Academic Integrity Policy

Quick Links:

  1. Purpose
  2. Violation Penalties and Procedures
  3. Sanctions
  4. Academic Integrity Training
  5. Student Rights and Academic Integrity Appeals
  6. Student Rights and Grade Appeals
  7. Student Rights and Non-Academic Appeals

Purpose

As a Christian community of faith and scholarship, we at Brewton-Parker College (BPC) are committed to the principles of truth and honesty in the academic endeavor (2 Timothy 3:16). As faculty and students in this Christian community, we are called to present our academic work as an honest reflection of our abilities; we do not need to defraud members of the community by presenting others’ work as our own (Mark 10:17-22). Therefore, academic dishonesty is handled with serious consequences for two fundamental reasons: it is stealing – taking something that is not ours; it is also lying – pretending to be something it is not. In a Christian community, such pretense is not only unnecessary, it is also harmful to the individual and community as a whole. Cheating should have no place at a campus where all labors are informed by our faith because God desires us to be truthful with each other concerning our academic abilities. Only with a truthful presentation of our knowledge can there be an honest evaluation of our abilities.

What is Academic Dishonesty?

Academic dishonesty is defined as any unauthorized action or attempted action that may result in academic gain. Unintentional violations of the academic integrity policy are still violations and will still be treated as such. Brewton-Parker College groups these behaviors into the following five categories.

 

Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s ideas or words without proper acknowledgement, thus giving the impression that you created them. Failure to understand instructions and unknowingly committing plagiarism is still a violation of the academic integrity policy.

Some examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Word-for-word copying of another person’s ideas, words, theories, data, etc. without quoting and/or proper acknowledgement
  • Interspersing your own words here and there while in essence still copying another’s work
  • Paraphrasing or rewriting another’s work, yet still using that person’s idea or theory without acknowledgement
  • Fabricating, inventing, or counterfeiting sources
  • Submitting someone else’s work as your own, whether that work was obtained via theft, purchase, or gift
  • Neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged
  • Omitting citations or incorrectly citing others’ work, including using citations in the paper but not on the citation page or vice versa

Self-plagiarism occurs when you submit for credit an assignment which you have previously submitted for credit without permission to do so.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Using the same research paper, essay, project, or any other type of written assignment for more than one class
  • Submitting work completed in a previous semester when retaking a class
  • Copying lab results, data, etc. from one study into another without redoing the experiment

Inappropriate assistance occurs when students give or receive assistance that has not been authorized in connection with any academic work. Students should assume that any assistance on assignments, exams, quizzes, lab work, etc. is unauthorized unless the instructor has approved it.

Examples of prohibited actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Transmitting, receiving, or attempting to transmit or receive or in some other form obtaining information or answers during an exam, quiz, lab exercise, or other non-written assignment (copying written assignments without attribution is considered plagiarism)
  • Knowingly allowing another student to copy your work
  • Distributing exam/quiz questions or information about exam/quiz questions
  • Unless specifically allowed by the instructor, even mere possession in sight or within easy reach of a cell phone, smart watch, or other similar device during an exam or other assignment
  • Giving or receiving answers to an exam or an in-class assignment that is scheduled for another time
  • Completing for others or allowing others to complete for you all or part of an assignment
  • Submitting as a group assignment work which was prepared by less than all of the members of that group. It is the responsibility of all students to inform an instructor of the lack of participation of any group member.
  • Using non-scholarly sources to complete an assignment for credit when instructed to use only scholarly resources. Scholarly sources are those written by academics or professionals in a field. The research is generally peer-reviewed and printed in academic journals, books, and conference publications. Non-scholarly sources inform the public and include things such as news sources, non-refereed journals, magazines, and most web pages. If you are unsure about the merit of a source, ask your instructor.

Offering false information with regard to your performance in academic work is academically dishonest and in opposition to the Christian life.

