S4 – Academic Integrity
Originator: Dean of Student Services
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: November 28, 2014
Replaces: September, 2014
Academic Integrity is critical in a learning environment and a fundamental core value of an academic institution. Academic evaluation must be representative of the knowledge and skill level achieved by a learner as demonstrated through their Academic Work. Acts of Academic Misconduct make it impossible for an accurate evaluation to occur.
Red River College Polytechnic has a duty to maintain a high standard of Academic Integrity. This ensures that the College’s scholarship, research, certificates, diplomas and degrees remain credible.
Students will behave in a manner consistent with the fundamental values of Academic Integrity. They will avoid all forms of Academic Misconduct, and will seek clarification from College instructional staff to ensure an understanding of the expectations for their Academic Work. The College will take appropriate action when a Student becomes involved in Academic Misconduct.
Academic Integrity – refers to the requirement to be honest and truthful in all College relationships, activities, and commitments. From these fundamental values of honesty and truth flow consistent, ethical behaviour when engaged in Academic Work, or any other academic activity.
Academic Misconduct – refers to all dishonest behaviour, whether deliberate or otherwise, related to Academic Work, or any other academic activity.
Academic Work – refers to all forms of Student work intended to demonstrate the knowledge and skill a Student has acquired during their studies. It refers to course work such as assignments and tests, materials or evaluations used to determine Recognition of Prior Learning, various forms of research, as well as applied learning. All work produced by Students during the course of their academic studies with the College is considered Academic Work, whether or not it is eligible to receive a grade or evaluation.
Chair – the Chair, an equivalent or designate(s) of the program in which the Student is a learner, the Student is applying to be a learner, or the Student has been a learner.
Instructor – refers to the instructor of the course in which the Academic Misconduct has occurred.
Members of the College Community – refers to students, staff or anyone else associated with the College who may acquire knowledge of Academic Misconduct.
Student(s) – refers to any individual:
- Who is seeking to apply to study at Red River College Polytechnic;
- Who is a current student; or
- Who has previously been a student.
4. Forms of Academic Misconduct
Plagiarism: Representing the words, ideas, research, or data created by, or belonging to, someone else as if it were your own. Plagiarism may range from close imitation or paraphrasing the thoughts of another, to the submission of an entire Academic Work created by someone else. All forms of plagiarism share a common element: material is being presented as the Student’s original Academic Work, without acknowledgement, use of quotation marks, citations, or other references deemed appropriate by College staff. Plagiarism also includes submitting the same work for credit in more than one course. Students who want to submit work that was prepared for another course must first receive instructor permission.
Cheating: The use or distribution, or the attempted use or distribution, of unauthorized materials, equipment, information, or study aids when engaged in Academic Work. Cheating includes being in possession of unauthorized material during testing, behaviour such as copying from another Student, impersonation of a Student in an examination or test, disguising one’s own identity, or any other act by which a Student attempts to misrepresent their demonstration of academic skills or knowledge.
False or Misleading Representation: Misrepresenting, exaggerating, withholding information or providing any false information for academic or financial benefit. It may involve disclosing false, or withholding accurate, information in communication with College staff during the course of a Student’s studies, or in the application process. It may involve falsifying research, data, or information submitted as Academic Work. It may further involve forging or falsifying official College documents, such as grade reports, transcripts or other records.
Accommodation Under False Pretences: Misrepresentation in order to receive any academic accommodation on disability-related or compassionate grounds. This may include obtaining medical or other certificates under false or misleading pretences, altering medical or other certificates, or presenting them in a manner meant to deceive to receive accommodation.
Collusion: Carrying out, or attempting to carry out, an agreement with any other person to commit an act of Academic Misconduct.
Unauthorized Collaboration: Submitting Academic Work that was created in collaboration with any other person, when such collaboration did not have the instructor’s approval.
Sabotage: The deliberate destruction, disruption or tampering of another person’s Academic Work or learning environment.
Members of the College Community will be alert to Academic Misconduct.
Members of the College Community who have reason to believe that Academic Misconduct has occurred, or who are in possession of evidence that may indicate Academic Misconduct has occurred, will relay such information to the program with which the Student(s) is associated.
If the allegation is in regards to a specific course, the Instructor of that course will conduct a review of the incident and complete the Academic Misconduct Form (attached to this policy as Appendix A). The Instructor will then provide the review findings and the completed form to the Chair.
If the allegation involves actions that are not associated with a specific course, or that are associated with several courses, the Chair of the program with which the Student is associated will conduct an investigation and complete the Academic Misconduct Form (attached to this policy as Appendix A).
The Chair will meet with the student, present the evidence of the possible Academic Misconduct, and listen to the Student’s explanation of the occurrence.
Following the meeting with the Student, the Chair will decide if Academic Misconduct has occurred. The following action will be taken:
- If there is a finding that no Academic Misconduct has occurred, then no further action will be taken, and no record of the incident will be kept; or
- If there is a finding that Academic Misconduct has occurred, a written reprimand will be issued to the Student. A copy of the written reprimand will be retained by the Dean of the School, the Chair of the program, and copies must be issued to the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Student Services. The Chair will also contact the Office of the Registrar to determine whether the Student has a history of Academic Misconduct.
- A Chair may choose to take further action, in addition to the required written reprimand, in consideration of the nature, severity and frequency of the Academic Misconduct. This action may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Have the Student complete a paper or assignment on Academic Integrity, including self-reflection on the incident in question; and/or
- Have the Student redo and re-submit the Academic Work in question (Program directives regarding late submissions may apply); and/or
- Issue a lowered grade on the Academic Work in question; and/or
- Any other appropriate action according to the Student Discipline policy, up to and including a recommendation for suspension or expulsion. Appropriate action may include a consequence that affects a Student’s grade, or denying of credit.
Where the suspected Academic Misconduct concerns forging or falsifying official College documents, including but not limited to, grade reports, transcripts, certificates, diplomas, and degrees, the Office of the Registrar will conduct an investigation.
- During the investigation, the Student may provide the Office of the Registrar with an explanation.
- Following the investigation, the Office of the Registrar will determine whether Academic Misconduct has occurred.
- If there is a finding that no Academic Misconduct has occurred, then no further action will be taken, and no record of the incident will be kept;
- If there is a finding that Academic Misconduct has occurred, a written reprimand will be issued to the Student. A copy of the written reprimand will be retained by the Chair of the Student’s program, the Dean of the School, the Office of the Registrar, and the Dean of Student Services. The Office of the Registrar may also impose further discipline in accordance with the Student Discipline policy.
The Student Discipline policy will apply to Students found to have committed an act of Academic Misconduct in their application to the College. The College may rescind an offer of admission, impose conditions on future application, or take any other action it deems reasonable if a Student is found to have committed an act of Academic Misconduct.
The Student Discipline policy will apply to Students who are no longer studying at the College, or who have graduated from the College, and who are found to have committed an act of Academic Misconduct. The act of Academic Misconduct may have occurred in activities associated with the College before, during or after their studies at the College. The College may act upon the discovery of Academic Misconduct, regardless of when such discovery is made. In addition to sanctions that may be imposed in applying policy for Student Discipline, the College may place a notation on a Student’s official transcript indicating an act of Academic Misconduct had occurred, may rescind credit for courses, and/or may rescind the credential conveyed upon the Student.
Appeals of Academic Misconduct will follow the established appeal process for student discipline.