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Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Policy Information

Date Approved: June 2022
Effective Date: September 1, 2022
Date Reviewed: 2021
Replaces: Academic Integrity Policy 2018

Purpose

To outline the expectations of Academic Integrity placed on all students and staff at the College, as well as the consequences for engaging in Academic Dishonesty.

Definitions

Academic Administrator: For the purposes of this policy, an Academic Administrator is a Dean or Chair.

Academic Dishonesty: In its broadest sense, Academic Dishonesty refers to any conscious, deliberate, or reckless action or omission taken to obtain academic credit through deception and/or false means. Academic Dishonesty, in whatever form, compromises the values of the College, undermines the credibility of credentials granted by the College, and discourages students and staff who pursue their academic activities honestly. Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following examples: plagiarism, cheating, passing the work of others off as your own, misrepresentation, falsification, and fabrication of information. Examples of Academic Dishonesty are provided in Appendix A of this policy.

Academic Integrity: “The International Center for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action” (International Center for Academic Integrity, n.d.).

Academic Accommodations: Academic accommodations are supports provided to students with disabilities, or limitations and/or restrictions based on one or more of the protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code (“Code”). Accommodations is a means of preventing and removing barriers that impede students with disabilities from participating fully in a post-secondary environment. This provides students with disabilities equitable access based on their program of choice, and their own unique circumstances. Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations are required to contact Accessibility Services through the Glenn Crombie Centre for Accessibility, Counselling and Wellness located at the College’s Barry Downe Campus.

Application/ Scope

This policy applies to all staff, applicants, and students associated with Cambrian College.

This policy also applies to all students enrolled in Ontario Learn courses hosted by Cambrian College. Further to Ontario Learn Academic Policy, the Host College addresses all matters related to academic integrity as well as any resulting academic appeals.

Policy Statements

1.0 Allegations and Steps for Academic Dishonesty Violations
When a faculty member, invigilator, or Academic Administrator suspects student Academic Dishonesty, it is their responsibility to:

  1. investigate the situation to determine whether dishonesty occurred, using fair and consistent procedures in accordance with the Academic Dishonesty Procedure;
  2. advise the student that this policy will govern the resolution of their concern and encourage the student to review this policy; and,
  3. ensure that student confidentiality regarding Academic Dishonesty is maintained at all times. Sharing student names and academic dishonesty allegations or findings with other staff is a violation of student privacy. An exception may be made for situations where there are multiple instructors teaching the same cohort of students (team teaching) in the same course. In this case conversation about an academic dishonesty concern would be warranted among collaborating teachers.

1.1 Timing
Investigation of any case of a suspected Academic Dishonesty violation occurs as promptly as the circumstances permit. The faculty member should meet with the student(s) involved as soon as possible. An Academic Administrator should reach a decision concerning penalties following investigation of the incident according to the penalties outlined in this policy. Normally, all processes should occur within five business days of the incident in question, subject to any accommodations a student may require in order to participate in the investigation.

1.2 Meeting with Student(s)

  • An investigation of academic dishonesty must include a meeting between the student(s) and the faculty member. At this meeting, the faculty member advises the student of the allegations of Academic Dishonesty against them and provides the student(s) with an opportunity to respond to those allegations.
  • If the faculty member determines that there has been no violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, then the matter is closed.
  • If the faculty member determines that there has been a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the faculty member communicates the results of their investigation to the Academic Administrator with responsibility for the course.
  • The Academic Administrator reviews the matter to determine if further investigation is required. They may engage the faculty member and the student as part of this review. When meeting with the student(s), the student(s) may provide any additional evidence that they feel is pertinent to the matter at hand.
  • If the Academic Administrator determines that there has been a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, they are tasked with determining the appropriate penalty. They may choose to engage the faculty member in a discussion regarding the appropriate penalty.
  • The Academic Administrator reviews the student(s) record to determine if this is the student’s first, or only offense. Based on whether the student has prior offences and penalties, and the severity of the current offense, the Academic Administrator determines a penalty from the options in section 2.0 of this policy and communicates their finding to the student.
  • Decisions regarding penalties are determined in accordance with the criteria outlined below.