Examples of lying and/or falsification include, but are not limited to:

  • Giving false reasons for failure to complete an academic assignment or attend class
  • Falsifying the results of laboratory work or other data
  • Altering academic work after it has been submitted
  • Altering grades, lab work, or attendance records
  • Falsely signing another person as present when he/she is absent in a class
  • Taking a test for another student
  • Signing a false name on a piece of academic work
  • Falsifying or purposely omitting information and evidence in an appeal of an academic integrity violation. (Note: lying about and/or omitting information pertinent to an appeal will result in the charge of an additional violation of the academic integrity policy.)

Complicity occurs when a student, whether through action or inaction, knowingly encourages, induces, facilitates, or solicits another student to commit an academic integrity violation. The level of offense and appropriate sanction for complicity will be determined by the Provost in consultation with the College Appeals Committee.

Examples of complicity include but are not limited to:

  • Having knowledge of another student’s violation or plan to commit a violation and failing to report it to the instructor or to the Provost
  • Soliciting or encouraging another student to commit or participate in a violation
  • Participating with another or with a group in planning the commission of a violation, whether or not the plan is carried out

Violation Penalties and Procedures

What happens if an instructor suspects that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy?

  1. The instructor will notify the Provost in writing within seven calendar days of discovery of the violation.
  2. The student will receive official notification of the allegation from the Provost via e-mail.
  3. Immediately upon notification by the Provost, a student must contact the Office of Student Engagement and Success (OSES) to discuss the violation and whether or not there is a basis for an appeal (off campus students may complete this step via phone call, Skype, Google Hangouts, or other virtual meeting software). Students failing to contact OSES within five calendar days from the Provost’s notification will be deemed to have accepted responsibility for the stated violation and waived their right of appeal.
  4. Students who contact OSES either must (a) inform that office of their acceptance of responsibility for alleged violations, or (b) file an appeal. Students who elect neither option within five calendar days from the Provost’s notification will be deemed to have accepted responsibility for the stated violation and waived their right of appeal.
  5. Upon acceptance of responsibility or denial of an appeal, students must complete Academic Integrity (AI) Training and also will receive an administrative sanction based on point accumulation. Students who notify OSES of their acceptance of responsibility must complete AI Training within five calendar days of that notice. Students who waive their right of appeal through non-response or failure to act must complete AI Training within five calendar days following expiration of the appeal deadline. Students whose timely appeal is denied must complete AI Training within five calendar days of the Provost’s notice of denial.

Academic Integrity Training

All students (except those being dismissed) are required to complete Academic Integrity Training upon acceptance of an allegation or denial of an appeal. Academic Integrity Training consists of three steps. All three steps will be completed in Brightspace in the assigned Academic Integrity Course.

What is Academic Dishonesty?

Academic dishonesty is defined as any unauthorized action or attempted action that may result in academic gain. Unintentional violations of the academic integrity policy are still violations and will still be treated as such. Brewton-Parker College groups these behaviors into the following five categories.

Following the instructions below, you will write your version of the events surrounding your violation in response to an essay question in Brightspace.

Assignment
First, think of someone whom you respect or admire and/or someone who has a “stake” in your academic integrity violation. This could be the instructor of the course in which the violation occurred, your favorite high school teacher, a parent, a current or future employer, or a future admissions counselor (perhaps for graduate school, medical school, law school, etc.). If you are going to be applying for a job or graduate school and are worried about having to tell them about this violation, the employer or “admissions counselor” would be a great choice for this assignment.

Second, you will compose a letter to that person. In that letter, you should:

  1. Tell the story of events that led to the violation (see below: Further Tips to Complete Assignment).
  2. Consider the factors that contributed to the situation. What went wrong? What could have been done better? Which aspects are under your control and which are not?
  3. Pose questions that you still have about the violation, the consequences, or future ramifications you may experience as a result of the violation.

