Academic Honesty at Oak Valley College

File this under things you do not tend to think about until you need them. What happens when you are presented with a paper from a student that appears out of context from the student? What do you do when two students present material in exactly the same way? How do you address someone who uses material with citing the source?

These may all be cases that violate Oak Valley’s Academic Honesty policy. Academic honesty and academic freedom are two of the most important elements of high-quality higher education. As the adage goes, “honesty is the best policy,” and it is reflective of a maturing mind. Students who fail to follow the policy are commonly lazy or stressed and make an expedient (poor) decision to lift thoughts, commentary, or facts from sources that are easily found in the Internet.

As the policy states, you are not to accuse the student of violating the policy. Your role is to gather the facts and bring the issue to the attention of Dean Board, aboard@oakvalleycollege.org. She will walk you through the various steps in the policy and help make a determination. She will also be able to review the student’s file to determine whether there are other cases where there was a violation of the policy, which may lead to more severe punishments. Dean Board will explore the policy further at the next Faculty Senate meeting, 6 pm, June 10.

Most violations of the Academic Honesty policy are teachable moments for you. Given a first offence, you have the opportunity to help the student rise to a higher standard of scholarship and reinforce the idea that you are only cheating yourself by not doing the work the correct way.

Over the past few years, we have uncovered a small number of violations. Thus far, none of them have appeared to be chronic or sinister. Students are prone to foll into bad habits from time to time. This is not to excuse the behavior. It needs to be addressed and rooted out. Otherwise, students may decide that dishonest scholarship is acceptable (IT IS NOT!),