Have you recently learned that California State University may be investigating your alleged involvement in an academic misconduct violation? This isn't the type of experience you thought you'd have when you matriculated. Right now, you might be scared and confused. You might wonder if there's anything that you can do to turn this around. You might be curious about the actual ramifications of this type of potential disciplinary action—or if it's even a big deal to begin with.
Unfortunately, it is. If you take away one message from this page, know that the disciplinary action associated with your alleged misconduct can make your future a lot more difficult than it needs to be. This type of information about your actions—even if it's untrue or the result of a misunderstanding—can cause future employers or schools to think twice about giving you the opportunities that you deserve.
At the Lento Law Firm, we don't believe that you should experience anything other than the bright future you've worked so hard for. That's why we're ready to help you put together a strategic defense to protect your reputation and your future.
What Is Academic Misconduct at California State University - Sacramento?
The term ‘academic misconduct' is a wide umbrella concept that can denote different activities at different academic institutions. The CSU website and Academic Dishonesty policy help make clear the specific actions on your part that the University might find problematic.
CSU also makes it clear that knowing this information is one of your responsibilities as a student. According to information from the University Policy Manual, CSU students have the responsibility to:
- Know what academic dishonesty is, according to CSU;
- Know what types of actions constitute plagiarism and cheating;
- Take full responsibility for their work (and refrain from taking credit for that of others);
- Be aware of CSU's disciplinary policies and procedures
It may be a good idea to review your student handbook or the University's code of conduct if you don't know what these items are.
CSU's Prohibited Conduct site provides succinct definitions of both plagiarism and cheating for your reference, which includes the following information:
- CSU considers any act in which a student obtains or attempts to obtain credit for academic work that they did not actually perform to be cheating. This includes copying, using crib sheets, inappropriate colluding, failing to follow teacher instructions, and obtaining illicit materials to study for exams.
- CSU considers plagiarism as a general act of cheating, but provides a distinct definition. The University states that any ‘use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgment of that person's contribution is ‘doubly unethical' and will net any student who plagiarizes punitive action.
A teacher or another student can report the apparent or alleged actions of another student to CSU, after which CSU will decide what action to take.
What Happens After an Academic Misconduct Allegation at California State University - Sacramento?
Due process, consequences, and potential punishments at CSU are all detailed in your student handbook. The Academic Dishonesty policy, as well, discusses the various ways that the University can handle misconduct on the part of an enrolled student.
A teacher can identify and punish smaller acts of academic dishonesty with a grading sanction or immediate student counsel. However, if the teacher elects to report the student's actions to the University, the University will move through a more formal type of action. This may involve putting together an investigation into your actions, reviewing all evidence with a committee of university officials, and more.
After the University has come to a determination of what happened, the University will recommend disciplinary action. This may include:
- Oral or written reprimands
- Grade reductions
- Expulsion, in severe cases
- Transcript notes
While these types of punitive measures may not seem that weighty (with the exception of expulsion), it's critical to realize that any type of disciplinary action that results in a note on your transcript can close doors for you in your future. It's imperative that you act now to keep your reputation clean of these types of information.
How an Experienced, Empathetic Attorney can Help You Succeed
You may wonder why a legal professional can help you through this time. After all, you may technically be able to fill out the paperwork yourself and speak in your own favor. Alternatively, CSU may have offered to connect you with a school advisor.
This is a bad idea. School advisors will always be, first and foremost, loyal to the school—and they will not have the targeted expertise you need for a stellar student defense. A lawyer who specializes in student misconduct and academic violations will have familiarity with school policies, will know the best way to work with your school, and have the best possible chance of helping you keep your reputation as a student clean. When your entire future is at stake, it's time to give a great student defense attorney a call.
Your California State University, Sacramento Student Defense Advisor
When you need assistance with navigating your school's disciplinary policies, preparing for an investigation, or preparing strategic statements for an adjudicative hearing, Joseph D. Lento will be ready to provide you with the support you need. At the Lento Law Firm, we realize that an academic integrity violation can change your life. We believe that you shouldn't have to deal with outsized consequences. We know that we'll be able to help you work towards a favorable outcome.
For years, Joseph D. Lento has provided top-tier defenses for students across the nation. If you're facing a disciplinary response from California State University that could impact your future, Joseph D. Lento can help you as well. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.