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Academic Integrity Procedural Guidelines

>> This information may be downloaded in PDF format.

 

Note: Students and faculty members with questions about the Penn State Behrend Academic Integrity policy are welcome to contact the office of the Assistant Director for Academic Administration (898-6160).

 

If a faculty member suspects that an Academic Integrity incident has occurred:

 

  1. Within ten business days of the alleged violation the faculty member should download an Academic Integrity Form and meet with the student to discuss the incident.  If the student is not attending class, the faculty member should use multiple communication methods to arrange for a meeting, including email, phone messages, and/or letters.  If the faculty member is unable to meet with the student, s/he should fill out the form, assign an academic sanction, and send it to the Assistant Director for Academic Administration.  The faculty member should also send the Assistant Director for Academic Administration copies of the student’s assignments in which the academic integrity incident occurred.
     
  2. At their meeting, the faculty member must explain why s/he believes an act of academic dishonesty occurred and allow the student an opportunity to respond.  After hearing the student’s explanation, if the faculty member still believes that an infraction of Penn State’s academic integrity code has occurred, s/he shall give the student the Academic Integrity Form.   The student has five full business days to sign the form.  (Note: A student’s refusal to sign the form by the end of the fifth day will be understood as not contesting the charge and sanction.)
     
  3. Once the student has signed the form or once five full business days have passed since meeting with the student, the faculty member must send the Assistant Director for Academic Administration the original Academic Integrity Form and copies of the student’s assignments in which the academic integrity incident occurred.
     
  4. Once the Assistant Director for Academic Administration receives the Academic Integrity Form and supporting material, s/he will contact the Office of Student Affairs to determine if the student has committed any previous violations of academic dishonesty.  If the student has a prior offense on record, the Academic Integrity Committee will review the case and may change the academic sanction.  The student will have five business days to accept or contest the allegation and/or new sanction.

 

If a student wishes to contest the charge and/or sanction the Academic Integrity Committee will meet to review the case:

 

  1. The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will instruct the University Registrar to place a “drop hold” to prevent the student from dropping the class during the appeal process.  If a student has already dropped a class, s/he will be re-enrolled.
     
  2. The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will contact the student and faculty member to discuss the Academic Integrity Hearing process.  S/he will collect and review materials submitted by the two parties and provide all pertinent materials to members of the Academic Integrity Committee, the student, and the faculty member at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
     
  3. The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will establish a time and location for the hearing.  Hearings of the Academic Integrity Committee will be scheduled only during the fall and spring semesters.  If a hearing cannot be scheduled during the semester in which the incident occurred, the student will be given a grade of DF and the hearing will be held at the beginning of the next semester.  The Assistant Director for Academic Administration has the discretion to schedule hearings at any time of the year for students whose graduation has been postponed until resolution of the academic integrity incident.
     
  4. The hearing of the Academic Integrity Committee should occur within 30 days of the academic integrity incident.  The committee must have at least four voting members available; one of the committee members must be a student representative who has undergone training in judicial affairs by the Division of Student Affairs.  The Director of Student Affairs or his/her designee will attend as a non-voting ex-officio member.  The student and faculty member will both be invited to attend.  (Note: Non-university individuals are not permitted to attend the hearing.)
     
  5. Within ten business days of the hearing, the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee will send a letter indicating the decision of the hearing to the Assistant Director for Academic Administration.  The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will distribute the letter to 1) the student and faculty member involved in the hearing, 2) the Director of Student Affairs, and 3) the College Registrar.

 

Academic Integrity Sanctioning Guidelines for Faculty*

 

Listed below are guidelines that instructors are encouraged to use in determining the severity of the dishonest action.

 

Minor Infractions. In general: minor infractions involve errors in judgment without a clear intent by the student to violate academic integrity.

  • A student paraphrases or copies a sentence (or two) without citing the source, or provides an improper citation.
  • A student places or allows his/her name to be placed on a group project to which he/she contributed little or nothing.
  • A student copies part of the work of another student exactly on an assignment on which collaboration is allowed but copying is not.
     

Moderate Infractions. In general: moderate infractions are unpremeditated dishonest acts that directly affect only one student.

  • A student collaborates on an assignment when he/she clearly was asked to work alone.
  • A student hands in an identical written assignment (such as a term paper, lab report, or other project) to two classes without obtaining prior approval from the instructor, or stating explicitly that he/she did so.
  • A student cheats, or facilitates the cheating of another, on an examination (in cases where there is no evidence of premeditation).
  • A student tries to gain an advantage in an exam by removing reserved materials from a lab or library to have additional study time at home.
  • A student fabricates a false reason to miss an exam, report deadline, or other academic obligation (the "dying grandmother" story, false sickness, family obligations, causing or fabricating a computer problem.)
     

Major Infractions. In general: major infractions are premeditated dishonest acts or dishonest acts that directly affect the grade of other students.

