Parkville, Missouri's Park University has been providing online degrees since 1996. As an integral component of Park University's offerings, online programs have clear academic guidelines. Those guidelines prohibit any acts considered to be dishonest or unethical.
If you find yourself accused of academic wrongdoing, you'll want to know how Park University will adjudicate your case. We'll provide this information in this article.
We'll also inform you of what's at risk should you fail to defend yourself. Beyond academic sanctions, you could suffer significant personal consequences. To get a jumpstart on your defense, consider hiring Joseph D. Lento as your attorney-advisor today.
How Online Learning Challenges Students' Willpower
Common sense and statistical data both confirm: Online learning presents ample opportunities to cheat. Online students must exercise abnormal willpower to avoid cutting corners.
If you're facing academic sanctions, there are two general possibilities:
- You've been unjustly accused of academic dishonesty
- You've made a mistake
In the latter case, your mistake may be understandable. Online learning often lacks supervision. Without the typical constraints of in-person classrooms, it's up to the student and the student alone to act ethically at all times.
Data suggests that online students often succumb to the temptation of academic dishonesty. Whatever the details of your case are, you are not the first Park University student to face these allegations. Breathe, keep reading, and learn what's in store for you.
What Does Park University Designate as “Academic Dishonesty”?
Park University’s Academic Regulations and Policies state that academic honesty is a foundational feature of the university. The school strongly encourages students to:
- Be academically honest
- Read and understand all sections of the Academic Honesty policy
- Take advantage of various university resources to learn about academic honesty
Park University categorizes “acts intentionally designed to provide unfair advantage to the student” as academically dishonest. This includes:
- Assisting other students in prohibited ways (including sharing exam answers)
- Receiving assistance in a manner that is prohibited
- Copying another student's work without the student's consent
- Any form of plagiarism
- Altering grades or other academic records
- Purchasing or selling academic materials, including but not limited to exams
- Lying or deceiving Park University faculty
Other behaviors may also violate Park U.'s policies on academic dishonesty.
Potential Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
If you're found responsible for academic dishonesty, you could experience strict consequences from Park University. Even worse, you may suffer lasting personal harm because of those sanctions.
The Park University Student Conduct Code lists the following sanctions for violations of the Code:
- University expulsion
- University suspension
- Revocation of your degree
- Conditional withholding of your degree
Your instructor has the power to impose several types of sanctions, including:
- Issuing you a failing grade
- Issuing you a reduced score on an assignment
- Issuing a verbal reprimand
- Issuing a written reprimand
- Referring your case to the Student Code of Conduct Administrator for further sanctions
These sanctions may only be the beginning of your headaches if you are determined to be academically dishonest.
Potential Personal Consequences of Losing Your Case
The scope of your case reaches beyond Park University. You may face personal consequences that impact the remainder of your life. Suffering even an official reprimand—let alone a suspension or worse—may:
- Diminish future employers' evaluation of you
- Limit your post-graduation job opportunities
These consequences may lead to serious personal problems, including loss of self-worth, deterioration of your mental health, and financial hardship. These are the often-unaddressed realities of being branded as “dishonest” by your university.
You still have time to defend yourself, and an attorney-advisor can help. Consider the next steps in your case and what value an experienced advisor like Joseph D. Lento can provide.
How Park University Will Handle Your Case
A Park University instructor will initiate your case by informing you of the allegation against you. At this point, they can impose certain sanctions whether or not you admit to wrongdoing. They will file an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report with the Department Chair.
Do not admit to wrongdoing. This could expose you to the highly damaging consequences which we have already discussed.
If you dispute the allegations and sanctions against you, then:
- You can request that the Department Chair review your case within 10 business days of your initial meeting with the faculty member
- The Department Chair may offer an informal resolution
If this resolution is not acceptable to you and your attorney-advisor, then you may request a formal hearing with the Academic Dean. You have 15 business days from the date of your Department Chair meeting to make this request.
The Academic Dean's Decision Is Final
Everything rides on the outcome of your hearing with the Academic Dean (or the person they designate to hear your case. Park University makes clear that “The decision of the Dean will be considered final.”
Can You Appeal a Decision?
You may appeal a ruling of culpability for academic dishonesty “only on the basis that the established policy outlined here was not followed.” If you are eligible for an appeal, then your attorney-advisor will determine how to initiate and complete this process.
Why You Should Retain an Attorney-Advisor to Represent You
As Park University considers your academic future, you must be proactive in defending yourself. Should you fail to fight the allegations against you, then you are voluntarily jeopardizing:
- Your academic future
- Your professional future
- Your reputation
- Your personal happiness and professional satisfaction
Are you willing to risk these things? You don't have to, as Joseph D. Lento and his team are prepared to fight your case.
The Lento Law Firm can:
- Gather all facts related to your case
- Determine the nature and veracity of the allegations against you
- Determine the potential sanctions that you face
- Advise you at every step of your case
- Accompany you to any meetings or hearings which they are eligible to attend
- Seek the best outcome for you
Park University is not your ally in this process. In fact, they are aligned as your adversary. They may not think twice about suspending or expelling you. Retain someone who will fight for you at every turn.
Hire Joseph D. Lento as Your Academic Misconduct Advisor
Joseph D. Lento and his team have helped countless students with serious academic allegations across the United States. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation about your case.