Further Tips to Complete Assignment
You can begin the writing process by reflecting on and writing out responses to the following questions:

  1. What was your integrity policy violation, that is, the “problem”? Write out your description.
  2. Who was involved, that is, who are the main characters? Obviously you are one, but who are the others? The instructor, a teaching assistant, classmates, roommate, parent, friend, etc.? What roles did they play in the case? Describe the characters and their roles. Don’t forget to use pseudonyms so your case is anonymous.
  3. What was the sequence of events that led to the integrity policy violation? Reconstruct how you came to the final action that led to the academic misconduct allegation. For example, “The instructor assigned us a research paper on global warming. Within a week, I had all of the sources I needed to write the paper, but because of other assignments and my job, I left the reading to the week the paper was due. I read all of the material in one night, copying and pasting stuff from the material into my paper. Then, the next night I went back to the paper and started writing and paraphrasing the material; I was up until 3:00 a.m., but I got the paper done. Then, a week after I submitted the paper, I was told by the professor that I had plagiarized and was being reported for academic misconduct!”
  4. Identify the beginning, middle and end of your story—now read it as if you were someone else. What additional details—vivid descriptions—can you provide to help the reader understand the story? For example:
    • Beginning —“I was totally not into writing this research paper because I do not care about the topic and I had never written a research paper before, so I was clueless on how to start”;
    • Middle —“I was so tired when trying to write the paper that I became angry at having to even do the assignment”; and
    • End —“My reaction was that the professor was crazy and out to get me, and I was worried about how this would affect my grade in the course.”

(https://academicintegrity.ucsd.edu/excel-integrity/ai-training/index.html#Pre-Requisite-#2:-Write-your-Te).

The Academic Integrity Training Module must be completed in the Academic Success Center/Office of Student Engagement and Success before the deadline stated in the official notification. You will not be able to log in to the Academic Integrity Course training in Brightspace unless you are with a representative from the Academic Success Center/Office of Student Engagement and Success. Students failing to complete the module by the stated deadline will be assessed a $50 fine and suspended from class attendance with unexcused absences until the module has been completed. Off campus students may make arrangements to complete the module via Skype, Google Hangouts, or other virtual meeting software.

Rewrite your step 1 assignment using the information you just learned in your Academic Integrity Training module. You may choose to write to the same person you did in step 1 or someone else.

In this letter, you should:

  1. Tell the story of events that led to the violation.
  2. Consider the factors that contributed to the situation. What went wrong? What could have been done better? Which aspects are under your control and which are not?
  3. Explain your findings after completing the academic integrity violation. Do you now see that what you did violated the policy even if you did not: intend to cheat, know what the policy said, know how to properly cite sources, actually cheat, know that your friend was going to copy your answers, etc.

Academic Integrity Sanction Rubric

All students (except those being dismissed) are required to complete Academic Integrity Training upon acceptance of an allegation or denial of an appeal, as well as receive the sanction noted below based on the offense(s). The following violation levels are assigned to specific types of violations of the Brewton-Parker College Academic Integrity Policy. If a violation occurs that is not specifically provided for below, then any sanctions will be based on the most similar type of violation that exists in this rubric. All violations will be considered a single violation regardless of the timeframe in which they occur. If a student commits more than one type of violation in a single act, his sanction will be based on the highest violation level applicable. Each submitted act will be considered a single violation. Sanction points are cumulative over the length of the student’s tenure at Brewton-Parker College.

Sanctions

All sanctions are in addition to completion of the Academic Integrity Training assigned by the Academic Success Center.

Sanction Points = 0.0: The student will receive a maximum point deduction of 20 points as decided by the instructor and/or he may be required to resubmit the assignment.
Sanction Points = 0.5: For work for a course, the instructor shall give the test or assignment an immediate zero (0) which will then be averaged into the course grade. If the violation occurred on work without a grading component, the faculty member will require that the work be redone. If that involves missing a stated deadline, the stated late penalty will apply.
Sanction Points = 1.0: The student will immediately receive a course grade of XF and will be dropped from the roster of the course. Note: should such violation occur prior to the “last date to withdraw from classes without grade point penalty” on the academic calendar, the student may not avoid the XF grade by withdrawing from the class.

