Online College Academic Misconduct Advisor - Columbia College

When you're an online student, you're already navigating a complex system of applications. You're trying to feel like you're part of your academic community remotely. You're balancing time invested in your education with distractions at home. There's already a lot on your plate.

If you've received an academic misconduct violation notice from Columbia College or an invitation to a Zoom hearing regarding your alleged conduct, you could instantly feel overwhelmed. This makes a lot of sense. When you're going through an academic misconduct investigation, there's a lot that you have to keep track of—and you'll be even more stressed, because it can feel like your entire future is at stake.

At the Lento Law Firm, we're here to help online students at Columbia College protect their educational experiences, the degree they're working towards, and their entire lifetime of success. However, you do have to start now to manage this misconduct allegation before it blows out of proportion.

What Are Columbia College's Online Academic Policies and Procedures?

Honest, independent effort in a “community of scholars committed to truth”—Columbia College has high standards for the action of every student who matriculates in its programs, including those hosted mainly online. Due to these standards, the College considers any form of dishonesty a serious offense. Serious offenses merit, in some cases, severe discipline.

According to the school's online academic misconduct policy, Columbia College considers the following actions punishable:

  • Providing false information to the university;
  • Alteration or falsification of any college forms;
  • Unauthorized collaboration during any academic activities;
  • Any form of plagiarism, whether accidental or intentional;
  • Helping any other student commit any action of academic dishonesty; and
  • Re-submitting previous work for more credit.

This is not an exhaustive list of the actions that Columbia College will deem punishable. For online students, it can seem like the stakes are higher, as are the university's expectations of proof you can provide. Even though 100% (or mostly) online students are working harder than ever to attain their degrees, their schools often don't give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to adjudicating assumed misconduct.

If Columbia College suspects a student of academic misconduct, they will first take steps to learn more about what may have happened. This may involve reviewing past work and discussing that student's behavior with other students and teachers, among other activities. Once the College comes to a satisfactory conclusion, they may move forward with recommendations for consequences.

What Consequences Could I Face as a Columbia College Student Undergoing an Academic Misconduct Investigation?

Columbia College committees and faculty members will, ostensibly, handle both potential and actual academic misconduct in a manner commensurate with the severity of the offense. Just how severe that offense may be could be difficult to ascertain. As many colleges, both online and on-campus, are currently cracking down on students in order to reduce cases of academic misconduct, Columbia College may tend to provide harsh recommendations for disciplinary action.

Prior to issuing that recommendation, the College will ask the student if they would like to admit responsibility for the misconduct in question. This is always a tough decision, and it's best to consult your student defense advisor before responding (particularly in the affirmative). Then, the College will impose sanctions including reduced or failing grades, reduced privileges, probation, and even expulsion—as well as “other penalties not listed in the syllabus that reflect the seriousness of the offense.”

It will likely be the case that you will feel completely alone and that nobody is really listening to or advocating for you. That's what makes hiring an experienced, empathetic student defense attorney vital for your experience and outcome in this matter.

What Options Do I Have in a Columbia College Academic Misconduct Adjudication?

You do have options as to how you wish to proceed. You can choose to take responsibility for your alleged misdeeds, for example, and hope that the disciplinary community at your school will be lenient. You can also attempt to represent yourself, and shoulder the burden of stress, documents, deadlines, and more, in addition to your regular course load.

This is a recipe for disaster. Instead of trying to fight through this by yourself, find an expert in these matters who will be able to guide you through to a stellar outcome. Don't take advice or legal help from your school; this may be well-intentioned but will almost certainly not work out well for you and your future.

You also have the option to ignore what's going on, but this is also a bad idea. Academic misconduct now, even if it doesn't seem like a big deal, can completely destroy your chances of success down the road. Think about it: If Columbia College places a note about your apparent infraction in your permanent file, you'll likely have a hard time securing any future admissions or employment offers. Your reputation will be tarnished. Your relationships may suffer. You'll lose the degree you've worked hard for, and have a difficult time starting any others.

Let's make sure that doesn't happen. At the Lento Law Firm, we're proud to offer excellent expertise to support you at this time.

A Student Defense Advisor at Your Service for Academic Misconduct Violations

As an online student at Columbia College, you're used to doing things by yourself. You're used to managing your education, preparing your own documents, and motivating yourself through stressful exam weeks.

Don't try to manage this yourself, too. Joseph D. Lento is one of the nation's top student defense advisors. He provides effective, strategic defenses for students nationwide, and he can do the same for you. Whether you need help with your online school's adjudicative or investigative processes, reach out to the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us Today!

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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