According to the Code of Academic Integrity, academic honesty is a core part of the mission of George Washington University. As such, academic dishonesty is considered a serious offense against the mutual respect and moral integrity of the GW community. If you or a loved one is facing allegations of academic dishonesty or academic misconduct at George Washington University, there are several considerations. First, as a serious offense, GW may record academic dishonesty offenses (that are confirmed through the academic integrity process) on your permanent academic record. This record follows you when you apply to graduate school for medicine, law, or any other post-baccalaureate studies. It can impact your ability to receive an acceptance letter, or even financial aid in some instances.
What Does the Academic Integrity Process Look Like at George Washington University?
If an instructor suspects academic dishonesty, they may do one of two things: they will either notify the student or file a charge of academic dishonesty form to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. After an instructor begins the process, as the student, you have three choices. You can accept the charge and the recommended sanction; you can accept the charge and contest the proposed sanction; or finally, you may contest the charge and the sanction. If you choose to accept the charge and the sanction, you waive your right to an appeal. It's best not to do this.
If you choose to argue the charge or the recommended sanction, the next step is that the charge is referred to an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel. You'll receive notice of the hearing date, and the Academic Integrity Hearing Panel will decide whether you are in violation or not. They may or may not recommend a sanction or penalty, as well.
Once they make their final decision, the case and its outcome head over to the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Finally, you and the instructor will receive notice as to the panel's decision and the relevant sanctions. If you or the instructor is not satisfied, either party may file an appeal.
What about Academic Integrity and Online Learning?
The Code of Academic Integrity still applies to the online learning environment. It's always wise, however, especially with online learning environments, to make sure that you are aware of what your professor's expectations are. They may choose to add a tab to their Blackboard page that links to the Code of Academic Integrity or any specific points that the teacher wants to draw your attention to. Additionally, you should remember to make use of the Writing Center’s online resources, which offer many guidelines about plagiarism, citation expectations, and other components of academic integrity.
What Happens if My Case Goes to an Academic Integrity Council (AIC) Hearing?
If your case goes to an AIC Hearing, you should prepare by reviewing the charges against you and decide how to respond to each one. You will have an assigned case manager who can discuss the process with you. You are also able to have an advisor assist you. At the actual hearing, there will be an overview of the process, a review of the alleged violations, statements, and questioning of both witnesses and those involved, clarifying statements, and then a decision by the Hearing Panel.
What are Possible Sanctions Associated with Academic Misconduct at George Washington University?
If, at the end of your Academic Integrity Council Hearing, you receive a decision of “in violation” for some of all of the charges of the academic violation, there are typical outcomes and sanctions associated with most offenses. If the incident is your first offense, then the minimum penalty would be that you fail the assignment connected to the charge. If the offense is a repeat violation, then the minimum is a failure of the course, as well as a notation on your transcript. More serious offenses can include suspension, expulsion, educational sanctions, or the inability to participate in extra credit opportunities as they arise. Sanctions go into effect once the appeals period has passed.
What If I'd Like to Appeal the Decision?
If you'd like to appeal the decision (or the sanctions) that the Academic Integrity Council made, you have two grounds that are available as reason to appeal. The first is if there is evidence of bias during the Hearing Procedures. The second situation where you could appeal is if there is “new and relevant information that was unavailable, with reasonable diligence and effort, that could materially affect the outcome.”
It's important to know that you only have three business days to file an intention to appeal from when you receive your notification of the hearing's outcome. The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities is where you must send a written intention to appeal in order to begin the process. Once that is done, you have five days to follow it up with a written petition of appeal.
When you submit a petition of appeal, the President of the University (or their designee) will review the appeal and make a determination. They will use the reports from the Hearing Panel as well as from the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the submitted petition of appeal. The President's decision is final.
Experienced College Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor
If you're currently trying to navigate academic dishonesty allegations at GW, it's imperative that you reach out to an attorney-advisor who can ensure that your hard work at college does not go down the drain. A seasoned attorney-advisor will be able to advise you as to how to best approach your case and George Washington University's academic integrity process. Over the course of many years, Joseph D. Lento has helped thousands of students and their families achieve the best possible outcomes from these adverse circumstances. He brings heart, passion, and dedication to each and every case he takes on. You know that he will fight for your rights. Call today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help secure your academic future and beyond.