If you or your loved one are accused of academic misconduct, it's important that you understand the severity of the situation. Attending school at the post-secondary level is competitive and challenging, and if cases of academic misconduct go ignored—i.e., they're left to “just work themselves out”—it can jeopardize the accused individual's academic career as well as future professional life.
In this article, we'll go over the specific academic misconduct policy of California State Polytechnic University—Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).
What Behaviors Does California State Polytechnic University—Pomona Consider Academic Misconduct?
Cal Poly Pomona clearly outlines its academic misconduct policy on its website. Referring to the behaviors of “academic dishonesty,” the school warns that they take these behaviors seriously because of the ways that academic misconduct harms the academic environment, the overall quality of the school's degrees, and the school's reputation.
Cal Poly Pomona describes academic dishonesty as “any action that gains an unfair academic advantage.” They go on to offer more detail, including the following:
- Plagiarism of ideas, words, or work (including unintentional plagiarism, paraphrasing work without giving credit, and self-plagiarism)
- Cheating (including copying another student's exam, using an opened textbook when not instructed to, obtaining advance copies of an exam, etc.)
- Unauthorized study aids (including using reference materials that were not approved by the professor, having another student perform work for you, etc.)
- Falsifying documents (including forging signatures on add/drop forms, falsifying prerequisite documents, etc.)
- Misusing homework help (including the sharing of assignments, uploading homework, etc.)
The university maintains that it is the responsibility of each student to make themselves aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty. They also state that students should report all cases of academic misconduct to faculty members.
What are Possible Consequences of Academic Misconduct?
The consequences of academic misconduct are serious and generally feature suspension as a baseline punishment.
Cal Poly Pomona sets out the consequences of academic dishonesty in Executive Order 1006. This states that all cases of academic dishonesty are first handled by the appropriate faculty members. After determining the appropriate consequences, the faculty member(s) should report the incident to the Judicial Affairs Office. They will need to provide the office with the identifying information of the student in question, the nature of the offense, and the action taken by the faculty member(s). In some cases, the faculty member(s) may recommend that the Judicial Affairs Office take further disciplinary action.
Some of the possible actions that Cal Poly Pomona may take against cases of academic misconduct include:
- Failing grade (assignment or class)
In some cases, a student that is being charged with academic misconduct may also face criminal charges. This is because California law is separate from the policy of Cal Poly Pomona.
What are Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct?
Aside from punishment, Cal Poly Pomona may also impose sanctions on students found in violation of their Student Conduct code, which includes academic misconduct. These sanctions include the dismissal of student aid, restitution, removal from clubs or organizations, forbiddance from the access of certain campus services, etc. In some cases, Cal Poly Pomona may make the recommendation for alcohol assessment or for a referral to Student Health and Counseling Services.
Is there a Long-Term Impact for Academic Misconduct?
The consequences of academic misconduct can follow students for years to come. For example, if a student is expelled from their institution, they may find it difficult to register at another school. Likewise, if they are prohibited from registering from classes, they may find that it takes longer to finish their post-secondary degree, which can have a domino effect on their career. Another impact of not being enrolled for an appropriate amount of semester hours could be the loss of financial aid, compounding even further the consequences.
What Happens When There is an Allegation of Academic Misconduct at Cal Poly Pomona?
All reports of academic dishonesty at Cal Poly Pomona are investigated by the Office of Student Conduct and Dishonesty. The first step will likely be to schedule a meeting involving the accused student where the student will have an opportunity to honestly explain what happened. From there, either it will be found that the student did not commit academic misconduct, and the case will be dismissed, or it will be found that the student did commit academic misconduct, and consequences will be determined.
If it is determined that a violation has taken place, the student will be presented with what the university calls a Resolution Agreement. The Resolution Agreement will outline the charges that the university has determined. If the student accepts the Resolution Agreement, they give up their right to a hearing.
Of course, if a student does not accept the Resolution Agreement, they can expect to attend a formal hearing. The formal hearing gives the student an opportunity to tell their side of the story and acknowledge the charges against them.
It is also possible to appeal a decision. According to the Cal Poly Pomona website, you have “3 working days of the date on your Notice of Decision or issued Resolution Agreement”.
How can an Attorney-Advisor Help?
If you have the opportunity for an academic misconduct hearing, you have the right to legal representation. In fact, it is to your advantage that you contact an attorney-advisor. Although not a court of law, an academic hearing can still have a serious impact on your academic and professional career. An attorney-advisor can help you understand how to best present your case and how to properly question the evidence against you. Although an attorney cannot speak on your behalf during your hearing, they can offer counsel and can work towards a fair process and the best possible outcome for you.
Having the proper support in place can make all of the difference in protecting your future prospects. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm understand the field of academic misconduct and are here to lend a hand to students. They have helped countless of students across the United States and they can help you. Contact us online or call us today at 888.535.3686.