickinson College

Because Dickinson College seeks to maintain the highest possible academic standards, the urge to get ahead can sometimes tempt students to use questionable and inappropriate methods. When the stakes are high, students are more likely to rationalize taking a “shortcut” to complete their academic endeavors. After all, in their minds, nobody gets hurt if they cut corners once or twice. But what may seem like a miniscule act of rebellion could lead to consequences that jeopardize your academic standing at the university and your post-college professional life.

If you are a student who has been accused of academic misconduct at Dickinson College, you must understand that accusations of academic misconduct are serious. In this article, we'll address how Dickinson College handles allegations of academic misconduct and why you need a student defense attorney to assist you through the process once accused. 

How does Dickinson College Define “Academic Misconduct?”

Students are expected to do their own work on papers, quizzes, examinations, class assignments etc. When students take shortcuts, or don't create or submit assignments in a way that is authorized by the instructor, this action is considered academic misconduct. 

Since there are a number of ways one can constitute academic misconduct, Dickinson College gives concrete examples in its student handbook. Any of the following actions are considered academic misconduct:

Cheating

Cheating involves deception or the provision or receipt of unauthorized assistance. Students are expected neither to receive nor to provide unauthorized assistance with academic work. Cheating is a broad term that may take on many forms, to understand what it entails, here are a few illustrative (but not exhaustive) examples:

  • Copying from another person's work or answers
  • Using online translators to complete assignments, quizzes, or examinations in a language course
  • Referring to an using prohibited materials in the preparation for assignments or the taking of examinations or quizzes
  • Assisting another to do any of the above or to cheat in a similar manner
  • Obtaining and using a copy of the examination or answers to an examination without the knowledge of the instructor 
  • Submitting the same paper or assignment in two courses without permission of both professors. Using substantive sections of an assignment or paper completed for another course also requires permission of both instructors.

Plagiarism

To plagiarize is to use someone else's language, words, ideas, or phrases without proper citation or acknowledgement. The most serious degree of plagiarism involves the wholesale and deceptive borrowing of written material from sources such as published authors, websites, other students, or paper-for-hire services. Another serious degree of plagiarism involves less wholesale but still repeated and inappropriate borrowing from outside sources. Finally, there is a degree of plagiarism that involves the borrowing of specific words or phrases without quotation marks. 

Understand that paraphrasing means to summarize in your own words. The surest way to avoid plagiarism when summarizing is to write with sources and notes closed.

Falsifying/Forging Academic Documents

Falsifying or forging documents involves the unauthorized alteration of information provided by the College on records or documents.  

Dickinson College's Disciplinary Process

It is the discretion of the faculty members to determine the appropriate process for adjudicating instances of academic misconduct. However, these faculty members must follow certain guidelines. 

An initial meeting between a student and faculty member will ensue. If, at the end of the meeting, the faculty member still believes an allegation of academic misconduct occurred, he or she may impose a sanction at his/her discretion. If the faculty and the student are unable to reach a resolution, or if the student denies responsibility for the alleged academic integrity violation, the Academic Integrity Council. 

Sanctions

If the Council finds the student guilty of violating the academic integrity policy, the Council will have three business days to consult with the faculty alleging misconduct and the student's major of study for a decision on appropriate sanctions. In collaboration with the faculty and program(s)/department(s), the following grade sanctions may be applied:

  • Zero credit on the assignment
  • Failure of the course

For serious cases of academic misconduct, the Council may recommend that the Provost apply the following sanctions:

  • Suspension from the University
  • Dismissal from the University

Appeals

Following the Judicial Hearing Panel's ruling, both the faculty alleging misconduct and the accused student may appeal the decision in writing detailing the grounds of the appeal. Appeals must be submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs within 10 business days of the Panel's ruling. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs is final and a written record of the decision shall be kept on file. 

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.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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