Before you face the academic misconduct procedures at your school, it's important you understand how your school defines this violation, and the actions that constitute it. In Millersville University's code of conduct exists terms, definitions, and examples of academic misconduct, and the potential ramifications that could be imposed for this behavior.
From my experience, I've noticed that most students who fall victim to acquiring these charges aren't aware that they were doing anything wrong. Regardless of obliviousness to these circumstances, responsibility will still be assigned for violations, as the institution expects students to be familiar with this information, and to refrain from exhibiting prohibited behavior. MU's code of conduct divides the common forms of academic misconduct into the following categories:
- Fabrication: the falsification of research or other findings. Some examples of fabrication include citing information that can't be found from the source that was indicated, listing a bibliography of sources that weren't actually consulted, or inventing data or other information for research or other academic works.
- Tampering: Altering or misusing grades or testing procedures. A student may be accused of tampering if he or she takes a test for someone else or permits someone else to take a test in their place, modifies a grade book without permission, or continues to work on an exam or project after the specific allotted time has elapsed.
- Cheating: occurs when a student acts or attempts to act in a fashion that is deceptive to give off the impression that he or she has mastered a subject matter in an academic project. Some examples of cheating include copying from another student's paper, giving or taking unauthorized aid in a take home exam or paper, acquiring another student's course paper and submitting it as your own work, collaborating on an assignment without the permission from an instructor etc.
This list is only for illustration, which means that it is not to be construed as a restrictive or exhaustive list of the various forms of academic misconduct. It is only provided to give students an idea of the actions that commonly constitute academic misconduct. Many cases involving responsible findings don't include any of the actions listed above, but are still considered academic misconduct.
Although I've provided you with key terms and definitions provided in MU's code of conduct, it would still be in your best interest to thoroughly read it yourself. An informed student who knows the ins and outs of the regulations and rules accompanying this process is a student fit for success. Knowing what to expect will also give you leverage in your school's processes.
The procedures for academic misconduct at MU are relatively short, and give instructors the majority of the power when it comes to reprimanding a student and imposing sanctions.
If an instructor suspects that a student has violated school policy, his or her ‘s first move should be to meet up with this student. This meeting should be confidential and entail a discussion about an instructor's suspicions, the evidence that fuels this suspicion, and his or her intentions of filing official charges, and the sanctions that will be imposed if charges are filed. Once the student has been informed, an instructor is required to give this student space and time to offer an explanation.
If, after this explanation, an instructor still feels inclined to file official charges, the charges will be processed, and instructors will be permitted to immediately impose a sanction.
If a student accumulates more than one of this violation or is being accused of a serious action, the faculty member has the option of filing a report to the Associate Provost. The provost will choose an appropriate sanction.
Instructors can impose a variety of sanctions at the course level. Therefore, they can only recommend repercussions that they have influence over in a classroom, like a verbal or written reprimand, the resubmission of an assignment, failing grade on an assignment or a failing grade for the entire course. The Associate Provost, however, can impose harsher sanctions.
Sanctions such as a student's removal from a degree program, disciplinary suspension, and expulsion are only available for the Associate Provost to impose. But these sanctions are rarely implemented unless the circumstances are really serious, or there have been several prior instances.
Although it seems as if instructors are given all the power over the outcome in MU's processes, students are still afforded the option of appealing. An appeal is a request for the school to reconsider a decision that it has made. If an appeal is granted in a student's case, the school will reassess the case based on the grounds a student has indicated within this case, and either uphold the instructor's decision or come up with an alternate decision. Mere dissatisfaction with a case outcome is not an applicable ground for school appeals. Students are given a week from the notification of the responsible finding and sanctions to request an appeal.
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For MU students who are facing serious sanctions involving either a withdrawal from a program, suspension, or expulsion, retaining a student defense attorney is a must. Ensuring that your rights are protected and that you utilize all possible rights throughout this institution's processes is the key to receiving a favorable outcome. Experienced legal professional Joseph D. Lento has spent over 15 years helping students in this position achieve a favorable outcome, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.