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Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

Mercer County Community College is committed to Academic Integrity -- the honest, fair and continuing pursuit of knowledge, free from fraud or deception. This implies that students are expected to be responsible for their own work, and that faculty and academic support services staff members will take reasonable precautions to prevent the opportunity for academic dishonesty.

Violations

The college recognizes the following general categories of violations of academic integrity, with representative examples of each. Academic integrity is violated whenever a student:

  1. Uses or obtains unauthorized assistance in any academic work.
    • copying from another student's exam
    • using notes, books, electronic devices or other aids of any kind during an exam when prohibited.
    • stealing an exam or possessing a stolen copy of an exam
  2. Gives fraudulent assistance to another student.
    • completing a graded academic activity or taking an exam for someone else
    • giving answers to or sharing answers with another student before, during or after an exam or other graded academic activity.
    • sharing answers during an exam by using a system of signals
  3. Knowingly represents the work of others as his/her own, or represents previously completed academic work as current.
    • submitting a paper or other academic work for credit which includes words, ideas, data or creative work of others without acknowledging the source.
    • using another author's words without enclosing them in quotation marks, without paraphrasing them or without citing the source appropriately.
    • presenting another individual's work as one's own.
    • submitting the same paper or academic assignment to another class without the permission of the instructor.
  4. Fabricates data in support of an academic assignment.
    • falsifying bibliographic entries
    • submitting any academic assignment which contains falsified or fabricated data or results
  5. Inappropriately or unethically uses technological means to gain academic advantage
    • inappropriately or unethically acquiring material via the Internet or by any other means.
    • using any electronic or hidden devices for communication during an exam.

Each instructor and academic support service area is authorized to establish specific guidelines consistent with this policy.

Consequences for Violations of Academic Integrity

For a single violation, the faculty member will determine the course of action to be followed. This may include assigning a lower grade on the assignment, assigning a lower final course grade, failing the student in the course, or other penalty appropriate to the violation. In all cases, the instructor shall notify the chairperson of the Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) of the violation and the penalty imposed.

When two or more violations of academic integrity are reported on a student, the AIC may impose disciplinary penalties beyond those imposed by course instructors. The student shall have the right to a hearing before the AIC or a designated AIC subcommittee.

Appeals

The student has a right to appeal the decision of the instructor or the Academic Integrity Committee. Judicial procedures governing violations of academic integrity are contained in the Student Handbook.

Approved: Board of Trustees March 18, 2004

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