1.3 Standard of Proof
The Standard of Proof is a balance of probabilities. This means that, for a finding of Academic Dishonesty to be supported, based on the information available, it must be established that, more likely than not, the student engaged in Academic Dishonesty.

1.4 Retention of Materials

  • While an investigation or appeal is underway, the faculty member retains possession of any unauthorized aids, examinations, essays, assignments, etc. to assist in the investigation and subsequent appeal processes.
  • Upon request from the student, the faculty member provides the student with a copy of their material(s).

1.5 Reporting & Disclosure

  • No matter what penalty is imposed, the Academic Administrator responsible for the course is responsible for reporting all instances and penalties to the Registrar.
  • The Registrar maintains a centralized academic offences file used to verify whether a student has a previous record of academic dishonesty.
  • Disclosure of information from the centralized academic offences file is available to Academic Administrators only.

2.0 Penalties
The Academic Administrator responsible for the course where an Academic Dishonesty offense has occurred may select from the following list of penalties (depending on the severity of the offence and whether or not this is the student’s first offense):

  1. written warning with resource links and in-person options for the student to learn more about Academic Integrity at Cambrian College;
  2. resubmission of the assignment;
  3. partial or total loss of marks on the exam/assignment in which the offence occurred;
  4. partial or total loss of marks for the course in which the offence occurred;
  5. suspension from the College for a period of 2 years (this penalty may be repeated if this is a further offence after a past suspension);
  6. a recommendation for cancelling a credential. A student, who is found guilty of academic misconduct after having been approved for graduation, or after having a credential conferred, may lose their credential.

2.1 Consequences for Repeated Offences

  • Cambrian College supports academic integrity and academic growth, but repeated Academic Dishonesty offences will not be tolerated.
  • Depending on the severity of any prior penalties (e.g., if a student has received two penalties that are not suspension from the College), a third offence of Academic Dishonesty will result in an automatic suspension from all College programs and / or courses for a period of 2 years. The student will automatically receive an F grade (0%) in each course they were registered in at the time of the suspension.
  • In the event that the College re-admits a student to a program after a two-year suspension for Academic Dishonesty, and in the event that this student commits a further act of Academic Dishonesty, the student will receive a further suspension from all College programs and / or courses and an F grade (0%) in each course they were registered in at the time of the suspension.

3.0 Appeals
Students who wish to appeal an Academic Integrity decision should follow the procedure outlined in the Student Appeals Policy.

4.0 Progression
With some exceptions (for courses and programs where progression to a placement may endanger student or others’ safety), if a student is charged with Academic Dishonesty, the student may progress if they have filed an official appeal of the charge. In the event that the appeal is not granted, then the student will be withdrawn from any course / semester for which they do not have the necessary prerequisites.

5.0 Student Records
The College records all Academic Dishonesty offenses at the level of the student, not the program. If a student changes programs or graduates from one program at Cambrian and then begins another, any previous record of Academic Dishonesty offenses, sanctions, or penalties will follow the student to the new program.

Academic Dishonesty records are held in accordance with the timelines outlined in the College’s Confidentiality of Student Records Policy.

Responsibilities and Accountability

All members of the Cambrian College community are responsible for ensuring the maintenance of an environment where academic integrity can flourish.

Students

  • Be familiar with what constitutes Academic Dishonesty and seek clarification from their faculty members when they are unsure.
  • Uphold the principles of Academic Integrity.

Faculty Members

  • Uphold and champion the principles of Academic Integrity.
  • Clearly indicate the degree of collaboration that is acceptable for assignments and, for group assignments, the responsibilities of each individual in the group, and the processes used to identify individual work.
  • Thoroughly investigate suspected cases of Academic Dishonesty and meet with students suspected of committing Academic Dishonesty to review the situation.

Academic Administrators (Deans/Chairs)

  • Uphold and champion the principles of Academic Integrity.
  • Review allegations of Academic Dishonesty.
  • Meet with students to discuss circumstances of offenses.
  • Document and report instances of Academic Dishonesty to the Registrar.
  • Communicate penalties to students and faculty members.

Registrar

  • Maintain the official College repository of Academic Dishonesty offenses and make information available to Academic Administrators.
  • Report on aggregate trends.

Vice President, Academic

  • Oversee administration of Academic Integrity at the College.