Academic integrity is a fundamental aspect of educational environments. Education institutions on all levels endorse that in the absence of academic integrity there is no academic success. Attendees of colleges and universities have learned through their involvement in the school system that exhibiting characteristics like responsibility, accountability, and respect is crucial in regard to the creation of their scholastic work and when esteeming the intellectual property of others.
For the most part, the continual reminders to not breach academic integrity and “do the right thing” by not plagiarizing, cheating throughout a student's educational journey has stuck in the minds of most students. It has been discovered that in most cases when it does happen, especially on the collegiate level where the ramifications are dire, it is due to misinformation or confusion as to what constitutes this serious school violation. However, despite the instance of misconduct being a genuine mistake or misunderstanding, schools display little leniency towards students caught up in these charges.
Academic misconduct occurs when a student fails to comply with the ethical standards imposed by the school. This is one of the most serious accusations that can be made against a student. Warranting consequences like the withdrawal from a program, suspension and in severe cases, expulsion, academic misconduct charges should be taken incredibly seriously. If you have been accused of this crime, you'll have to undergo your school's procedures. In the midst of these processes, here are a few tips you should consider:
Hire a Student Defense Attorney
Your first and immediate step upon receiving these charges is to retain a student defense attorney. The repercussions imposed for a determination of responsibility will undoubtedly throw a wrench in your academic journey, and even in your professional future.Those who wish to land a government job, for example, will have to come clean about their history of academic dishonesty. Students who go to law school and take the bar exam will also be asked about issues involving integrity. And of course, any profession in academia prefers potential professionals who have maintained a squeaky clean academic record. For students who want limitless opportunities, retaining a student defense attorney is a necessary move.
Become Familiar With Your School's Code of Conduct
Your school's handbook should consist of the school's policies and procedures. There's a section in there that will reference academic misconduct, the procedures for this violation, and the potential penalties. Thoroughly read it. Not only read it but make it accessible when dealing with school authorities. Oftentimes, administrators, coordinators, and other people involved in these processes aren't well-versed in school policy. As a result, you, as an accused student will be slighted in these processes. If you can attest to the fact that your college or university does not follow its own procedures, it may be in violation of state and/or federal law/guidelines.
Remember That You Now Have an Adversarial Relationship With Your School
Many students are under the impression that the school is somehow on their side, and that authorities will work to prove that you are not responsible for this misconduct. This attitude is rooted in the idea that educational institutions are intended to support students at all costs. This is a false narrative. The school is a business and your professors and administrators are employees. It's important that you remember that authorities have more incentive to do what's in the best interest of the school, rather than what's best for you.
Student Defense Attorney - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nationwide
As indicated above, academic misconduct allegations are serious matters that can hinder your academic and professional goals. If you've been accused of this violation, contact skilled student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help guide you through your school's processes. Contact him today.