IV. Academic Integrity

Current and prospective students at Onondaga Community College are expected to adhere to the values of intellectual and academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty will not be tolerated. 

A. Definition*

Academic dishonesty describes a wide range of behaviors; the following is offered as a working definition. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  1. Cheating. Intentionally using unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any work submitted (e.g. using crib notes, copying another’s work during tests, or collaborating with others on out-of-class assignments without permission). 
  2. Fabrication. Intentionally falsifying or misrepresenting information derived from another source in an assignment (e.g., making up sources for the bibliography of a paper or faking the results of a laboratory assignment). 
  3. Plagiarism. Deliberately adopting or reproducing ideas, words, or statements of another person as one’s own without acknowledgement (e.g., paraphrasing or summarizing a source without acknowledgement, turning in a paper written by another person, buying a paper from a commercial source, failing to properly attribute quotations within a paper, or submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without the instructor’s permission [self-plagiarism]). 
  4. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty. Intentionally helping another engage in academic dishonesty. 
  5. Misrepresentation. Providing false information to an instructor concerning an academic exercise (e.g., giving a false excuse for missing a test or deadline or falsely claiming to have submitted a paper). 
  6. Failure to Contribute. Taking credit for participation in a collaborative project while failing to do one’s fair share. 
  7. Sabotage. Preventing others from completing their work (e.g., disturbing someone’s lab experiment or removing materials from a reserved reading file so that others may not use them).

B. Examples of Activities Associated with Academic Dishonesty 

  1. Copying from another’s exam, test, or quiz. 
  2. Giving or receiving answers during an exam, test, or quiz. 
  3. Using written or electronic aids during an exam, test, or quiz when prohibited. 
  4. Reviewing current or previous copies of an instructor’s exam, test, or quiz.
  5. Discussing the nature and/or content of an exam, test, or quiz with students who have not yet taken it.
  6. Giving exam, test, or quiz questions to students in another class.
  7. Copying materials without citing the original source.
  8. Purchasing term papers, projects, etc. and turning them in as original work.
  9. Writing papers for another student or hiring a ghostwriter.
  10. Submitting the same term paper, project, etc. to another class without permission.
  11. Padding entries on a bibliography.
  12. Feigning illness to avoid an exam, test, quiz, etc. 
  13. Turning in a lab report without doing the experiment. 
  14. Collaborating on any course work unless instructions permit.
  15. Submitting work for someone else, or another’s work as your own.
  16. Engaging in bribery, blackmail, threats or harassment.
  17. Altering or forging an official academic document.

Instructors may provide additional examples of activities more specific to their course and or discipline.

* Adapted from: Bleeker, Karen C. To Be Honest: Championing Academic Integrity in Community Colleges. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Community Colleges, 2008. Used with the author’s permission.

C. Procedure

When a faculty member wishes to impose a penalty for academic dishonesty, the faculty member initiates action by notifying the student(s), in writing, of the charges against them, the nature of the evidence supporting the charge, and of the penalties which apply. This notification should take place within one week of when the infraction is discovered. The faculty member must retain written documentation to substantiate the charges.

The student(s) may then, within one week, submit to the faculty member a written statement in their defense.

If the faculty member finds the student statement satisfactory, the charge is dropped and the matter is resolved.

If the student(s) offers no defense, or if the faculty member finds the student’s statement unsatisfactory, the faculty member imposes the penalty. A written report is then (no later than four weeks after discovery of the cheating/plagiarism) sent to: 

  • The student(s) 
  • The Department Chairperson 
  • The Chief Academic Officer or designee
  • The Office of Registration and Records, if the penalty to be imposed is a failing grade for the course. In this case, the student will not be permitted to withdraw from the course in which the penalty is imposed.

If the chief academic officer or designee finds the academic dishonesty to be a part of a pattern of repeated offenses or complicity on a larger scale, they may initiate further action.

D. Appeals

If , within two weeks of being notified of the imposed penalty, the student(s) disputes the facts constituting the evidence of the infraction, an appeal may be filed. The appeal is filed with the Chairperson of the department offering the course in which the dishonesty is alleged. (If the Chairperson is also the faculty member making the charge of academic dishonesty, another faculty member shall be assigned the duties of coordinating this appeal process.) The Chairperson will appoint an ad hoc Appeal Board, consisting of three faculty members. The Appeal Board will schedule a hearing at which both the student(s) and the faculty member will be present. Both the student(s) and the faculty member may be assisted by an advocate of their choice, and may call additional witnesses. The Appeal Board will review the facts of the case and hear testimony from both parties and any additional witnesses. Following the hearing, the Appeal Board will deliberate in private and render a decision to either uphold or reject the appeal. The Appeal Board will complete its investigation promptly and communicate its decision, in writing, to the faculty member and the same persons listed in the above section within three days after the hearing. This appeal process is confidential, and is to be completed no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the alleged cheating/plagiarism took place.

If either the student or the faculty member disputes the decision of the Appeal Board and has new evidence bearing on the case, they may submit an additional appeal to the Chief Academic Officer no later than one year after the alleged infraction took place. The decision of the Chief Academic Officer shall be considered final and binding on all parties.

Passed by the faculty in November, 2009.