You chose to attend Saint Leo University because you valued its academic offerings. Unfortunately, the school's academic reputation means that it takes instances of alleged academic misconduct very seriously. You could be facing suspension, expulsion, or worse.
Defending yourself from any alleged wrongdoing should be your top priority. An effective defense begins with an understanding of rules and consequences. After reading this primer on Saint Leo U's online academic policies, consider hiring an online academic misconduct advisor to defend you.
What Are the Potential Pitfalls of Online Schooling?
When it comes to alleged academic misconduct, online schooling may offer distinct pitfalls. Engaging in coursework and exams outside the classroom may:
- Make it easier to cheat
- Make cheating more tempting
- Make professors unusually suspicious
- Create more opportunities for unfounded allegations
Some faculty admit feeling powerless to stop online cheating. They may suspect that their students are:
- Accessing web pages during exams
- Sharing answers digitally with other students
- Surreptitiously using physical notes
- Engaging in other forms of academic dishonesty that is difficult to detect
A credible or false allegation of academic dishonesty could compromise your educational record and professional opportunities. It may take a toll on your psyche and compromise your sense of self-worth.
Fortunately, you have recourse to defend yourself against an allegation of academic dishonesty.
What Does Saint Leo University Consider Academic Dishonesty?
Saint Leo University’s Academic Honor Code cites several specific forms of sanctionable dishonesty, including:
- Representing another person's work as your own
- Receiving outside assistance on an assignment without giving credit
- Plagiarizing without citing the source
- Giving your work to another party so that they may copy it
- Failing to safeguard your work, as Saint Leo University may consider all parties with the same work guilty of plagiarism
- Departing from a specific faculty member's codes on academic honesty
Any official allegation of academic dishonesty will trigger a hearing process.
How Does Saint Leo University Handle Alleged Offenses of Academic Dishonesty?
The process for adjudicating an allegation of academic dishonesty goes as follows:
1. The faculty member who suspects wrongdoing will discuss the allegation with you
At this point, the faculty member may gather your side of the story. After doing so, they will decide whether to proceed with a written report. You may want to have an academic misconduct advisor on your side even during this initial stage.
2. The Director of the Center for Online Learning will receive the faculty member's report
This is the party who handles all academic dishonesty allegations for online students. The report will contain a summary of allegations and details of any evidence against you.
3. The Committee overseeing your claim will schedule a hearing
The Committee will provide you with a written notice of when your hearing will take place. You will also receive a copy of the faculty member's report at this time.
4. You will attend the hearing
If you do not, then the Committee will issue a “default judgment with appropriate sanctions.”
5. The Committee will issue a decision
If they find that you have committed the alleged offense, then you could face one or more sanctions.
What Sanctions Do You Face?
Saint Leo University lists two tiers of sanctions:
- For a first offense, you may generally receive a failing grade in the course in which you are alleged to have cheated
- For a second offense, you may be suspended or expelled from the University
These are general guidelines. You could face suspension or a harsher punishment for your first offense.
Keep in mind that a failing grade, suspension, or expulsion may only be the start of your problems. The ripple effect of such sanctions could cause:
- A significant decline in your GPA
- An unexplainable blemish on your academic record
- Discrimination by employers based on your failing grade, suspension, or expulsion
- A reduction in your professional opportunities
- Harm to your earning power
These consequences may affect your self-esteem, your financial security, and the financial security of those who rely on you (or will rely on you in the future).
These steep consequences are a reason to hire an academic misconduct advisor for your case.
What Options Do You Have for Appealing a Ruling Against You?
Saint Leo University provides the opportunity to appeal your ruling. The school will provide specific instructions to file and complete an appeal.
As critical as your initial hearing is, your appeal could be even more important. It represents your last opportunity to clear your name.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Academic Misconduct Advisor?
For starters, it's important to know that Saint Leo University is generally not in your corner. They need to represent their own interests, and the University may take the side of the faculty member accusing you of dishonesty.
An attorney-advisor will represent you throughout the duration of your case. They can:
- Explain the academic dishonesty hearing process
- Issue specific warnings about what not to say or do
- Protect you from making any statements that could hurt your case
- Make sure that you know your rights
- Represent you at your hearing (if permitted to do so)
- Provide ongoing strategy
- Handle your appeal
There is too much on the line for you to handle your case on your own.
Contact an Online College Academic Misconduct Advisor Today
If you are facing allegations of academic dishonesty, then the clock is already ticking. The more time that your attorney-advisor has to prepare your defense, the better.
Joseph D. Lento and his team have handled hundreds of Code of Conduct cases like yours across the United States. You can contact the Lento Law Firm online today or call 888-535-3686 for more information.
Ask yourself: what will a decision of guilt mean for your future? Are you willing to take that risk? If not, allow Joseph D. Lento and his legal team to fight for you.