This article is an overview of Juniata College's academic misconduct disciplinary procedures. If you attend this institution and have been accused of this violation, it is strongly recommended that you read your school's student handbook alongside this overview. Although my article consists of valuable information about your school's processes, it is limited information. A thorough read through of your school's handbook will provide you with more insight and help you determine your course of action in these circumstances.
Juniata College's “Academic Integrity” Policy
In Juniata College's student handbook there are a number of expectations that the school upholds for each and every member of the college's community - faculty, students, instructors, professors, coaches etc. The academic integrity policy specifically addresses students, however, when it comes to exhibiting accountability and respect when it comes to their academic works, and the scholastic works of others.
According to the student handbook, academic integrity is “an assumption that learning is taken seriously by students and that the academic work that students do be evaluated is a direct result of the commitment of the student toward learning as well as the personal knowledge gained.” Therefore, academic dishonesty is an attempt by a student to display knowledge in any aspect as a persona, when it has been gained by others. A few examples of academic dishonesty are listed as so:
Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized material in any academic exercise. This behavior includes the use of unauthorized materials like notes, examination copies, electronic sources, or going against explicit instructor directions for the completion of an assignment or exam.
Plagiarism: This action involves presenting another's work, ideas, representations, or words, as one's own without proper acknowledgment of the source. The only time citation is unnecessary is when ideas or information are considered common knowledge.
Fabrication/falsification: Inventing or altering any information or citation in any academic exercise.
Multiple submissions: Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit without permission of any of the instructors involved.
Abuse of materials: Destroying, damaging, stealing, or in any way obstructing access to a library or other academic resource material or academic records.
Complicity in academic dishonesty: Intentionally aiding or attempting to aid another student in committing an act of dishonesty is prohibited by the institution. An unauthorized collaboration on any academic work without the permission of an instructor is also considered complicity.
This list is not to be construed as purely exhaustive or restrictive. No list could possibly include all instances of the possible breaches of academic integrity. Any actions that could be reasonably considered as academic misconduct may be penalized by the institution.
The mitigation and resolution of academic misconduct is a process that can either be short or drawn out depending on the severity of the alleged violation, and the course of action a student decides. Juniata College's processes will be carried out in the following fashion:
If a faculty member (usually an instructor) suspects that an academic integrity violation has occurred, the first person they should contact is the assistance provost. The assistant provost will review the case information with the instructor, clarify misunderstandings, and basically confirm that this suspicion is valid. If an instructor and assistant provost determine together that there is sufficient evidence to move forward then the instructor should contact the student involved.
An instructor will notify the student of the allegations in a meeting to share their concerns. This interaction should be brief and informal and contain an instructor's suspicions of a violation, the evidence that fuels this suspicion, and a student's explanation. If the instructor feels that no violation occurred after this interaction with a student, then the case will conclude. Otherwise, the assistant provost will provide a blank allegation sheet for the instructor to complete.
An allegation sheet includes a description of the allegation and the associated penalty recommended by an instructor. The instructor has the option of recommending course-level sanctions consisting of a warning, a reduced or failing grade for an assignment, and a reduced or failing grade for a course. Upon the completion of this sheet, it will be sent to the student for an evaluation. After thoroughly reading this sheet, a student is presented with three choices. He or she can either:
- Admit to the allegation and accept the penalty;
- Admit to the allegation but dispute the penalty; or
- Deny the allegations
In the event that a student chooses option 1, the completed allegation sheet and associated materials are saved in a confidential file and the incident is closed. This file, however, will be destroyed when a student separates (transfers, withdraws, graduates etc.) from the college.
If a student chooses option 2 or 3, they will be referred to a judicial board hearing. The judicial board will be responsible for determining whether a violation of school policy occurred. If so, they will recommend an associated penalty. The judicial board is allowed access to more severe penalties, such as academic suspension, and expulsion.
A student has 48 hours from a hearing conclusion to submit an appeal in writing to the judicial board chairperson. The failure to submit the appeal within the time allotted renders the decision final.
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