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Academic Integrity

Questions & Answers for Faculty

In order to fulfill one’s human potential, it is necessary to be honest and honorable in each of life’s endeavors. The pursuit of academic excellence, therefore, must be conducted with the highest levels of honor, integrity, and civility. The community of JCC believes that all students have the right to be educated and fairly evaluated in an environment which promotes scholarly honesty in all aspects of academic endeavor.

Why is academic integrity important?

The college is an academic community whose mission is to promote learning through the acquisition, preservation, and transmission of knowledge. In order to achieve this goal, the college must create and maintain an atmosphere that promotes honesty and the free exchange of ideas, which is the essence of academic integrity. In this setting, all members of the institution have an obligation to uphold high intellectual and ethical standards which, in turn, help maintain the highest standards of academic excellence.

What is my responsibility as a faculty member?

To establish a positive learning environment, faculty should include a policy statement on academic integrity in their syllabi. Consistent use and enforcement of a policy statement will model and promote academic integrity for students. If you are unsure of how to formulate a policy, please consult the Constitution of the Student Body to review the college’s statement on academic integrity or ask your department head for advice. Some departments may have a standard policy to be used by all of their instructors. 

What are the most common forms of academic dishonesty?

Actions constituting violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Plagiarism: the use of another's words, ideas, data, or product without appropriate acknowledgment, such as copying another's work, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one’s own, or working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one’s own. Unintentional plagiarism may occur when students are unaware of the proper methods to use in crediting sources. Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is a violation of the college’s standards of academic integrity; students are responsible for learning and following the rules for proper use of sources.
  • Cheating: the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids; or an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent academic skills or knowledge; unauthorized copying from or collaboration with another person.
  • Fabrication: intentional misrepresentation or invention of any information, such as falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data, or listing incorrect or fictitious references.
  • Collusion: assisting another to commit an act of academic dishonesty, such as paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, taking a test or doing an assignment for someone else, or allowing someone to do these things for one’s own benefit.

What can I do to help my students avoid academic dishonesty?

Approaches to this issue may vary according to discipline. Listed below are a number of websites which can assist faculty in detecting plagiarism and creating assignments that cannot be plagiarized.

  • This website offers general methods to help instructors lessen the risk of plagiarism in their classes.
    Procter, Margaret. “Deterring Plagiarism: Some Strategies.”
    Writing at the University of Toronto. University of Toronto. 22 Jan. 2005.  21 Mar.2005 http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/faculty/deterring-plagiarism
  • This website lists a variety of topics that discuss plagiarism. Some of these lists include causes of plagiarism, a sampling of paper mills (or places on the Internet that sell papers), ways of detecting plagiarism, and prevention of plagiarism.
    "Plagiarism Detection and Prevention: An Instructor Guide." Teaching and Learning with Technology.  Pennsylvania State University. http://tlt.psu.edu/plagiarism/instructor-guide/
  • This website offers various methods of plagiarism-proofing writing assignments for the classroom. While there are general strategies for classroom, there are also ideas for assignment topics and assignment designs. This site also offers various other websites on the topic of plagiarism.
    Rudolph, Seri.  Plagiarism Resource Site. Bates Education.
    21 Mar. 2005  http://abacus.bates.edu/cbb/
  • Although this website does not directly address the plagiarism issue in writing, it does offer a wide variety of information including writing assignments from various disciplines.
    Writing Across the Curriculum. The University of Pittsburgh.
    21 Mar. 2005   http://www.wac.pitt.edu/

What should I do if I encounter evidence of academic dishonesty?

First, be consistent in applying the policy you’ve outlined in your syllabus. Following stated policies helps minimize student confusion and underscores the college’s commitment to setting and maintaining high academic standards.

After applying the policy, faculty should report the incident to their supervisor (Assistant Dean, Director, or Coordinator) and provide any supporting evidence. The supervisor will then send the evidence through to the Academic Dean. When a new case comes in, the Dean will check whether the student has engaged in multiple cases of this behavior. This is the Academic Dean’s responsibility - instructors do not need to determine if there are previous offenses in other classes. The information is kept for two years after the last date of registration for any particular student. A record of plagiarism or cheating may be considered when making decisions for admission to the nursing program – it is not mandatory.

The Constitution of the Student Body describes the college’s expectations regarding academic integrity in more detail, and outlines the procedures for flagrant violations of this policy as well procedures for students to appeal penalties. 

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