Claremont McKenna College, like other colleges, continually enforced rules that preserve academic integrity because it's essential to academic environments. This is why students who are accused of violating these regulations have an uphill battle on their hands.
As a student, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the many assignments, homework, projects, and presentations you've likely been assigned. Unfortunately, the struggle to keep up with studies is the number one culprit behind academic misconduct charges.
In this article, we'll address how Claremont McKenna College defines and handles cases of academic misconduct, as well as why you need a student defense attorney to represent you throughout the school's processes.
How Does Claremont McKenna College Define “Academic Misconduct?”
According to Claremont McKenna College's Statement of Academic Integrity, all members of the College are required to commit to high ethical standards in meeting their responsibilities and in their relationships with each other. It is also expected of students to understand and follow basic standards of honesty and integrity. If students fail to uphold these basic standards of academic integrity through the way they approach and/or complete their academic endeavors, they will be accused of “academic misconduct.”
Some common examples of actions that constitute academic misconduct are but not limited to:
Plagiarism: this is defined as the use of the thoughts, ideas, words, phrases, or research of another person or source without explicit and accurate attribution. In keeping with this definition, all work, whether written or oral, submitted or presented by students at the College as part of course assignments or for College-sponsored activities, must be the original work of the student unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Students must ensure that elements of language and argument included in their work are properly acknowledged whenever those elements appear in other sources, including the student's own previously submitted work.
Cheating: this includes copying another student's answers, exchanging information, using notes or books unless expressly permitted to do so by the instructor, having forbidden devices or materials in the testing environment, or gaining access to examinations prior to the actual taking of such examinations.
Other examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to copying or preparing another person's work, buying prepared papers, fabricating laboratory reports or experimental data, gaining unauthorized access to computer data or other privileged information, violating the rules of an assignment or an exam, engaging in deception, or supplying false or forged documents to a college official. Assisting anyone to engage in any of the violations described above qualifies as academic dishonesty.
Misconduct can occur in any academic situation, including but not limited to, a course research project, independent study, presentation, qualifying examination, preliminary examination, or dissertation.
Claremont McKenna College also has an academic integrity checklist for students to abide by.
Claremont McKenna College's Procedure for Adjudicating Academic Misconduct
The student conduct system is a model of shared governance amongst faculty, administration, and students; it upholds the Standards of Conduct that guides the campus. The primary purpose of the student conduct system is to educate students while correcting behavior that does not meet the school's standards.
Upon receiving charges of an alleged violation, the Honor Board chair will determine whether there are grounds for an investigation. If there is reason to believe that an investigation should ensue, an independent party will conduct an investigation to determine if there's proof the alleged academic misconduct took place.
Following an investigation, a hearing will be conducted by the Hearing Board. In the hearing, all involved parties shall be heard. The Board shall use “clear and convincing” evidence as the burden of proof. “Clear and convincing” evidence is a stricter standard of proof than the “preponderance of evidence,” which is used in many school judicial settings, but less rigorous than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal cases. Thus, the evidence must be prevailing and persuasive. After all parties are heard, the Board will deliberate. The Board shall consider all admissible evidence and materials presented during the hearing. No new facts regarding the present suspected violation may be introduced during deliberations. Once the deliberations have concluded, the Board will produce a summary of the case, including the case's resolution.
One or more of the following sanctions may be recommended during the student conduct process: additional assignments, no credit for the original assignment/exam, a failing grade for the original assignment/exam, a reduced final grade for the course, a failing grade for the course, withdrawal from a course and/or the inability to take self-scheduled exams in the course, probation, and in extreme cases, expulsion.
Students may appeal in writing the school's decision regarding their petition. To be eligible for consideration, an appeal must include the following:
- The decision the student is appealing and what action is sought;
- Rationale and support for why the decision should be modified;
- Any documentation relevant to the appeal (e.g. medical statement, documentation of evidence, etc.)
Generally, the appeals committee will only reconsider a decision in light of new information which was not available to the Board or the student at the time that the original petition was considered. Students may not submit as “new information” any information the student chose not to include in the original petition. As noted above, character references or letters of support are not relevant to appeals and will not be reviewed by the Board. An appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the original decision. The Board will review the appeal at its next scheduled meeting, provided the appeal is received by noon two days in advance. A schedule of meeting dates is available from the Registrar's Office.
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.