In intellectual environments like Pomona College, academic integrity is the cornerstone of good academic work. This means that there's an expectation placed upon students to be honest and transparent about their contributions and their reliance on the contributions of others in all academic endeavors.
Pomona College faculty expects a lot from you. You'll be tasked with numerous assignments, presentations, projects, and exams, so it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Many students crumble under the pressure. Unfortunately, a stressful situation is almost always a huge factor in academic integrity violations.
The unfortunate thing about allegations of academic misconduct are that they're taken seriously regardless of whether a student intentionally violated regulations are not. Many students thought they were saving time by cutting corners, or by completing their assignments in a way they feel is innovative, but in the eyes of the school, they're merely engaging in academic misconduct. Unfortunately, students with pure intentions are found guilty of these charges, and as a result, their academic and professional careers are put in jeopardy.
To take back control of your college career in the midst of accusations of academic misconduct, you absolutely need the help of a student defense attorney. In this article, we'll address how Pomona addresses academic misconduct and why you need an attorney by your side throughout your school's procedures.
Pomona College's Academic Honesty Policy
Pomona College is an academic community in which all members are expected to abide by ethical standards, both in their conduct and in their exercise of responsibility toward other members of the community. The College expects students to understand and adhere to basic standards of honesty and academic integrity. These standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
- In projects and assignments prepared independently, students never represent the ideas or language of others as their own.
- Students do not destroy or alter either the work of other students or the educational resources and materials of the College.
- Students neither give nor receive assistance with examinations.
- Students do not represent work completed for one course as original work for another or deliberately disregard course rules and regulations.
- In laboratory or research projects involving the collection of data, students accurately report data observed and do not alter these data for any reason.
If an instructor comes to the conclusion that any of the above standards has been disregarded, it is his or her responsibility to make the evidence available to the student and also to report the incident to the Dean of Students.
Any student accused of any of the above violations is being accused of “academic dishonesty.”
Pomona College's Procedures for Academic Dishonesty
Generally, the first line of action for academic dishonesty allegations is for an instructor to meet with a student. If the case is not resolved between the instructor and student, if it involves the special circumstances, or if it represents a second instance of academic dishonesty, the case will be referred to a Board of Academic Discipline. The Board will convene a hearing.
Prior to the initial meeting with the student, the Dean of Students shall inform the student of his or her pre-hearing rights. The student's rights include: being provided with a comprehensive, written charge sheet, being informed that the student has the right to have an advisor present in meetings with the dean and in the hearing, being informed that the Academic Honesty Policy and the student's rights under that policy are outlined in the Student Handbook, being provided with a copy of the Student Handbook if the student does not have one.
As the hearing begins, the Chair of the Hearing Board will call on the instructor bringing the complaint to make a statement and present evidence of the violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. The student respondent shall then have the opportunity to make an opening statement and address questions to the instructor bringing the complaint. Witnesses shall appear one at a time in an order determined by the Chair. The student respondent shall have the opportunity to make the final statement in the hearing. After the hearing has been concluded, the panel and Chair shall go into closed deliberations to determine whether the respondent has violated the Academic Honesty Policy and, if she or he is found to have violated the Policy, what sanctions should be imposed. This phase of the proceedings shall not be recorded. All witnesses, the instructor bringing the charge, the student respondent and advisor shall not be present for deliberations. The Chair will then inform the respondents of the results of the hearing.
When imposing sanctions, the hearing panel shall consider the severity of the offense, precedent, the attitude of the student in question, the student in question's previous academic conduct record, and the conditions under which the offense was committed.
Sanctions that may be imposed include:
- Lower grade on an assignment
- Loss of credit on an assignment
- “F” on an assignment
- “F” in the course
- Assignment of make-up or additional work
- Suspension from the College
- Loss of College honors
- Expulsion from the College
A student may appeal a decision of a Board of Academic Discipline to the Dean of the College. Such a request must be filed with the Dean of Student's office within five days of the date of the letter providing official notification of the sanction.
After reviewing the case, the Dean of the College may uphold the Board's decision, or remand the decision to the Board and may include comments or issues to be considered further by the Board. After further deliberation about the Dean's concerns, the Board shall reaffirm or alter their decision. At this point, the decision of the Board is final.
Academic Integrity Attorney
An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today at 888-535-3686 for more information.