After three (3) blue or yellow violations, a student will be placed on academic probation. The period of probation will begin immediately upon a student’s acceptance of responsibility for a third such violation or upon notice of denial of a timely appeal; it will extend for the remainder of the semester in which the violation occurred plus the next semester of enrollment thereafter. This probation carries a stipulation that the student must earn at least a 2.0 GPA during the next semester of enrollment. A notation will be added to the student’s transcript indicating academic probation “for violation of the Academic Integrity policy,” which may be removed upon the student’s fulfillment of the same conditions specified in Section III below for removal of an “X” grade. Note: students on academic probation or suspension are prohibited from representing the College in extracurricular activities or holding office in any extracurricular student organization. Any question of what constitutes “representing the college” or “extracurricular activities or organizations” will be resolved by the Provost. If a student is found guilty of committing another academic integrity violation after being placed on academic probation, the student will be immediately and permanently expelled.

Sanction Points = 3.0+: The student will be immediately and permanently expelled.

  • Plagiarism such as no citations or inaccurate citations in work done for a course in which the plagiarized material constitutes less than 10% of the assignment (first offense only).
  • Unauthorized collaboration on or providing answers for homework assignments constituting less than 10% of the assignment (first offense only).
  • Use of any other materials or resources that are not authorized by the instructor in completing any assignment, not including exams and quizzes, which has a value of less than 10% of the overall course grade (first offense only).
  • Copying from or viewing another student’s work during an examination or quiz.
  • Using any materials or resources that are not authorized by the instructor for use during a quiz or examination or in completing any assignment having a value equal to or greater than 10% of the course grade, or a second offense.
  • Collaborating during an examination or quiz with any other person by giving or receiving information or even attempting to do so without specific permission from the instructor.
  • Collaborating on or providing answers for laboratory work or other in-class work when instructed to work independently.
  • Self-plagiarism: submitting without specific permission of the instructor work that has been previously submitted by the same student for credit in another course or a previous offering of the same course.
  • Falsification of attendance and/or participation in an assignment.
  • Plagiarism of any kind when that plagiarism constitutes less than 10% of the assignment and is a second offense, or when that plagiarism constitutes 10% or more of the assignment.
  • Unauthorized collaboration on or providing answers for homework assignments constituting 10% or more of the assignment, or less than 10% on a second offense.
  • Lying or falsification as described in the policy.
  • Buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining or providing information about an examination not yet administered. Note that an offer or request to obtain information without actual exchange of information is still dishonest and a violation of the academic integrity policy.
  • Substituting for another person or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself to take an examination, quiz, or any other assignment.
  • Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in your capstone course, senior seminar, or degree-culminating courses or projects.
  • Submitting altered or falsified data for internships.
  • Altering grades or official records.
  • Falsifying or signing another person’s name on any academically-related college form or document.
  • Sabotaging another student’s work.

Note: For offenses not specifically mentioned in this rubric, faculty members may confer with the Provost and propose a description of the offense and the level of sanctions. The Provost will review the proposed offense and sanction for consistency with existing offenses and sanctions. If a faculty member and the Provost disagree over a particular offense or sanction, the Provost will make the determination with advice and counsel from the College Appeals Committee. In the event of a conflict between a course syllabus and the Academic Integrity Policy, the policy and rubric shall take precedence.

In addition, upon proof by clear and convincing evidence of complicity and pursuant to notice and fair opportunity for a hearing before the College Appeals Committee, offenders not enrolled at the time of the offense, either at the college or in the class where the offense was committed, may be subject to revocation of academic credit, grades, and degrees or other credentials already conferred.

Removal of the ‘X’

After two semesters at the college following the imposition of a penalty with no student conduct or academic integrity infractions, a student may request to have the X removed from the transcript. In order to have the X removed from the transcript, a student should complete the X-Removal Form in the Registrar’s Office (note that the grade of F will remain). Any student qualified to have an X removed, but who transfers or otherwise leaves the college before submitting an X-Removal Form, may do so after leaving the college. The X will automatically be removed from the transcript of any student who graduates from BPC.

