The presumption would be that, in written assignments, students are not permitted to use another person’s words without attribution. Specifically, plagiarizing the words of another writer (whether from a book, article, broadcast, internet, or another student) is not permitted.
The presumption would be that, in quantitative assignments (such as accounting exercises, math homework or science lab reports), each student has independently derived his/her own data, made his/her own calculations, checked those figures, and come up with his/her own interpretations of those results.
The presumption would be that, in quizzes and examinations, each student has not received unauthorized help from another person and in the case of closed-book test, any notes, books or electronic devices or electronic communication from other sources has been used.
Students must take all examinations given in the courses in which they are enrolled, and may not be excused from the required examinations of any course, including final examinations. Students who are absent during an examination forfeit the right to make up the examination unless they have prior permission from the instructor.
Final examination hours and dates are published in the schedule of classes. Final examinations for short-term classes are given during the last class meeting.
The established final examination schedule cannot be changed without approval from the Vice President of Instruction.
When an infraction involves unauthorized copying from or collaborating with another student in the class, all students participating are to be held guilty of the infraction. “I was just helping him/her by giving him/her the right answers” is not a defense.
An incidence where student behavior does not adhere to these presumptions constitutes academic dishonesty.
Announcement of Policy
The College shall announce its general academic honesty policy in the widest possible fashion: website, catalog, schedule of classes, student handbook, etc.
It is the duty of every instructor to announce special modifications and interpretations of that policy. For example, instructors may wish to permit group activities in class, open note exams, team projects, or out-of-class consultation on homework to check calculations or writing. The expectations of the proper use of tutors and study partners must also be clarified by individual instructors and/or programs.
The faculty based modifications and interpretations of acceptable academic honesty must be communicated to students by some written format, such as the course syllabus, FAQ file, instructions on assignments, or other course documents or program documents. These documents should strive for specificity as to what constitutes an infraction and which sanctions shall be applied.
Faculty members are obligated to report incidences of infraction to the College disciplinary officer. These reports should include the name of the student, course, instructor, assignment, nature and date of the infraction, and the sanction applied.
Infractions and Sanctions
When a faculty member has a reasonable suspicion of a student’s lapse of academic integrity (based upon direct observation, witness (es), or documentary evidence) that faculty member must
1. Determine if the evidence is sufficient to warrant a finding of infraction;
2. Determine if further investigation is required;
3. Apply an appropriate sanction: This is to be at the discretion of the faculty member and can range from a warning to a reduced grade for the assignment, with attendant consequences.
The disciplinary actions are consistent with SBCCD Board Policy 5500, which lists cheating and plagiarism as behavior that subjects a student to such discipline. Administrative Regulation 5500 details a range of possible disciplinary actions: reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion and specific steps to follow in cases of suspension or expulsion.
In particular career-technical programs, the definitions and disciplinary procedures for academically dishonest or professionally unethical behavior are also governed by an external authority. The standards and processes established for students in these programs are different than those described in this document. Students in these programs will receive notification of these requirements upon admission to the program. Instructors in these programs are still obliged to report incidences of infraction to the Vice President of Student Services.
The criterion for an appropriate sanction is that the sanction match the guidelines published (by the instructor, program, department, College, District, etc.), prior to the infraction.
In general, the sanction applied at the discretion of the instructor will be the maximum penalty imposed upon the student (s) violating the standards. However, in consultation with the instructor, the additional sanctions of suspension or expulsion may be applied by the Dean of Student Services in cases where:
1. There are repeated infractions by the same student;
2. The help from the other student was gained through coercion or duress;
3. Another student’s work was accessed without the permission of that student;
4. The violator has threatened a witness or faculty member not to bring forth evidence in this case.
Students accused of academic dishonesty have a right to appeal the findings of the instructor, but the burden of proof will be on the student. The appeal will be made to the office of the Dean of Student Services, who will arrange for the case to be heard by a panel. The appeals panel will be composed of three faculty members, one college administrator, and one student (selected by the Student Senate). If a simple majority of the panel vindicates the student, then the complaining faculty member’s sanction will not apply. A simple majority of this panel can sustain the finding that the student was guilty of violating the academic honesty policy of this course, and therefore, the sanction applied by the complaining faculty member will apply. Additionally, a simple majority of the panel may determine that institutional sanctions do apply against the student.