Integrity of scholarship is to be maintained in an academic community. Oak Valley College expects professors and students to honor this principle. This means that academic work will be done by the student to whom it is assigned. Professors will exercise care in planning and supervising academic work, so that this principle is supported and students clearly understand the boundaries of independent academic work.
Professors should state the objectives and requirements of each course at the beginning of the term and clearly inform students in writing if they are allowed to provide aid and collaboration on graded assignments. In some cases, students participate in team projects. In these cases, each student’s work must be evaluated independently and no one student shall be obligated to do an inordinate amount of work on behalf of the group. At the conclusion of each team project, the team must identify how responsibilities were divided and who performed which piece of work. In most team projects, an independent paper and/or report by each team member may be required to assess each student’s academic work.
Students are expected to complete courses in compliance with all the standards outlined in the Catalog and provided by the direction of the professor. No student shall engage in any activity that involves attempting to receive a grade by means other than honest effort including, but not limited to:
Procuring, providing or accepting unauthorized material that contains questions or answers to any examination or assignment
Completing, in part or in total, any examination or assignment for another student
Allowing any examination or assignment to be completed, in part or in total, for himself/herself by another person
Plagiarizing or copying the work of another person and submitting it as his/her own work
Employing aids which the professor has prohibited in undertaking coursework
Working collaboratively on a project or activity when instructed to work independently
Altering graded assignments or examinations and then resubmitting them for re-grading
Submitting substantially the same material in more than one course without permission
The responsibility for maintaining the standards of academic honesty rests equally with professors, administration, and students. When a student has admitted to or has been found guilty of a violation of the standards of academic honesty, the professor shall seek to determine the gravity of the violation and work with administration to determine the appropriate discipline to the violation.
In severe cases, which are rare, the recommended academic consequence is failure in the course, suspension, or dismissal from the College. In less severe cases, consequences may range from failure or downgrading for the course, project, or exam. In either case, the professor is encouraged to seek the advice and support from the dean or Office of the President before imposing a penalty.
Under normal circumstances, the recommended minimum administrative penalties are probation for the first offense and suspension or dismissal for a subsequent offense. The transcript of a student who is dismissed for academic dishonesty shall bear a notation that readmission is contingent upon petition and approval from the Academic Review Board. .
Further information about academic honesty shall be communicated in each course syllabus and during New Student Orientation.
Suspected Academic Dishonesty - Process
In no case, should the professor directly charge the student with the offense or impose any penalty. The professor confers with the dean to decide whether to proceed with a formal charge against the student. After reviewing the charge, the professor may decide to drop the charge, but the dean may not dismiss the charge without the professor’s consent.
If the professor and dean disagree on whether to file a charge, the dean should communicate the disagreement to the Office of the President. At the discretion of the President, a meeting between the dean, professor, and student may be called.
If the decision is to file a formal charge, the dean notifies the student of the charge and proposed penalty in writing and advises the student of the right to pursue a formal hearing conducted by the Academic Review Board (ARB).
The student has ten (10) working days following notification of the charge to decide to:
Accept the charge of academic dishonesty and the proposed penalty
Deny the charge of dishonesty and request a formal hearing
Accept the charge of dishonesty but appeal the proposed penalty
If the student does not respond to the charges, he/she shall be presumed to have accepted the charges and penalty. A record of the infraction and penalty shall be filed with the Registrar and Office of the President.
If the student denies the charge, a written request for a formal hearing will be made to the dean within ten (10) working days of being notified of the charges. The case is referred to the ARB, and the ARB appoints a committee consisting of two disinterested professors and one student. The presiding officer of the case shall be the Chair of the ARB, or his/her designee. The procedures for the hearing are as follows:
The presiding officer notifies all those involved, including any witnesses, of the hearing date, and procedures.
After testimony and evidence has been reviewed, the committee makes a ruling based on a preponderance of the evidence.
If the student is found guilty, the presiding officer forwards the ruling, along with a recommended penalty to the Dean and the accused student.
If the committee finds the student not guilty, the case is dismissed without further action. The student is permitted to complete the course without prejudice or withdraw from the course without penalty. If the student withdraws from the course, it shall not be listed on his/her transcript, and the student shall be able to retake the course at a later date.
The accused student and/or any member of the committee may submit an appeal to the ARB within fifteen (15) working days. The appeal must meet one or more of the following criteria:
The standards of procedural fairness were violated (e.g. the student was not notified of the hearing or was not allowed to defend himself/herself)
There was documented bias by the committee
There exists newly discovered evidence which has substantial bearing on the findings of the committee and that evidence was unavailable at the time of the hearing
The penalty in the case involves suspension or dismissal
The ARB will have five (5) working days to review the appeal. After review, the ARB may decide to call a new hearing, reduce the penalty or dismiss the appeal. Except for such appeals, the judgment of the committee is final.
While a case of academic dishonesty is pending, the student may not drop the course in which he/she is accused of dishonesty. If the case has not been adjudicated before the end of the term, the professor shall withhold the student’s final grade and note what grade the student earned pending the outcome of the case.
In a case where a student is dismissed from the college, the student’s transcript shall bear a notation that readmission is contingent upon the approval of Office of the President. Any penalty less severe than dismissal shall be imposed as soon as all appeals have been exhausted.