  • A student poses as, or facilitates another posing as, someone else during an exam.
  • A student cheats or facilitates the cheating of another on an examination in a way that is premeditated (e.g., using a cheat sheet, a prearranged system of sharing answers, or some similar method that was planned in advance.
  • A student places his/her name on a written assignment he/she did not write.  This includes copying "old" assignments such as term papers and lab reports that were written by others in previous years.

 

Violation Category and Sanction Ranges

Cheating
Using crib sheet; pre-programming a calculator, using notes or books during a closed book exam, etc.  Any electronic or other form of communication (including cell phone text messaging) between a student taking an examination, quiz, or individually graded assignment and any person other than the course instructor or person designated by the instructor.

  • 1st offense moderate: No credit to reduced course grade to F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: F for course to XF* and/or additional discipline sanctions

Copying on test 
Looking at other unsuspecting students’ exams and copying; copying in a complicit manner with another student; exchanging color-coded exams for the purpose of copying; passing answers via notes; discussing answers in exam, etc.

  • 1st offense minor: Reduced exam grade to no  credit on exam
  • 1st offense moderate: No credit on exam to reduced course grade to F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: F for course to XF* and/or additional discipline sanctions

Plagiarism
The fabrication of information and citations; submitting others’ work from professional journals, Internet sources, books, articles and papers; submission of other students’ papers or lab results or project reports and representing the work as one’s own; fabricating in part or total, submissions and citing them falsely etc. or not at all.  Plagiarism also includes the direct copying of any electronic source including computer files, lines of computer programming codes from other sources, and audio or video disks, programs, or files, whether developed by another student, individual, or outside source (e.g., on the Internet).

  • 1st offense minor: Reduced grade to no credit for the assignment
  • 1st offense moderate: No credit for the assignment to reduced course grade to F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense minor or moderate: F for course to XF* and/or additional discipline sanctions

Acts of Aiding or Abetting  Facilitating acts by others; unauthorized collaboration of work; permitting another to copy from exam; writing a paper for another; inappropriately collaborating on home assignments or exams without permission or when prohibited, etc.

  • 1st offense minor: Reduced assignment grade to no credit for assignment

  • 1st offense moderate: Reduced course grade to F for course

  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense minor or moderate: F course to XF* and/or additional discipline sanctions.

Unauthorized Possession 
Of examinations, through purchase or supply; stealing exams; failing to return exams on file; selling exams; photocopying exams; buying exams; any possession of an exam without the custodian’s permission, etc.

  • 1st offense moderate: F for course to XF* and other disciplinary sanctions
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: XF* and other discipline sanctions

Tampering with Work
Changing own or other student’s work product such as lab results, papers, or test answers; tampering with work either as a prank or in order to sabotage another’s work, etc.

  • 1st offense moderate: No credit for assignment to F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: F for course to XF* and other disciplinary sanctions

Submitting Previous Work
Submitting a paper, case study, lab report or any assignment that had been submitted for credit in a prior class without the knowledge and permission of the instructor.

  • 1st offense minor: Redo assignment to redo assignment and reduced grade for assignment
  • 1st offense moderate: Redo assignment with reduced grade to no credit for assignment
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense minor or moderate: No credit for assignment to F for course

Ghosting or Misrepresentation
Having another take a quiz, an exam, or perform an exercise or similar evaluation in place of the student.  Individuals taking a quiz, an exam, or performing an exercise or similar evaluation in place of a student, will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for disciplinary action.

  • 1st offense moderate: F to XF* course grade
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: XF* course grade and other disciplinary sanctions

Fabrication
A student fabricates a false reason to miss an exam, report deadline, or other academic obligation.

  • 1st offense moderate: Reduced grade to no credit for the assignment
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: No credit for the assignment to reduced course grade to F for course

Altering Exams
When instructor returns graded exams for in-class review and subsequently collects them, student changes incorrect answers and seeks favorable grade adjustment asserting that instructor made mistake in grading; other forms may include changing the letter and/or numerical grade on test; obtaining test discreetly, etc.

  • 1st offense minor: No credit to reduced course grade
  • 1st offense moderate: Reduced course grade for F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense minor or moderate: F for course to XF* and/or additional disciplinary sanctions

Computer Theft
Electronic theft of computer programs, data, images, art, or text belonging to another, etc.

  • 1st offense moderate: Reduced course grade to F for course
  • 1st offense major or 2nd offense moderate: F for course to XF* and/or additional discipline sanctions
     

*According to Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, faculty members may not assign an “XF” grade.  “XF” is a formal University disciplinary sanction, and may be assigned only with the concurrence of the instructor, the College of Academic Integrity Committee, and Judicial Affairs. Reliance on the “XF” should be a rare occurrence and reserved for the most serious breaches of academic integrity. In any instance in which the instructor believes an “XF” sanction warranted, and whether or not the student has admitted responsibility, the case is forwarded to the College Academic Integrity Committee for review and then to the Office of Judicial Affairs for appropriate fact finding and judgment.

 

 

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