Academic Honesty - Policy and Appeal Procedure

Northampton Community College considers honesty to be essential to the learning experience. Academic honesty is one of the values that we expect members of the NCC community will apply in their work on this campus and take into their lives beyond NCC. Violations of academic honesty harm the learning experience and violate the expectations and values that the NCC community embraces. We expect all members of the NCC academic community to conduct themselves and their work ethically and honestly.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students are solely responsible for their work and for making sure that their work represents their own honest efforts to meet the goals of the course.
  • They are responsible for showing that the work they present is theirs in whatever ways are deemed appropriate by the faculty for the course.
  • They are responsible for learning and following the policies and expectations of the college and for understanding the consequences of actions that violate the policy on academic honesty.

Faculty responsibilities

  • Faculty members are responsible for demonstrating academic honesty in their work.
  • They are responsible for making their expectations related to academic honesty clear to their classes including which activities and resources are allowed and the consequences for violations in their courses.
  • They are responsible for communicating violations of the academic honesty policy to students and their division Dean and to the Assistant Dean of Students (Bethlehem) or the Associate Dean of Students (Monroe).

Academic Honesty Violations

Violations of the academic honesty policy include any actions that attempt to gain academic credit for work that does not represent the student's own efforts and knowledge. They include, but are not limited to the following situations and examples:

  • Cheating on examinations and quizzes -
    • Using notes, materials, and/or mechanical, electronic or technological devices not authorized by the instructor during examinations or quizzes.
    • Providing or receiving help on an examination or test in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
    • Buying, selling, improperly obtaining, or using any tests or examinations.
    • Taking an exam or quiz for another student and/or allowing another student to take an exam or quiz in one's place.
    • Altering or adding answers on exercises, exams, or quizzes after the work has been graded.
  • Plagiarizing –
    • Using the ideas or words of others without appropriate quotation and documentation that acknowledges the source or sources -- in other words, presenting someone else's work as one's own.
    • Copying, exact words, phrases or sentences without quoting and giving credit to the source.
    • Using a paraphrased version of the opinions, work, or ideas of others without giving credit.
    • The wrongful appropriation of all or part of someone else's literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, or computer-based work.
    • Copying all or part of an assignment, (a research paper, lab report, or workbook) from another person or resource and presenting it as one's own work.
    • Purchasing an assignment and submitting it as one's own work.
    • Falsifying or inventing information, data or research material. Altering or forging records or submitting false records as part of course work or making false statements, excuses, or claims to gain academic credit or influence grading.
    • Listing sources that were never consulted.
    • Gaining unauthorized access to another person's or the College's computer system or tampering with or copying programs, files, data or access codes associated with coursework.
    • Tampering with or damaging the work of others or preventing others from completing their own assignments.
    • Self-plagiarizing: the practice of submitting one's own previously-submitted work as new; or of submitting the same work to different classes that one is enrolled in. Reworking a previously-submitted work, or submitting similar work to different classes may be an option only with the explicit permission of the current professor(s).

Penalties

When a faculty member believes that a student has committed acts that violate the academic honesty policy, he or she will advise the student of the offense and the penalty imposed.

A faculty member may apply one of the following penalties:

  1. A written warning with the requirement that the assignment be redone within the instructor's specified time. Faculty members are encouraged to report the incident and action to their division Dean and to the Assistant Dean of Students (Bethlehem) or the Associate Dean of Students (Monroe) using online Academic Honesty Violation Form.
  2. A failing grade for the assignment or test.
    Faculty members are encouraged to report the incident and action to their division Dean and to the Assistant Dean of Students (Bethlehem) or the Associate Dean of Students (Monroe) using the online Academic Honesty Violation Form.
  3. An "F" grade for the course.
    • If a faculty member issues an "F" grade in the course as a penalty for academic dishonesty, he or she must send a written report of the instance of cheating or plagiarism and the action taken to the division Dean and the Assistant Dean of Students (Bethlehem) or the Associate Dean of Students (Monroe) using the online Academic Honesty Violation Form.
    • If the faculty member has given an "F" grade for the course as a penalty for a violation of academic honesty, a student may not withdraw from the course while the matter is under appeal or if it is resolved that the "F" grade stands.

Appeal procedure-charges of academic dishonesty

If a student wishes to appeal a charge of academic dishonesty or the penalty imposed, the student should follow these steps:

Step 1

  • If the student wishes to respond to the accusation, he/she must make an appointment and meet with the faculty member at a formal meeting within ten working days of the notification.
  • If the student and faculty member accept a specific resolution offered by either of them, the matter shall be considered closed.
  • If such a resolution cannot be reached, the student may formally appeal the action of the faculty member within three working days after the meeting with the faculty member. Appeal of Charges of Academic Honesty Violation Forms and procedures will be available in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • While an appeal is in process, the student may not withdraw from the course.

Note: working day is defined as any day when a full schedule of classes are in session (this excludes Saturdays and Sundays).

Step 2

  • Within three working days of the meeting with the faculty member, the student may request in writing that the appropriate dean call a meeting to include the student, faculty member, and program director, if any, within five working days.
  • After this meeting, the dean will send all parties involved a written recommendation within three working days.
  • Students who do not agree with the recommendation in Step 2 may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee within three working days. This appeal must be submitted, in writing, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Step 3

  • Students initiate appeals to the Academic Appeals Committee (within three days of notification of outcome of Step 2) by requesting a hearing through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A hearing will be scheduled as quickly as possible and all parties to the appeal will be informed of the date, time, and place of the meeting. The faculty member will delay recording the grade for the work in question until the appeal is decided.
  • The Academic Appeals Committee will decide whether evidence sustains or does not sustain such charges of academic dishonesty and whether the penalty is consistent with the stated policies. A decision will be recommended to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose decision is final unless different from the recommendation of the committee. In such cases, the student may appeal to the President whose decision is final.
  • If evidence does not sustain such charges in the opinion of the committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, all records in the student's file related to this charge will be expunged. If evidence does sustain the charges and the appeal relates to the penalty, the committee may recommend the following actions:
    1. The assigned penalty will be supported.
    2. The faculty member may be asked to reconsider the penalty in question.
  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs will communicate in writing a decision to the student, faculty member, and Dean of Students no later than three working days after the hearing.

Recurring violations of Academic Dishonesty

If the student is reported to have violated the Academic Honesty Policy repeatedly, the Assistant Dean of Students (Bethlehem) or the Associate Dean of Students (Monroe) shall request the Discipline Committee to consider the student's dismissal from the college.