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Tacoma Community College » About TCC » Policies » Administrative Procedure for Academic Dishonesty

Administrative Procedure for Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is inconsistent with the values and mission of Tacoma Community College.  Students at TCC are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors.  Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or other forms of academic dishonesty corrupt the learning process and demean the educational environment for all students.

Academic dishonesty is a violation of Tacoma Community College Chapter 132V-121 WAC—Code of Student Conduct:

WAC 132V-121-060 (1)

Acts of dishonesty including, but not limited to, the following (see Tacoma Community College Administrative Procedure for Academic Dishonesty):

(a) Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, academic misconduct or other forms of academic dishonesty.

(b) Withholding information or furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member or office.

(c) Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification.

The purpose of this document is to

  1. define academic dishonesty, and
  2. provide a process for implementing penalties when academic dishonesty occurs.

Definitions of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

Cheating:  Cheating is an act of deception by which a student misrepresents that he or she mastered information on an academic exercise.

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s own work.  When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks.

Fabrication:  Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive.

Academic Misconduct:  Academic misconduct is the intentional violation of college policies (e.g. tampering with grades, taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of an exam prior to the scheduled testing time).  Examples include selling or giving away test answers and changing or altering a grade on a test or in a grade book.

Sanctions

Sanctions for intentional acts of dishonesty may be academic and/or administrative.  The consequences may vary with the situation and the individual instructor.  All instructors include in the course syllabus a policy on and sanctions for academic dishonesty.

If an instructor determines that an intentional incident of academic dishonesty has occurred, he or she may determine what action to take.  Appropriate actions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Issue a grade of “E” or “no credit” for the paper/assignment
  • Issue a sanction of an “E” grade for the course

As a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, academic dishonesty may result in an administrative sanction of Warning, Reprimand, Probation or Suspension from the college among others.

PROCEDURES

Meeting with the Instructor

If an instructor suspects that academic dishonesty has occurred and intends to impose sanctions, he or she will meet with the student to discuss the allegations.  This meeting will take place within four instructional days of the date the instructor became aware of the alleged academic dishonesty.  The instructor will present the evidence of academic dishonesty and inform the student of the intended sanction(s).

  1. If the allegations are determined by the instructor to be false, the student will be exonerated.
  2. If the allegations are determined by the instructor to be true and the student agrees with the intended sanction(s), the instructor will complete an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report form and forward it to the Student Services Administration office.  The instructor and the student will both sign the Incident Report form, to confirm the date of the meeting.  The student should initial the form to signify their agreement with the allegation and sanction.
  3. If the allegations are determined by the instructor to be true and the student disagrees with the allegations and the intended sanction(s), the instructor will inform the student of his or her right to appeal.  The instructor will complete the Incident Report form.  The instructor and the student should both sign the Incident Report form, to confirm the date that the meeting happened.  The student should initial the form to signify their disagreement with the allegation, and to signify that they have been informed of their right to appeal.  The instructor will forward the form to the department/program chair.

Meeting with the Instructor:  Online Courses

If an instructor in a fully online course suspects that academic dishonesty has occurred and intends to impose a sanction, he or she will arrange an opportunity to discuss the allegation.  The instructor will contact the student using a method that generates a confirmation of receipt of the message.  The discussion will take place within four instructional days after the date that the student became aware of the allegation of academic dishonesty.  Possible options that would constitute a “discussion,” could include, but are not limited to, a face-to-face meeting, a virtual office hour, a telephone call, or an email exchange.  The instructor will present the evidence of academic dishonesty and inform the student of the intended sanction(s).

If, based on the discussions at any level, including the appeal process, an Incident Report Form is created, the student will be forwarded an electronic copy and have the option of inserting comments and forwarding the revised version to the Student Services Administration office.

Student’s Right to Appeal

The student has the right to appeal the allegations of academic dishonesty and/or the intended sanctions before they are imposed:

  • During the course of the appeal process, the student shall maintain full academic and student standing in the course.
  • If a student is given the sanction of an “E” grade or “no credit” for the paper/assignment, the student has the option to withdraw from the course, if it is done by the published deadline.
  • If a student is given the sanction of a failing grade for the course, the student may not withdraw from the course in order to avoid the sanction.

1. Within four instructional days of being notified by the instructor of intended sanctions for academic dishonesty and the student’s right to appeal, the student has the right to a meeting with the appropriate department/program chair to discuss the issue and seek resolutions.

a) If the allegations are determined by the department/program chair to be false, the student will be exonerated.

b) If the allegations are determined by the department/program chair to be true and the student agrees with the intended sanction(s), the department/program chair and the student should both sign the Incident Report form, to confirm the date of the meeting.  The student should initial the form to signify their agreement with the allegation and sanction.  The department/program chair will forward it to the Student Services Administration office.

c) If the allegations are determined by the department/program chair to be true and the student disagrees with the allegations and the intended sanction(s), the department/program chair will inform the student of his or her right to appeal to the division dean.  The department/program chair and the student should both sign the Academic Dishonesty Incident Report form.  The student should initial the form to signify their disagreement with the allegation, and to signify that they have been informed of their right to appeal.  The department/program chair will forward the form to the division dean.

2. If the matter is not resolved at the department/program chair level, the student has four instructional days to file a written appeal with the division dean.  The dean will meet with the instructor, the student and, if necessary, others who have information about the academic dishonesty matter, no later than ten instructional days of the student filing a written appeal.

a) If the allegations are determined by the division dean to be false, the student will be exonerated.

b) If the allegations are determined by the division dean to be true, the dean will determine and impose the sanction(s) for academic dishonesty.  The decision of the dean shall be final if the sanction is other than an “E” grade for the course.  The dean and the student will sign the Academic Dishonesty Incident Report form to confirm the date of the meeting, and the dean will forward it to the Student Services Administration office.

c) If the dean’s decision is to impose an “E” grade for the course, the student may initiate TCC Chapter 132V-123 WAC—Final Course Grade Appeal Process after grades have been posted for the quarter.

If academic dishonesty is suspected by the instructor at the end of a quarter and not enough instructional days remain to accommodate the procedures outlined above before final course grades are due, the instructor will assign and submit a final course grade for the student by the published deadline.  The student may then Chapter 132V-123 WAC—Final Course Grade Appeal Process.  If a final grade appeal is based on academic dishonesty, an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report form will be signed by the instructor and submitted to the Student Services Administration office.

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