Academic Integrity Policy

 The mission statement of Central College charges us to “promote the sensitivity to and appreciation of values essential for students to become effective citizens” at the local, national and international levels. These values include mutual respect and justice. Mutual respect for our colleagues and ourselves requires that we perform our work with integrity. Justice requires not only adherence to a process that upholds Central College’s standards of academic integrity, but also the creation of an atmosphere of intellectual safety where individuals know their work is secure from being copied by others or abused in any way. An academic community with a high degree of integrity is essential if Central College is to succeed in its mission and sustain an academic center whose scholarship and graduates are valued.

Integrity in academic performance is about much more than grades earned; it is about how individual members of the academic community have earned their grades. Because you are responsible for and accountable to upholding these standards of integrity, this guide is provided as a resource. 

Academic Honesty

A key component of academic integrity involves taking on the responsibility of being honest in the production of our work as scholars. Academic honesty requires that we do not plagiarize, engage in inappropriate or unauthorized collaborations, cheat, aid others in being academically dishonest, or engage in other activities that are dishonest such as misusing technology or other college resources. Each of these violations of academic honesty threatens the overall integrity of Central College, and all members of our academic community. Thus, these violations cannot and will not be tolerated. 

You should avoid:

Responsibilities for maintaining standards of academic integrity

Each member of the Central College community is responsible and accountable for maintaining these standards of academic honesty in order to maintain the integrity of the college and the degrees it confers. 

Instructors are expected to:

 Students are expected to:

 Administrators are expected to:

Procedures for violations of academic standards of integrity

In a case of perceived academic dishonesty, the instructor will collect evidence documenting the violation and arrange to meet with the student to discuss the incident as soon as possible. When a student is observed cheating on a test, the instructor will take custody of the evidence and confront the student as soon as possible. 

The instructor of the course will determine the course penalty after consulting with his or her department chair (or the chair’s designee) and the associate dean for curriculum and development. Depending on the nature of the offense, the penalty in the course may take the form of additional work or reassignment, failing the project or test, or failing the course. 

For every discovered integrity violation, instructors will file an academic integrity violation report with the associate dean for curriculum and development along with copies of any evidence collected. The report will include a description of the offense, the action taken by the instructor and confirmation that a department chair (or senior colleague) was consulted in this process. 

After review by the associate dean for curriculum and faculty development, an institutional sanction may be imposed. Students will receive a letter restating the course penalty and, if applicable, the institution’s sanction or warning, and a copy will be placed in the student’s file. Records of academic integrity violations will be kept in the Academic Affairs office permanently. For a first offense, a student will typically receive a letter of warning. Repeated offenses may be grounds for suspension or dismissal from Central College. Serious violations may result in dismissal. 

Students who wish to appeal the penalty imposed by the faculty member and/or the institutional sanction must send a letter to the associate dean for curriculum and faculty development explaining the grounds for the appeal. The College’s Academic Planning Committee will review the evidence submitted and the voting members of the committee (with the associate dean serving in a non-voting capacity) will render a decision on the appeal.  A final appeal may be made to the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.  All appeals must be submitted within two weeks of being notified of a decision. 

Those involved with cases of academic integrity violations will maintain strict confidentiality and follow the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act as it applies to the release of information in student records. 

Information on academic integrity

Further information about plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity is available on the Geisler Library home page under the heading “Copyright and Academic Integrity.”