Students Rights and Academic Integrity Appeals

What rights do students have?
If an instructor alleges a student’s involvement in academic misconduct, students have the right to a fair process including:

  1. The right to be notified: Students will receive notification of the allegation after an instructor reports it to the Provost. The instructor is not required to notify the student(s) before making this report.
  2. The right to receive a copy of the documentation or other evidence supporting the allegation.
  3. The right to be heard: Students have the right to appeal an alleged violation of the academic integrity policy.

Students do not have the ability to:

  1. Appeal the severity of the imposed sanctions: All sanctions are imposed based on cumulative points and the Academic Integrity Sanctions Rubric.
  2. Appeal violations due to intention: Students should accept responsibility if their actions violated the academic integrity policy, regardless of whether or not the violation was “intentional.”
  3. Appeal violations based on ignorance: Arguments of “I didn’t know” are irrelevant, as students are afforded numerous opportunities to undergo academic integrity training. Students also are responsible for reading and understanding the terms of their course syllabi and any policies published in the academic catalog.
  4. Bring legal representation to any appeals committee meeting.

Students who wish to appeal an academic integrity violation must do so within five calendar days of the Provost’s written notice or risk waiving their right to appeal.  For further details, see paragraphs 3 and 4 above under “Violation Penalties and Procedures.”

In order to appeal the allegation,

  1. A student must submit a written letter of appeal to the Provost. Students may ask the Office of Student Engagement and Success for assistance in crafting their letter of appeal.
  2. Upon receipt of an appeals letter, the Provost will acknowledge its receipt with a copy to the instructor. The instructor will have the opportunity to write a letter of response, of which the student will receive a copy.
  3. Both letters will be forwarded to the College Appeals Committee, who will meet to consider all facts presented in both letters. If a majority of the members or the chair of the committee feels as though any party needs to be present at an appeals meeting, then both parties will be afforded the opportunity to appear. The individuals will not be required to discuss the violation or the appeal in front of one another. The committee will deliberate in closed session. All decisions are made by majority vote unless otherwise provided by the Bylaws of the college.

Suggestions for your letter of appeal:

1. Be focused and clear. Present the truth and facts as you know them. Appeals letters should be based on one of the following simple premises:

  • “I didn’t cheat or give/receive inappropriate assistance.”
  • “I didn’t commit plagiarism.”
  • “I didn’t lie or provide false information.”
  • “I didn’t commit the violation alleged.”
  • “The work constituted less than 10% of the assignment or less than 10% of the overall course grade.”

2. Stick to information that is relevant to the incident rather than including your life story and past examples of your character. Good people make bad decisions all the time, so your character is not in question. Rather, the only question is whether you violated the BPC Academic Integrity Policy.

3. Do not be confrontational, rude, or insulting to the professor or college. Such action is more likely to hurt than help you.

4. Remember that the College Appeals Committee is not a legal hearing but simply an opportunity for you to tell the truth and report the facts. The Committee is not bound by the same procedural or evidentiary rules as courts of law.

5. Alleged violators may not be represented by legal counsel or any type of advocate at an Appeals Committee hearing.

The College Appeals Committee

Does

  • Review the facts as presented by both the instructor and the student
  • Use the evidence to determine whether it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred and the alleged offender committed it

Does Not

  • Decide or change academic integrity sanctions
  • Dismiss cases based on your character, past experiences, or intentions

Student Rights and Grade Appeal Procedures

Students have the right to appeal final course grades after they have been posted in the college’s official gradebook, MyWeb. The College utilizes both an informal and a formal process for grade appeals.

  1. The student should first discuss the matter directly with the instructor and make a reasonable effort to resolve the issue. The student must begin such an informal resolution process within seven calendar days of the release of final course grades.
  2. If the student is uncomfortable trying to resolve the issue directly with the instructor, the student should request informal resolution by the Division Chair. If the instructor is the Division Chair, then the student should request informal resolution by the Provost. This step must begin within seven calendar days of the release of final course grades. The Division Chair nor the Provost play a decision-making role; rather, he or she facilitates a resolution when possible.

