Student Rights & Responsibilities
Academic Dishonesty Policy and Complaint Procedure
Academic Dishonesty: behavior/actions including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, multiple submissions, misrepresentation of academic records, facilitation of academic dishonesty, unfair advantage, violation of known safety requirements and ethical misconduct.
Cheating - using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance (e.g., asking someone for an answer during a test, copying answers from another student’s test, etc.), using unauthorized study aids during an exam (e.g., “cheat sheets” or books/notes), or submitting the work of another as one’s own.
Plagiarism - using the idea, data, or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgement. See College’s full definition of plagiarism.
Multiple submission - submitting (or attempting to submit), without prior permission, any work previously submitted to fulfill another academic requirement (e.g., paper or project submitted for anther course).
Misrepresentation of academic records - misrepresenting or tampering with any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - knowingly helping or (or attempting to help) another violate the principles of academic integrity (e.g., working together on a take-home exam without permission, providing another student with a pre-written paper or test, unauthorized collaboration of any kind).
Unfair Advantage - attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students (e.g., acquiring unauthorized access to exam materials, preventing or interfering with another student’s efforts, lying about a need for a due date extension, continuing to write when time for a test has expired, destroying or keeping library materials, or behaving in any manner that jeopardizes the health/welfare of others in order to unfairly acquire time or access to materials or equipment)
Ethical misconduct - violating someone’s right to confidentiality or interfering with, altering, falsifying, or inappropriately accessing personal/confidential records or trade secrets.
Student - any person who is taking or auditing classes (including non-credit) at the College or is enrolled in any College program.
Upon admission to Penn College, students make the unqualified commitment to responsible, ethical academic conduct. Academic dishonesty, as defined above, is contrary to the mission of the College and to the best interest of its members. Therefore, students are expected to represent themselves, their work, and the work of others with honesty and integrity.
Charges of academic dishonesty will be taken seriously. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty will be subject to action and penalties as the circumstances justify, including suspension or expulsion from the College.
Any staff or faculty member who believes a student is guilty of academic dishonesty is to follow the complaint procedure as presented below.
Any violation of this policy that involves behavior prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct may also be subject to the provisions and sanctions provided therein.
Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the College president. Disciplinary authority may be delegated to College administrators, faculty, staff, committees, and organizations, as appropriate.
The following identifies the rights, responsibilities, and protocol relating to academic dishonesty, as defined above. Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the College president. Disciplinary authority may be delegated to College administrators, faculty, staff, committees, and organizations, as appropriate.
Students accused of academic dishonesty are entitled to the following procedural protections:
- To be informed of the charge and alleged misconduct upon which the charge is based
- To be allowed reasonable time to prepare
- To be informed of the evidence upon which any charge is based
- To be assured of confidentiality, in accordance with the terms of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (the nature of the case may require some disclosure as permissible under law)
- To be considered not responsible for the violation until shown to be responsible by a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not)
Academic Dishonesty Complaint Procedure
- The faculty member, within five days of alleged violation, meets with the student and presents him/her with the complaint, any evidence, and the faculty member’s sanction. Penn College encourages the faculty member and the accused student to informally arrive at a solution.
- If the student accepts the faculty member’s stated charges, evidence, and sanction, the faculty member will provide the student, school dean, and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services with a written outcome, thus concluding the process.
- If the student denies the faculty member’s stated charges, evidence, and/or sanction, the faculty member will:
- provide the student, school dean, and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services with a written statement of complaint and outcome.
- inform the Registrar that a hold is to placed on the student’s grade, pending completion of the process. The student will not be permitted to drop the course until and unless the issue is resolved.
- The Assistant Vice President for Academic Services may, in certain circumstances, intervene upon receipt of the faculty statement. See the following section for more information.
- The student then has five business days in which to request, in writing, an administrative hearing with the appropriate school dean.
- The school dean will proceed with an investigation of the charges, evidence, and sanction, and within 10 business days of receiving the student’s request for an administrative hearing, will meet with the student and faculty member and render a decision.
- The dean will provide the student, the faculty member, and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services with a written outcome notice.
- The student and/or faculty member may appeal the administrative hearing outcome, but that appeal is possible only when new information has been discovered or to question the appropriateness/grounds of the decision.
- Appeals are to be made to the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services within five business days of receiving the written outcome. The appeal must be made in writing and include the individual’s reasons for the appeal.
- The Assistant Vice President for Academic Services will respond to the party, in writing, within 10 business days. During the student’s appeal, the sanctions of the administrative hearing will be placed on hold.
- The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services is final and there is no further appeal of administrative hearing outcomes, except in cases that result in suspension or expulsion from the College. In such cases, an appeal may be submitted as explained below.
- If the case has not been adjudicated by the end of the semester, the faculty member will submit an Incomplete (I) grade for the course. When the case is adjudicated, the faculty member will notify the Registrar to change the I grade to the appropriate grade via the grade change process.
Administrative Intervention and Injunction
- For very serious matters in which the charges may result in suspension or expulsion, or in cases of multiple incidents of academic dishonesty, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services may initiate, at any point in the procedure, an investigation of the charges and initiate the process to suspend or expel the student.
- The Assistant Vice President for Academic Services will provide the student, faculty member, and school dean a written statement of his/her findings and decision.
- The decision may be appealed, but only in cases where new information has been discovered or to question the appropriateness/grounds of the decision.
- These appeals are to be made in writing to the President of the College within five business days of receiving the written outcome. The appeal should include the person’s reasons for the appeal.
- The President will review all materials and respond in writing within 10 business days.
- The President’s decision is final.
Sanctions imposed for academic dishonesty may include the following, listed in order of severity:
- Course/School sanctions including, but not limited to, issuance of an F grade for specific assignments or classes/labs, temporary or permanent removal from classes/labs, removal from an academic program and/or academic school.
- College Suspension - The termination of student status and the separation of the student from the College for a defined period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified. While a student is suspended, he or she is prohibited from being on College premises and excluded from all student courses, privileges, and activities.
- College Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the College. When a student is expelled, he or she is prohibited from being on College premises and excluded from all student courses, privileges, and activities.
Any charge of academic dishonesty that also involves behavior prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to the provisions and sanctions provided therein.
Disciplinary Action While Legal Charges are Pending
The College may, if it chooses, pursue discipline charges against a student arising out of a copyright violation alleged by any person(s), whether or not any legal action is pursued, dismissed, or reduced.
Results of College Suspension and Expulsion
Students who are expelled or suspended from the institution are assigned “T” grades for all courses in which they are currently enrolled.
Students expelled or suspended from College-owned housing or the College for appropriate cause are not entitled to refunds of housing or tuition charges.
In pending cases, a temporary hold can be placed on a student’s records by the chief academic affairs officer or designee.
Records that are part of the student’s permanent academic record are maintained by the Registrar’s Office. Records that pertain to academic dishonesty are maintained by the Academic Affairs Office.
Only sanctions of College expulsion and suspension shall become a part of the student’s permanent academic record.
All documentation (electronic or hardcopy) related to academic dishonesty will be maintained in Academic Affairs in accordance with records retention protocol established by the College.
Revocation of Degrees
The College reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for fraud in receipt of the degree.