If you're enrolled in an online academic program, you're balancing a lot as you complete your studies from home. Perhaps you're working, as well; perhaps you're sharing a space (and an Internet connection) with several other people; perhaps you're just trying to figure out how to learn well and feel like a part of your academic community from a distance.
Your online program can be a vital resource for allowing you to invest in your education, no matter where you are. However, the unique situation that a remote education places you in can also make it easier for people to accuse you of academic misconduct. While you're already attempting to navigate the stressors of your education, this can be an event that is more than you can handle.
That's why you don't have to handle it alone. If CUNY School of Professional Studies is investigating you for academic misconduct in your online degree program, you need to fight to protect your future. That's where we come in.
Let's talk about what you need to know.
What Types of Behavior Does the CUNY School of Professional Studies Consider Academic Misconduct?
The CUNY School of Professional Studies abides by a strict academic integrity code, which the school has published on its Academic and Student Policies website. The following examples of behavior reflect the types of actions that CUNY may address with disciplinary measures in both their online and on-campus programs:
- Cheating - which includes any attempted or achieved use of unauthorized study aids or communication during an assignment, examination, or project;
- Fabricating data or making up quotations in any academic exercise;
- Reproducing an examination to help other students prepare for it in a targeted manner;
- Plagiarism, as defined by any situation in which a student presents another person's research, ideas, or words as their own (whether accidental or otherwise);
- Obtaining an unfair academic advantage over peers through depriving other students of resources, gaining access to unauthorized materials or spaces, or intentionally obstructing another student's work;
- Falsification of official records, including forging signatures, applying to the university with bad information, or using CUNY academic records in an inapplicable way or falsifying that information.
Several of these actions may be easier to perform or less traceable when a student is studying through an online program. For example, a student may find it easy to elude proctoring software, or misinterpret the rules around communication during academic exercises while at home. Along those same lines, it can be simple for CUNY's disciplinary committee to misread and potentially overreact to apparent misconduct on the student's part that was not intentional, but was merely the product of a study-from-home environment.
Once CUNY becomes aware that a student may have been involved in academic misconduct, the school will initiate its procedures for the imposition of sanctions.
How Does CUNY Investigate Alleged Misconduct? What Consequences Are at Stake?
Once a teacher or fellow student has reported your alleged misconduct to CUNY, the academic integrity officer will decide whether your apparent misdeeds merit an academic sanction, a disciplinary sanction, or both. To determine this, the academic integrity officer will perform an investigation into your conduct. For an online student, this may involve speaking with your teachers, your roommates, and gathering information about your online and communication history.
After CUNY completes this fact-finding mission, the school will give the student an opportunity to admit to the dishonest action or deny the charges. Admitting what you have allegedly done may, in some cases, allow the university to give you reduced sanctions—however, this is not guaranteed and is generally a risky maneuver. The adjudication will proceed in one of two ways, depending on whether the student's behavior has earned them academic or disciplinary sanctions.
- Academic Sanctions: This process generally results in a reduced grade, and is considered a more informal option for misconduct resolution. However, this ‘reduced grade' can be a filling grade, which can affect your progress through your degree in an adverse way.
- Disciplinary Sanctions: This process occurs when a student has performed misconduct of a more serious degree (e.g., repeated plagiarism or action against another student). This type of misconduct may merit probation or suspension from the online program.
In either case, the student has the right to contest the sanction through an appeal. This process involves a (remote) hearing before a committee at which the student has the opportunity to write a brief that explains their side of the story. The committee will read and review the brief before deciding upon final action.
In any case, it's vital to make sure that you have a professional on your side to help you interpret your school's code of conduct, have your school take you more seriously, and to help keep you less stressed during this difficult time.
CUNY Students, Call Joseph D. Lento for Help with Academic Misconduct Violations
It's easy to think that an academic misconduct violation isn't that big of a deal—particularly in an online program. However, your distance only makes it easy to misunderstand something you've done and misinterpret it as misconduct. A an academic or disciplinary violation on your permanent school record can make your life very difficult, closing doors for you throughout your entire future. You need to avoid that to make the most of your CUNY degree!
At the Lento Law Firm, we're committed to helping you protect your prospects. Joseph D. Lento has fought on students' behalf across the country for years, helping students with strategic support and effective defenses. Whether you need help with your school's investigative or adjudicative processes, he can do the same for you. Contact us so you can worry less about your situation and work productively to a successful outcome.
Reach out to the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.