If no resolution is reached with the instructor, a student may initiate a formal appeal with the Provost.

  1. In order to complete a formal grade appeal, a student must submit a Grade Appeal Form to the Provost within seven calendar days of the close of the informal resolution process. Students may ask the ASC professional staff for assistance in completing their appeal (not peer tutors).
  2. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Provost will acknowledge its receipt with a copy to the instructor. The instructor will have the opportunity to write a letter of response, of which the student will receive a copy.
  3. Both letters will be forwarded to the College Appeals Committee, who will meet to consider all facts presented in both letters. If the committee feels as though any party needs to be present at an appeals meeting, then both parties will be afforded the opportunity to appear. The individuals will not be required to discuss the appeal in front of one another. The committee will deliberate in closed session. All decisions are made by majority vote unless otherwise noted.

The Grade Appeal Form serves to remind students that an appeal must contain the following information:

    1. the course number, name, instructor, and the letter grade which the student is appealing;
    2. the basis for the student’s appeal;
    3. a statement of the remedy the student is seeking;
    4. evidence to support the basis for appeal, such as, but not limited to
      • syllabus information
      • assignment instructions
      • assignment evaluations
      • evaluations of prior learning
      • evidence of student attempts to contact an instructor outside of the classroom prior to the grade appeal
      • information on when and with whom the student attempted an informal resolution.
    5. Incomplete Grade Appeal Forms will be returned to the student to be corrected before being forwarded to the College Appeals Committee.

Student Rights and Non-Academic Appeal Procedures

The College Appeals Committee will also hear appeals of disciplinary, financial, and other matters designated by the President. [Appeals of persons denied admission to the College will be dealt with by the Admissions Committee.]

Appeals of non-academic matters are a safeguard against errors or unfairness. Students may appeal the determination of responsibility, the sanction(s) imposed, or both. A written letter of appeal must be submitted to the Provost within seven calendar days of the time the student was notified of the action.

Appeals must be based on one or more of the following:

  1. Significant new information not available at the time of the original decision
  2. Evidence that the person who made the original decision
    • refused to hear all witnesses brought forward by the student,
    • applied rules not actually in effect,
    • did not give fair process to the student,
    • did not follow the rules as set in place in the Brewton-Parker College Student Handbook and Academic Catalog,
    • made a decision that is contrary to or disregarded entirely the evidence that was presented, or
    • made a decision that was biased.
  3. Evidence that the action taken was excessive for the charge made against the student

General Policies Regarding Academic Integrity and Other Appeals

In counting the deadlines specified in the Academic Integrity and Appeals policies “calendar days” shall include official college holidays, breaks, and weekends; however, if the last day of a deadline falls on one of these, then the delay will be extended to the next work day (Mon.-Fri).  The Provost shall have discretion to waive or extend any such deadline under circumstances that warrant an exception.

Within seven calendar days from notice of an adverse decision by the College Appeals Committee and upon presentation of new evidence unavailable at the time of the appeal, an aggrieved student may petition the Provost for further review and/or for a rehearing of the committee’s decision.  Such petition must be in writing and submitted to the Provost by email.  Upon receipt of a petition for final review, the Provost has full discretion to grant or deny the request, amend or vacate the committee’s decision, or remand the case for further consideration by the committee.  Such review or rehearing is a discretionary appeal of last resort, after which a student has no further recourse under Brewton-Parker policy.

After all avenues of redress afforded by the College’s published policies and procedures have been exhausted, if a student feels that a fair and reasonable resolution was not achieved, students hereby also are advised of their right to file a complaint with the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC). A copy of the “GNPEC Authorized School Complaint Form: may be found on the agency’s web site at http://gnpec.org .

Content on this page and in the catalog policy is a combination of portions of integrity polices at UCSD, UC Denver, and the University of Arkansas, put together by an Academic Integrity Study Group and approved by the BPC Academic Council and Faculty Assembly.

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