Swarthmore College is an institution that emphasizes how important academic integrity is to the preservation of the intellectual community. Students who are accused of violating the university's rules that maintain academic integrity will be accused of what's known as “academic misconduct” - a charge that puts your academic and professional career in jeopardy.
As a college student at Swarthmore College, it's easy to get overwhelmed. You'll be assigned tons of homework, exams, projects, and presentations, leaving you to either sharpen your time management skills and adapt or struggle with completing it all. Unfortunately, the struggle to keep up with studies is the number one culprit behind academic misconduct charges.
In this article, we'll address how Swarthmore College defines and handles academic misconduct, as well as why you need a student defense attorney to represent you throughout the school's processes.
How Does Swarthmore College Define “Academic Misconduct?”
According to Swarthmore's Student Handbook, academic misconduct is defined as a violation of the College's standards of academic integrity whether these violations are intentional or unintentional. Academic misconduct consists of cheating on an exam, plagiarism on an academic assignment, or unauthorized collaborative work.
Evidence of academic misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Some of the student's work coincides with or closely paraphrases a source that is not properly acknowledged
- Glaring coincidences in the work of students on exams, papers, problem sets, etc., where cooperation in producing the work was not permitted.
- Submission of the same work in more than one course. When submitting any work to an instructor for a course, it is assumed that the work was produced specifically for that course. Submission of the same work in more than one course without prior approval is prohibited.
Sources that must be acknowledged include, but are not limited to, lab manuals, books, articles in books, journal articles, and web pages, along with graphs, charts, tables, data sets, etc. in any of the sources just mentioned. Proper acknowledgment must indicate both the source and how it served as a source for any specific portions of the student's assignment.
Swarthmore College's Procedure for Handling Cases of Academic Misconduct
A faculty member who has good evidence to suspect a student or students of academic misconduct will, at the faculty member's discretion, consult the department chair about the case then meet with the student(s) to discuss the incident in question. After this meeting, if the faculty member's suspicions are not allayed, the faculty member will submit a report to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life. The report will include a narrative of the incident and evidence supporting the charge. The College Judiciary Committee will typically resolve a complaint under the academic misconduct policy, particularly if facts are contested.
The committee may take one of several actions including, but not limited to:
- Warnings: students meet with the dean's staff member as needed.
- Probation: students may be placed on academic probation, continued on probation, or removed from probation, however, students may not be on continued on probation for more than two consecutive semesters. Usually, the start date of any probation is the first day of classes of the next semester. The duration of the probation is typically one semester and lasts until the committee removes the probationary status at the following committee meeting. Notification of probation is considered a change in good standing status and will normally be sent to parents or guardians and the student meets regularly with a dean's staff member.
- Required to withdraw: students who fail to meet the terms of their probation are normally required to withdraw, which requires the student to take a leave of absence for the upcoming semester. Students whose academic performance is particularly poor may be required to withdraw without having been placed on probation earlier. The academic probation starts the first day of classes.
An accused student may appeal a panel's finding of responsibility and/or sanction(s) within 10 business days of the date of the notice of outcome solely on one or more of the following grounds: (1) procedural error that could have materially affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s); (2) new information that was not available at the time of the hearing and that could reasonably have affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s); excessiveness of the sanction(s).
Academic Integrity Advisor
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.